I used to love to make up aerial views of farms and roads that vanished back into the mountains. I was very interested in perspective. All of my trees were leafless--I was more interested in the structure of the tree or maybe it was because leafy trees are difficult to draw. I never had much use for color. Now I use prismacolor colored pencil over ink when color is required. I do not like to paint. In college classes I used to mix up way too much paint in trying to reach the color I wanted. I don't enjoy the clumsiness of the brush. I can paint, but it gives me a dumb feeling, as if I'm a child, making mud pies in the wet dirt.
My mother was a great influence on all of us. Whenever we'd bring home a project that we had to do for school, we'd clear everything off the kitchen table and get down to business. It was great to have her help on a map, a poster, a diagram, or a drawing. She always wanted us to take a very ambitious approach. She might as well have been saying to us: "Okay. Now. Let's see. How would daVinci approach this?" Italians might talk with their hands, but my mother talks with her entire body.
Here's a drawing she did of me back then:
My mother, Joan Lavigueur Geyer, is 81. We like to talk on the phone about art: what the other one is doing, etc. She's a botanical artist. We all went to D.C. last October to see her work on exhibit at the Smithsonian. The same work will be on exhibit at the Royal Botanical Gardens, Kew, U.K. this June thru October. She grew up in New York City, attended the Phoenix School of Design, held several studio jobs in Manhattan, painting designs on children's furniture, illustrating for ASTA Travel News and Nature's Path magazines, working for a French hat designer, etc. She has exhibited at MOMA. Here's a picture of my mother, Joan Lavigueur Geyer, my daughter, Anna, and my niece, Lily. Anna is an art student at Portland State University and has had one and two man shows of her work. And, Lily is just plain adorable.
My mother's father, Roch Oliver Joseph Charles DeLage deLavigueur, born in 1885 in Montreal, was a landscape artist and architectural draftsman. He did the most beautiful pencil drawings I've ever seen--except for some of my mother's work. Roch's father designed wallpaper for a living.