November 2006
Back to beautiful Italy.
We got married in the spring of 1970 and that summer we took a 5 week honeymoon trip to Europe.  It was a lot cheaper then.  We traveled through 7 countries with our Eurail Passes which were a total of $200 for both of us.  We had a great time taking in all the beauty and culture over there.  Here's a ketch I did of my wife while were were riding a train in Italy.  I was sketching away as the train was rattling along and the hot summer air was blowing in the window.  There wasn't any air conditioning on the trains in Europe in those days.  Notice the Renaissance print that's framed and attached to the wall above the seat.  You would never see anything like that in America.  This Thursday we're going back to Italy for two weeks!  So I won't be around Drawger for awhile.  Hopefully, I'll get time to do some sketching or at least to take some pictures to share with you when we get back.
Off to new England...
We're off to New England for the week (by car and with coats on).   This is another sailing cartoon I did for the sailing magazine.  Just wanted to wish you all a Happy Thanksgiving!  See you next week!
Smooth sailing ahead....
Here's a little something I just did for a regular client.  It's a business magazine and the headline for the article is Smooth Sailing Ahead. The subtitle is, "How to encourage positive thinking to improve productivity."  I thought it might be a good drawger thought for the day.
What's a Harlin Quist?
Thanks again, Randy, for mentioning the great, long forgotten Harlin Quist Publishing house.  And for inspiring me to post this story that I’ve been thinking about putting up for a while.  Harlin was a unique, rebellious, quintessentially 1960’s individual who published the kind of books that were ground-breaking.  He introduced European illustrators like Etienne Dellesert to an American audience and his books appealed to adults as well as children.  They were sophisticated at a time when most children’s books were in the Dick and Jane mode.  It wasn’t until I had seen some of them that I ever even considered illustrating children’s books.  I didn’t know it until later but this distinguished publisher ran his business on a shoestring.  He had taste and principles that were more important to him than making money.  He would spend extra money to get quality printing when it might mean he wouldn’t make a profit.
 I hopped on my motorcycle sometime in late 1968, strapped on my portfolio and took it over to the Quist apartment/office in lower Manhattan where I showed it to Harlin’s assistant.  He liked it and said he would recommend me to Harlin.  A few month’s later Harlin called me back, looked at my stuff and handed me my first children’s book to illustrate.  It turned out well and Harlin wanted to do another book based on some drawings of mine that he had seen earlier.  I went over to the “office”, I spread out some of the drawings on a coffee table that was between two opposing couches.  As we were looking at them and discussing some possibilities, something happened that pre-stages the story Randy told here earlier. The doorbell rang.  Harlin glanced at me, put his finger to his mouth in a “quiet” gesture and got up and quietly walked over to the window, pulled back the drape and very carefully peeked out the window down at the doorway.   The doorbell rang several times again and this famous publisher just stood there.  Finally, it stopped ringing and he straightened himself up and came back to the couch opposite me, sat back down and calmly said, “Bill collector.”  At that point I was glad that I had been paid for my first book.  I went on to illustrate over 30 children’s books after that but that one is still my favorite.  There’s a warm place in my heart for that book and for the very special publisher with the unique name of Harlin Quist who had a vision and hid from bill collectors.
Harlin moved his headquarters to Europe several months after that.  Probably right around the time Randy dropped off his portfolio.   He continued to do great books from there.  Those were the days.    
Fall in New Jersey.
I loved living in the city and always had mixed feelings about moving to the much maligned Garden State.  But I've been here long enough now to really appreciate it.  One of my favorite things is the large Japanese Maple tree that sits smack dab in the middle of our back yard.  I wanted to share it with you when it's in all it's brilliant fall glory.
I shot this in the late afternoon yesterday looking down from the back window of my third floor studio.
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