Saturday, December 12, 2009


I love drawing. It's been how I've earned my living for over 30 years, putting ink to paper as I've created thousands of editorial cartoons and comics strips. I also love graphite drawings. In my younger days, I would spend up to 150 hours on a single pencil drawing, starting in the upper left-hand corner working my way over and down, slowly putting hundreds of thousands of tiny strokes over and over each other as I made my way to the lower right corner. And when I got there, I was finished with the drawing. All I had to do was sign my name underneath.

It's been several years since I worked in graphite, but I've pulled out my pencil box, filled with various mechanical as well as woodless pencils ranging from the hard 6H to the soft, dark 9B. I recently drew two, tiny pictures, one of an old house on Carter's Mountain in Charlottesville ( a couple of years ago I painted the same scene in oil). The other is an old house northwest of Asheville that my friend Carl Collier and I came across back in November as we were out looking for old trucks for me to paint. It had plywood in some of the windows, a patched roof about ten years past needing to be replaced, peeling paint on the siding and crumbling front steps. And an American flag hung up on the front porch. There were, of course, several trucks around back. Luckily, no dogs were in sight as I ran up and snapped a few quick pictures.

"This Old House"

Graphite, 3.5 x 5.75