12 step program (drawing)

untitled (12 step program) graphite on paper, 1995


When I moved to Chicago I had a small pile of cassette tapes and a shoe box that was full of charcoal and some gummy tubes of oil paint. I was a painter some but I came to the city for its weather. I wanted to live next to a park and have better access to public transportation. So I moved to an apartment on Augusta Boulevard. I've always kept books for drawing and writing in. They were in my backpack or on my lap when I commuted across town on the Chicago Avenue bus every day. Then when I moved from Humboldt Park to Bucktown the books traveled with me there. I was in the backseat and they sat in the trunk of the cab when I rolled by the Western Round Up for the last time. We went up Western Avenue and turned right onto North. 
The apartment that AN and I were splitting was right there between Bell and Oakley. It was a smart 3 story building and my room was in the back of unit2 right over the recording studio. I slept on the floor and my books lived in 2 milk crates that I stole from a liquor store back in Michigan. I slept in a small pile of wool horse blankets that I got cheap from a thrift store earlier. At night the bass and the drums from the studio were a gentle pulse that I eventually got used to. After work I'd listen to Bitches Brew or Duane Eddy while I sat on the floor drawing pictures and diagrams in my books.
I drew this picture in one of those books around this time. The people in 12 step program are actually mirror people. They're on the Chicago Ave bus at night drinking beers on the sly during a terrible heatwave. I was in the center of the bus that night, its they're reflection that I've drawn here.  


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