Greg's Girls

This Boxing day, Greg (My cousin.) turned up with these three sweeties in tow. Janine and Jillian are older and ice skate. Jianna doesn't just yet, but she is not 5 years of age as of this post, so we'll cut her a break. It has been a while since I've seen them--boy, have they grown!

Captain Canuck

Yes, this is what your think it is a issue number 2 of the venerable Captain Canuck. This issue is from 1975 and I would have been about 12 years of age when it hit the news stand. The comic style employed bears more than a small resemblance to commercial art of the period. On the inside cover is a welcoming note pointing out that Captain Canuck is Canada's super agent of the future! The story begins the first of C.C.'s adventures, it is entitled the Brain Machine--Part 1. Can't wait to give it all a careful once over. Included, in this issue is a reader's letters segment with the mailing address of the readers INCLUDED! How did I get a copy of this you may ask? Bob Lusk, cartoon aficionado extraordinaire, saw this in a collection he was weeding through and figured he knew exactly the right hands to get it too. I'm glad he did. As it turns out, the super hoser will be coming to the big screens in 2011. I cannot imagine he'll get much play in the good ol' US of A, but I'm sure he'll be a hit back home.


Happy Holidays to One & All

It's December already! The fall semester is ending and it seems as if it is getting ready to snow in ol' New York. So that makes it time to wish everyone happy holidays. If you don't have a Yule Log channel, you can always tune into my big city snowman. I did this for INX, but thought it would make a nice addition to the blog with some snow added via flash.

Of Canada, Friends & Photoshop

Just back from my sojourn to the "Great White North" wherein I had a great visit with my parents. Dad turned 80 and celebrated the day (a couple of days later) with friends and family. The temperature in Canada hasn't changed much. While in Calgary the mercury registered-41º Celsius one chilly night. Not a trip highlight.
Presently--besides blogging--I'm cleaning up around the place, getting ready for the holidays. I came across a gift that Randy Jones and his wife Susann (yes, two n(s)) gave me last year. I didn't have cause to use it as I thought it was pretty funny as was. This just goes to show you, keep an eye out for friends with photoshop skills, you never know when they'll strike. Oh the humanity!

Joel Cohen At Bar 4, Brooklyn, NYC

Got out for the first time in a long while and saw Joel Cohen (Sticker Dude) and friends at Bar 4, a Park Slope Music and drinking establishment. While the clip below does no credit to the event and the vibe Joel manages to evoke, I post his last song here so you all can enjoy.


Labor Day 2009--Jean's Birthday

Labor Day! The usual suspects came bearing ribs, chicken, salad, adult malt beverages and friendship. The grill was fired up and much delicious food was consumed. A few industrial issue rolaids later we were all in fine fettle. As it turns out, Labor Day is also my sister Jean's birthday. So, happy birthday Jean! Below is a video I cobbled together or the experience—enjoy and thanks to all!



When Julia was little, she called butterflies--flutter-byes--a name I've always liked. Kind of makes sense too as they do flutter by. But I digress. Caught this photo of Monarch Butterfly resting in the garden, so I got the snappy out and got a few shots of the rascal. This one came out very sharp--enjoy!

Health Care Editorial

The dust-ups surrounding the American health care debate are much in the news of late. I've chipped in my two cents--graphically--with this offering, which shows a Cro-Magnon wielding a caduceus club. Seemed kind of appropriate considering the level of vitriol found at many of these "town hall" meetings.

Punxsutawny Phil Move Over

Val, Julia and I hit the Cloisters this weekend. While taking a peek over the medieval garden wall in the Bonnefont-en-Comminges Cloister, we happened upon this little fellow chowing down on the flora and fauna. Looks as if the Cloisters has it's very own Ground Hog. I'm pretty sure this is not the rascal that gave the mayor a nip last spring, but he sure garnered attention once spotted. He was pretty busy eating, but not enough to look up and see what all the commotion was about.

He doesn't have a name, but I was thinking Fort Tryon Ted or Cloisters Carlos. Suggestions are welcome.

Here is the video, compliments of youtube.


Laurie and Angela

While now back in Canada, here are a few photos and a video shout-out documenting Laurie and Angela's visit to the Big Apple.

Here they are at NYC's Fort Tryon Park in Northern Manhattan.

Here they are at the New Leaf Cafe--a restaurant at the park.

In Little Italy--lower Manhattan--at Ferrara's, a well known local pastry shop.

Here they are at Katz's Deli, a celebrity hot spot and purveyors of delicious sandwiches. They walked a lot this day.

Here is Angela's shout-out, as promised.

Even NJ was represented with Greg commuting in to confabulate with the girls.

Last, but not least, a shot of Val, yours truly and Angela.

Visual Pontiff-ication

Got a call from Newsday today and was given a story about Pope Benedict and the release of his latest encyclical on the topic of social justice and economy. It appears as if the effort has garnered the Pontiff a number of critics in the business community. Mind you, by simply being the Pope, you're going to take criticism galore. I had a number of solutions, but the final selected was this. I opted for a pen & ink drawing this time as it has been a while since I strapped on a quill (so to speak) and had at it. The image is pretty tiny and will likely reproduce as a one column spot image. It will appear in the Thursday, July 16 issue of the paper. I might keep up with the pen and ink for a little while longer, maybe even do a sketchbook sketch or two.
Here is a scan of the newspaper page. It is a little small to make out the well written opinion, but you can see how the art was used on the page.


Got out to enjoy the garden with a sketch pad and made the following quick draws. They were all made the same day averaging 20-30 minutes per sketch. I used Pitt's charcoal pencil on what looks to be a fairly decent drawing bond. The pad was a gift from Val and looks to be the sort of thing you'd see at Walmart in the art supplies section, but it is a pretty good paper to draw on. I do like to draw the flowers. The top two sketches are of pots that Val has made arrangements in. Now I'll be able to hang one up and we can enjoy it year long.


Fourth of July

Who says you can't still bore your relatives with endless slideshows and home movies of your goings on? Enjoy this YouTube clip which sumerizes our 4th of July. Hope you had a great weekend where ever you were.


Welcome to the Garden

Got out into the garden today and took this photograph. The weather has been unseasonably cool and wet this month. Kind of surprising for New York. I guess its that reduction in sun spot activity behind it all. Just the same everything seems to be coming into bloom. Even one of the day lilies bloomed for me. The mulberry tree--beyond the gate--is dropping it's fruit, so we'll have blue stained shoes for a while. The grass has come back in nicely. It is a soup to nuts kind of garden, but is nice to sit in and have coffee or barbecue every now and then.


Tex from Texas

Here is Tex, the latest addition to the household. Tex was a gift from Julia's roommates in at the University of Dallas, as she was missing her hamster she left behind with us. That ham's name was Rex. Sadly, Rex, passed away only a few days prior to Julia's return. We'll really miss him. He was pensive, liked almonds and loved to be held and talked to. Tex is more of a runner, jumper; a real clown, given half a chance. She has some big paws to fill.


Getting & Spending

A few weeks ago, the director of the Phoenix Players asked if I would design and work on scenes for a play they were to present called, Buying & Spending. In the past, they've had small prop jobs (a drawing or painting) which could use an artist's touch. This time, it was pretty much the whole set! Each flat in this photo is about 8 foot by 15. So, basically this is a 8 ft. by 75 ft. painting. The central panels represent a Franciscan monastery, the panels set back represent defense and prosecution offices. The last two, in the foreground--on each side--represent a New York apartment and a court of law.

Here is a shot of the cast with the author Michael J. Chepiga (Dark blue button-down shirt) on stage at the Poppenhusen Institute.

Here is the review in the Queens Courier's entertainment section. A very positive critique and I even got nod of "Kudos" for being a scenery designer. The set painters got a nod too! . It was a interesting experience start to finish and one I wouldn't mind tackling again--time permitting.

Find Laurie...

First there was the lost Gnome, then the globetrotting pony and now the wandering Mom. Just what will Angela and Geordie do with their Mom traversing the globe. Will they be known as the half-orphans or will they grow up well adjusted. It has already been pointed out that Angela sweats glitter and Geordie has a nice personality. What ever will become of them as mom takes in the world. Stay tuned.
Wow, now your Mom is in Ireland! She even found a pot o' gold.

In Like A Lion...

In like a lion, out like a lamb, or so they say about the month of March. It sure came down, but the wind around the building worked the snow into all sorts of interesting shapes. Here is a photo from our garden, which will not be green for a little while. Hope you're warm where you are.


New York Tonight

Got on top of the building tonight to take in the splendid view of Manhattan.

The Cat Came Back...

But de cat came back, couldn't stay no longer,
Yes de cat came back de very next day:
De cat came back—thought she were a goner,
But de cat came back for it wouldn't stay away.
–Harry S. Miller

Mark Lang has come to visit. Mark makes great paintings out of Montreal, Canada. He's here in NYC to see a friend's painting exhibit. It's been great to catch up with him, we've known each other since our very first year in art school nearly 25 years ago. Nice to catch up. He'd hate that I've blogged this, but I've done it anyway. The only thing missing is Michael Allard, the third party of a motley art crew that started all those years ago. Maybe next time.

Markus Ariliuous Langium

Shea Teardown in a Minute


Newsflash: Stadium Removed to reveal--a Stadium?

The final piece of the pie was knocked down last week and now the unfettered view of Arthur Ashe Stadium remains. It is sort of like one of those comedy sight gags where someone lifts their hat, only to reveal yet another hat. Enjoy the new view--I guess.

Old Russian Chess Joke

I'm working on a project with a colleague, working up a presentation about a particular chess opening played by none other than Bobby Fischer. In the presentation we thought a bit of humor might be nice so we served up a rework of an old Russian chess joke. The gag goes that old Boris played chess every day with his childhood pal Ivan. One day, Ivan passed away and Boris was very sad, as he had no one to play chess with. While he was in the middle of playing out an old game from a chess book, Ivan appears from the great beyond. Boris is surprised, but not enough to prevent him from asking a question. "Ivan" he asked, "Is there chess in heaven?" Ivan told him that all the greats were up there, playing fantastic chess in tournament after tournament, but, he explained not all the news as good, so he said, "Boris, you'll be able to play chess too!" "What is so bad about that." replied Boris. "Your scheduled to play Fischer with the black pieces this Thursday." 27CDB6E-AE6D-11cf-96B8-444553540000" codebase="http://download.macromedia.com/pub/shockwave/cabs/flash/swflash.cab#version=9,0,28,0" width="550" height="400" title="Boris and Ivan">


Not Much Left

As you can see, there isn't too much left of ol' Shea stadium now. Is there a week left? It seems as if there is a bit of a slow down, considering the wrecking crew brought down segments as big as this in a day over the last few weeks. Perhaps they are standing on ceremony. Who knows? Thats all for now.

Australian Horror

Here is an illustration I did for INX. It is about the fires decimating Australia. I think you have to be careful with sketches like this so close to the event. People can be pretty tetchy, when human lives are lost in the incident. The kangaroo is the penultimate symbol for Australia. Here I attempted to evoke a sense of stunned disbelief in the marsupial, where the pouch, representing safety, is consumed in flame. Not a happy image to be sure, but apt, I hope.


Latest Illustration

Here is a little illustration I did for the National Law Journal. The story was a little dense, so I had to take a few wacks at the ball before I hit upon an idea that fit the bill. I'm pretty happy with it though. As it turned out, later that evening, which was last night, I attended a lecture that was to be ostensibly a talk on the history, current state and future of Op-Ed illustration at the New York Times. It was not what I had hoped for as it mostly centered on the "ground breaking work" of the speakers present. Meanwhile, in the audience, a group of INX artists (who do the best Op Ed work available today IMHO) sat wondering where the lecture was going. As it turned out, it was little more than a tupperware party wherein the lecturers hawked their books after the event. Disappointment. Dinner afterwards at John's Pizzeria in our my old upper East Side neighborhood was definitely a highlight. BTW: John's pizzeria is a highly recommended eatery between 1st & York Avenues at 408 East 64th Street. Hands down the best thin crust pie in the city.


Padded Cells

Here is a little moleskin sketchpad that is making the rounds within the illustration department. Below is my contribution made with with pen and ink. I used my old Gillott steel nibs and Higgin's eternal India ink. A bit of fun to make.


Remains of the Shea

Couldn't resist the pun, but looks as if were at the last couple of weeks for Shea stadium. There was an interview with a bunch of old-time fans who had little to say about the new Citi field stadium taking it's place.


Sunday at Shea

Feb. 1 and Shea is coming down. Emerging--from behind--is Arthur Ashe Stadium the Unisphere (to the left) along with the World Fair Grounds. Can't be 100 percent sure, but I think the view is improving. Shea pretty much dominated the landscape. Last I read, there will be parking lot put in place of were Shea presently sits to accommodate the Met's Citifeild Stadium crowd.


Last Couple of Weeks

The curtain is falling on Shea. They seem to be knocking down a section per day. Two weeks? Maybe.


Nothing To See Here--Keep Moving Along

Thankfully, it looks as if today's emergency landing in the Hudson river was textbook. Credit should be given to those pilots for getting those people down. What a job!

Moving Right Along

The tear-down of Shea is really moving along now. Check out the dust cloud, it was caused by a section as big as a ten story building getting knocked down.

More Roof Time

Shea is coming down fast now. I'll have to get to the roof whenever feasible to keep the progression from jumping too much. What should I do with these photos once the rascal is down? I'll let you know what I come up with.


Batiste Madalena at MOMA

Got to MOMA today and saw--amongst other things--a small exhibit of hand painted posters by an artist named Batiste Madalena. I enjoyed the show and the clarity this artist brought to the fore in these placards. Good Stuff.

Shea Unravels

Here is today's Shea photograph. The tear-down is now obvious as the upper deck joins the lower. I'm sure they'll get through the work by month's end. Stay tuned for photo updates.


Here Today--Gone Tommorrow

Chris and Karolina are back in the chilly Great White North by now, but here are some of the warm times we shared in NYC. We hope to see them soon!

Here we are at Simla, an upper east side Indian restaurant in Manhattan. Good Food!

Chris and Karolina under the Christmas tree. Karolina, very close to a painting by Chuck Close

Chris and Karolina on the roof with Manhattan sparkling in the background.

Those Crazy Kids

Karolina & Chris dropped by today for some NY home cooking. Here is a shot of the two at 30 Rock. Have you ever seen anyone more enthusiastic for flashing lights? I doubt it.

Happy New Year!

Happy New Year to everyone visiting the blog. I snapped a couple of pictures today. One is of Shea, the other of Manhattan, with Queens in the foreground. What a cold and blustery day it is. The wind was just howling up on the roof making these shots a little less than comfortable to get. Just the same, I hope you enjoy them.