February 24th, 2007



When I was in high school, my dad made an art portfolio for me to keep all the pieces I was bringing home from my art classes. I was already planning on majoring in art when I got to college and I took a lot of art electives during my years in high school and wasted a LOT of paper. I still have several of the callligraphy pieces I did, a woodcut, an etching, copies of the pen and ink drawings I sold at the base bazaar, ink renderings of Linda K. Powell animals (which are pretty good if I do say so myself, though they're not technically original).

My dad made the portfolio out of 2 large pieces of sturdy ply-cardboard, covered in strips of green duct tape to make it waterproof. Inside he created flaps of white plastic trash bags to hold the papers on either side, and then, after punching the appropriate holes in the edges, he affixed a metal folder closure-thingy.

Tonight, while looking through the portfolio, which is substantially battered but still serviceable, in search of something else, I came upon this drawing.

Click on the image for a larger version

The title, carefully lettered in the lower left corner is My bedroom. Corner A. I don't know where the drawings of the other 4 corners ended up, but I also don't remember them as being anywhere near as cluttered or interesting as this one. What makes me laugh about it now (apart from the obviously minimal grasp I had on perspective, especially when it came to rocking chairs) is the incredible DETAIL I packed into this letter-sized piece of paper.

This was my bedroom for 3 years, in a 4-bedroom apartment on the 12th (and top) floor of a military housing highrise in Landstuhl, Germany. (this is what it looked like a few years ago) We moved to Germany in the summer of 1979 and left in the summer of 1982, and I graduated from high school right before we left. I don't know for sure when this drawing was done in those 3 years, but I was somewhere between 15 and 17 years old, probably closer to 17 judging from some of the items I can identify in the drawing.

I can name and picture in my head nearly everything in that drawing. I know exactly what all those little figures are, even though most of them are long gone. There's the Trixie Belden paperbacks on the shelf that I wish I had kept. There are the 2 rows of Madame Alexander dolls that I received over the years from my parents, which my sister's daughter has now inherited since my own daughter has absolutely ZERO interest in dolls. There's the little white china bisque girl that I still have high on a bookshelf in the playroom. Looking at this drawing makes me super nostalgic for those days. The books on the desk were my very favorites, read and re-read until they fell apart in tatters: The Once and Future King, Dragonflight and Dragonquest, A Spell For Chameleon.

The yellow hippo-looking creature on a red background in the upper right corner is, in fact, a hippo, a small poster of a figurine from the Tutankhamen Treasures tour that came through Germany while we were there. I still have it, along with a gigantic poster of Tut's burial mask. Neither one is on display these days. I wish, too, that I still had the 2 posters of the maps of Middle Earth. My father gave them to me and I bet they'd be worth something today. I still have the one that is only indicated on the right side of the drawing. The caption at the bottom actually reads COME TO MIDDLE EARTH and it's a reproduction of the cover of the 1965 paperback cover art edition of The Fellowship of the Ring. It's tattered, ripped and torn, but I framed it years ago to help preserve it from further deterioration and it's still groovy as hell.

The painting of the tiger with the mouse on his head which is next to the door is hanging now in Karin's room. It was given to me by an oriental exchange student about whom I remember nothing else. What else I don't remember? What was actually listed on that My "Wanna Get" List below the lightswitch. I wonder if I got any of them. I wonder if I would want any of them now. :)
  • Current Music
    Bob Mould—Compositions for the Young and Old
  • Tags