Tagged: pitt artist pen

Once more into the breach! Memorial Day. A sober day of remembrance of and for those who sacrificed for a higher goal. Devotion. I’ve spent that day for the last 15  years at the Palette & Chisel Art Center’s 12 hour Life Drawing Marathon, drawing nude women and men, of all shapes, sizes, persuasions, and color, along side artist of similar variety, grateful that I live in a society that has made an effort that we may openly practice the arts and sciences. That the study of the human body can be conducted without shame. That I am in a room peopled by members of my society that decades ago, would not have been able to share this moment, openly practice this craft together, or use the same restroom. Unfortunately, that privilege cost people their lives.

Just this week, two people died in an attack on a Portland public light rail. They died defending the civic and human rights politicians are quick to extoll, one of them was a veteran. A white racist suprematist murdered them when they stuck up for two teenage girls he was verbally assaulting for living in “his” country.

It’s simple thing I do on this special day. I devote myself to a craft I believe in. A craft practiced by millions and millions over the centuries. One that has educated, enlightened, informed, delighted, challenged, inspired, carried meaning and understanding into the future that we may know something of who we were and are. A craft that some have been punished for having the temerity to express new or differing ideas from those who would venture off the well worn path. Some of their efforts were hidden, burned, destroyed. Some of those who practiced were themselves blacklisted, banished, excommunicated, and murdered.

All I do is draw. To me, the craft does demand devotion. And sacrifice, and tho it hasn’t yet cost me my life, there are those for who the sacrifice proved too much. For me, it has been sustaining and has delivered much more to my life than the considerable amount it has required. I love doing it and am grateful that I have been supported in my pursuit first by my parents, and then by boatloads of people, some teachers, some friends and peers, collectors and patrons, and even scores whom I have yet to meet.

I don’t take it lightly that I can so very casually traipse out the door, sketchbook in hand and draw, my society, and the privileges it enjoys. Thanks to those who have given so much that we may have so much. We may still have a ways to go to live up to our inalienable rights, and full equality, and incidents just as that which occurred in Portland show that we live among those who would resist the promise of this country’s Constitution and history, but I sit on that wooden horse in that studio, surrounded by 30 odd people, open my sketchbook, and on that day, as with every day in the year, I am truly thankful to enjoy what so many have worked and sacrificed for. My mother would have echoed that sentiment with, “Amen”.




Haven’t going to life drawing sessions much this Spring. Here is a smattering of models, nude and clothed.


The model in the Daisey Dukes was helping me with a logo design. The drawings of the young African American model were from a Friday night session at the Palette & Chisel. My first time drawing her I got modest results and wound up focusing much of my efforts on her head. Faber-Castell Pitt Artist Pens and fountain pen on Tomoe River Paper.

U.S. Grant

Drawn with Pitt Artist Brush Pens in a Strathmore sketchbook just before leaving St. Louis to take Amtrak to Lawrence, Kansas, I caught Ulysses S Grant standing proud and vigilant in the morning sun.


Dropped into Madison to visit Madison College, The University of Wisconsin, and Edgewood College, and received the offer from Barry Carlsen to do a print. Worked on a two color lithograph over the weekend. Above is the proof. It’ll be editioned later this fall. Worked from a sketch (below) done about 8 years prior.

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Barry Carlsen

Master printer Barry Carlsen above. Sketch of the studio done with Pitt Artist Brush Pens in Strathmore toned sketchbook.


Staying close to home and watching the citizenry. Pat, one of the residents in my apartment compound watches a movie set up in the courtyard. I found her much more engaging than the flick.

And so, after forty years of watching others  build their chops with watercolor, I have decided this month that I am to take the plunge with the medium. Previously, I have used watercolor and gouache to tint and hand color prints and drawings.

i know several masters of the medium, Clive Powsey, Shari Blaukopf, and Ron Stocke, whose work will serve to inform and guide me with the additional benefit of keeping me humble.

Coffee Lab

The above watercolor, done while in a cafe with the added fun of a fidgety student, has some light guide lines but I also tried to just knock in shapes with a flat brush.

2 cops at Coralie image The woodcutter Daniel E F M image Bah Ha'i JPYC

The above watercolor of the parking lot and club house of the Jackson Park Yacht Club, was actually, my first, plein air watercolor in forty years. My color may have reflected somewhat, the washed out summer day in a parking lot with white, silver, and black cars, but felt muddy so I did a study after John Singer Sargent, the gourds below, to hopefully  amp up my hues and loosen up my brush work.Copy after JSSargent image

Above, I ventured to a rose garden in Evanston in the late afternoon, but failed to catch the brilliance of the light. Again, I tried to use minimal structural lines and worked as directly with the brushes as I could. All the other figures, save the blue shirted guy and the window counter, were executed with Pitt Artist Brush Pens.

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Some more captures from a street festival, a movie in Pulaski Park, this cluster was drawn from life with my standard gear.

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