Friday, December 24, 2010

Merry Christmas, Team

from Natalie Portman and I

Sunday, December 19, 2010

a Christmas commission

a little something I did for a nice young couple in Ohio that found me on my Etsy.
what's that you say? you like it and want one of your own? well then contact me, fools. I'm desperate and will do almost anything for some bloody income here.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

purdy radials for no reason





I'm not a fan of digital. Everyone knows this. But illustrator is fun for building pretty decorative things, like these radials I made yesterday for no good reason.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

gryphon and dodo

well look at me. posting digital stuff again. never thought I'd live to see the day. I was forced to do it for a class, though. And I drew it in real life and then assembled and tweeked it in illustrator. just listen to me trying to justify it.



Monday, December 6, 2010

my studio as gallery

this week is scholarship review over here at MFA illustration. We all had to clean up our studios and dress the walls with everything we have done this semester.I remember when my senior wall went up for graduation at CCS, it was kinduva bummer to see $120,000 boiled down to six feet of wall space. This time, it is the opposite. Instead of money spent, these walls represent the possibility of money to come, depending on how the faculty reviews go.

Ordinarily I would tell you to check back to learn how it went, but since scholarships amounts are awarded arbitrarily, we are forbidden to ever speak of how much we got or didn't get. So, team, you will never know if or how much of a scholarship I got. Therefore, you should assume the worst and go to my Etsy shop and buy something RIGHT NOW so I can buy this claybord stuff that the Titolo is making us work on this week.

Friday, December 3, 2010

nude of the week- Mr. Clean

this week in painting studio our model was sanitation spokesmascot Mr. Clean!

for those of you keeping score on the toning experiment, this one was toned in green again. I realize that that is somewhat of a betrayal of the experiment, since I paint on green all the time and I know it works, but I had splurged on a fancy-shmancy 15 x 30 canvas and I didn't want to eff it up like that time I tried toning it in pink. Barf.
per usual, this one is for sale, and it's a good one. The tall narrow format makes it perfect for placing above a toilet in a cramped bathroom or the like. Also thanks to that carefully placed foot it's suitably G-rated. Perfect for your dentist's waiting rooms and whathaveyou.
Need I remind you that by purchasing you help keep me fed and watered. I'm wasting away to nothing here, team.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Gaudi

hey team
like I told you a while back, the Titolo had us make homage pieces about someone who influenced us. I did Barcelona architect Antoni Gaudi.
Since the Titolo is very into mixed media (and so am I), I figured this project was a decent enough time to try things I had often been curious about but never done.
Like mosaic. Gaudi incorporated mosaic into a lot of his designs, and for my part, I have been saving broken china for years with the intention of eventually making mosaics with them. Though until now I had made nary a single mosaic, and all my troves of broken pottery were in my mom's basement back in Michigan. As luck would have it, my sister and brother-in-law came to NYC to visit over thanksgiving weekend, so my mom packed up all the blue and green pottery and sent it with them.
Another element to Gaudi's body of work was his incorporation of landscaping and plant life into his structures. I got to thinking, what if I actually put living plants growing out of the painting?
I said to myself
YOU CAN'T DO THAT TONY THATS CRAZY
then I did it anyway.
This is the finishand this is the final assignment with the type incorporated
The physical art weighs rather a lot, and when I placed the mini-cacti into their pot doohickeys I got some dirt in the still-wet oil paint.
Oops. Hopefully it can be swept off when the paint drys.
Please go see the solutions of some of the 'mates.
Joana Avillez
Cecilia Ruiz

Monday, November 29, 2010

On Newsstands Now

Hey, as I mentioned previously, I illustrated the December issue of RevueWM. I believe the physical printed edition of the paper comes out tomorrow *free* all over Grand Rapids, MI. For those on my team who are not in or around GR, the paper is ready for download in its entirety HERE.
Also, as mentioned in the letter to the editor, each of the 23 original illustrations is for sale on my Etsy. And I sure do hope a few of them sell, so that there will be a turkey on the table for all the little tonys this Christmas

Sunday, November 28, 2010

noodie doodle

even though almost everybody in the class declared without shame their intention to skip wednesday night's painting studio, the powers-that-be decided not to cancel.
So a lonely group of four of us painted this model late wednesday evening while everyone else went out drinking:As part of my ongoing experiment, I toned the canvas with the more traditional burnt sienna this week. I was playing it safe hoping to redeem myself from the humbling shame of the last painting studio when I toned the canvas bright pink.
Anyway, team, go to the Etsy shop and buy it so that I can buy a plane ticket home for the holidays

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

new blog i joined

hey team
some of the kids from school are crowdsourcing a new little blog project called What I Ate Today .
go become a follower. NOW.
Its similar in concept to What I Wore Today, which is a project I have often intended to contribute to, but never had the proper get-up-and-go.
I'm going to try to submit oftenish. I think it will keep me honest about what I eat. If I consider eating something that I would die of shame before drawing and posting on a blog, maybe I shouldn't be eating that.

redocumentation

hey team
remember way back in the spring when I posted Scarecrow from my senior studio at CCS?
the painting sold at the student show, and I had never had a really good, sharp photograph of it with accurate colors, and that had always bothered me.
the gentleman that bought the piece works for the DIA though, and so he was able to have the painting photographed for me by the museum archivist, so now I present to you, Scarecrow, as it was meant to be seenmany thanks to my friends at the DIA, this piece will be submitted to some important shows and it really helps having good quality documentation of the piece

Sunday, November 21, 2010

no nuns just art

Last night my homeslice Don Edler invited me to the Physical Center show in Brooklyn, in an artspace that used to be a convent. It was a very Detroit-flavored affair. Unless of course Detroit had really just been Brooklyn-flavored all along . . .
The show was mostly billed as performance, interactive, and electronic arts, which certainly isn't what I do, but always good to see how the other side lives
I made some vids for you
shocker interactive piece:

some oozing dough blobs

here's a performance piece in which a young lady wrapped a spool of twine around her head

Saturday, November 20, 2010

l'homage

hey team,
for Carl Titolo we are doing homage pieces about our influences.
Per usual with Carl, the assignment is bizarrely specific:

-square format (which I could certainly live without. the good Lord made rectangles for a reason)
-must be mixed media
-must include the name of the subject
-subject's birth date (and death date if applicable)
-subject's country of origin
-must use the logo for Interview magazine across the top as though this were an actual cover

for my subject I knew I didn't want to do a painter, because I didn't want this to turn into an exercise aping the style of Klimt or Leyendecker.
Obviously my subject would have to be a creative of some stripe though. I considered Joanna Newsom, but really I only got super into her in recent years so to call her a major influence would be insincere. And I've done her before anyway.
I thought about Tom Wolfe and also seriously considered webcomedian Liam Kyle Sullivan, but ultimately my first thought was the truest.
I knew as soon as Titolo got to explaining the project that I wanted to do Catalonian architect Antoni Gaudi.

Have you ever heard it said that we all paint ourselves at the end of the day? It's a known phenomenon that when most people draw and paint they subconsciously apply their own features to their subject. Last night as I was mapping out the Gaudi image and sketching the portrait element, I looked down and saw that I had pretty much drawn my dad.easy to do . . . there is some resemblance (they both had champion beards)
check back for the finish team

Friday, November 19, 2010

no nudity for you this week

hey team
there will be no nude of the week for you this time.
This week in studio we had a lecture on our professor's body of work instead.
And there will be no nude next week either because class was canceled when virtually everyone admitted they planned to skip (the night before Thanksgiving).
Terribly sorry about that, team. You are, no doubt, devastated.
You will have to get by on this fully clothed, crudely drawn caricature of prof. Gregory Crane until after Thanksgiving, when there will be more flesh for you to ogle.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

teeth


i had to watercolor and ink a lot of teeth today

its for a terribly mysterious project that you will just have to check back in for the finish of

Saturday, November 13, 2010

oh well you can't win 'em all

hey team,
remember I told you that in the name of science and progress I was going to start experimenting with radical underpaintings in my painting studio?
This week I toned my canvas BRIGHT PINK. Why not? I've had this tube of permanent rose acrylic for years that I never ever use, and since we had a male model for two weeks in a row I suspected that there was probably a lady model coming down the pipes one of these days. I thought some pink might compliment ladyflesh well.
Well, team, consider this the first solid results of the experiment. We can now say with authority that toning a canvas in bright pink is a terrible idea.
I remember in high school, when Gordie and I were lab partners in A.P. biology, we spent our entire senior year of high school trying to grow radishes in gelatin so we could photograph root development. We failed spectacularly. We tried dozens and dozens of formulas and techniques. Nothing worked. Molds and bacterias took over our media and killed off the seedlings within 72 hours every single time. We did once accidentally make a blow torch out of a pepsi bottle during the study, and that was awesome . . . but that is neither here nor there. The point that I was eventually getting to in a roundabout way, was that at the end of the year, when it was time to present our results and me and Gordie were both dying of shame because we felt we had nothing at all to show for ourselves, after our presentation, Mr. Decker said to our class that Gordie and I had had the best project because we had found and documented 22 ways that it definitely won't work, and the world is a better place because of it.
I am loathe to even post this painting because it is bad news, but since it is part of this experiment for posterity, I will allow you to see it. Please do not judge me. This is not representative of my painting abilities.You see, team, as anyone who has taken a basic color theory class knows, all color is relative to the colors next to it. I know better than to make a flesh tone that is so bright an orange, but when that bright orange is laid down on a field of shockingly bright pink, it appears really muted. It wasn't until I had the whole thing painted in that I truly saw what I had done and recoiled in horror. SO ORANGE! Like candy . . . barf.
Also, it seems arbitrary, but blues and greens look attractive when the underpainting shows through, I don't think this pink looks good at all where it shows through. Maybe that's just a matter of personal taste, I don't know.
I accept responsibility for the unfortunate color choices, but there is some blame to be laid on the model. I've always said that females are more challenging anyway, and hands are always difficult (the mark of a true professional, as Erik Olsen always said). Those things that are hard anyway become nigh on impossible when the model doesn't cooperate. Our model this time was a sleepyhead and couldn't keep her face or hands still during the pose (unlike Santiago, who had the discipline of a samurai during his sessions). The hands came out really bad because they were never in the same place or the same light every time I tried to work on them, so in the painting she's got these poorly drawn giant mits that I'm deeply ashamed ofit still has its moments though. This knee is rather nice:So even though it's not my favorite, I still have bills to be paid, so go to my Etsy shop and buy it.

Friday, November 12, 2010

networkit

last night I went to the American Illustration launch party in the village. There were a lot of the biggest names in the industry there.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

more money more problems

hey team,
have I mentioned that I am actually going to be paid for a legitimate illustration job in an actual honest-to-God publication?
Well it's true.
For the December issue of RevueWM I am illustrating their holiday gift-buying guide. The guide is broken up into 23 personality types like "le foodie," "movie buff," and "furry boot girl."
They have been executed in watercolor and ink.
I can't post them all here. You just have to go out and pick up your copy of Revue in December (don't worry, it's free! . . . though only available in Grand Rapids, MI).
Here is but one itty-bitty teaser for the project, the spot for the personality type "ecclectic"

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Extremist Roulette

Hey team,
this week for the venerable Marshall Arisman, we were asked to do a real-life working illustration scenario: the op-ed page of the New York Times. 6 x 9 inches, black and white, editorial. Simple and distilled.
We were given this article to illustrate, and the results are going to be seen by the relevant art directors and editors at the Times, and the possibility of real work may result from it.
So no pressure or anything.
To me, I felt that the crystallized idea to this article is the writer's belief that the Taliban and al Qaeda are natural enemies, and in his opinion, if U.S.-led forces left Afghanistan, the Taliban would be fighting al Qaeda instead of fighting us. The Taliban, being our enemy's enemy, should be our friend.
I wanted to express an image that would show the idea of reversal, and of turning those two groups against each other (and away from us). After my original sketches were critiqued, this is what I did:I don't love it. The original sketch was just an al Qaeda and a Taliban turned on each other, one upside down, reflecting each other. The 'mates and Marshall thought it needed an element of gaming or risk to illustrate the gamble being taken. Could have done poker, could have done just dice, but I chose to do a roulette wheel, which I see now is kinda too busy. The guns get lost in all the business.
And there's another problem with it. As I was finishing up the inking on it last night, I looked down and saw that the roulette wheel and the guns were coming together in such a way that they almost formed a . . .so . . . I think I have another idea that I'm going to try to execute before the boss bundles these up and sends them to the Times.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

animated sketchbook

hey team, this week for sorta genius Matthew Richmond's digital class we had to tinker with animation for web. We had to make an 8 second animation, and the only theme for the project was "New York City." Accordingly, I took some silliness from my sketchbook and turned it into a busy crowd of zany characters. Some of the characters are from drawjam collaborations with JizzMalta and Joana d'Avillez.
You can see a slightly higher quality version here:

Monday, November 8, 2010

buy my crap.

hey team,
My studio, looks a bit more lived in now, does it not?the fact of the matter is my studio is getting too cluttered up with nudes and still lifes. Something has got to be done.
Oh yeah, and I'm broke. I almost forgot to mention that.
I had heard once that some art students have decent luck selling their old projects on eBay for change. I checked, if this was once true, it is no longer. These days on eBay, the market is flooded with hundreds of crappy still lifes posted for sale at 99 cents, without any bids on any of them.
So I've opened up my own Etsy shop. You can go there RIGHT NOW and buy last week's naked dude.
Go quickly, because the beers in this city cost $7.

UPDATE!
a generous benefactor bought last week's nude, so YOU CAN'T HAVE IT!
don't worry, there's more where that came from

Sunday, November 7, 2010

a memorial portrait

When I was in high school, I had a friend who was killed in a car accident. This summer his family asked if I would be interested in painting a portrait of him.
Of course I was, and it took me forever to do it because of ArtPrize and that whole grad school thing, but its done now and I put it in the mail today.

Saturday, November 6, 2010

nood of the week

hey team,
this week we had the same meticulously manscaped model for painting studio. The boss wanted a standing pose this time, and told us we had to capture the figure from head to knees at least. Since I brought a piddly little 16 x 20 canvas, that meant I had to paint the head in at 3 inches, which is rather small for my tastes. Not my favorite thing in the world, but as fortune had it I had invested in some detailing brushes earlier that day so it more or less worked out.
Last week I toned my canvas with bright blue, and it failed to scandalize anyone. So this week I toned the panel in my trusty old green. Like I did here, here and here. I am thinking of toning all my panels for this class in a different outrageous color every week (in the name of science). Do please check back in for the results of this experiment.
So, team, here is this week's very patriotic composition, of a very naked man:

Friday, November 5, 2010

the first of the Yiddish curses

hey team,
as some of you may know, for my long-term project in Viktor Koen's book seminar class I am doing a book of Yiddish curses.
For the class, we were given a short story Ostracon by Alex Rose to serve as the starting point for the project. It's a short story about elderly Jews in Brooklyn living with Alzheimer's. Some of us stayed closely with the story and are directly illustrating the text, while some of us are doing books that have literally nothing at all in the world to do with the story (I'm looking at you, John Malta).
I fall somewhere in the middle. My project is connected only tangentially to the story. In the short story there are some interjections of Yiddish, some of which are translated in the text, others I had to look up. One of them was the phrase un choleryeh ahf dir! which means a plague on you! While I was researching this I found a wealth of Yiddish curses, which were all very interesting to me as pieces of language and culture, and there was a lot of strong imagery in them as well.
So I proposed to the boss a book of these curses, with illustrations of the literal victims of those curses, and the proposal was accepted and I've been working on it ever since.The pieces have been copiously critiqued and art-directed and revised and retouched and on and on and on, but for you today I have the first of them: zol vaksen tzibellis fun pipek
(may onions grow from your belly button)

There were a lot of mentions of onions in the curses. Not sure what the particular significance of onions may be in Eastern European Jewish culture, but they keep coming up. This curse is a good representation of the Yiddish curses, because most of them are very indirect ways of wishing harm on someone. It would be immoral to directly say that you want someone to die, so the Yiddish curses say that in a backdoor way. What is really meant when one says that onions should grow from your belly button, is that you should be dead, in the ground, decomposing, with plants growing from your remains.

More Yiddish curses to come as the semester goes, but I will only be posting a few of them, so that you will be obliged to come see the book as a whole when it goes on display in February.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

new sketchbook day!

Last week I ran out of pages in my sketchbook, and I himmed and hawed about getting a new one because the moleskine costs about 18 bucks or so, and I die a little inside every time I have to shell out for the new one.
So yesterday for a change of pace I bought an offbrand landscape sketchbook, (sorry, moleskine). Some day when I'm a baller I'll do the moleskine exclusively, but in the impoverished meantime I will have to alternate, springing for the moleskine sometimes and slumming with other books other times.
With this page, I inaugurate the new sketchbook. (do please click on it to enlarge)

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

my page for the baby book

hey team,
as some of you CCS weenies may know, my homeslice Brian Remillard is expecting a special delivery in a couple of weeks.
It's a boy, and they are going to name him Dexter. Brian invited a lot of the gang from CCS to contribute pages to a book he is putting together for his babymama and the offspring.
It's supposed to be a surprise for his girlfriend, so I considered not posting this yet, but then I remembered oh yeah! nobody ever reads my blog! So I'm posting it here for you RIGHT NOW!As you know, I do not often do cutesy, kiddy stuff, but it's for the children this time. And I also don't often do comics, but since Brian is one of the best inkers CCS has ever seen, I thought it appropriate this time.
As you see, I have charged young Dexter personally with saving the rainforest in his lifetime. If I never accomplish anything else in my pathetic career, I hope that Dexter goes out and saves the planet and wins the Nobel Prize and some day tells some journalist

" . . . I don't remember his name, but some worthless drunk that once knew my father made a comic that said I was destined to save the rainforest some day, and that influenced me just a little bit"

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

halloween in NYC: trippy night photography

Halloween in this city rules! My best homeslice Shinichi wanted to walk in the parade, and since it is his last week in America before starting his fancy new job in Shanghai, I went along with it.
I was dressed as Caligula,so I pretty much froze my nards off, but it was still good times.
Here are some pics I got of the other colorful characters at the w. village parade.
My camera isn't really set up for night photography right now (and I'm not a professional photographer), so the pics came out a little psychadelic, a little Francis Bacon-y. Sometimes it worked out, sometimes not.
Hope you like these:the nautilus under attack by giant squid!

adorable things!

joy!

the mime! (always such a great h-ween costume)

human pot leaf!

masquerade lady!

. . . and I thought I was cold.

zombies in love!

revelers!

exposed breasts!

Shinichi Muto as panda!

asian female phantom of the opera!

bird thing!

stilts!


asian Alex from A Clockwork Orange!

Hef!


A deserted street after the parade. :(