click on any image, and it will enlarge. (ah, if only sex was
Go back with me, if you will, to the mid-80's. If that's beyond
your memory span, rent 'the celluloid closet' dvd to get an overview.
I was ever the rebel, and as most professions that used my talents
were not willing/able to acknowledge openly an employee's sexuality,
I consciously decided I wouldn't work any job situation that didn't.
I'd spent 10 openly gay years as ashow dancer and refused to
be put back in the closet to appease Jesse Helms and company (google
the bigot if you don't get the reference).
At the time a too-young air-headed blond Saggitarian slept in
my bed but lived in another world. We tried to connect, or at
least it seemed we should have, but it ended up him wishing me
dead. Why? because I refused to let him use my license plates/insurance
to drive his car wherever he and his dizzy friends decided to
go . he'd lost that right thanks to a DUI (driving under the influence).
at the height of my frustration I dreamed us on opposite snowy
cliffs, me shouting across the void to him and him yelling angrily
back "what! I can't HEAR you!" Of course the yelling
itself triggered the avalanche and I woke up shivering realizing
I should be worried about ME, not him. Then came the realization
that all the classic advice I'd been spouting to him about finding
something he WANTED to do and DO it, was advice I myself should
take. That morning I mailed off a few of my small collection of
male nude drawings to the number-one gay publication, Advocate
Men and some to the address inside a
little gay publication that often used horrible, truly horrible,
male nude art (worse than toilet stall stuff). sad but true, my
entry into my profession was made easy by the pathetically low
standard that existed then (and in many cases still does) in male
erotica. My drawings were accepted. Advocate Men offered me a
portfolio showing and FirstHand Publications offered a contract.
They'd send me all kinds of stories to illustrate and I discovered
I had more range than I'd thought. And soon on I developed a drawing
technique that sped up the process and my drawing style
emerged - drawing with an eraser. (Take a hard graphite stick
and a piece of sandpaper and make some graphite dust, then swipe
a big pink pearl erasure through it and stroke it on the paper.
You get a sharp line if the eraser has a sharp edge and you get
a wide soft stroke using it flat. What you dont get is a
mark indented in the drawing paper, which means you can rework
the drawing a lot before its trashed.) Those early drawings
were initially fairly discrete, pretty. I remember the initial
surprise and then spreading satisfaction of drawing my first close-up
of an asshole.
After some portfolio showings in the glossies, (Advocate Men,
Torso, In Touch) things settled down to monthly contributions
to illustrate the jackoff manuscripts the FirstHand publishers
sent me. It seemed the glossier the magazine the more neurotic
and obsessive the art director and most of the time the hassle
wasn't worth it.
FirstHand publications, based in New Jersey, accepted every drawing
I mailed them and paid promptly and in full. The W2 forms they
sent showed income enough to pay my bills, keep me in drawing
shape, and exercise my imagination muscles. but it wasn't like
it was 'important' work, just a way to get by and live like I
wanted. And I liked doing it. Over the years, other artists would
mail me of their woes of missing payment and unfair dealings.
While others suffered in their labors, those publishers treated
me like a prince. The only problem I ever had was toward the end
when there were management changes and a lot of originals were
'lost'. I'd have been tempted to steal some of them myself, so
I understood and resigned myself to not obsess about it.
During those years I also got acquainted with the California
art scene. I had a built-in distrust because of my correspondence
with Harry Bush. He'd hated everything about the business there
and he warned me to expect the worst. It was as he said. Stars
magazine ripped me off for $1000 as soon as they could. Christopher
Harrity at Stroke used my work and seemed a nice guy, but the
magazine was, for both Harry and me, over-the-line sleazy. Then
there was a love/hate affair with the
Tom of Finland guys, Dehner,Valentine (president and artist/secretary)
and Sharp being AOK and Volker (art director) the monkey wrench.
I went to California a few times and everyone in the business
was cordially smiling perfect teeth and nice, but advised me not
to trust anyone else in the business, all with rip-off stories
of their own. To sum up, when I tracked down David Martin to say
I was a fan, he said I could prove it by letting him suck my balls.
So I did. When in Rome...
Every month complimentary copies of whatever magazine my art
appeared in were in my rural mailbox, and every month I'd have
to take time to tear them up and burn them on the trash pile,
making sure no wayward singed image of cock remained for some
family or foe to discover. I was out to my family, but not THAT
OUT:-) I wouldn't have minded them seeing my stuff, well, most
of it, OK, some of it, but the magazines taken as a whole were
over-the-line all of the time. So I'd just save the pages with
my art, unless I'd drawn something that shocked me!
But I didn't always manage to save everything and I'm sure that
there are images out there with my name on them that have long
since dropped from my memory.
Some of the images in this section were from the rough photocopies
the publishers sent me on acceptance of an assignment. If you
have an example of them in published form, it would be great to
receive a scan. At that time I didn't have any computer skills.
And since the originals are long gone, these crude copies will
have to do. Actually, they still carry a punch and do convey my
level of testosterone at the time.
Now something you didn't expect to see and I never
expected to do. But here it is, proof positive that I am capable
of breaking the number one rule in art - communicate only what
Here I am drawing something I knew nothing about at the time,
but through the assignments it became possible for me to at least
enjoy the IDEA of it:-)
As the era died with the advent of free porn on
the Internet, the magazines were finally very slick and glossy
but sales dropped and the publishers cut their illustration budgets
and reprinted old stuff for free. The survivors wanted color illos,
not black/white. I had to adapt, i.e. learn to paint. instruction
was excellent and cheap on PBSs Welcome to my Studio
with Helen Van Wyck. It looked easier than it was. But eventually
I caught on. My advantage was knowing the anatomy from the inside
out, having a healthy contempt for the moral standards of my time,
being ignored and having time to learn, and getting enough encouragement
from whatever source. And that led me out of the commercial side
and into a more artistic stance as I stopped with all illustration
assignments and concentrated on just doing a painting.
This image below is from a mailer when the Tom of Finland Foundation was marketing my art. Valentine, who handled the business arrangements there said that the sales were the strongest of any mailer they had so far sent. So far so good:-)
Then in 2000 my eyes were opened as to what a computer could
do. I connected to the Internet and sat there gazing into cyberspace
seeing my future. It seems in no time at all computer tech has
combined with my newly-found ability to paint to connect me with
a worldwide audience on Ebay. But there censorship and sundry
other things clipped my lusty sails for a bit, but the fickle
wind at times picks up speed.