A Boy's Imitation of his Father's Art

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As a young boy I early showed a talent for art. I still have a couple of my childhood drawings that show how I tried to imitate my father's artwork. One, done when I was about seven, is a drawing of one of my father's best woodcarvings - a self-portrait, an artist standing and painting at an easel. The portrait on the easel is of my mother. He gave the carving to her as a Christmas present in 1941, just before he was drafted.

My drawing of the carving animates the action by adding a splatter of paint drops from the brush tip. The bottle of booze on the floor has grown in my drawing into what looks like a twenty-five gallon jug.

A couple of years later I tried to copy one my dad's drawings from England - a cartoon of himself sitting in his bunk dreaming of all the things he misses back in the states: Betty Lou, swiss cheese, hotdogs, peanut butter, a tweed jacket. My copy, also entitled "These Are the Things I Love," simplifies the design, notably eliminating most references to my mother. Evidently the boy Damon sensed that too explicit a depiction of love for his mom was not as appropriate as it was for his father!