Portrait of the artist as a spotty, callow youth

I was fifteen. Had just rid myself of the meager mustache and the cracking voice, acquired a pussful of pimples. I was a curious combination of know-it-all and trembling violet; sure I was smarter and more tuned in than any adult but also terrified of most of my classmates, especially the girls. This was before Facebook and MySpace, and our only TV was a small black and white unit in my parents’ bedroom. So I had plenty of time on my hands, plenty of opportunity to write stories, build models, read “grownup” novels, and make art.

Recently I came across a sleeve of slides in a box in a drawer.  I haven’t seen the images or the originals in decades but they are still so familiar. I worked pretty long and hard on these paintings, balancing stretched canvases on my bedside chair or struggling with the compressor and airbrush that always clogged and spat up on my nascent work.

I think I was very self-conscious about the coolness of these images and how daring they might seem to my peers. I liked to think of myself as an artist, but there were much better artists than me, like my pal, Eric Drooker, or the super cool Ed Weiss. Still, I managed to get drawings in the school paper (this became easier when I became the editor) and the school yearbook. The big painting of the foot hung in our school library for a while. It looked like it was crashing through the ceiling onto the heads of unsuspecting readers.

(Click on one of the thumbnails to open a gallery of images)

26 thoughts on “Portrait of the artist as a spotty, callow youth”

    1. Thanks, Linda. I hope it's easier to delve into old stuff that still seems relevant. I found it a lot of fun to go through stuff I'd written ages ago and get reinspired. Also, I think the drawings look better in this new frame. And finally, it lets the comments function much more dynamically so we can all chat with each other. — DOG


  1. So glad to see the new site and a post from you.
    My discovery of your site and your podcasts last Fall is what got me back into drawing, journaling, painting, messing around with mixed media, and I haven't stopped since!


  2. Love your new site and happy to see a post from you.
    Discovering your work and your podcasts last Fall is what got me back into drawing, journaling, painting, messing around with mixed media, and I haven't stopped since!


  3. Looks so great. Glad to see the site up and running. Just one thing I noticed is that the link to "written books" in the blurb at the bottom needs the "wordpress" taken out to actually get to the store.

    I'm also looking forward to picking up the latest book when I get back to the States next month. Can't wait!


    1. Thanks for the catch! Creating a new website is so full of complexity and , of coursem, I;ve dropped stitches all over the place. Please let me know if you find any other snafus and I\\'ll fix \\'em.


  4. I'm so glad you're back online! The website looks great, all flashy and wonderfully inspirational. Just looking at all the great pics and posts get me and my son (8) drawing anytime. I also love your last book that I got for Christmas. I was thrilled to recognize your drawings from Amsterdam! (my town). I'll be visiting NYC and the eastcoast this summer and hope to get back with a book full of drawings too. I know how much work your website must take, so I wanted to let you know that all that effort is followed closely, and much appreciated all over the globe.


    1. That\\'s so nice! I hope you and your son bring lots of journals and pens to NY (not that there\\'s a shortage of art supplies here!) so you can draw the town from the Battery to the Bronx. Have a great trip!


  5. Danny, this is a very nice site. You have been busy. I like the flash at the top with the links at the top and bottom. you have so much information here and it's all great inspiration! I like the way you have the comments set up. The "post reply" button is a useful tool.

    Look foward to much more creative inspiration from you, thanks for all your work!


  6. the new site is great! Really glad that you are back. only thing is that I never fancy black background. but then again that is just me. the lay out and links are all great.


  7. Hi Danny! I've been watching the comments via twitter about the new site and was excited to see it! You haven't disappointed, it looks AMAZING! I hope it works out easier for you as well! Keep up the great work and welcome back! 😀


  8. Danny, I just was checking in to see if the new design was posted yet, and WOW! It's great. There's a lot to look at and I'm still finding my way about. I love it. Roz


  9. I'm lovin the new site… Going out tomorrow to buy a copy of An Illustrated Life… Just think you're great!! Chrissi


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