Monday, February 13, 2012


In 2001, Gregory Blackstock retired from "25 1/3" years of work as a pot washer at the Washington Athletic Club (WAC). This has given him more time to devote to his art and music interests. He has been publishing drawings since 1986, first and the WAC newsletter and recently in a book of his work Blackstock's Collections: The Drawings of an Artistic Savant.
Blackstock is an autistic savant, he speaks many languages, can recall events with an uncanny precision and is an incredible mimic. He is also very skilled with music and can be seen around Seattle playing his accordion. He first caught the attention of the Garde Rail Gallery in 2003 leading to several shows and the eventual publication of his book. Many, many more images on their site.
The subject matter for his drawings varies a great deal from state birds to state prisons, tools to WWII bombers, and mackerel to Boeing jet liners. I've mostly included the drawings of animals and birds with a few vegetables, focusing on the images from nature.
His drawings are often large, made up of smaller pieces of paper taped together. They are complete collections, laid out in precise rows. The drawings created with pencil, crayon, ink and marker. The range of scale is seen here:
Blackstock is wearing a t-shirt with his drawings as a design! (Where can I get one!)
A revealing description of his abilities and personality: "Gregory Blackstock says he speaks 12 languages and is happy to prove it, bellowing greetings in a rapid succession of diverse tongues. Not only does he have perfect pitch, he can play any instrument he picks up but prefers the accordion, because it's loud." Regina Hackett, Seattle Post-Intelligencer.


  1. Thanks for the nice post about my cousin (and charge) Greg Blackstock. The shirt was one of a limited edition of 500 from the Commes des Garcons 2008 men's casual line. Sold out long long ago I'm afraid.
    Keep watching, as Greg keeps drawing like crazy!

    1. Thank you Dorothy.
      I will keep an eye out!
      I look forward to seeing what will come next.