Exploring possible human knowledge


Paul Vjecsner



After my last employ I had ideas of turning to "fine art", to doing gallery-(or museum-)work, work held by many in higher esteem than commercial art (the last held indeed in contempt in the same circles). It was a mistake as I now see it. Commercial art can be accused of catering to the whims of clients, but the messages of "fine artists", who pride themselves in expressing their own attitudes, can to many be as or more objectionable. Almost all art in past centuries was commissioned by clientele, who had to be satisfied, and these demands impose ability and effort on artists. The trouble in my eyes is indeed that much of gallery-work is lacking in such attributes, including, interestingly, even aesthetic ones. Rather, the definition of art has been transformed into a radicalism, never mind any appeal associated with beauty.

This does not mean that many exhibiting artist, often modern ones, have not contributed to better understanding of what constitutes creative art. But in my experience gallery owners are abominably worse judges of quality than are art directors of ad agencies, who in general know what is appealing, and not what can be sold to wealthy clients interested in gaining prestige with their collections.

Nevertheless, having thought about doing work of my own choosing, I at one point in my later thirties took opportunities for drawing or painting further portraits of people. The newly known felt pen, made in different colors, was a challenge, because the colors cannot be premixed or blended when used. Having incurred a back injury, which still plagues me, I visited for an extended period a Veterans Administration hospital for therapy, when I had the chance of doing many of the following.

11 August 2008



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


Most of these portraits were done on sheets of a 9 by 12 inch drawing pad and are shown in chronological order. First I used only a black felt pen, having signed the first two, subsequently only dating them.


Two more in black and white. It seems there was some kind of a party, which is why the funny hats.


Starting with these two drawings I also used felt pens of other colors, here blue, along with the black.


Two more in black and blue. At left is the young nurse who was in charge and who was exceptionally kind-hearted, as perhaps seen in the drawing.


One other black only drawing.


And here one in "full" color, using several colors available in sets of felt pens. I liked to invent ways of depicting an area with combinations of colors.


Full color again, well suited for this beautiful colored woman, probably a nurse.


Two colors, this time an orange and blue, showing a man contemplating a chess move.


Two colors, brown and blue, which I thought a nice combination for the subject.


One of the doctors, I believe.

Probably a, nice looking, patient.  

Also, I think, a doctor, drawn for some reason in green and blue (I feel the hues combine well).


Three colors.


A blue was used with the black, though not too noticeable here.


Likewise blue and black.


Two colors. Red and blue are, like black, easily bought individually.


I am throwing in a smaller self-portrait of that time, drawn with a felt pen of course.

With some liberty this might be called a portrait of a structure, although it is really a sketchy landscape. If I remember, it is of a onetime elevated part of the subway in Manhattan.

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