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Wednesday, February 22, 2012

That's My Story and I'm Sticking To It

Click to Expand the Image for Easier Reading

So you're wondering where the heck I've been, and the answer is "DOING THIS."
With something like nine weeks left in my final semester at school, I'm trying to get my thesis project in shape and doing little else. Rather neglecting my sketchbook, I admit.

The project, as I might have mentioned, is a book called "Thick Through the Middle." It's a memoir about struggling with food, fat and self-image. I thought I'd toss up a page from the prologue to give you a little taste. This page is virtually done except for some tweaking of the color. It's one of the few in the book that stands alone and doesn't need much in terms of contextualization.

Anyway, sorry to be such a dull blogger lately. I'll do what I can to spice things up and keep you stopping in.

Sunday, February 05, 2012

At the Hanna

I've had a number of opportunities to draw members of the Cleveland Jazz Orchestra during their concerts at the beautifully restored Hanna Theater downtown. (Sidebar: They may actually spell it "Theatre," I'm not sure and I won't look it up. We're in America. It should be "Theater.")

Anyway, the truth is that live musical performances can make me antsy if there's not enough going on visually. Not proud of it, you understand, but it's true. Now, this wouldn't happen at a David Bowie concert, but generally speaking when you're talking about concerts where people are dressed in formal clothing I start to fidget.

Unless I can draw. Then everything is perfect, because I'm happily drawing with great music in the background. My two main senses are tended to.

But the other truth is that we see the CJO several times a year, and -- no offense -- it gets harder and harder to work up enthusiasm for drawing the same group of guys on stage. I'm usually just far away enough to not be able to get a great view of their faces for true portraits.

This is a longgg way of saying that I attack this problem in different ways. Last night I went in two directions. I did a page of very gestural sketching that I could tell underwhelmed the person next to me when he asked to see it during intermission. (Oh well.) And then I looked around and took inspiration from the theater itself to let my imagination go out and play.

Incidentally, the concert was a terrific celebration of the big-band era. Lots of uptempo tunes and virtuoso playing. If you haven't seen the CJO, you should.