In 1979 I returned to the U.S. after two and a half years wandering around the world. Inexplicably I found myself unable to write. I managed to put together a few short stories and poems, but that deep engagement with a novel failed me. I decided to try something new. I studied photography and acquired my own darkroom. I also began doing some drawings. Soon I saw that the demands of these two art forms required more dedication. I chose to continue with photography, and essentially stopped drawing.
During that brief period I created less than a dozen drawings, which I saw as training exercises. As a boy I had done some sketches but had never really pursued the craft of drawing. I had a lot to learn. I liked a couple of things in particular about drawing: the physical act appealed to me, the pencil against the paper making its mark; and the fact that a drawing could escape the bounds of reality. My last completed drawing—and my favorite—is the high-heeled shoe sprouting into a rather vaginal lily, something difficult to accomplish, shall we say, in our quotidian world.
But by then I found myself more entranced by photography. Perhaps the interaction with models sparked more excitement. I have my own theories about the source of creativity. And in any case I soon began writing novels again. And these days, with the digital revolution, with Photoshop and Poser, there are fewer restraints on what is possible photographically. Perhaps I will someday do a photo of a woman rising out of a high-heeled shoe and becoming a flower.
Still, I look occasionally at these drawings. Some are unfinished. Sometimes my hand fondles a pencil, a pen, as though urging me back to this work. Some day, perhaps...