Apr 13, 2010
I have spoken in the past about how I don't like going to museums. There is so much art in them that my eyes glaze over in two seconds. Plus I know next to nothing about art history. My favorite museum in the world is the Museum of Natural History in New York. It's filled with stuff a kid would love. That's me, a little kid. I would rather do my own art than look at it in some museum. The Natural History museum is just a big storage facility full of cool stuff to draw. I could spend the rest of my life drawing inside there. From now on if it's raining and I can't draw on the streets, I will head for this place. The dioramas are so frigging great. Actually I would love a job painting those things. As you can see I painstakingly tried to capture the feeling of this room. It will be the first piece in my portfolio that I show to whoever hires the people who paint the backgrounds of the dioramas.
I returned to the scene of the crime. The place where my head was overly sunburned. East Chinatown. My newest muse to draw. The neighborhood is still very untouched. Old Manhattan lives there, away from the prying eyes of tourists and developers. I feel like it's my little secret. The problem with this drawing of The Forward was that I drove my car into Manhattan. Dealing with the parking muni meters is a real problem. The time seems to shoot by. I was parked pretty far from where I was drawing. I was constantly running to put more quarters into that thing and get my little slip of paper. For two hours, you have to put in something like fifty three quarters. I stand there with fists full just feeding that machine. My car is filled with quarters. Recently Yun and I ate in a polish restaurant in the east village. I popped in a hundred quarters, got the piece of paper and put it in the car window. We sat down to eat and I see a parking ticket on my windshield. What? How did that happen in two seconds? I go to the car and see that when I closed the car door the wind had blown the piece of paper upside down. Ugh. Yun fought the ticket and won. The point of the story is leave your car home when drawing in east Chinatown.
Yun and I moved into our new neighborhood a few years ago because it was a bit rundown. We liked the edginess. Slowly that is evaporating and it is starting to become fancier. That's good and bad. It's harder to find a parking spot and developers are always threatening to make giant yuppie condo skyscrapers. The other thing is the sudden appearance of upscale restaurants right next to bail bondsman storefronts. The most major one is called Buttermilk Channel. This is a drawing of the place in the early morning. It's named after a little body of water that separates Governor's Island from Brooklyn. How such an out of the way place has become so hot is beyond me. Whenever Yun and I leave our apartment, we see tons of people mingling out in front of the joint. Lines that seem to be hours of waiting. Yet no one budges. The food is excellent and we have eaten there on many occasions. Doug is the affable owner and Yun and I know him. It seems most of the neighborhood people know him too. The cool thing about the restaurant is that unbeknownst to waiting patrons, Doug actually slides in neighborhood people before the other knuckleheads. It is all done on the sly in a quiet way. Before the owner knew us, we would always be greeted with, "one hour wait." Now Doug sees us out the corner of his eye. There is a subtle nod. Boom, a table. Now that is the way things should operate. And in Carroll Gardens, they do.
I did this drawing in Queens, New York. A nice little sunny Saturday afternoon. There was not going to be enough time to do one of my major sketches. So I chose to do this kiddie horse in front of some weird store. I actually planned in advance that I would make the background interesting by using colored words. How was I going to make this dumb little drawing more impressive? I relied on stream of consciousness. I was not really interested in what the words said but in how the final result looked. Everything I wrote is true.
Apr 8, 2010
Someone in my office showed me this cool thing. It's new on the updated version of Safari. It's called Top Sites. You can store all the websites you dig on a single page. It's just a really nice way to bookmark websites you love. Because I am an egomaniac, I loaded it with all my own websites. You can see that I have way too many. There is my blog, my official website, my Myspace page, my illustration site, my Flickr, my spraygraphic site, my tumblr site, my facebook, my twitter, my Etsy store and my Linkedin page. All at my fingertips on one handy page. As you can see, it is full of squirrels and nuts.
Apr 5, 2010
I have not done a drawing on the street in a very long time. This one I did the day before Easter. It was the first real warm sunny day. Of course I broke the cardinal sin. I'm Irish and didn't put on a hat or suntan lotion. I was toast. It was a long winter and one forgets about the sun. This is a nice little drawing but it came at a cost. I was in pain for three days. People probably think I'm in the tea party because I am white and have a red neck. Once again I found myself drawing in Chinatown. I sat out of people's way on a corner next to a garbage can. For some reason everyone crossing the street had to veer away from a tiny puddle. You could take one of two directions. The first was to veer away from me where there was 100 feet of walking room. OR. two, veer right into me where there was 2 inches of room. Every person chose to veer into me. Each time kicking or pushing my arm as I tried to sketch. I must have magnetic powers. It was the usual show with people stopping (after they crashed into me) and staring at me. They and their kids standing inches from my drawing. I miss the warm weather and drawing on the streets. It's good to be back but I must buy some lotion.
Apr 3, 2010
I recently had a birthday and Danny Gregory got me a gift. It was a book given out to GI's after World War 2. In it, they could record where they went, who their buddies were, medals they were awarded and dates they shipped out and got home. It's filled with maps of the war and historic photos. there are even some diary pages you can draw in. A few pages were marked for your favorite pin-up girls. So I drew my very own. thought I would give the book a work out.