Aug 31, 2006

Yearbook Photo



There is a nutty guy on myspace who posts a picture of himself in high school. He contacts artist's on their myspace sites and asks them if they will interpret the photo. People do a lot of funny things. Many people do photoshop stuff to make him look even weirder. I did my best Mad magazine type drawing. I love how it turned out. His name on myspace is, gulliver loves surfing. Check him out here.

A nice little blurb about me on Artdorks.

Aug 28, 2006

Morning Moleskine



My new thing is to do a painting in the morning. It takes Yun a while to get ready. She doesn't leave the apartment until around nine. I found myself working in my new moleskine. The watercolor one. I just look around my apartment and choose a little object that happens to be there. These are my first two attempts. Not bad. I was kind of struggling with this watercolor book because of the size. The subject matter I was trying to do was way too grand. But these simple little objects are perfect. It is a nice example of using time I would ordinarily waste and put it to good use.

Xk9 did a nice little post about me. The great Bill Dawson is the man behind Xk9 design.

Cheers


Every cafe uses real tablecloths in Europe. You can get a $4 breakfast and eat it sitting with a nice linen tablecloth. I also love the glasses in Austria and Prague. Every beverage comes in its own glass. If you order a Pilsner beer, it comes in its own special Pilsner glass complete with a little logo. Every drink -- and I do mean every one -- comes that way. They must have special rooms in every cafe and bar just to hold all of the glasses. I would order a bushmills on the rocks and a perrier, and I would get each in its own special glass. All the glasses are beautifully designed with unique twists and ridges. In America, everything comes in plastic and is 50 ounces. Disgusting. It seems like an awful lot of work to do it the way they do, but life is so much sweeter because of it. Anyone who is sensitive to design will be in heaven there.

You can see my apartment studio where I work at On my desk.

Aug 24, 2006

Double Jeopardy


Believe it or not, I only did my first painting about 12 years ago. A portrait of a huge southern redneck sheriff with his arms folded. It was a real struggle. When it was done I was not too pleased. It looked pretty good but it wasn't what I expected. I lived on 12th street and first avenue at the time. I framed it and decided to hang it in the hallway of my building. One cold winter night about a year later, I noticed it was gone. It was a wild neighborhood and occasionally wackos got in. I laughed at the thought of someone stealing my painting. Anyway about a year after it was stolen, my friend Frankie V and I went into this bar on Avenue B, the Lakeside Lounge. All of a sudden, Frankie says "look." He points and there above the bar is my painting hanging proudly. We call the bartender over and Frank told him that I did the painting. He says that about a year before, a guy came into the bar late one night and wanted to know if they wanted to buy a painting. He said they loved it so they paid him 50 bucks and off he went. I told them they could keep the painting. I liked the thought of it hanging in this cool bar. Then every once in a while I would stop by with friends and show them my painting. Everyone loved the story of how it came to live there. Well about 2 years after that, I was in there with with Frankie and he says, "hey, where is your painting?" We look around and it's gone. The bartender tells us that one winter night someone really wanted that painting bad, so they snuck it off the wall and smuggled it out under their coat. The painting I didn't like too much was now stolen twice. Who would have thunk it.

Phil Harmonic


When we were in Salzburg we went to see the Vienna Philharmonic perform. Everyone was dressed to the nines except me. I had ripped khakis, slip on converse sneakers and a stinky t-shirt. I wasn't trying to be arrogant or anything. I just happen to travel real light and that's all I had available. I don't know anything about classical music. Once it started instead of watching I drew the orchestra. It was no easy feat. It was totally dark in the audience. I'm really getting good at drawing in the dark. I try to be very unobtrusive but people around me can't help but notice. No one has ever really seen anyone sketching at the philharmonic. People are trying to watch the performance but they also half watch the looney, scribbling away on his moleskine pad. I think it came out pretty good considering the difficult situation.

Juxtapoz magazine.

Aug 20, 2006

Old School


I dug up this old drawing I did. Now I just draw in my moleskine books. Years ago I had a drawing table, lamp and the whole set up but I got rid of it because there is no room in my New York apartment. Anyway this is the way I used to draw. Now I'm happier pumping out a sketch in 45 minutes. I must say it does look good shrunk down in size for my blog. It looks a little michelangelo like. I draw a lot simplar now But I do have mad skills.

Check me out in Juxtapoz Magazine online. It doesn't get any better than that.

Aug 14, 2006

George Reeves




My godson's name is Tasio. He was born in Cambodia and adopted by my good friends, Pat and Licia. He then moved to a wonderful dairy farm in upstate New York. Tasio probably comes from a long line of cambodian warriors. He seems born to be on a hard working farm. He and I bonded instantly. Over time his mom noticed a lot of similarities between us. A big thing we have in common is superheroes. Many of my paintings are of masked heroes. Batman, Robin, Lone Ranger and The Green Hornet. He is obsessed with these same guys. His biggest obsession is Superman. I bought him a 5 DVD box set of the 1960's Superman television show. We watched it for hours. When we spend time together he has thousands of endless questions about, krypton, Jor-l and x-ray vision. He even dresses up everyday as Superman. Recently I was on the farm and had to make a trip to the home depot. Tasio came with me. Of course he was dressed as Superman. When we entered the store everyone spotted him. As a joke, someone made an announcement over the loudspeaker that, "Superman was in the store." Tasio took it all in stride because deep down he truly believes HE IS SUPERMAN.

Aug 12, 2006

Historic Preservation


Everyone knows this famous New York landmark because of the t-shirts. This place, like so many others are quickly disappearing from the new modern urban landscape. I'm glad i've been smart enough to capture these historic monuments on paper. It's just like that song by Queen that says, "another one bites the dust, another one bites the dust."

Storm Clouds


I did this drawing from my head. In all of the drawings I show on my blog I draw from real life. I go to a place and draw the building, car or person. For this one I just took my pen and paper and drew. When doing something like this it is best to have an idea in mind. I was thinking about the state of the world today and wanted to somehow get my feeling across. I think this did the trick.

There is yet another interview with me. This one in Carpal tunnel Magazine. Check it out here.

Also I was fearured again on DRAWN. Check it here.

BQ


I went to a lot of bar-b-ques this summer. One weekend Yun and I went to see her grandmother, who is a cooking machine. She told us to pick up a grill. So we stopped by Target and got a really cheap one. I must say it wasn't too bad. The grandmother had marinated some Kalbi beef and steaks. Her marinade has the juice of onions, chinese pears, molasses and god knows what else. It must take forever to make. Not only did I eat that stuff all day. I made us all cold steaks sandwiches the next day for lunch. Even Granny didn't mind wolfing one of those down.

I have a brand new illustration site. Check it out here.

Red Barn






When I was at my friend's farm I went and drew a couple of the farms near his place. I took a couple of photos to show you sort of how I work. The little rusty seat I was sitting on is an old milking stool. It helps to get into the mood. I also added a second farm I painted for the hell of it. As you can probably tell it was 99 degrees out as usual.

Challenge


I joined a site called The Art Bolg Challenge. They give out a topic and everyone does something to that theme. This was a drawing I did on the theme "robots." I happen to be one of many artists who likes to collect toys. My wife thinks I'm nuts and she could very well be right. You can check out The Art Blog Challenge here. http://artblogchallenge.blogspot.com/

Aug 11, 2006

The Old Ballgame



I've gone to four baseball games this year. The Mets twice and the yankees twice. I am a Mets fan and Yun likes the Yanks. These are a couple of drawings I did at two different games at Shea stadium. The Mets are going to have a brand new stadium in a few years. Should be nice.

There is a brand new interview of me at Design Inspiration. Check it out here. http://designinspiration.blogspot.com/

Little Village


I would have never thought of going to a place like Salzburg. It was never on my radar. Yun dreamed that one up. But i'm glad I went. It was such a nice compact little place. Not a care in the world. Surrounded by such beauty. There is a giant castle high on a hill overlooking the village. The palce is all lit up at night. Lots of schnapps. I was constantly exhausted from travelling and walking all day. But I did manage to squeeze in a few drawings like this one.

There is a great interview of me by the writer, Susan Henderson on her website. She is one of the best people i've met online. Check it out here. here

Revolution


When Yun and I were in Prague we went to the Museum of Communisim. We learned all about how the Czechs finally organized to drive out the russians in 1989. A lot of what happened was the act of a single individual. A student named Jan Palach. He was so disillusioned by lack of freedom and opportunity in his country that in an act of defiance set him set on fire on Wenceslas Square. He died three days later. 800,000 people streamed into the streets to attend his funeral. No one really knew it at the tme but it was the beginning of the end for communism in eastern europe. It would take twenty more years, but his death would again be a catalist for the end of the russian occupation. A handful of college students wanted to mark the anniversary of his death with a vigil. The communists came and beat the students terribly. This time the Czech people took to the streets by the millions and they did not stop until they toppled the government and drove the russians out for good. My friend told me his mother was friends with Jan Palach. I asked her about him but she got too emotional to really talk about him. She said he always spoke about doing something dramatic to protest what was happeneing but she said at the time she just dismissed what he was saying. She was schocked like everyone else when he did it. You can read more about him at http://archiv.radio.cz/palach99/eng/palach.html

There is a great interview of me by the writer, Susan Henderson on her website. She is one of the best people i've met online. Check it out here. here

Grey Scale


I saw my friend Butch Belair drawing one day and he used a light grey magic marker. I love how it looked so I gave it a try myself. I like the result. Ordinarily I would crosshatch the shadow. It appears more real this way. It's a nice little tool to add the repertoire. I just got back from a trip to Asia with my wife. I went to South Korea, Tokyo, Hong Kong and Beijing. So as a result there will be a lot of new interesting sketches and stories on the way.

Scary Movie


I have lived in the East Village of Manhattan for 25 years. Ever since I can remember there has been a store called Enchantments. It is a place where real witches and warlocks can go to buy the ingredients for their spells and potions. I am not kidding. It is a real place. I have never actually been in the store. I don't want to risk getting turned into a cricket or a moth or something. When I was drawing this a lot of funny people were going in and out of the joint. Anyway it's nice to know that all of our scary friends have a place of their own to go and congregate.

Aug 10, 2006

The Hood


I've been trying to force myself to do a drawing everyday. I leave my house and quickly try to find something within one block so I don't waste too much time searching. I've done about 20 in a a row. It is hard to fit in with all the other stuff I have to do. But I am a maniac so I do it anyway. These are all in my large camouflage book. No wonder I am always exhausted. I've worked my colored pencils down to little nubs.

Red Sox Territory


Yun and I went to the Berkshires in Massachusetts over the summer. There is a place called Tanglewood that has nice outdoor concerts by big time symphonies. You bring blankets, food and wine and chill under the stars. In our case under the rainy night but it was still great. This one one of those drawings I had to half do in the pitch black darkness. I'm getting good at drawing blind.

Food


In Prague when you go to a restaurant and look at the menu they actually list the weight of the portion. There it is right next to the price. 200 grams or whatever. Jan told us that during the Russian occupation of Prague people realized they were being cheated. Butchers and supermarkets hid the good stuff away from ordinary citizens. This was used for favors or other types of goods. People have an overall distrust. I would be also if the Russians occupied me. Jan said his grandmother worked in a butcher store under the occupation and she had to do a lot of weighing of meats. He said after the Russians were driven out, this system of displaying the weight of foods was established, and if he ever went to eat with her she would tell the waiter "this plate doesn't weigh what it says on the menu." She would make them take her to the kitchen to weigh it and sure enough she would always be right. Communism sucks for sure.

Aug 9, 2006

My Buddy


This is my friend Jan. He was born in Prague but the family was forced to leave when the Russians took over. His dad is a journalist. They moved to Vienna and that is where he grew up. So he was a big help to us on our trip there. I met him through my friends Pat and Licia who live on the farm. I am their son Tasio's godfather, and I met Jan, Licia's cousin, during Tasio's christening in Italy. Just by chance he was coming to New York a few months ago, and he stayed in my apartment his first 8 days here. We showed him a great time, and he and his wonderful family showed us a side of life there the normal tourist wouldn't see. Now we have made some really great friends for life.

Ripleys


Believe it or not, when drawing in my notebooks I have never thrown out a drawing or ripped a page out ever, and I do mean NEVER. So if I start to draw and it's not coming out so well ( which happens quite a bit) I just keep going and in the end it usually looks pretty damn good. I know how to rescue sketches. For the first time in my life I ripped a page out of a journal. It was a brand new spiral one. It was my first attempt in that book. I was at my friend's farm in upstate New York. I saw a horse standing in its stall but as I began to draw, the horse would not cooperate. He would constantly turn his back to me. Usually I would wait him out but it was 100 degrees out and I was frustrated. And that's when it happened, I actually tore a page out of one of my books. I was a little ashamed. I even looked around to see if anyone had seen what happened. A few cows did but who cares. I crumpled it up and put it in my pocket. When I got home a week later I found it in my suitcase. I was drinking a beer or two and looking at it on the ground and all of a sudden, I liked it. It is not the kind of drawing I do. It was quick and loose with a splash of color for no reason. So here it is for all to see. Embarrassed one day, proud the next.

There is an interview about me at Artful Wisdom. http://artfulwisdom.blogspot.com/

The Hills Are Alive


On our trip to Austria we visited Salzburg. Yun loves classical music and opera and I guess that's the place to be. Mozart was born there and it was his 250th anniversary. But the real reason for our trip there was The Sound of Music. When Yun was a little kid she would spend the summers in her family's home in Korea. They only had a handful of video cassetes to watch. One was The Sound of Music. So by default she watched it like a million times over the years. It just happened to be filmed in Salzburg where the real Von Trapp family lived. Believe it or not a whole industry has sprung up in Salzburg taking tourists to all the places where scenes were filmed in the movie. Of course we had to do it and it turned out to be hilarious. It was a very small group, 8 people. All the participants were very serious aboout seeing the sights except Me, Yun and our guide, who was stoned out of his mind. He was a total burn out hippie who could care less about the movie. I'm not really sure he ever saw it. There were two ladies from New Jersey carrying professional cameras with huge telephoto lenses. They constantly peppered our guide with questions about the real Von Trapp family house verses the one in the movie, about the real church they were married in verses the one in the movie. Our stoned out guide seemd overwhelmed by New Jersey. At one point we were way up in the alps and our guide, Richard, hit the button on a liitle hidden cassette player, and you guessed it, the song "the hills are alive with the sound of music" began to play. All sang except Yun, I and Richard. we were laughing too hard inside. All in all I would have to give it a 10 out of 10 as an enjoyable few hours.

Aug 8, 2006

Hope



When I was in the Czech Republic I met the great photojournalist, Jan Sibik. He was having a huge exhibition in Prague. You can see some of his work here, http://www.sibik.cz/. I showed him one of my drawing books. He looked a little stunned and then he said something to me I hadn't thought of. I have been using a new drawing book. It is made by Carhartt, the company that makes a lot of camping, hunting and work gear. He says, "The drawings you make are so uplifting and hopeful but the cover of your book is just the opposite. It is that military symbol that I see in every terrible situation I go to in the world." I thought that was such an interesting observation. I got him to sign his new book for me. It is amazing to meet someone who goes everyday to the worst places on earth and documents what is happening. Beruit, Congo, Iraq, North Korea, wars, tsunami, floods, AIDS clinics and basically anywhere that hell exists. It puts things into perspective for me as I go around drawing the funny little buildings in my neighborhood and places I travel.

There is an interview of me in Dork Magazine. http://www.dorkmag.com/tk.html

Aug 7, 2006

Ornaments


Vienna is like a giant wedding cake. Every square inch of every building is jammed packed with so much ornate frilly frilly business you wonder how the hell they did it. It is quite a sight though. You really feel the history of these places. But what I feel when I stroll around looking at all of those buildings is how much these architects must have loved wedding cakes.

I want to thank 2 of my friends. One is Bill Dawson of XK9 design. Check him out here: http://www.xk9.com/woof/ I noticed he had a little icon before his http address. I asked him how he did it. He told me it is called a favicon and that a young designer helped him do it. He was kind enough to turn me on to his friend. His name is Jason Croatto. He did mine for no charge. I love all the people I have met on the internet who have gone out of their way to help me, especially these 2 knuckleheads.

There is an interview of me in Dork Magazine. http://www.dorkmag.com/tk.html

The Ladies


The town that my friend's farm is in is very small. Everyone knows everyone. It is called East Otto in upstate New York. Near Buffalo. I was going all over town drawing. Word had quickly spread that there was stranger in town sitting on a small foldup stool drawing and painting. This seemed very exotic to these folks. So over the course of a few days almost everyone had come over to see what I was up to and to introduce themselves. I was thrilled and amazed. My friend Pat called me when I got home and said the town ladies had approached his friend Beau to ask if they could use my drawings for a calender to raise money to save the old schoolhouse. I know this sounds like an episode of Mayberry but i'm just telling it like it is. Well anyway, I told them to go screw themselves. JUST KIDDING. I put everything on a disk and sent it to them to use as they please. I am very flattered.

There is an interview of me in Dork Magazine. http://www.dorkmag.com/tk.html

Working Large


My friend Keith Haluska bought me a new drawing book in Amsterdam. It is quite large though. I have begun to do these black and white sketches that I color in with pencils. They are pretty nice but very hard work because of the size. But you know me I'm a friggin glutton for punishment. Here's a typical one I did early one morning before the city of Vienna woke up. The only people on the streets were me and drunks coming home from clubs the night before.

How It's Done




Here's a litlle look into the tortured life a dude who sketches on the street. I didn't have my fold up stool so I had to sit painfully on the ground. My back is always killing me. Plus it seems like everyday I am drawing it is 98 degrees out. Yun amused her self by taking photos. She captured me in action and I thought it would be intersesting to see me working. My gluteus maximus hurts just looking at these.

Heatwave


I spent a week in the sweltering heat on my friend Pat's farm. Obviously there is no air conditioning there. It doesn't take long to get acclamated. Right after that trip I went to Vienna and Prague. There is very little to no air conditioning there also. It wasn't quite as bad as the heatwave that New York was having at the time (which thank god we missed) but it was still pretty hot. When I arrived home after the trip all air conditioning felt like being in a meat locker to me. I was really able to see how americans have grown accustomed to wasting more energy than anyone on the planet. The europeans drive around in minature smart cars which get a thousand miles to the gallon. Even down to the way we drink soda. Here you go to the movies and a small coke is like 50 ounces. Over there you get served a coke in a tiny 8 ounce glass bottle. Very civilized.

Facsimile


When Yun and I arrived in Vienna to begin our trip I quickly realized she had a fierce agenda. We were to see every museum there was. The only problem is I don't like museums too much. I get overwhelmed at trying to look at all the stuff. There is always too much. But the real problem is that I am in this amazing city and not getting to do any of my own drawings. I was dying inside. I noticed something at the second museum we went to. I realized that a lot (if not all) of the paintings and drawings weren't real. They seemed to be framed color xeroxes. I then entered a room in the museum that had a large notice on the wall. It said, we don't display our real art, it will get damaged if exposed to the sun and other elements. BUT we are very proud of the quality of our FACSIMILES. I took a doubletake. FACSIMILIES. Then I realized that all the art in the first museum we went to was also color xeroxes. Yun then wanted to see Freud's house. She wanted to see the couch. When we arrived of course the couch wasn't there, only a photo of it. And not the original photo I might ad but a facsimile of the original photo. Anyway after I pointed all of this out to Yun she realized maybe it wasn't such a bad idea to draw pictures, drink beer and hang out a little more. Maybe rushing to every museum isn't all it's cracked up to be.

Aug 5, 2006

Test Drive


I spent some time on my pal Pat's farm. Before I went there I bought myself a new sketchbook to draw and paint in. I really wanted to test out this new book before I took it to Europe. It was an oversized watercolor paper spiral bound book. When I got to the farm I tested it out but found that it actually repelled water. I couldn't believe it. I had nothing else to draw in so I was stuck trying to make it work. Everytime I used my watercolors the paper wouldn't absorb the color so I ended up painting over and over and over. It was a pain but I kept at it. Also I have a new scanner and the book is too big for the scanner so I have to scan one half and then the other and then put them together in photoshop. The two halfs are slightly different in color. They look alright but not really what I was after. I made a bunch of drawings though so you will get to see them all eventually. I ended up not bringing this book to Europe. Good thing I test drove it first.

Travel Log


I've just spent a week on my friend Pat's dairy farm in upstate New York. Then I went to Vienna Austria for a week and then to Prague for a week. So in the next few weeks you will see a lot of drawings and stories from those places. In september it looks like I am traveling to Hong Kong, Tokyo and Korea. There will be a lot more exotic travel drawings on the horizon. I am exhausted by all of this but it does make for interesting blog posts.