Meat and Potatoes, Myself

This was the first Overheard I did – inspired by a snippet of conversation I heard on Waikiki Beach last year. The speaker was just so earnest, it drew my attention away from the ocean views. I wonder if he was actually talking about food, or something else? I did wind up being fairly literal and making the speaker a potato himself. You can see the other Overheard I’ve posted here. Have a great weekend!

Double Original Friday – Nikigator Sketches

Nikigator2.jpegYou say: I don’t care that they don’t consider it art.
But I do: I see the children running, arms open
Embracing this glittering lizard, seeing themselves
in her mirrored scales.
– Marcy Erb

Last week I started attending a sketchbook class. We meet in various places in San Diego and draw outside: so it is the perfect combination of things I enjoy! Our first meeting was in Balboa Park and after a brief official “class” session, we were set loose in the park to draw pretty much whatever we wanted. I wound up doing multiple studies of the large outdoor mosaic sculpture called Nikigator by Niki de Saint Phalle (1930 – 2002). It is one of the few sculptures in the park you are allowed to touch and it is literally a child magnet, with kids running, squealing, towards it, arms out to climb and scramble and play. I know of no official study, but just by the level of interaction I observed and the number family photos taken with Nikigator, I would guess it is one of the most visited pieces of art in the park (here’s a color picture!). Niki de Saint Phalle lived an exceedingly colorful and interesting life (The New Yorker published an interesting article about her life last year, I recommend it if you have a few minutes – found here). She is quoted as saying “Whether or not people think it’s art – whether or not it is art – doesn’t matter to me,” in response to critics who were scandalized she merchandized her art in the 1960s to fund her outdoor sculptures. It is interesting to see how much attitudes have changed about that and about how artists are paid and artwork funded.  I hope everyone has an enjoyable weekend!

Wednesday Doodle – The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock – Eliot

BLOH1249I fully admit this one started as a doodle during a work meeting and then I kept working on it, having a good time blending the graphite on the matte photo paper that I rescued from the recycling bin a while back. The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock by T.S. Eliot is one of my favorite classic poems, one I return to again and again (you can see a very early illustration attempt of mine here!). My goal has been to pair the poem with more abstract and non-narrative imagery, but for a much more literal (and superbly executed) illustrated version of the poem, I highly recommend Mr. Julian Peters’ comic. You can read the whole poem here. Have a lovely Wednesday!

Halloween Doodle and the Posts of Halloween Past

HalloweenDoodle15It is a gmish of illustrations and poetry today, the day before Halloween. The above doodle (pencil on paper) was fueled in part by the piles of halloween candy that keep appearing at work! It was inspired as a revisit to a poem that I featured on Illustrated Poetry back in April (remember, I can’t manage to plan posts around the relevant holidays!) – “Horror Movie” by Howard Moss. Definitely worth a read today or tomorrow! Also, if you would like an Alan-Cummings-sounding Scottish gentleman to read another scary poem to you – “The Twa Corbies” – I recommend my Halloween post from last year.

Meanwhile, I’ve been playing with adding Halloween words to the Poetry Generator. If you haven’t been introduced to the Poetry Generator, click here – you may or may not thank me, as it is quite addictive. It will make random poems for you based on either words you supply or a standard set. I’ll be tweeting out my Halloween generator poems today and tomorrow – they’ll appear in the Twitter sidebar here at IP or follow me on Twitter.

Have a safe and fun Halloween!

Old Poem Saturday – Prayer – Hughes, Part III

LH_Prayer3This is the third of a series of drawings that Ms. Danka Czarnecka did in a collaboration with me for Illustrated Poetry – the “evening” and final post for today. Scroll down to see “afternoon” and “morning” or click on the names. Ms. Czarnecka’s blog is D is for Doodle – go check it out! Epigram by the immortal Langston Hughes, composition by me. Thank you, Danka, for a wonderful collaboration!

Old Poem Saturday – Prayer – Hughes, Part II


This is the second of three drawings that Ms. Danka Czarnecka did in a collaboration with me for Illustrated Poetry – I am posting them as a time-series today. This is the “afternoon” drawing. Check out “morning” here or simply scroll down. Ms. Czarnecka’s blog is D is for Doodle – go check it out and stay tuned for the “evening” drawing. Composition by me.

Old Poem Saturday – Prayer – Hughes



It is my pleasure to present the results of a wonderful collaboration I had with Ms. Danka Czarnecka of D is for Doodle (check our her blog!). Her art is whimsical and unique (I want to make T-shirts out of every one of them!) and I was delighted when she agreed to draw with poetry for her inspiration. From the poems I sent to her she created a series of doodles with Langston Hughes’ beautiful epigram “Prayer” as the focus. When I saw them I felt strongly that the three pieces follow the arc of a day – morning, noon, and night – so I will post them that way. Stay tuned for “afternoon” and “evening”! Enjoy and have a lovely weekend! Drawing by Ms. Czarnecka, composition by me.

Excerpt Tuesday – [in Just-] – e.e. cummings


I sometimes get the feeling of “being behind the times” at our weekly group meetings at work – I am the only one who still brings a pad of paper and a pen to take notes. It is partly a tactic to keep me off of the internet and engaged in the meeting, but it also lets me doodle with near-impunity! More than one illustration on this blog has started out as a meeting doodle and this is one of them. I originally posted this when the blog was brand new and it is still one of my favorites. The excerpt is from [in Just-] by e.e. cummings (1894-1962) – read the whole poem here – drawing by me (ink on paper).

Double Original Friday – Reductive Anatomy


Sometimes, you start with a general feeling of unease and it can be hard to put words to it…I’ve been feeling out of sorts for the last couple of days and having a hard time explaining. When a doodle that was started during an overly-long meeting matured into this drawing (aided by an old anatomy textbook I have), I stepped back, took a look at it, and thought, “Yep – this is exactly what I wanted to say.” Drawing (pencil on newsprint) by me. I wish everyone a great weekend!

Double Original Friday – Three January Haiku

JanuaryHaikuThe drawing sessions at the open studio I sporadically attend always start with a series of short poses, each lasting about 2 minutes – really meant for you to “warm up” and capture gestures and movement. My warm up sketches usually end up in the recycling bin and so I’ll often do more than one pose on the same piece of paper. For some reason, this one struck me and I saved it. The immediacy of its creation made me think of haiku and how they capture a moment in time. With my 2 minute doodle I paired 3 haiku written at moments sitting at my desk at work. In the immediacy of their creation, I let the syllable count vary a little bit on these. Drawing (marker on paper), composition, and haiku by me. Happy Friday!