Sunday, November 29, 2015

Drugs By The Pool

In the mid-eighties I made a bunch of very large childish drawings. These were done on the type of backdrop paper used by fashion photographers. I have no idea if they still manufacture this paper, but it came in large rolls that were six feet tall, so I could roll it out on the studio floor as big as I wanted it. The studio floor created a lot of wonderful textures by chance. I used the childhood technique of crayola wax resist with black paint on top that you scratch through to draw and expose the colors. The use of a kindergarten technique in order to portray adult subject matter was amusing to me.

Sunday, November 22, 2015

The Mock Turtle's Song: I

Here is another nonsense poem by Lewis Carroll that was very fun to illustrate.


Friday, November 20, 2015

Mister Fancy

A quick watercolor sketch of the main character of my current graphic novel in progress. This is my first venture as an "alternative cartoonist" into the realm of the "superhero". 

My other stories typically have a female protagonist. So this is a change for me.

I realize that the alternative universe regards this genre as a moribund one at best.

I, for one, disagree.

The reasons it seems that way is that it is always explored from the same points of view. Either the arrested development power fantasy, or a post modern hipster take on it, dripping with irony.

There are surely other ways to approach it. I mean to find out.

Saturday, November 14, 2015

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

A Punk In A Funk

Back in the original punk rock era, late 1970's to early 1980's was the first time my art work received serious attention. I was in my early twenties and attending the San Francisco Art Institute. There was a lot of bad boy art in those days and I was a part of it.

At the time my work was mostly sculpture.The materials I used were wood, plaster, paint, glass, and found objects. The majority of these pieces were assemblages presented as bas-reliefs, but sometimes they were room installations with recorded sounds.

My influences were Dada, (which historically can be looked at as the "punk movement" that occurred right after World War One), Max Ernst, Jim Nutt, and H.C. Westermann. Although my craftsmanship (inability) was far less refined than theirs.

I listened to the advice of Sam Tchakalian, a great bay area painter, and made my liabilities my strengths. The work became more and more savage and rough, and it got attention.

I worked like a whirlwind and and cranked out a large body of this stuff. I showed various pieces of this work in group shows and in one man shows at ArtSpace, The Compound, Diego Rivera Gallery, and Project Artaud.

Henry T. Hopkins, director of the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art gave me an award for one of these pieces that was in an exhibition at Emmanuel Walter Gallery.
The piece was stolen from the show the next day. I never photographed it, I didn't try to find it, and I have no idea where it wound up.

Some of this work was sold to collectors. In the spirit of the times I destroyed all unsold work.

Wednesday, November 4, 2015

Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Bat

Over the years I've found that if someone else isn't giving me an illustration project or assignment that it is a very good idea to give one to myself. This year marks the 150th anniversary of the first edition of Lewis Carroll's Alice's Adventures In Wonderland. Numerous publishers, art directors, and illustrators are jumping all over it with new editions, or one might say additions of this lovely book.

Personally, I am far too intimidated by John Tenniel's original illustrations to attempt it.

That said, Lewis Carroll wrote many nonsense poems, and I do feel up to illustrating the poetry.

The combination of his wit and sadness in these poems is very appealing and beautiful to me.

                                                          Twinkle, twinkle, little bat                                                         
                                                          How I wonder what you're at!
                                                          Up above the world you fly,
                                                          Like a tea-tray in the sky.
                                                                                 Twinkle, twinkle-------