He was very un-American in the creation of his art, preferring to take his time and wait for the far-off train whistle of inspiration to gather speed before he started. He got up early, around 6 o’clock, which was rather industrious of him. Only instead of putting on a crisp pair of khakis and a neatly ironed polo shirt and immediately beginning work on his drawings, he would sit with a cup of coffee and listen to the doleful calls of the mourning doves that lived in the magnolia tree outside his studio apartment window. Once sufficiently revived from the ruthless and unrelenting shadow of sleep (he always dreamed in full-color lucidity), he would walk over to his drafting table, pick up a nub of graphite, and begin.
He created his pieces slowly, for he had not been taught anything about industriousness, or ladder-climbing, or glory under bright lights. He worked without a final goal in mind, only caring about the graphite, the paper, and the drawing that was being born beneath his fingers. His work was singularly beautiful, but his mind didn’t work like an assembly line. All he wanted was to make something that hadn’t existed before. He didn’t care about mass-production or mass-appeal and didn’t know the definition of terms that art critics and hangers-on used and enforced. Avant-garde, Art-brute, Dada, and Op-Art sounded like shop names to him. In person he was singularly square. Quiet. Dull, even. If you caught him alone and saw him sketching, though, he was an angel straight from heaven.