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Spencer's Perspective

My friend +Jari Huomo asked me a couple days ago when I was going to post another sketch from one of my six children. So I post this for Jari!! Hope you like it. :-)

My wife +Kari Johnson and I have always marveled at the many gifts Spencer possesses (he is our eldest son). We really don't look at his autism as a "disability" in the traditional sense. Why? Because Spencer has so many talents that are a part of his autism that we love and appreciate. Drawing is one of his talents. For years and years he has been able to draw complex scenes like this one. It's hard to tell from this photo, but his perspective is excellent and he rarely, if ever, has a "3D element" in one of his drawings that is out of place. His perspective and his vanishing points come naturally as he has never studied the art of drawing/sketch work. He completes all his drawings by connecting one line to the next line in a very mechanical fashion as he develops each drawings. He puts the pencil down on the paper, draws the line, lifts the pencil. Repeat... Until it is finished!

O.K. I know nothing about drawing, so I'll end my description of Spencer's work there! 

Have a great weekend everyone!!
Olena Melnyk's profile photoAndrew Vaughan Smith's profile photoJerry Johnson's profile photoDandelion Son's profile photo
Your son is very talented. Thank you for sharing his wonderful talent
Have been an art teacher and would have goosebumps seeing this the first time.  Very very unusual, completely well done and visualized.
+Bj Bolender Thank you for your teacher's perspective! Spencer will be delighted and encouraged by your comment. :-)
He is really gifted.that drawing is amazing. Ply tell him I m sending him a huge hug
What a great talent- many thanks for sharing your son's work... just inspiring! :)
That's good! Everything is right in it's place, the power-lines, the train rail  and the road follow the same curve, impressive. The boy has talent!
+Lauren Moss I greatly appreciate your thoughtful words of encouragement as will my son! :-)
You have a very talented son! His perspective is impressive as he demonstrates the appearance of depth. Pretty good used of elements and principles of composition here. Used of lines in elements and repetition and balance in composition.
I'm really impressed with this image, Jerry.  Not only the quality (drawing a bend like that is harder than it looks), but I'm mesmerised by the strict rules he seems to follow when drawing.  The scene seems completed in the artist's mind, before he starts working..... it's just so natural!  
As an example - many people would have been tempted to move the SUV a bit forward to make it easier to draw as a whole.  There are countless other examples (left side of sports car, speed sign, etc).  In Spencer's drawing, there are no short-cuts - I love it.  And then there's the amazing detail - like the tangled electrical wires and boxes (above the speed sign).  Amazing stuff ;)
First I would like to say how very much I admire you +Jerry Johnson and your lovely wife +Kari Johnson for having the strength and the perseverance. The development and nurturing of a child is entirely dependent on the parents. No matter what is presented to us all in life, it is how we make the very best of it, that matters the most. I can see from his enchanting drawing, that there is so much care, love, and interest in the world he exists in and surrounds him. Quite detailed, like the car in the left turn lane; the angle is very correct. Also the trees have a style very unique of their own; full, lush, and wonderfully randomly placed, showing that it's natural and warm and very confident. I congratulate you both on your devotion; he is quite blessed :))
+Baldur McQueen I know Jerry will respond to you when he has a chance, but I was amazed when I read your comment -- you nailed Spencer. He used to draw as if he was a human scanner -- from left to right, completing an entire section of the picture at a time before moving on to the next section. He would literally draw parts of cars, houses, trees, etc., then move to the next section where he would complete the car, or whatever, unless it didn't all fit in that section, then he'd move on to the next one. He has somewhere along the line stopped doing that, and draws in a more traditional fashion, but I believe he continues to have that picture in his head before he begins. Thank you so much for your encouraging words. Although we have always appreciated Spencer's drawings, I'm pretty sure we tend to take it for granted the longer we're around them. :o)  
+Ann Maser Thank you so much for your kind words. We enjoy our children very much & feel so blessed to have been given such a gift as each one of them is in their own unique way. 
Absolutely true; each and every child is very unique and special in their own way; that's the beauty of being human :)
+Aileen Sorenson I am trying to get Spencer interested in engineering. His math skills are exceptional and he enjoys the subject as well. :-) Thanks for your comment!
+Baldur McQueen Your gracious comment is, as Kari already indicated, dead on in its accuracy regarding how Spencer approaches a drawing. I'm impressed my friend! :-)
+Ann Maser Yet another oh so kind and encouraging comment. Thank you! And the trees are my favorite part of Spencer's photo!! :-)
+Todd Benore Spencer has had more than one very big smile on his face as I have shared everyone's encouraging words with him. Each one of those smiles are priceless!! Thank you for your comment my friend!
+Tony Escobales That means a lot coming from a talented artist such as yourself! Your drawings are phenomenal. 
Amazing.  You both must be very proud parents. I'm curious though, does Spencer have a photographic memory or does he study the scene or maybe it is a place from memory or made up?
+KayJay Klaus I personally don't believe Spencer has a photographic memory (Jerry might disagree with me here), but he does have an amazing memory for things that strike him as interesting . . . and those things are wide & varied. :o) From what he says, the things he draws are pictures he sees in his mind -- he sees the whole detailed picture & then draws it. Some of the specific items -- a car, a power pole, etc. -- he has seen & remembers, so draws from that memory. Thank you very much for your encouraging comment. We are definitely proud parents. :o)
On occasion +Edward Bishop, but it is very rare. Colors are a big deal to autistic children and adults, so I would have thought he would want more color images? But this hasn't been the case! Thanks for the comment! :-) 
+KayJay Klaus I mostly agree with Kari! :-) However, I have had times where I've shown him a page in a book or some other object and then hid it from his view and he does a pretty great job of describing it. But it's not your classic variety, that's for sure!!
The human mind is amazing and still mysterious in many ways.  But I have always admired (and will defend with every last breath) love, compassion, and perseverance.  Hoping for all the blessings your family deserves and more.
He is very good now and seems to have huge potential.
Color. Have you given him paints? 

me too, I don't know about drawing, but really like to learn, someday ... :) Btw, your son needs a sponsor +Jerry Johnson :)
I'm deeply impressed*. :o) Period. +Jerry Johnson 

*I have seen hundreds of artists in my life, as partner, study-budies or friends, drawing in that way, is not given to many. 
Wow, exceptional detail and precision in this, Spencer... And power lines!! Excellent work!
Mind of an autistic is truly unique. It is really fascinating. Stunning work with all the details! Amazing. Have been watching this for really long now. Thanks for sharing +Jerry Johnson .

Drawing and your writings reminded me of  Stephen Wiltshire, have you heard of him?

Video: . Drawing left to right and hand is moving like it was some kind of human printer. 

Say hi to Spencer and hope you can get him interested in engineering!
thanks for sharing another drawing of Spencer +Jerry Johnson  The curve in the road and electricity lines caught my attention. The whole scene looks fantastic!
+Murray Robertson Thank you! He has access to multiple tools that could be used to add color, but so far he has not shown an interest in adding color to 98% of his drawings.
+Sassi Sassmannshausen Such high praise coming from you my friend. I am going to be showing both Spencer and my second oldest son a series of your works very soon. I have shown them several of your panos, but we going to have a formal Sassi's work study as a part of their home-school experience this coming school year. :-)
+Jari Huomo I greatly appreciate your comment, the link(s) and your post! I'm going to have Spencer watch the Ted talk later today. :-)
+Shawn McClure Powerlines and Powerpoles show up in many a Spencer sketch. Imagine that!? :-) Thanks a lot for the comment kind sir!!
+Steven Walesch WHAT A PLEASANT SURPRISE!! :-)

Miss you too! Hope the empty nest experience is going o.k.? I really wanted to get to MN to see you guys, but alas it was not in the time or financial budget to do so. :-(
+Anne-Marie Janssen He is fascinated by powerpoles, powerlines, transformers, etc. Even in his photography, these are the shots he is looking to capture! As of late, he is even using Google Maps and Google Earth to spy out power equipment photo ops. :-) Thanks for the comment my friend!
This is fantastic. There is so much detail in there, more than I am able to take in in any environment at first glance, that's for sure!
+Sonja McAlister I almost tagged you in this post! So glad you like it and Spencer will be pleased as well! :-)
Been meaning to mention this - have a fair amount of experience with different children with disabilities (differently-abled) as a special ed teacher.  I know more people with autism that prefer black and white than color.  Some of those who have learning disabilities also prefer to reduce sensory stimulation and thus limit their palette.  Since composition and detail is far more important as your son is young and still working out his vision as an artist, I'd not rush him to color.  Hey, I myself specialized in drawing and etching/engraving in black and white before about 20 years later I started working with color in quilting and then in photography.
+Jerry Johnson, of course I like it! What's not to like when there is so much to see and everytime I look I find something else I missed before. Spencer's drawings are pure genius!
+Bj Bolender I really appreciate your input! Early on in Spencer's childhood, we really had to push him hard to break out of set patterns of behavior. But all that difficult work upfront has us in a place where Kari and I can give him a lot more leeway now! For example, I will ask him to take a few photos of objects other than abandoned homes and powerpoles/powerlines (two favorite targets) now and again, and he will do it without any pushback! Regarding color, we know how important they are to autistic children and pretty much leave him to his black and white sketches! Although I did push him one time to color a photo of a house sketch and he ended up loving it! :-)
Wonderfully executed and with great precision. Thanks for sharing.
Thanks Jarry!! Other future artist is coming!!!
This is wonderful, the detail, the perspective and yet still with an innocence; great. Hope he does more, should not let this go.
Thanks a bunch +Andrew Vaughan Smith! He's working on something right now that is pretty amazing, but it's about 10 feet long which would make it hard to post :-). He enjoys drawing so much I'm fairly confident he will keep after it!
wow - I would love to see that, the content must be incredible... see how it goes - try a panorama shot :)
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