Saturday, March 19, 2011


About a month ago, my parents told me about an animal that died on the edge of their backyard. They held off on investigating the death because of the massive snowfall at the time, and then kind of forgot about it. They noticed ravens tearing at the carrion, and time passed.

Then this past week I decided I should finally check out the remains (it could have been a neighbor's dog, after all). I fully expected to find a skeleton of some kind left over, but I found something quite different. Fur. Big clumps of fur. Some still attached to skin, but most just loose, and grouped into small carpets on the wet leaves. The snowbanks had clearly swept some of the hair down a small embankment against a stone wall left by farmers of yore, but the majority seemed untouched.

Curiously, there were no bones or any other remains to speak of. The scavengers were thorough. And though I thought the recent death would deter other wildlife from coming near the area, the site has become a frequent hangout for deer—as is evidenced by scat piles. This is partly due to my parents' hosta bushes which serve as a buffet when other vegetation grows scarce midwinter (much to my dad's chagrin).

I was at first sort of appalled by the fur. I found the remains disturbing because there was no other sign of the animal's former presence. But after a while I found it purely fascinating. As unsettling as it was to find the stray fur blanketing the forest floor, it was also strangely beautiful.

Friday, March 18, 2011


The second in the series of three that I did for Arafat's Dyson campaign. As should be obvious, it's a kitty and a wookie. Along with the final, I've included the series of thumbnails, original digital sketch, and the watercolor. In some ways I prefer the digital sketch to the final, but I think there are elements that I admire in each. Either way it was an interesting process. Digital can sometimes be frustrating because it allows for so much finicky reworking. A good ol', wet, slapdash wash of paint can sometimes say so much more than the precision of Photoshop or Painter brushes. The second thumbnail, by the way, is my favorite. I may follow this piece with another quick final of that drawing.

Art construction

Driving on Rt. 20 to my parent's house, I passed a vacant lot where a crew is building the foundation to a new house. What caught my eye is a series of impromptu decorations on the outskirts of the site. As if they couldn't help themselves, the men stacked the boulders they unearthed in the process of digging the foundation.
These stones are massive, and the largest definitely required heavy machinery to lift and position. Yet the workers still took the time to arrange the stones, presumably for the pure pleasure of doing so.

I think all of us have the capacity to be artists. It's the inexplicable urge to create that connects us.
 This is some cheesy stuff. Oh well.

Some fairly recent photos

A few Holgas and fisheyes. From all over, really—Connecticut, Brooklyn, Boston, and Paris.
This one and the next are actually just regular 35mm.
Blurry dead squirrel.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

A hasty hello to Hartford

I'm on spring break this week, so I made a visit to Hartford Art School's open figure drawing on Monday. It was great to see that crew, and to make a few drawings of Bill. As is always the case with Blogger, you can click the images to enlarge them.

I know the proportions in the upper chest/ neck area are off (I unintentionally got rid of poor Bill's clavicles), but I like this drawing anyway.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Watercolor pencil sketches

A couple of quick sketches from a few months back.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011


This is the first of a few illustrations I painted digitally for my good friend Arafat Kazi. They're for a vacuum cleaner campaign. They were fun as hell to do. I originally finished a digital sketch for each piece Arafat could use for a spec. portfolio, but wanted to go back into and finish each one. Here's the werewolf/ dog illustration. The thumbnail, watercolor, and original digital sketch accompany the final.

Liquor store bag

Here's a bag from the nearest liquor store on Beacon Street that I scanned and then messed around with in Photoshop. 

Ornate labour

So I found these woodblocks at the Brimfield Antique Market in Massachusetts. Here's a website devoted to the sale of these blocks. It provides some information on their creation and use. The site listed above labels these blocks as having their origins in India, but the gentleman I bought them from told me these are from northern Pakistan. He also informed me that they range in age from 30- to 150- years old, the oldest generally being the more intricate pieces. The woodblocks are incredible just as objects unto themselves- gracefully and painstakingly carved treasures. I purchased them both as ornaments in this way and for their printing potentials. The first project I want to pursue with them is an illustration incorporating their patterns into the overall composition. I'll let you know when I've done something with them.