Early Drawings

Erik ReeL drawing
Drawing of Shostakovich by Erik ReeL, age 14, pencil on paper, 1966.
Erik ReeL early drawing
Drawing of Miles Davis by Erik ReeL, age 15, pencil drawing on paper, 1967.
Erik ReeL early drawing
Drawing of  John Coltrane by Erik ReeL, age 15, pencil on paper, 1967.

After a three-year battle with the librarian, toward the end of elementary school I was finally allowed into the adult section of the local library and discovered their LP section containing a lot of jazz and symphonic music I otherwise had no access to. Besides checking out and listening to the allowed quota of recordings every two weeks, I started drawing from the photos of the musicians on the LP dust jackets I was listening to.

These three drawings are representative of the drawings I made at home from those LP covers.  They are pictured here close to actual size, about 3 or 4 inches across.

My school’s art teacher at this time was only interested in cute little projects I considered a complete waste of time. I just wanted to draw. At the time I did the drawings above of Miles and Trane, I received a D in art.  At the end of the year my mother told my art teacher that I was very serious about art and loved to draw.  My mother reported that my art teacher was visibly shocked by this news and had complained that I was very poor at following directions.