Researching a recent project involved digging through the vast archives of the Wally Torta Library in Independence, Missouri--no, I'm sorry, in a cardboard box in my basement. I got it confused with the Harry Truman Library, as who wouldn't? Anyway, it was instructive to compare the things I drew back in 2006 to what I'm doing now. Instructive and depressing. One day these will be part of a photo essay in a Time-Life book showing the deterioration of the human brain as it ages and takes on the chemical composition of Roquefort cheese. The fact that I'm not even aware that Time-Life books no longer exist proves my point.
Back then my eye was caught by more than bored people sitting in coffee shops. And I was actually more adept at watercolor than I am now. What happened to my adeptitude? Where did my adeptivity go to? Maybe the same place as the navy boxer shorts with the little roosters on them. I can't find them either.
I worked downtown, and spent most of my lunch hours out sketching. There was a lot of interesting construction going on that year. Interesting as long as it was construction, that is. When they were done, we realized they were just more yawn-inducing Norfolk buildings.
When I did draw people, I was less constrained by verisimilitude. The way I drew was very dependent on what kind of mood I was in. The milk of human kindness is weak in this one.
Back then, my coffee shop of choice was Fairgrounds. Cafe Stella was still just a gleam in Stella's eye, which Mariusz always mistook for something else, which we won't go into here.
Nobody likes a whiner. But dammit, I wish I still drew like this.
I did a lot of self-portraits back then, in hopes that I would gain some insight into my soul. I guess what I discovered was that there wasn't a whole lot in there. It was like making a last sweep through the house on moving-out day. There was a ballpoint pen...seven pennies...an Amazon box with bubble wrap in it...a toilet paper tube...a pair of reading glasses missing one lens...an empty file folder labeled "important documents"...an empty "Wedding Crashers" DVD box...a lime-green post-it note saying "save this"....and that's about it.