December, 2009 Archives

My final entry for the year 2009. I found myself a bit in the ditch this year as far as producing finished paintings and pieces of a more ambitious nature. Thanks to my lucky rabbit’s foot for sketchbooks; wherein I have prroductively and theraputically dwelled. Had to move in the middle of the year to save some dough and though that was disruptive I wound up with a studio that is larger, brighter, and more comfortable. In a year when I had no sales and no shows outside Chicago, I finally discovered this thing called a computer that gives one access to a very big stage indeed. And thanks to my bodhisattva, (a dude named Dave Harrod, who set up my website and has continued to assist and counsel me on the mysteries and operation of this binary beast), I have seen unimaginable hours and rivers of tears swallowed by the learning of new tricks by an aged and curmudgeonly dog.
I have also trolled the internet and websites of others relentlessly and am here to say that drawing and the flourishing of eye poppin’ sketchbooks is very much alive and thriving. As I have stumbled into others’ sites, so too have others found their way to mine. Here I’d like to give a shout out to one Clive Powsey, one humble and gifted artist in the wilds of British Columbia whose acquaintence would not have been made without the internet and who has been both helpful and incouraging as a kindred spirit best can. Check him out.
My dear friend and partner Jennifer has been patient in Biblical proportions as her “old school” housemate has wrangled red-faced and blue tongued with the lessons of the new-fangled text book. To the rest of you who’ve saved me from auto strangulation with timely encouragement and technical assistance, my mother thanks you.
See you in the new year. W.Y.A.O. Thanks for stopping by.

The top 2 on the left are from different books by the same company. I know they’re gonna burn themselves up one day, but I love how they “bronze” like a meerschaum pipe. That’s Claudia at the top right, draped like death, or a pair of coveralls, on the model stand. I’m hit or miss when it comes to facial likenesses, but the drawings across the 2nd row of 3 different women are all in the neighborhood. Horseshoes, hand grenades, and the occassional portrait.
I occassionally return for a visit to Philadelphia, and when I do, I go to life drawing sessions at a few venues with Matt McGoff, a friend of mine who’s a very good painter and vigorous draftsman. The 2 models in the opposite corners of the bottom row, were drawn at The Fleisher Art Memorial. The figure on the couch, smack in the middle, was drawn at The Woodmere Art Museum. I’ve posted drawings previously from The Sketch Club, also a venue we like in Philadelphia.
I’m often running off the page with the figure, but I managed to get all the figures in black and grey tones completely within the perimeter of that particular book. That ledger book was a gift from Tony Fitzpatrick, as was the one in the middle of the top row, and at 10 1/2 ” wide and 17″ long, was too big for my scanner.

Sorry for the dispeptic posting, but some of us are feeling like fools for backing the guys who’ve handed our heads over to the pirates that really run things. Our friends north of the border are probably bracing for a tsunami fleeing the sell out on health care.
I’m an admitted political heckler when it comes to the main thrust of my art, but this site was just to have featured my life drawings. Work that my dealers have had little use for but that I feel is and has been of fundamental importance to my craft. I have my other venues to jump up on my soap box. But Goddamn! I’m feeling stark naked as I and the grand haul of my countrymen keep gettin’ the rights and attributes of citizenship stripped from us. Until the progressives in this country find representatives who’ve got some spine and a taste for bareknuckle back room negotiations we aren’t likely to see our bellicosity and craven disregard for others abate. DAMN!

My life drawings have been annoying the crap outta me lately. The next 2 drawings were the best I could do from another frustrating session at The Drawing Center. The “Season” is upon us and we who are catering are grabbing all the gigs we can before the ass falls out of the business once the New Year arrives. Winter is bleak on the wallet. I haven’t been to life drawing much for weeks. In fact I haven’t seen much of the studio for. . . . don’t wanna say. So I just threw up a bunch of pages from sketchbooks past. The second row below begins with a spread from one of my sketchbooks from 1989. The other pages are outta books from 2000 to 2004. They comprise drawings done in transit of commuters, ideas for paintings, or prints, or announcement cards, what have you.

The drawing 4 rows below, first column, was done while watching Pirates of the Carribean with my friend Eli and his family. It’s a sketch of his daughter K.R. holding Jack Sparrow at bay. There’s a study of Monte Beauchamp, publisher/editor of BLAB! mag, graphic designer extraordinaire, and bon vivant, holding a pose for me with a bat clutched in his meathook. He’s a real sweetie-pie, but I know enuff about his past to exit thru the window if he ever saw fit to snatch one up in ernest. Then there’s a number of studies of Rumsfeld, Putin, Jeff Skilling,  Dick Cheney and some other mean motherfuckers garbed up like clowns. The one after Rumsfeld is from a photo where he’s draw his gnarley fist up close to that squinting grin he used to flash so often.

Eight rows down, middle panel is a doodle from 2001 of Cheney and others enjoying some gun play with pistolas and shotguns. Who couldn’t have seen that episode down in Texas, where he drew a bead on his friend’s face, coming from miles away? Colorful man. I used various pens and inks on that page, but he was done with an Kuretake bristle brush, India ink cartridge pen. The paper in that book is handmade Lokta parchment. Beautiful texture. Kinda of like old weathered skin. The back of my hands are looking more like it every day.

Just throwing some stuff up from a while ago. Came home with the cows this morning and too tuckered to write. I’ll comment on these pieces later. Ciao.

Smattering of Nudity

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