Sunday, December 16, 2007

Art: Soledad Lagoon.

N. Torrey Pines Road Over Soledad Lagoon, Del Mar (Pen and ink on watercolor paper. 12x9"). Drawn with pen on site. Inked at home from photo reference I took.

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Art: Sasha.

Sasha (Conte pencil on newsprint. 18x24"). Figure drawing from live model.

Saturday, December 08, 2007

Art: Hoover Dam.

Hoover Dam (Pen, ink, and gouache on watercolor paper. 6x9").

Wednesday, December 05, 2007

Art: San Francisco -- Transamerica Building.

San Francisco -- Transamerica Building (pen and ink on watercolor paper, 6x7.5").

Tuesday, December 04, 2007

Art: Erin.

Erin (Conte pencil on newsprint. 18x24"). Live portrait drawing from model. I'm having a difficult time getting this to reproduce accurately... but here it is....

Sunday, December 02, 2007

Art: Palais Theatre.

Palais Theatre, St Kilda, Victoria, Australia (Pen and ink on watercolor paper. 5.5x7").

Friday, November 30, 2007


I vary and experiment with mediums and materials frequently. Here is a quick sketch of the Sydney Opera House I did playing with pen on watercolor paper (a combo I hadn't used much before).

Sydney Opera House (Pen on watercolor paper, 6x4"). Based on personal photo.

Monday, November 26, 2007

Art: Portrait.

Male Portrait (Conte pencil on newsprint. 18x24"). Portrait drawing from live model.

Sunday, November 25, 2007

Art: Study for Palace of Fine Arts.

I love San Francisco, with one of my favorite sites being the Palace of Fine Arts. I took this picture when I lived in the Bay Area many years ago...

An artist will do "studies" of a subject before committing to a larger piece. In my early days, I avoided doing studies because I believed there was something magical in that first attempt at interpreting a subject -- a certain indefinable energy -- and worried that this magic would be lost if I drew it many times before. But now I realize that studies are imperative as they allow you to better understand and interpret the subject matter. You have to figure out what works and what doesn't. You are seeking maximum impact.

One may believe that there's something special in the first time you have sex with a new partner. But mostly it's just awkward and clumsy (of course I'm speaking of the general populace -- I'm always fantastic). It takes some experimenting before you get good at the humping. Each partner is different. You figure out what works and what doesn't, and it's developed through a combination of communication, trial and error, and experience. This is the basis for doing studies. You want the painting's toes to curl.

I'm pondering doing a large scale painting of the Palace of Fine Arts. I've been developing some studies to make sure that I've perfected the humping. Here are a few early examples:

Study of Palace of Fine Arts (pen, ink, and colored pencil on paper, 5.5x8").

Study for Palace of Fine Arts (ball point pen on paper, 8.5x11). For this one, I'm trying to figure out the best arrangement within the frame -- the mise en scène for those fancy types. The Palace of Fine Arts is an enormous and magnificent structure. The dynamic is altered by simply playing with its placement within the frame.

Study for Palace of Fine Arts (watercolor on Rives BFK paper, 7x12").

Friday, November 23, 2007

Art: Claire de Lune.

Claire de Lune coffee shop (Pen and watercolor on paper. 5.5x8").

I drew this while sitting at one of my favorite local coffee shops, Claire de Lune. I used a fountain pen with non-waterproof ink and a wet brush to create the blue/black bleeding ink effect. I relied on watercolor to add green to the plants on the left.

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Art: Erica.

Erica (watercolor on paper. 6.5x11.5"). Figure drawing.


Art: Ashley.

Ashley (Pencil on paper. 2.5x6.5"). Figure drawing.

Friday, November 16, 2007

Art: Kristin.

Kristin (Conte pencil on newsprint. 18x24"). Figure drawing.

Monday, November 12, 2007

Art: Erin.

Erin (Conte pencil on newsprint. 18x24"). Figure drawing.

Monday, November 05, 2007

Why I Need To Hire A Sniper.

I understand the romantic allure of wind chimes if you live on the prairie. The winds come through and create random tones -- adding sounds to previous silence -- and letting you know that there's a whole world out there. It breaks up the solitude created by quiet. It lets you know that you're not alone. It's a message carried from the city to the fields by wind.

But in the city, there are few sounds more annoying.

Perhaps the cause is that when people own a place, they want to make it feel homey. Hanging wind chimes serves this affect, despite the fact that the environment is not conducive to this. They want to fulfill the image they had in their head when they dreamed of independence, regardless of the constraints placed on them by size or location of said home. Many people surround them, and may not want to hear wind chimes.

When I first moved to California I lived on the ground floor of an apartment complex. My upstairs neighbor had a balcony that hovered above mine and an entranceway porch that did the same. Both his balcony and entranceway were absolutely saturated with potted plants. My neighbor would water his plants so much that an avalanche of water would cascade down onto my place -- filling my patio three inches deep and creating a curtain of water that made it difficult to physically walk out of my front door. I had a virtual waterfall outside my door. The man above me did not have the environment to support the lifestyle he desired. He needed to move or drastically reduce the amount of plants he owned. A person that owns twenty acres of land in the middle of nowhere can set up a gun range outside if he so chooses. A person in a dense community cannot. Depending on where you live -- there are constraints -- both physically and ethically. A goldfish grows in proportion to the size of its tank, and so must you.

I'm not sure if people are just spatially unaware or simply don't care. I hope it's not the latter. Clustered together like bees in a hive, we are acutely affected by one another.

Two weeks ago, a neighbor across the alley hung a cluster of green ceramic leaves on their third story balcony. The wind chimes make horrifically chaotic chatter. When the breeze picks up, it sounds like someone throwing a dozen xylophones down a stairwell.

Is this person unaware of how sound travels, or do they think that the unpleasant clinging is confined only to their balcony? I can deal with the infrequent tones of simple silver tubes hanging, where they rarely touch one another, but this cluster configuration of twenty ceramic pieces is constantly bumping into each other like rush-hour commuters in a Tokyo subway. In an urban area such as ours -- where we constantly hear traffic, car alarms, helicopters, and shopping carts rattling as they're pushed by homeless people down our alley -- why on earth would you want to add extra noise pollution? Doesn't common decency play a part? The fact that they don't care may bother me more than the noise itself.

I can't begin to describe how annoying or distracting they are. For this reason, I need to hire a sniper. When the wind dies, I'd like him to quickly break every green ceramic leaf with a speedy bullet. Hopefully the sound of gunfire will make my neighbors move to the prairie, where they already seem to think they live.

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Recent sketches.

Top row (left to right):

  1. Figure study based on reference from The Nude Figure: A Visual Reference for the Artist (pencil on paper, 1.5x3").

  2. Shasta (from live figure. Watercolor on paper. 4x3").

  3. Sketch based on reference from Calvin Klein ad (pencil on paper. 3.5x8").

  4. Jules laying in hotel room bed in Nice, France (pencil on paper. 5x8").

Bottom row: Studies from George Bridgman.

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

My Right Shoe Tried to Kill Me.

On a Friday afternoon, I wandered through work's cubicle lined hallway and noticed that I had developed a slight limp. It had arrived quietly, but became more pronounced as evening approached.

I walked across the parking lot and found it exceedingly painful. I almost needed to hire a rickshaw to transport me to my car. But I made it home and hopped to my front door.

I took off my right shoe and isolated the cause of the pain to my big toe. A distinct red crescent surrounded the nail.

As the weekend wore on, the pain became unbearable. I felt a combination of sharp pain and intense pressure -- like my toe had inflated with air and had to be released. I couldn't put any weight on my foot and even certain laying positions caused issues. It started taking over my life.

I persevered over the weekend and went to the doctor on Monday. She looked at my toe and deemed that it was infected, but found no puncture marks.

"Sometimes this just happens," she said. "There can be no external marks, but your shoe can rub the toes together in an odd way to cause an infection."

I looked down at my right shoe with extreme disdain.

She prescribed antibiotics.

"If the pressure becomes too great, can I lance it?" I asked.

"I wouldn't recommend it." She then shrugged and said, "But you're on antibiotics so nothing much can happen."

A day later and I found myself with a sharp heated needle hovering above my toe. However, there was a problem. I've lanced a thousand blisters in my lifetime, but this was different. The blister was not on the surface of the toe. Instead, it was between the toenail and skin. I had to shove the needle into the tough skin immediately above the nail.

It was unbelievably painful. I would say that it was the equivalent of childbirth, but I can't actually believe that childbirth would be this painful. I nearly wept.

Subsequently, I banished my shoe to shoe hell, located one circle beneath bowling alley rentals.

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Portrait sketch.

Jim (conte pencil on newsprint, 18x24").

Saturday, September 01, 2007

Skull Number 2.

Skull II (9x12", oil on canvas board).

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

A Little Somethin' For The Ladies.

Here's a drawing I did at my figure drawing class last night (Conte pencil on newsprint, 16x20")....

There's some good and bad. I'm pleased with the relative likeness that I achieved with the face. My proportions are close. I connected the legs too low which makes the torso appear stretched. Once I become more familiar with the pencil we're using, my shading and strokes will get cleaner and smoother. The drawing has deficiencies but I feel like I'm getting better with every drawing and learning from each. This is key.

Saturday, August 11, 2007


A month ago, I began taking a drawing class at the Watts Atelier. It's a combo head, figure and quick sketch course. I absolutely love it. I felt I was getting stale in my portrait drawing and wanted to revolutionize my approach. Hence, the class.

To accelerate our proficiency, a teacher recommended buying a skull from an art supply store. If you want to draw portraits, it helps to understand a human's skeletal structure and musculature. I found a model skull last Sunday for thirty bucks.

(As an aside, I don't like wall masks or life-size sculptures. I find them creepy. I was concerned that the same sentiment would apply to my new skull, but instead I find it whimsical and non-threatening. )

Over the last week, I've rendered it in various mediums and styles.

Top left: Oil on canvas board (14 x 11").
Top right: Conte pencil on newsprint.
Bottom left: Pen and gouache (5 x 6").
Bottom right: Pen and colored pencil (5 x 6").

Here's my set-up for the oil painting:

I toned my canvas with an acrylic mix of phthalo blue, burnt sienna, and titanium white. I sketched with vine charcoal.

Using a limited palette (yellow ochre, raw umber, Payne's gray, and titanium white), and painting with a loose and semi-quick approach, I produced Skull (oil on canvas board, 14 x 11").

Friday, July 13, 2007


I love to draw and paint, but have never thought of myself as an artist. I always thought of it as being a serious hobby. If I had to give myself a title, it would be, Guy Who Paints. But I would never use the word, artist.

To varying extents, I've been drawing since I was ten or eleven. Please don't mistake this statement as me saying that I was a child prodigy. Far from it. My only point is that I have had an interest in art for a long time. In those twenty years since, I have produced thousands of drawings and watercolors. Many paintings. But never once have I considered myself an artist. Simply a guy who paints.

Tonight, I laid on the sofa and found myself genuinely affected by a story I saw on TV. Normally my reaction would be to write about it, or to ponder. File it in my head. Perhaps my thoughts and reactions would merely fade away. But with action bordering on instinct, I went over to my easel and did a painting based on the story and how it made me feel. I put paint to canvas with zeal. It was how I expressed what I was feeling.

And for the first time ever, I feel comfortable calling myself an artist.

Saturday, July 07, 2007

Match Game Gone Wrong.

It seems that the goal of many journalists is to catch someone being hypocritical. Maybe that's fair. But it's also very easy. You compare a word against a word or a word against an action and see if they line up. It's not fancy. You're playing the match game -- a card game that three-year-olds learn. We see this approach used frequently in political journalism. A congressman says this but does that. Again, it may be a fair reporting vehicle as it hopefully holds people accountable, but occasionally it misses the point. It makes the person finding the discontinuity between word and action feel smart and smug. But the find-the-hypocrisy tool is one that they are too eager to use, and unfortunately, the only tool in their arsenal. They use it because it's easy. But the context gets lost. The big picture abandoned. Intelligent thought is thrown out of the window.

I've been reminded of the faultiness of the find-the-hypocrisy approach when I see coverage of the Live Earth music event happening this weekend. Live Earth is a series of concerts staged around the world that are meant to bring awareness to environmental issues. The hope is that this awareness will result in people making changes to their behavior that benefits the environment. Recycle. Change to an energy efficient bulb. Plant a tree. Buy a car with more miles per gallon.

However, the majority of the news coverage seems focused on one specific point: The amount of pollution and energy wasted to simply host these concerts. Every journalist is leading with their find-the-hypocrisy tool by saying, "How can you tell everyone to save the environment when the platform you're using takes up so much energy?" It takes a lot of energy to fly the musicians to the venue. It takes energy to power the amps. It takes energy to cater the event. Unnecessary trash is created.

The concert promoters have done a good job of combating this line of questioning by saying that they are using environmentally safe methods wherever possible, and measuring every drop of energy used to later compensate the environment.

Now "how much energy does the event consume" may be an interesting factoid, but it makes a meaningless point. Take a few steps back. There's an adage that says, "You must spend money to make money."

The real question is not, how much energy does the event consume, but what is the net gain or net loss? The real question is: How effectively does the event propagate the message?

Please stay with me -- I'm about to do some math. If it takes 10 units of energy to host the concert, but it empowered 100,000 people to change their behavior and each one is able to save 1 unit of energy, then that's 100,000 units of energy saved. So then, does it really matter if the concert cost 10 units to stage or 100 or even 1000? No. You have to spend money to make money. Stop the hypocrisy witch-hunt.

And look at all of the musicians at the event. If some of them see how they can reduce energy waste at this event, then perhaps they make use of this information on tour. I haven't seen any journalists talk about this.

I notice that critics of environmental policies frequently believe in energy absolutes when loading their gun -- that a person's footprint should fit on a pinhead -- and anytime this doesn't happen, the person is attacked. And more frequently than that, I find that if critics tend to not like a person, they use the environmental route as their attack agent. Again, it's easy, and critics are lazy.

There's only one way to have an environmental impact of zero. Suicide. The only person in history to approach a minimal footprint was Johnny Appleseed. Being environmentally conscious isn't about having a zero footprint. It is simply this: If you have a decision to make, think about the one that has the least impact to the environment. It's about making choices.

Michael Moore faces the hypocrisy-heat-seeking criticism with almost every movie he makes. Everyone begins their latest find-the-hypocrisy witch-hunt by saying, "How can he make a movie about the health care system when he is overweight?" Simple. They have absolutely nothing to do with one another. Someone having or not having health care has nothing to do with the fact that Michael Moore is overweight. People want to somehow tie these together because thematically they seem to go together -- i.e. a person who is overweight is more likely to encounter health issues and would more likely make use of the health care system. But if you have health insurance and like your provider (which I'm assuming Moore does), then it's not an issue. There are twenty-five year old athletes that have heart attacks. But if the critics can tie the two parts together (Sicko's theme and Moore's weight), then they can simply use that find-the-hypocrisy tool they wield, and not really have to think, because that's really where we're at now. Intelligent discourse has become passé.

Sunday, July 01, 2007

News From Above.

Since I live in the ghetto, the sight of police helicopters circling above is not unusual.

But last night, one element made the scene unique.

A voice.

While a helicopter -- spotlight beaming -- is clearly visible in the sky, it's still difficult to determine distance and triangulate the city blocks above which it hovers. It's easy to dismiss the neighborhood it's surveying as being far beyond my own, even as I hear the blades turn.

The proximity was not in question this time.

A voice boomed from the helicopter's loudspeaker. A 7-11 had just been robbed and a description of the suspect was announced. They asked people with information to contact the police immediately.

Two thoughts arrived in succession.

The first thought formulated after a quick flow dialogue with Juliana.

"Where are the 7-11's?" I asked. "I know of two in the area."

We said the locations out loud... Meade and 30th... Texas and University. We lived between both locations -- six blocks away from each. Not good.

Despite its risks, I love my neighborhood. It's arguably the most diverse neighborhood in San Diego. It's vibrant, artsy, has great restaurants and everything is in walking distance from my place. This is why the helicopter announcement made me sad, because all of these wonderful things collide with a sometimes violent reality. It's nice to pretend that everything is safe and happy until a booming voice from a police helicopter tells me otherwise.

The second thought followed.

The announcement made from the helicopter's loudspeaker was crystal clear. I heard every enunciated word as if the pilot was standing in front of me. So how is it possible that a voice projected a half-mile away from a noisy helicopter is clearer than that of a fast-food drive-through speaker? Please, fast-food restaurants, spend the extra $17.50 for a better speaker. Otherwise, I'll start having a helicopter deliver my food.


Addendum: The San Diego Union Tribune issued the following news story:

Gunman with bandanna robs store in North Park

SAN DIEGO: A man with a gun robbed a North Park convenience store
Tuesday night, San Diego police said. The robber walked into the 7-Eleven on Meade Avenue near 30th Street just before 9 p.m. and demanded money from the clerk, police said.

The man was described as black and in his late teens, about 5 feet 9 inches tall, with a thin build. He was wearing a red bandanna over his face; a gray, hooded sweat shirt; knee-length jeans; and white tennis shoes. No one was injured.

-- D.F.B.

Reunited (And It Looks So Good).

There's an adage that "a true craftsman never blames his tools." While the sentiment is understood, tools are not irrelevant. Sometimes there can be a wonderful synergy generated when a craftsman uses a particular instrument.

A guitarist can own a dozen guitars but only feel inspired when he picks up that one with the perfect tone. He'll write a song that wouldn't have been conceived on any other guitar. A fashion designer, surrounded by reams of cloth, may find that perfect texture of material that always results in beautiful garments. Perhaps, a porn star has her favorite brand of lube. The point is this: there are items/utensils/materials that can elevate the creative process to produce something greater than the sum of their parts, namely the artist and it.

For me, it was my beloved Koh-I-Noor Red Chalk 8802 pencil. During a brief affair, we made beautiful drawings together. Every time I touched its fabulous tip to paper, I produced magic. I dare say it, but I think that it was love.

As much as new art supplies are constantly introduced, others are unceremoniously discontinued. I tried buying another one, but couldn't find it. I searched online and through every art store to no avail. It had become extinct. My muse had evaporated.

Until yesterday.

I went to an art store in Little Italy and found my pencil. After four years apart, we've been reunited.

Unfortunately, my bliss comes at a cost. The pencil is not available on its own, only as a single part of an eight dollar pencil set. But this means nothing. How can you put a price tag on happiness?

If there is one thing I've discovered about art supplies, it's that you need to stock up on things you like. I'll be buying out the entire supply next time I go.

Aaaahhh, me and the Koh-I-Noor Red Chalk 8802 pencil... we're MFEO.

Saturday, June 23, 2007

Recent figure sketches.





Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Some recent figure watercolors....

Melissa Laying Down (watercolor on paper. 7 1/2 x 3").

Melissa Sitting (watercolor on paper, 3 1/2 x 5").

Zara Sitting (watercolor on paper, 4 x 5").

Lisa Sitting (watercolor on paper, 4 x 6").

Thursday, June 07, 2007


Jules (oil on canvas board. 16"x8").

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

The Locusts Are Coming.

Get out the bug spray. The locusts are coming. The apocalypse has arrived.

I saw the sign: A Mark Rothko painting has just sold for 73 million dollars at auction. It is the second highest amount ever paid for a modern art painting.

Are you f@$#ing kidding me?

"Which painting?" you ask. Is it the one with the large square or the other one with the large square or the other one with the large square or the one with the large square? Oh wait -- maybe it's the one with the large square.


(If you think I'm kidding, do a Google image search on Mark Rothko.)

I've railed against Mark Rothko many times in this journal. I believe that peoples' affection and museums' embrace of him are simply a conspiracy to piss me off. I don't get it.

I love to hear people tell me how amazing a painter he is. How his colors undulate and squares are windows to different places and the heavy and deep meaning contained within its simple design.

Fine. I'll buy any argument for one painting.

But he did the exact same painting for twenty years. When you repeat yourself for that long, it starts being about something else.

Perhaps, that you can't draw.

If he was a photographer he'd be taking photos of babies dressed up like flowers or dogs dressed up like people. Wait? There are already photographers doing those two themes? Damn.

The good and bad of Rothko: If you've seen one Rothko painting, you've truly seen them all. Is that an artist you want to promote? How did this happen?

"Warhol did the same thing," you say. Yep, he did. He extensively reproduced an image with slight variations. But you see, he was mocking mass production. He was mocking the consumer.

Perhaps this is my problem. I feel that Rothko is mocking us.

Wednesday, May 09, 2007

For the Birds.

Close friends and faithful readers of this journal know that I hate birds.

Or do I?

This past Sunday, Juliana and I went to the San Diego Wild Animal Park.

We walked along a path and encountered a man-made marsh, where two pelicans sat before us, one of them watching two young chicks.

I started taking lots of pictures when a beautiful white egret flew high into the trees.

I mumbled something.

"Do you know what you just said?" Juliana began. "I'm not sure I even know you anymore. You just said that you love birds."

"There is no way I said that."


"No way."

"Maybe you need to qualify your bird statement," Jules said. "You don't hate all birds. You just hate pigeons."

"I guess you're right. I like ducks. I like pelicans. I guess I just hate pigeons. And gulls."

And to qualify my bird hating statement -- I also hate massive flocks of birds flying overhead that could potentially poop on me.

But I do love ducks. And pelicans.

My whole world just turned inside out.

(As an aside, the cheetahs at the Wild Animal Park rock!)

Monday, May 07, 2007

Rock Poster: Secret Apollo (5/12/07 Show).

I designed a rock poster for Secret Apollo....

The koi fish were painted on Bristol board using gouache (opaque watercolors). The painting was scanned and then text added using Photoshop.

Tuesday, May 01, 2007


Jill Sitting (watercolor on paper, 5 x 4").

Sunday, April 29, 2007


When it comes to level of difficulty in art, painting a live female model has to be at the top of the list. After not having done it in a couple of years, I gave it a shot this past week, with the result being Anne (oil on canvas board, 14x18").

Saturday, April 28, 2007

The Devil Just Put On His Winter Coat and Mittens.

Something went frighteningly awry today. I purchased a book titled, National Audubon Society: Field Guide to Birds.

Hell must have frozen over. I hate birds. Absolutely loathe them.

I'm not sure what happened. I can't explain it. It's possible I was drunk.

It's like I don't even know who I am anymore. A stranger unto myself. I mean... I bought a book... on birds.

Maybe a pigeon slipped something into my drink. They hate me, you know.

And I, them.

(Especially the rock pigeon -- columba livia -- whose ancestral nests used to be made on high cliff ledges. It's average length is 13 1/2"... oh my god... what the hell is happening to me?)

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Frozen Pen.

When it comes to achieving creative goals, there are helpful hints but no secrets. If you want to become a writer, write. If you want to become a painter, paint. It's that simple.


For various reasons, I have a tendency to make the artistic process complex.

I sit down and know I want to create some art. But what medium? What subject matter? How should I render it?

Accompanying these questions is my desire for everything I produce to be perfect. It's a hard way to begin -- knowing that you can't make a mistake or fail.

All of these phenomena feed together to form a maelstrom and it causes me to feel overwhelmed and when I feel overwhelmed I simply shut down. Nothing gets done.

To combat this, I try to remove decisions and judgments from the equation.

It started eleven years ago when I moved to Sacramento after graduating from college. Every evening at 10pm I would turn the radio on and listen to Loveline with Adam Carolla and Dr. Drew. Routines are effective.

My goal each night was simple. I had to either complete a drawing in my sketchbook or write 500 words that formed some semblance of a scene or short-short story. The story didn't have to make sense. I didn't ever have to look at the drawing again. When the goal is straightforward -- to simply have something by the end of two hours and to do it every evening -- it made things less precious. It was about completing the task. Personal criticism was eliminated. I actually got things done.

Recently, I have found my creative output to be random and haphazard. My intent is earnest. But as soon as I sit down at the drafting table I find myself feeling overwhelmed. I shut down. The blank paper remains blank.

I want to be artistically prolific. I want to create beautiful things.

I had to get locked back into that evening routine that proved successful in the past. Once again, I found my savior on the radio. The local station, 94.9 FM, has a program that airs every night from 10pm to 2am. It's called Big Sonic Chill. It's pitch perfect as it provides a laid-back, eclectic mix of songs that establish an ideal mood and ambience. You can check out a recent playlist by clicking on this link. Not only has it provided a great atmosphere and established a disciplined routine, but it also lets me discover new music (for example -- I'm infatuated with Sia's song, Breathe Me).

Every evening my pen has been moving and it feels good.

Monday, April 23, 2007

Pass the Ketchup.

I've been watching the Discovery Channel's beautiful and engaging series, Planet Earth. The cinematography is stunning. However, despite the enraptured and layered enchantment of the series, I quickly realized that an animal's life consisted solely of eating, not being eaten, and humping.

Watching the series, I became preoccupied with two thoughts.

The first thought.... You can tell me that an animal has an extra thick layer of fur. An extra layer of fat. Oil in their skin. Or air pockets between their feathers. But regardless of this information, I can't believe that these winter animals aren't freezing. I can't wrap my head around the science that says animals sitting in a pile of snow or amid a freezing stream are warm. And if you watched this series with me you'd understand this because every two minutes I'm saying, "That animal must be freezing its ass off."

The second thought.... Last night I watched a leopard eat a monkey and a lemur eat a moth. In both cases, I said out loud, "That must taste horrible." And I'm saying this as a person who is not a picky eater and will eat anything. But still. If someone told me that monkey tasted like chicken I would think him a liar. Do animals have particular palates? Do they have preferences or is meat simply meat? Does taste factor in? A predator has neither condiments nor spices. I've eaten deer, pheasant, rabbit, squirrel, elk and even an elk's heart -- all can be tasty. If given my druthers, I'd use my extra leopard energy to pursue a quick deer even if it made me tired. But you could put a three legged monkey with arthritis next to me and I'm not budging. Has there ever been a leopard that's spotted a lazy monkey sitting on the ground and said, "I'm starving, but monkey tastes like ass. I'll pass."

Sunday, April 08, 2007

Recent figure drawings.

Stephanie Sitting (Pen on paper. 4x5". 3/07)

Zara Laying Down (Graphite on paper. 8.5 x 3". 4/07).

Jill Sitting (Pen and colored pencil on paper. 5 x 5". 3/07).

Jill Standing (Pen and colored pencil on paper. 3.5 x 5". 02/07.)