Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Star Wars, Indy, and PeeWee Show

Here they are, with some details not available anywhere else besides my own blog.  I've been working on these for the past few months for the current show at Gallery1988 with the great Bennett Slater (work and prints available to buy here).  It's great to see the buzz on these - people seem to really love them - which is awesome. . . In case you were wondering, they were A LOT of work!  At 130-200 hrs per painting all done by hand, they are the most complicated things I've done (yet), and I'm not one to shy away from complication!  So enjoy, nit pick, relive the Spielbergian/Lucasian genius in all it's glory. 

To the trilogies!!
"Paths of Hope", 18.5" x 22", gouache on paper
"Paths of Hope" detail
"Paths of Empire", 18.5" x 22", gouache on paper
"Paths of Empire" detail
"Paths of Return", 18.5" x 22", gouache on paper
"Paths of Return" detail
"Paths of Raiders", 18.5" x 22", gouache on paper

"Paths of Raiders" detail

"Paths of Doom", 18.5" x 22", gouache on paper
"Paths of Doom" detail

"Paths of Crusade", 18.5" x 22", gouache on paper
"Paths of Crusade" detail

Collaboration with Bennett Slater
"And Knitting, and Knitting, and Knitting", 18" x 24"
Acrylic and oil on wood 
"And Knitting, and Knitting, and Knitting" detail

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Fall Round-up

Here's a round-up of my illustrations from the past few months!

"Ox Mountain Death Song," The New Yorker, October 29 & November 5, 2012
Hunters, The New Yorker, October 15, 2012
"Wuthering Heights," The New Yorker, October 8, 2012

Julia Holter, The New Yorker, September 3, 2012
Saadat Hassan Manto,, August 30, 2012

"The Challenges of Adult ADHD," American Medical News, August 6, 2012

Monday, August 13, 2012

Crazy4Cult New York!

Crazy4Cult 2012!! In NY!!  So easy to get to from Philly!  And yet on that day, I am up in Vermont!  However, the day had many other wonderful things happening not in the general perusal of this little blog.  Let's just say it involved a change of the face book status:).   So I've been pretty disENGAGED with my blog over the summer, so much so that this piece for one of the biggest shows of my year, has opened without promotion from me, and the piece has already sold! I finished this about two months ago, and then had in the studio itching for release only to be late to the party.  Yarg!!  Anyhow, the show has done really well, and great to see the NY press coverage.  So here it is, "The Path of Shaun", 9" x 12", ink and gouache on paper.

Like the maps I've been doing of late, I think the dogged pursuit of simply following the character tells a lot about the movie.  In this case, a pretty intense back and forth between a few places, the Winchester, Shaun's house, Liz's house, and all of the zig-zaggier path come when the zombies come and Shaun gets out of his rut.  It's a sort of dry approach - but I think of them as doing two things: they allow the viewer to follow the experience of the entire movie in a really condensed frame, with some fun little details, and humor, and they also have a bit of an info-graphic/anthropological study feel.   I do try to shape them for clarity, but when you start connecting the dots, these patterns start emerging from the plot in a very simple stripped down way.  There not all that much control in these very controlled piece and that's really fun.  I'm working on more movie maps for a two man show in January at G1988's Venice location - and those are getting really crazy!:)

There's some fun little details around the Winchester.

photo by HalfBaiked
Apparently, the line went three quarters of the way around the block!!  Hats off to Jensen and Katie at G1988 for putting this all together and doing a lot of great promo work!!

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Recent illos

"Wild Flag," The New Yorker, April 2, 2012

"The Dark Knight Rises," The New Yorker, June 4-11, 2012 

"When Key Employees Clash— Experts: Jim Southern and Peter Kelly," Harvard Business Review, June 2012

Here are some pieces from the past few months. "The Dark Knight Rises" illustration and the HBR portraits are on newsstands now. 

For fun, I put together an unedited, behind-the-scenes look at the making of a few illustrations. You can see the Wild Flag process here.

Friday, April 20, 2012

New Website Up and Running!

The new site is up, a little cleaner, a little easier, more work, more . . . pizazz?  Anyway, have a look - I'm still in sort of a beta testing period.  So there maybe some small changes yet to be done, but it feels good to have it up and working.

Thursday, March 29, 2012

"North by Northwest Passage" for Alfred Hitchcock Show, "Suspense and Gallows Humor"

"North by Northwest Passage"
22" x 22" Gouache on paper

 I've loved "North by Northwest" for a since the first time I saw it - the visuals, the music, the tiny razor gags, but most of all, the urban/rural scene hopping, from New York, to Chicago, to South Dakota.  So - I thought I'd throw together a sort of scenic chart of all the actual locations in the movie - the only fictional one being the Northwest Airlines terminal, which no longer exists and I couldn't find reference for (but for "North by Northwest", I figured I'd take a little liberty).  Also not included are the 1212 Michgan Ave Auction house and the hospital in Rapid City, as they were shot on soundstage in Hollywood.    Even with that, it was a bit of a beast.  Lots of research, lots of windows . . . The cars are also accurate from the initial 57 Skoda 440 cab to the '51 White Freightliner the plane crashes into, to the '52 Ford Customline Cary Grant rescues the girl in.  I took color from the footage to get some of that "technicolor" feel, and blatantly ripped off Saul Bass' opening credit arrows to show the action.

Anywho - the show opens at the Gallery1988 Venice location on April 13th!


progress - pencils to color blocking, to black line on top
The remnants of my notes.

Friday, March 16, 2012

"It's a Magic Trick"

This takes me back to my days at Pratt! Watch illustrator Lynn Pauley teach her signature line technique to students at Delaware College of Art and Design in the video below. The actual drawing starts at the 3:45 minute mark.

Figure Drawing class for Animators and Illustrators from eatmysocksoff on Vimeo. Filmed March 2012.

Thursday, February 23, 2012


My friend and Philadelphia consiglieri Josh Longo is now posting for LostAtEMinor and was very generous in throwing up some of my Freddie Mercury portraits for the New Illustration section.  VIVA FREDDIE!! And thanks, Josh!  But enough about me - let's talk about Josh.  Josh is an industrial designer and teaches at Pratt in the ID studios next door to the Communication Design Dept and sometimes stops by my class on Mondays.  We share bus rides back and forth from Philly to Pratt in Brooklyn - and like schoolgirls on a sleepover, we say we should sleep and then talk the whole time.  

     Josh has a pretty amazing CV based mostly on his 3D work in Longoland, but for the past few years he's been doing what most of us illustrators talk about, but never REALLY do - and that's branch out.  He's been developing his 2D work and is doing some amazing stuff.  Not to say that Josh wasn't already great at drawing - he was - but moving from drawing as a preliminary for 3D work, and doing drawing and painting as a finish in and of itself is a really interesting difference.  It's been fascinating to watch.  We have a lot of similar influences and his stuff has inspired a lot of the more recent painting I've been doing and vice-versa, which is a blast.  The way he attacks pieces and compositions reminds that it's supposed to be fun - that the if a piece doesn't have intuition, that it's probably lacking in inspiration, too.  If you haven't already, check out rumbletoid - and check out his sketchbooks.

Monday, February 6, 2012

Citizen Conn

"Citizen Conn," The New Yorker, February 13 & 20, 2012

My first full page for The New Yorker illustrates "Citizen Conn," a new short story by Michael Chabon. I'm a big fan of Chabon's—The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay inspired my senior project at Pratt and a while back I did a few illustrations that ran in "The Escapists," a Dark Horse comic series sequel to Kavalier & Clay. This short story is a return to the world of comic book creators for Chabon.

I had longer for this piece than a typical NYer illustration and much of the time was spent conceptualizing. Here are the thumbnails:
(click to enlarge)
Four of thumbnails were chosen and developed into rough sketches:
(click to enlarge)
There was some debate among the editors as to whether to go with a literal scene from the story or not. As a result, two of the roughs were asked to be developed into final inks.

(click to enlarge)
The literal direction won out in the end (although I went back to the drawing board one more time!).

"Citizen Conn" appears in this week's issue of The New Yorker.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

"One Hour of TV a Week" Show

This weekend I had the pleasure of setting up my "One Hour of TV a Week" Show at Gallery 543 in Building 543, a communal space for the headquarters of URBN Inc (which for the uninitiated encompasses Urban Outfitters, Anthropologie, BHLDN, Free People and Terrain) in the Philadelphia Navy Yard .  The space is . . . pretty amazing.  Coi ponds?  Yup.  40 ft tall bamboo indoors?  Yup?  Handy parking for WWII era aircraft carriers?  You better believe it.  You can also get a good cup of coffee and tasty lunch if you want to make a day of it.

I want to extend a big thank yous to: Lauren Addis for her support of the show and allowing me to do an extended setup (and make an extended mess), Josh Longo (of Longoland fame) for helping paint boats and put on the finishing touches, and most of all to Michelle Provencal who not only put up with my turning our apartment into a disaster zone, but who also helped out this past week with all the last minute preparations that I never would have been able to finish on my own (as well as my manic stress-isodes).  Thank you, thank you, thank you.

On to the show!!  So - some of you may recognize a few of the pieces from the "History of the World" show that was up earlier this year created with Owen Sherwood.  Initially, this show was going to be my half of that show, but - I like doing work - and wanted to repurpose some of the more autobiographical pieces from "History" into a different slant. So with a few new pieces and tweaks on old ideas, here's the "One Hour of TV a Week" show.

A little stage setting . . .
Is that . . . ? Yes, you're correct.  That is an aircraft carrier
looming outside of that large glass window.
"I'll Stop If You Stop", Latex Paint (thanks Josh!)
"National Little League" and "Bicentennial"

"I'll Stop if you Stop" detail
"I Hate Brian Smith", 6" x 6" drawings on paper.  
The story is - I got beat up by Brian Smith a lot.  Many bloody
noses - most of them deserved - I was a tag-along crybaby.  And I'm
still trying to get the last word in 23 years later.  Eat it Smith.
"Cancer" and "Magic 2"
"Magic 2" detail
"Cancer" detail
"A Concept of Four at Two" and "Magic" with the model planes I made and painted,
with help from the lovely Michelle Provencal.
p.s. - Do you know how small the landing gear is on a 1/144 scale plane?
About the size of this "I" with two "O"s on either side.  Teensy.
On the left are two new paintings - "Duplex" and "Ghostrunners" (shown in
my previous post)
"Duplex" detail - That's our old duplex featuring our upstairs duplex mate, Mrs. Maynard.
She was a nice old lady who kept to herself - we rarely saw her but well into her seventies she'd be
out shoveling snow at five in the morning if there was snow to shovel.
"Mango's, 1988", Latex Paint.  This is my squad from 1988 when I was ten and my
first team after I left National Little league for Twin Town Little League in the hinterlands
of upstate NY.
My little workstation for people to make cannonballs featuring: gliders as a reward for cannonball making,
my old D&D wallet (thanks Kate Glasheen), a vintage Queen postcard (thanks Colin O'Higgins), an old gas can I love (thanks N.C.), Wiffle Ball boxes (thanks Jen and Jed Heuer) and some childhood favorite books from Mom and Dad.
And to finish, I'll take an aircraft carrier and jet combo.
Make it a double.