Friday, August 31, 2007

New Feature: Flat File Fridays!

watercolor and gouache on paper, 7.4" x 11.25"

From the dusty vaults...

This was painted in the Adirondacks, sometime around Summer '01, I think.

Frogs apparently make good models. People will pose, but they're always, like, "I have to go check the roast," or "I have to run out at quarter-of," or "Are you done with my nose? Can I move yet?" Frogs don't do none o' that.

After an hour, this handsome fellow still hadn't budged. No complaining about stiff joints or anything of the like. If he had an amphibian picnic to attend that afternoon, he gave indication of no such pressing engagement.

It could just be that he was a jerk, that the other frogs and newts never invited him anywhere. I'm not ruling that out, and as I've always gotten on pretty well with difficult social types I'm not sure I would have noticed. Still, he posed like a champ, and I'm posting this as a tribute to his princely virtues and resilience. I dearly hope he went on to live a long life and father thousands of patient, virtuous children.

Thursday, August 30, 2007

One of nine.

oil on canvas, 12"x18"

Busy week.

Those are good... the dog parlor sketch went through without a hitch, so here's the painting. I'll be finishing the last few from this series today and posting them soon.

But first, I think I'll have another cup of coffee.

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Diner guys.

I love diners. Especially diners that supply crayons.

And to my son David—
I'm sorry I stole your crayons.

Thursday, August 2, 2007

A fine whine.

oil on paper, 20x26. 2007

Back in March, I was asked to volunteer a piece for the 2008 National Public Radio calendar, under the theme of "what NPR means to me." Past calendars included art from Gary Kelley and Brad Holland. I was flattered.

Above is a view of my studio. Milling about or sharing their particular gifts and insights are a midwestern pig farmer, a (female) marine, a hyperventilating businessman, a jazz pianist, as well as the performance artist Marina Abramovic, whose feet dangle from the ceiling. Paris Hilton remains safely oustide. We don't let her in.

The whole thing didn't really go as planned. This isn't the painting as it appears in the NPR 2007-08 calendar, for a number of reasons that I probably shouldn't get into...talking shop can get tedious even when it doesn't involve whining tantrums.

A sketch.

pencil and gouache on toned paper, 2007

One of my constant fears as an illustrator is for the livelihood of a sketch that just won't go through.

As far as occupational hazards go, I could really do worse. Still, it's not rare that the one I've been looking forward to painting is the one left by the wayside. And when you're an illustrator, doing the piece anyway as one of those proverbial "good portfolio pieces" still just lands it in the flat file. Even a good one rarely transcends its intended function to become, well, plain ol' art.

So in celebration of these scribbled little seeds dreaming of fruition, here's a recent sketch for an educational job I'm working on, just in case I don't get a chance to finish it out. The scene finds us in a pet grooming parlor, two private detectives snooping about.

I have to say, I'm kinda fond of the preposterously poodle-haired proprietress...


oil on canvas, 12x16. 2007

I had the opportunity this past weekend to participate in a nifty art opening at the Wired Gallery in Bethlehem PA.

Although I've exhibited there before, I wasn't actually in the current show, which is dedicated to some really nice contemporary pop art. I was one of three artists set up in the midst of the crowd painting this young lady, who had borrowed her striking wardrobe from the racks of the nearby "POPMart" clothing and accoutrement store.

Lots of fun... Even the nice old lady who let me know that while the face was lovely, I'd "lost it" when it came to painting the lower leg area. "Mmm," I said. I'm never sure what the right response is at a moment like that, so I toasted her with my complementary mini-can of Budweiser. "You could be right."

And here I was worried about its flagrant aura of academia...

Kicking and Screaming Into the 21st Century

Those well acquainted with me are already aware of the trepidation with which I take on all things digital. It's only fair to tell you—you know, whoever you may be—that I wanted to be sure creating a blog wasn't akin to investment in an 8-track or Laserdisk player, or one of those fur-collared sheepskin jackets that all the thuggish boys had to have when I was in fifth grade.

So if someone out there in the ether will promise me, that now that I've finally emerged from my technophobic cocoon, that I'm not metaphorically putting a phone in my car that requires one of those boomerang shaped antennas on the trunk, well, I'll get on with it.