This week I’m spotlighting a drawing I did back in the summer of 1980 that hangs on the wall here in the MBIP World Headquarters.
Before I started writing, I used to draw all the time. I started drawing as a kid when my brother Jim taught me how to do it. Back then I drew with a pencil and as the years progressed I started using colored chalk which I liked because you could blend it with your fingers and I also used a Rapidograph pen to use for highlighting the drawing.
I don’t have a lot of my drawings, I used to give them away to people and when I started to write, I lost all interest in drawing and just stopped doing it. But my favorite piece of art is one I created in 1980 and it’s featured below. Scroll on down to read about it!
Or go and make a sandwich, it’s your decision!
This drawing of Richard Nixon brings back a flood of memories because I drew it when I was recovering from a raging case of Mononucleosis. It was June of 1980 and I was living with my friends Moon and Chris in a house at the corner of Douglas and Russell. You can read about that crazy time in my life by clicking here.
When we lived there we kind of went collectively insane. We existed mainly on cheap beer, cheaper gin and handfuls of speed. My weight went down to about 145 pounds and I developed a sore throat sometime in May of 1980. I ignored it and treated it by drinking heavily and taking more speed. One day I woke up and could barely breathe because my throat was so swollen. I called my mom and croaked out that I could hardly breathe and she came and took me to Dr. Shekelton who had been our family doctor since I had been a little kid.
He examined me and said I was in the worst health of anyone he had seen in my age group. He asked about drinking and drugs and when I told him what I was consuming he about turned white as a ghost and said if I continued this behavior I’d probably be dead in less than a year. He told me I had a raging case of Mono and suggested I move back in with my parents and that it would take at least a month to get heal up and that I should not drink or take any drugs during this time.
So I moved back into my parents house and started a long month of sobriety and healing from a horrible case of Mono! I was sleeping about 14 to 20 hours a day and I started this picture of Nixon for something to do when I was awake because I didn’t feel like going anywhere. It was the slowest drawing process I ever went though and it took me about a month to finish. I still feel somewhat tired looking at it!
But it’s my favorite drawing and it gave me something to do while getting better and trying to figure out what to do with my life back then.
For the record, I’m still trying to figure out what to do with my life!
Richard Nixon died on April 22, 1994 and I taped this article to the picture about Hunter S. Thompson’s scathing obituary he wrote for Rolling Stone to the picture back then.
Here’s a link to the entire obituary, but my two favorite lines are these:
“He was a swine of a man and a jabbering dupe of a president. Nixon was so crooked that he needed servants to help him screw his pants on every morning.”
That was 39 years ago! Dr. Shekelton and Richard Nixon are both dead and somehow I’m still alive! Who’d a thunk it?
Related Post: Casual Friday At MBIP World Headquarters.