Here’s two pictures of my home-made rain gauge, which overflowed on my fire escape this last week; the first picture was taken about 3 or 4 weeks ago, the second one on Wednesday of this week:
The rain that New York has been experiencing for the past several weeks finally let up; I went out for a bicycle ride. I made these 2 sketches while resting near the north end of the reservoir in Central Park:
Whenever I work on an ink drawing like this, especially directly from nature, I often think about artists like Robert Crumb who are so brilliant at using cross-hatching to create a sense of form, space and light. I also think of Brian Kay, an artist who introduced me to etching and intaglio printing, when I was a student at the Yale Summer School of Art. Brian had this masterful way of rendering trees that I really admired, and he talked a lot about Rembrandt in class. Rembrandt is one of those towering figures of art who was able to attain such mastery of expression in more than one medium. There’s such a psychological depth and complexity in both the etchings and paintings: Rembrandt is someone else that I think about often when I draw. Maybe one of these days I’ll be able to get a handle on cross-hatching.
It was so refreshing to be bicycling on the first sunny day we’ve had in weeks that I decided to ride all the way back home to Brooklyn instead of taking the subway. On my way across the Brooklyn Bridge I noticed this young man holding a hand-lettered placard and wearing an unusual hat, standing perfectly still with a pleasant smile on his face. His hat with it’s strange antenna-like plume, the urgent message written in several languages, and the little genie’s-bottle money-jar in front of him all struck such a mercurial image in my mind that I had to stop, and ended up making a quick pencil sketch of him, which I later inked in. We spoke for a few minutes, and Aiden explained to me that he was giving a text-based art performance and invited me to check out his blog. Take a look: worldmelodyproject.blogspot.com
From the Bridge one could also get a clear view of the Statue of Liberty: