Amazon.com joins Team Chelsea

Having a website of my very own has been fun so far, but it is time I put it to work. A friend mentioned that his software site brings in considerable revenue through Amazon Associates, a program that pays him a percentage of sales (between 4 and 15% depending on category) that result from links from his site to Amazon.com, and I have decided to follow suit. This move is long overdue, since I have already been providing links to Amazon for years free of charge.
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Prospettiva!

The publication date for Extreme Perspective!, my new book from Watson-Guptill, approaches. Presumably it will be in stores on or after February 15th, but in the meantime you can pre-order on Amazon. Meanwhile, my previous book Perspective! is now available in an Italian language edition from Turin publisher Vittorio Pavesio. I haven’t seen a copy yet, but the preview page below appears on the publisher’s website.
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Spherical Perspective: Joe’s House

Joe's House.  Acrylic on world globe by David Chelsea, 2008. Not for sale. Photo by Tom Lechner. tomlechner.com/
Joe's House. Acrylic on world globe by David Chelsea, 2008. Not for sale. Photo by Tom Lechner. tomlechner.com/

This is the largest and most elaborate spherical painting I have done to date, and the first actual commission. It was painted for Joe Erceg, and depicts the interior of his house. Joe is possibly my oldest friend, in that he knew my parents before I was born. Since the 1960s Joe has been one of Portland’s leading graphic designers, and now runs his firm Joseph Erceg Graphic Design with his son Matt. Longtime Portlanders may remember the giant butterfly painting designed by Joe which once covered the side of the Fleischner Building in Old Town.
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How Cool Is That?: Perspective! In Japanese.

What are they saying? Don't ask me!
What are they saying? Don't ask me

More established cartoonists may take foreign editions in stride, but it is still a novelty for me to see my characters speaking in some language I don’t understand, as they did when both Perspective! and David Chelsea In Love came out in French editions. In my slow, deliberate campaign to cover the globe with my books the latest country to succumb is Japan, where an edition of Perspective! has recently been published. With the French books I was able to do a little second-guessing of the translations (does “parallelepipede” really have the same plain connotations in French as “box” does in English?) but given my utter ignorance of even the Japanese alphabet I will have to take it on faith that my translators know what they are doing. Evidently they are doing something right- according to my latest royalty statement, the Japanese edition is outselling the American version six to one.
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Coming Soon To A Wall Near You

Irving Park Fountain in sinusoidal projection
Irving Park Fountain in sinusoidal projection

Stop the presses! I have actually sold a piece of original art! (Of course, I have been a working artist for over thirty years now, but as an illustrator and cartoonist I create art to be reproduced and no one much has been interested in owning the originals). A submission I made in January to The Visual Chronicle Of Portland, a city-owned collection of works on paper– prints, photographs, paintings and drawings– that focuses on artists’ views of the city’s social and urban landscapes- has been accepted, and at some point soon it will go on display. No black-tie gala planned for this year’s inductees, who also include Justine Avera, Kevin Farrell, Jason Greene, Bruce Hall, Alex Lilly, Francis Rosica and Jake Shivery, but there is a nice check and the satisfaction of seeing my work hanging somewhere besides on a telephone pole (the works are exhibited in publicly accessible areas throughout City and County offices).
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Roof Garden On A Tiny Ball

Spherical painting of New York City rooftop
Spherical painting of New York City rooftop

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:

Wooden ball with gridlines
Wooden ball with gridlines

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

Work In Progress: Piece Of Cake

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:

Perspective Drawing of Ira Keller Fountain
Perspective Drawing of Ira Keller Fountain
Back of Cake Plate
Back of Cake Plate