A small boy plays with a red toy truck in the sand. He is delighted with color & shape. He encounters photographs, then film and then speed. He likes to draw, finds himself pulled toward to imagery - but also to racing and speed. Eventually these passions all mesh together and he becomes a real artist. That boy was me. There were key moments along the way, and some very important people who made all the difference.

Art - and the development of an Artist's life - is often fleeting and almost impossible to see clearly - which makes the story a phantom by its very nature. Only recently did I begin to bring into focus the ways that racing and Le Mans itself changed the way I understood Art.

And Art filtered & distilled my passion for racing. And Le Mans to my surprise played a key part in my emergence as an artist. I want to tell the story of how and why this all happened. There is so much to tell that I will have to rip through it as fast as I can, trying not to leave anything out.

So hang on, and don't let the branches knock you off as we get there.


Camera When I was five years old I was with my parents at a dog show in front of the IGA grocery. To my delight our dog Biddly won a prize - of all things- for most average looking dog. We left the show early and were headed home when we realized I had left my coat on the ground. We came back just long enough to pick up the coat when suddenly my name was being called. Unsure what was happening, I went up to collect my prize. They had drawn my name at random - the prizewas a magic gray plastic thing called a Kodak Brownie Fiesta : a camera~!

I was thrilled and was ready to take pictures with it. My parents turned me loose - but the thing I wanted to photograph wasn't anything outside. It was the illustrations of Frogs in a book on amphibians. These illustrations were to my five year old eye totally incredible - I could almost drink in the lush blend of greens of the frog skin on the reeds.... I put the camera right up against the page and clicked. Of course I was looking through the view finder, not the lens, and even so the camera could not focus on a page now dark with the lens held right against it. The frogs came out dark blurs. I was disappointed, and mystified.

But I was not done looking though a "lens". In every way it had only barely begun. In grade school I would walk along the playground looking through my hand at the ground, pretending to be the helicopter man on TV's Wild Kingdom filming Wildebeest migrations.


Early 60s - our little house, and our car which I don't remember at all - the above photo was taken at about the same time.



the little pink house- where I played with my red truck

Shape As a small child I was very interested in the shapes of cars that we saw. My parents loved to quiz me about them. And I learned to identify them. Here is a story my parents loved to tell about that.

One day we stopped by the hardware store, parking next to a grey car. I said to my parents wait let me look.

I got out and went around the front. Then I came back and yes it's a Volvo. The man's window was open, and he blurted out

"my God, he can read too~!"

It was a great punchline for adoring parents - but of course I wasn't reading the letters, I was looking at the shape of the car.




©2010 SIEGE