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2018 Fig Tree Gallery personal art show


Hubley Cap Gun Drawing

Mike Pitzer

United States

Drawing, Graphite on Paper

Size: 65 W x 34 H x 0.1 D in

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About The Artwork

If we weren’t looking for pop bottles, we were probably playing Cowboys and Indians. This was my Hubley cap pistol. I must have had it from the time I was 6 until I was 8. I remember my Dad taking it away because a bunch of us kids discovered that you could take a whole roll of caps and smash ‘em with a hammer on the cement and it would sounded like an M80 going off! We also cracked the cement sidewalk. None of the Dads seemed happy about that. As I worked on this piece and shared it on Facebook, something interesting happened, the people who had had a cap gun growing up knew instantly that it was a toy. Those who hadn't had one as a child started a conversation about, "Why would I draw a pistol?", "Too many people are being killed by hand guns!" and so on. My wife wife Lynn was one of those people who felt it really wasn't "Happy Art" and she'd asked me why didn't I add "caps" when I was drawing it? It never occured to me that people wouldn't see it as a toy — so I added caps to the drawing and instantly everyone saw it as a toy. The funny thing was that a couple people came up to me and said they could actually smell the sulfer when they looked at the drawing. Maybe, I should do a scratch and sniff show?

Details & Dimensions

Drawing:Graphite on Paper

Original:One-of-a-kind Artwork

Size:65 W x 34 H x 0.1 D in

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Delivery Time:Typically 5-7 business days for domestic shipments, 10-14 business days for international shipments.

My drawings are highly rendered personal items that come from my childhood growing up on the St. Clair River in Algonac, Michigan. I call my work “Happy Art” because the inspiration to create each piece is simple to appreciate, easy to understand, and the work makes me -- and others, happy. Before I started drawing again, I spent 40 years of my life working in advertising, an industry I still love. Twenty of those years were spent as an international, award-winning Executive Creative Director working for some of the largest ad agencies in the country on some of the most creative accounts in the world. Much of that career was spent in vibrant, competitive, creative advertising markets like Los Angeles, Silicon Valley, and Phoenix. Then, in 2010, we moved to Fresno… where for the first time in my professional career I experienced, what it’s like to have my creative soul sucked dry. That was just my experience, and as they say, “your mileage may vary.” It was awful — but here’s the amazing part; my wife, Lynn, knew how unhappy I was and, without any job offer or freelance prospects to provide income, she told me to quit. I think her exact words were, “Get the f**k out of there now! Please.” I did. That’s where this journey truly begins. Lynn encouraged me to start drawing again — something I hadn’t done in many years. My natural instinct was to pour what I was feeling emotionally into my art. My first attempts at painting captured the emotional struggle I was feeling of being trapped in darkness, yet needing to let my creativity out. But, these pieces were dark and somewhat foreboding. The issue for me was that this direction (while true) was not cathartic and was not making me happy. I’d always found drawing with a pencil to be meditative, so one day, I sat down at my desk and started drawing my Stan Smith tennis shoes. They were so beat-up, just like me. The leather was incredibly soft with some scars and scuffs, like me. And yet they still had a lot of life left in them, once again, like me. When Lynn saw what I was doing she wanted it framed and hung by our front door so that everyone coming to our home could see what her husband had drawn. That felt so great. It was like being a kid again and having a drawing put on the refrigerator for everyone to see. Then it hit me, I was feeling really happy. What to draw next? I started thinking about the things that made me happy as a child. As I drew, I put progressive drawings up on Facebook.

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