Seattle Artist Gregory L. Blackstock

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Seattle Artist Gregory L. Blackstock

Corrin Kauff, Photographer

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Gregory L. Blackstock, a 72-year-old artist who’s stationed in Seattle, draws everything that is around him, his artwork has evolved to be part of his intriguing identity.

Gregory is autistic, a developmental disorder that impairs a person to discuss and socialize with different levels from mild to severe, Gregory lands at the center where his social side is limited and has found a repetitive routine to calm him. Blackstock was born in Seattle in 1946, growing up in a time when autism wasn’t greatly known, his parents didn’t understand his troubles so they decided to send him away from home to boarding schools in California for kids with ‘special needs’.

He has worked his whole life as a dishwasher from his teen years all the way to retirement. He began drawing regularly in his 40s discovering a hidden talent with inks and colored pencils. Even though Gregory is different and struggles to be with others, he gains his own happiness through art.

Gregory can usually be found at the library, drawing new subjects, and even asking the librarian to pick out photos to send to his home. He figured out how to understand the complex world around him through organized and precise, observational drawings that are all executed freehand only being aided by his fantastic memory. He draws for the sake of learning and comfort.

Fonts of street signs and brands, plants, and instruments stand out in such vivid color and perfect lines, he tends to fill up the whole page with as much accurate detail he wishes.

He also enjoys music, especially when collecting and playing old fashioned accordions cheerfully for everyone in the world to hear. He often hand-draws sheet music of old favorites, while effortlessly changing them into a more difficult key usually out of his own enjoyment to play.

People tend to misunderstand him, but once you see his art you can definitely see the passion and interesting thinking he has put into his pieces that he has put long hours in making. Gregory’s disorder is just a small fragment of himself, yet his art shouts to everyone who he really is. If you plan to visit Seattle anytime soon, definitely visit the ‘Greg Kucera Gallery’ or the ‘Seattle Art Museum’ to see some of his amazing works in person.