When I was twelve, I knew for certain I was a painter, as sure as I knew my name. As a result, I badgered anyone I could into sitting for me since I enjoyed drawing people the most.
At first I was somewhat too honest in my rendering of subjects – one time, a woman got up in a huff, threw the portrait at me and said, “That’s terrible!” It looked just like her, as everyone told me, but that’s what she objected to. So I learned to be as flattering as I could.
In my late teens, I went to Pratt Institute in Brooklyn, NY, expecting to learn some basic drawing and painting but that was a crazy era of abstract painting and incomprehensible “art plays”. I got bored with abstracts, to me they were like glorified wallpaper and today I still...
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