Early Work

Childhood—preschool through sixth grade.

Drawings in colored pencil and felt pen. Like other kids, I did finger paintings in kindergarten, and tempera paintings in the early grades. Perhaps blessedly, none of these survive.

Animal Series

Sometime in the early Sixties, gaining inspiration from the animal books I was now able to read, I decided to start the rather ambitious project of drawing a picture of every vertebrate in the world, including a few of the more famous extinct ones. I didn't get all that far. Originally there were more drawings, but these are what I've been able to find.

The earliest realistic drawing of a real animal I did ws this tiny sketch of a woolly mammoth. I remember when and where I did it, too—in 1962 on vacation in the Pacific Northwest (destination: 1962 Seattle World's Fair). This drawing was probably done in our room at the Empress Hotel in Victoria, British Columbia. I was eight.

Almost all of these drawings are on small pieces of paper, of different sizes. This marlin is about 3x4 inches.

Other Childhood Drawings—The Mid-Sixties

In the mid-Sixties, I was still doing drawings for the animal illustration project, but now using full-size sheets of paper. Around this time I gave up on the idea of doing a book of all the world's animals. I continued to draw animals, of course, but with no particular goal in mind, and by now I had a strong inclination toward the fanciful, as you can see from the drawings that follow.

One of the first of my made-up creatures, Grog is kind of a demon frog. He lives in a volcanic region instead of a swamp. A frog from Hell? Of course you rarely find a frog with teeth.

Why is he resting the other end of the pole on a tree branch? Because human figures weren't my strong suit, and I was tired and didn't want to draw another Indian.