Edel Rodriguez
The General Gets Dumped

This is for today's Op-Ed in The New York Times on the firing of General McChrystal.  I got a call yesterday while General McChrystal was still meeting with Obama and the article was in progress.  The draft had a bit of a historical take on the subject of generals being fired in the middle of past American wars, so I thought of this idea among a few others.  Got the o.k. on the sketch around 4pm, finish done by 5:30.  Full article here.   As always, Aviva at the Op-Ed makes it a fun job.
Rough sketches

Today's Op-Ed
This is today's Op-Ed for the New York Times, the story is about Iran and the idea that the country could actually become a democratic state.  Full story here.  Aviva Michaelov is the art director and I love what she did with the page.
Final art
Today's Op-Ed on the I.R.A.
Today's Op-Ed is about the recent killing of two soldiers and a police officer in Northern Ireland by a splinter I.R.A. group.  In the old days, this would have caused bitter fighting in the area, but the murders now seem to have brought both sides together.  Maybe, after years of fighting, there is real peace.  This is the image I came up with.  The article is here at the NY Times and is a good read.  I worked with the Kim Bost on this one.
And this was an image for the letters section of the Op-Ed page from a few weeks ago when Obama spoke to Congress.  Worked with Leanne Shapton on this one.
Todays Op-Ed: Obama and Iran's nuclear aspirations
Today's NY Times Op-Ed is about how Obama will handle the situation with Iran.  The full article is here.  There's no simple answer, and the story seems to be that the more time passes, the closer Iran comes to getting a nuke.  That's how the image came about.  Some of the other sketches are below and a gallery of some past Op-Ed work is here:
2008 Notable Op-Ed Art
This Op-Ed piece I did on Zimbabwe's Robert Mugabe was selected for The New York Times "Notable Opinion Art of 2008".  The online show can be viewed here.

Op-Eds for the NY Times
Has Brian Rea left NYC yet?  Whenever I think I've worked on the last assignment with Brian, he calls with a new one.  This one is for Today's Op-Ed titled "The Risk of Too Much Oversight" about how all the numerous Congressional committees restrict and get in the way of the Homeland Security department's ability to defend the country.  I had a number of ideas and Brian ended up going with this one which I liked.  The article is here.
Below are some other recent jobs for the Op Ed page on a variety of subjects.  I've worked with Kim Bost, Brian's assistant on some of those.  It's been a pleasure working with Brian over the years.  He's always been patient, smart, and cool under a lot of pressure. 
Today's Op-Ed: Myanmar
I got a call on Friday afternoon from Brian at the Op-Ed page.  He needed a final....that afternoon.  Okay!  I got to work and did a number of quick sketches which are below.  The final art above was printed today, it's a combination of ink washes and oil based ink line.
The subject of the Op-Ed are the sanitation problems that will likely arise in Myanmar due to the cyclone that has devastated the area's plumbing systems.  Cholera and other diseases could cause more deaths than the initial storm.  The article is titled "Send in the Latrines" and can be read online here

Today's Op-Ed: "Dungeons & Austrians"
Article by John Wray for the NY Times begins....
"AUSTRIA, that lovely little Alpine republic on the banks of the Danube, has a new and deeply lamentable claim to international notoriety: As of this past weekend, we officially lead the free world in the abduction and confinement of young girls in soundproof, subterranean apartments......"  The rest of the article is at the Times website here.  It's a good read on a horrible subject which seems to have just gotten tabloid headlines so far.
I wanted to show a quiet and peaceful Austrian landscape (rendered like one of those paintings a tourist would buy at a shop)  with the horrors going on below the surface.  Some details below.
Detail. The entire image is 10" x 13". Pencil on paper.
Detail 2
For Barry.
Pope Op-Ed
This is for an Op-Ed in today's New York Times.  The article is titled "Our Neighbor, the Pope", a Roman's reflections on living in the same town as the Pope.  How the Pope has come to be seen as another person in town, not as grand or special as he is when he travels abroad.  I thought I'd draw him walking back to the Vatican from another trip, with his suitcase in tow.   The article is online here.
Mugabe Op-Ed
Final Art
Yesterday, around 2:30pm, I got a call from Brian at the Times Op-Ed page.   He said something that sounded a lot like "MugabeZimbabweFrailOldbutStillDangerous—and I need it by 6pm!"  O.K., I thought, I guess I'm not watching Oprah this afternoon...
I read the full article, grabbed a brush, some ink, and went to work.  The writer noticed, while she interviewed Mugabe, how he had aged and seemed like a frail old man.  However, there is still a sense of danger about Mugabe because he could turn Zimbabwe into hell by just making a few calls.  I had this image of a frail old person sitting on a rocking chair, which happens to be a skull.  More of the sketches are below.  The article is here.
Quickie thumbnail. Brian gave the go ahead based on this thing!
Ink Sketch
Another sketch idea
Another sketch, wove in some of the things from other recent drawings.
I got a call from the Boston Globe, they are starting to use illustration as part of a new Op-Ed page, I'm not sure what they were doing before.  The first story they asked me to work on was on the shutting down of Dodgertown, a Spring training facility down in Vero Beach, Florida.  The Brooklyn Dodgers trained there and the place ended up being an experiment in desegregation during the time of Jackie Robinson.  If you're a baseball fan, check out the article here, I enjoyed reading it.
I sent the recent Obama portrait I did over to the NY Times and they picked it up for the paper.  It would be great if every assignment worked this way!  Thanks to Brian Rea and the editors for going with it.  Articles online here.
Today's Op-Ed: Kabul, Afghanistan
I did this for today's NY Times Op-Ed, accompanying a story about how Kabul has become a dangerous place again after it appeared to have become stabilized.  The Taliban is back and attacking hotels and restaurants that cater to the international community.  The full Op-Ed story is online here.

The assignment was for a black and white piece, but I did it in color and converted it after scanning.  Sometimes I do this, I feel I can get more tonal values by working in color.  I also get more into the drawing when working in color.  They ended up running the color piece on the internet.
Brian Rea is the art director, always fun working for him.  I've been able to do a variety of work with him over the years.  Some of those other assignments are in an Op-Ed gallery  here.

I took some pictures while working, you can see those when you scroll down.  The story behind the creased paper is that back in the 90's when I traveled to places like Cuba, Europe or Northern Africa, I used to take large sheets of paper and fold them to fit in my bags.  I never knew how big I was going to work when I started drawing on site, so I would tear off pieces of that large paper on site.  Sometimes my drawings would spread and keep going over the creases in the paper.  I started to like that because it created spaces in the composition within the drawing.  They were drawings within the drawing.  Now I have a bunch of folded papers all over the place.  I like having a surface like that to start on so I don't have a precious surface to have to think about.  The rougher reportage type work I do evolved from all of those travels.
Anyways, here's how this one went:
Final art: Charcoal, Acrylic, Spray paint, and Ink on paper, 9" x 11"
Notable Op-Ed Art of the Year
For an article about how the signing of amnesty orders could bring the country together in Afghanistan.
Here's a link to 17 pieces of Op-Ed art that were chosen by The New York Times as being notable for 2007. 
I have no idea who picks these (I think it might be Brian Rea just going "I dig this"), but it's nice to be in the company of all of these artists.  Links to the articles are also there for perusing.  Check it out, nice show.
Recent Articles

Illustration | portraits (27)

Illustration | conceptual (25)

Illustration | culture (35)

Travel & Sketchbooks (8)

Work in Context (32)

Photography (40)

OP-ED (8)

Design Projects (27)



Sketches and Thumbnails (22)
Other Portfolios:
Other Stuff
Links to Articles
Table 'tutormill.side_ads' doesn't exist