After 25 years of regimentation, I have a hard time with the solitude and discipline necessary to produce these drawings. I don't wait for inspiration; it goes like this. I take an 8x10 photograph, plant my feet in front of the big easel, invoke Charlie's memory and just start in, no preparatory sketches. About an hour later, I may have the conviction that I can't ever do it again, I don't know enough, and who cares anyway? I think about Social Security, low paying jobs that are already taken by younger, stronger women, then I go back and hit it again. At some point, it begins to take shape, or there's something in the face worth keeping. If it really goes well, and I've given it the best I have to give, a feeling of well-being, even euphoria, sets in. Why do I choose ethnic women and children for my subjects? I can draw them very well. Perhaps it's in the women's faces; enduring, expressive, vulnerable, charming . . . also I love costume. I spent 25 years looking into children's faces, and a lot of them were Black or Hispanic. I'll get around to drawing men and white folks one of these days. My career aspirations are modest. I don't enter competitions, merchandise prints or advertise myself. I just look for subject matter that appeals to me, struggle through the drawings, and sell them to some very nice people. My idols are Michelangelo, Ingres, countless 18thand 19th century draughtsman and painters, in the 20th century, Rico LeBran and Nocolai Fechin. My love and appreciation to my mother, who lived long enough to see her late bloomer succeed, and to all my friends.
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