old ink drawing- eye
An old drawing, recently rediscovered.

And here we are, still banished to the land of wind and ghosts.

I feel I’ve fairly jinxed something by quoting that passage from Hemingway a ways back; while we’ve not had too much in the way of rain, we’ve yet to meet that “night of warm wind” that brings in the Springtime. Just persistent cold nightly, even on days of warm sunshine. It feels like punishment, or penance.

The only consolation is that we are hurtling headlong toward May, so we tell ourselves that surely this can’t last. A cold comfort though (both literally and figuratively), as April is wasted by too much time spent indoors, too inactive.

Commonwealth Kentucky Derby party- poster by Electrofork

This one’s a design thing more than an art thing, but it’s kinda’ fun. This was inspired by a vintage postcard that Ray had, particularly the 3D typography. Vector-based illustration and design, to be printed on 17″x11″ paper to advertise the party that needs no advertising at Commonwealth. Honest-to-Goodness Mint Juleps!

Some older posters after the jump. Damn, I’ve been doing these for a long time! (The 2003 one is still my favorite.)

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Art on Etsy

Some cool new pieces have been added to my Etsy shop; these are some of the pieces Zac and I have been working on over the past month or so. Landscapes in oil on reclaimed cedar shingles (as posted recently) and the first of a handful of vintage cartographic cigar boxes. Check ‘em out on Etsy. More will be added over the next week or so.

Freddy's Bar

A nicely rounded decrescendo of humans absorbed in devices, drinks and perhaps conversation. Clearly not all the people, but a handful to represent the lot. Their gradual rotation puts me in mind just a little of Duchamp’s Nude Descending a Staircase— motion implied in a still (though miles more primitive in this case). Another even sketchier sketch after the jump.

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trees- oil on cedar

Here are three snapshots showing progress to the final, where none of the wood remains visible, as in the previous landscapes. I also decided against the golden leaves; as I worked the snow the monochrome won. I may do another, more autumnal, with vibrant leaves. Also, these weathered cedar shingles are a bit tricky to work on, as they’re pretty heavily textured. The grain fights painting in detail, so one of my cradled (or uncradled) boards salvaged from wine boxes or drawer bottoms would be better suited to that kind of detail work.

winter trees

Here’s a new painting on more cedar in progress (in triplicate). I’m not quite decided on whether the ground will simply be covered in snow, or whether it will be a snowscape covered in golden leaves. I’ll post it when it’s finished; maybe take a few more shots as it progresses.

It’s nearly 60º today, and sunny. The free range toddlers in the playground across the street are having a fine afternoon of it. I think I’ll go for a long walk and soak up some of that vitamin D, run a few errands while I’m out. Hoping the weekend will be filled with bike riding.

Happy April and, with luck, Happy Spring! (No pranks here, as I abhor April Fool’s Day.)

oil painting on cedar shakes
Above is a photo of 2 of 7 of the cedar shake pieces (Apologies for the lo-res and the noise, they are drying on my ‘kinckknacktionary’ resin table. Brooklyn = small apartments)

Painting again, oils: three sessions in a week. Feels natural and good (I missed the smell of linseed oil). I’ve been sharing my secrets with Zac. He’s a quick study; has an intuitive grasp of materials.

Above is yet another sneaky peak— this time at some modest but cute little nightscapes we’ve been creating to sell with an eye to raise funds for a trip to the Continent in the fall. I acquired a boxful of reclaimed cedar shakes a year or two ago; did the first triptych, then was at a loss as to how to hang or mount it reliably (odd shapes, balance). But we solved it with the world’s smallest screw-eyes (thank you internet) and some wire— voila! We’ve been painting more since.

There will be proper photographs and Etsy listings within a week or two.

I tend to paint in monochrome, duochrome; very moody and more like charcoal drawings made of paint. That’s my aesthetic. Although, when I do want some color, I like it to POP. Since I’ve returned to this practice, I’ve been thinking about the methods and techniques that I’ve acquired, learned, and tested over the years. Here’s my list of oil / acrylic / casein colors in order of usefulness and relevance.

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Gowanus sunset
Walking through Gowanus at sunset

Spring is upon us! Still a bit chilly, but a notable shift has begun this past week.

As I noted a few weeks back, it’s been a busy [new] year for me so far; hell it’s been busy the past couple of years in general (yay). Not over-taxingly so, but in a steady and manageable way. Not only have I had a good deal of work, but have tackled a number of other random things—

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laundry ladder
Brooklyn laundry ladder via flickr hive mind

There’s a slender ladder in the yard behind my house. I’ve seen it a thousand times; it starts at the ground and goes exactly nowhere. Patiently ignores the barking of the dog in spring. I know it was planted to thread clotheslines to the windows, but the pulleys have gone and no sheets nor unders wave and flap in the sunshine. So there it stands oxidizing, purposeless and nameless in a world it no longer serves.

Metropolis & Big Lebowski inspired image

Here is a sliver (sans graphics) of another illustration I’ve been working on this week for a client’s event. Viking woman meets Metropolis is essentially the visual theme— although it’s more specific, as will be apparent in the final, to be released on electrofork in May. Until then, just a taste. It was a nice change to be working with the Wacom tablet again. I don’t know why I don’t employ that more often.

Today was 60 degrees here in Brooklyn! I had a splendid time being outside earlier to run errands and dinner outdoors in the late sunshine.

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