Wednesday, April 30, 2008

the brits do it the right way

now this is how official portraits of heads of states should be done. i just found out that tony blair's official portrait was painted by phil hale.  i own a copy of hale's book & his works have been a favorite of mine since art college.

what stunned me was that britain selected an artist who's style is known to push the envelope.

the blair piece is a departure from hale's signature look. it will, after all, be hung at westminster.

no tie, the look away gaze, the palette.  exhausted & contemplative. i like that it humanizes him. 

the guy who did this

also did these

one can only dream to do the philippine prez official portrait. oh, i'd like to do that one.

Saturday, April 26, 2008


                                                                                        nothing much to write about here.

 i just like this unfinished tree sketch from mexico. the simplicity of it.

i intended a more elaborate sketch.
with leaves & the roofs of the adjoining casa luna building
                                                                                   circling      the 
mexican tiles
the pool maybe                           
some dramatic shadows from the     late        afternoon                             sun.

but then a private party was about to start where i was sitting.  itstartedgettingcrowded.  a person politely asked me to leave. 

i'm glad i did.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

art school relic

found an old college assignment illustration, dusted off from the depth of the multi--folders of my computer. it's been years since i've seen this one.

 i think it was for the intro to photoshop class in the early years (i may have even used a mouse!). 

the assignment was to choose from existing objects & turn them into an illustration - no made up stuff. the only objects i remember was a toothpaste, typewriter & veggies (watermelon, carrots etc). 

i now get a good laugh at some of the techniques used, but i'm still pretty happy with the over all effect - unusual since i'm usually my worst critic, especially stuff from art school.

i don't remember much about this one, except that the dog was a proud moment for me.

Monday, April 14, 2008

changes & advertising

late last year, i did a concept illustration for a book project that was being negotiated. in the end, i decided that i could not take the project. though it had potential to become a series & already had a built-in buyer base, something else came up (more on that soon).

my rep & i decided to use the existing art for advertising. she recommended some changes (more color!) and i shifted things to the right size format. it's now the artwork for my page in an illustration annual (last year's art was from the second ant book).

here is the original piece:

Wednesday, April 09, 2008

a long time ago...

i had no idea this book existed until a friend ( i call her boss -- my orig art editor & the reason for my ongoing fascination with pen & ink) asked me about it.

thanks for discovering the book for me!

in my last year in college, i was paid to do a series of acrylic paintings for a proposed poetry book. i remember just getting excited about being paid to illustrate.

i think there were 10 paintings. i had my then fiance (now my wife), a few classmates, cousins & myself as models. i also took photos of some homeless scenes in sf. i remember being inspired by the serious tone of the poetry, which i think is evident in the final work.

i'd like to create paintings with somber themes again. i have some ideas, but that's for my show. someday.

not really concerned about being published, i soon forgot about the book after i graduated. it was for a small publisher after all, and the chances for it going to print may have been remote at that time.