30 September, 2011

A tea towel of mid-forties (or earlier??) vintage which has accompanied my grandmother from Oklahoma to California in '48, and from California to Oregon in '88...and still looks new!

But what horrible impulse could have begotten such imagery?

Gran told me that back home in OK. they used to buy a particular brand of boxed oatmeal, and in the box there would be, in addition to sensible oatmeal, a bonus goodie; the sensible oatmeal makers shunned frivolities like action figures, or decoder rings or marbles: they gave you a towel (big business still groping to find that sure-fire route to the kinderhart).

The towel came striped but naked, bereft of animal ornament except for a sort of connect-the-dots stencil that, once properly stitched with color-coded yarn, yielded the satanic character you see here. The idea was to so flummox some desperate country child with the dot-to-dot mystery that they would be forced to create something of household benefit.

That and prime them to worship the bone-wielding arch-demon you see here.

They were sick in those days!

26 September, 2011

We're traveling, so posts have been sparse. Been to an Art History Conference where Dear Wife presented a paper--great stuff! I made lots of drawings, too, so expect a survey of Salem, Oregon faces and fashion....

21 September, 2011

9 year anniversary today. Love you, baby!

20 September, 2011

19 September, 2011

Yesterday I did some pencils from photos of fun-faced folk.

18 September, 2011

Invented skulls for warm-ups. A little wonky on the top-down.

17 September, 2011

16 September, 2011

I totally forgot to post these drawings from my day at the Del Mar Races last month.
Where the turf meets the surf!

15 September, 2011


Dear Wife had it in mind to be at the local Target Tuesday morning 8:00 a.m. Why? The launch of their new Missoni line. She wanted to get a vase, and look at a cardigan. She'd heard there would be a lot of demand for this stuff, so she figured we'd stop by first thing, see what we thought, then hit the road.

As if.

The crowd wasn't huge--maybe 40 or so woment--hardly what you'd call a flash mob. The doors opened at 8:00, and by 8:02 (the time it took us to walk to the Missoni area) there was literally nothing left on the racks.

Now, I'm not against a good old-fashioned, fashion feeding frenzy, but there was something supremely cynical at work here: women were just grabbing as much as they could, stuffing it into their cart, and rushing to the next thing. There was no, "I need a 6 in that dress." Indiscriminate fistfuls were yanked from the racks; once stripped, the looters absconded. Everyone's cart looked like the above. All of it to be resold on Ebay?

Worse than this was the joylessness. These were hollow husks of humans, retail zombies with a naked "me-first" attitude that really jarred.  Nothing hip and beautiful about it. I used to like Missoni, but the whole scene left me with an ugly association.

That word was the take-away: U-G-L-Y. Ugly people, ugly manners, ugly impulse.

A sight to behold....

14 September, 2011

Really not doing Lizbeth Scott justice here....

13 September, 2011

Been sick the last week. Did a few drawings from the TV. Kirk in his first role--"The Strange Loves of Martha Ivers."

11 September, 2011

09 September, 2011

Another gouache from the balcony, this time in the pre-dawn light. If I hadn't left so much white around, that street lamp in the palms would have really worked to set the hour. (I was experimenting at "vignettes", something I still have no talent for....)

08 September, 2011

Sculpture with a view.

07 September, 2011

Felt-tip Portofino. Sketched dockside--not from the deck of some ugly yacht.

06 September, 2011

Does the internets give you an acute sense of the present-tense? Like, does a drawing from 2004 seem not only dated... but dumb?

05 September, 2011

Night gouache. I was so excited to be in Italy with my paints. Our first night there I woke up around three and just had to paint this view from our balcony. I think the town was called La Grazie.

03 September, 2011

02 September, 2011

More travel album, more color. We are in...Italia!

01 September, 2011

More gouache Rodin studies from the Norton Simon (crazy blur courtesy of over-sized paper and under-sized scanner--but I like how it makes the image look like a print by Steichen...sorta).

I gotta find those old gouache paints--they were fun.