The Occassional Comment
This Monday the marathon of Inktober 2018 began and I decided to jump in this time and see how long I last. Though this free monthlong challenge to complete an ink based drawing every day for the 31 days of October began back in 2009, I first learned of it just a few years ago and had never tried to participate until now. My past hesitancy had been twofold:
That said, I am giving it a try this year even though all the obstacles listed above still apply. Fortunately the accepted guidelines for Inktober are so flexibly generous that nearly any approach to this marathon is acceptable so long as the 31 works are predominantly ink based. As of this year, even digital “ink” is ok. For the course of my Inktober I’ve settled on a few personal “rules” and guidelines. I think each of these will go a long way in helping me get the most out of the whole experience.
Church Of Saint Agnes Of Bohemia. Yesterday’s regular Saturday trip to the farmers’ market was kind of a bust. Instead of haunting one of the usual suspects (Holešovice, Náplaka, Jiřak, etc ...) we made way to the Saturday market at Spořilov, which is actually quite close to us. Alas, it was not there for some reason! Soooo ... although we didn’t get any food, I was able to get a quick sketch in of this wonderfully deceptively quirky building whose children’s block like components compose a “simple” structure of nested crucifixes. The street lamp “sentries” are fun, probably unintended, extra touch. I look forward to sketching this again when I have more time.
#urbansketchersprague #spořilov #inktober
The first album of the very talented songwriter, J.W. Teller, is nearly ready for release and it has been a rare privilege to have been asked to create the cover. Here’s hoping that this marks just the beginning of a large opus of future recordings. Damn, that’s going to be sweet looking back a decade from now and see that I was part of the start of his recording career … and that the future (then) long lineage of my commissioned works had been now just starting. You can find out more about Teller, and his Kickstarter campaign, here http://kck.st/2NXbG3Y.
Just got back from a morning of urban sketching ... BUT, I’m not posting anything from that now. Instead, I’m posting some sketches from an outing a bit over a month ago which I feel deserve their due. It’s been hard for me to get much urban sketching in my schedule lately. To make matters worse, when I am able to juggle time to urban sketch, I can’t seem to manage time to take and post simple snapshots of them. Surely there are some people out there whose time management skills are greater than mine. My god I hope so 😉.
I’ll post today’s sketches sometime later.
“Love(?) At The Rainbow’s End,” urban sketch. First sketch of the day on a spectacular outing with Urban Sketchers Prague. The adobe like labyrinth leading to the outdoor center of Rainbow’s End Cafe/Gallery (a real gem 💎) totally mesmerized me. The time I spent on this sketch (a bit more than an hour, which is borderline excessive for an urban sketch in my opinion) was almost solely devoted to that passage. Graphite is really good for working slowly at the kind of layered texture I was trying to convey in that tunnel. Nevertheless, the intensity with which that couple sat there was hard to ignore. I couldn’t quite figure out what the nature of their interaction was, but their focus on each other was. striking.⠀⠀#graphitesketch #graphitedrawing #urbansketch #urbansketchers #usk #urbansketchersprague #prague #outdoorcafe #couple #rainbowsendprague #cafe
Then around the corner ... “John Lennon Wall (and some people) ” pen and ink urban sketch.
This one was a rather quick sketch (less than 2 minutes) for two reasons. (1) It was broilingly hot out and we were smack under the sun, and (2) after having spent about an hour fussing over the previous sketch at The Rainbow’s End Cafe, my colleagues with me from Urban Sketchers Prague unanimously urged me to try working within strict time limits for a while. Advice well taken :-). Thanks 🙏
#johnlennon #johnlennonwall #urbansketch #urbansketchers #urbansketchersprague #penandinksketch
Here are some of the stages of my last work which was my first commission. It was quite an interesting experience and I learned so much that I hadn’t expected to in the weeklong process of painting and coordinating with my first patron. Maybe I’ll get around to writing about some of those things here later. Let me know in the comments section if you’re interested. Anyway, ultimately a different painting was chosen, one that had taken a fraction of the effort. Wish I had had the foresight to have caught that one in time :-).
For now, here’s the finished work and some of the intermediary stages of development. I'll post the work that was actually accepted once the album that it was commissioned to be the cover of nears release.
“A (small wooden) Cat Goes To Karlovy Vary”, charcoal quick sketch 29w x 42h cm.
Given a handful of charcoal and a 5 minute time limit the accuracy of all elements of controlled decision making process of all aspects of drawing become overwhelmed by the imperative to complete the work in the time allotted with little to no time available for editing. Though this is not my general approach to drawing/painting, it does provide a refreshing spontaneity and vitality that is elusive in more controlled approaches. Fwiw: The porcelain container (here a fish) is an accouterment that any visitor to Karlovy Vary will recognize as an obligatory vessel to collect water from the countless geothermal springs that adorn the city. Each spring has its own natural temperature (some very hot) and mineral content -thus taste and mouthfeel. The elongated porcelain “straws” allow a certain amount of cooling before the water hits one’s mouth. Traipsing through Karlovy Vary with a porcelain sipping cup in hand is a truly unique delight, even for little wooden cats 🐱. Don’t know what the cat’s doing there. I drew this safely back at home in Prague. The wooden cat has never been to Karlovy Vary.
Glory Hallelujah! The attack that had been pummeling me for the past three months has finally gone into remission. Life is amazing. The world is amazing. Autumn is beautiful.
I can walk again.
I can think again (I was getting lost just going down the stairs at times).
I can cook again.
I can help out around the house again.
I can draw and paint again!!!
Just this weekend I was able to stand for two figure drawing sessions. It is so nice to blow some of the dust off of my drawing abilities. Tonight There will be another figure drawing session.
I will be there.
It will be great :-)
Thank you all for your supportive words and thoughts during the last several months :-*
BTW: Speaking of supportive words ... I noticed that sometime while I was "down" Weebly somehow lost all of the comments and "like"s that people had posted to this mini-blog. I found out that it's a problem that affects a lot of their customers and Weebly has been "fixing" in since 2014. This is just one of the many reasons I regret not having started with a different hosting platform. FWIW, I did not remove anyone's comments or "like"s; they were all very important to me. I've changed the comment/like server to Facebook's. I have a feeling they're a bit more competent.
Purchase of original drawing/paintings and archival prints of my work will not be available for a while. I have been quite ill for the past two months (fun and games with multiple sclerosis, of course). For the time being, it is pretty hit & miss when I am able to take care of packing/shipping sensitive pictures or picking up glicee prints. As such, I think it’s best, for now, that I temporarily take down the eCommerce parts of my site. I’ll put them back up once I’m able to respond in a timely fashion. In the meantime … I look forward to seeing everyone on the other side of this attack.
Anonymous Morning, possibly my absolute favorite picture. If this were the work of another artist I would want to own a copy of it ...probably not the original though because that's too expensive and way too massive for our small flat (I'm ignoring here the irony that the massive original is in our flat.) Apparently I'm not alone and I spent an embarrassing long few days swirling in a giddy torrent of mixed emotions when someone decided to buy the original. Such a deep honor and validation of my work and vision, ... such sadness that the picture I love (yet don't have room for) will be taken before I ever get the chance to see it properly mounted on a wall ... such an ethical dilemma as the picture is maybe going to be chosen to be exhibited for five months and auctioned to help displaced Tibetan children but the buyer needed to get it now for her ailing father's birthday (or maybe it won't get chosen for the benefit exhibition ... I find out in two days),
What about the poor Tibetan Children? What about this poor woman who, btw, is floating in the middle of some ocean on a research vessel, far from her poor ailing father? What about this poor marine researcher's poor ailing father? What about me?
Fortunately, I only had to wallow in this emotional storm for a few days before it became clear that it was just someone trying to compromise my PayPal account and I gave them enough info that they might have been able to do it. So ... rather than the emotional confusion I had been dealing with I just have to close my account and set up a new one, reset all of my eCommerce settings, reset gobs of forgotten passwords, and close my eShop while I'm doing all that.
Grrrr ... That was fun.
On Sunday I’ll find out if five images of mine (including this one) will be selected to help out displaced kids at the Tibetan Children Village in Godalpur, India. Support for Tibetan human rights runs deep in the Czech Republic (or at least in Prague) and is one of the many surreal manifestations of resistance to the president here —imagine a deeply alcoholic Donald Trump without the global relevance and that should give you a pretty good picture of Miloš Zeman. He is, btw, one of the only European leaders who really really reaallly likes Trump. His fondness for Trump is followed pretty closely by his admiration of Xi Jinping. Whenever a Chinese delegation is in Prague (which seems to be quite often), large billboards of the Dalai Lama or of horrific treatment of Tibet by China fly up everywhere around the city and are promptly blocked from view by scaffolding. One would think that all of Prague is under construction during these times.
All of the participating artworks will be auctioned at the end of the exhibition with proceeds going to The Tibet Open House and the humanitarian campaigns they pursue (check them out here).
The exhibition and auction will be this fall at Školská 28 which is a really exciting gallery especially for new art (also worth checking out). Hopefully these five works will be part of the fall exhibition for Tibetan Children. Regardless, I'm looking forward to the show :).