Friday, November 27, 2015

RIP Stanley Rosenthal

One of my old college drawing and printmaking instructors from Wayne State University, Stanley Rosenthal, passed away last week. He was a warm, funny, generous guy as I recall, and I have fond memories of the classes I took with him. When I returned to school this fall, he was the first person I encountered, standing outside the WSU art building of course, and we talked briefly. My wife reminded me of this cartoon I drew several years ago, a true-life anecdote from he late '80s.

Monday, August 24, 2015

If Memory Serves

Recently on Facebook I asked folks to shout out some well-known paintings for me, so I could try to draw them from memory, just to see how close I could come. I got a lot of great suggestions, some world-famous, some locally-known Detroit Institute of Arts favorites.

Here's the first batch of drawings. Even where I was off-base, I'm glad to say I at least got some of the flavor of the pictures in there. (Ironically, the one I flopped so badly on that I didn't want to post it was Dali's "The Persistence of Memory"...) Links to the originals provided for comparison, and credit given to the DIA where appropriate, just to brag about my fave museum! More of these to come, I think...

"F-111" by James Rosenquist
(I borrowed the Tide from another of his works!)

"Watson and the Shark" by John Singleton Copley (DIA)

"Self Portrait" by Otto Dix (DIA)
(I've heard so many Spock comments about this painting that I think I might have Vulcaned him up too much...)

"The Nightmare" by Henry Fuseli (DIA)

"Guernica" by Pablo Picasso
(Several elements are there, anyway. I joked that this looks more like a Theater of Cruelty production of a grade school Nativity pageant)

Old Peasant Woman Praying  by Paula Modersohn-Becker (DIA)

"The Sleeping Gypsy" by Henri Rousseau
(I forgot how barren the scene was, and borrowed some foliage from other Rousseau paintings)

"The Death of Marat" by Jacques-Louis David
(Marat apparently has a claw-foot bathtub now...)

"The Raft of the Medusa" by Theodore Gericault

"The Nut Gatherers" by William Adolphe Bouguereau (DIA)
(The chemistry between the girls is still there, I think)

Friday, July 10, 2015

Dead heat

(Or: "The Physical Impossibility of Losing a Pinewood Derby in the Mind of Someone Yet To Race")

Tomorrow is the third Pinewood Derby car race and benefit auction at Popps Packing, the art laboratory and gallery space in Hamtramck, and this year I'm going full bad-boy with a vehicular tribute to the YBA-est of the YBAs, Damien Hirst!

Google Image search shows I'm not the first to come up with the pun "Damien Hearse" (a gag too perfectly appropriate to such a death-obsessed artist to pass up), but as far as I can tell I'm the only one silly enough to actually build the thing - certainly the only one to put a Big Daddy Roth-style shark behind the wheel. This marks the first time I've worked with Sculpey and casting resin, and my first plastic model mod, so I think it came out pretty well considering all the experimentation that happened.

The races and auction happen Saturday, July 11, from 4-11pm. See you there, race fans!

Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Beside myself

Two recent selfies. I leave it to you to decide if I look like Bryan Cranston or Chuck Norris (as has been suggested...)


Sunday, March 15, 2015

"Art Mirrors Man"

That's a sort of translation of Art Spiegelman's name. What this dashed-off cartoon of mine is a reflection on, I'm not sure, but it's a true account (as I recall it...) of an incident from Spiegelman's visit to the Museum of Contemporary Art Detroit a couple years back. I was inspired to draw it and leave it at a comment table at the Art Gallery of Ontario after we saw Spiegelman's "Co-Mix" retrospective there.

Monday, March 09, 2015

Tea for two

I was really happy with how this cellphone shot of Sophia, relaxing after tea and sweets during a recent trip to the Art Gallery of Ontario in Toronto, turned out, so here it is.

Sunday, February 15, 2015

Hatchback 9

I designed the poster for this year's juried exhibit at Hatch Art, the Hamtramck arts collective. Show's in April, deadline for entries is March 3, 2015.

Thursday, February 12, 2015

"There is grandeur in this view of life"

In celebration of Darwin Day, here are a few drawings done at recent visits to the University of Michigan's Museum of Natural History in Ann Arbor.

Saturday, February 07, 2015

We Drain Snakes

Before the holidays, I made some stenciled art objects based on disembodied punchlines, brainfarts, and sentence fragments scribbled in my notebooks. They were a break from my usual drawing habits, and something I could do quickly while I watched movies on Netflix. I'm not even sure what they are or what I'll do with them, but I had fun making them. If you want to take a look at all 25 of them, they have their own site now. Click here if you'd like to take a look.

Thursday, January 22, 2015

Judith Again...

Sorry if you've seen this before, old-timers, but I'm reposting my "Judith" silkscreened mini-comic so it'll be easier to scroll thru when I link to it on Facebook for the "5 Day Art Challenge" meme that's going around. It'll be nicer this time, easier to read, trust me.

For the uninitiated, here's what I said in '06 when I first posted this:

"I first created this mini-comic version of the story of the apocryphal/Biblical heroine Judith a few years ago using the Print Gocco screenprinter. I printed 150 copies or so and hand-stitched the binding.

Judith was a favorite subject of 17th century painter Artemisia Gentileschi, whose Judiths, unlike those of her male contemporaries, actually looked capable of and predisposed to sawing a man's head off his shoulders. One of Artemisia's masterpieces is here in the Detroit Institute of Arts, a suspensful post-beheading Judith scene."

Thursday, January 15, 2015

Puckish humor

The photo of this impromptu "art installation" I made at Cafe 1923 was such a hit on Facebook I decided to post it here, what the heck.

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Detroit is never having to say you're sorry

Happy New Year, TMWJ fans. The first entry for 2015 is actually old news, but over on the Metro Times blog they've posted the brochure boosting the Motor City that I illustrated last year for the Detroit Bus Co., called "We're Not Sorry." If you didn't come across a hard copy while out and about town, now you can take a peek!

Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Year-end clearance

It's been too long since I posted anything, so before 2014 is officially over with, here's some miscellaneous stuff out of a few of this year's sketchbooks, created either while strolling the DIA, at live musical shows, or at Dr. Sketchy. See you in '15!

Friday, October 10, 2014

Art in the 'hood

Tomorrow is the Hamtramck Neighborhood Arts Festival, when galleries and studios all over town are open to the public, showing art and hosting performances. Several local creative types of all ages have been helping out by making dozens of different posters for the event. Here's my version. Come on out and have a look! (Here's a link to a town map and schedule of events.)

Sunday, September 07, 2014

Get it? "Comb Improvement"??

No longer content to circulate my stuff only around the tri-county area, I've moved into Washtenaw County now with this illustration for the cover of the Ann Arbor Current, featuring a story on the local honeybee festival.

Friday, August 29, 2014

Lens On The City

In an attempt to develop my photography chops a little, I enrolled in the "Lens On The City" program sponsored by the Detroit Opera House this week. I could still benefit from more "how-to" technical tutoring, but it was a great opportunity to explore, with a guide and group, some corners of the city that even a long-time resident like me might not get to see very often: backstage at the Opera Theater, the roof of the  Park Shelton, the the Mies Van Der Rohe-designed Lafayette Park developments, the conference center and reflecting pool at Wayne State designed by Minoru Yamasaki, and more. Here's some of my faves from the two days of shooting we did.

Tony Smith's "Gracehoper" from the Park Shelton roof.

The still-new-ish Hellenic Museum is a work in progress but full of interesting stuff (at least to someone who married into a Greek family. There's a photo of my in-laws there). 

From the dolls-of-the-world collection at the International Institute.

Lafayette Park. Maybe the second photo can stand for the double-edged nature of the project - a beautiful and unique (if only semi-realized) mid-century modern planned community, but built on the bulldozed spot where the vibrant (and dilapidated) black neighborhood/jazz hotspot Black Bottom once stood.

Costuming room at the Opera House.

The Yamasaki reflecting pool near the conference center and art building at Wayne State University, recently renovated. It sat dry and neglected the whole time I attended the school in the late '80s-early '90s.