30 June, 2008

Returned to the 'Gundo SBUX this morning and had a go at some drawing. It's been a while since I've visited and a couple of the workers remembered me and had kind greetings--nice. I always worry they find my quiet presence unnerving.

For the record, Manhandler Beach is home to the unhappiest pack of beach residents I've ever come across.

"C'mon dudes--yer homes are worth millions even in this real estate market--lighten up!!"

p.s. we rent.

24 June, 2008

We're in Arizona visiting my grandfather. Bad news about a friend with cancer, too. A rough couple days. I apologize for my laxity on posting and on replying to comments (thank you Rick! thank you Val!). I'm getting back on track.

23 June, 2008

Steely-eyed aging surfer woman.

In La Jolla.

One of my favorites from the trip.

Could see it as a Saul Bass style poster for the sequel to "Bonjour Tristesse" (maybe my favorite Otto Preminger film, and definitely the best use in a film of color and black-and-white footage).

22 June, 2008

Drawn from life on S.D trip.

Same woman that I posted on 6/20, but here drawn from life.

I liked her blend of goofiness,
desiccated sexy
(missing for the most part from my drawings),
and beach bum chic.

"Liked" in the sense of an interesting drawing subject.

21 June, 2008

I can do old and crusty, too. From the San Diego sojourn a few days ago, but worth sharing (if anything on this blog is worth sharing).

20 June, 2008

This was done from memory.

It's wrong, but I like the pose.

Shouldn't have shaded that left leg so much, but what can you do?

We're back from San Diego.

I want to post more from the wedding trip.

19 June, 2008

On the road again. We were down in San Diego and I didn't have a scanner, so this is a couple days late (sorry).
Re: S.D. vs. L.A.: I've said it before, and I'll say it again--people just seem a little happier down there. Of course I'm talking about La Jolla--but I'm comparing it to Manhattan Beach, which could justifiably be called the La Jolla of L.A. People in Manhattan Beach are not happy people. Not in public, at least.

Just an observation.

The drawing may strike you as slightly salacious, but I just liked the really torqued lean of the girl as she awaited the arrival of her Star-Joe.

17 June, 2008

Back to my Starbuck's sketching. Just like riding a bike....

16 June, 2008


Here's where Dear Wife and I stayed most of last week. It's the Masseria Maccarone in the very southern town of Savalettri. It's a tiny coastal hamlet near the boot heel of Italy, between Bari and Brindisi on the Adriatic (eastern) coast. Two main demographics here: fishing folk on the sea, and farmers cultivating acres and acres of old olive groves. The masseria is a common thing down here--it's a farm that's laid out like a micro village, with a fancy main house for the Padrone (see "The Leopard" aka "Il Gatopardo" with Burt Lancaster, or, barring that, "1900"), and a series of surrounding buildings that housed the workers, the kitchens, the warehouse and factory where the olive oil was made. But a lot of these masserie (plural) converted their worker's quarters into something like hotel rooms, and invite visitors under the banner of agritourism. In our case the big manor house was still the residence of the "ruling" family, and it was not where we stayed (in fact, it was off-limits!)--we were in the modest building sketched-in on the left, with the bell tower. Our particular room used to be the kitchen, and included a huge hearth and an 18th century version of the sort of bread/pizza oven you see at California Pizza Kitchen. Fun!

The buildings have been around since 1754, and the property has been a working olive farm since before then. Wait until I post images of some of the trees--they looked older than rocks!

Also, this particular masseria is famed in the region for producing the very best olive oil around. They produce a limited quantity each year, and they number each bottle. It's hard to get if you don't show up at the masseria in person (which a steady stream of visitors did throughout our stay). after careful deliberation, we bought a bottle of their "D.O.P." (a gov't designation for the best quality), and gritted our teeth when the bill was handed to us ...it was all of 7 Euro, or about 11 bucks, for a half-litre. That's value! And I can report the stuff is transcendently good.

A sign of the region's devotion to olive oil: when ordering a salad you are brought a little caddy that carries three options for "dressing"--they are three different strains of straight olive oil. And that's it--no vinegar, no aceto balsamico--down here they just spritz their greens with the extra virgin olive oil (Rachel Ray, where are you?), and have at it.

How hard core is that??

More later....

Just looked at the drawing: WOW IS THAT PERSPECTIVE WRONG ON THE WELL. It looks Pho-Sho'ed in (it wasn't). But the whole thing was a piecemeal job...there was a lot less time to draw than I expected. Carls and Cheryl had about 30 people come over from the 'States. About 20 were at our masseria, and another ten (plus Carls + Cheryl) stayed down the road a mile or two at Carlo's parents' masseria, which overlooked the beach. Between all the shuttling of people to and from activities, and some exploring of our own, I never did finish this drawing.

12 June, 2008

OK, this one isn't really brush pen. Instead of a "Brush Pen Breakfast," think of it as a "Graphite Appetizer," or "Lead Lunch."

But I like the way this one looks. Drawn while watching the News Hour. An historian named Kathryn Pearson.

I'm having to dig a little deep for this final remote post. But if all goes well, I am on a plane flying home right now after a fun-tastic Italian adventure.

Ci vediamo!

11 June, 2008

From the Book Expo.

Today we should be waking up in Sorrento and driving up to Rome.

You may not know this, but Dear Wife and I were married in Rome. Yes, we are that fancy. "Fancy von Fancy," my Dear Pal Rachel said. But I wouldn't go that far.

You can click here to see the church. Father Jonathan is wonderful, and he's written the best book on Rome, which you should definitely buy if you have any interest in Rome, or history, or becoming a couth, culturally literate, Fancy von Fancy-type person.

(It worked for me!)

10 June, 2008

She is unmoved by my foresight.

I am still in Italy (gawd willing).

I really hope I've found a way to post "live" updates from overseas by now.

Until then, enjoy.

09 June, 2008

You may find this unbelievable, but I am in Italy right now. Have been since Friday.

I pre-programmed these posts for you, dear reader. If I can find a way to post from Italy, I will, but word from the low-tech region we're heading toward is no internet.

We journey to witness a wedding! In the South. Down between Bari and Brindisi, on the backside of the boot's heel is a little town called Fasano. Dear Pal Carlo hails from this place, and it is here that Dear Lady Cheryl and he are getting hitched.

In fact, the nuptials are scheduled for today.

I promise drawings as soon as I can post.

08 June, 2008

She looks like nothing so much as a satanic Devon Gibney.

And lest there be any confusion, the real Devon Gibney is Satan-free. At least when I knew her.

Viva DAL!

07 June, 2008

He looks Asian...

...but he wasn't.

It was the glasses and their effect on his eyes. Coke-bottle lenses with hipster frames. Drawn at the 'Gundo SBUX.

I need to rack up the SBUX links on here so this blog can climb the Google search results.

Isn't that how it's done?

06 June, 2008

Remember folks, these are inks, straight up, done from life--no safety net!

Unless you count Photoshop. Which I use sparingly.

But still! No net!

Except Photoshop!

Rest easy, for this particular drawing had no Photoshop intervention.

Oh wait, it did. On the jaw.....

It looks like he knows I was lying.

05 June, 2008

Talking into a voice-recorder. In the Starbucks. He looks very Edward R. Murrow here, doesn't he?

"This is...El Segundo."

04 June, 2008

Men's hairstyles like this are funny. Especially when they find their way onto the heads of men who aren't obvious fashion plates.

I'm sure it's just jealousy speaking here (I'm cue-ball bald), but mousse'ed up approximations of bed-head (or mohawks!) on grown men just strike me as...coy, I guess. It's fine on yesterday's subject. But picture him ten years on still styling the same 'do. Hmmm.....

03 June, 2008

Can you tell he's about to order?

I know, this was drawn yesterday. Some days I draw it and post it right away, some days there's a lag. But truth be told, I liked this one too much not to share it.
Also, I'm getting a late start today. Last night I was up too late watching the Stanley Cup Finals, (despite the game going to triple overtime, it has been the suckiest Finals I've seen in a long time. Doesn't help that I hate the Red Wings).

02 June, 2008

Dog lovers, dog fighters. Glimpsed through the EL Segundo Plaza Starbucks' window.

01 June, 2008

To read about the "Graphic Novelists Breakfast" at BEA, check out my post on the TAG Blog; to appreciate Art Spiegelman's grill, just look at the top of this post.