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Pompey Delight

28 Apr

The following drawings are from Portsmouth (Pompey) and surrounding areas. Portsmouth is a complicated city. It is really several distinct neighborhoods knitted together but not blended. The city has a multitude of textures from a seaside destination which is a favorite of locals and tourists alike, to a super mall (maze) in Gunwharf Quays, and a large council estate in the centre and north of the city. Within all of that are neighborhoods that draw sharp lines between rich and poor, student and non student and middle and working classes. With a strong naval history, Portsmouth has not shed the rough and tumble lifestyle of the sailor and in at least a few parts of the city, there is a menace and wildness that always feels like the dangerous hours of the early morning. Enjoy the ride.

More sand in the sketchbook

8 Sep

This years beach drawings come from the upscale beach of Rehoboth Delaware. Unlike the unbridled un-girdled girth of Ocean Isle Beach, Rehoboth was filled with mostly attractive, well to do (at least better than most) people with enough money to pay for the overpriced beach side hotels and condos. Still, if you are looking closely, a kind of wildness is still bubbling under the surface. The elephantine bodies are still pounding the boardwalk and people are still staring off into the great ocean baking their bodies brown and leathered.

The beach still fascinates me. People are literally putting it out there, hanging their sins on their burdened frames like permanent luggage. Bathing suits just exacerbate the impression that they are bursting at the seams. Flesh is stuffed in colorful beachwear almost always failing at the goal of distraction.

Enjoy.

New Work

6 Aug

This has been a long time coming. This is but a sample of the new work that I have on the burner at the moment. Some of this is complete, some I am still thinking about. I am also planning on returning to the comics which I am enjoying because they feel like elaborated political cartoons. Perhaps more akin to comic editorials. Also, I am developing a narrative approach which for me is about retaining the weird and personal in the conventions of the comic (or traditional narrative). I am working on a new book which I hope will be ready by early next year. I would love to hear what you think. Thanks for looking!

Elizabethan Drawings

28 May

Every Thursday at the Society of Illustrators in NYC they have a costumed drawing session. This wonderful event in the magnificent society building is packed with seasoned and beginning artists. The tone was serious but breaks were relaxed with drinks and great conversation. The models were in Elizabethan garb. I couldn’t help but wonder how this decadence with it’s over the top dress and ornaments, was some flamboyant alarm for the impending collapse of the aristocracy (at least as an open institutional power). The same hubris of Wall Street (without the fancy dress) pointed to a collapse but again, we refused to see it. It seems denial is more seductive than reckoning. After the drawing session, I was walking the streets and noted another celebration of decadence, the opening of the latest Sex and the City movie. Like the wealth parade of the Elizabethan era, the Sex and the City girls flaunt excess and even shallow self involvement. Although all of this may seem out of sync with the times, in a city like New York, there are still plenty of people with plenty of money. You can bet when things get a little better, they will be back on the streets with their fancy dress and decadent displays, the scale of which we can only imagine. Well, minus the wigs of course.

This is what I drew. Enjoy.

Promo Video for Exhibit in Japan

25 May

Torture – Through the channels

22 Apr

This is a piece specifically created for a book about torture. The idea came from a well known Norman Rockwell painting called Gossip. In Rockwell’s painting, a juicy bit of gossip is spread through a town and eventually the source found and chastised. In my version, the directive to torture is passed through several people and the result is…well, torture. I was interested in the bureaucracy of torture. It has to start somewhere and likely, it was a decision that shocked, thrilled and dismayed different parties. Still, it went forward and still does to this day.

Joe Six Pack – An American Original

15 Apr

Here is another comic. Enjoy. Please feel free to comment. I would love to know what you think.

Burlesque NYC

12 Apr

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These drawings were done at a Dr.Sketchy event in NYC. It was a fun event. Three hours of drawing what appeared to be professional (or at least semi-professional) burlesque dancers. Being NYC, the quality of the models was quite high. The entire event did have a slightly “canned” quality that lent the drawings a certain staged feel (for me anyway). I realized that I do better when relying on my memory and basically sketching when I am taking the essence of an event as apposed to the posed subject. The stresses of accuracy can often stifle the off-the-cuff vitality in my drawing.

The White Man’s Box

9 Apr

This is my first foray into comics. I will be providing a comic a week. Let me know what you think. I broke a lot of pencils making this one. Click on the pages to see them in full.

Memory and Drawing

3 Feb

 

There is an amazing phenomenon when drawing. We choose our subject. We make a mental notation of physical characteristics, oddities and, a judgment about the subject. Is the person fat, short, happy, sad, confident, or clueless? This is a quick process. Then we draw. The drawing can often be about something very different than a specific caricature. It can be about the joy of drawing a voluminous figure or a pose that we may find interesting or applicable in another creative product. What emerges however is indelibly linked to the original subject. It shows that our brains have already managed, even with the interference of our own agendas, to capture an essence of the subject. It has led me to think about the remarkable speed of the brain and hand. Training speeds this connection, of that I have not doubt, but beyond that, I wonder about the memory trace that our drawings hold. It has been said that we live on beyond death until the last person, known or unknown, mutters our names. I wonder about the persistence of the people in our drawings.