i sat in chicago taverns...
and scribbled on bar napkins.
i sketched impressions of what i saw.
the human comedy...
great looking faces...
i tried to capture every fleeting moment.
these scenarios made great paintings.
i sold them for less, than what they were worth.
people are amused by artists, who sketch in bar rooms.
they usually are flattered, when they see...
photographers do not fare as well.
sometime the camera is perceived...
as an invasion of privacy.
maybe because the lens, is something mechanical,
which steals the image.
a pencil or charcoal stick seems less intimidating.
women love to pose for photos and drawings.
men do not.
i immortalized many drunks, with my paintings.
i brought finished paintings to bars.
i often sold them.
these sales subsidized my alcoholism.
this symbiotic relationship worked quite well.
we seem to find our "niche"...
and stay within its comfort.
i traveled to many bars...
did many drawings...
met all types of people.
i sat with the poor.
i sat with the rich.
when i was "flush"...
i bought drinks for the house.
when i was broke...
folks bought drinks for me.
every one knew who i was.
it didn't matter.
they soon forget you,
if you don't show up for a week.
bars are ethereal.
each has its own character.
none are real.
they are facades.
they are illusions.
people open their souls to me in bars.
an open soul is easy to paint.
i paint their pain.
i paint their hopes.
i paint their dreams.
my paintings are visual representations of humanity.
hearts and minds are exposed for the world to see.
getting to know the souls before i paint them...
lends to a better representation.
it's nothing more, nothing less.
it's a simple process.
all of it is humorous...
the "dramas" i see are real.
i hope my paintings capture this quality.
i paint because i must.
when an artist loses this passion...
it is difficult to reclaim.
my muse has left me.
i hope she comes back.
i'd like to paint again.