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January

FEBRUARY 5, 2009
castles, cathedrals, churches, bicycles, birds, factories, ironwork, stars, etc.
In Sketchbookland: January's haul was good. I started doing these decorative architectural doodles and the torrent show no signs of abating. This grid of thumbnails is from my Sketchbook: January 2009 flickr set.
What's going on then? Dare I say, that doodling is one of the higher forms of artistic expression. These are, however, very ornate and disciplined doodles. I aim to create finished works of art in an ongoing flow utilizing limited graphic strategies to give the effort coherence yet invite variation. It's all direct and there is no sketching beforehand. I love solving mistakes in focus and execution. And I'm ALWAYS standing when I zoom past the finish line at the end of the day's run.
This has led to some glitches however. I've recently done a few illustrations for the New York Times. Richard Weigand, the art director, praised my sketchbooks and paintings and wanted to commission something. I did a couple versions of the illustration in my sketchbook attempting to bridge the divide between my personal working methods ("doodling") and my digital-centric editorial style. At the last minute, I realized that the personal "style" was dreadful and created a new piece on the spot that I knew would work. Richard agreed. Pretty insane having all these self-created hoops to negotiate.
In the meantime, I'm making pastries from unicycle wheels and cathedrals from string while listening to the phone ring.
accepted New York Times sketch (collage, paint)
the dreadful finish (first draft)
The better (and accepted) final. Is see hints of James O'Brien in this one. Don't you? The illustration was for an article about a woman re-reading letters sent to her by her grandfather in Texas. When I finished it, I saw the profile of my own father in the grandfather. My father passed away two years ago. Makes me smile. Hi Dad!
Topical: sketchbooks  work