Exploring possible human knowledge


Paul Vjecsner



What follows was done in America, after my immigration in 1948.

14 July 2006



PHOTOGRAPHY, continued1, 2, 3, 4

PORTRAITURE, continued1, 2, 3

COMMERCIAL ART, continued1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25


AUTOBIOGRAPHY, continued1, 2, 3, 4


One of the cousins, Lester Wyetzner, I newly met, who was a couple of years younger than I. His last name derives from mine and was adopted by all of my father's brothers (three of them, including this cousin's father) who came to America. They expected me to do the same, but I preferred keeping my name. For some reason that I don't quite see they resented that.

The cousin died in an auto accident when still very young, I think in his thirties, which was a terrible blow to his quite doting mother.

The drawing was done with charcoal pencil.


After arriving in the U.S., one thought I had about trying to make a living was to draw, or paint, portraits from people's photographs, something I was especially accustomed to from my wartime captivity noted. The above snapshot was of a person I knew in Europe, and I painted the color portrait in watercolor (tempera), a technique I had developed to a high polish, as shown elsewhere here. The smudge happened later, and I felt it would not be authentic to try to remove it.

Somebody in a shop on Fifth Avenue agreed to put these two pictures in the window, with some sales message, but I don't recall any order. I used a simplified last name, "Vanek", which I later tried to erase, unsuccessfully as can be seen.


Having shortly after joined the Army, these what I could call shorthand sketches in pen and ink were, I am pretty sure, done when I was hospitalized there and kept myself also busy doing recreation displays for the Red Cross. On the back of the lady's drawing it says American Red Cross, and she was probably one of their workers.


A nurse from probably the same time. I show the image in large size because the pencil lines do not show up well at a smaller scale, which I don't want.


After the Army, this was, I believe, one of my efforts to assemble a portfolio. It is a likeness, after some photo-source, of Arthur Godfrey, who was then (in the late nineteen-forties and beyond) the most famous radio personality, although he is hardly heard of today. The picture may have been done in a dry casein, a water-soluble paint, mostly opaque.


This, I am quite sure, was done in casein, and is of a coworker of mine at a studio I mentioned before, when I showed similar likenesses. The guy eventually did cartoons for The Saturday Evening Post.


Also likely an experiment in casein, with high-fashion illustration in mind. I may have done this after a newspaper clipping, with brushstrokes for testing colors remaining in the top corners (I cropped most of it).


I tried to keep this gray-tone picture, done from a photo and for an intended portfolio of my last employers, about the original size, because it's a favorite of mine. I loved doing the subtle differences in tonality in bold strokes on the girl's face and elsewhere.


I loved doing this picture, an oil painting, too, because of the cuteness of the children. They were those of an operator of a large multicolor printing press at my last employ just referred to. The painting, done in 1962, was of course closer to life-size, not fitting at that scale into this space.

MORE PORTRAITS IN THE U.S. To the top and choices