Thursday, April 29, 2010

Dog Sheep Watcher

Click to see slightly bigger real-life version.

Drew the drawing part last night before bed waiting for a server reboot.

Add the morning newspaper textures and colors throughout the day today on breaks from heavy data lifting.

Oh, and for my readers, I'm under a deadline to migrate this all off Blogger's FTP platform by, oh, I don't know, Saturday? Otherwise bad things might happen. I very much doubt I'll make that deadline so if it's all gone after this weekend, I will try my darndest to piece it all back together. My understanding is that the worst case scenario is that I won't be able to post until I migrate this to under Blogger or some other platform. Have been wanting to make the switch to Wordpress for years now. Might go ahead and do it for real this time.

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Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Ghostie Ghoul (Archives: Dec 1995)

Found this in one of the notebooks I have lying around. It was blank dummy book that printers would give us when I worked for a publisher. I liked to use them for sketch books on the train way back when.

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Sunday, April 25, 2010

Skateboard of Frustration

One of things I love about some blogging artists is when they show a work-in-progress or the steps it took to get to their final version. Superbadfriend, Jess, is good at showing things she's working on and when they're finished.

Most of what I do is drawn in a notebook or sticky note and that's the extent of my works-in-progress. I rarely devote much enough time to any of my so-called art. So when I took on this project in the late winter I decided I would at least document the process, frustrating as it was, to see what we could see.

The Montana SkatePark Association, based in Missoula, MT, "helps Montana communities establish skateboard parks and skateboard program development with the goal of creating additional recreational opportunities and positive alternatives for its residents and underprivileged youth." In their On Deck Art Auction, each year they ask artists from around the country (and world?) to create art out of a blank skate deck. They offer the work up in an online gallery and auction which is followed up with a live auction in Missoula.

My sister has lived in or near Missoula off and on for the past 14 years. She told me about the program and I submitted an application to be considered one of the artists with this blog as my 'portfolio'. I bet my sister a ton of money saying there was no way I'd be selected as one of the fifty. However, about a month after applying, I received an email from them saying I had been selected. A month later I received a blank skate deck via FedEx with instruction to get on it and send it back.

After receiving the board, I started trying to draw up some ideas on old newsprint. One of my concepts was to incorporate our local famous skateshop in West Chester, PA: Fairman's. I went one Sunday morning and took photos of the store hoping for inspiration.

I was feeling more than a bit the phony for trying to do 'skate art' having never mastered the skateboard beyond the project my Philadelphia roommate and I accomplished one summer over 20 years ago. We built a longboard skateboard out of an old wooden water ski and proceeded to wow the Pennsport neighborhood kids as we went up and down Wharton Street.

The Strapper carves up Wharton Street ca. 1987
Another idea, my son's, was to do what I do most and doodle a bunch of drawings on sticky notes and then cover the board in the sticky notes. And then layer over some decoupage and that would be the project. I still kind of wish I'd tried that.

I also considered drawing what I wanted the board to look like in my more comfortable medium of pencil or ball point pen and paper and then scanning it in and having someone create a decal out of it that I could just lay on the board. I got a head-shake from the Mrs. on that one.

In the end, I realized I needed to return to my painting. I've been wanting to return to painting for about five years now. Time and attention span being my enemies I've never gotten around to it, aside from a brief foray into ink and watercolors a couple years ago.

So I found myself taking on a big project with a medium that I hadn't touched in about 18 years with a due date. For some, that might get the creative juices flowing but for me that's a guaranteed drawer's block.

My first draft of the skateboard went like this:

and then went to this:

at which point I was totally disgusted and went to this:

and start again with something like this:
which was based on a drawing in a notebook that I liked a lot. I lost that scrap of paper.

Which became this:

and ended up as this:

A few days after finishing I shipped it back to Montana and this weekend it went live along with more than 40 other decks that really look amazing and I'm honored and humbled to be included alongside them.

Here's a few close-up detail shots.

If nothing else, in the end, I can get the board back if it doesn't sell and I'll probably end up hanging it in the office. The real bonus is that it got me back into the painting again and I'm trying to really push myself to keep at it. I already have another small piece in the works -- that honestly I haven't touched in a month, but it's down in the kids' craft room awaiting my return.

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Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Elephant on an envelope

2:30 in the a.m.
testing stuff.
awaiting site refresh.
packing envelope.
packin' elephant.
pack an elephant.

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Monday, April 12, 2010

Fail Ale

The heartbreak that is a spilled craft beer. I am klutzy and am especially klutzy around beverages. When I get talking I tend to animate with hands and elbows. I knocked a glass of red wine clear across our banquet table at our company holiday gathering in Mountain View, CA this past December, spraying my colleague's fiancee in the process (I am still very sorry and embarrassed, Rachel).

Please note that this klutz-factor is just as readily displayed with non-alcoholic beverages like water, soda, coffee and milkshakes. In fact I even slid a cheesecake off a serving dish just yesterday at a garden party, narrowly missing my friend's mother-in-law's feet.

The cheesecake did land right side up on the cardboard disk it was on so it was shaken but edible. The woman who made the cheesecake was not pleased about the glazed fruit that went flying into the grass or the new form factor of the cheesecake. When I checked the dessert area later, there was only a small sliver left so I hope she's thankful for that.

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Wednesday, April 07, 2010

Daughter Saves Father

Two years ago I was stuck in a rut of working on stuff and not getting much in the way of drawings and doodles done. My son brought home a pencil rooster (or rooster of pencils?) that knocked my socks off and he let me post it here on the blog. By the way, I think it makes an awesome rooster t-shirt as well.

Now it's my daughter's turn to rescue me with the same assignment from art class. She put together this elephant of pencils that you really have to click through to see the details because it's a nice big piece. I love the fluidity of the pencils and especially the way she worked the erasers into the feet and top of the head, and of course, the end of the trunk.

I think it would make a cool album cover.

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