Thursday, June 30, 2016

Covered Bike


Here is a fox-person riding a covered bicycle. The cover protects the rider's elegant clothing and fur coat from the muddy elements. These bike wings are rather small but I could see larger ones, powered by pedaling and kinetic techno-magic, which would fly through the air. If there was one fantasy thing I wish was real, it would be anti-gravity or the ability to float and drive around in the sky, not to mention those "flight rings" worn by the "Legion of Superheroes" in the thirtieth century. But that is for another posting. 

Black tech pen ink on sketchbook page, 2 1/2" x 3 1/2", June 30, 2016.

Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Country House in the City


I live in a big city, but if you looked at some secluded sites, you'd never know it. There are old houses and plots of land which are more or less untouched since they were built back in the mid-20th century or even the late 19th century. This house is only a few blocks from my residence. I did the drawing on-site on a hazy, hot, humid late spring day. Later that day there was a huge thunderstorm. 

This is taken from my illustrated journal for 1998. This fabulous volume had a colored pencil drawing on every page. I would never be able to do that nowadays when I am so occupied with family and other matters. However I still use this style in my winery and landscape art. And I have many more colored pencils including beautiful new "natural" landscape colors which you will see in my next winery drawings. 

"Country in the City" is sepia tech pen ink and colored pencil, 8" x 4", May 31, 1998.

Tuesday, June 28, 2016

Rosicrucian Chapel


In 1614, not that long ago, a New Age fad took over literary Europe. It was promoted by printed posters and broadsides that were pasted up on walls, and by the publication of a manuscript by an unknown author, the "Fama Fraternitatis" or "Story of the Brotherhood." This manuscript describes an occult odyssey and the quest of a secret group of spiritual seekers. In this story there appears a hidden crypt where the original founder of the group lies in suspended animation. The crypt is elaborately described, with seven sides and illustration panels all around a central altar. The images on the illustrative panels are all spelled out in astrological and mythological detail. 

When I was studying architectural drawing in 1984-85 I did some drawings of unusual buildings for practice and this was one of them. A seven-sided chamber is harder to draw than a circular one. I think I managed well enough with this one but as I drew it here it would be quite small and cramped for the worshipers. Also the amount of painted imagery on all the interior panels would be rather eye-straining. 

The interesting thing about the "Fama Fraternitatis" is that no one ever figured out who wrote it or who the Secret Brotherhood was. The "Fama" remained in print and inspired countless occult movements and esoteric orders in subsequent centuries. It is entirely possible that the original text was a hoax, although a well-written and cleverly promoted one. It shows how information, magic, fantasy, and spiritual yearning spread through a culture even without an Internet to "go viral" all over the world. 

Original drawing is pencil on tracing paper, 16" x 20", 1984-85.

Monday, June 27, 2016

Mechanical Doodle


There are no working elements in this mechanical-styled doodle drawing. I just threw together whatever I selected from a sourcebook of 19th century mechanisms. Gears have become popular as a theme in "Steampunk" fantasy. I'm amazed that the Steampunk trend has lasted as long as it has. I've never done any major Steampunk art but have considered doing some as illustrations for the 19th century fantasies I have always enjoyed. But right now I need to get all the material from the old house out of my way. "Duabus" is a Latin word meaning roughly, "To two." I just liked the way the Latin word sounded.

Black tech pen on sketchbook page, 3 1/2" x 3 1/2", June 27, 2016.

Sunday, June 26, 2016

Naked Birthday


What else would I do on my birthday to celebrate? The Wine Team returned to Naked Mountain Winery in Markham, Virginia to enjoy wines and charcuterie and beautiful weather in the forested hills. And I did this composite page showing Naked's new tasting and event space with wine-red umbrellas. The mini-landscape in the lower right corner was added later in the studio. I consider Naked Mountain to be one of my top five wineries in Northern Virginia.

Sepia brown tech pen ink and colored pencils on sketchbook page, 8" x 11", June 25-26, 2016. Klik for larger view.

Saturday, June 25, 2016

Zoroastrian Fire Pot


I studied Zoroastrianism, the ancient and still-living religion of Persia, during the 1990s. Zoroastrianism is the first monotheistic religion, worshipping the One God Ahura Mazda, which translates to "Wise Lord." (The Japanese cars were not named after him, but after a light bulb titled "Mazda" which was thought to be a word for "light.") The symbol for God in the Zoroastrian faith is a burning flame, which is kept at all times in their temples, fed by sandalwood and other aromatic substances. I wrote a number of articles on the Zoroastrian faith, gave lectures, and made a lot of art, some of which was published. This etching-like drawing of the Sacred Flame on its urn was never published. It shows the sacred fire surrounded by fruits, flowers, and nuts, as it is presented by the Parsis, the Zoroastrians of India. The name "Zoroastrian" comes from the original prophet of the religion, Zarathushtra. I am no longer active in Zoroastrian scholarship but I still have friends in the community and am working on a series of illustrations of the Prophet Zarathushtra for a book about his life and teachings.

Sacred Flame is ink on illustration board, 6" x 8", 1994.

Friday, June 24, 2016

Mister Pear the Chauffeur


I finally got to put pen to paper. Remember, the doodle theme for 2016 is "Transportation" and so here is a little car moseying along on the way to New England. The passenger is Madame Apple (Madame Pomme) and her chauffeur is the longsuffering Mr. Pear, (M. Poire). They are the intelligent folk of Fruitworld, where the Essence Platonique of memory and personality is transferred from one instance of fruit to another, so that they never really die, they just are replaced in the Cosmic Bowl. Le Monde des Fruits is a pleasant, fragrant place, where even in winter there is a touch of sweetness.

Black tech pen on sketchbook page, 3 1/2" x 2 1/2", June 24, 2016.