The great thing about being a blogger is that I can continually talk about myself. Blah blah blah Greg… blah blah blah more Greg. :)
A little while back I inflicted upon you all the story of teenage Greg. Here it is if you feel that you cannot get enough of me. (That’s a hint – run away from this post while you still can). LOL
Today is the story of me in my 20s. To be honest there is no where near as much art. My eyes were on a downward spiral – my left eye already blind (the Keratoconus). I was also working full time and studying part-time at night. So art took a back seat. Anyway, I still did the odd piece and it’s worth looking at these in seeing how I developed.
At the end of my teens and the beginning of my twenties I started collecting old National Geographics. Mostly this was because I worked on a road heavy with second-hand bookshops and I loved the photos and exotic locales. I was actually inspired to make several sketches from these. Only one remains – a man with a pipe and a pot on his head. Around the same time I decided to paint a portrait of one of my favourite Hollywood stars of the time – Clint Eastwood. It’s not that good, but I learnt a great deal. I followed this up with a study of my mother and then a larger painting. To be honest, I preferred the study.
When I was 24 an amazing thing happened. A tradesman visited my home and offered to pay me $60 to reproduce a painting from a postcard. The painting was The Torn Hat, by Thomas Sully. I spent hours and hours and hours working on that painting and in the end decided that $60 was outrageously cheap. So I spoke to the guy and asked for more. He refused and I kept it. This said, it was one of the best learning experiences that I had – trying to figure out how Sully had painted this.
Up till the age of 23 my love life had been somewhat woeful. But all that changed when an 18 year old girl named Nicole noticed me. I had actually known her since she was 15. She was the younger sister of my friend Kylie. Anyway, soon we were dating and I naturally felt inspired to paint her portrait. I deliberately used a lot of white and cream colours, juxtaposed by green and almost sepia browns. I was very happy with the result and so was she. As she studied dance, I also painted a ballet dancer for her. Then I did a pen-and-ink sketch of Mikhail Baryshnikov when she told me that he was her favourite dancer.
The last two paintings below are one of Nicole’s family dog Muffy and a seascape that I gave to her sister Kylie.
In 1991, at the age of 27, I underwent surgery to have a new cornea transplanted onto my left eye. It worked – at least for a few years. But then I started a new university degree in computer science and I was to only rarely touch the paints again for over a decade.
But that’s another story.