2006

Millie

DECEMBER 28, 2006
Today, I juggled gratis work with my deadlines. This is the poster art for my daugher's high school play. She is the lead (millie)  in "Thoroughly Modern Millie".  They requested something simple and  eye catching, so I  used the single figure and a bright palette. There will be a great deal of text added to the top and bottom, so it will undoubtedly get busy.  i forgot how difficult it is to control watercolor on such large (15 X 22), saturated paper.
DETAIL
Photo reference of my daughter, Anna.
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A Christmas Tradition

DECEMBER 26, 2006
The Gothard household, ready to receive guests through the main doors.
Each year, our big event is to host a dinner party for family and friends alike, on Christmas Eve. This year, the guest list rounded out at 25. My goal is to create a magical atmosphere in which everyone can relax and revel in one another's company.
Each place setting is designated with a cutout. This year's theme..."The Gothard Circus". Drawger Jos. A. smith sits here.
Our son, dylan, lights the 100 plus candles before the guests arrive.
With everyone in full attendance, the feast begins. Mrs. G, in the left side of this pic, finally gets to relax.
Afterwards, good conversation continues through the night.
Meanwhile the cleanup crew breaks down and our house is restored to , well....it's original chaos.
Post dinner, the kids retreat to the guest room, where they pile onto the couch, and hopefully, another warm memory is established.
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Christmas Eve Guests

DECEMBER 23, 2006
Every Christmas Eve, we host a dinner for friends and family. I create place settings with a theme. These are always cut-outs with everyone in attendance photoshoped into the image. This year, the theme is "The Gothard Circus". I used a 1920's Diixie Cup Circus propmotional set that we picked up years ago, for the basis of the circus. It's a 30 piece set with extraordinary illustrations (artist unknown). Here are the results. Of course, I am the ringleader.
My son, Dylan, always ends up lookin good.
Daughter, Anna, riding some duck - ostrich hybrid.
Papa G

The Studio

DECEMBER 21, 2006
A while back, there was a flurry of Drawgers posting pics of their studios. I missed that boat, but am taking the time now to give the tour.

My studio is located about 100ft. diagonally behind our house. It has a long unlikely history in it's 100 years of existence. First it was built as a chicken coup and later converted into an auto fixit shop. Then in the 60's, it was a wood shop. When we took over, I gutted it and put the 2 large windows and skylight in for light. The only regret is that I did not install the windows on the pool side. It's a comfortable, functioning environment.
A view of the house from the studio.
View of studio's entrance and brooklyn traffic light.
Summer view from the hill, of pool, corner of studio and house beyond.
A short clip from the studio, prepared for a St. John's Univ. podcast can be viewed at:   http://www.drawger.com/dgart/gothardwebclip.mov

Turning Point

DECEMBER 15, 2006
Mostly, I think of good art direction as deference...to me, of course. But a really good art director can locate the best deep within you and coax it to the top, sometimes with a mere suggestion. In this case, the art director was Edel Rodriguez/TIME magazine. The article is about the question of tieing the solution to the Iraq war with resolving Middle East issues. i presented a few sketches, and we agreed on the strongest of them. Edel asked me to treat the color like the "Death Visits New Orleans" art;  a limited and more graphic treatment of color. Sometime in the course of rendering the illo, a switch was thrown in my head. I've never been completely satisfied with my approach to color, feeling there is nothing distinctive about it. in fact, I have a sign above the drawing board that reads "It's the color, stupid".  Suddenly I felt  a direction. Ever since this job, I see color differently. Not sure if I'm prepared to articulate it fully yet, but change is a comin.
Detail from "Death Visits New Orleans"
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Disney

DECEMBER 15, 2006
Disney; either you love his legacy, or you hate it. Tom Trapnell (LATimes) let me rip with this one. I was afraid the tongue, which was not in the sketch, would be way over the top. But we are lucky when such trust is bestowed upon us. My palette is changing, no doubt the result of adding Dr. Martin dyes to my watercolor arsenal. Next it'll be neon colors. M-u-s-t  p-r-a-c-t-i-c-e  r-e-s-t-r-a-i-n-t.
DETAIL
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Man-O-War

DECEMBER 14, 2006
I've been shackled to the drawing board this last week, finishing this piece for the upcoming "Sequential Art" show at St. John's University, in Queens, NY. It's the first time my Ink & a Brush with Death series will be shown as a body of work. This drawing is titled "Reluctant Man-O-War" and measures 28"X36", and is a more personal statement on the situation in Iraq.
DETAIL
The inspiration for the pose came from a life drawing I did a while back. There was something about the face and posture that captured the feeling I was attempting to convey in this piece.
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Artists' Holiday Cards

DECEMBER 7, 2006
I learned just how anticipated are artists' holiday cards one year, when instead of creating a new image, I sent a standard card around. The reaction was strong and acrimonious. There's something about this season that allows for a chance to do something expressive and emotive. I started a new show on this theme here at drawger  link  and hope you will all make contributions to it.
As per the excellent suggestions...the flopped reindeer.

TORNADO!!!

DECEMBER 2, 2006
A tornado ripped through the woods and down our road Friday night, leaving trees toppled and snapped in half, roofing torn off and sheds, trailers and barns knocked off their foundations, porches ripped frome homes, debris everywhere. We were 40 miles north of home, at our son's opening season basketball game (they defeated a heavily favored team) when we received a phone call from a friend in the fire department saying there was a report that a tornado leveled our next door neighbors house. Launched into an immediate panic, we managed to verify the report to be false. The tornado did in fact strike down the road further. For a brief while, my head swam of images of  our elderly widow neighbor up in a tree, our pool filled with building material, and all our magnificent pine trees lying on their side. The following are photos we took of our road early the next morning (glorious clear aftermath). Neighbors gave us the classic description of a deafening sound of an approaching freight train and terrifying cracks of trees falling all around them. You can follow the path it took as it cleared a perfect swath through the woods. We felt it disrespectful to take pics of damaged homes, but did record some of the destruction to nature.

Walton Ford at the Brooklyn Museum

NOVEMBER 30, 2006
Yesterday, Jos.A. Smith and I visited the Brooklyn Museum to take in 3 extraordinary shows. I wasn't familiar with one of the artists who ended up being the one that left me awestruck. Walton Ford meticulously renders large scale fantasical looking animals in a style reminicent of early scientific depictions, and Audubon's work. Look further and they become metaphors for contemporary issues, complete with hidden imagery, scrawled notes, and an attention to detail that never gets "tight", all on carefully distressed paper. The works are beautifully rendered and powerfully moving. Highly recommended.  
DETAIL

November 3, 2006–January 28, 2007
Morris A. and Meyer Schapiro Wing, 4th Floor

New York–born artist Walton Ford, a 1982 graduate of the Rhode Island School of Design, draws inspiration from the work of such nineteenth-century artists as the naturalist John James Audubon and the French caricaturist J.J. Grandville, whose part-human, part-animal subjects satirize man's shortcomings. This exhibition presents more than fifty of Ford's large-scale, meticulously executed watercolors from the 1990s to the present, which depict birds and animals in a style resembling Audubon's prodigious Birds of America—but with a significant twist. While beautiful, Ford's paintings often portray scenes of violence and offer a wry critique of colonialism, the naturalist tradition, and the relationship between man and animal.

Tigers of Wrath: Watercolors by Walton Ford is organized for the Brooklyn Museum by Marilyn Kushner, Curator of Prints and Drawings.

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