Saturday, August 30, 2008

My constant companion and new old sketches

I have a lovely counter table in the spare room that serves as my desk. It really is wonderful and I love it. (Seeing that, I should probably spend more time at it, drawing and looking for a job.) The best part about the desk is that there is space underneath for my guardian gargoyle, Gunter (pictured below).

He's a fierce little tiger-striped piglet-pug. Best dog ever.

So here are some sketches from one of my China sketch books.

These last three are from a larger format sketch book and are more recent than those above.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Past Lives

I haven't been able to get to my squid drawing yet, though I know exactly what I want to draw. That is sometimes the problem...when things are already finished in my head I lose my motivation to actually put them on paper. But I will probably get to it in the next week or so. I've become somewhat enamored with beetles and checked out a fabulous book on them. It's lovely and filled with beautiful pictures of actual beetles (most of them dead already, so it's a little creepy) and fantastic illustrations. If you have a fascination with beetles, this is the book for you.

Since I have nothing new to post, I thought it would be fun to dredge up some old sketches from the last few years. I recently found an old drawing book from when I lived in Eugene. It covers a messy and painful breakup, which I'm sure is perfectly obvious.

The next two sketches were inspired by this quote:

"Yin and Yang are highly inscrutable and man is only a temporary sojourner in them. With all the glorious prosperity of a short lived mushroom, he tumbles to ruin within a day. With all the momentary glory of a spring flower, he succumbs to frost within a week. Not even the winds blowing through high heaven or the
sudden flash of lightening can move any faster. A century is to be likened to the smoke ridden by a meteor; whitening hair comes with the speed of an arrow passing by with a crack. Man appears like a perishing bamboo shoot before he has even sprouted; he meets his autumn and tumbles to pieces."

-From the autobiography of Ge Hong.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

40,000 Leagues

For those who like to be well informed, a league is a distance of about 3 miles.

When I was in Hainan last year, I was eating in a open air restaurant that had its own aquariums. If you wanted to, you could choose your dinner fresh from the tank. There were these strange shellfish swimming around in one. I thought they were adorable until I realized that I was looking at them the wrong way. And then they weren't cute at all, just another run of the mill without huge, charming eyes.

Anyway, one of these days those imaginary protostomes will make an appearance in my art. Until that day, however, I will have to content myself with drawing giant squid. The next panel (or two) is going to have two giant
squid basking in a shallow lake, one with his tentacles wrapped around the hill that the shipwreck survivors are climbing up, and the other will be making sweet, sweet love to a large layer cake with lots of icing.

I'm telling you, eyes are hard to identify on sea creatures. For example, what if the eyes on this vampire squid are those two dark spots near the top of the head (right under the angel wings)? The animal then looks cute and harmless for the most part. But, what if the eye is that menacing pearly blue thing in the middle of that bulge (which it probably is, judging from the top picture)? All of a sudden it's a killer with crazy eyes. Never trust a vampire squid.