Monday, October 31, 2005

What a great weekend it was in Norfolk

As you can see from the photo, I had a fabulous time hanging out with my art posse. From left to right is Amanda, Walt, Big Harry, Lydia, Laura, Cin, myself, Jenny and Marcus.

Laura, Jenny and I are pointing out the fine craftmanship in Harry's Sketch Blogger slide show. It was grand.

(I really missed you guys)

Friday, October 28, 2005

Blind Contour Fish Story

Click for larger image

Click for larger image

OK, I'm trying this BC thing out in earnest for the first time since art school. I was looking around the studio for something to draw, and staring me right in the face is a 14 foot long blue marlin.

No, I'm not taking drugs.

I actually have a 14 foot long blue marlin hanging on the wall in the basement where I work. I caught it in 1994 and now it stares down at me in disgust. I fought it's 575 pounds for 3 and a half hours, and for what? So it could be stuffed and live on my wall and watch me make bad art? It was much more majestic when I first hooked it. It must have jumped 10 feet out of the ocean and waved it's body at me in defiance. It glistened in the sunlight and then continued to play me until I was spent. But in the end it lost the fight.

Looking back, I wish it had gotten away.

Wednesday, October 26, 2005

My Handsome Son

My oldest son Bill - Click for larger image

As some of you may know, I spent part of my weekend going through 20 years of work in my old flat files. One interesting item I stumbled upon was a 16" x 20" color photo I took of my oldest son when he was only 5 months old. He was just starting to roll around on his stomach and lifting his head to look around at the world. I just loved the photo and took it to a lab for enlargement. But there it sat, tucked away in my flat files for the last 15 years.

As a joke I taped it to the door of his bedroom and waited for his reaction when he went to bed that night. He was startled to say the least . He had no memory of the photo. He, his sister and I looked at it for a bit and we all had a good laugh. I said,"What a beautiful baby you were!". His sister, in an attempt to be funny said, "What happened?".

My son, in all seriousness and almost to himself, said, "I was beaten with an ugly stick." This just crushed me. He is such a confident and positive young man that I hadn't seen this crack in his self esteem. And in the few days that followed I began to think how few drawings, and no paintings, I have done of him. And I recall him commenting on that fact in the recent past as well.

So this morning I did this sketch of him. Hopefully it will be the start of other portraits of my oldest. I want him to know I think he's beautiful (OK, handsome is a more manly word I suppose) and what a fine young man he is, and what a fine adult I know he will become.

Monday, October 24, 2005

More from the flat files

It's amazing what you can find when you clean. For a while there I was captivated by a series from Sci Fi writer Anne McCaffrey about The Dragon Riders of Pern. Yes, my geek side is showing now. This is a sketch of Ruth the White Dragon, the only white dragon on the planet. He could travel trough time too. That's a bonus!

Now, please excuse me while I go back to the basement of the Science building. I think I'm missing a hot game of Dungeons & Dragons.

Saturday, October 22, 2005

Look what I found...

Click for larger image

It is time to purge my work space. I was cleaning out my flat files today. I have an ancient set they let me have when I worked at The Post. I got them in 1987 and I'm sure they were twenty years old at that time. I threw away a bunch of old stuff. But then I came across stuff I've not thought of for so long I've forgotten I have it.

This is one of those. It is a colored pencil piece I did for my sister-in-law when she was married for the first time. They seemed really in love, but he turned out to be a jerk and the marriage didn't last. I found a 4' x 5' slide of it in the flat files. I have often wondered what happened to the original. It was, I think, 24 x 20 and framed nicely. It was probably burned in a ceremonial pyre with a bunch of his stuff. :-D

It's obvious I was totally enamored with Bill Nelson's work at the time. I hadn't figured out yet that you have to find your own thing. You can do someone else's. And check out his pinky on his left hand. That's just bad. What, is it broken?

The good thing is looking at this tells me I have gotten better. It has taken 17 years, but I think I've gotten better.

Friday, October 21, 2005

My first BCF. Be gentle

Click for larger image

You can tell I was REALLY engaged at this meeting today. But I jumped at the chance to try a blind contour to post tonight. My apologies to Mike, my subject, I'm sure he has no idea what's happening to him. And my apologies to Dave, I didn't mean to make him look like a Klingon. He was just upset about what we were discussing. I didn't blame him, I just drew him.

The Mystery is solved!

The Prize

I know you all have been loosing sleep over this, and now it's time to find out who is behind the mystery painting. And the artist is...... (drum roll please) Frantisek Kupka.! The title of the painting is "La Gamme jaune (The Yellow Scale)"
painted in 1907.

I promised a prize to whom ever came up with the answer. It's one of the sketch books off my Cafepress site. Unfortunately none of us bloggers came up with the answer so the prize goes to Kerri Manchaca of the Museum of Fine arts, Houston. After hounding her with emails she was kind enough to hunt this information down for me. I'm sure she'll be honored and somewhat puzzled when she receives it in the mail.

I'm starting to set up my store, but if you'd like to visit come on by at

Yes, this is an attempt at shameless self promotion.

Thanks for all the good guesses everybody!

Tuesday, October 18, 2005

Here's a clue...

We still don't have a winner. So I thought I would throw out this clue. This is the painting that I sketched. Amanda and I had the same idea and searched the museums website for this painting, but to no avail. I have email them about it. Let's hope they respond soon. There are a lot of tense people out there with a deeep desire to know who this artist is. :D

However,if you know the artist from by looking at the painting, please chime. There will be a prize. I was going to give away a new Mercedes to the person that could guess it from the sketch. But I will be giving away a prize of "lesser" value to the first person to guess from the painting. Time will be up when the museum writes me with the answer.

Sunday, October 16, 2005

Who is this artist?

Click for larger image

This is a sketch from my trip to the Houston Museum of Fine Art. I made a list of all the artist's I really liked so I could google them to do research later. But I must have forgotten to write this one down. Without posting the original painting, I was wondering if anyone out there could name the artist from my sketch? I'd really like to know.

Good Luck!

Tuesday, October 11, 2005

A Day to Remember

As my brother has reminded me, today my family should remember my mother passing. Some of you may have seen this before. But I post it again in her memory. The weird thing is, my wife just washed and repaired a teddy bear my mother made, not realizing the date. The bear's up on our bed in a place of honor.

Thanks Rick.

Saturday, October 08, 2005

Break time at the museum...

Ok, I'm coming clean. I was sitting in the second morning session at the conference in Houston today AND IT WAS SOOOOOOO LAME! I am not going to tell you who's session it was to protect the guilty.

We were on our own for lunch today, so I snuck out a "tad" early. I walked a few blocks, grabbed the really cool Houston metro, and in about 5 minutes I was at the Houston Museum of Fine Art.

It was a wonderful break, and I was surprised by the quality of the museum's exhibits. (No offense Houston) I got in just a couple of sketches before I had to head back for the afternoon sessions.

Here's my only complaint - there was no place to sit down to draw. I did these standing up and trying to draw in my moleskine. Sorry.

This is a Sketch of Vouet's "St. Sebastian". He came out a little girly, but I'll attribute that to the fact that I was standing up and cradling my sketch book between my arm and chest.

This is a sketch after Rembrandt's "Portrait of a Young Woman". She reminds me of a character from a Wallace and Grommet animation. Must be the hair.

Friday, October 07, 2005

Houston in the evening

Walking back from the conference to my hotel this evening, I came across this interesting set of buildings. It made me wish I had a wide angle lens.

I'm in Houston!

I'm at the Society of News Design Annual conference in Houston, Texas.

This is the hallway at the Hilton where the conference is.

The Houston Convention Center

Houston has a lot of big shiny buildings!

I went to a really great session this morning on how The Cleveland Plain Dealer redesigned itself. Learned a lot.

I'm in a session right now on Katrina coverage. (They have a wireless connection at the conference, ain't technology grand!)

More to come....