PITTSBURG — Mick Lindsay was no older than five when he drew one of his first creations.

Mick drew a stick figure bird with his grandma, who gave him his first lesson on how the bird’s feet actually grasped limbs, rather than floating above.

“I’ve been drawing ever since,” he said.

Throughout the years he continued to sketch and draw nature, eventually going to school at Pittsburg State University for art. After he completed his bachelor degree he ended up working in retail and reserved art as a hobby or side work until he retired five years ago.

“Now that I’ve worked half my life, it’s time I enjoy the second half,” he said.

Mick has also hosted nature drawing classes through the Pittsburg Parks and Recreation Department.

“They asked me what I had drawn at their age and fortunately mom actually had drawings I had done when I was eight,” he said. “I showed them and they were like ‘ew you drew those.’”

Some students feel down about their art, but he would tell them, “Mickey Mantle didn’t start out doing home runs and Johnny Cash didn’t just wake up one day and record ‘Ring of Fire’,” he said. “It takes a while to hone your skills.”

Mick said it takes time and patience. He teaches them about perspective and the geometry behind it.

Over the years he not only documented animals and nature, but also portraits of people and their homes. He also painted the fish next to TJ Leland’s and had booths set up during art walks. At home, he is working on the finishing details of a “giant’ gorilla.

Recently, Mick has taken a more “surreal” approach, he said.

A banana, wheels, pencil, fish, picnic table, two donuts and a few other miscellaneous items combine to create an image of an owl sitting on a tree branch.

In another image, there’s shark teeth, a bird’s beak and various other animal parts which make up one image. It is a more interpretive piece, it’s whatever the viewer sees, Mick said.

One piece he is working on is a bit darker or “odd” with skulls drawn next to a baby’s head and various typography.

The inspiration for his work?

Anything around him. It could be a song, a television show or simply the shape of a cloud, all of which somehow are embedded into an image.

Drawings he created in the past are sometimes cut and pasted into a collage, because “it looked good together,” he said. This is one of the ways he makes them look “surreal.”

Mick said art has been a way for him to communicate with people after his friends had either passed or moved away.  It’s also entertaining, he said.

He can be found drawing at The Home Place on Broadway, enjoying the “second half of life.”

— Stephanie Potter is a staff writer at the Morning Sun. She can be emailed at spotter@morningsun.net or follow her on Twitter @PittStephP and Instagram @stephanie_morningsun.