I got some more work done on Tatum's scottish terrier (R.I.P., little guy). The fluorescent lights really throw off the color in this photo, but you get the idea. My father-in-law's suggestion to obliterate the ochre/greenish color at the bottom helped immensely. That guy's a genius when it comes to painting. Some of the drawings he did during the 1956 Montgomery Bus Boycott were bought by a museum in Oberlin, OH, so if you happen to live there, be sure to keep an eye out!
I'm not spreading the gospel, I'm (hopefully) spreading the English language. I'm in negotiations to do about 1,000 illustrations for a South Korean textbook that will be used to teach English. So far they seem receptive to my cost and enthusiasm for the project, so cross your fingers for me! It would be a TON of work, but I sure could use the money.
The Halloween Dog Parade at Tompkins Square Park was out of control. Each year it grows exponentially. When I was trying to get past the gatekeeper to get to my "post" (I stand right by the gate opening and hand out my promo cards to every person that walks in...they probably think I'm giving them official registration business) people were basically rioting to get in. One older lady was literally yelling at the gatekeeper to let her in even though the event hadn't started yet. When I was allowed in, she became even more visibly and audibly enraged.
This snapshot doesn't do justice to my favorite entry to the contest. There was even a little stereo playing old-timey barrelhouse music. Karen pointed out that the main attraction had a raging boner.
That morning I got to catch up with an old high-school friend of mine, the honorable Chad Wiener. In high school he was in a punk band called "The Midget Farmers", had a giant tattoo on the side of his head (keep in mind that this was in the early 1990s) and wore a kilt every day. Now he has a PhD in philosophy and is a respected teacher.
The Tompkins Square Halloween Dog Parade has been moved to tomorrow (it's supposed to rain today), Sunday at noon. I'll be there handing out promo cards for my pet portraits, so come say hi. If you dress your dog up in some embarrassing manner, or better yet dress both yourself and your dog, you could win a variety of prizes including a gift certificate from yours truly, an ipod, or a plethora of other stuff.
I too lazy to find my photos from last year's event, so instead I present to you a series of photos taken while Karen dressed Pony in his winter clothes (he only makes the angry face for the four seconds it takes to put the coat on, so I have to act quickly to capture the intense anger). Once he's in the clothes, he's totally fine with it.
I just finished another pet portrait in the traditional style. It's my childhood friends' dog "Pete Meat". I think it turned out pretty well. I don't know why I'm drawn to keeping the backgrounds so vague and ethereal. Is it because I'm lazy or is it because I want to draw all attention to the subject? You decide.
Now I'm working on a posthumous portrait of Tatum O'Neal's scottish terrier. I liked the very very loose quality of just blocking in the darks that I did the first day so much that I'm tempted to stop working on it and leave it as is. I should probably take it as a sign that this portrait will go well, though, and keep going.
In honor of Snoop Doggy Dogg's birthday today, I present a stunning portrait painted by Alex Melamid now showing at The Forum Gallery in L.A. This current show features paintings of various hip-hop stars (50 Cent, Kanye West, Russell Simmons, Lil Jon, Reverend Run, etc.) done in the old masters style.
I can't wait until the show comes to New York (January, I think).
In order to somehow incorporate a shameless plug for myself into this thread, I'm also posting a photo of one of my traditional pet portraits of...Pony Doggy Dogg!
Editors Note: I just realized that Snoop's birthday is actually tomorrow...sorry, Snoop!
I sent out a bunch of cards with this image and a written plea out to some of my favorite comic artists in hopes of getting feedback/criticism on the comic collection I've submitted for the Xeric grant. So far I've sent it to Chris Ware, Jordan Crane, James Kochalka, Jeffrey Brown, Julia Wertz, Graham Annable. I'm planning on also soliciting Paul Hornschemeier, Raina Telgemeier, Jeremy Tinder, Kevin Huizenga, Seth and Renee French.
I already feel star-struck.
I'll be handing out promo cards for my pet portraits at The 18th Annual Tompkins Square Halloween Dog Parade. It's next Sunday, so start sewing your poor dog's costume. They give away lots of prizes (including a gift certificate from me), so why not degrade yourself and your loyal companion?
Also, while you're in the neighborhood, walk by The East Village Groomers (Ave. B between 13th & 14th sts.) and check out my pet portraits and prints hanging in the window. Hell, bring your buddy along and have him/her shaved. I got Linus the "lion cut" there, and look how sharp he turned out (see photo)!
So, being the masochist that I am, I've applied for a self-publishing grant from the Xeric Foundation. I've gathered a bunch of my comics, including a long one loosely based on an old man that comes into Utrecht Art Supplies (I work there one day a week). He breaks my heart every time I see him. Getting old is a bitch.
Part of the process of putting together the application was getting cost estimates for printing. This has been a real eye-opener for me. It's no wonder nobody makes any money from publishing graphic novels! It also makes me that much more appreciative of the bells & whistles people like Chris Ware and Jordan Crane work into their book designs. Anytime you see a die-cut cover or even something as simple as an untraditional sized cover you know it cost some bucks.
I'll hear back from the Xeric Foundation in November (I think), so wish me luck. Or don't.
You can see most of the comics I'll be including here. I don't think I'll be able to afford to print them in color, so revel in the dizzying full color while you can!
I've always hated the word "blog", and it's prevented me from starting one. I am also a luddite, but it's a hurdle I've had to overcome in the name of making a living. So, welcome me to 1998 or whenever it was when people started to blog. I like to stay a good ten years behind technology, so I'm actually right on time. My wife forced me to have a cell phone about two years ago, and now here I am blogging. Sigh.