Friday, November 30, 2007

EDM #155 : Something with Steps

I really liked the look of this foyer and gently curving staircase in a home on the island of Nantucket in Massachusetts. (Inspired by a photo...not me: visiting, observing, and drawing in Nantucket itself...personally...which is a shame because...I like Nantucket.)

Monday, October 15, 2007

EDM Challenge #36: Draw Out In Public

I had to speak into this thing tonight; but, the meeting went on forever. I had my notes ready. To pass the time, I began this drawing. By the time it was my turn, the drawing had obscured part of what I had intended to say! Since there was a very small audience (most of whom I know!), it was more privately comical than publicly tragic. (I can't wait 'til Jan. when I will be free of this commitment!)
I really enjoyed working the pencil's eraser for blending. I was happy with this one...and it opens another medium for exploration.

Sunday, October 14, 2007

EDM Challenge #133: Peach

I wasn't even looking for it; but, this 'peach' stand fell in my lap when I was looking at a wonderful portfolio of photographs on Flickr by Stephanie Fysh (Lu) from Toronto. Being right up my alley and the perfect subject for this EDM challenge, I couldn't resist the attempt to draw it.

Saturday, October 13, 2007

EDM #35: Draw a bicycle

I was waiting for someone at the subway station. This quick sketch is what I was looking at across the parking lot. (Not much drawing happening lately. Truth be told...I did this drawing months ago.)
I am anxious to get back into the drawing mode; but-as a renovation contractor-it's the projects that have to be completed for Christmas that get my energy for now.
I picked up DG's book again. It really does wonders for the inspiration and rekindling of creative desires. If you are in a similar it to any page.

Sunday, October 7, 2007

EDM #129: People Doing Something

I pencil-sketched this at a local take-out joint, the proverbial "greasy spoon", while I sat at the counter waiting for my order. Before I left, I took a snapshot with my camera phone for reference. When I got home, I finished my lunch...and this drawing.
If you notice, this is the first drawing on my blog that has people in it...such as they are.

Sunday, September 23, 2007

EDM #137: Something You Turn Off and On

This is a view of the major state highway on which I commute most days to the intown neighborhoods where I work. This is the last approach before the road bends right to Exit 7 where I will turn off to go to my home.
Then, on the weekday morning when I return to Exit 7, I turn on the right entrance ramp onto this same artery, becoming a blood cell once again as I flow with all my fellow corpuscles into the heart of the city. This circulatory image is further enhanced when I make this trip in the very early morning or the late evening and all the vehicles are lit up: 'white' headlights going in...'red' taillights going out.
This particular drive home was downright lonely...way past the bloody mess of rush hour.

Monday, September 17, 2007

EDM #135: Salad

We have a friend in town who lived in New Orleans and returns there frequently, esp. for Mardi Gras. Sometimes-without notice-she'll brings us a jar of this wonderful stuff, spontaneously appearing as it does in the deep recesses of our mailbox.

Sunday, September 16, 2007

EDM #109: Clock around the house

This Art Deco clock used to chime on the hour and half hour throughout my childhood. Even tho' it still tells time...the bells are silent. It now sits atop a similarly ailing TV set up in our attic loft-in a niche next to the chimney chase.
I have every intention of getting it ringing again. Its chimes are lovely and clear, and worthy of rebirth; a beautiful piece that will never be out-dated. (The same cannot be said about the temperamental TV-circa 1985.)

Friday, September 14, 2007

EDM #56: Self-Portrait and #216: Inner Critic

"This doesn't look like all", he said.

"Yeah...well, whatever."

"How do you feel putting a drawing of yourself on the internet?", he chided.

"When I actually do that, I'll let you know."

(Originally posted on Sept. 14, 2008)

Sunday, August 19, 2007

EDM Challenge #132: Chain

This is a 'look' up at the copper rain chain that hangs from the gutter that is attached to the fascia of the deep overhang outside our kitchen porch, under which are situated our herb planting boxes. When the clouds pour, it is a genuine pleasure to watch the water dance down this chain...and if-like now-it is hot and dry, they look beautiful even when not animated by the coursing rain.

Monday, August 6, 2007

EDM Challenge #131: Spray Bottle

This is a local product. It was manufactured by someone who rented a storage space near one I once rented. He produced the stuff right there...and was very enthusiastic about its effectiveness. He gave me several samples to try, this being one of them. He was convinced that it would sweep the country once people learned of its powers.

"P-Eliminator"...can you guess what its miraculous properties 'eliminate'? Yes..."P". As a test, I applied it to the following sentence, to see if it actually does what its name implies:
"The quick brown fox jum s over the lazy dog" worked.

(If you also happen to have an errant pet who thinks the whole of his domain is under continual threat, thereby warranting the use of the occasional 'squeeze play' at key transition points-to ward off real and imagined interlopers, this product might also help to minimize the aftermath of such machismo. Beware of getting drawn into 'spraying contests' using this product in that way!)

Sunday, July 29, 2007

EDM #17: Musical Instrument

A couple of penny whistles, with a close-up of the fipple. In the hands of a real player: one of the happiest and most poignant sounds ever heard on God's green Earth.

EDM Challenge #17: Musical Instrument

A close-up of the fipples of a couple of penny whistles.
In the hands of a real player, one of the happiest, and yet most poignant, sounds ever heard on God's green Earth.

EDM Challenge #128: Doorway View from One Room to Another

This is the view from our living room into the kitchen area. I was sitting on the couch after having gone through the rest of the house-looking for a doorway view to draw that corresponded to my mood and time-frame. I gave up, sat down, and...this view presented itself.
It is two steps up into our kitchen from the living room. The first step is also a landing-with the stairs to the lower level feeding left, down to where the bedrooms are. (We live on a very steep slope!) The next opening-also left-is to the entrance room and the front door. Beyond is a captured, built-in daybed in a nook with an interior 'window' that filters light from the front door space into the kitchen sitting area.

Saturday, July 28, 2007

EDM Challenge #126: Sponge

All the sponges we have are predictable rectangles. So...I went to the source: sure to find some interest there.
The above drawing is the result of my little bit of research on 'sponges'. This is a "Barrel " sponge. I don't know if this type of sponge will end up helping me wash my car; but, I did learn that natural sponges-as we know them-are the 'skeletons' of the living variety...and fish love to go inside them because the water in there is always moving and rich with nutrients. (FYI: sponges don't eat fish!)
I also considered drawing a loofah...until I learned that a 'loofah sponge' isn't a 'sponge' at all, but rather, a gourd.

Monday, July 23, 2007

Random things

Seven random, possibly interesting things about my life (in response to being called out by Casey Touissant):
1. I once met a guy who shared the following things with me: same nickname since birth (Rock); same real, first name (George); same military draft number; same birthday in the same year; lived on the same street in the same city; attended the same university; had the same color hair and eyes. The biggest coincidence of all, tho', was that we actually met and put it all together. (At the end of that school year, I never saw him again.)
2. Speaking of 'discovered' synchronicity(!): if you are familiar with a pseudo-science called biorhythms, you will know that there are three 'waves'-which begin the hour you were born: intellectual, physical, and emotional; and-supposedly-everyone has their own unique pattern-made up of these three waves. When I did a 'compatibility chart' for my wife and me (25+ years ago!)...only five waves showed up, when there should have been six: three each. After re-entering the info several times, it turned out that our 'emotional waves' matched so precisely that they overlaid each other and appeared as 'one' wave. (This makes for some interesting times-which I wouldn't trade for the world.)
3. I was one of the happy fools who actually bought advanced tickets to Woodstock. I still have them(!) because-by the time I got to Yasgur's farm-the festival had been declared a "free concert".
To this day-given what went on(!), I still marvel that we found our vehicle again, which we had to park on the side of a country road-8 miles away from the site!
4. I have 'cross dominance': referring to the hemispheres of the brain. I have equal dexterity in both hands. (I am left-handed but do lots of other stuff like a righty.) The real benefit, however, is that I can write backwards (mirror-writing) faster and more legibly than the 'normal' direction-which I enjoy doing immensely.
5. The most profound piece of theater I even saw was the debut performance of Not I: a short play written and directed by Samuel Beckett at Lincoln Center in NYC.
6. I once worked as a laborer on a road crew in the Azores, at a military base there (as a civilian). When the project was over, I 'hitched' a ride to Rome on an Iranian military cargo plane that had stopped there to refuel. It cost me $10 because I had to buy my own life-jacket. I sat in the back of the plane (loud!) with all the weapons...and 'crass', American consumer goods-purchased by the crew.
7. When I got my driver's license at age 16, I perfected a way to 'drive' while sitting on the opposite side...stretching my left leg and arm. I did it so I could see people's reactions as I 'drove' by them, waving from the passenger seat window.
Tagging list forthcoming...or you, gentle reader/artist, can contribute your own random! Please do.

Wednesday, July 4, 2007

Everyday Matters Challenge #125: Bird(s)

These hood ornaments are archetypal 'birds' to me, cutting through the literal and figurative atmosphere that was a rare time in automotive design...evoking a brief, triumphal age when the audacity of style was perfectly matched with the bravado of invention. Let's a beautiful, energy-conscious future, such synchronicity (of a different sort) may again be reached.

The inspiration for the drawing of these ornaments came from a client/designer/friend, David H. The top figure is the 'Cormorant' figurehead of the mid-20th Century Packard. The bottom one is found on a 1930's Cadillac Fleetwood...sweet.

Tuesday, July 3, 2007

EDM Challenge #33: Eye

I drew this from a magazine. I was drawn into and drew out of the incredibly subtle variations of light, reflection, and shadow found within the iris itself.

Monday, July 2, 2007

EDM Challenge #30: Chair

This ladder-back chair reminds me of two such chairs that stood as sentinels behind the couch where my mother stationed herself. She also stood guard-in a way...over those two chairs. They were antiques and of such fragility, she forbad anyone from putting them to the use for which they were first created.

Sunday, June 17, 2007

Everyday Matters Challenge #123: Bell

This is a view looking out from our side deck-which is covered by an arbor from which this bell hangs. The large leaves to the left belong to a tree that is native (and revered) in our little ecosystem: a 'bigleaf magnolia'.
This beautiful, custom-made bell was given to my wife and me by her mother when we moved into our new house. Besides looking very pleasing, the bell is rung occasionally to call the cats: the three of whom use this deck to enter and exit the porch.

EDM #127: Skyscape

When driving across the Great Plains at dusk, the domed canopy of the sky slowly engulfs you and becomes your world. You can see the beginnings and endings of rain-hundreds of miles away...and the lightning competes with the rays of the sun.

Saturday, June 2, 2007

EDM Challenge #121: Coin

This is a 1942 Liberty half-dollar that my father had in a worn, black leather box in the back of his drawer when he past away. The reason it has meaning to me is that he used to have a huge piggy bank full of them. It was very heavy. When we were young, my sister and I would beg him to let us count them. We thought Dad was some kind of Midas.
Years later, I learned that the movers stole that piggy bank when he and my mom had to move out of the house that we grew up in. Undaunted and in spite of his advancing age, he obviously had started collecting them again. There were 14 coins in the box.

Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Kitchen Counter Scene

I have a real love for interior details of houses, esp. cabinetry and architectural detailing. I drew this kitchen counter vignette, using a photo out of a book called: The Way We Live as inspiration. There's something about a well-utilized work area: where frequent use over a long period of time naturally dictates the organization of the space. In the reference photo, the shelves are a patinated mustard yellow and the china pieces are stark white. (To me, the well-placed shallots on the stainless steel counter are a dead giveaway that it's out of a design book!)

Monday, May 28, 2007

EDM #116: Something Green (Two Green Peppers)

These two peppers are the result of a quick exercise I got out of Keys to Drawing: "draw a vegetable from memory; then, find the same one out of your refrigerator and draw it from observation". I have to say, this was a revelation.
When I would attempt to draw in the past, I would end up with drawings like the pepper on the right-which is borderline okay...but not a real enthusiasm producer. Consequently, I would quickly lose interest and another ten years would pass by.
Very recently, I picked up Danny Gregory's book: The Creative License (after happening across his blog on the 'net). The pepper on the left I attribute to what I 'got' from his book; and, all the drawings I have publish here in this blog are also after this spontaneous discovery.
For some reason, I have apparently given myself permission to stop working from preconceptions and to penetrate to something richer. As the EDM group can attest (and as I have witnessed), the mundane holds treasures.

EDM #120: Flashlight

This is a very nice flashlight. It has a heavy-duty rubber 'skin' that protects it from everything except my inability to keep fresh batteries in it. I didn't buy this flashlight. I end up possessing alot of things because they get left on my jobsites and never reclaimed. (The reverse is also true!) If this is your me.
I drew it twice and was surprised by how similar they turned out to be...can you tell which one was first?

EDM #1: Shoe(s)

This is a pair of work shoes from a familiar view. So far, I have drawn all of my sketches using a Faber-Castell Pitt Pen (Superfine)-in dark brown or black and a F-C Pitt Pen (Brush) in cool grey. I really like being able to do shadowing with the 'brush' pen. I am going to try to stick with the monotones for awhile to get my skill level up...altho', I do own a 24 set of water-soluble colored pencils that I have never actually used.

EDM Challenge #55: Doorknob

I drew this doorknob and deadbolt while sitting on my porch. It is the door into my living room: one half of a set of french doors. I was kinda happy with this one; maybe because I have installed so many of these things, I have a certain knowledge about them.
As a carpenter-cum-contractor, I have always used the proper installation of a door as a metaphor for the way I try to conduct all of my work. If the door is hung correctly, then everyone will use it as intended and pass through it without notice.

EDM Challenge #37: Keys

I have two sets of keys: the ones on the top are my personal set. I know what every key is for and use them all the time. The set on the bottom is my job-related ring. (I have renovated houses for over 25 years!) Half these keys probably don't open anything anymore; but, I'm reluctant to just toss them. Heck, alot of my friends (former clients!) know I have 'an extra key' and they may have some odd situation where they might need it...or I might find that old padlock again...or maybe I just have a fondness for unlocking the memories that these little pieces of metal open up for me everytime I handle them.

EDM Challenge #16: Favorite Tool

This is a quick sketch of my absolute-no question-favorite tool (and a stapler, too...which I drew on the same page in an otherwise vastly empty sketchbook...don't ask me why I did this.) Anyway, I used to carry a Swiss Army knife; but once I discovered this jewel, I never looked back. If I misplace this one, I have a back-up always ready. If I should-god forbid-lose the back-up, I would drop everything and go buy two more (REI). The elements of it that I find so indispensable are...well...all of 'em.

Oh's a Leatherman Juice XE-6. It comes in a brilliant purple...but will age to a beautiful, burnished stainless through constant use (...not a good enough sketcher yet to represent this low-luster, polished quality).

EDM Challenge #2: Lamp

This is a very nice lamp we inherited from my wife's grandparents. I started the lampshade first; but-once I got into the carved stone lion-it became obvious that the shade was too all-too-familiar turn of events in my new drawing life.

EDM #18: Draw a view from your 'office'

I spend alot of time waiting for people to show up! I did this drawing on one such day. To my surprise, and contrary to their past history (!), these flooring guys showed up relatively 'on time' I wasn't able to really finish the view outside the windshield.
As you can see, I have a calendar book that sits on a custom-bent piece of sheet-metal that 'sits' over the top of the dashboard. By the slant of the writing, you might also be able to tell that I use my left hand-(when I draw, too). This notebook arrangement would probably be unworkable for non-lefties; but-on the other hand (no pun intended)-if I was right handed, I probably wouldn't need this contraption.


When you have a shop, you can't have enough clamps. Every time I see them on sale, I grab them. I like the substantial handle on this one. They are also handy for holding the other end of something when working alone out in the field.
(Now that I am starting to draw some of these tools I have used all my working life and writing about them, I tend to want to wax poetic...draw parallels...philosophically reflect; but, well...there's not much getting around the fact that this is just a clamp.)
Luckily, there is the 'edit' tool in case something strikes me later!

EDM Challenge #27: Book(s)

What could be better than finally being able to relax on vacation with a stack of great books from which to choose the evening's literary diversion...that is-after the drawing of said books is completed.

Sunday, May 27, 2007

photo of steel gate (Assisi, Italy)

I enjoy taking photos too, esp. when they are somewhere beautiful like Italy. I took this photo while walking the back streets of Assisi. It was a gate into a private parking area...or a vehicle repair place...couldn't tell. It was on the upper edge of the old town. We stayed within the walls and it was magical. (Click on the image for stimulating close-up view and see why I love 'found textures'.)