Birds have always intrigued me, and I'm happy to use them as a metaphor now and then. These images were commissioned in black & white, which of course is quite rare anymore in this Turnerized world. My approach has changed due to time constraints and is very evident when comparing these two illos. There just isn't the time on two hour turnovers to draw as finely as I used to.
Birds on a wire, The New York Times (sometime back in the early 1990's)
I've had occasions to illustrate commentaries, naratives, lessons and poetry, but never a prayer until now. The image for the WSJ accompanies a prayer said before each flight the author takes, believing it insures a safe passage.
The sepia bleed has been something I've been enjoying lately.
The final art running in today's Wall Street Journal.
Pirates no longer resemble the iconic characters of Treasure Island, but the danger still exists for any ships navigating the waters off the coast of East Africa. There's no romance in the chaos born pirates of today, and drawing them, sans eye patch and peg legs, is no longer fun.
The sketch had the motley crew dregged up from the waters holding an assortment of weapons. I reasoned that they wouldn't be captive for long if they still had a means for violence, and so I struck them from the final version.
This alternative sketch draws upon the "walk the plank" idea. I was uncomfortable with the image and was glad they chose the other.
Arrrr...is there anything more interesting to draw than pirates? Ok...dragons and devils and deep sea fish, perhaps.
Inspired by a trip to the New York Botanical Gardens Orchid show, and Julie's amazing photos, I began drawing orchids on pieces of Birch bark that I'd peeled off trees a few weeks ago. An unlikely medium, though bark after all is a cousin to processed paper and provides a natural texture that makes every drawing look good.
This variety of Orchid is called a Slipper Orchid for it's distinctive pouch that resembles a slipper.
I'd like to post some long term projects I'm working on, but will have to wait. In the meantime...some ditties. The first illustrates the demise of bad horror films. As you can see, I had some fun with this. Apparently, sequels to slasher type flics are doing poorly at the box office. Hooray! The second image illustrates a book review and is about America's land grab to the Pacific Ocean during the administration of James Polk. The third image is about professors working in Iraq to bridge the gap between the military and the culture.
For the great Tom Trapnell, on summer camps for rich kids...where they learn how to not squander their inheritance.
I find that whatever activities I'm engaged in at the moment tend to work their way into the images I create. Naturally, the summer months are when I spend a great deal of time outdoors gardening, swimming , biking, etc. The following images are a spate of summer themes turned out in this past week.
Today's WSJ front page (Pursuits) on the surge in trading stocks.
And for the Leisure & Arts section on literature and poetry and their dependance upon financial support.
These mini illos appear in the current issue of Newsweek. They illustrate a lengthy article on coping with Alzheimers disease and were commissioned in B&W as the original idea was to create the feel of an old medical dictionary. Each postage stamp sized spot serves as a chapter marker.
I try to remain disciplined about using my "down time" constructively. Here is one in a series of non-illustration pieces I'm developing. Would love everyone's honest feedback, but am reluctant to reveal the process....just yet.