Quick & Quirky Questions with Louis Dunn

Louis Dunn was recently named the winner of our “Draw Orlando” competition. Not only was he kind enough to take the time to enter the competition, but he was also kind enough to allow us to ask him a few questions so we can all get to know Louis a little better!

Louis Dunn’s mother was an artist. His father was an artist. His sister was a silversmith. His older brother was a musician. His younger brother was an artist and Jungian psychoanalyst. Not surprisingly, Louis is also an artist. His livelihood for many years was in illustration and graphic design in San Francisco and Southern California, culminating in a period as an art director at the Los Angeles Times. Louis likes to keep fit by doing some morning Yoga, some Tai Chi, Sit Zazen and walking a steady two miles. He lives and works in the Bay Area in Northern California with his wife, a kayak, 12 cats, and a tortoise named Edna.

He says of Boris and Edna: ‘Edna eventually won him over and they became close chums – Edna would curl up with him like a kitten and they would have a snooze together.’

Tell us 4 important facts about yourself:

  1. I am an artist.
  2. I have been married to my true love for 59 years.
  3. I took up three things in my 50s: Zen practice, bread making, and cooking, in that order.
  4. I have reached the astonishing age of 86 and plan on many more years.

What is your favourite age that you’ve been so far in life, and why?

My favourite age is right now. Second to that would be in my early 40s with my true love. We were so in love, she and I, and so young and so happy.

Who is your favourite fictional character or famous person over 60?

Mr. Toad, he of Wind in the Willows, who confided he just turned 61 in April.

You are alone in your house (no pets). You have three minutes to get out before the house collapses and burns to the ground. What one possession would you grab and take with you?

Heh, there’s a question. I would grab the nearest small thing at hand, thinking ‘here’s a keepsake.’ And then, probably, on second thought, toss it back into the flames. No trace.

What’s your favourite creative pastime?

Drawing. Working in cardboard. Working in wood.

Tell us something about yourself that’s surprising or unexpected.

I love boats. I have built three boats and one canoe – the first a skiff at age 11. In 1988 my wife, ten-year-old daughter, and I, rented a Thames camping skiff and spent a week rowing and camping on the Thames and the River Way. (Maybe that was the happiest time?) Threading through a lock, a neighbouring boat crew overheard us and exclaimed ‘Yanks??!!’ 

Plus, every once in a while, I turn out a poem. Here’s one:

THE NATURE OF GLASS

Talking with glass blower
Twirling a molten glob
I asked
‘Get burned much?’
‘No. Cut, more.’

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