There are a few images seen early in life that I can call formative; an early Crumb panel glimpsed in an issue of Newsweek, a dark painting of a brutish bartender answering an old-fashioned wall telephone, framed and mounted for unknown reasons on my grandmother’s kitchen wall, which frightened me for years until I examined it closely and found it to be a cartoon by Jack Davis- and a drawing in dizzying curvilinear perspective of a group of bizarre buglike creatures climbing up and down unsupported staircases and curling themselves into wheels to roll down long corridors, which I saw in some Time/Life science book when I was about ten years old. It was only years later that I learned the name of the artist, M.C. Escher, when I saw the drawing again in a collection of his work. I made many attempts to draw pictures in the style of that image, but I could never manage to get the perspective right. Continue reading Escher: the Bowling Ball
Recent caricature piece for INX, the op-ed illustration syndicator.
Here’s a review of the Bush years utilizing the best of related INX stuff including many of my drawings. Also with work by Igor Kopelnitsky, Peter Kuper, David G. Klein, Martin Kozlowski, and that’s just the K’s! Continue reading The Hand-off
There’s a new gallery of spherical paintings coming soon to the portfolio section, but in the meantime here’s a post about the first one I ever did:
Years before I wrote my own book about perspective, I was experimenting with pushing its outer limits. I was inspired by seeing Buckminster Fuller’s dymaxion world globe projected onto the sides of a twenty-sided polyhedron to try the equivalent in perspective- an entire 360° visual field as seen from one point in space drawn onto twenty triangles to form a continuous image. I did a couple of early drawings using this method, including a fold-up ornament sent out as a Christmas card in 1993. Eventually I got tired of the difficulties involved- each of the twenty triangles has its own perspective, and it’s extremely difficult getting objects to line up over the gaps- and I figured out that it would be simpler to draw a continuous image on a spherical surface. I got a wooden ball from a crafts store and drew a 360° perspective grid on it- basically a picture of a cube with ruled lines on it, viewed from inside so that six vanishing points each line up with the center of a face. Here is an example of a ball ruled with perspective lines. Over that I did an acrylic painting of the garden on the roof of our loft building in New York and gave the finished piece to Eve as an anniversary present in 1994. This post shows the picture of the ball- as you can tell from nearby objects, it is quite small, only about one inch square. Continue reading Roof Garden On A Tiny Ball
Garrison Keillor sings songs about the election with lyrics by Calvin Trillin. Caricature from The New York Observer.
She once wrote a book entitled She Was Nice To Mice, but evidently actress Ally Sheedy also has a soft spot for pigs. Caricature from The New York Observer.
Last Monday l took the kids for an outing with another family to Oaks Park, the local roller rink I used to skate at back when I was a teenager. l hadn’t been skating in years,and I figured it was about time for the kids to learn- Rebecca is already pretty good on ice skates. My accident happened when I decided to take a break from circling the rink and get a drink. Decelerating as I went from the wood rink to the carpeted outer area, I heard a pop and stumbled- I thought somehow the shoe had broken until an Oaks employee pointed out my broken shin and asked if I wanted someone to call 911(Please disregard any rumors you may have heard that my broken leg resulted from a rinkside run-in with Tonya Harding).. Eve has done research and tells me this injury happens to a lot of guys like me- that is, middle-aged hotdogs with an old man’s brittle bones- though it usually results from something more macho like a football tackle or a motorcycle crash. At least my downfall didn’t happen to cheesy organ music- the rink has switched to nonstop oldies.
l was taken by ambulance to Legacy Emanuel, where I received excellent care, had surgery the next day and got home the day before Thanksgiving. I had hoped to get some comics drawn during my hospital stay but I was on heavy medication and mostly took naps.This was all I could manage:
I have known my friend Geoff for something like forty years. We met at school, were roommates in New York for a while and corresponded when we lived in different cities. Now he lives nearby and comes over every couple of weeks to show me movies. Geoff is a serious film buff whose tastes run to obscure noir and horror, and I believe he sees it as his mission to fill in the gaps in my education. The last film he brought over, The World’s Greatest Sinner, is so obscure it never had a theatrical release, even though it stars and was written and directed by one of my favorite actors, Timothy Carey. A tall, memorably sinister John Turturro type, Carey was usually cast as a secondary thug in obscure crime pictures, but he had small parts in East Of Eden and The Wild One, and larger ones in a couple of classic Stanley Kubrick pictures, The Killing and Paths Of Glory (probably his best performance- one of Carey’s persistent mannerisms was grinding his teeth like a bad Kirk Douglas imitator, but in this one he lays off, possibly because Kirk himself is the star). His distinctive mug almost makes caricature redundant, but here goes:
A caricature of Dr. Ruth from the New York Observer. She’s attending the Royal Inaugural Ball thrown by Queen Silvia of Sweden- because SOMEONE has to teach those royals how to propagate.
But the show must go on. Specifically, Ricky Gervais doing standup in New York. Drawing from the New York Observer.
Our friends Elizabeth and Potato had their wedding at our house earlier this month. They are both radio DJ’s who host a show Monday nights on KPSU called Attack of The Killer Eggplant. As we were cleaning up after the wedding I noticed some white painted wooden discs sitting in the trash- these had been supports for the various layers of the wedding cake. They are meant to be thrown away, but it occurred to me they might be excellent panels to paint on, so I rescued a few. Here is the first one I’ve been working on, a fisheye view of the Ira Keller Fountain covering half the visual field, a flat equivalent to the spherical paintings I’ve been doing on bowling balls and world globes: