For Utne Reader, on key environmental groups that are beholden to corporate money, and therefore end up working on their behalf, or at the very least, an ineffectual agenda. It's a pleasure to work for Stephanie, who encourages illers to "surprise" her with a dynamic image.
In the age of Obama, the GOP seems in danger of self imposed extinction, as they appear to inhabit an increasingly narrow niche on the far right. This cover image for the LA Times accompanies articles on 3 ways in which the party can pull itself back from the brink. Using the tired old metaphor of the tightrope, the emphasis became the bloated fear of the elephant.
The title for this essay "God is Black" is about all I had to go on at the TIME, as it was not yet written. The premise is that the authoratative voice has been African American for awhile now (think James Earl Jones and Morgan Freeman).
It was a great opportunity to draw some of those strange little Putti characters.
It was good to receive an assignment from TIME outlining the many crimes of the outgoing administration. I could not help but think of the hulking machines driven by the puny pink aliens in War of the Worlds. I used this opportunity to indulge my armor fetish as the vessel for the little man.
Birds have always intrigued me, and I'm happy to use them as a metaphor now and then. These images were commissioned in black & white, which of course is quite rare anymore in this Turnerized world. My approach has changed due to time constraints and is very evident when comparing these two illos. There just isn't the time on two hour turnovers to draw as finely as I used to.
Birds on a wire, The New York Times (sometime back in the early 1990's)
Is anyone else having trouble getting their head around the constant talk of billions of dollars? And just when you feel like there might be a cieling to the billions, a discussion of trillions begins. And then there is this nagging feeling that no matter how much money we (taxpayers) throw at the problems (incompetence, fraud, gluttony), it's like shoveling it into a bottomless pit. Hence my idea for the current TIME commentary page on bailouts.
I've had occasions to illustrate commentaries, naratives, lessons and poetry, but never a prayer until now. The image for the WSJ accompanies a prayer said before each flight the author takes, believing it insures a safe passage.
The sepia bleed has been something I've been enjoying lately.
The Leaves are on the ground in Eastern Pennsylvania as we begin to turn our thoughts to Winter and our interiors.
To Autumn by William Blake
O Autumn, laden with fruit, and stain'd
With the blood of the grape, pass not, but sit
Beneath my shady roof; there thou may'st rest,
And tune thy jolly voice to my fresh pipe,
And all the daughters of the year shall dance!
Sing now the lusty song of fruits and flowers.
'The narrow bud opens her beauties to
The sun, and love runs in her thrilling veins;
Blossoms hang round the brows of Morning, and
Flourish down the bright cheek of modest Eve,
Till clust'ring Summer breaks forth into singing,
And feather'd clouds strew flowers round her head.
'The spirits of the air live in the smells
Of fruit; and Joy, with pinions light, roves round
The gardens, or sits singing in the trees.'
Thus sang the jolly Autumn as he sat,
Then rose, girded himself, and o'er the bleak
Hills fled from our sight; but left his golden load.
I try to remain disciplined about using my "down time" constructively. Here is one in a series of non-illustration pieces I'm developing. Would love everyone's honest feedback, but am reluctant to reveal the process....just yet.
Just don't get stopped for a traffic violation in L.A. as this image illustrates. This cover art was for the LATimes on the kangaroo courts, where never a ticket is overturned, police lie and judges rubber stamp.
I'm adding puppets to my list of favorite things to draw. Feel free to list YOUR faves.
So many years between these cards. Incidentally, I thought I was smiling (both times).
So I return to the place that inspired me to pursue my passion for drawing. It's tempting to say that my new role at Pratt is no longer on the receiving end. But anyone who teaches well, knows that not to be true. It's an inspiring give and take exchange of ideas. If it were not for the monumental artists (perhaps more importantly - extraordinary human beings) like Jos A. Smith and James Grashow, I would surely have taken another path. BIG shoes to fill. Wish me luck in my efforts to make a difference in the new crop of artist hopefuls.
Few public figures stir the heart and soul like Martin Luther King did, and still does. When my kids were small, I'd sit them down to listen to his speeches on this anniversary date. What would follow was a larger discussion of American values. King remains a heroe and an example of decency and courage in this household.
I gave myself 2 hours this morning to create this image. The medium...brush & ink, & foil.
This job about intellectual property and the performing arts, landed in a timely way, since lately I've had occasion to do some theater imagery. The article was about where the line is drawn on interpretations of plays and infringements of copyright. In case it hasn't been obvious, I seem to always pare down the image to a central symbolic figure. I think my work is best in this iconic approach. Although, I'm terribly envious (admiring, really) of artists who think in reverse ...of using a visually complicated image to convey the mesage.
A belated Happy 4th of July all !!! We are finally back from a lengthy vacation at the shore, and my cold turkey from both drawing and drawger. I took this George De La Tour-ish photo last night, as my daughter and her friend swam to the edge of the pool and were gazing into a citronella candle talking about whatever 17 year old girls talk about.
My father, William Gothard, has spent his entire life painting and drawing, and continues to paint nearly every day now, at the age of 74. Happy Father's Day, Dad....you are an inspiration to me and have taught me the value of good drawing. Of course, my father will never see this as he is the original definition of "luddite'", shunning most technology (has never had a driver's license, computer, or cell phone). Aligning himself with the Social Realism school, he studied with some of the greats, from Raphael Soyer (who was a close friend and painted me as a child), to Joseph Hirsch, and has rubbed elbows with a number of the titans in art. Content to be left alone to paint, read, and listen to good music, my dad has never promoted his work to galleries or museums, but has had some impressive shows over the years. He has a number of patrons actively collecting and purchasing his work. I've set up a gallery under his name here where you can enjoy a sampling of his work.
Confession: I've always loved the ghostly B&W quality of x-ray's. I usually manage to convince doctors to let me have them. This is an x-ray of my greyhound's pelvis, taken this morning, after she took a nasty spill (is ok now). My obsession started long before seeing "The Man with X-Ray Eyes" with Ray Milland ( remember the last line in the film?..."if thine eyes offend thee, pluck them out"). I was the kid (sucker) that sent away for the x-ray glasses from the comic book's back cover. Once on, I really believed my eyes were penetrating women's clothing...was an imaginative adolescent. The orbs of light are not the chi or energy flowing through my canine....it's the trees behind the window where the pic was taken.
OK - so I'm gonna try to get this articles thing happenin right here and now. A number of us have been in the illo biz long enough to remember pre tech times...and then came the Faxeolithic and Macolithic eras, respectively. I've got plenty o' spunk left in me, so the last thing I wanna start is a thread of "the good ol' days". I am thinking, however, that it would be interestin for those artists who have started up their careers in the age of communication, to hear just a little about how dramatically the illo world changed in terms of locations, deadlines, workloads, portfolios etc. with the advent of technology. Like everything else, this change brought some pros and cons. One big result is that it scattered us out from NYC like a tear in the bottom of a big bag of marbles. all rollin in different directions. Which is why we are using this current form to connect. Before fax made it possible to exist outside NYC's boundaries, there was an even bigger concentration of artists living and working in the one community. Freindships were formed amomg artists and between artist and client. There were a few spots that served as a kind of social club for artists. I'm thinkin of the NYTimes bullpen. I met a few of you "drawgers" there. Now, of course, if you tried to hang there you'd be hauled off fer loitterin, but there was a time (if you care to remember).