Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Fire Escape

micron marker, micron pen and prismacolor marker

One of my favorite things to do in the summer is sit on my fire escape, right outside the living room window that opens up to it. When my neighbors are out and about I enjoy watching them come and go, sometimes giving a whistle and a wave if I'm feeling social. What I like more so, though, is letting my brain have it's tangential way through my day and, with enough time, life. I've reached many moments of clarity and inspiration while in that spot. What you see above is the result of one such session.

I didn't take the time to test makers and make a proper palette, and as a result I feel it's a bit haphazard. I do like, however, that I managed to stay loose and take a few hours to explore the page with different colors and size pens. Starting with marker and blocking in color, I was able to experiment with building the volume of the tree's leaves and creating depth. As a study, I really like it, and imagine I'll revisit this composition, this time with a stricter palette and taking greater care to compose the page.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011


sketch I did of the main character on my way home
micron on paper, digital color

Last night I went to see the premier of "Bellflower" at the SVA theater in Chelsea. I was very curious about the film having stumbled upon the trailer last week:

Described as a fusion of John Hughes and Mad Max, the film got a lot of positive attention from its run at Sundance, and I have to say deservedly so. Not only were 2 out of the 3 cameras used to shoot the film built by the director himself, he also built the car, the flamethrower, wrote the screenplay, starred in it, and it's his feature film debut. Also, the movie was made for around $17,000. Working full-time in an indie studio myself, it is really encouraging to see a movie made on a such a small budget, but not only that, one that can hold it's own with movies with ten times that budget.

In a Q&A with the writer/director/star, Evan Glodell, he spoke about how much of the film was a community effort. People pitched in cash as they had it, as Evan built the cameras on the empty floorspace of whatever living room/extra bedroom he was staying it at the time. Scraping by over the 3+ years it took to complete the film, he has emerged as a sought-after filmmaker and getting a lot of buzz. I am so refreshed and proud to see super low budget indie making a splash.

Saturday, July 16, 2011

The Doldrums - Introduction

one view of my home studio
featured drawing: study of Frank, Micron brush tip marker on paper, 24"x18"


The Doldrums” is a work-in-progress painting project that explores the idea of “winter doldrums”, “cabin fever”, and comfort in one's living space.

Focusing primarily on observational painting, these scenes from inside various apartments will play with saturated darks and desaturated colors (such as the pale yellow lighting in my bathroom). The subjects are the company I kept during my most recent case of the “winter doldrums”. Close friends: one working full time and getting her masters, the other, an aspiring boxer trying to overcome his childhood as a ward of the state. I seek to have up to seven subjects.

Through these juxtaposed images, I hope to explore the idea of being inside both physically and mentally. The goal of my paintings is to balance the darkness and frigidity of a winter in Brooklyn, and the sentimental warmth that comes from being in a familiar, safe, place.

Questions to consider:

Why portraits? What is it about portraiture (both in photography and drawn/painted mediums) that attracts both maker and audience alike? Specifically, what is it about having photos of loved ones in an apartment that adds to its warmth? What is it that the picture-maker is seeking to keep forever? To freeze in time? How will the hanging of these paintings recreate a space much like that of a living space adorned with photos of family and friends? How will these portraits confront the viewer not in the posed, “say cheese” sort of way, but in an open, “this is me, this is my human soul, much like yours” way?


Here are a couple of portraits that I've done in a series of preliminary drawings focusing on the individual. I imagine that when the summer ends I'll move onto mood/color studies...

"Candice", blue Prismacolor pencil on paper, 18"x24"

"Erika", charcoal on brown paper, 18"x24"