Oct 22, 2014
Ever since I was a little kid, I've had an obsession with ice cream trucks. I guess in some way, we all do. We've been trained since we were little to jump up and go crazy when we hear the bells of an ice cream truck. How about that dumb song, the Mr. Softee truck plays. My friend, Reid Paley who lives in Williamsburg, said that Mr. Softee used to park under his apartment window everyday in the summer. The song playing for hours each day nearly drove him to insanity. Secretly we've had our brains infiltrated like Pavlov's dogs. One of the first ice cream trucks ever on Long Island was, Bungalow Bar. The truck was shaped like the Good Humor truck except it had an actual roof that looked like a house on top of it. The door to the truck was a white picket fence gate. In my hood when the truck came around, we used to sing a jingle that we made up. It went like this, "Bungalow Bar tastes like tar. The more you eat it, the dumber you are." Who could not love ice cream with a theme song like that? No wonder I ended up in advertising.
Oct 20, 2014
My friend Sue Rose made a great observation. She has claimed that there are hidden messages and satanic symbols to be found in all the intricate details of my drawing. My new book is apparently full of them. That's right, I'm being compared to the Beatles. I will not confirm or deny any of these, "so called rumors". You will just have to look for yourself.
Oct 17, 2014
Oct 15, 2014
This Tuscany drawing is my "paste of resistance." That's French for, really great tomato paste. It's of, the Duomo in Florence. It took me 2 sittings to finish it. I put in every detail I could find. My friend Michelangelo was also an artist who liked to put in every detail. Him and I are detail guys. When he built The David, he gave him a big head of curly hair. The hair juts out over his forehead and hangs above his eyebrows. He did this for a specific reason. Michelangelo knew the David would be displayed in public. He also knew pigeons like to sit on the heads of statues. So if a pigeon sat on David's head and he took a poop, it would completely miss David's face on the way down. He thought of every detail. When I was doing this painting of the Duomo, I purposely wore a groovy hat. As I painted, I hunched over my drawing. I too, know that pigeons like to fly over me and go to the bathroom. BUT there would have been no way it could have hit my watercolor paper as I was protecting it. Me and the Mich are very much alike. Friday I will post a little film I made of Tuscany and me drawing there. I suggest you watch it.
Oct 13, 2014
The cool thing about traveling the world is seeing something super famous. Over the years on the streets of New York, I've run into Woody Allen, Meryl Streep, Robert DeNiro, Mary Tyler Moore, Prince, David Bowie, Dolly Parton, Liza, and Jay Leno to name a few. It's always surprising when it happens. The same goes for famous sites. When I rounded that corner past the little alleyway and the Leaning Tower appeared to me. I was taken aback. The thing is so famous, it's like seeing Marlon Brando or something. It gets me every time. Strolling into the room and there is the "David." It never gets old. The Eiffel Tower, Mount St. Michel, Angor Wat and the Forbidden City. I get such a rush seeing these things the very first moment of impact. There is still plenty of time left for me to see all the wonders of the world. As long as I don't visit New Jersey, I will continue to see groovy things. Next stop, the world's greatest rubber band ball museum in Indiana. Yeah right.
Oct 10, 2014
Whenever I stop and begin to draw a scene, people on the street take notice. I find that people with cameras come over because they think the view I have chosen must be great. Why would an artist stand at that particular spot for a few hours painting? Freaks with cameras run over and shoot the angle I am looking at. It's like I'm some angle expert. It can be a little distracting but it does make me laugh to myself. I have magical powers like Samantha Stevens.
Oct 8, 2014
I asked my wife where Michelangelo was buried. She took me to the church where his tomb is in Florence. It's in a church located in a groovy square. So I sat there and painted this picture. As you can see it's a statue of Dante. He's the guy who wrote "Disco Inferno." I do know some things. Yun told me that Dante was buried in the church too, so I wrote that onto my finished painting. A day or two later, Yun then informed me that Dante, was in fact, NOT buried inside that church. There is a cool tomb built waiting for him to arrive. He on the other hand is holed up in a little town called Ravenna. They refuse to give up the body. I'm not sure I care about any of this. It's just that I now have something written on one of my paintings that is not true. Oh well, you can't win them all.
Oct 6, 2014
I noticed something a little sad in Italy. It's the inseparable combination of young people and cigarettes. Yun and I took a train from Florence to Pisa. The train was full of high school and college kids. At every stop, all the kids on the train, jumped up and went outside for a smoke. The platform was always full of them. They would all pile back on, stinking like crazy. I'm not sure there was even one kid NOT doing it. I thought the anti-smoking thing would have taken a little more of a foothold in Italy but I guess it has not made a dent at all. On another note, I did notice something great in Pisa. No one honks their car horn. It must be a law. Obviously everyone in town is a tourist. They greatly limit the number of cars that can drive around in the main part of the city and near the tower. The streets are always full of people walking. Yet when cars or taxis get behind someone, they don't beep at all. They just go very slowly until the people walking realize a car is behind them and then they slowly pass. I wish the whole world was more like that.