Early Sketches

I’ve always liked drawing cartoons, ever since I can remember.  I don’t know exactly when I started, but I came across this musty old picture when I was going through some papers today.

This is dated November 1970.   It had to do with the Road Runner and Wile E. Coyote.  I was a big fan of the show at the time. (I still am).

I was in Grade 1, and I vaguely remember drawing this.  But I guess this picture was significant enough that my Mom saved it.   And my Dad (I think) wrote on the back, transcribing my enthusiastic description of each picture.

So here’s my old artwork, as described by myself at age six.


1.  Coyote in special designed boat-car with guns.   (“HMP”  means miles per hour).


2. Coyote shooting special bullets at the Road Runner.  Breaks the speed sign, purple paint falls off, misses Road Runner. Bullets ricochet off the sign and aim back at the boat.  Road Runner doesn’t sink because he runs too fast.


3.  Broken sign.  Coyote knows the boat is doomed, therefore waves bye-bye.  Meanwhile the Coyote was televised.


4.  Road Runner standing on-shore and dries himself with towel.   Coyote tries to swim to shore.  Notice his anger – teeth are showing.   Shark is attacking coyote, but doesn’t get him.



Don’t ask me WHY I drew this.  At the time, I’m sure it made perfect logical sense to me.

But almost four decades later, I’m still drawing, and I still love the Coyote and the Road-Runner.

God Bless you, Chuck Jones.

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57 Comments on “Early Sketches”

  1. Friar's Mom Says:

    @Wee Friar,

    As long as you had paper and something to draw with, you were happy.

    Who would have known that after all these decades you’d be posting your childhood art work on your very own Blog. You’ve come a long way.

    Hey, I’m a Firsty. Yay!

  2. Brett Legree Says:

    You know what’s kind of neat about your drawings and paintings is that there’s always a little detail somewhere that makes them really unique – like the Road Runner drying himself off!

    I thought that was very cool.

  3. Y’know. I’d like to say that after 40 years you’ve improved. But I can’t. So I won’t

    So much for practice making perfect…..

  4. Brett Legree Says:

    Speaking of art and so on – I always thought Picasso’s stuff looked like it was done by a child. A child on LSD.

    I don’t really get what all the fuss is about with his stuff.

    Of course someone who studied art will tell me why I’m wrong – but who cares about the experts?

    I’d rather look at pictures of Road Runners drying themselves off or Berserkers smashing computers 😉

  5. @ Brett

    Yup, you are a small town guy with a small town mentality. How uncouth. You must be a viking.

    Let me guess you don’t know much about art but you know what you like?


  6. Brett Legree Says:


    (in my best “Valley-speak”)

    “Ise lives in da Vallie ahll me life, Ise drinks Cuhnadienne, and Ise watch da ‘ocky game – whut mor iz der in life?”

  7. @Brett

    See, honesty is the best policy, don’t you feel better now?

    Time to watch some Looney Tunes.

  8. Brett Legree Says:


    Hey, speaking of rabbits, if you want to check out something kind of cool (and free) check this out:


    Not very long, but the animation is pretty good and it is free.

  9. Steph Says:

    Geez, Friar, if ever you’ve had doubt as to your calling, now is the time to put it aside. You are meant to be an artist and to do something more with that talent of yours. It can’t get any clearer than that.

    I’m jealous! The only thing I’ve had since I was young is reading books, well, and writing, too. I’m just not sure how to make a living doing that. I don’t seem to have what it takes to make a living from writing. I don’t know what to write. I love to do it and to do it well but I guess I’m just not passionate enough about it, and lucid enough, either, to make it a priority or something.

    I just read about a 30-yr-old who is a self-taught artist. She turned her hobby of making greeting cards (nice ones) into a business and now she sells cards in 250 stores in 6 countries.

  10. Friar's Mom Says:


    Hmmmm? Methinks you really enjoy Friar’s work, but you simply want to rile him with your comments.

    In Friar’s recent Viking post, you were smitten with the Elder’s d’oh, and were willing to pay top dollar for a full-sized Elder. Friar suggested he’d send you an original freebee Viking doodle and you said you’d be over the moon. Why the change of opinion?

    Is it because everyone oooh’s and aaaah’s about Friar’s work, and you have to keep his head from swelling?

    If so, thanks.

  11. mehculpa Says:

    @ Friar,

    Most first grader don’t have both artistic and (lucid) storytelling ability. You had emotional intelligence, too: note Coyote’s humiliation at being captured on TV.

    I’m with Brett that RoadRunner’s drying himself off with a towel is a great touch. 🙂


  12. Friar's Mom Says:

    @ Mer

    I’m with you. It’s not just his story telling but it’s his observation to detail.

    Notice how a 6-year attempts to capture speed. In #2, as Road Runner guns the engine the boat is making waves on the water. The bullets are followed by flight paths. He even takes artistic license. There’s a bullet that takes a curve and hits the front of the boat. He balances the drawing by filling the blank space of the sky with lines, giving the sky a hint of cloud.

    And I took all this for granted when Wee Friar doodled.

    Wee Friar, are you blushing?

    p.s. WF has a 6-year old nephew who shows the same promise.

  13. Karen JL Says:

    Hmm…knowing Friar, I think the Roadrunner is really taking a dump and wiping his butt.

    But that’s just my take. 😉

  14. veredd Says:

    Which demonstrates you truly are an artist. You always were.

  15. @Friar’s Mom


    And you’re welcome.

  16. XUP Says:

    So charming. I’ve saved all of the aspiring artist kid’s work, too. Maybe some day she’ll find a use for it as well. May I just say, from the bottom of my heart – beep beep

  17. Friar Says:

    @Friar’s Mom.

    I’m glad you kept this old drawing. It’s good for a laugh.
    I remember this was Grade 1 that I drew this, with those fancy Laurentian Color Pencils that I got when school started.

    Road Runner drying himself off. Heh. Don’t know why..but at the time it was apparently very important that I draw that.

    PS. Buck Bunny. Geez. WHERE on God’s Green Earth do you ever find these links? I didn’t know such a critter existed.

    I’m with Friar’s Mom. One minute you say you’d love to have one of my Viking cartoons. The next minute you say I draw no better than I did when I was six.

    Oh…you’re just being a grumpy ol’ curmudgeon, today, ain’t you?

    If it’s any consolation, I havent’ found a way to make a living off my drawing either. My income as an engineer is measured in tens of thousands of dollars a year. My income as an artist, in hundreds! 😦

    That’s why it’s just a serious hobby, and not a career.

    I think my art must have rapidly evolved when I was six. When I was five, apparently I just liked to draw explosions and volanoes blowing up.

    @Friar’s Mom
    I think you’re reading too much into the painting. The six year old probabaly had no concept of composition and balance, he just wanted to draw bullets blowing up the boat.

    No….if the Road-Runner was taking a dump, I’d have been sure to use the brown pencil to draw the towel.

    Thanks for the compliment. Though I think this is more of an example of a typical little boy who likes to draw stuff blowing up.

    TOO LATE! I read my Mom’s comment.

  18. Friar Says:

    Friar’s Mom has saved quite a bunch of my old stuff, like mothers do.

    Now I’m kinda glad she did.

  19. Friar's Mom Says:

    @ Wee Friar,

    Re a six-year’s old knowledge of composition and balance. Not that you’re my first born, but for a six-year old you were quite observant and imaginative (as were your siblings). Moms don’t have favourites.

    Maybe your sense of balance is intuitive. An experienced critic would probably say you were focused on the two main characters. You were attempting to convey an action comic, not a detailed drawing. You had no time to draw frivolous cottony fluffy clouds. Your little brain was racing, trying to get to the next piece of action. So you hinted at wispy cirrus clouds and speed flight paths. You knew even then that details would detract from the action.

    How does my rendition sound? Full of bull? Or a hint of truth?

    p.s. I also kept all the greeting cards you made for me at Christmas, Easter, Mother’s Day, and Birthdays.

  20. Geez, of all the crap you put up here (and there’s a lot) I like one character in one picture on one post. And suddenly I’m a hypocrit.

    I like one song from Iron Maiden does that make me a metal fan?

    I can’t believe we are dissecting drawings from a 6 year old drawn 40 years ago.

    *smacks forehead*

    But its better than commenting on nothing over at 6 weeks.

  21. Friar's Mom Says:

    @ Eyeteaguy

    Did you not read the following?

    “Full of Bull?”

    The problem with the written word, is that you can’t hear the writer’s word, nor can you see the smirk.

  22. @ Friar’s Mom

    You said “How does my rendition sound? Full of bull? Or a hint of truth?”

    I thought it was a rhetorical question.

    So we agree then, you son is full of $**t…. like the rest of us.

  23. Friar Says:

    Somehow I feel there’s an inside joke going on at my expense.

    I’m off to Brett’s to leave another stupid comment.

  24. Kelly Says:

    “The problem with the written word, is that you can’t hear the writer’s word, nor can you see the smirk.”

    OMG, that is true on every blog I’ve read for the last two weeks. And in case you’re wondering, I’ve read them all.

    Just fell off my chair with the insightfulness of that comment.

    And Friar, as the mother of an artist myself, I can tell you that #2 made me a little wistful and weepy. Beautiful. Yes, it foreshadows your abilities now. Not that a first-grader’s abilities show who the 40-something will be, but that they show the potential, if you want to keep up with it for 40 years.

    Your Dad’s scribing (writing what you told him you were trying to convey)—*big sigh.* He was a good guy, huh. A heck of a listener. Lucky Friar’s Mom.



  25. Friar's Mom Says:

    @ Kelly,

    I should have written “You can’t hear the writer’s voice”. I learned a life lesson the hard way. A few years ago, I sent an e-mail to someone and the reader did not hear the lightheartedness in my voice. Instead that person misinterpreted my e-mail as a berating. It caused a serious strain in our relationship.

    p.s. Get yourself a seat belt. I wouldn’t want you to fall off your chair and injure yourself.

  26. Friar Says:

    Didn’t Franklin Covey (or somebody) figure out that written communication only conveys about 7% of the intended message?

    Brett and I were just discussing this over our beer-therapy session.

    Only this time, it was Scotch.

  27. Brett Legree Says:

    Covey mentioned that in his book – I’m not sure if it was his original research, but that’s the number, yes.

    It will never change if people don’t slow down, in fact it has gotten worse and will continue to do so.

    People read something (and sometimes only half read it), and jump to conclusions. I do it too.

    We have to train ourselves to go back and re-read it. Try to understand the words. Ask the writer what she meant. Tactfully if possible.

    Otherwise people’s feelings get hurt over nothing.

    Real-life wars have been started over crap like that…

  28. Friar's Mom Says:

    @ Wee Friar,

    OK, so I took Brett’s advice and re-read your last comment.

    Scotch?? Do you mean to tell me you graduated from Beer Therapy to Scotch Therapy? How come? I’m trying to understand.

    Did you have it neat, on the rocks, or with a splash of water?

    Did you swirl it around in the glass to arouse its scent?

    Did you invite the whisky to ”simply relax” in your mouth, ”allow the warmth of your tongue to release the Scotch’s flavor.”

    Did you know that if you dilute it with a bit of ice cold water, not only does it make it easier to drink, but it awakens the flavor?

    You truly are your fathers’ son; he loved his Triple Malt Scotch.

  29. Kelly Says:

    I love Friar’s Mom.

  30. Friar Says:

    I remember in an old job 6 years ago…I had sent an email to my boss. The software had glitched, and had inadvertently made the font of part of my message look BIGGER. So it looked like I was yelling at him.

    He got pissed off. Even after I explained it to him afterward. The damage had been done.

    Thank you, Outlook.

    @Friar’s Mom
    You can blame your Number Two Son. I never drank Scotch, till this Christmas, when he brought a bottle over. Now I find I like it.

    THANK YOU, Spalpeen.

    Sometimes I like it neat, with ice. But lately, I like it mixed with soda.

    It’s a nice change from Beer. Not as filling. And it’s just as effective, when Brett and I do our “Brainstorming” sessions.

    Yeah, me too. I think I’ll keep her. 😉

  31. Friar's Mom Says:

    @ Wee Friar,

    If I’m a keeper, does that mean you’ll keep me in a Granny Flat in your back yard? I Googled GF and came up with these fancy names: ADU (Accessory Dwelling Units), garage conversion, garden studio, garage apartment, ancillary units, or carriage house.

    If you hurry up and build an ADU, you’ll have a private getaway, an art studio, a games room, a Brett/Friar brainstormer. Or you can rent it out and make some income before I move in.

    You’re also a keeper. However, I have not choice. All mothers know that the virtual umbilical cord cannot be severed. That’s our lot in life.

    p.s. In case you’re wondering why I’m at home on this sunny morning, I’m waiting for yesterday‘s frozen spring slush to soften up before I hit the slopes.

  32. Friar Says:

    @Friar’s Mom

    Uh-oh. What are you hinting at?

  33. Friar's Mom Says:

    @Wee Friar,

    Well you know how tiny your home is. When I get to the stage where I have to be looked after, I’ll probably not be able to climb up your narrow steep stairs. I know you wouldn’t put me in your tiny computer room on the main level, so there’s no other choice but to build a Granny House in your large back yard.

    Do you mean to say that you’ll keep me in a “Home” home?

  34. Brett Legree Says:

    I always figured I’d tell my kids to abandon me in the wilderness when I became a burden 🙂

  35. Friar Says:

    @Friar’s Mom

    Actually, Brett makes a pretty good argument, you know. 😉

  36. Friar's Mom Says:

    @ Wee Friar and Brett,

    It seems to me you both see eye-to-eye about parents becoming a burden.

    Perhaps when I have outlived my usefulness and my life has become a burden both to myslef and my family, I should just go for a long walk during a mid-winter blizzard at -30°.

    Isn’t this what a grandmother did in Agaguk, by Yves Theriault?

    I remember a long cycling trip when I was caught in a cold rain. I began to yawn and desperately wanted to sleep, the onset of hypothermia was not entirely unpleasant.

  37. Brett Legree Says:

    @Friar’s Mom,

    I was only speaking for myself about becoming a burden to *my* kids. My folks are certainly not a burden to me!

    Actually, I did a bit of reading about Inuit death rituals. While some did commit suicide when they got older, it wasn’t always the case. From what I found, it wasn’t really desirable by the younger generations because the elders were a great source of knowledge and experience.

    Just as they are today 😉

  38. Brett Legree Says:

    PS – if you want a good granny flat, let me know. I am obsessed with tiny houses, prefab houses, sustainable designs – I could help you find something that you could tow behind your car!

  39. Early Sketches —–> Mobile Granny Suites?

    You CAN get there from here!

  40. Friar's Mom Says:

    @ Brett,

    OK, find something for me, tow it into Friar’s back yard, and park it beside the huge maple. From there I can wave to him if he’s at the kitchen window, or in the bathroom.

  41. Brett Legree Says:

    @Friar’s Mom,

    Here’s the one I like myself http://www.tumbleweedhouses.com/houses/weebee/

    It’s enough for one person, the loft is big enough for a queen sized bed and it can be towed. You can buy one for about $43,000 which is really good I think!

    (Of course, it won’t work for *me* but I still like these things for some reason!)

  42. Friar's Mom Says:

    @ Brett,

    I like the WeeBee. It might be doable. However, I would have to climb a ladder to the bedroom loft. It might now be convenient for an elderly person when nature calls in the middle of the night. And storage space??? I have too many possession, like all those Wee Friar’s drawings, and other things he made for me over the years.

    I can’t imagine living in a tiny 65 and 89 square footer. That’s the size of a garden shed.

  43. Friar Says:

    @Friar’s Mom

    Well, if you fall and can’t get up…don’t expect me to always be there.

    I might be gone fishing, and some of the lakes are out of cell phone range.

  44. Now Friar, is that any way to talk to your mother.

    @ Friar’s mom, shall I punish him for you, please?

  45. Brett Legree Says:

    @Friar’s Mom,

    The possessions are the easy part – you could always “build an addition” to the WeeBee perhaps, or rent a storage locker wherever you set up shop.

    You’re pretty spry and I bet you could handle the loft – besides, we probably know enough engineering to build a motorized lift 🙂

    The small ones do sound small for sure, and then again I look back to the years when I was single and lived in a bach in Hamilton. It was so simple – I could clean the place in 10 minutes, 20 if I wanted to clean the bathroom!

  46. Friar's Mom Says:

    @ Brett,

    Yes I’m spry right now, but I won’t be when I become a burden. And there is comes the dilemna–a granny house in Wee Friar’s back yard or a stroll into a blizzrd.

  47. Friar Says:

    Friar’s Mom has WAY to much clutter. I hope she gets rid of it now, so I dont’ have to deal with it later!

    @Friar’s Mom
    Though I’m a single lonly bachelor with no kids. Are you SURE you woudln’t be happier living with your precious darling Grandsons? 😉

    Haven’t you done enough to me already?

  48. Friar Says:



  49. Friar's Mom Says:

    @ Wee Friar,

    But I thought we could go fishing together. You’ve always been my fishing Sherpa when I visit Splatt Creek.

    @ Eyeteaguy,

    I don’t believe in corporal punishment. However, I might be sipping tea while he’s painting and . . .

  50. Friar Says:

    @Friar’s Mom
    Yeah, but you only come fishing once or twice a year, because it intereferes with your cycling.

  51. Brett Legree Says:

    An article about scotch whisky


    Glenmorangie 10 year is pretty good, as they say. I like it and the price is right.

  52. Friar's Mom Says:

    @ Wee Friar,

    When I’m no longer spry, I won’t be cycling, so I’ll have more time to sit in your canoe and go fishing with you.

    It will be so much fun. We’ll reminisce about that humungous pike that got away with the hook, line, and sinker.

  53. Mer Says:

    @ Friar’s Mom

    There’s also the Hobbit House : http://www.simondale.net/house/index.htm

    And the straw bale house (well-insulated and actually doesn’t burn easily): http://www.balewatch.com/ (I’m fond of the reciprocal roof). This directory is a pain to look through and the house is huge, but the interior photos are nifty so I couldn’t help including the site: http://homepage.psy.utexas.edu/homepage/staff/Zuker/StrawHouse/Photo/

    Building a hobbit house or a straw bale house could be an engineer’s dream. Or his nightmare, depending. 😉


  54. Friar's Mom Says:

    @ Mer

    What an interesting building.

    A nearby farm sells seasonal produce like asparagas, corn, beans, apples, etc. Their outdoore cold storage structure reminds me of the hobbit house. It’s low long building built directly into the side of the hill. Just like your hobbit house its roof is sod.

    The house is cute, environmentally friendly, but reminds me of a toy house rather than a real home. It would be costly to heat such an open structue during our harsh Canadian winters.

  55. Mer Says:

    @ Friar’s Mom

    I live in California, and I’m afraid the hobbit house wouldn’t work because of earthquakes. 😦

    I wasn’t sure how well it could be set up for Canada, but maybe a combination straw-and-hobbit house would work. The straw bales have an R40 or R45 insulation value. There’s one place in Minnesota that used two cords of wood for a Danish stove, which I suppose isn’t bad for such a huge (2560 sq ft) house. (I always wonder who does the cleaning in houses that big…)


  56. svc Says:

    How beautiful that you kept these.

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