Recently in drawing Category

just a page from last year's notebook...

not quite sure where i put this pen now. the drawing is from some meeting in the summer of 2007, i think. but i am not sure. and maybe it does not matter at all. (it actually probably really does not.)

Highway Sound Drawing

made a whole series of drawings for the new record by "The Highway Sound," Jay Zasa's band. It took an entire wall of attempts and actually several weeks of trying until I finally started seeing work that was good enough for Jay and his band. I hope the record is going to be successful. Here is one of my favorite drawings of the entire set. (I am not posting more. More is going to be on the record when it comes out.) : ) The drawing is based on the engine of a 1919 Ford Model T.
sometimes the skeleton of a drawing is so confusingly strange that it is especially fun to sink the eyes into. Remember the Bruklynn guy? (Click on that "remix" link under the drawing...) Yeah, like that. Whenever I get to draw in Illustrator, it is great to take a look at the skeleton of things, after the drawing is done... Some of the drawings look just somehow interesting... or something... NylonStore_outlines.gif....
Em!ly had her thumb bitten by Sasha her currently injured dog. Sasha is still injured after a biting accident, was in pain, mistook Em!ly's hand for an attacker... and thus the injury. Em!ly will probably lose and re-grow the nail. In the meantime, she will not really be able to use her right hand for some very normal activities... So just to solidarize with Em!ly, I drew a little dog with my right hand. (I am about as completely left handed as they get...) The dog is certainly less than perfect, but hey, it is drawn with that other hand. So let's all hope Em!ly will get better. Thing appear to be very dangerous where she lives, out there in the wild, wild Coloradian west... : ) righthanddog.jpg

is it the wild ocean?

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Wrapped the blanket completely around my head and managed to filter out some of the car noise on broadway. I sometimes pretend that what I am hearing are waves of a violent ocean, pounding against the high coast. The house here placed on the edge of a cliff. The honking and the police syrens somehow disrupt this phantasy. The syrens could probably be monkeys. Little apes, calling for some love. there must be some reason why there are such similarities between the sounds. I used to sleep with the earplugs in. Maybe for a night or two. It really did not work for me. The plugs would give me the feeling that my head was about to unfold in the morning, as if the pieces of my skull were like the petals of some bizarre flower. So the blanket works relatively well. I wrap it around my head, I look like a beduine... I turn off the lights and slowly glide into the darkness. I have not drawn for a really long time. It is very depressing. I put the pen to the paper and it just does not want to draw. It does not work. But I was called by Nylon magazine to illustrate something for them. (You can find the drawing in the next issue...) It was somehow funny to see that they would pick my very first sketch... not the one I spent days thinking about and hours drawing. They just liked the one I just jotted down... About 12 years ago this would have made me think that I am a genius. Today it makes me think that my thinking is not really worth much... or that I think in circles or that what I think is thinking is not even that. It is really somehow crazy how my mind is on an implosion trip... okay, now this really is not very interesting... let's move the camera over there and point it towards the trees. See, much better now. Thousands of flowers attached to the branches, call for flying insets to have simulated sex. (or was it food... or both?) And the fragrant haze embraces us and crawls into us and intoxicates us... just like music crawls into our ears and makes us hear its vibrations through many more parts of our body... just like little melodies straighten out a mess of thoughts and put many of them onto the right kind of track... Some sounds take a bite out of the thought process we have... Another monkey sound just cruised by the window... another wave hit the cliffs, another seagull called somebody's name. I will not listen to music now... I will probably go to sleep... oh, below is the not selected illustration... the chosen one will be in the upcoming issue of Nylon Magazine (yes, I know... I mentioned it before)... it is a fun independent magazine... get yourself a copy... I am amazed and very thankful that they asked me to do something for them... will it ever happen again?

invention of flatness...

Drawings must feel to the pen like one long, long line. There are variations in speed and direction and there is the occasional leaving of the page... but after all... the single nib of the fountain pen creates a line. This is what it is engineered to do. Then there is the paper... the good sheet of paper is ready to accept the ink flowing from the nib of the pen from edge to edge, from corner to corner... both sides. The Camera Lucida projects two images at least, at the same time, all the time. The flowers have been cut away from their roots. They are in water, yes, but they are bound to die... they project a multidimensional, ever changing image... so incredibly complex and so simple at the same time... It is a choice to align all elements in a way that projects the image of the flowers in a best way into my eye, so my brain can be fooled into seeing the image of the flowers on the ready and white paper, and so the nib of the pen can be made to draw its so reliable line in ways that somehow play with the projected image. And so the flowers are dying, I see them die on paper, which is ready to take on the ink, flowing from the tip of the nib of the reliable pen. Over and over and over again, until the drawing is complete and is actually very much an invention that has traces of flowers and ink and paper in it... But omits so much, and is adjusted in ways, so it matches a hidden image, the one that I wanted to have, the one that I did not want to just go away. And because I want the line to be line and the paper to be paper and the reflection to be just the starting point for a drawing, and because I do not want to draw an illusion that has much to do with the variety of brightness on the flowers...a sense of depth is reduced. The drawing is flattened, it does not pretend to be flowers. It is a drawing, a precise drawing that happened to be created in the presence of flowers... And every single line receives the same level of importance... (and even if some end up seemingly more important, they are all the same to the pen...) Because I am the film, I can be more selective and more discriminating and more inventive than layers of chemicals on a transparent carrier... and also more selective than a CCD... and I am so incredibly slower and less precise as well... and I am so incredibly linear... I have to guide and unite and rely on tools that are only able to perform quite primitive tasks... very well... And this is such an incredible adventure... and I am really so bad with words, when they are supposed to be used to describe something that was not really meant to be described with words, because the result of the task, or the task itself is supposed to be the description... and I most often feel like the pen, seeing only the line... or the paper, ready to accept the ink or like the camera, just projecting information without being aware of the duality of it and like the plants... cut off the infinite chain, to die. hopefully gracefully... hmm... .
Well, yes, there is that other book, in my other pocket with me at all times, it is the dirty one, the one where the other pens get to scratch the surface and to just break things and to write silly little remarks which will maybe mean something to me when I will try to decipher them in a few weeks, or years... or maybe not even... oh well... Hmm... I completely forgot about that scanner I have here just around the corner... so just as a test, some quick and dirty scans of the quick and dirty pages... of that other book, you know... that other book....

Calm now...

More work, less time, more rushing, a new week... there should be more here than some posts about the struggle of struggle... For now, just a little idea of little (tiny really) pencil drawings of some fragments of favorite paintings... thought about taking the features of the portrayed and redrawing them to look as if they were our contemporaries... or at least characters from the last century... this might be interesting as it is not really a new idea... it would be just interesting to see how much of the human aspect depends on such silly accessories as expression, hairstyle and makeup... The example below is an overlay of such a small pencil drawing over the source painting from the Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam... Oh well... just a very early thought... first drawing... I know, the hair looks like a fur hat... but it is just an idea, a sketch... a first jot... just thinking... (oh, and I would not overlay the drawings back onto the source like in the image below. I would like to have them completely separate. They should be connected only by those feeling familiar with the original paintings... it should be like looking at family members... relatives, distant ones... still related... like that... not copies, just genetic rethinking of original features from other sources...)
Today will be spent on writing less and drawing more. And so the entry here will be a little anemic, as if written by a tiny mind, suspended in a little resin cube, appearing to be multiple little minds, when only seen from the wrong, or right angle. Trying to imagine a world rather simple, with no distractions, no insane honking cars outside... it can be done... let's just imagine that this cube we are in is a really dense one... transparent but completely protective and calm... I guess this could be a good start... and now... please excuse me while I take that blue black line for some unexpected walks... (okay, some will be predictable, yes they will be...)

Not so fast...

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The radio in the cab advertised some language course, loudly, frantically. It might have been "Spanish in 30 days", "no effort at all". "Just lean back and you will be able to speak it, guaranteed, or money back"... I don't know... "Eat a pill and you will never get sick", "stop eating carbs and you will never get fat", "use a fancy camera and you will be taking great pictures", "relax", "enjoy", "win a million dollars", capture ... (enter the name of your favorite villain here)... and then what?... I can not keep up. Not tonight... Drawing is not always easy, it is not always relaxing, it is not that cool thing to do, it can require a very specific kind of focus, as not seen on tv. There are no guarantees. It is one thing to follow the path that the pen wants to take, or to use the nib to grab and translate the known... but in the end... in the end it is about walking against the current, barefoot, until the feet hurt, until there is blood coming from that thumb, or leg, or lip. And one either does it a lot and seriously, or in little bursts... but then the periods of leaning back push one out away from the bubbling, child like, laughing source... There is no happy lucky formula for a good piece... and it is not the book, it is not the pen, it is not the city... i have no idea what it is... but I can not be ecstatic about it tonight, and I work really hard to make things look easy... and it is not easy to do... not tonight... but it is really worth it, and it is one of my favorite things in the world... and it is actually after 2, the following day... and there will be not enough sleep... yet again... slow, so low, solo w, s low... ow.... (another older one that did not make it...)


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Spent most of the day falling out of one sleeping moment into the next. I would wake up on the sofa, in a chair, in other odd places. Looks like I will need to recharge soon... and tomorrow would have been a nice day for this... but tomorrow will be filled with more work.
The 1936 Pen arrived... it first did not want to pull any ink. Then it pulled ink. Wrote beautifully... then tonight... it just spilled the ink, through its back, all over the table. The ink is in the wood now, a table tattoo, a reminder to be more careful with pigment carrying devices. Fortunately the dealer I bought the pen from is of the very friendly sort, so I will probably wrap up the pen and ship it back to Hamburg, so it can have its cork restored, so it does not spill itself all over the furniture anymore.
Accu weather real temperature feel is at -2F right now, which equals -18C... and the temperature will go further down. Am I glad to have silly problems like spilling ink. It would not be good to have to find a place to stay anywhere outside, though I would probably end up riding the train, until I would run out of paper, I would then just probably start scratching little messages into the plastic protective sheets on the windows...
Drawing into a book in public is a bit like graffiti for cowards, I guess... I leave a little mark on paper, some daring expression, and then close the book, adjust the coat and leave as if nothing happened. Portafitti. Carry on graffiti...
Next thought please.

pen test...

the pen I recently received was a fine Mont Blanc from 1956, and I just let it draw whatever it wanted to draw, on the subway... the lines were short, much shorter than the ones I was used to, and there were many, the shapes became clear slowly, and there he was, an angry little boy, not really looking like a boy at all, the little spirit that might have been trapped in the old mont blanc pen that arrived here from hamburg. ; ) The pen had never been used before, never been "inked", it works much better now... we have much calmer encounters... but it still produces some of these strange drawings, angry little characters... hmm... use your pens, use them often... (Don't let them grow bitter over time...) boy_striped_IMG_5646.jpg

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