One day–the day after the World Series–it will be gone and the world will take on ever more deeply visible increments of gray. The leaves will put on quite a show though, turning to yellowy fire and deep plum and the air will carry the promise and curse of winter, clean and cold.
I have a show in 31 days. For the first time I can remember there is no over all thematic subject unifying all of it. I grew tired of everything having to fall together as an overall statement. I wanted to remember what it was like to grab my sketch book and go out and play. To make drawings that are almost unconscious, like doodles; when the less attractive and under-the-counter thoughts make themselves visible.
When I was a kid, I only wanted to draw birds, animals, naked women, and comics, usually nasty caricatures of the dopes who were authority figures in my life telling me history that was a lie, trying to pawn off a deity which was a lie, and values that were threadbare and empty. They told me to go to college so someday I could worry about storm windows and property values, and I gave not a fuck for any of it– still don’t.
I loved autumn because of the World Series. The names from my childhood that I revered–Bob Gibson, Lou Brock, Denny McLain, Mickey Lolich, Al Kaline, Reggie Jackson, Thurman Munson, Rollie Fingers, and Jim Palmer. . .I could get lost in those mythologies and forget the collection of dullards and dimwits assigned to educate me.
I loved drawing animals (dogs and birds mostly), especially birds. I also surreptitiously squirreled away as many Playboys as I could find. I loved looking at and drawing naked women. The curves and hips and legs and breasts were hypnotic and intoxicating and mesmerizing. Back then? I was too shy to ask women to take their clothes off so I could draw them.
I got over that.
I intend on making a bunch of naked women drawings down the road. For now, I go where the day takes me. I make up characters like I did as a kid and make quick and dirty pictures that I enjoy because I finally got a sense of *play* back into my work. It is hard work, but it is not labor. This one is about a dog I knew a long time ago named ‘Gizmo’ who had three legs and would bite you in the balls if you pissed him off.
The World Series is happening on my television as I write. Boston is kicking the snot out of the Cards. Jim Leyland, the great Detroit manager, just retired. He was always better than he had to be, taking mediocre teams and making them dig deeper and find their bigger game, and this breaks my heart a bit. But this is autumn, and at 54 years old I now know that this is what autumn does.