August 30, 2008

New Work

Some new pieces I've been working on these past 3 days;

The above sketch was done with red pencil on 11 x 14 Bristol board, and the final is below. I considered many colored versions, including this green one below,
before eventually deciding on the red.

August 29, 2008

Road Trip | 9

YES - that IS the RED RANGER, the PEE WEE BIKE, grafitti on the ceiling
AND more awesome toys than you could EVER dream of!
BIG FUN is the greatest place ON EARTH.
Stocked top to bottom with 50s, 60s, 70s, 80s AND 90s toys, there are so many wonderful things to discover. This place is like the Louvre, you can't see it all in a day. No way.
There are tiny little stickers with dancing King Kong's and pink whistles with California Raisins on them; there are hand-made luchadore masks, and an old-timey photobooth that actually snaps FILM strips - not digital! We got some nice pics out of it.
We pushed through another 11 hours of driving and made the trip from Des Moines to Worcester in only 2 days. The drive back through the Pennsylvania farmland at twilight was lovely. When we came back, the cat was FREAKING OUT.
He's been obnoxious ever since - probably scared we'll leave him alone with the life-size Frankenstein monster model in the kitchen.

Road Trip | 8 + sketches

Some sketches of my feet on the dashboard.

Flyer artwork for POP Euphoria!

The show is shaping up to be amazing; and before you know it, artwork will start showing up at the Aurora and there won't be anytime for silly blogging!

August 27, 2008

Road Trip | 7

The view from the Penthouse at Scottish Rite
We watched some Abbot + Costello and a Deanna Durbin film after having some amazing Iowa sweet corn for dinner.
Grandma showed me the ReSale room she'd recently opened up. Despite being open about 30 minutes a week, the place managed to bring in about $600 in a month. Not bad!
We cleaned out the Penniman's sale down the road and stocked the ReSale room in the morning.
We had an amazing time at the Des Moines Art Center, and coincidentally one of my coworkers at WAM had just been there last month. The building is very modern, and makes you feel like you just got out of a Groepius class at Bauhaus.
The collection was impressive, almost nothing before 1920 [at least on display at the time]. There were works by Matisse, Jeff Koons, Kiki Smith, Philip Guston, Andy Warhol and lots of others I can't recall at the moment.
My grandparents never cease to amaze with their level of haute coolness.

This was scrawled in the ladies' room of a restaurant.

Really captures the struggle of the environmental purists, eh?

In other news, my girlie half of has gotten a spiffy makeover.
I'll be photographing more of my 100 Portraits Project and sketches from the Iowa trip to post very shortly as well as a commissioned painting.

August 26, 2008

Road Trip | 6

My grandparents showed me the garden they keep on the Park grounds - it was really beautiful. Got schooled in sunflowers and hibiscus... um hibiscuses? hibisci?
Felt ready to go on a gameshow with all the new botanical knowledge in my head.
The greatest idea EVER.
The owner was really nice, and reccomended a Strawberry Breve. It was the sugar-ee-est coffee I'd ever had, and I decided the smartest accompaniment was an equally sweet Fruity Peeble Krispee Treat.
It made my brain explode. It was delicious.

A really cool sign in downtown Des Moines.

Had a veggie burger with guacamole and a side of wasabi potato salad at the Star Bar with everybody. I'd like to find out how to make it.....

August 25, 2008

Road Trip | 5

We hit A-Ok Antiques in Grand Valley Junction - it was really awesome. There was a giant Jolly Green Giant, lots of amazing 60's furniture that would make IKEA cry (sorry for the bad photo quality) squishy bubble chairs and neon diner clocks.
They owned Atomic Garage across the street; which was completely stocked with bizarrely patterened polyester shirts and big bangly earrings.

I only like to dress like a circus runaway two days out of the week,
so I decided not to buy anything.

August 24, 2008

Road Trip | 4

We headed out early the next day to see the Iowa State Fair - it was huge!! It was also the last day, so we took advantage of the half price admission.
I had never been to the fair before, despite being in Des Moines a few times in the past; and I'm really glad we caught it.I don't know what these are but the stand had an awesome design.

Why YES! That IS 3-time Olympic medalist US Women's Gymnastic Team favorite SHAWN JOHNSON. AND YES - she IS made out of butter!

The Butter Cow ... uh, same artist as above....

"Yes, my wife works primarily in oils, but I use mostly butter."

Most of the people presenting the animals; cattle, sheep, mules, horses and dogs; were all young kids! Mostly fair-haired Mid-Western kids with lanky features and freckled faces, they commanded these animals really well.

It made me think of what growing up on a farm is like; and how for someone who likes citylife, like myself, would think of it as really picturesque and romantic.

We caught a great dog competition in the MidWay;

I liked the smile on this one's face.

I like how genuine the Iowa Fair is - people here spend upwards of $30,000 buying prize steers and what not. I've never liked fairs here in New England because they usually turn into a giant Harley Davidson-fest where people buy really bad fake Native American artwork. But here, people live with these animals and huge machines - they use them every day, it's apart of their fabric.

I had a FRIED OREO for the first time.... IT WAS AMAZING

I tried to make Andy go up on this with me, but he wasn't about it.

Blue monkey spas?

Buttons got a little lost, so he pulled over to check his fair grounds' map.

I'm not sure how he gets in or out of this thing.

August 23, 2008

Road Trip | 3

We had a really awesome breakfast at the Moonlight Diner outside Chicago, eating super healthy wheat pancakes [which were also so dry it absorbed the syrup like a sponge] and not-so-healthy but delicious apple sausage.

Our waitresses' accent and the way she insisted we add more meat to our breakfast reminded me of that classic SNL sketch with Chris Farley.... "daaaaah Bears"We hit up IOWA 80 - the World's Biggest Truck Stop - where we checked out - not kidding here,- the National Trucker Museum & Hall of Fame. We felt a certain obligation since we passed on the RV Hall of Fame...

It fascinated me how truckers could completely trick out their rigs - custom grills, steering wheels, lights, blah blah blah.... But not unlike my sister's crazy glittery cell phone.

* * * *

On my roadmap, there was actually a spot dedicated to the "Future Birthplace of Captain James T. Kirk." WE HAD TO SEE THIS. Apparently Riverside, IA has an annual Trek Fest to which most of the original show stars come. It was both hilariously ridiculous, and heartwarming to think of all the bizarre stuff unique to American roadtrips.

We made really excellent time getting to Des Moines; mostly due to the perfect weather and straight, flat highways.

I really like the mid-West. The people are friendly to a fault - holding doors almost strenuously, the fresh produce, the vast waves of grass, and the sky! The sky makes you feel so small; just going on forever up and up and up.

August 22, 2008

Road Trip | 2

We drove 11 hours the first day, getting to Westlake, OH late at night, staying in a super cool Extended-Stay America [which rooms come complete with a little kitchen like a studio apartment]. After driving 6 hours the next day we got to Burr Ridge, IL - right outside Chicago. Finally got to eat authentic Chicago style pizza. Definitely different from New York's Original Ray's which I'm used to.
We hit Chicago in the late afternoon, hitting terrible traffic, no parking, and of course, an Air Show from the harbor. That meant every 15 seconds, a giant explosion errupted from the beach and sound exploded over head, fighter jets ripping through the air continuously for 4 hours. I still haven't really seen Chicago yet, but I have to say, I'm not excited to go back.
We did hit Rotofugi, which was great - designer vinyl toys and Japanese artwork are a passion of mine, so it was nice to feed the fix.My family was leaving Des Moines at the same time we were, which meant we'd cross paths half way out. We ate lunch together in the middle of nowhere. Thank god we didn't hit the "12th Annual Rug Hooking Event" rush.

We liked getting into trucker's culture - the sort of nebulous, purgatory that trucker's exist in - staying briefly from place to place, being hermetically sealed in a tiny cab for many hours at a time, being alone with thoughts...
We picked up a - no lie - 7 HOUR audio book of DC Comic's Infinite Crisis series put on to - no lie again - 6 CDs. It was hilariously bizarre.

Road Trip | 1

Well, it was day 1 - and so began a 2,600 mile round trip from Worcester, MA to Des Moines, IA.
The weather was perfect the entire trip - not a single day reached above 80 deg. and not a bit of rain. I tried studying in the car, but it was more fun to watch the country change outside the window.
We hit some crazy traffic in western Mass., but by the time we hit Schenectady, the road opened up and the endless trees fell away into outstretched hills. We listened to some Louis Armstrong and shared a piece of sour cream funnel cake.
Andy says this thing was in a James Bond movie - I have no idea what it is.

August 10, 2008


Some sketches from the portfolio building class I taught at WAM this summer.

August 5, 2008