Some recent spreads from my sketchbook. It is not a Moleskine— I chose a knock-off for this trip, which was a little wider, and had white paper instead of the cream color of moleskines. Unfortunately, though the paper is nice and heavy, this paper lacks the clay coating or whatever it is that makes a moleskine so great for watercolor.
On these pages, the watercolor just sinks in immediately, losing its vibrance and its ability to move around, meander a bit before settling.
The only color here that is vibrant is the cadmium yellow, which is a different brand of half-pan than I’ve been working with, which is more like a gouache, really. (The red on the second spread is mixed with some of that yellow)
It lacks true transparency unless used with a lot of water. A problem, as I tend to paint over inked drawings, whose lines can get obscured beneath it.
A couple of mild disappointments— and lessons!
Apologies for the long gap in activity here. I did so well with a minimum of 1-2 posts per week for over two years, and recently dropped the ball! I was on a trip to my usuals over the past couple of weeks; Amsterdam, Berlin, and Paris— photos forthcoming as I go through my selects, and follow the threads of some stories.
I traveled with Z, and by younger brother, J. We had a wondrous adventure and spent lots of time with old friends, and some new ones. Above is a little cartoon I drew of us one evening in Paris. This is purely from imagination, not a true portrait, but I think it captures us on our trip rather well.
More posts to come very soon, as I find time here and there to process and unpack the many photographs (and thoughts, feelings) from my travels.
Just a little drawing I did yesterday at Halyard’s, where I stopped for a little while during my wander.
On Friday we leave for our trip to Europe! It’s been just over two years since my last visit, and I’m super excited. I still have some freelance work to do; drawings for the documentary— and of course my regular full time job as well. But no doubt this week will fly, as has this whole month.
A sample of one of the little instagram comics that Z and I crafted last year under the handle @whileyouwerehappy. We kept at it for awhile, but it was time-consuming and after maybe 4-5 months our attentions inevitably turned elsewhere. It was fun, though, and we really did make ourselves laugh like mad people over them.
I think the original title of this was A sick thing upon the rocks in the very early morning. It’s from when I was a teenager in college. (I think the sketch that precipitated this ink drawing originated during an acid trip; that coming down feeling—)
As I see it now, looking through the archive, it looks to me like a personification of the tail end of winter. Fighting in vain against the sun; unwilling to exit stage left; refusing to retreat for its Persephone months—
Those during which she must return to where she’d been abducted. By absent-mindedly eating the pomegranate seeds proffered by Hades, she doomed herself to a third the year in the underworld, thereby depriving the surface of the world of green things growing during her absence.
That is Winter, which doesn’t like to take its leave quietly, gracefully.
. . .
(TBH, the way I wrote the title of this post reminds me of nothing so much as the GOP, but that’s a different sort of post altogether.)
Above: sketch of a suburb— viewed from the spire, as it were. A suburb represents, to me, a place that lacks the most wonderful parts of both cities and wide open spaces*; A pattern imposed; a restrictive one— made to serve its developer’s purpose rather than its inhabitants. Sometimes, life feels that way, no?
(how things move altogether too quickly and smoothly once a pattern is imposed)
It‘s what patterns are for.
It’s both good and bad; comforting and regrettable. Like choosing to stay in and get a good sleep when it’s a big wondrous and scary blizzard out. You know what I mean; one feels torn, a bit. Yet resolved. It‘s life— that feeling of contradiction that somehow fits because we‘ve been socialized and trained to accept that it fits.
Days, weeks simultaneously dragging and speeding by. It‘s the unquantifiable aspect of time that math-science is less equipped to deal with than psychology-science. Viz. feelings and other ephemera more in the realm of the social sciences, aka art literature poetry philosophy— the realms comprising questions and not so many answers (yet every answer, too)†.
Math-science satisfies the Libra in me (picked up perhaps from proximity to my balanced Libra brothers). The designer in me thrives on the practicality of measurement; of the quantifiable. The artist (Scorpio) in me prefers to live the questions, as Rilke put it.
On offer today: some marker and pen sketches of folks from the last Friday night at Hope & Anchor. Officially closed as of Sunday, and as I understand they had a sort of second line jazz funeral for the beloved diner and karaoke joint of Red Hook.. It’s a place I’ll sorely miss; another casualty of the sweeping change that’s been a kind of secondary storm in the wake of Hurricane Sandy.