Hitchhiker, Stowaway, Drunk – The Sketchbooks That Time Forgot – Part 1

March 31, 2013 § 31 Comments

Portrait of Mike, Vermont and Kristen, Kansas City, Sumi Ink on Paper, 1999

Portrait of Mike, Vermont and Kristen, Kansas City, Sumi Ink on Paper, 1999

Headstrong, emotional, and spirited are three words that could easily have described me in my youth. But they are probably just a kinder way of saying naive, intense, and unpredictable.

A far cry from my life now which is deliberately healthy and calm I was a bit of a wild child who loved nothing more than to travel and create mischief. I drank like a fish, smoked like a chimney, weaseled my way in and out of dangerous (sketchy?) situations, and it’s all documented in drawings and words in 18 years worth of sketchbooks.

Portrait of Aidan Healing After the Accident, Charcoal, Colored Pencil and Gouache, 2006

Portrait of Aidan Healing After the Accident, Charcoal, Colored Pencil and Gouache, 2006

I spent the weekend looking through these books and found so many hilarious and truly weird images. I’ve chosen to share a handful of drawings that I found interesting– of old friends drawn from life, loose sketches of my surroundings during my travels, and a few simple drawings that I just happen to like.

Banana Palms, Mae Sot, Thailand, Graphite on Paper, 11 x 14", 2011

People Drawing in my Pocket Subway Moleskine, New York City, Ink on Paper, 2009

People Drawing in my Pocket Subway Moleskine, New York City, Ink on Paper, 2009

These sketchbooks chronicle my life from Ithaca, Kansas City, Portland, Brooklyn, traveling in California and all over the US, Europe, and a seedy town on the Thai-Burma border.

Emily Before and After the Haircut, Bighorn, WY and Portland, OR, Sumi Ink on Paper, 1998

Emily Before and After the Haircut, Bighorn, WY and Portland, OR, Sumi Ink on Paper, 1998

Page from the Golden Comet, a collaborative sketchbook of Mike Schultz and Jack Baumgartner, 2001-2007

Page from the Golden Comet, a collaborative sketchbook of Mike Schultz and Jack Baumgartner, 2001-2007

Portrait of Sy, Sumi Ink on Paper, Russian River, CA,1999

Portrait of Sy, Sumi Ink on Paper, Russian River, CA,1999

When I was young I hitchhiked across the United States. I lived in secret for a year in a decrepit mansion at the Kansas City Art Institute where I slept in a wooden box dubbed by friends as “the coffin”. I was once yelled at by Allen Ginsberg. (Is it embarrassing to be yelled at by a hero? Umm, yes. Yes it is.) It’s all in these books for better or for worse . . .

Portrait of Jack Baumgartner Singing in a Russian Fur Hat, Kansas City, MO, 1999

Portrait of Jack Baumgartner Singing in a Russian Fur Hat, Kansas City, MO, 1999

Hare, Mae Sot, Thailand, Pencil on Paper, 2011

Hare, Mae Sot, Thailand, Pencil on Paper, 2011

Greg's Death Painting, Xerox Copy of an Oil Painting, 2000-2001

Greg’s Death Painting, Xerox Copy of an Oil Painting, 2000-2001

Memory Drawings, Mae Sot, Thailand, Graphite on Paper, 2011

Memory Drawings, Mae Sot, Thailand, Graphite on Paper, 2011

The Modern Daughter of Babylon, Pocket Subway Moleskine, Express Train NYC to DC, 2009
The Modern Daughter of Babylon, Pocket Subway Moleskine, Express Train NYC to DC, 2009

Drawing at the Met, New York City, Pencil on Paper, 2008

Drawing at the Met, New York City, Pencil on Paper, 2008

View from Our House (The Yellow House), Mae Sot, Thailand, Graphite on Paper, 2011

View from Our House (The Yellow House), Mae Sot, Thailand, Graphite on Paper, 2011

A Jacob's Ladder for Lester Goldman on the Occasion of his Death, Portland, OR, Graphite and Coffee on Paper, 2005

A Jacob’s Ladder for Lester Goldman on the Occasion of his Death, Portland, OR, Graphite and Coffee on Paper, 2005

Thanks to Jack Baumgartner and Janine Shroff for the inspiration to make this post. Both of them have been posting past sketchbook work of theirs and it seemed like a fun and curious exercise. Curious perhaps, but choosing which drawings to share out of a small mountain of sketchbooks was so difficult!

Thanks for reading and please comment if you wish!  <<<>>>

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§ 31 Responses to Hitchhiker, Stowaway, Drunk – The Sketchbooks That Time Forgot – Part 1

  • vladzimakov says:

    Thanks for sharing, Mike! This is awesome. I actually remember some of those from KC.

    • Mike Schultz Paintings says:

      Thanks, Vladimir, I appreciate it. I had whittled the images down to 30 at one point and it was fun to see them all in chronological order . . . but it was too many for one post. It’s kind of crazy that you remember some of these. That feels like a million years ago and I barely remember. At one point didn’t your building collapse (or explode?) in Kansas City?

  • Incredible!
    Thanks for taking me on that walk with you.

    • Mike Schultz Paintings says:

      Thank you! I appreciate the comment. It was definitely a trip to dig back through all of those books. I’ll post another batch soon. <<>>

  • jackbaumgartner says:

    Brilliant, Mikey! I love how you draw. That drawing for Lester is off the charts. …I still have a color xerox of “Greg’s Death Painting” pasted in one of my old sketch books.

    • Mike Schultz Paintings says:

      Well right back at you, friend. I appreciate the comment, and thanks– I’ve always liked that drawing for Lester. There is something immediate and true that can happen with drawing that painting will always lack. I love painting, and want to become a better painter and hone my craft, but sometimes I think I should just draw. If not for any other reason than that it comes most naturally to me (most as in more naturally than painting, which always seems to be a bit of a struggle).

      Anyway, what always strikes me about that drawing for Lester– an immediate and spontaneous image if there ever was one, is that strange hole or absence of earth/ground. I always forget it is there until I see the drawing. Lester was one of the best drawer/draftsmen I’ve ever known (talk about immediacy and spontaneity in an artist!) and hopefully he is happy off in the cosmos somewhere drawing up a storm. Thanks again for the comment, Jack. By the way, I found a few more good drawings of you in there. I’ll be sure to post more next week. <<>>

  • you kill me. your life sounds very bohemian and exciting. What and why did Allan Ginsberg yell at you?? (thats a rather good claim to fame)

    Your portraits and sketch books are wonderful btw. so glad you posted.

    • Mike Schultz Paintings says:

      Thanks, Janine! I made this post partially for your amusement so I’m glad to hear you liked it, and I appreciate the comment. Truth be told I think my life has been a bit bohemian at times. (Or at least: you are what you eat– so if it wasn’t a truly romantic life then at least I thought was at the time.) : )

      It’s true . . . Allen Ginsberg yelled at me after a poetry reading in Kansas City, MO in 1997. He was in town to see a show of oil paintings made by William S. Burroughs, who at that time was still alive. (Also, all of his paintings he would shoot with guns and sometimes paint by shooting spray paint cans next to his canvases.) Burroughs would come into KC for his methadone shots every week and sometimes we would catch sight of him at Nichols Lunch– a very dirty and weird old school diner.

      Anyway, I was sitting beneath his podium and made some truly mediocre drawings of Ginsberg (I was 19 years old, what can you do?). Right after the reading I wanted to tell him how great I thought he was so I stood up to tell him so and he said that I was on the wrong side of the table for autographs– and that he wouldn’t sign autographs from that side of table. And I started to say something like “Oh, I don’t want your autograph. I’m 19 and stupid and just want to tell you how are great you are.” And he just lost it and had a temper tantrum and shouted out what he had already said. I was mortified of course, and I am 100% sure that I deserved to be so. : )

      So, not a great story, but that’s what happened. I imagine that after 40+ years of being mobbed by 19 year old idiots from every direction that you become particular about tables.

  • also – i hope there will be follow ups

    • Mike Schultz Paintings says:

      Yes! I hope to post some more next week. I whittled it down to about 30 images so, a few more…

  • edenfre says:

    Great post! It is always interesting to have a peek at other people’s sketchbooks :)

  • oliverowl says:

    I guess I was protected; I never doubted in your abilities to stay out of “real” trouble, so I did not worry; only surrounded you with love!

    • Mike Schultz Paintings says:

      It’s all ok. I had a good heart (I think) all the way through those years and believe it helped to build my character and make me who I am today, you know? I just had a bit of a reckless streak in me and a lot of energy to work out along the way. And now I am happier and healthier than ever (it gets better every year) and wouldn’t trade my calm and grounded life for anything. So, in my life story so far it has all worked out for the better. : )

  • monkweiss says:

    Awesome. What a trip!

    • Mike Schultz Paintings says:

      Thanks, man! I didn’t know you had a haiku blog– how did I not know this? That’s great– I like your poetry. Looking forward to see you this summer. <<>>

      • Mike Schultz Paintings says:

        Couple of budding Bukowski’s in that photo on your blog’s About page…

  • Old drawings and sketchbook pages are like presents from our younger selves. After all, our younger selves own us *something* for the havoc they wreaked on our bodies! (not to mention all that money they *didn’t* put in a 401k!)

    • Mike Schultz Paintings says:

      Haha– that’s the truth, Gabriel! I was too dense to save up for a rainy day, but at least I was drawing and feeding my spirit. : )

  • Terrific, thanks for sharing these.

  • Fascinating skilled sketchbooks Mike. And very interesting stories too.

  • tanjaernst says:

    dear Mike, thanks for following. love your sketchbook and your way of telling stories! … great! … and I love the idea you still appreciate things you’ve done or painted a long time ago… thats a rare virtue… all the best! Tanja

    • Mike Schultz Paintings says:

      Thank you for the comment, Tanja. There was definitely a lot of older work that I saw that I didn’t care for– but also a few gems I thought were worthy of sharing. Be well and I look forward to seeing more on your blog.

  • {theEye} says:

    I feel lucky to have come across your work! It’s fantastic. Will keep an “EYE” out ;-)

    sincerely,

    {theEye}
    http://theeyeoffaith.com
    +

    • Mike Schultz Paintings says:

      Thanks! I appreciate the kind comment. I really like your blog and imagery and look forward to seeing more. <<>>

  • Fantastic chronicling Mike. Have always loved your finished pieces and great to get a peak into the backwaters of the processes. And a monkey riding a buffalo, that’s Mae Sot to me as well.

    • Mike Schultz Paintings says:

      Thanks, Patrick! I can’t wait to be back in Mae Sot to make more drawings! Not sure where the monkey and the buffalo imagery came from, but it was definitely part of the Sot seeping into my subconscious. I owe you an email. The countdown is on and I have so much to do. Great seeing your painted glass work lately.

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