Sunday, January 21, 2018

Starbucks Mom and Bored Kid


I  have been drawing Starbucks coffee drinkers for ages it seems and here's one from 12 years ago (!). A cold day in February '06, and a mom is keeping warm with a puffy down jacket and a large coffee drink. Her son sits at the table seriously bored. In winter the people move less and I can get more details of my subjects.

Black tech pen ink on sketchbook page, 4 1/2" x 7", February 10, 2006.

Saturday, January 20, 2018

Commelina


I haven't done much botanical art over the years, but that doesn't mean I don't like it. This older piece is one of my plant and flower attempts. I did it because I love the blue flowers and the plant is a common weed and easy to find. Its scientific name is Commelina communis, the Asiatic dayflower. The tiny, iris-like flowers are a wonderful pure shade of cobalt blue with no tinge of purple but a touch of white. They only last one day, hence "Dayflower." Gardeners pull them up and throw them out! They think it is invasive. I wish I could grow them indoors but I've never succeeded. Hence I had to depict it in art.

Brown tech pen ink and watercolor on sketchbook page, 4" x 4 1/2", late summer 1978.

Friday, January 19, 2018

Christmas is Over


The dead christmas tree was lying out in the street covered with a picturesque dusting of snow. All the ghosts of Christmas past, present, and future have now fled, along with the soul of a crushed Element and all the "traditional" motifs none of which are part of our present life. You haven't ridden in a one-horse sleigh and neither have I. (If you actually have ridden in a one-horse sleigh, then that's kinda cool.) People don't have to treat each other nicely any more, we can get back to our profanities and insults on Facebook, which is not a Christmas carol about a baby lying tenderly in its crib. Soon enough we'll be seeing that damn groundhog, whose shadow darkens my path, and I'm feeling cold anyway.   

Black ink and white-out on sketchbook page, 3" x 2 1/2", January 19, 2018.

Thursday, January 18, 2018

R.I.P. Element


As I suspected, the Element has been pronounced a total loss, so this is the end of the road for my beloved Honda. If cars have consciousness, which they may just have, this one gave up its life for me that I could survive with minimal or even no injuries. I now have to visit the car graveyard and  retrieve my art and traveling equipment from the cargo bay. The search for a new car will begin soon.

"Narenji" was the word on my Virginia "vanity" license plates. It means "Orange" in Persian - the color, not the fruit. The drawing above was done in 2007, shortly after acquiring the Element.

Markers on my 2007 sketchbook journal page, 7" x 3", January 2007.

Wednesday, January 17, 2018

Goodbye Element


An interruption to this Blog happened. This text was published in Facebook. Yes, I'm still here, but my Honda Element...is probably gone. 

Around 7 PM this evening (Jan. 16) I was in a moderately severe car accident. I was driving my usual route and speed on Route 7 in Tysons Corner when a car suddenly appeared to my left on a perpendicular trajectory going across the big road. This is an unlit crossroads with no sign markers. I had no time to stop and I smashed my car into theirs, my left front fender against their right front fender. My orange Element was severely damaged and may not be repairable. Unusually and thankfully, I had only minor injuries, bruised knees and nothing else so far. The police were on the scene immediately and did all the information gathering and reports in a very professional way. The policeman even let me sit in the back of his car to stay warm. I called my friend Helen with whom I had been sipping coffee and shopping and she came to pick me up. This was a very scary event and I am still shaken up by it, also giving thanks for my luck that I was not hurt more - the airbag did not inflate. I regret and mourn the loss of my trusty orange Honda Element which has served me so diligently for the last 11 years. As for the other drivers, the policeman judged them at fault for the accident and the insurance will settle things appropriately. Now safe at home I am sipping some of Tommy Lee's excellent Scotch and thinking about what car will come next. Many thanks to the help of the professionals, civilized people doing their jobs.

Photograph from 2015.

Tuesday, January 16, 2018

The Pen and the Sword


I did this logo in the distant past as an end-piece for a Darkover fan story. Someone saw my title page for the same story in this By-Product entry a while ago. The warrior's sword hand wears a studded vambrace, while the writer's Pen hand in a soft shirt cuff draws a line which breaks the Sword. We've got a lot of pens, and a lot of swords, but we must hope that the pen is also mightier than the gun.

Black ink on illustration board, about 6" x 2", summer 1985.

Monday, January 15, 2018

Old School Illustration


These knights are from one of the games I illustrated. They are done in a style I love, the old-fashioned ink drawings of the late 19th century illustrator H.J. Ford. This is the illustrator of the fairy tale books many of us grew up with, designated by different colors such as the "Blue Fairy Book" and the "Red Fairy Book," etc. I've done a somewhat good imitation of Ford, but maybe these old-school drawings aren't the right style for the action-oriented role-players of our modern age.

Black ink on illustration board, 4" x 5", September 1983.