Mike's pictureMy name created with my own hand

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The pictures below were done during my high school years (1972-76). I attended J. Sterling Morton High School West in Berwyn yes, Svengoolie's Berwyn.

Mounce Art Lessons (sketchbook excerpts, Fall 1972, titled 2023)

Mounce Art Lessons thumbnaeilIf memory serves, my earliest simple drawing lessons came from my family. Later, my older brother Joseph Mefford (nicknamed Buddy) gave me the book Easy Way To Draw when I was still quite young. My first formal art lessons were provided by Ronald Mounce, my high school art teacher, in his class Basic Art. I recall being extremely shy that first day. I enclosed myself and my desk away from the others in a corner with tall room dividers. No one could see me. Mr. Mounce made me join the group. I continued to take Mr. Mounce's art classes throughout my high school years and he was something of a mentor to me. These sketchbook pages document some of the lessons that Mr. Mounce taught that first freshman semester.

Mr. Mounce invited me to enter a poster contest. The theme was "Hire the Handicapped." You can see my developing ideas for the project toward the end. I had the poster ready to go and Mr. Mounce had high hopes that I would win the contest. My poster was based on Robert Fludd's (1574-1637) illustration of a universe in the mind (I include Fludd's illustration within the sketchbook excerpts). I had taken it home to finish it up and for some reason, temporarily stored it in an office of our Emmanuel Baptist Church. Mike Fox, our church music director and my music teacher at the time, discovered the poster and considered it demon possessed or something. He destroyed it. Mr. Mounce was very disappointed. He was convinced I was going to win the contest.

Early development of the alphabet I invented to hide my thoughts in a secret code is also included with these pages. It also looks like Mr. Mounce had us begin to draw with dip pen and ink, a method I hadn't used before if I remember correctly.

Dualism (pencil and marker on paper, digitally completed and titled 2023)

Dualism thumbnail

Me, Myself and Eye (pen and ink, watercolor, marker on posterboard, 1973, titled 2020)

Me, Myself and Eye thumbnaeilIf my recollection is correct, this picture was an assignment from my high school art teacher Mr. Mounce. I've included the pages from my sketchbook pertinent to the development of the picture. The first page of the sketchbook has the instructions Mr. Mounce provided for the assignment: 1) self-image, 2) 5 objects wanted, 3) a dream, 4) body attachment, 5) unknown planet, 6) animal. The sketchbook pages also reveal the symbolism, which I don't believe was part of the assignment. I didn't name this picture until 2020.

The Day of the Lord (acrylic on canvas, 20"x15", 1974)

The Day Of The Lord thumbnail

Z-axis Experiment (acrylic on canvas, 24"x18", 1974, titled 2020)

Z-axis Experiment thumbnailThis is in the collection of Sheila Jean McNamee.

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