Snake Eating an Elephant

'Sailboats in a Storm' c.1998

'Sailboats in a Storm' c.1998

'Jungle Views' c.1998

'Jungle Views' c.1998

There’s nothing like scaling a 6 ft canvas and playing in a garage full of paint as an eight year old. Antoine de Saint-Exupéry’s ‘Le Petit Prince’ is one of my favorite reminders to channel the unconstrained magic in art I encounter as a child.‘Sailboats in a Storm’ was one of my first “Snake Eating an Elephant” pieces that sat in our family living room. Although many hours were spent explaining it to adults that came to visit, having the painting on display taught me important lessons on creativity and appreciating the abstract.

“I showed my masterpiece to the grown-ups and asked them whether the drawing frightened them. But they answered: “Frighten? Why should anyone be frightened by a hat?” My drawing was not a picture of a hat. It was a picture of a boa constructor digesting an elephant. But since the grown-ups were not able to understand it, I made another drawing: I drew the inside of a boa constrictor, so that the grown-ups could see it clearly. They always needed to have things explained.

The grown-ups’ response, this time, was to advise me to lay aside my drawings of boa constrictors, whether from the inside or the outside, and devote myself instead to geography, history, arithmetic, and grammar. That is why, at the age of six, I gave up what might have been a magnificent career as a painter. I had been disheartened by the failure of my Drawing Number One and my Drawing Number Two. Grown-ups never understand anything by themselves, and it is tiresome for children to be always and forever explaining things to them.”

– The Little Prince by Antoine de Saint-Exupéry