Tuesday, March 31, 2020
This green-gold landscape is one of the first colored pencil works I did when I relocated to Virginia. I sat outside on a warm September evening and concentrated on matching the colors exactly, early fall greens and gold. The meadow place was near the house of a friend of mine and I had a good view of what was then a vacant lot. I'm sure that by now it has been covered by "McMansions" and their own artificial landscaping.
Colored pencil on illustration board, 8" x 10", September 1, 1991.
Monday, March 30, 2020
Once I returned from the Boston area I went back to "urban sketching." "Tysons Corner" Mall is only a short distance from my residence so I used to draw there often. Malls aren't just for buying things. But now it's shut down and nearly empty and I wonder how long it will be before I can sketch there again.
Brown ink on sketchbook page, 5" x 8", April 27, 1993.
Sunday, March 29, 2020
I rode back home on a plane, an unusual travel choice for me. I don't remember why I did that, though my 1993 journal would tell me if I wanted to risk my safety pulling heavy books from upper shelves. Across the aisle from me in the plane was this gentleman reading a newspaper. He looked like an "intellectual" type. I always like to draw the folks in front of me whenever I can, without them seeing me. I wonder if this fellow knew that his newspaper would be replaced with the all-seeing Internet. Probably, if he were a scientist or engineer type flying to some techno-job in the DC area.
Brown sketch pen on greyish paper, 6" x 7", April 21,1993.
Saturday, March 28, 2020
In keeping with my theme of "Tiny Monsters," here's one fished from the deep blue sea, no more than a few inches long. The complexity and oddness of its design is because it is not just one creature but an agglomeration (I love that word) of different creatures all stuck together. They benefit from each other even if they do not mingle or reproduce together. In our current time of bio-terror we need to agglomerate without mingling and help each other in whatever way we can.
Black ink on sketchbook page, 4 1/2" x 3", March 27, 2020.
Friday, March 27, 2020
Here's another of the faded but well-drawn sketches of my parents' den with the TV tuned to coverage of a long-ago disaster, the siege and destruction of the cult headquarters in Waco, Texas in April 1993. You can read the words transcribed more or less from the all-day news coverage. You can tell it's spring because the sketch is dated and there is a daffodil in a vase. The little tennis player figurine (lower left) is not floating in the air, I moved him to where I could see him. My father was an avid tennis player and his friends gave him this little old guy who looks just like my dad in tennis garb with his racket and gear.
Brown ink on sketchbook page, 5 1/2" x 8 1/2", April 20, 1993.
Thursday, March 26, 2020
Yep, four months ago we weren't hiding from global infection, we were impeaching an ugly but invincible political figure who probably could scare viruses away. Let's spray him with virus juice and see what happens! Well here is another theme drawing. I often do these in limited light just for convenience and they seem to come out all right anyway. I start with only a vague idea of what to draw and sometimes I'm not even wearing my glasses. It's a challenge to see just how much I can draw in lesser circumstances. All these drawings are tiny and two or more can fit on an 8 1/2" x 11" sketchbook page.
Black tech pen on sketchbook page, 5" x 2 1/2", January 18, 2020.
Wednesday, March 25, 2020
Do you remember the moment when the cult compound of Mormon madman David Koresh went up in flames? I sure do, even though it's 27 years ago. I was home with my parents on one of my innumerable visits and we were in the den room watching this unfold live on TV. It was one of many apocalyptic happenings that I experienced from the screen of their TV, especially in 2001 with the terrorist attacks and the fall of the towers.
The TV (in a somewhat blurred copy of the faded original art) dominates the den, which I depict viewing across a round table covered with knick-knacks: Decorative bowls, papers, a tiny figure of a tennis player at left. The cross at the upper right is actually a winter-adapted big window pane.
This 1990s sketchbook is rather age-deteriorated and its paper has faded to grey, but the drawings are still good. Everything you see on this drawing is gone now.
Brown ink on sketchbook page, 6" x 8", April 19, 1993.
Tuesday, March 24, 2020
I haven't forgotten my "Arteza" multicolored markers. This is another Geometrikon with multiple blue textures. It reminds me a bit of the popular "Blue Willow" decorated dining ware, which I like but most design types consider impossibly tacky. I say, why not. There's a Utopian little town where blue-decorated dishes sit on a rugged wood table draped with hand-woven blue pattern linens. Can you feel nostalgia for something you never experienced?
Markers on sketchbook page with Photoshop tint on "March 12," 4" x 4", March 18, 2020.
Monday, March 23, 2020
This gentleman, David Ratner, was one of my professors during my short stay at Boston University Art School in the summer of 1993. All the faculty were artists as well and I liked Dave's art the most. He painted abstractified images of still lifes and architecture. He preferred a tasteful muted blue-ish color scheme. He had been in the Air Force and in his studio there was a model of a fighter jet hanging from the ceiling. I have one of his rough sketches showing a battle between St. George and the dragon, in which the battle is in the clouds and St. George is flying an old-style World War 1 bi-plane. Dave died many years ago but I will always remember him and his whimsical art.
Brown ink on sketchbook page, 5" x 8", April 1993. I'll be featuring some of my vintage "reality" drawings from the 90s this spring.
Sunday, March 22, 2020
See, this is what I'm doing with my sketchbook journal pages. I add some small doodles or cartoons, and then put more simple illustration elements in between. Here in the upper left corner is the birdy fellow, and on the lower right is another birdy character looking rather Shakespearean. Here he is up closer.
The botanical bits in the center are chokecherry berries and leaves. The daily diary words will fill in the empty spaces, with decorative month and day.
Inks and markers, March 20-22.
Saturday, March 21, 2020
This avian creature was inspired by a photo of a smart-ass pigeon, photo taken by a friend of mine in Canada. Creature is not entirely pigeonoid, he's got some owlish qualities as well as predatory talons. I am doing something a bit different on my sketchbook journal pages. Instead of one larger picture and the rest text, I'm spacing mini drawings all over the page and writing around them as well as placing decorative date ID's. This page isn't done so I'll show you how it works without text.
Ink and marker on sketchbook page, 3 1/2" x 3", March 19-21.
Friday, March 20, 2020
So....February 23 isn't exactly the first day of spring, but it still looks rather like it. Twiggy trees, grey skies with a touch of gold...what's not to crawl back from? Currently there is already some greenery, weeks before its usual date. Thanks for welcoming me back, folks. I am in hiding or self-isolation but have not caught the plague yet. There's plenty to do indoors. The only disadvantage being stuck here is that the management is renovating a swimming pool in a construction site directly under my windows and the noise and dust is very annoying, even through closed windows! Jackhammers chip plaster and workmen are dragging and tossing heavy white chunks of concrete into a big truck, each chunk makes a loud crash. Other than the jackhammers and the concrete, I'm OK for now. Peaceful atmosphere, you know.
Markers and ink on sketchbook page, 8" x 3", February 23, 2020.
Thursday, March 19, 2020
Well it's been about three months, and I never expected to endure what was looming on the dark horizon back in early February. As the winterless season dragged on, the world of my private health and the global health blew up into deadly proportions which would have shut down this website on any terms.
Here's Mr. Groundhog on February 2, prophesying an early spring. So early that the stupid birds never stopped singing all winter long! March 19th is also the "blogiversary" day when this whole thing was started back in 2008. I have plenty of doodles and drawings to create and publish: Geometrika, Colorforms, Doodles, Grotesques, Reality Drawings Interior and Exterior, Architecture and Landscapes and many more. The theme for 2020 is Creatures and Grotesques but that may depend on reactions from my few readers who might want something more comforting. I will continue to write words as well. All of this once a day, unless it isn't once a day.
And so many thanks for your patience with my empty months: Michael, Diana, Rachel and Jim, the Other Michaels, Claudia, and other readers who read but never revealed themselves.
There's always hope.