February 29, 2008

Film Noir Kitty

Sprawled on the carpet, after the party... it's Norma Desmond... a.k.a. Kitty Desmond.... aging faded Star of stage & screen. Last seen in numerous picturebooks and the bigscreen production of Sunset Boulevard.

But now it's after midnight... after the cast party... she's a wreck, unable to cope with reality.
Who will fill her bowl with Friskies now that the directors have stopped calling?
Who will ask for her pawprint at opening night?
Her claws grasp in vain for a vanished past.

What has her agent done for her... lately?
Life is hard when you're a has-been Kitty...

I know the feeling...


February 24, 2008

The changeless sea... continued

Roots of a mystery fill the seaside grotto...

Colorful shells adorn the beach.  Eventually everything is worn into the same smooth shape.

This pole frames the space in an orderly fashion... or so thought I.

A shadow is cast by the intrepid photographer... it's the least I can do.

Meanwhile, the 'competition' snaps away like crazy.  lol!  And so ends our brief trip to the beach on a rare sunny day.

February 23, 2008

The sea, the sea... the changeless sea

The sea, the sea... the changeless sea.

Full of colors on a sunny day...

with Mystery and History to befuddle mere mortals.

The crows find something to laugh about...

You can find broken stories hidden in the shadows..

February 20, 2008

Up, up, up the Bridge Goes...

All traffic comes to a stop so one little sailboat can pass beneath the bridge. Sometimes there might be 500 cars waiting while this one little boat sails past. So very quaint!

I always imagine a happy little sailor smoking a pipe at his leisure while overhead there are 500 cars full of stressed out motorists waiting 10 minutes for this ritual to be finished. But never having been in such a boat, I can only imagine.

On a sunny day it's a good opportunity to get out and stretch and enjoy the scenery.

Up, up, up the bridge goes... the sidewalk is nearly vertical.

I think there are at least three bridges like this in town. They all date back about 80 years. But they all still work. They operate more in the summertime as boat traffic increases.

February 19, 2008

Color or Art or just plain Odd

Color is nice...

But black & white seems more like Art somehow... funny how that works.

Lately I like odd photos... photos on a tilt and mysterious and out of focus. Probably because that's more how life works too.

February 17, 2008

Down to the Sea...

It was that kind of day. It was a sunny day... a day the locals were unaccustomed to. But beyond the strangeness of experiencing sunlight, something else was in the air.

Of course they had to go somewhere... the sun was shining after all. Why not down to the sea? It seemed perfectly logical.

By couples and alone they straggled towards the horizon. Towards what destiny none of them knew. Still they felt compelled... like salmon heading out towards the open ocean.

Yes... intstinct had guided them. They were well on their way now... they had guessed correctly.

February 16, 2008

Hollywood Outdoes Itself

Just thought I'd post a quick movie review. It's a movie about a children's book-making team... the movie is 'Dedication'.

Just the facts ma'am:

The advance offered to the illustrator: $200,000.00 with a $5,000 bonus for meeting the deadline.
The advance offered to the author: $100,000.00

The book: A stupid story about a horribly behaved miscreant beaver named Bucky or something.

The deadline: The book is due in 3 weeks... but the author hasn't had any ideas yet.

The work: None to speak of. Even with a looming deadline of 3 weeks all this creative team could manage was to lollygag around in cafes, waiting for inspiration to strike. I never actually saw a single illustration being created, though in one scene I did see the writer finally get out a pen & paper.

The inspiration: Failing to come up with any good ideas about a misbehaved beaver in Manhattan, the creative team has to retire to the idyllic shores & waterfront mansion in the Hamptons to find inspiration. They couldn't seem to find any there either.

Total time working on the book out of the entire movie: About 8 seconds. The rest of the movie was all spent working on the so-called romance, though I fail to see what redeeming features the author guy had.

I thought Hollywood had painted our profession badly enough with 'The Door in the Floor'. But they've really outdone themselves with this one! The trailer was much better than the movie.


p.s. I do wish real life was like this movie and we did get paid like that.

February 11, 2008

Seemingly endless bleakitude...

Too many days in a row like this and you can't hardly think straight. Ugh! Turtles are wise to be sleeping in the mud at the bottom of the pond.

A bright sunny morning would be the perfect tonic.

Yet the snowdrops don't seem to mind. They poke up regardless.

A wonder... the beginning of the end of bleakitude!

February 8, 2008

Is it wrong to love digital art too much?

Is it wrong to love digital art too much?

I don't think so.

In fact I'd guess that the joy to be found doing digital artwork makes up for the many frustrations that other aspects of computing bring into one's life.

I like digital because it's such a challenge... both artistically and mechanically. Somehow it engages both sides of one's brain in a delightful way.

The 'geek' brain gets an excercise in logic, figuring and analyzing all the while... and the artistic side of the brain is equally challenged. And then there are those special moments when ideas arrive, and one breaks through to a new level of understanding, building on the techniques of the past all the while.

I've finally discovered a new line quality that I just luv... simple, fast and changeable. It's got bits that remind me a little of japanese prints and touches of andy warhol. Such fun!

Making art of any sort is fun... but it all usually begins with an idea & the lowly pencil. And when I get bored doing digital art, there's always my watercolor paper, brushes and real paints.

February 6, 2008

If books were like movies...

If books were like movies, then this new book I've been working on would be a historical costume drama. It's non-fiction in theory, but I've tried to make it read like a fictional story. It's set in the past... 100 years ago, so it appears that everyone is in costume.

It's more of a Jules Verne type story, with astonishing adventure to do with dirigibles, flying bicycles and that sort of thing. I actually sent away to the patent office trying to get some kind of copyright on the story, since I think it'd make a terrific movie. And that was even before I sold it to G.P. Putnams & Sons B.F.Y.R.

I have discovered that it requires a goodly deal of attention to detail to recreate scenes from a past age. In fact it takes a LOT of drawing! It requires drawing until one's hand is ready to fall off, essentially.

Just categorically, I'm sure in the last few months I have drawn the following: (partial listing):

4 horses, complete with harness detailing
3 carriages (those spoked wheels are challenging!)
3 antique motor cars
15 vintage skyscrapers including the Flatiron building
150 costumed extras for background scenes
17 feathered hats
12 pigeons
15 bicycles (bicycles are notoriously difficult to draw)
16 bowler hats and the gentlemen wearing them
12 straw hats and the gentlemen wearing them
14 ladies in fancy full length skirts
16 dirigibles
16 victorian houses
16 assorted odd children in vintage garb
1 Titanic like steam ship
7 odd bizarre flying machines
4 picket fences... (those take a while)
2 ironwork fences (those do too!)
5 assorted lawns and park settings
4 barn interiors with multitudes of tools and furniture
22 drawings of the main character
17 drawings of the character's mother
12 drawings of the pet dog
1 complete vintage fire fighting crew, with antique firefighting pump truck
5 barrels
37 tiny people in a crowd, with aerial perspective

Oh... and I have drawn the complete 1904 World's Fair including Ferris Wheel.

I mention all of this mostly to point out the difficulty of achieving such a task for someone who basically has a hard time drawing. I make up for it with erasing and stubbornness though.

I think my next book effort will be an emotionally based story with two cute little animal characters... no crowd scenes or perspective required!

p.s. No, this is not the finished art... just the pencils. And that's the drawing just for one scene!

February 4, 2008

If at first you don't succeed...

Paint, Paint again.

This painting started off as something else entirely.

But I had fun finishing it off in a new way that wasy completely different.

I knew from the start that it would be impossible to mess up this painting. So much of painting seems first to just make the brushstroke, and second, figuring out ways to correct regrettable brushtrokes.

I guess it's knowing when to quit is part of the secret.

February 2, 2008

From travail to triumph!

Yes... I am pleased to say my web-hosting and domain name transfer have gone through at last. It almost gives one a delusional sense of grandeur to be able to fine tune the DNS server settings, add in masking, re-point a secondary domain name.... and I haven't even started with the email yet.

Such triumph! Almost overtook the absurd rejection letter I received today. I suppose one problem with getting such a letter is that it contains that slipperiest, most illogical of all creatures... an opinion.

Editors, of course, are not sensitive to the fact that when they praise one's writing, but add that one's artwork isn't quite up to par... when sending said opinion to a professional illustrator who has for decades earned a living selling artwork... this is illogical to say the least.

Well, what can I say? Opinions are free... everyone has one, naturally.