Monday, October 20, 2014

Autumn Leaf Study 2003

No little ink for today, instead here's one of my many studies of foliage, this one dating from 2003. In that era I had an extensive set of Pitt brush markers in natural earth-toned colors. These markers claimed to have pigment ink which would make the colors less fadeable. I did many sketches with these markers (which are still being made) but found that although the colors didn't fade as much as other dye-based markers, the colors changed inside the pen so you never quite knew what color was going to come out when you used the pen. I used to have a sample page taped into my marker box so I could view the current state of each pen. Anyway I got quite a lot of sketches out of these pens before they began to dry up. I wouldn't invest in them again; I put my marker money into the expensive and majestic line of Copic markers, which are still fadeable dye. Confessions of a marker addict.

No By-Product will be posted from 21 to 28 October as I am going up north for this fall's parental care visit.

Fall leaf sketch is markers on sketchbook page, 4" x 6", November 2, 2003.

Sunday, October 19, 2014


I had no idea what to do for today's little ink until I read some other artist's post about how much he loves robots and dinosaurs. Well doesn't everybody like robots and dinosaurs? OK, some people like abstract tiny square-footed ponies with purple and pink manes and tails that drag on the ground. No to the ponies for me, thanks. So what if you had something that combined dinosaur and robot? With a bit of dog design too? You get "Diggsydog," the bio-armored terrier-saurus designed to dig in the dirt and protect its owner-friend. "Diggsydog" is clad in almost unbreakable bio-armor, rather like an armadillo, and his sturdy little claws can efficiently excavate useful holes in the dirt for gardening, waste disposal, or even hiding your hoard of gold coins. Even his tail can serve as a shovel. He isn't aggressive, but can defend you with his spikes and horns. Diggsydog isn't very big, either, no bigger than the terrier of his distant ancestry. If you want a soft, furry pet, however, this one isn't for you. 

Pitt technical pen ink on sketchbook page, 4 1/2" x 2 1/2", Inktober 19, 2014.  

Saturday, October 18, 2014

Laundry Monster

I'm still working on the laundry, just like Sisyphus. I will never get it all clean at once. There are piles of it in my room, one clean and 4 not yet cleaned. I took my ink drawing to the laundry pile and drew as much of it as I could before this scary monster emerged and drove me away from my folding duties. The forms and shapes of this beast's camouflage surface are drawn from a pile of laundry. This is just the front half of him, the rest of the beast is in the other heaps of laundry.

Ink on sketchbook page, 7" x 3 1/2", October 18, 2014.

Friday, October 17, 2014

Little October Inks

Some of my fellow artists online are doing an art challenge called "Inktober" where you draw at least one ink drawing a day during the month of October. I've already done a number of little inks this month, such as "Ms. Pumpkin" and my water bottle, so I might as well continue. While I was waiting for my car to have its regular maintenance done, I did this sketch of part of the Springhill Road Station on the new Metro line. I had a good vantage point, on a table in front of a restaurant, but much of the modernist urban train line was obscured by trees in front of the big highway, so this is all I was able to see. Also it's getting a little cold to do outdoor drawing, at least for me. Other stalwarts draw outside all year long, even in sub-freezing weather.

Not enough drawing for Inktober? Here, have another. At work I noticed that pumpkins were selling so fast you could say they were "flying out of the store." So here's the flying pumpkin. What, a pumpkin can't fly on such little wings? Neither can a bumblebee, or so they said before it was discovered that the bumblebee wings can bend and thus haul more air freight.

Brown or black technical pen ink on sketchbook page. Upper drawing, 4" x 3 1/2". Lower drawing, 3" x 2". October 16, 2014.

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Trader Joe's wants you!

Trader Joe's is hiring. Something must be going well somewhere. Or else they need new employees to cater to all these pumpkin eaters who are snapping up pumpkin flavored everything. But yes, the holiday rush is coming and TJ's needs holiday temporary workers, so you can go back to fretting about the economy. My manager had me do this "recruiting poster" based of course on the famous James Montgomery Flagg "Uncle Sam" image saying "I Want YOU for U.S. Army." Except instead of Uncle Sam I put a portrait of one of my previous managers.

Markers and acrylic paint markers on plastic sheet, about 24" x 24", October 14-15, 2014.

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Sisyphus does the laundry

You'd think that since there's only one of me, the laundry wouldn't be a problem and would accumulate slowly. But this isn't the case. I now have 5 loads of laundry to do and the bags are sitting there unwashed. I have to take the big sacks of laundry down 3 flights of stairs to get to the laundry room and then haul them back up when they are clean. That isn't exactly a hardship, but the weight does mount up. I wear mostly cotton clothing and though it's soft and easy to wear, it's heavy. I can do loads of laundry and within a week, there it is again needing to be washed. My little doodle here represents Sisyphus, the Greek mythic character who rolled a rock up a hill for eons, only to see it fall back down again. Doing the laundry is a Sisyphean task where you carry the load rather than rolling a rock. If I were really rich, the first thing I would buy would be laundry service, thus shifting Sisyphus to some other well-paid-for mythic toil.

Ink on sketchbook page, 3" x 4", October 15, 2014.

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Chicago Worldcon 2000

I used to go to science fiction conventions all over the country. I would pack my art up in a chunky bundle and drag it, usually by car, to places as diverse as Chattanooga, Tennessee and Chicago, Illinois. I attended Chicon, the World Science Fiction Convention, in Chicago in September of 2000. I drove out there, taking extra time to see Midwestern places such as Ann Arbor, Grand Rapids, and Gary, Indiana (if only from a distance). Chicago was thrilling for an architecture fan like me. In fact I have only dim memories of Chicon but I have never forgotten the guided tour I took of Frank Lloyd Wright's home in Oak Park and other Wright buildings in that neighborhood. I loved the dazzling skyline and Lake Shore Drive and the sight of a body of water that looked like an ocean but was not an ocean. (Isn't that the sea? Why aren't there waves? Why doesn't it smell like the sea?) And of course I saw the greatest thing ever, the Tevatron particle accelerator at Fermilab, about 50 miles west of Chicago. What was the Worldcon about? I don't remember. I would continue my "Great Midwestern Trip" through other Midwestern places, traveling for almost all of September, making drawings and taking pictures (which I can't quite find in all the clutter). In those days I could do things like a month-long road trip. I had more money and more time, no day job, and lots of art to market.

This sketch depicts the atrium of the Hyatt Regency in Chicago, one of the convention hotels. It had a tall industrial-style space, reminiscent of steel mills and other manly Chicago achievements. There was a shallow pool, only for decoration, at the bottom of the atrium, with a fountain emerging from a metal abstract sculpture. I wonder if any of that is still there.

Various markers and colored pencils, 6" x 10", September 1, 2000.