Saturday, June 16, 2018

Blue and Orange Geo


Blue and Orange are my favorite color combination these days and I place them wherever I can enjoy them. They are complementary colors and if you stare too long at one of them you will get an after-image in your eye in the other color. On the artist's color wheel they are opposite or 180 degrees apart from each other on the circle. See, art has something to do with math after all. This geometrikon has textures I am experimenting with but I also wanted to work faster.

Markers and colored pencils on sketchbook page, 4 1/2" x 2 1/2", June 16, 2018.

Friday, June 15, 2018

Phantom Lady


 I gave it a try, I really did. I tried to do action superhero figures. The "Phantom Lady" was a 1940s-era  superhero-ine who had (engineered) powers of casting illusions and shadows, and  could become (or seem to become) immaterial. She wore the common "boob straps" type of female superhero outfit. I think the engineering of the outfit was more fantastic than that of casting shadows. I have seen cosplay attempts at this with varying results. I was trying to prove to myself, as I said, that I could draw action figures. I've done lots of drawing from real models (life drawing) but I generate "realistic" drawings rather than the sexy cartoons for comics. My art school trainers wanted that realist style of drawing. Meanwhile, the little drawing to the right ("Oops") shows what could happen if Phantom Lady tried to fight while wearing her high heeled boots.

Black tech pen on sketchbook page, 8" x 8", 1993.

Thursday, June 14, 2018

Dig we Must


I  was thrilled to emerge from my studio and out of the building to see this fresh new Kubota excavator parked in front. The management was having repairs done to the foundation and brickwork of the building. I suspect it might be damage going all the way back to the earthquake of 2011. I immediately grabbed my folding chair,("Prince Charles' Throne") set it on the front stoop, and drew as residents passed to and fro, peering at my sketch. This digger is bright red but I opted for monochrome for a quieter look. There was dirt spilled all over the grass and the parking lot. I had a brief talk with the operator, who I recognized from his work replacing my balcony glass door. He said that he and his crew were "professional mess makers." I would so love to get in that glass control cabin and work the machine myself. Dig we must! I dig it.

Sepia brown tech pen on sketchbook page, 7 1/2" x 4 1/2", June 13, 2018.

Wednesday, June 13, 2018

Hair Chairs


Often when I get my hair done I will make drawings while I'm waiting for the hair dye to do its job. Today was a slow day at the hairdresser's so the chairs were empty. So I drew the hair chairs rather than the people and there weren't many people there anyway. Hair chairs are not the same as office or art chairs and are adjusted to humanoid shape and proportions. Thanks to the skill of Lisa my hairdresser I look human again and not like an alternate form of hominin.

Sepia brown tech pen on sketchbook page, 5" x 7", June 12, 2018.

Tuesday, June 12, 2018

DarkoverCon 5 Cover art 1982


As it isn't enough for me to digitize and preserve thousands of photos of my artwork and my family history, I am now working alongside another archivist finding and documenting Darkover fan art and activity. I was for many years the chief fan artist of the Darkovans and you know this only too well if you follow this Blog. The fan archivist asked me to find and scan the programs that I saved from every DarkoverCon I've been to. I just don't have the time to scan 30 or so which is what I have but I will scan for now the ones with my cover art and other stuff relevant to my own role in Darkover fandom. This program for DarkoverCon 5 (or "V" Roman) dates from 1982. I was Artist Guest of Honor that year and the Writer Guest was the late Jo Clayton whose name and work recently surfaced on this Blog. I have hundreds of magazines and fan memorabilia, most of them with my art in them, which I intend to donate to collections at two American universities. It is time for me to give my old work a life in research.

This piece was done in the "Scottish Art Nouveau" style. Art Nouveau and Pre-Raphaelitism were styles and artistic movements which I found appropriate for the Celtic-inspired Darkover world.

Ink on illustration board, 5 1/2" x 8 1/2", fall 1982.

Monday, June 11, 2018

Photoshop Modern Improv


One of the nice things about Photoshop is that I can come up with all sorts of improvisations while I'm sitting at my screen. I don't have to push slimy half-congealed acrylic paint around on a tray until I have to replace my jar of muddy paint water. And if I need to change something, all I have to do is delete its layer and start again. With improvisations like this, I can give myself the feeling that I've actually gotten something worthwhile and creative done, even though I probably haven't.

Photoshop, tiny picture 5" x 5", June 10, 2018.

Sunday, June 10, 2018

Sacramento Street Cambridge 1984 Again


I love doing architectural portraits like this one. This house is one of many late 19th - early 20th century buildings in my old neighborhood near Harvard University in Cambridge, Mass., on "Sacramento Street." I have no idea why a street in Cambridge would be named after a city in California, but why not. In the 1980s I did many such pictures most of which have already graced the pages of this Blog. When I moved to Northern Virginia I didn't have the opportunity or the logistic ability to draw in residential neighborhoods. And for these reasons also it became too difficult to draw on a city street. Wineries have given me another sketching opportunity though very few of the wineries have older architecture. Even so the wine lodges are built in a traditional form so I get to draw a porch anyway.

Brown ink and watercolor on sketchbook page, 5" x 8", June 20, 1984.