Saturday, July 21, 2007

is this week's theme at Illustration Friday. By odd coincidence I have been working on writing poems for some of my paintings. Here's one with the most seasonal subject matter. You can click on the painting to enlarge it. My son H is the model, enjoying a moment at one of his favorite places in the world: the lake near my parent's house. I used to love it it's a joy to watch the boys basking in the same feelings the lake always awoke in me. Time stands still for a heartbeat.

Edge of the Lake, 30 x 40 inches, oil on canvas

Thursday, July 19, 2007

I did it myself and apparently I did a pretty good job too. I hung it on the fridge and there was a clamor later that day when the men in the family saw it, grasped instantly what (or who) it was and came rushing over to me "How'd you do that?!" "Me too, me too!!" Ironic that in a houshold of Simpsons fans I was the first to find this site, because I can't actually stomach the Simpsons. I admit its theoretical brilliance but in actuality it's too crude for me. The drool, butt cracks, drunk jokes and the like just gross me out. I have a fondness for Lisa, of course.

I picked a pink frosted doughnut for my Simpsons shirt. I thought it was appropriate as some art reviewer once called me "the foremost doughnut painter of Philadelphia." It may sound banal (and perhaps it was meant as a back-handed compliment) but I was thrilled. How often does one get called the foremost of anything, anywhere? And I certainly do love to paint doughnuts! I guess there's a streak of Homer in me after all.

Anyway, I've seen so many of these Simpsons avatars on illustrator's sites that I can't remember whose I saw it on first. If you want to make your own, go to the Simpsons Movie site and click on the Make Avatar button. It's fun! If you try it drop a link in the comments here to your Simpsonized self (or entire family like my friend Ned ). I'd love to see what you come up with!

Friday, July 13, 2007

is the topic for the week over at Illustration Friday. This painting leapt to mind. It is fascinating to watch children discovering the world, all its riches and surprises. A table laden with still-life objects can be an enchanted island brimming with allegory and possibilities to a four-year-old. I still feel that way myself.

Hugh at the Table oil on canvas 28 x 44 inches

Monday, July 9, 2007

is this week's theme at Illustration Friday. One of the definitions of geek is "A person who is interested in technology, especially computing and new media." -Wikipedia. I decided I did not want to do the stereotype of thick glasses, buck teeth and mismatched plaid: it's a dead horse. Very few people still sport that Poindexter look from the 1950's, and I am amazed how pervasively it has lingered in our collective cultural memory. Most of the geeky guys I personally know wear tee shirts, jeans and sneakers. They often have beards, and sometimes glasses but not always. They just look regular which is not very visually exciting. Instead, I found this drawing I did of kids having fun on the computer, and colored it up in Photoshop. Geeklings!

Personally I am not a technology geek. I take no particular interest in the technological aspects of the tools I use, my computer, camera etc. I value them but just as a means to an end. In fact, I only learned how to turn off my cell phone last week at a bar-mitzvah when they made a general request for this courtesy and I had to ask the man sitting next to me for help. He shot me a look that read Are you kidding me?" then quickly realized I wasn't and showed me how. Duh, right? (In my defense, it is a new phone!)

Confession: it all seems like magic to me and I am content to let it be so!

Pen and ink on paper, scanned and colored in Photoshop

Monday, July 2, 2007

is the theme for this week's Illustration Friday. You can see, I think, how influenced I was by the work of Lucien Freud at the time that I painted this. Although I was not aiming to be a Lucia Freud or anything...but I was poring over books of his work and obviously it made an impression.

It is unfinished. My model, Oliver, a free spirit, took off for California (land of the free spirits) after we had only a couple of sessions. I hadn't gotten around to taking good reference photos and so that was pretty much that. There was always something about it that kept me from painting over it, despite its rough state, although I never exhibited it. Till now!

On the Floor, oil on canvas, 44 x 60 inches