31 August, 2008

This is Nick. He is going to become a story artist. Part of the crack staff at the Rosecrans and Douglas SBUX.

I have given this URL to exactly two SBUX employees, and have not heard a peep since.

29 August, 2008

Chloe, thank you for your very kind comment(s). So glad you like the drawings. Your sites are great! Everyone should CHECK 'EM OUT.

There's TWO!

Some very cool paintings and drawings--and thinking. Like if Lucien Freud worked as an assistant animator for Chuck Jones before beginning to paint. (What a world that would be...) I'll get my act together and add some comments to yr sites.

27 August, 2008

Terrible news today. A very dear friend and a very, very special person, Dr. Barbara Warren, died last night. You can read about it here. The endurance sport community knew her as a great champion, but to her friends she was an even greater person. Everyone who knew her is in shock and just beginning to mourn the loss of a truly wonderful human being.

I last saw Barbara down in San Diego one month ago. I showed her my sketchbook and this was the drawing that made her laugh the most.

Barbara, you will be missed terribly.

26 August, 2008

Also drawn in Victorville on the 18th. The thrill here is that she was glimpsed behind the wheel of her car, awaiting her beverage in the drive-thru line. I think that's a first for the Blog, a drive-thru patron.

These are exciting times.

Dear Wife and I visited the 'Gundo SBUX today (no drawing, tho'); this was my erstwhile favorite watering hole but these days I rarely get over there. Happily Kyra was working, one half of the now defunct Starbuck Sisters. It is still a great disappointment that I never executed a proper drawing of these two at work before fate separated them. They were like Kareem & Magic, MacNeil & Lehrer, Lucy & Ethel....

25 August, 2008

Drawn at the Victorville Starbucks (!!).

I know there's a lot of election stuff going on right now, and this site's delicate persona is ill suited to political rhetoric (tho' it may spice up the comments). But I heard some talk about taxes the other day and a phrase stuck with me, "a tax code that rewards work instead of wealth."

Maybe some people would doubt the truth of this statement, maybe some others would believe it as an article of faith, both biased one way or the other by their opinion of the candidate who uttered it. But whatever their political rooting interests, they might be curious if experience would bear this statement out.

Well I've earned wages, and I've been "wealthy." And there is no comparison between the two levels of taxation--when I went back to earning a corporate paycheck a couple years ago, I was astonished by the difference. I'd gotten used to living in the other system, the wealth system, where you make (nearly) free money (income from stocks, other investments, etc. receiving a very low tax rate). My first paycheck was a shock. After payroll, state and federal taxes, health care, etc., I was left with less than 50% of my wages. I'm not complaining about the tax rate on wages per se, I just want to point out the disparity is real (and it feels very unfair-- un-American, even). Whatever your political bent, the fact is the difference is big--two or three times as much tax when earning wages, depending on yr income level.

Whether one tax needs to be raised or the other lowered is a different debate. For now just fIle this under "for what it's worth."

24 August, 2008

Writing like this makes me look like a crazy person.

It's hard to write legibly with a brush point pen!

(faces illustrated do not correspond with garrulous troika that generated my stream of reportage)

23 August, 2008

Now this is more my style: hip disengagement (no, it's not a self portrait).

I misheard Dear Wife this morning declare her intent to fix "Chambord eggs," and I instantly thought, "might Cassis be a better choice?"

Of course it was scrambled eggs.

This guy looked kinda like Pete Sampras--young Sampras. When I see Sampras now I feel an awful pang of recognition--he's aged into a kind of woeful face, not quite saggy or swollen but somehow overripe, with eyes that look hurt as they disappear into an aggressive network of folds and overlaps. His mouth has become boozy and ugly. It tries to make a smile and he looks like he's about to weep. His skin looks more and more like vulcanized rubber in an olive complexion.

But what a net game.

22 August, 2008

Rick, here's an example of a fake drawing that is still OK. I saw this lady and liked her look, but in my haste (I was only getting glimpses of her as she moved around the SBUX) I blew the likeness. However the theme I was going for--something like "middle-aged wide-eyed bedazzlement" is sort of there, so why quibble?

For those of you interested, Rick and I were discussing the question of whether I have a photographic memory in yesterday's comments.

101 and counting. She looks so impressed.

21 August, 2008

Hey, this is my 100th post. Free waffles and gum for everyone!

In celebration I will give you this, my favorite observational sketch of the last few weeks, (yeah, I know the hand could be better). It was drawn a few days ago, on the 18th.

20 August, 2008

Dangit, I totally forgot to post this. And I've got even more from a trip to Victorville yesterday. You'll just have to check in--tomorrow! (and yes, I realize these drawings were done a couple of days ago--but hey, it was a good morning--there's much yet to be shared.)

19 August, 2008

I have pretty good vision, but in one of nature's tit-for-tat gestures toward balance, I have poor hearing. Yesterday I thought I heard Dear Wife say to me, "I'm going upstairs to do some wiccan."
Leaving aside the misused form of Wicca (sp?), why was she suddenly practicing witchcraft? And upstairs? I demanded clarification.

"I said Quicken--Quicken! To do the bills! On the computer."

Oh. Nevermind.

Here's a guy whose head already looks shrunken.

18 August, 2008

I was away on vacation and totally blew it by not bringing my computer. TO ALL MY FAITHFUL READERS (Rick, that means you), "MY BAD."

Sketched during my return to the 'Gundo SBUX. I was waiting for Yongwoo. He gave me a report about his two week animation workshop in Paris at the (justly) famous Goeblins School. Sounded cool.

I think their tag line for the school is something like, "Goeblins--it ain't just for tapestries anymore!"

It sounds better in French.

08 August, 2008

The mythical 8/8/08 is here! Let's hope it's a good one....

Rodin's "Walking Man", a piece that spoke very loudly to me when I began to make sculpture. It's always interesting to compare it to the "John the Baptist". The Norton Simon has a "J.t.B." that looks very even and "realistic" in surface treatment (sculpture-wise) and has a very flat, matte finish (surface quality-wise) that makes it look more like a Gerome than I think it should. It's disappointing--probably a posthumous casting? There are casts in Paris, at least two that I saw--one at the D'Orsay definitely, and the other at the Rodin Museum (outdoors--and a bust of J.t.B. that I drew that's on the right side of the entry foyer, n'est pas?). Those had a very lively finish on the bronze--with real black color slathered and glowing under lots of wax, (the Norton's looks like bare metal). I love that black bronze look, but I never had the balls to stick with it for one of my own pieces (always backed out and went brown/green)(it just looked too damn dark when I tried it--you've got to really have a lot of surface agitation to make that sort of thing work--otherwise it looks like polished basalt--a cool look, but not for my stuff). Seeing the underwhelming "J.t.B." at the Norton reminded me of how my stuff shared the same vices (with far fewer virtues to offset them!)--I tended toward the too-literal, the over-realized, the too-tedious.

Rodin wasn't happy with the finished "J.t.B.", either, and much preferred the "Walking Man"--and since I never did come up with anything as good as the "Walking Man", I quit sculpting.

07 August, 2008

A couple of bronze heads from Rodin's Burghers of Calais: Jean de Fiennes and...the old dude--which one was he?

06 August, 2008

Trees instead of people.

I biffed this one--it was OK when it was all straight brushpen (I'm using one gifted to me by that noted neuroscientist and brushpen-ist himself, Prof. Mike DeWeese), but I ran out of time last night to get the foliage in on the rt side of the tree (I was drawing en plein air--gag). So this morning I took a proper watercolor brush and some water to it and started noodling. Unhappy results. I must work more on my relationship to nature.

In an artistic sense.

05 August, 2008

04 August, 2008

The guards at the Norton Simon were less interesting--and less easy to draw. Here a little cluster of Degas dancers. I think they look a little blah in this drawing--in person they are great.

01 August, 2008

More guards. I'm at the Norton Simon today, so expect to see still more museum faces!