Archive for the ‘Portraits’ Category

Henri Matisse at MoMA, Drawing on the F Train

Tuesday, July 27th, 2010

It’s been so hot and humid in New York this month that I’ve just been carrying around a little pocket sketchbook with a pencil and a pen to do light drawings with. No book bag to carry on the train or my bike!

This last Monday I took the F train up to MoMA, and did some drawings on the way. I didn’t think I’d get in to see the Matisse exhibit—they’re doing a timed-ticket entry to help facilitate the crowds—but after seeing the Picasso Variations exhibit again and the Alternative Abstractions show, I took the escalator up to the Tisch gallery on the sixth floor anyway;  it was already after five o’clock, and traffic was light enough that they were allowing folks to walk through. What a treat:  I had several of the galleries practically to myself while the guards were winding things down for closing time.

I’ll go back for another visit, but for now my favorite things were the little line drawings done on paper, some of them not much bigger than a matchbook, and the large Bathers by a River from the Chicago Art Institute.

I made this little Flash Movie from some of the pages in my sketchbook—all done with rapidograph pen and pencil.  Some of these are subway riders, others are quick sketches copied from Matisse.

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Current Studio Work: Egg Tempera Painting

Thursday, July 8th, 2010

I started working on another egg tempera panel last month, based on one of my sketchbook drawings.  I scanned this in last night after working on the background.  Right in the middle of the heatwave, it was so warm in my studio (92°F!), the egg medium started to congeal in the jar, so I decided to stop working for a while.  I’ve got more work to do on it, but sometimes it’s interesting to see a panel in an early state.

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St. Mark’s Bookshop Poetry Reading Series at Bar 82: Geoffrey Nutter & Dorothea Lasky

Friday, April 30th, 2010

The Saint Mark’s Bookshop Poetry Reading Series was held at Bar 82 tonight.  Geoffrey Nutter and Dorothea Lasky are two wonderful, amazing poets who each read from their recent work.  Mr. Nutter read from Christopher Sunset, and Ms. Lasky read from Black Life, both recently published by Wave Books.

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More Late Night Drawings

Monday, December 7th, 2009

6 HeadsBally_W_woman

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More Sketchbook Drawings

Sunday, December 6th, 2009

Here are some drawings I made while visiting Cambridge a couple of years ago:Here are some drawings I made while visiting Cambridge a couple of years ago.

And here’s a few pen & ink drawings I made this week:

orthodox Jewish manwoman_w_arms_crossedbusinessman_looking_upBally Men's

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Drawings from the Archives

Thursday, December 3rd, 2009

Pen and Ink drawing I did this last year of the skull of a 28-year-old (Croatian?) man who was apparently killed by a blow to the head. This is an epoxy plastic copy purchased from Maxilla and Mandible in New York City, near the Natural History Museum.

New York City Checkout Line at the Met Foods on Smith Street in Brooklyn

Checkout Line at the Met Foods on Smith Street in Brooklyn

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Veteran’s Day on the A Train

Wednesday, November 11th, 2009


Today is Veteran’s day, and as I was riding the subway I noticed a homeless old veteran, voicing his thoughts out loud about the war in Iraq and the current healthcare debate to a captive audience; we shared the same car all the way from Brooklyn up to 34th street where I got off and he kept on, an elderly African-American man wearing his baggy old leather coat and jeans and carrying a plastic Pearl Paint bag with his stuff in it.  I tried to jot down some of what he was saying in my sketchbook:

“Sometimes it feels like a real mess, don’t it, folks?  The United States is the wealthiest, most powerful nation probably in the history of the world; 95% of the earth’s land mass is within striking range of the U.S. Navy, 24 hours a day, seven days a week; and what do we do about healthcare for our own citizens?  Let them be jack-rolled by the health-insurance industry, that’s what!  Fuck ’em!  That’s right, you heard what I said:  you don’t have a right to healthcare, honey!  You have a right to a casket and a trip to the graveyard, sweetheart!  Homeless Veterans?  Fuck them too!  They don’t have a right to anything either!

“You people want to see a fuckin’ parade?  You want to celebrate something?  Have a fuckin’ parade for Death!  That’s what you should have a parade for!  You know why?  Death don’t discriminate!  Death don’t care what color you is, or whether you is insured or not!  Fuck Veteran’s Day, man!  Let’s have a Death Parade!  You think you’re hot shit?  You think you’re bad?  Then let’s see you end the war in Iraq!  That’s right!  Let’s see you put an end to homelessness!  That’s right folks!  Death don’t respect nobody, not even Michael Jackson!  Not even Michael Fucking Jackson, the King of Pop!  Death don’t respect nobody, no sir!  Everybody gets treated the same by Death!  Let’s have a National Holiday and a ticker-tape Parade for Death!  No shit, man!  Your death is someone else’s holiday, baby!”

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A Summer Afternoon on The Brooklyn Promenade

Saturday, August 22nd, 2009

Man with a Camera

Man with Dog


Lower Manhattan Towers

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Doctor Obama’s Waiting Room

Monday, August 17th, 2009

Waiting for Health Care_BW

Woman in a Waiting Room BWMan Waiting_BW

Seated Woman_BW

Waiting Room_BW

I started these sketches in the waiting room at my doctor’s office a while ago, sitting there thinking about what a crisis our nation’s health care system has become.

Later I kept adding to the drawings, so it’s kind of become a series.  I’ve been thinking about some of the narratives I’ve heard from people about their experiences with health care, and how it has affected their lives.  Some of these stories are from people I know personally, and others I’ve read in the news.  I started writing fragments of these different “broken narratives” down in my notebooks, and then adding them to the drawings.  One day I heard someone call President Obama “Dr. Obama” and it suddenly occurred to me that, for many people he is kind of like the “doctor” that everyone hopes will be able to heal the “broken system” that we have now.

Whatever one thinks about the healthcare debate, one thing seems certain:  the present system is not really working for many of us, and it can’t continue.  Whether we manage to come up with a single-payer healthcare plan, or some other public option, or some radical overhaul of the existing setup, something has got to change.  It seems like we’re all sitting in the doctor’s office, “waiting for Health Care Reform,” and at the risk of sounding naive,  I  am hoping that President Obama will turn out to be the “doctor” that can make the necessary changes happen.

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Henry Paulson and Alan Greenspan

Thursday, August 13th, 2009

The drawing of Mr. Paulson was done today from a photograph made by Dennis Cook of the Associated Press.  The one of former Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan was done from life at the New York Hilton in November of 2006.

Henry Paulson 5c

Alan Greenspan 2

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