I don't recall when I first became aware of the world about me as I’ve always had an interest in science and the natural world. But I do remember two, very early experiences: One was examining my uncle’s photoflood setup to figure out how it worked while he was trying to photograph my brothers and I. It was my uncle who ultimately stirred my interest in photography. My second experience catching cabbage butterflies and grasshoppers while playing in a neighbors’ jungle stirred my interest in nature. The "jungle" was, of course, a backyard.
Mountains, fields, oceans, lakes, waterfalls, wildlife, insects, stars, planets and comets had me reading book after book on the sciences. My interest in art also started out early. During the war years I watched and was amazed at my older brother’s drawings of planes with spinning propellers. I imitated what he did and went on to copy cartoons such as Bugs Bunny, Mickey Mouse and others. It was during my early teaching years (science of course) that I picked up painting followed by pen and ink, graphite and charcoal. Every piece of work I completed was dependent on my examining the art of known artists; I attempted to figure out their techniques. When I couldn’t determine how they did what they did, I just created my own methods. I learned as I went along and I'm still learning.
Stephen S. Yaeger
Drawn to Nature
Rockaway Artists Association
The Brooklyn Watercolor Society