Saturday, June 15, 2019

Coffee House Moderne

I did something shocking while creating this "urban sketch." I used a straightedge (a paper envelope) on some of these lines. Traditional urban sketching is done only freehand. I also re-arranged objects to get a better composition. My supply and sketch bag sits at the table as if awaiting coffee. No worries about the perspective or arrangement where something seems to be floating in air. It's modern you know.

Sepia brown tech pen on sketchbook page, 5" x 7", June 14, 2019.

Friday, June 14, 2019

Art Model with Face 1972's a model with a face. She posed long enough for me to get a clear view of her. This sketch looks, uh, sketchy because it is not complete and also, you can see the drawing on the other side where the scanner's light showed through the paper. How did I know I was going to put a life drawing in a private art class through a scanner in futuristic 2019? And yet the electronic music technology that I used in 1972 was better than the impoverished software emulations we must put up with nowadays. At least I got the face right.

Pencil on sketchbook page, 5" x 7", 1972.

Thursday, June 13, 2019

Under Vine Back Cover

You've seen this before but here it is with all the writing on it. I re-wrote and removed some of the text because it was irrelevant for a second edition. The text also has to fit with the rest of the book. The art is a Shenandoah Valley scene in colored pencil with some Photoshop enhancements, done from memory. I'm almost done, all I need to do is the front cover, title logo, and counting and numbering the pages after putting them in order.

Photoshop composite, 8 1/2" x 11", June 2019. 

Wednesday, June 12, 2019

Gravity Modeldrawing

It's part of traditional art training: drawing a floppy, drooping art model posing on cushions. If you look closely (not at these drawings though) you will see a watch that tells the model how long she has posed for. During the breaks in the session she puts on a bathrobe. I always thought art models were caught on a planet with stronger gravity than our Earth. They looked like that to me although the reality was just that the model was tired of posing fighting against ordinary gravity.

Pencil on sketchbook page, 10" x 8", 1972.

Tuesday, June 11, 2019

Colorforms Foursquare

It looks rather like a game board of some kind, and Colorforms is a game of sorts. Four colors, four shapes, four sizes, four elements. And something different each time. I tried to connect these shapes with the traditional playing card suits (spades, clubs, diamonds, hearts) but it just isn't that close. These elemental shapes are used by occultists who prefer a visual code for their magical workings. 

Photoshop, 5" x 5", June 11, 2019.

Monday, June 10, 2019

Man Model and Face 1972

This Man Model comes from another of our drawing sessions in the church. He is kind of abstractified but the proportions are all right. I wanted to draw his head but I ran out of room so I drew another rendering of his face. At lower right is Loukas, a Byzantine monk who was one of my fantasy characters.

Pencil on sketchbook page, 8" x 5", 1972.

Sunday, June 9, 2019

Red Wine Filler Page

This page has no text words yet and it may not ever have them. It's meant to fill a space behind a book feature since I want most of the "important" pages like season announcements to be on the right side of the page spread when the book is opened. In color this is a homage to red wine along with my motto "Prosperity and Sweetness." Since it is a filler page, you may fill with red wine any time, as long as I get on the resort bus back home.

Photoshop composite, 8 1/2" x 11", June 2019.

Saturday, June 8, 2019

Bazaar Lantern

This drawing depicts an "Orientalizing" lantern, worthy of a South Asian bazaar or perfumed party palace with belly dancers. But it isn't, it was made in the USA by a craftsman in West Virginia. And it doesn't light up, although it should. It hangs from the ceiling of a cafe in Falls Church, Virginia along with other similar structures. The name of the cafe is an entertaining "Happy Tart" and all their pastries and sweets are gluten-free.

Sepia brown tech pen on sketchbook page, 4" x 8", June 7, 2019.

Friday, June 7, 2019

Hair Salon Containers

I am once again at "Capelli" hair salon getting my hair updated. I always take my sketchbook with me so I'm drawing at the salon waiting for the hair dye to kick in. What should I draw? I've already drawn most of the things in the salon, including the people, so what's left? Let's see: In accordance with the still life theme, I'll draw containers. At top: spray bottle of sterilizing liquid. Left: a water glass with some drinking water in it. Right: twin bottles of conditioner. Bottom: a moisturizer pump-action. Sizes are not accurately portrayed. There's always something to draw.

Sepia brown tech pen on sketchbook page, 5" x 5 1/2", June 6, 2019.

Thursday, June 6, 2019

Art Models Colored Pencils 1972

Here are two more life drawing colored pencil experiments. I used the same pose, which means that I divided up an hour's posing time into two drawings. As you can see in this set I wasn't as concerned with accurate figure drawing as with color, texture, and light. I have hundreds of these drawings and I'm bringing you only the better ones. The blue stripes are tests for various shades of light blue.

Colored pencils on sketchbook page, 8" x 9", 1972.

Wednesday, June 5, 2019

Digital Atlantis

You never know what you're gonna get when you start doing a Photoshop Doodle. I started with a simple color gradient, dark blue to light blue, and then picked some "brush" patterns to add texture. The sparkles and the reflecting towers came later. Not too bad, and the light blue here is one of my favorite colors. I'm expecting Aquaman to come swimming into the picture, but maybe not.

Photoshop, 5" x 5", June 5, 2019.

Tuesday, June 4, 2019

Baseball Sketches 1972

I went to a baseball game at Fenway Park, in 1972. I take my sketchbook wherever I go, so I took it to the game, too. Fenway is small enough so that you can see the players and other participants on the field, so I drew what I saw. Many of the heroes of the tragic Red Sox World Series of 1975 were already there, like Carleton Fisk of the famous home run (upper left). I also emulated Leonardo da Vinci and sketched an elderly character with a large wen on his forehead. The Red Sox played the Milwaukee Brewers that evening but I don't remember whether they won or lost.

Pencil on sketchbook page, 10" x 8 1/2", summer 1972. Click for a larger view.

Monday, June 3, 2019

Thoughtful Coffee Drinker

This is one of my more unusual sketch concepts. It contains material from two places, the familiar coffee shops Amouri and Starbucks. I was interrupted at Amouri while drawing the background doorway, and didn't go back to it, so I was left with an open doorway with no one  in it. Today with the deadline of Posting Every Day upon me I decided to go back to Starbucks and finish the drawing with their details. So you see a combination of coffee house sights, including a drinker with his water bottle, coffee, headphones, and biking gloves. I don't like to show the people their portraits, and I make them not too accurate, so they won't be embarrassed.

OK then, under the wire for this one to continue the Everyday By-Product.

Sepia brown tech pen on sketchbook page, 5" x 6", June 3, 2019.

Sunday, June 2, 2019

In a Land called Honah Lee

"Puff the Magic Dragon" is in WineWorld now. This is the "Under Vine" page I prepared for the book. I've visited Honah Lee Winery and Vineyard many times and sampled their wine which has a dragon/wineglass logo. The view from their viney hills is wonderful, stretching into the distance for miles. They also have a little farm market from their own gardens once the fruit is ready. 

You may notice that I am imitating the Notorious Thomas Kinkade "Painter of Light" and that's what I wanted. The image is a combination of traditional pencils and ink, and digital. You can see where I'm putting the writing but I think this version needs to be worked so that the writing is smaller. Otherwise it's hard to read against the background. This image, with the "Under Vine" logo, will be the cover of the book.

Photoshop composite, 8 1/2" x 11", May-June, 2019.

Saturday, June 1, 2019

Modernist House, Des Moines

Every so often I'll like a piece of architecture so much that I will copy it from my resource book into my sketchbook journal. This is one of those structures. It is the "Butler House" in Des Moines, Iowa, built in 1934-36. The architects are listed as "Kraetsch and Kraetsch". The building is from the height of the Art Deco era. I adapted this design for a fantasy building which I blogged here many years ago. The real house still exists and has been turned into a luxury bed-and-breakfast. 

I apologize for the mess on the left side of the drawing. I couldn't get the sketchbook to lie flat on the scanner. A perpetual graphic design problem.

Black tech pen on sketchbook page, 7 1/2" x 3 1/2", May 29, 2003.

Friday, May 31, 2019

Red Scarf Model 1972

By the end of 1972 I was getting better at drawing figures and using colored pencils. Here is another model, sitting on a red scarf posing for us artists on the famous Episcopal sofa. The colored pencils are the same as I use nowadays, with a bit of re-packaging over the years. Prismacolor is my favorite brand, though now that so many people are enjoying "adult coloring books" you can get all kinds of types and sets of colored pencils from makers like Blick Studio or Derwent. I have an astonishing number of colored pencils but not too many life drawing models.

Colored pencils on sketchbook page, 5 1/2" x 8 1/2", late 1972.

Thursday, May 30, 2019

Wordy Wine Intro Page

This is the wordy, winey introduction page to "Virginia Under Vine." I incorporated some of the verbiage (vintage?) from Book 1's word introduction page and discarded the religious imagery. Fitting the paragraphs into the page and making them the right size was quite a job and it's probably not finished yet. The border was also re-adapted from Book 1 and I tried to make it look like watercolor. My favorite graphic look is the gradient from one color to another, here in rose' pink and green for wine colors.

Photoshop, 8 1/2" x 11",  May 2019.

Wednesday, May 29, 2019

Another Coffee House Still Life

I can't draw enough of these little arrangements. In the back are packed bags of Peet's coffee. In the front, the remains of my repast, including a ceramic "for here" dish. The paper wrapper contained a toasted ham and cheese sandwich, which I consumed. Coffee houses, like wineries, are signs of civilization. You can't stop it just yet.

Sepia brown tech pen on sketchbook page, 5" x 8", May 2019.

Tuesday, May 28, 2019

Bull Run Winery Page

This winery page is somewhat different from the others I've created for "Under Vine," except for one of my Aspen Dale pages. Its colors are meant to be at dusk, rather than the sun of summer or the mist of winter. The Winery at Bull Run is the closest vineyard establishment to the urban DC area, at least so far, and is situated on a historic Civil War site. Because it's so close the winery is packed on weekends. Wineries are usually crowded with tasters and urbanites looking for a green lawn and a wood fence and some real trees.

Photoshop composite, 8 1/2" x 11", May 2019.

Monday, May 27, 2019

Fire From the Earth Logo

I wanted to create an image of an Element that would be easily recognizable and full of color. This is not the famous Zoroastrian fire in its temple glory, but a natural fire that is still under control. And it features my favorite colors (at least at this time). sky blue and orange. My chosen color combination used to be black, red, and emerald green, but that was a long, long time ago. It's also meant to signify the fire of baptism into the Roman Catholic faith, which was forty years ago for me. The new Catholic carries a little white candle, which I kept for many years after my baptism until it broke apart and I let it go. Not an allegory that; after forty years I am still a Catholic. I posted a short essay about this in ELECTRON BLUE 3, my word blog, which I am now reviving.

Marker drawing colored in Photoshop, about 4" x 4", May 2019.

Sunday, May 26, 2019

Art Model Colored Pencil Sketch 1972

I was learning to use colored pencils in 1972 and I had a good opportunity to practice with the model from my mother's life drawing group. It was held in an upper room of a fancy Episcopal church in Newton, Massachusetts and you can see my sketchy rendering of the turned-wood structure of the sofa. I didn't draw the model's head because I ran out of time and judged that the body was more important than the face. On longer drawing sessions I was able to include the head as well as the body.

Colored pencils on sketchbook page, 5 1/2" x 6", 1972.

Saturday, May 25, 2019

I'm Not at Balticon

Yes, I'm not at Balticon and haven't been for many years. Some of the reasons are practical, such as having to drive into downtown Baltimore and haul my luggage and art pieces in the streets, and some are artistic - how many more scenes and characters from "A Game of Thrones" can I stand. I've spent most of my recent years doing winery portraits for my upcoming art book, "Virginia Under Vine." So I'm not at Balticon but many of my friends are and I miss them. By the end of a day or so many of them have entered into an exhausted and overstimulated coma, rather like this fellow who collapsed onto a couch in 2003.

Black tech pen on sketchbook page, 4" x 5", May 23, 2003.

Friday, May 24, 2019

"Under Vine" back cover

This will be the back cover of "Virginia Under Vine." I am using pink on both covers, it just looked right. I have been drinking rose wine anyway. This is a Shenandoah Valley landscape that I did from memory, showing the Blue Ridge mountains. You can see a vineyard at lower right. There will be more words layered in over the blue sky and ridge, but not as many as with the first book.

Photoshop composite, including colored pencil landscape, May 2019.

Thursday, May 23, 2019

Cubist Byzantine 1972

At Brandeis my major was Greek and Latin Classics, but my minor was Art History, and I spent most of my study time in ancient, medieval, and Byzantine art. The icon painters of the Eastern Orthodox Churches are, or claim to be, in direct descent from the early images of Christianity. I didn't take any art history courses in more modern eras, so I didn't concentrate much on 19th or 20th century art. But that doesn't mean I wasn't influenced by modernism as an artist. Not to mention that my mother, artist Esther Geller, was an authentic part of modern art movements and she gave me much knowledge of modernist art first-hand.

This piece is my modestly successful attempt to unite 20th century abstraction with a Byzantine icon. It's only a sketch and I never painted a more formal copy. You can see my studies for the face next to the icon. 

Colored pencil, graphite pencil, and inks on sketchbook page, 1972.

Wednesday, May 22, 2019

Red-Eyed Dragon

I may be the only person on this planet who has never seen nor read any of George R. R. Martin's "Game of Thrones" TV show or books. But it has dragons so I've been drawing my little draggs into my sketchbook. Long ago my theme for the By-Product was dragons so I did practice drawing them. I have a stack of dragon art books a foot tall so I have plenty of resources. I read very slowly and when I saw Martin's book series which tops 2000 pages in length, and two of them not even written yet, I decided not to spend the rest of my life in imaginal Westeros. 

Markers on sketchbook page, 6 1/2" x 3 1/2", May 21, 2019.

Tuesday, May 21, 2019

Man Model Life Drawing 1972

Male life drawing models were rare in 1972 as I have explained so it was nice to get someone well-built to draw. We artists also got to draw hands and feet, something artists in practice don't always have enough drawing time to work through. This guy had been in the Coast Guard and he had "flying birds" tattoos on his chest. This one was cool before inking was everywhere. The line across the page here is the spine of the sketchbook, that's all the space I had for these drawings.

Pencil on sketchbook page, 7" x 10", 1972.

Monday, May 20, 2019

Vint Hill wine table

On "Wine Sunday" the Wine Team visited one of the most unusual wineries in the area. "Vint Hill" is a nicely restored old government laboratory from the World War 2 - Cold War era. A geological quirk allowed listeners (spies, that is) to hear unencrypted radio transmissions from Europe and beyond. The workers at this listening post were disguised as farm workers. At Vint Hill you can see relics of that era with photos, old wartime supplies, and captions. And they also have a wine center where you can taste vintages made on the "campus" and eat cheese and goodies. They even have a facility where would-be winemakers can rent gear and try their own hand. The image here is of our table with wine, cheese and bread wrappers, and a dagger to go with the cloak.

Sepia brown tech pen on sketchbook page, 5" x 5 3/4", May 19, 2019.

Sunday, May 19, 2019

Front Royal Porch 2003

I must have blogged this drawing before, but I can't find it on the By-Product and so neither can you. This old hippie haven house (note all the hanging plant baskets and awning) is near the center of the town of Front Royal, about 50 miles west of Washington, DC. Every year Front Royal hosts the "Virginia Wine and Craft Festival" at this time, the third weekend in May, so it just happened, without me. I used to go faithfully to this event but I decided that it was too risky to drive home from there after imbibing so much wine. And staying in a nearby hotel was just too much money to waste. I drew a number of sketches of country architecture over the years. This one's from 2003.

Black tech pen on sketchbook page, 5 1/2" x 6", May 17, 2003. Click for larger view.

Saturday, May 18, 2019

Honah Lee Vineyard Background

There are only a few days in my climate area where the weather and light actually look like this. This piece, not yet finished, is the page background for Honah Lee winery and vineyard, and it is also the cover for "Virginia Under Vine." The title logo will be placed where you see pink sky. If this composition looks familiar, it should as I imitated the style of the notorious Thomas Kinkade when creating it. This is that day in late April after a rain shower at sunset, an ideal created by Kinkade complete with gazebo. The gazebo and flowery pathway really exist, installed by the Honah Lee folks as a wedding photo and party backdrop. The background is spring but I have painted grape clusters in it which only ripen in August. Winemakers will take note but that is my artistic license.

Photoshop composite, 8 1/2" x 11", May 2019.

Friday, May 17, 2019

Brandeis Student Life 1972

We're back in 1972, and I'm a sophomore at Brandeis University, doing the traditional college activity of hanging out, singing songs, and blathering about whatever was going on, including politics, religion, food, protests, and the Vietnam War which in those days was still raging. I know who these guitar players are, they were friends of mine at Brandeis and I will refrain from identifying them. It was a long time ago. I always bring my sketchbook to social gatherings as I am not a brilliant debater or conversationalist. The sketches last longer than any words said that night.

Pencils on sketchbook page, 8" x 5", 1972.

Thursday, May 16, 2019

Astral Textures

It's another Photoshop experiment, playing with limited colors and pre-made shapes. I have hundreds of digital textures and forms on file, which were created by unknown graphic artists and offered for free online. I've created a few myself though none of them were used here. I like the combination of purple, ultramarine violet, and black. 

Photoshop, 7" x 10", May 16, 2019. 

Wednesday, May 15, 2019

Harvard Graduate Students 1976

I came back from Europe and went back to graduate school, an experience which proved to be one of the worst times I have ever had. I continued to sketch during my two years there and also produced quite a lot of art even while studying my Greek and Latin. I lived in a somewhat fancy residence which in the past had housed female graduate students in white-glove elegance. This is a sketch of the kitchen and some of the students hanging around. In those days, 1976-77, many students and faculty still smoked and the classrooms and meeting rooms stank of stale tobacco.

Pelikan red-brown ink on sketchbook page, 5" x 7 1/2", fall 1976.

Tuesday, May 14, 2019

Clara at Tanglewood summer 1972

This drawing dates from my only formal training in art. I was lucky (and connected) enough to study art intensively at the Boston University Art School summer session at Tanglewood. This place was an arts center devoted mostly to music and the Boston Symphony summer concerts, but the other arts were represented too. We students went to class every day for about two and a half months and drew all the time. This young lady, named Clara, was a fellow student. This little portrait is one of my early attempts at colored pencil work. I didn't have the hundreds of colors I have now.

Colored pencils on sketchbook page, 5" x 7", summer 1972.

Monday, May 13, 2019

Dragon Magic User

Here's a dragon with some humanoid characteristics. He or she also has magic using ability, as is shown around his hand. His wings also have some feathers, enhancing the mix of creature features. He has two back legs and a tail, too but I didn't have the room to depict that. Maybe in some other dragon drawing I will. I adapted this from a very handy design source, "The Great Book of Dragon Patterns."

Inks on sketchbook page, 4" x 4", May 13, 2019.

Sunday, May 12, 2019

Aspen Dale early spring twilight

Winter's been over for some time now and I'm glad. I decided to create this Equinox page for "Under Vine" anyway, just in case I need to fill some page room. This barn drawing is duplicated on another page, though, which I don't like to do. But I like the colors. I am now starting to count and arrange my finalized pieces. There will be about thirty different vineyards represented and three longer "features" on individual establishments.

Photoshop composite, 8 1/2" x 11", May 2019.

Saturday, May 11, 2019

Coffee on Topic

As you know, the theme for this year's Sketchbook is coffee and the domestic still life. Here's an assortment of demitasses and other crockery from the hipster haven coffee shop of Vienna, Virginia, "Caffe Amouri." Unlike the highly regulated big coffee chains, Amouri offers custom goodies and an environment which could be from a college sippery in the 1970s. But the computers and smartphones remind us that we are in some sort of future world.

Sepia brown tech pen on sketchbook page, 5" x 5", May 10, 2019.

Friday, May 10, 2019

Athletic Male Art Model 1972

A male art model posed for our art group in 1972. He was athletic and had a great figure and as I remember he was quite tall. That makes a challenge to the artist if your live model is taller than the page you are drawing him on. These poses probably lasted for about 10 or 15 minutes as they look too active to hold for a longer time. I am now wondering what happened to this guy and what the rest of his life was like. Imagine an elderly tall guy coming up to me at a cafe somewhere and saying that he posed as an art model for a group of artists including me back in 1972. I would think he was threatening, or just nuts. The world in 1972 wasn't any easier than it is now.

Pencils on sketchbook pages, together 11" x 8 1/2", 1972.

Thursday, May 9, 2019

Irregular Orbits

Inspired by the photos taken by the probe Cassini, this is somewhat Saturnian but all the rings and moons are not on the same plane. So this is a Photoshop doodle rather than a proper astronomical study. When I first saw the photos that Cassini took, I couldn't believe it was not some artist's conception. This is an artist's conception. Digital media makes this easy to do, and I don't get paint all over me, just photons.

Photoshop, 5" x 5", May 9, 2019.

Wednesday, May 8, 2019

Cubistic Coffee House

I'm sitting at a local coffee shop complaining. "I have no material to draw." Well, some of that is true, you've seen a lot of coffee shop art this year since it's the theme for 2019. I just kept on drawing anyway and didn't bother to put it in perspective or logical order, kind of like the Cubists of the twentieth century. They were into the coffee houses too, but they didn't have cars or computers.

Sepia brown tech pen on sketchbook page, 4 1/2" x 8", May 7, 2019.

Tuesday, May 7, 2019


Maybe it's a dragon. Maybe it's an alligator. Maybe it's a bird, or some sort of griffin, or even a small dragon. It's a critter of some sort, with the characteristics of many species. It's probably a predator, but not like a hawk, more like a crow or a carrion eater. It is inspired by the numerous squawking crows that careen across my yard day after day. It's bird family time and many of the birds I see are freshly emerged from the nest, fumbling around learning to fly.

Sepia brown pen with one eye in black on sketchbook page, 3" x 4", May 7, 2019.

Monday, May 6, 2019

Blue Tubes 2003

In 2003 I upgraded and revised my extensive collection of watercolor paints. I loaded each tube's content into a series of plastic boxes designed for watercolorists. I also got many more colors in a frenzy of buying. These boxes are only for studio work - there are far too many of them and the set tis too large to bring it outdoors. The paint dries out but even with old dried-up watercolors a dose of water will bring them back to life. I haven't done many watercolors recently - for years it seems, maybe I should open up the boxes and see what I can do.

Black tech pen on sketchbook page, 4" x 5 1/2", May 13, 2003.

Sunday, May 5, 2019

Deryni Musician at LA-Con 1984

In 1984 I went to Southern California for "LA-Con," that year's World Science Fiction Convention. Of course I had my sketchbook with me and drew whenever I could. Among the attendees was my friend, fantasy author Katherine Kurtz, whose fantasy medieval tales of magical powers and palace intrigue inspired many a costume. This lady wears a costume derived from Kurtz: a Deryni musician. You can tell she's magical from her halo. She holds a mini mandolin, or perhaps a magical ukulele. I dutifully identified this costumer as Sandra Deakins, from San Diego. An internet search for Sandra revealed that as of 2015 she was a long-haul trucker driving an enormous cargo 18-wheeler, and as of 2018 she is back in San Diego as a professional convention organizer.

Black tech pen on sketchbook page (nothing ever changes even in 30 years), 5" x 8", August 31, 1984.

Saturday, May 4, 2019

Mosaic District

Well I'm relieved to be able to present new art for you, rather than faded pencil drawings from the distant past. This was done at a new Barnes and Noble bookstore established in a commercial enclave called the "Mosaic District." This area was built up out of an urban wasteland and is part mall, part contrived "city" of shops and restaurants. There was not enough land to build the sprawling morass of a conventional mall, so the developers built upwards and there are towers of expensive apartments there as well. There's plenty of room for parking and there are so many garage spots that I spent an embarrassing half hour just trying to find my car.

Sepia brown tech pen on sketchbook page, 5" x 8", May 3, 2019.

Friday, May 3, 2019

The Veiled Pillar of Mount Auburn 1975

Mount Auburn Cemetery was mostly built in an age of symbolism and consciousness of the afterlife. Many of the more elaborate monuments were created not only to remind onlookers of the heaven awaiting us, but of the affluence of those whose memory we honor. Other monuments are testaments to the designers and carvers whose talents and efforts gleam whitely among the brilliant greens and colorful flowers of the sacred garden. This monument depicts a veiled broken pillar, and it was carved out of stone by Boston's best craftsmen. I don't know what the symbolism of a cloak draped over a broken pillar is - perhaps symbolizing a life cut short. But the depiction of soft fabric in hard marble is a sight to behold. 

Pencils on sketchbook page, (note sketchy colored pencils), 4" x 8 1/2", May 1975.

Thursday, May 2, 2019

Mount Auburn Pond 1975

It was almost time to graduate from Brandeis and I had quite enough. Earlier I posted the image of a bronze urn from Mount Auburn Cemetery in Cambridge, Mass. This is my interpretation of the central pond at Mount Auburn, in the bloom of springtime. A funereal weeping willow shows forth in bright chartreuse spring green. There are Summerlands in many places in the world and there's at least one in Washington, DC at Dumbarton Oaks estate, though I haven't been there in quite a while.

Original is colored pencil, on site in Summerland 1975. Heavily restored in Photoshop, 2019. 4 1/2" x 4 1/2".

Wednesday, May 1, 2019

Baby Smiles 1990

Some months ago I posted some pictures of a baby girl whose parents were friends of mine. Here she is almost one year old, with her feeding table and her rubber ducky. She looks rather jolly here. I never knew how she turned out, as her parents and I had a falling-apart due to political reasons. Just now I took a peek on Google looking for her and found her doing research in linguistics. No names mentioned, but she seems to be doing well.

Black tech pen on sketchbook page, 5" x 7", December 20, 1990.

Tuesday, April 30, 2019

Home Paramount

There's a small industrial area near my residence, and I have sketched there many times. There is a sheet metal shop, a car body shop, a garage for Falls Church utility vehicles, and this modernist blocky building, Falls Church Bauhaus you could call it. It houses an exterminator's offices and probably equipment, too. The exterminator's name is "Home Paramount," a high pompous name for bug-slayers. I don't have any undesirable bugs in my house, so my home is not paramount. I did see an earwig some days ago, but I didn't slay it, I just let it go.

Black tech pen ink on sketchbook page, 5" x 5", May 6, 2003.

Monday, April 29, 2019

Grapey Border Under Vine

I'm working on the texts and borders for "Under Vine," and you can see it here. The introductory text ("Why I Created This") kind of thing goes here. The next job to be done is the logo, the last winery page and its variant which will be on the cover. I'm gettin' there people, I really am. This typeface is from the previous Book 1 and I don't think anyone will mind if I repeat.

Photoshop, 8 1/2" x 11", April 29, 2019.

Sunday, April 28, 2019

Kitchen Cylinder and Cone

Here's more exciting still life from the kitchen. They are the timeless basic shapes that the world is made of. The cylinder to left is a nearly empty roll of toilet paper, which I use for blotting spills, not its usual use. The cone, with handle and saucer, is a coffee dripper. You put the cone down on your cup, and pour hot water into a filter full of powdered coffee in the cone, which then tinkles into your cup...well maybe I did have that toilet paper in there for its original purpose.

Black tech pen on sketchbook page, 3" x 2 1/2", April 27, 2019.

Saturday, April 27, 2019

Bronze Urn of Summerland 1975

Mount Auburn Cemetery is one of the most beautiful places in the United States, situated in Cambridge, Massachusetts. In the springtime just about now the  place is filled with flowering trees, specimen plants, famous landscape design, and a world of white marble monuments and bronze edifices. When I lived in the Boston area as a student I would reserve a day to visit every year. Once I was in the enclosure, I wandered about pretending I was in the heavenly spiritual world of "Summerland." The cemetery houses the tomb of Mary Baker Eddy, founder of "Christian Science," once a major religious force in upper-class Boston. It is also designed with "Spiritualism" in mind, a movement that concentrated on communicating with the blessed spirits of the dead, complete with detailed descriptions of what Heaven looks like. I took my art stuff into Summerland and did drawings of the landscape and monuments, and then returned to my profane dwelling at Brandeis University. 

Colored pencil with a lot of Photoshop editing, 4 1/2" x 7 1/2", May 1975.