Researchers have uncovered two very old, very valuable pieces of artwork. As far as I can tell these are some of my earliest works. They were both included in letters to my oldest brother, Lee, written some 30 years ago. I was 5 or 6 years old. They were carefully preserved—probably in some kind of airtight vault.
In this first illustration, I'm sure you can appreciate the strong compositions, the well-developed characters, the limited pallet, and the incorporation of text. Amazing. My brother is an avid hunter, hence the theme. I placed myself, the guy with the gun, into the illustration, surrounded by cute forest animals in a cozy woodland scene. Bambi's got nothing on me. A tiger, a spotted leopard, a curious bunny and what I'm sure is a majestic eagle all living together under a spider like sun while I stand there shooting fiery blasts from my rifle into the air like some kind of crazed rebel, and yet still finding time to send a cheerful "Hi Lee" to my Bro. This drawing has so many levels that it is hard to find the deep meaning hiding therein, but I'm sure it exists and I'm sure it is a strong statement that I was making. Maybe I was protecting the animals from an unseen alien invasion? You don't know.
The second piece clearly shows my ability to spread peace and joy throughout the world. Children are snuggled in their warm beds dreaming of the piles of presents Santa is sure to bring them, while overhead ole St. Nick is rocketing through the star-filled sky, led by his faithful reindeer. Thin wisps of smoke trail from the chimbleys (that's what my dad calls them) of the humble little homes under the moonlit landscape. Can you feel the peace and joy yet? I used red and white to emphasize the Christmas theme with just a touch of brown to bring it all together. It's like a friggin Hallmark card.
So you can see I was destined to become an artist. I'm sure my parents kick themselves for not saving the "good stuff" from my even earlier years. Lucky for the world, these two rare pieces were saved to document the small beginnings of this artist’s life.