Monday, November 30, 2015

Keef and the Blackwing

Back when I was still at Kabam, my friend, the incredibly talented and generous Erik Chichester, gave me a Blackwing pencil -, saying it was his favorite pencil to draw with and that I should for crying out loud stop dicking around with Carmine red and Indigo blue Prismacolors and use a real graphite pencil! (He was much nicer about it of course) I had been in a bit of a drawing tools rut with those two particular drawing sticks. (I had used a Blackwing years before, when I was a callow art student and could barely draw a human hand, and years before I could draw a paycheck). So I thanked him sincerely and took the pencil and placed it in a place of honor - an old coffee cup I keep my "fully intend to use all of these sometime real soon"drawing tools in. And there it sat, pristine and unsullied by sharpening.
And it kept sitting in there, its pure white replaceable eraser and its matte black sheath taunting me and calling me all sorts of unflattering names until finally I picked it up and sharpened it, just to silence the pesky pencil. Okay, it was pretty heavenly drawing experience. Velvety line texture and a delicate but broad tonal range. I liked it and began to use it constantly. Then I went to Comic-Con and bought a whole box of the damn things - something wonderfully inspiring and hopeful about a whole BOX of pristine pencils!
So most of the sketchbook stuff I've been perpetrating recently has been with the Blackwing - I highly recommend it as a tool. 
Here's a relatively recent effort: Mr. Keith Richards, musician and pirate dad. 

Sunday, November 29, 2015

Elaan of Troyius

Star Trek TOS - The alluring France Nuyen played the seductive princess whose tears have the power to make a slobbering love slave out of Captain Kirk - temporarily of course, because his only true love is the starship Enterprise. Duh.
France Nuyen was a popular actress throughout the 60's - frequently referred to as "an exotic beauty" because of her French/Vietnamese heritage - she co-starred in films like South Pacific, Diamond Head, Battle for the Planet of the Apes and The Joy Luck Club, and such TV shows as Gunsmoke, The Man From U.N.C.L.E., Hawaii Five-O, Kung Fu, and Charlie's Angels.
But what was really impressive about her was that, after a long career as an actress, she earned a master's degree in clinical psychology. She began a second career as a psychological counselor for abused women and children, and women in prison.
Not bad - changing the course of her life in her mid-forties and making an actual positive difference in the world.  
Just do NOT let her tears get on you!

The Honorable Harold Stassen

Harold Stassen (April 13, 1907 - March 4, 2001) is mostly known as "That Guy Who Loves To Run For President". A native Minnesotan, Stassen ran for President of the U.S. of A. TEN TIMES between the years 1940 and 2000 (waging his last campaign at the age of 92!). He never won of course - never even won the Republican Nomination - but he did hold more than one legitimate offices nonetheless. He was the Governor of Minnesota, the Director of the U.S. Foreign Operations Administration (under Ike) and the President of the University of Pennsylvania, to name a few. He also served in the Navy during WWII under Adm. Wm. "Bull" Halsey.
So here's to perseverance - and the belief that you can by god do anything you wanna. 
And that its never too late. (once your student loans are mostly paid off)
And that maybe you're not crazy after all, with your cockamamie dreams...

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Humphrey & Betty

The return of Blog of Jim!
I have to credit and thank my friend and colleague, the supremely talented and prolific Karla Ortiz - for reminding me of how powerful and elegant a tool the lowly pencil is.
About a year and a half ago a couple of pals and I were at Monsterpalooza, and I ran into Dawn Carlos - at a booth she was working for the other worldly Allen Williams - - Dawn was nice enough to invite me to a gallery show that very evening featuring pencil work of Allen's, Karla's and a handful of other amazing artists, including the phenomenal Sooey Milk - In addition to catching up with Karla, I got all mesmerized by the beautiful, ethereal works of nothing but pencil on the walls. I've always defaulted to pencil drawings as my medium of expression of choice, but this show gently whacked me in the back of my head and re-starting my respect for the wonders of graphite.
So, in realizing that I've been keeping sketchbooks for so long that I have this backlog of (mostly) Moleskines filled with drawings and sketches and weird little ideas, there was no reason not to start posting them - I think I figured that if I posted just one drawing a day I could annoy people for at least until the end of Trump's first term in office - so in a way that decision pretty much made itself.
The drawings I got tons of - mostly pencil, but some pen and ink, and maybe even some paintings - those are the easy part - its the accompanying writing that I'll have to work on. I'll need to overcome the dreaded Lazy Brain Syndrome in order to make this blog something you'll want to visit more than once or twice. So please do visit once or twice and if you see anything you like feel free to re-post it and send others here.