Birgit’s post brings up some troublesome memories.

My three boys, in their earlier years, drew a lot. Much of it consisted of takes on what they saw in the media with some creative things here and there. In the late nineties I began to eye these drawings, curious about their potential as subject matter: what if I projected them on boards and applied paint..?..

I felt a need to ask permission of the boys. Theirs was a “whatever” attitude, most of the drawings beyond memory or caring. I tried to find examples that didn’t include Stars Wars episodes or Batman, and which had the aspect of a personal narrative. There were, among the hampers full of these things, a limited number that were fairly well composed.

How to paint the images? Most had few spatial cues, with elements positioned where space allowed. The boys were not colorists by nature, so I had little to go on in that regard. Should the cast of characters occupy some sort of floating world, or should they be grounded in some fashion? I labored through a dozen or more attempts in a quest to find common ground between the originals and my own ideas.


One of the few that emerged as a somewhat satisfactory composite was this depiction, by Bret, of two characters engaged in a public arm-wrestling match. I scored a masonite surface with a Dremel and rubbed in the color. The negative spaces were given a gold finish. The painting is about four feet long.

This is a composition by Adam of some sort of being lurking in a cave or under a bridge. The lines in the drawing were so rich that little needed to be done. The patterns were carved out of medium density particle board and filled with white. Then it was a matter of rubbing on the colors.
The boys were mildly amused by this, yet another of my tangents. But I tend to be nagged by a feeling that I took what was not justifiably mine and have not returned to the theme. Maybe I’m overly sensitive. We’ve talked about appropriation of others’ art in the past with a variety of opinions expressed. What comes to your mind about this?