May 19, 2010

Monkeying Around

Busy: Monkeying around with my pal Photoshop. I'm enjoying trying for a 1950's style with a modern edge. The joys of the brush pen on paper are promising.

Reading: 'Remarkable Creatures' by Tracy Chevalier. Could scarcely put it down, what with the dinosaurs and eternity at the seaside and all.

Also reading:
'The Diaries of Andy Warhol'. I still can't figure out how a shoe illustrator managed to buy a 4 story townhouse on the upper east side. He actually lost money doing paintings for the first few years. It's interesting to see the relentless work ethic and struggles to keep making art. The amazing originality of thought is so interesting. I don't recall any of the other NYC painters who were smart enough to do any writing... or had any ideas worth writing down.

Gardening: Major makeover in the backyard... coming soon.

May 7, 2010

Pirates Ahoy!

It was the opening of the boating season last weekend in Seattle, and many a unique vessel was to be seen afloat. All sorts of tugs, wooden boats, yachts, steamboats... big and little.

Of course these two really stood out. They even had a mock battle with gunpowder.

One of these ships, (the Lady Washington) was used in the movie Master and Commander with Russell Crowe. It looked so much bigger in the movie than it does in real life. I believe it also was used in the 'Pirates of the Caribbean' movies.

Sometimes they sail these ships all around Lake Union... but this time they stayed far away, towards the Center for Wooden Boats on Lake Union.

I have always had a thing for the sailing ships of old. As a boy I'd draw them for hours on end. I loved drawing every little detail... all the rope ladders and rigging other cool things.

They're the stuff of dreams I think. And they're fabulous as geometric designs... so elegant, complex, distinct and amazing.

May 4, 2010

Beguiling Cover Bunnies

The mailman brought along the nicest surprise. Opening a large envelope, I was discovered the new May cover to High Five Magazine.

It came out very nicely in print. I think an artist usually fusses over a cover. In fact it's entirely possible to over-fuss.

Being a cover bunny can do that to an artiste.
I'd guess cover girls must go through all the same things. I've always wondered, but I imagine it's true.

When I lived in Manhattan, I used to do work for 17 Magazine. I always liked dropping off sketches there... where I imagined all things fabulous might well become real.

No doubt being on the cover of any sort of magazine probably carries with it many of the same artistic quibbles.

Nerves, insecurities, nagging doubts and second thoughts....
Should I have worn a different swimsuit? (bunnies don't swim!)
Should I have worn a different sweater? (bunnies have fur, they don't need sweaters!)

Should I have shot my profile to the right instead of the left?
Do I look fat?

It's the same thing with artists and creating cover illustrations.

An artist will wonder: Are the colors too strong?
Is there too much background?
Should I have worked on the silhouette more... and redesigned the figures?
Did I use too many opaque highlights?
Are the figures the wrong size?
Did I overdo the shading?
Is there enough character...
Should I have gone for a more demure jollity overall?

These are the things that try a bunny's soul... but it's all character building in the long run. Like Popeye said, "I yam what I yam and that's all that I yam!"