Friday, December 31, 2010

more pages from the drawing book done while at my parents house for Christmas. I am trading drawings with my cousin... and I am behind. I got his in the mail yesterday. So these will be in the mail this weekend off to Ben. Thanks bunches Ben, I love what you sent me. Way cool stuff!!!

drawings done while I was off on Holiday at my parents house.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

My True Love Gave To Me

Lee Ann and her Mother Ann Duckett the Summer/ fall of 98?

On the first day of Christmas my true love gave to me… yeah, that one really stings a bit. Christmas songs, especially the “Seasonal” songs, the ones about sipping hot cocoa nestled by the fire, walking down the lane together, stealing that winter kiss, giggling like young first loves. It brings back so many wonderful memories.

Our first kiss, that evening there was just magic in the air. I could just feel something special was floating around. I got showered and cleaned up. I got shaved, without slashing myself to ribbons, and even got my hair to rest just perfectly after a brushing. Well, I wasn’t about to let this opportunity go unrecognized. This called for some hairspray to set the mood. Set it in perfected stillness, with just a slight bit of bounce and laughing body… you know, that devil may care hold that all the folks on those Mid 20ish fashion ads talk about. That’s what I needed, and I needed it bad. So with all the fashion plate-dom I could muster, I reached for the hairspray and let fly with a whimsical release of atomized hair hold. Oh, the aroma of fresh lemons, a couple of limes, and the ability to kill 99.9% of all household germs on contact, do your magic…

Wait a minute… since when does hairspray reveal a fresh lemony scent? Like an idiot I validate the process with another blast. Hairspray only smells that way one time and one time only, and that my friends is when it isn’t hairspray at all, but good old disinfecting tub and tile bathroom killer Lysol. Oh grand, I have 25 minutes to go and pick up my beloved and I now am a 3D scratch and sniff version of a Scrubbing Bubble. And my hair looks as if it was daintily airbrushed with Turtlewax.

What do I do? Will she notice? WILL SHE NOTICE??? Are you nuts? This is the girl who takes Mensa tests for fun. Will she notice… Why I ought-a… Well what could I do is jump in for a quick and extremely vigorous shampoo. Actually one might describe what occurred as the Viet-Kong caning of all shampoos, with profanity to match. By the time I got out, my hair stood every way but where it was supposed to, I had one red eye from shampoo running into it. Well, I had to keep checking the clock. I resembled the young pro wrestler after his first ever match with the new Chosen TV champ villain, right after the referee wakes back up from a chair to the back of the head.

Needless to say I did not use any hair products this time prior to leaving the house. I picked her up at her house. She looked stunning, she always did. I gave her some flowers; she gave me a hug.

“Well, you certainly smell, clean”, she said with a genuine smile.

“Yeah, well… it’s a new spray I am trying out.”

“Oh.” And she gets in the car.

Great first impression… Nothing weaves a bridge of confidence in a man like exuding the great romantic scent of really clean bathroom grout.

We had a really great dinner out. I honestly don’t remember where we went… Lee Ann would know. Lee Ann would know what we had for dinner. My head is telling me that we went to the Mexican Froo Froo restaurant on the plaza next near the Paper Source. The restaurant is gone now. But it had good food when we were there, and it was fun to go and just look around while you dined. My memory isn’t so good; maybe it was the Lysol to the head that wiped out my long term… um, what was I talking about?

It was late summer. I do remember that. As I dropped her off at the front door to her house, we stood by the front door and talked for what seemed like a few minutes. But it ended up being almost fourty-five minutes. As we said our good nights she leaned forward, I leaned forward and the TV guys are right. I did see fireworks. That girl flat out took my breath away. I think my voice even changed. I tried to say something cool and failed miserably, she giggled and gave me another kiss. I tried to walk away effortlessly; heck I was just trying to walk in a straight line when I fell over the drainpipe. Yep, I Dick Van Dyked it right in the middle of their front yard. I jumped up so fast that she couldn’t even get out an “are you all right?” I had already dusted myself off, waved and was in the car. I didn’t feel what I had landed on until the next morning when I found that my shins and hip, and elbow were all bruised up from the rock garden. I didn’t notice all that night. I didn’t even care the next day.

Months later Lee Ann told me how much that night really meant to her. Twelve and a half years later, I hold that memory so close, so tight that sometimes I can feel a lump in my emotions. Some days it feels like it has been an eternity, some times it feels like she is just out to the Art School and I am waiting for her to come in the door to show me what she has created.

Wednesday, December 08, 2010

red Door Studio Drawing Session December 4th 2010

The Arctic Luau

"We're Havin' a Heat Wave... A Tropical Heat Wave"
This image came about from some volunteering that I did this Holiday season for the Children's Mercy Hospital. Every year a group from work goes down and helps to decorate the Hospital for the Holidays. This year there was an added challenge. No fire restrictions; no paper, no lights, no hangy downies from the ceiling, no paper snow flakes, and NO KIDDING. So, a lot of hospitals just gave up and didn't decorate this year due to the stringent restrictions. Somehow our leaders found nonflammable decorations, and window markers.

I was asked if I would help decorate by painting window scenes for the Holidays. I agreed.
I asked what should I use as subject matter or stay away from?
1. No Angels... this is a children's hospital, (the whole death thing would be bad)
2. they would like a snow scene.
3. if you do children, or people, you have to do every race/ type/ creed/ handicapped/ etc... so try to steer clear of that.
4. Try to steer clear of specific "religious" iconography. Keep it light. The kids are away from home at the holidays.
5. Animals are always nice.
6. If you can tie in one of the tree decoration themes, that would be great.

Ok, Snow scene, Animals, (make them cute) and tie in the theme of the tree that the windows are near... This is a piece of cake.

What are the tree themes: Luau, and Independence Day. Those were the ones that were fire retardant that were in the volunteer budget..... Snow scene and Luau? Snow scene and Luau! Arctic Luau... why not? So at first I didn't have the penguins because they were south pole and the polar bear was north pole, but... Hey, maybe everybody was on vacation, or as somebody else pointed out... if the bear can wear a hawaiian shirt, then the penguins can be in the picture. Fantasy is fantasy.

Monday, November 08, 2010

The start of The Sketchbook Project 2011

I have joined the national touring "Sketchbook Project 2011". This touring art exhibit will tour several several libraries and galleries around the country.
So this is my first jump into the sketchbook. I let the project choose a topic for me... I got "...You'd Be Home By Now." So the sketches that I am doing are reflecting the "..." in the beginning of the topic to start off the story. It is similar to bringing a punchline to the front of a joke... A'la "You might be a _______". Hopefully with a pinch of visual flair. I hope.

Sunday, October 31, 2010

Red Door Studio Drawing Session October 30th, 2010

The Halloween session of Red Door Studio Open Drawing Session for October 30th, 2010. A wonderful model, and I have not attended the entire month, so I was nervous about would I be rusty or not... but I guess that bringing the sketchbook everywhere and drawing when I had a chance on location(s) helped out. I had a good night.

Friday, October 29, 2010

Something Learned 2

The Cow Prince: This is taking the pixel bender theory and using it as I would use my scratchboard technique... as linework. This is a photo collage of a man in costume, a cow head, and the forest background. The rest is photoshop pixel bender to get my line work, done in two passes and then simply applying the color through the lines and washing color over that. It is a really fun result.

Something Learned

Learned about this from Master Dr. Russell Brown at Adobe Max. It is called Pixelbender. With it you have the ability to apply an oil paint technique brush stroke to your pixels and adjust them. You also in CS5 have the ability to perform underpainting adjustments to guide how the pixelbender will flow and move. I used it here to simulate a woodcut linework technique. This was a photo that I converted to grayscale and then manipulated the contrast in curves to get the constrast and depth that I wanted. Then applied the pixelbender settings and tweaked them until I was happy. The entire process, maybe an hour? It is a good beginning for illustration for some looks.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Proofreading the document that nobody ever wants to read.

Tuesday October 19th, 2010: proofreading the document that nobody ever wants to read.

I didn’t want to get up this morning. I just wanted to stay under the covers and hide. No responsibilities, no duties, just can it all and put it away on a shelf somewhere for somebody else to handle. Unfortunately, there is nobody else to handle it.

I think that THIS, all of this is what growing up is really all about. It is about dealing with the responsibility of the life cycles of others. I never had children, but I was… wow that is still tough to say and write. I was married, happily to a beautiful woman that knew me better than probably I know myself today. I, We shared everything… except the love of seafood. She said I could keep that one, something about it being “too good and not wanting to interfere with the passion that I had built up for it over the years.” That’s ok, I feel the same way about cheesecake. So we made a perfect team.

Today I got a letter and an item that needed proofreading. I knew it was coming, coming soon in the next few days or so, but it was something that nobody really ever gets excited or “up” for with anticipation. It wasn’t like my Woody Woodpecker coffee cup and cereal bowl set that came in the mail when I was a kid… from the Kellogg’s company. Oh, what a treasure that set was. The cereal bowl was shaped like a tree log that was split in half and hollowed out. Four tiny knots or branch starters were used to hold the cereal bowl up so it would not rock and spill Apple Jacks all over the Kitchen table. A design and concept of genius proportions if ever one existed. The coffee mug, or juice mug for us 7 year olds was Woody Woodpecker’s head carved out of another stump of a tree. The comb of his head formed the loop where your finger would hook. Again… this was another piece of perfection and sheer artistry.

What came today was nothing of fun or frivolity. What came today was another reminder that Lee Ann is gone and not coming back. What came today was the approval proof for Lee Ann’s grave marker. It needed to be proof read and approved so that it could be carved, or cast, or hatched… whatever they do to generate markers now. So there, in the middle of my day I got to proofread the reminder and statement of fact that my wife is dead. And I have to thoroughly read it to make sure that somebody hasn’t miss spelled her birth year, or her name. So I read, then I re-read it. So that it was correct… then I went back and read it a third time just to make sure.

I still, on occasions dream that she will wake me up with a thump to the side and tell me that I was only dreaming. What I feel now is that the last 12 years were a glorious blessing of a dream. But now, for some reason I have awoken from the dream into the real world. The real world where she is no longer here, where she is never coming back, and where the pain of loss aches and hurts deeper than anything I have ever felt.

This must be what growing up truly feels like. Nothing to do with a send off, or a parade, it has to do with the duty and responsibility, the vows that we made that I now must uphold. That is what growing up must be, and what others have referred to as growing pains, nobody told me they would feel like this. I can see how these things change people, some for the better. For they realize how precious life is and will try to use the moments they have to truly experience, taste, and let life flow through them to the very core of their being. For others, it may scar them. The pain and suffering, the loss may be too great for some to grow beyond. This may bind them forever to the echoes of the past, for it is all that they know, all that they want to know. For them, the world, their universe stopped that day and they refuse to move beyond it.

The next few weeks will not be easy. I hope that as I move, that I move forward. It is what I am striving for. I will Never forget or run away, but to continue to grow, somehow. If roles were reversed, I would be very upset if Lee Ann did not move and grow forward. I do miss her so. I wish she were here to tell me that everything is going to be alright… But it’s not. Nothing is ever going to be ALL right again. That may be what growing up is also about. Knowing that things are not ALL right, but we just have to deal with them anyway. And if they are ALL wrong, and I mean ALL WRONG, we still have to deal with them.

Dayton: Wednesday- Tripping the light “Eat-pa-pha”.

Wednesday: And a One, And a Two, And a Eat-Pha-Pha…
After a long hard day of doing basically nothing, what does a body need? Yes, that is correct, a body needs German food. Schmidtz Sausage Haus… the land of Sausages, potato anythings, Schnitzels, Strudels, Pickled cabbages, sauerkraut, Noodles, Stews, Vanilla, Chocolate, and Pumpkin Crème Puffs… and all of it smothered in thick brown gravy. Come to think of it, even the beer comes smothered in thick brown gravy. Schmidtz Sausage Haus has been a Columbus Ohio institution of gastronomical disobedience since brick streets were introduced onto the city streets during the late 1800s. Since that time, the restaurant has grown from a meat market, to a restaurant, to it’s present size, burned down, and rebuilt and it still tastes as good as it always has. In fact, the fire may have helped apply some special smokiness that may not have been achieved any other way… legally. Legend has it that the fire department, upon arrival shouted out in unison, “God Save the Beer!”

We waited in line a few minutes… about 20 or so… just long enough to start to hallucinate about the feast that awaited us. As we walked by some of the tables of customers that had finished or waved the white flag of over indulgence, it was all I could do to keep my hands off of the dinner rolls or a stray sausage… “oooooh mighty sausage, you speak to me in my tummy dreams. And it is good.”

The meal and the conversations were both of top quality… Good food, good friends, a wonderful atmosphere, it was almost holidayesque. The ride home for all but one of us was quick indeed… The driver drove, the passengers … well, we all slept. Slept the dream of the eat-pha-pha. Where the alpine music and the sausage haus meet in your dreams… and top it with clouds of whipped crème. AHHhhhhhhhhh.

Into the Night with the Short arm of the Law

Tuesday October 12th: into the night with the short arm of the law
Tuesday was a day of quiet rest and reflection… for the most part. I did a bit of doggy time with some dear friends dogs while they did some errands. I had forgotten what a young dog’s energy level is… They are (play+curiosity+π)= young dog. *Sorry for the bad visual… well, almost. I was on vacation, so whenever I could, I always added a little pi for desert. There are two dogs, an older white fluff ball of a toy poodle mix (guessing here) and then the fireball. The younger, a pug/boxer mix is named UD… for University of Dayton, I love that sort of name… the child naming the dog/cat/goldfish. As a parent, you are offering all sorts of topics, none of which is sticking. So as you start going through movie characters, school mascots, and you offer up… “Flyer”… Flyer? What’s that? Oh, Flyer is the mascot from UD, the University of Dayton. Well, as with anything, UD is when the dog perks up and decides to put on a show… “ Hello My baby, Hello my honey, Hello my Rag time Gal”. Now the dog is forever known as UD… and it is completely happy with that.
So after a light lunch, I decided to wonder over to a different friend’s house for a while. I caged each of the dogs, who went in their little barracks with clockwork precision… DAISY, ARE YOU READING THIS??? I locked up the house and headed over to Troy Ohio, home of the Strawberry festival. After a long day of this and that, storytelling, and a couple of cups of coffee, we headed out to a Ghost walking historical tour set up by the Springboro Historical society. We walked around (in groups) and heard vignettes on the founders of Springboro, and a few hints of tales that occur within the walls of some of the historic homes. Grant Wood’s Aunt lived in Springboro, as did a friend of Daniel Boone… Yes, that Daniel Boone. It was a nice little walk through the area. The leaves were in full swing of color; some had already fallen and offered up that autumnal aroma that flashes so many of us back to days of youth. When leaf piles were not to be groaned about with sore backs, or raked up as much as they were to be jumped in, or ridden through on bicycles with banana shaped seats.
After an entirely full day of smoothness, some excitement needed to be added in there somewhere… enter Officer Fife. After driving one friend home, I turn around and head back to the homestead about 20 miles south… all new construction, a lot still under construction. The pride and joy of the local government, and the loathing and despise of the local citizens is a new type of intersection… An intersection for TOMORROW!!! It appears that someone, whomever was supposed to turn in the plans for this project forgot to lock up their files, or their drawings. This is where a toddler, possibly a 4 year old decided the project needed a fresh set of design hands. The result: The intersection of Tomorrow, you could almost hear the toddler screaming… NO! I CAN DO IT as all logic falls off of the paper and the resulting schematics are rendered unthinkable. Having never noticed that the child “enhanced” the project with editorial license, the project was presented… probably turned in hoping that a chance to switch out these nonsensical ramblings with proper logical schematics would be easy to do. But it never happened. Nobody stopped to ask, “Is mine the only head that hurts when I look at this?” It strongly resembles something out of a Dr. Seuss parody.
So, I stop, make sure that nobody is coming from the right, CHECK TO SEE that there is no turn on red notification, then make my right hand turn… Out from behind some bushes and a trash bin drives Officer Fife. Officer Fife is maybe five foot, three inches tall, and around one hundred and 135 pounds. The hat brim is parallel to his shoulder tips and if I remember correctly, he had to tuck his ears in to keep the hat from falling down over his face. A masterpiece of confidence was displayed as he struts up to the window.
Fife: “Do you know why I stopped you?”
“I have absolutely no clue, Sir.”
Fife: “You made a turn on red when it was clearly marked not to do so. Are you familiar with the area?”
“No Sir, I am from out of state, and apparently I missed the sign entirely, because I checked for a sign prior to making the turn, hence the stop.”
Fife: “Well, it’s clearly posted.”
*editorial comment, never stated (It must be clearly posted, why else would you be lurking about waiting for people to miss the sign?)
Fife: “License and registration please.”
I handed him my license, my insurance card, and the rental agreement.
Fife: “Where did you get this vehicle?”
“I rented it from the airport.” Bad move on my part… (the airport) was the wrong answer, important safety tip for everyone out there.
Fife: (here is where he became forever dubbed Officer Fife) “The airport? Which airport? We have lots of airports. Heck you are parked beside one right now.”…. The airport he was referring to was the hanger that houses a replica of the Wright B Flyer. It may have a landing strip on it also as a replica where they may fly one experimental aircraft, or a couple of small Cessna 3 seaters once in a while… maybe.
“I am sorry, that was my fault. I should have been more specific… The Dayton International Airport, Sir.”
A long pause as he looks over the paperwork at my window side.
“So that’s an airport too?
Fife: “Yes it is.”
“I never knew, Then they rent cars here like at Dayton International?”
Fife: “I’ll be back in a minute.” Officer Fife gave me the “Oh, I’m gonna fix you” look and walked back to his car with my documentation.
After a 5 minute wait, a disgruntled Officer Fife returns to “give me a chance” with a warning.

I kindly thanked him and go on my way. I pulled up to the house, and got into my jammies. For not planning anything, the day turned out to end with adventure.

Monday, October 18, 2010

the NYC sketches

An drawing I did while in the airport and on the planes, and the Beigel Dog, UD.

above are renderings of the Carpet man of New York

to the left is a collection of sketches from the Chicago trip, the right is how the sketchbook cover looks today.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Yellow Springs Ohio, The hippie lives eternal

Monday Monday: Yellow Springs, Ohio- the Hippie lives eternal.

Yellow Springs, it is the home to Anticoch University, formerly Anticoch College. Who’s claim to fame was that Rod Serling got his undergraduate degree there. It is a sleepy little, no It is a Hippie little college town. 1968 was very good to Yellow Springs because the year came and basically decided to take up residence. It is the home to artisans of all types, has at least 3 book stores in a shopping area the size of a large apartment complex, and numerous Indian art/ incense shops, holistic spices, herbs, Ointments and Outments. If it smells good and you can boil it, light it, or rub it on something, this is the place to shop for it.

Yellow Springs was founded on the outskirts of Clifton Gorge/Clifton Mill and Glenn Helen. These are two beautiful hiking areas that provide a photographer’s dream for each season. The two areas meet up somewhere. You can easily spend days exploring each park area with their own unique trails and vistas and not repeat a visual. For those in the Kansas City area, the closest thing I could use to describe Yellow Springs, would be if Ben and Jerry (the guys) worked over Parkville, Missouri in their own image.

On the drive back home, we stopped by a Dayton Institution. Second Time Around... One of the first, and now the last of the used music stores in the city. What is really interesting about the store and where it is located, is that when I was a young pup of 16 through my mid twenties, the store was a bit stained, it had some mildew, and was not in the greatest of neighborhoods. Instead of paved parking lots, they had (in my day) gravel mixed with broken glass. Now they are paved, painted, lots. There are restaurants, kinkos, it's clean... WHAT HAPPENED? SOMEBODY WENT AND COMMITTED A NEATNESS!! Well, in spite of the element of danger now removed, the store itself still has a wonderful selection of treasures. From DVDs, to CDs, to BlueRay, to Games, to Ipods and Iphones... all used. It is a fun place to wander through and rummage. I was able to find an entire box set of the 1975 World Series... when the Cincinnati Reds won it all. Over 17 hours of broadcasts on DVDs. What a Reds fan find. We will watch game one here in the next night or two. I will pass around the set of DVDs to the gang so we can all share in the glory of the Big Red Machine.

Sleep is coming in small naps and bits. Not much has changed there. That will just take time. But being with friends that I have known for so many years does help to ease some pains. They know me as well as I know me... some of them, may know me better than I do.

Saturday, October 09, 2010

NYC-Friday: seeing, feeling, missing

Finished up the PDF conference, and it was, um… interesting. Probably a lot like the UN. A lot of flexing, a lot of heated debate, a lot of jockeying for time in front of the heads of the organization, whether to impress, or to hopefully gather higher status, I don’t know (and really don’t care). But it was a view into a truly different world. Eye opening I would call it… fist over the eye is another way I would put it at certain times.

I am more prone to notice couples now that I am alone. Maybe it is just because this is the first trip that I am alone… I have seen young couples in love, the discovery phase… where they are almost giddy and just so dogged gone cute about it. I saw one beautiful couple share a very long last kiss good-bye. (hell, I’d do him, they were that gorgeous). And he slowly sauntered off into the night without his love. She was looking down, and every once in a while would carefully glance up, just for a moment to see if he was truly leaving.
I saw tender elderly couples who have shared lifetimes together walking arm in arm, speaking of memories long past… that between the two of them, they seemed to get the story out correctly.

It was when I would walk by an elegant doorway or a beautifully rendered building and started to take the picture to share with Lee Ann, that I would have to remind myself where I am, now in my life and that I don’t have that love to share with. That is the really tough pill to swallow is that the world keeps going on. Friends go on; strangers go on, the grass, the seasons, the bills… all keep going on. I keep going on too… just that there are times when everyone else goes on with their loves, to have and to hold… correction, not everyone.

*Addendum: moving forward takes time, effort, and trial. It isn’t perfect. It isn’t smooth, and it is far from pretty. For those who have offered a shoulder or a hand to hold, I thank you most sincerely. Pain is unique, for each of us. Our lives are all different from each other just is our as our pain, just as is our joy. It doesn’t make one person’s pain worse, or less important, it makes it different. I hope as I move through this life that I not be as brash as to impose my life experience onto someone else’s suffering as if I were to understand their circumstances and feelings. I can only know what I know and how I might be affected. No more, no less.

Friday, October 08, 2010

Wednesday: NYC - Dinner and a Show


Slept in until 9am Eastern Time. Went down and had some cereal and rye toast. Everyone here has freshly squozed orange juice. I have never experienced the like since Florida. Ohhh it was so good. I stayed with just the one glass so as not to rupture my sugar levels. Got cleaned up, and I headed out for the day, which was all planed out. I was to start with The Illustration House, Arcadia Fine Art Gallery, Forbidden Planet (comic book/toy/geek dom). If I am still standing after all that, the last stop was to be the legendary Strand bookstore. (I wasn’t standing, so I skipped the Strand).

So with Talcum powder freshly applied everywhere, even on my ears… I was ready for another brisk walk down to the Illustration House. Oh, did I mention that the Walking portion of Google Maps is Beta, I may have forgotten that because after 2 hours I was a bit over half way!!! But never fear, I stopped at a local deli that offered 2slices and a can for 4.99. My hope was that the slices were slices of pizza and not slices into my side with a box cutter. I was correct. It was 2 slices of cheese pizza, New Yawk style. It was good. I actually heard some older guy griping about stuff and actually say… “now I got a problem”… to which the owner came over and quickly calmed everything down and sat with the gentleman, served him his lunch and discussed local building history. I believe I may have been witness to a… transaction of some sort. So, I packed up and skee-dadled before jimmy the nose decided I was his next “problem”. It was good pie, maybe jimmy the nose spilt soda on his plaid trousers??? Probably not.

So, I continued on for another hour and made it to a run down alley. No name, no nothing…. I thought… I have been screwed. Then I noticed a lot of dark oak, and books, and some paintings farther away from the front window. There was a small sign that said, Illustration House. So I asked to be buzzed in and introduced myself.

A nice younger man said, “Oh, you’ll want to talk to Walt. I’ll call him down.”

Within a few moments, the 248 year old Walter Reed sauntered down a flight of stairs. He couldn’t have weighed more than 110 pounds, had hearing aids in each ear… but with dead batteries in both. But could weave tales about each painting and each artist as if they were completed not but twenty minutes ago and he was there to witness it all. His eyes would light up as he would pick up each painting with a shaky hand. I was sure he was going to drop a couple of them. I held one or two as his grip wasn’t quite what he suspected it was. He would point out subtle nuances, tell of stories of the times and technique challenges or discoveries. He apologized for missing some of the pieces due to a show on pulp fiction illustrators that was shipping out this week. I graciously told him that I had come just to see his studio and the Society of Illustrators, there could be no disappointment.

Here is an account of the artwork that I got to see… ORIGINAL PAINTINGS, ALL.

· 3 Michael Golden Punisher Covers, drawn and Inked by Mr. Golden.

· 2 Bernie Fuches landscape paintings… The master. I almost cried.

· 2 Norman Rockwell charcoal finished drawings for the Post. Most people can’t paint as well as Rockwell drew.

· The Hildebrandt Brothers Lord of the Rings masterpiece where everyone is meeting at the garden of the elven city, and the two hobbits are crying… it is flipping huge. And the details are amazing. I think I had an accident when I turned the corner. Mr. Reed had to hold me up, not an easy task for a man 248 years old.

· A Norman Lindsey watercolor of a man fighting off a shark… black and white.

· Violet Oakley’s preliminary painting for one of her massive murals at Pennsylvania University.

· A Hayden Sunbloome pin up girl illustration. (Sunbloome was the painter of the coca-cola santa and the quaker oats man.)

· Several pen and ink illustrations: joseph Clement Coll, Charles Dana Gipson, A.B. Frost,

· Coles Phillips a disappearing girl in deep blue.

· And several of the pulp illustrations that had yet to be packed up.

Mr. Reed stayed and spoke to me for a good hour or more. What an honor.

Norman Lindsey

a different Coles Phillips... very similar, but the girl is facing the other way and the background is blue... but the design and concept are of the same starting point.

Dean Cornwell... this baby is not as big as I have seen him paint. 20" x 24" maybe
I turned a corner and my insides started to quake when I saw this... the corners are actually tattered a bit. They painted to the edge of the board, no handling space at all. It is almost as wide as I am tall.

From there I cabbed it to the Arcadia Fine Arts Gallery. Just too sore at the time… and a bit too lost… I think the cabbie was too. But we made it. The gallery was much more clean, tidy, but certainly lacked the warmth and love of the works the way that Mr Reed had provided. Nonetheless, I did get to see some spectacular pieces by Robert Liberace, Malcolm Leipke, Jeremy Lipking, and Francis Livingstone. The paintings were stunning, make no doubt about it, but after having to follow a showman like Reed, Arcadia just was a room with canvases in it.

From Arcadia I walked to Forbidden Planet. For those who don’t know, like myself,

Forbidden Planet is one of 2 bookstores on earth. One resides in NYC, the other in London, Proper. (that’s England folks).

Forbidden Planet is about the size of every comic book store you have ever been to… added together… and I don’t care how many you have been to. It is STILL bigger than them all combined. It has… everything, literally. If you can’t find it, you only dreamt that it existed and even then… if you ask… they probably still have it. I didn’t even go up to the Third floor to look around for fear that I might find me up there for sale.

So as your little minds start spinning around trying to come up with some odd ball little thingy that the store didn’t have…. Don’t, I already checked… they had that too.

My body sent me back to the hotel for a nap… longer than expected. But needed none the less. I strolled down Broadway to “Mickey Mantle’s” for a supper and a chance to sit (quietly) and observe Yankee nation during playoffs. I had to do it, If they were home, I would have tried for a ticket, but they were in Minnesota. As far as Décor, I don’t know how much of it is real and how much is replica. They had a pillar that was made of Yankee signed broken bats, gloves, shoes. They had a Joe Namath wall, which I thought was odd, but whatever floats. The food was really good and for NY, was reasonably priced. I asked what the server liked to eat… and then chose from that list. A cheese steak hero, actually one of the best I have had, ever. This was goooooood, and not too big, it was a half order. I watched the last half of the Reds lose to the Phillies to a perfect game pitched by Roy Halladay. Then stayed for 3 innings of the Yankees Twins game.

I needed a fresh head about me for the conference the next day, so I decided to walk back, and if I got a bit nervous I would hale a cab. The streets were active with mostly normal looking people. So I was able to maneuver my way back to the Hotel without incident. I did get so see my token “interesting” person of the trip… a shaggy man who had not seen a bath in a few days+ with a long flowing white beard and hair shouting warnings to us all about the end of days. Oh, did I mention he was dressed in carpet samples? Rolls of carpet runners, carpet squares, shag, short fibers, it must have been like wearing armor. Now THAT’s NEW YORK CITY, Dinner and a show.

NYC -Tuesday: somebody get me a leash

Sam Weber artwork from his 3person show at Society of Illustrators: Blow Up.

New York City… New York City? Get a rope, I need a leash.

Had a 5 hour delay in Chicago to get to NYC LaGuardia… so I didn’t get to my hotel until 1:45am Tuesday Morning. Somehow they didn’t have a confirmation for the extra night of Monday night… but they gladly put me up due to open rooms. With an extra minute or two, I was in bed.

The next morning I closed out that old account from a few hours before and switched over to the regularly scheduled program. Now I had the day to explore. I planned out the most efficient walking route down to the destinations… 3 the first day. The Forum Gallery, The Wendt Gallery, and …………………. The Society of Illustrators, you may genuflect if you feel the need.

Forum Gallery: I showed up at a bad time on the calendar, they were packing to move to a new location. They were more than generous to allow me to see what was still up, the current show. It was, nice. But not travel half way across the country nice. But that is due to the new season just beginning and the gallery just packing up. No fault, just bad timing. And they were really nice people.

Wendt Gallery: These girls were the car sales force of the Art world. Hovering around wanting to know how many pieces I was interested in, and as soon as I showed interest in one piece, Man did their eyes and ears perk up… (I probably should have told them that I was not going to buy anything, but it seemed the only way to get information.)

Society of Illustrators: Very nice… very nice indeed. 3 floors. It is a smaller gallery, but full of drawings, paintings, and even a tiny little gift shop. It is smalle

r than the Kemper Museum. There were

two exhibits. One was a 3 person show, which had the final works on the main floor, then on the lower level, all of the preliminary works were displayed as well… which was a real treat. Up the stairwell, and on the Third floor…(the famous Society of Illustrators Bar) was an exhibit of Illustrators who taught. This was capped off by a 12 piece showing of Murry Tinkleman pen and Ink originals. I was in heaven.

Above the Bar, is the original Norman Rockwell painting

masterpiece of a Christmas Carriage in profile filled with passengers, and atop, a driver, horn blower, and several children all having fun. The piece is probably 3 feet high by 5 feet wide? Maybe larger.

I actually had a tonic water

at the Bar… THE BAR. I felt the entire time that somebody was going to yank me out of there in front of everybody… “You! Punk! What do you think you are doing in here?” But nobody ever did. They even chatted with me for a few words.

There were two antique book cases with ooooold illustrated classics in them. Rockwell’s version of The Adventures of Tom Sawyer, Someone’s illustrations for the Book of Birds… A book Titled Searching for Christy, about Illustrator, Howard Chandler Christy. And tons of others.

As far as original works, I got to see an original Paul Calle pencil drawing portrait, a couple of Rockwells, a huge piece on Tale of Two Cities by Harvey Dunn, It had to have 50 characters in it all charging at each other. What power. Bob Fawcett, Dean Cornwell, James Montgomery Flagg, my mind can’t recall them all.

I was on such a high that I walked all the way back, not realizing that it was almost 3 miles back… until my body told me, Hey Stupid… this is a long hike back, and I am fat. But I made it. Bought some talcum powder, and took a nap. I awoke in time to make the hike back down there to Society of Illustrators for the Drawing sessions. Yes, with the Talcum powder applied, it made a world of difference. (and it was down hill).

Drawing night at Society of Illustrators. *see the previous two posts with the drawings for examples... I posted 6 of the drawings done at the Society open session.

Short poses: 3 minute, 5 minute, 10 minute, 15 minute, then I believe 3 twenty minute poses.

I couldn’t tell you by name the famous people that were there, but you could tell by dress, hair style, and when I walked around the room, the old timers who just flat out were brilliant. There were about 8 of them in attendance. The rest were younger students… some were also really hot stuff. By the time everybody was settled in and working, there were probably 60 people?, yes… 60 people were there. Also live jazz was played. There were 2 models. Really good, both of them. They did classical poses, but could hold them well.

I am really glad I went. By the end of the night, I had produced a couple of drawings that were ok. For the time allowed, I am happy with them.

Cabbed it back to the hotel, it was dark, I was tired, and it was uphill. Head hit the pillow, I was out.

Thursday, October 07, 2010

society of Illustrators Open drawing night

from the 5 and 10
minute group of
drawings at the
society of illustrators open drawing session. 10-4-2010

Society of Illustrators Open drawing night

Society of Illustrators Tuesday Night Open drawing night

Society of Illustrators Open drawing night

Once in a lifetime opportunity: Society of Illustrators Tuesday Night Open drawing night: I had to do it... just so say I did.

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Christmas card sketch

got done mowing today, and just started sketching. This is the result... I have no idea why. I had no intention of doing anything Holiday related. Certainly not. The green swirls just looked sort of like wreathes after a while... and I put a splash of red on them. Again... just sketching around... kind of like automatic writing? Wondering what the future holds, kinda scared, kind or curious maybe? Who knows. None of us do. We will just ride this thing out.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

The Bewitching Miss O'Donnell

Important Safety Tip: When running for public office, don't ask a question to the press or "Grand Inquisitor", It just leads to trouble... Rep. Senatorial Candidate Christine O'Donnell asked back the following question when grilled about commenting "ten years before" about dabbling in witchcraft when she was in High School... "So How many of you out there never hung out with objectionable folks when you were in High School?"
The lady spins an Ouija board when she was 17 and Congress is up in arms about the downfall of the human race... How about the downfall of the Congressional pants? At the drop of a business card it appears... I would like to know what Teddy Kennedy was doing when he... no WHO Teddy was doing when he was 17? No... scratch that.... I don't want to know Just chop off their peckers as they take an oath and lets see how much work gets done then? Perhaps a surprising amount when your mind is ready to focus... It would also open up more of the bathrooms... just a thought.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Red door studio Drawing Session September 11th, 2010

it has been a rough late summer of 2010... This week, I had a second attack of kidney stones... So I had those sonically blasted / broken up. Went to Red Door drawing group. Did ok, nothing to write home about, but nothing to be ashamed about either. It is what it is.

Monday, September 06, 2010

sunday sketching group... short poses

I spent, No... I was blessed to be invited by a dear and talented artist friend to attend a short pose sketching group that meets weekly. It is a mostly younger crowd... I believe from the Dr. Sketchy's group. Watch out people, this group of up and comers or just out of schoolers is a talented lot. Friendly, confident, a good group from what I observed. It was fun... but sheesh, I am rusty in the short pose department... anyways... good bad or indifferent, here are the 10 minute and 5 minute poses that were passable.