Sunday, March 30, 2008

Some three hour paintings.

oil on canvas, 12 x 16. 2008

I started taking a painting class at the Art Students' League in New York this past month; as of today, two of the paintings have even dried. I'm plugging away at a picture book deadline till May, and thought I could use a visit back to the land of fundamentals with some intense observation and improvisation thrown in for good measure. Hopefully this will help keep the studio paintings from looking too stale as I dig in further.

Saturday, March 8, 2008

Daylight savings time.

pencil and gouache on paper, 12" x 14.5", 2008

Surrounded by my studio detritus,
sitting on the futon
—that particularly uncomfortable,
and maybe even evil—
futon that her sister had given us
the first month we were married,
she was kind enough to sit for a drawing.
So she sat reading
bleary eyed for close to an hour
growing perhaps
smarter with each minute,
each word,
each chapter, sub-chapter,
footnote and sidebar,
while I sat across from her
in an old office chair
wired together with a coat hanger,
face, hands and clothes
smudged with silvery graphite and overpriced paint,
squinting to find the line between
the candid light on her cheekbones
and that funny look she gets
when she's thinking,
carried off somewhere
miles from the futon
–so miserly with the comfort it lends–
and the stacks of tape,
bubble wrap,
and crinkled, forgotten photos and doodles
that adorn each horizontal surface
around her now.
Outside the wind blows loudly through our stringy maples,
the lights flicker
and a chill drifts slowly through the seams
of the old house,
the one that we never quite finished
before the boys were born.
There are two boys now, fitfully asleep,
and I really must hurry–
a few more dabs of white,
and not so pretty
that she'll become skeptical.

6 am comes early tomorrow.

The Missus.

pencil and gouache, 12" x 18", 2008