Friday, March 30, 2007

Real Life Drawing

Sometimes with all work I do digitally, I have to remind myself that I actually do know how to draw and paint. Its wasn't always that way though.

When I was a junior in high school, in order to take the AP Art class you had to submit a portfolio. I asked my teacher what I needed to do in order to prepare my portfolio and he told me that "if you can draw the human figure, you can draw anything." So I set off drawing the figure.

I found an open draw session that met at an art academy in nearby Lexington. Then I faced the embarrassing task of asking my aunt and uncle (my guardians at the time) and then my actual parents, for permission to go. How unfair that I had to tell four adults that I wanted to draw naked people!

My Uncle Lant (slightly uncomfortable about releasing his 15 year old niece into this situation) insisted on driving me to the class. I was surprised he didn't come upstairs with me and stay the entire time. Looking back, I kinda wished he had.

When I walked into the room, there were exactly four other people, all over the age of 40 and all veteran artists. I only remember a few details from that evening, besides being INCREDIBLY uncomfortable. I remember that the model had long red hair (down to his waist), which he had braided. And when he took his breaks he went outside in his boxers to smoke a cigarette (boxers? New England winter? weird.) He was also very flexible.

When I got home, I was hoping I could sneak up to my room and forget the whole thing. Not so. My Aunt Diane asked me to come into her room and to bring my drawings. She looked through them and the first thing she said was, "Well, I can tell he was circumcised."

This statement made me very nervous indeed. I understood what the concept of circumcision was, but when it came to what a circumcised penis looked like versus a non-circumcised penis, I was lost. In my head, I panicked.

If that was the first thing she noticed, then clearly I put too much detail into the penis. Oh man, she must think I'm a huge penis-obsessed pervert. They probably already think I'm a huge penis-obsessed pervert for wanting to go to the stupid open draw anyway!

My Aunt Diane (oh wise one) stepped in and explained the difference between the two penises. I wasn't a penis obsessed pervert after all. Phew.

It took me several years to recover from that night. BYU helped ease the transition back to real life drawing by providing models in swimsuits. I can safely say though, that I am no longer frightened of penises be they circumcised or not. In fact, there's an open draw that meets on Thursdays at a gallery here in Phoenix, if anyone would care to join me.

Thursday, March 29, 2007

I Love Your Smile

I've been quite busy lately with some new stuff, so here's some old stuff in the meantime. This is my brother-in-law, Ryan. He's a musician and he's amazing. There's a sticker on his guitar that says, I love your smile.

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Evil Snail

When I was younger and my dad's copy of The New Yorker arrived in the mail, he would show me the cover and ask me what I thought it meant. Sometimes there was a pun or riddle involved and sometimes it was just an illustration depicting what was inside. Either way, we would open the issue to see the title of the illustration and my dad would then explain it to me.

When he was done with it, I would flip through and read the cartoons. This particular cartoon is the source of my obsession with snails.

And this was the first thing I ever drew with Adobe Illustrator. Here is my fanged snail.

Monday, March 26, 2007

Schiele Women

One of my favorite artists is Egon Schiele. If Clark had let me even consider it, Booker may have been named Egon. (I did briefly consider Schiele, but it sounded so trendy.) When I was in high school my mother took me to the National Gallery and after we toured the galleries she let me buy some prints. I bought this one because the dancer's red hair reminded me of my Aunt Diane, with whom I was living at the time.

That image isn't exactly representative of Schiele's work, because, well... the model is fully clothed and her vagina isn't the central focus of the painting. He was a controversial artist during his lifetime because his images were considered somewhat pornographic. I like him because his line quality is so simple and expressive.

Fast forward a few years later to my 20th Century European Art History class at BYU. I decided to write my term paper on Egon Schiele because I was that type of BYU student. While everyone else was writing about Mary Cassatt or Salvador Dali, I decided to write about Schiele's lesser known landscapes and how they fit into his larger body of (more obscene) work. I thought I was being facetious. The professor did not agree.

I went ahead with it anyway and one night I visited the library to get research books. As I searched the catalog, I began to notice that each book about Schiele was "available at the HBLL locked case." Confused, I asked a student librarian what exactly "locked case" meant. He looked at me and lowered his voice, "Oh, you must be looking for 'Between Husband and Wife' for Brother Bott's Marriage Prep Class."

I was mortified.

First off, I couldn't believe that this guy had immediately assumed that I was enrolled in a university level class called Marriage Prep. Second, I couldn't believe that I actually went to a university that had something called a "locked case" in its library. And furthermore, that a book about sexual intimacy within Mormon marriages would warrant placement in that locked case. Yikes.

I guess the librarian saw my face turning bright red (embarrassment? rage? both?) because he quickly offered an apology and explained that "lots of students have been asking for that book lately." Of course they have.

Anyways, I eventually found that locked case and checked out several "illicit" books on Schiele. I took them home and began to draw from them. His catalog is full with simple line drawings of the female figure and each one is beautiful. My sketchbook is now full with similar drawings and if one didn't know better they might think I have an unhealthy obsession with naked women. Here is one such page.

I ended up getting a B- on the paper. I spent too much time drawing from those books and not enough time reading them. But in the end, it was definitely worth it.

Friday, March 23, 2007


I have pretty strict criteria when its comes to what I allow Booker to wear or what I like to decorate his room/stuff with.

I try to avoid sports, much to Clark's chagrin, because I don't know what type of sports he likes yet. Plus I'm hoping he's more of the academic type than the athletic type.

There are always cars and trucks, but too often the cars are of the Nascar variety and that is a big no-no. Cute teddy bears are right out, along with anything powder blue.

This leaves dinosaurs and puppy dogs. Oh, and sharks. I like sharks. Booker has two pairs of shark PJs. But I especially like puppy dogs, as long as they aren't too cutesy.

So here's my not-so-cutesy, not-powder-blue puppy dog for Booker.

I'm not sure what I'm going to do with it quite yet. His walls are already covered in things that meet my standards. I was thinking of making it into a series. Owls that HOOT. Dinosaurs that ROAR. Sharks that ...? We'll see.

(I do make exceptions to my clothing rules when it comes to hand-me-downs. We LOVE hand-me-downs. Keep 'em coming.)

Thursday, March 22, 2007

Alphabet Poster

I made this poster for Booker's room.

Clark thinks Yaks like Yogurt, and I'm happy with it my way.

Yaks like Teriyaki.

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

A New Beginning

I'm trying to get back into the world of Illustration and the habit of, well... illustrating more. Since I'm an idiot when it comes to creating a website, this blog will have to suffice as a means to get my work out there.

An old friend from the program called me the other day with the possibility for some work and it dawned on me that its been WAY too long since I've picked up a pencil/paintbrush/stylus. So to throw myself back into things, I decided to play around with a line drawing of Little Red Riding Hood. Things progressed into this.

Clark didn't really get it (Little Red's flame/torch is also the Big Bad Wolf), which makes me nervous. But I still like it.