“How did you get started drawing?”
It’s the first thing I’m asked, and my answer is:
“O. J. Simpson.”
As a broadcast journalist for the past thirty-five years, I’ve covered a lot of big stories. One of the most sensational was the 1995 Simpson murder trial. My assignment for CBS Radio News (when I wasn’t in the courtroom in Los Angeles) was to sit in a New York studio and anchor the network’s gavel-to-gavel coverage of the trial. With the lion’s share of time taken up by testimony, I had long stretches with little to say.
I began sketching the faces of the witnesses on paper napkins that had been left in the studio. When I finished one, I’d thumbtack it to the wall. After a while, I’d accumulated a small collection. And co-workers took note. Armed with their encouragement, I decided to give drawing a try in my off hours.
My first effort was a small portrait of the great bluesman John Lee Hooker. Not bad, I said to myself, not bad at all. But it didn’t last. After only a few other drawings, I stopped.
And I didn’t pick up the pencils and pad again for thirteen years.
What prodded me to start again?
A good friend loaned me John Daido Loori’s “The Zen of Creativity.” It’s a wonderful book, and it showed me the way back. That was in the spring of 2008, and I’m still at it.
The response to my work has been very gratifying. I had my first show this fall in Westchester County, New York, where I live with my wife, Deborah. Our son, Chris, is a broadcaster in Illinois.
I began my career in radio in 1968. Since 1990, I’ve been a Correspondent for CBS News. Each weekday morning, I anchor “The World News Roundup” on the CBS Radio Network.
That’s my story. I hope you like my work.
My first show, “Graphite,” ran from 1 November through the end of the year at the Madeleine Gutman Gallery in Westchester County, New York. It was a great thrill and success. Thanks to everyone who helped make it so.
One of my pieces, “Take Five, Key of Z,” has been selected for a spring show at the Gutman.
Three drawings will be on display during March as part of an exhibition on art and collecting in Princeton, Illinois.