Friday, December 26, 2008

IF: Clandestine: Mystery Ingredient

Zdepski's Watercolor Painting, Missing Spoon
"HEY! Where's my Serving spoon? ... and what's that floating in the Jello?"

Santa's little helper slipped into the batch. Time to put an ad in the Classifieds for Seasonal Help.

Watercolor on Bristol

I also knocked out a watercolor version of the "Santa Jello Mold" piece after the Christmas wrapping had finished settling to the floor. I think it needs to be executed with a few other color variations, but I've got a few months to go before I make a card from it.

CLICK THE PIC to see it larger.

Boxing Day

zdepski's watercolor painting called it's cold
zdepski's watercolor painting called let's buy a freezer
A day late and a dollar short... that's my standard. The bride and I had agreed to skip our usual exchange and buy a chest freezer for the household. We'll be looking at them in the next couple of weeks. I didn't have anything to give her, so I made a card with two little watercolors. "It's Cold" with me as the A-hole ice skater/announcer, Dick Buttons. Inside is "Let's Buy a Freezer", with my best Carol Marrel from 1956.

Happy Boxing Day to you all. I hope you can give a little something to those in need. It's gonna be a hard winter and we all better be aware of our neighbors and their situations.

Click'm to See'm BIG

Sunday, December 21, 2008

G is for Gina: Watercolor studies

Zdepski's watercolor variation of G is for Gina
Zdepski's watercolor variation of G is for Gina
G is for Gina, Galloping through grass. These are watercolors I worked on this afternoon. I'm fighting the Bristol's inability to take a good wash without breaking up and forming fiber balls that look like lint stuck in the the watercolor. It's a real problem. I may resort to a thicker bristol, or perhaps a true hot press watercolor paper to get away from the break down. These two pieces are quite different, as you can see. The family consensus is that the first one is the better of the two. I did, however learn a few things in the second one, which is why it's posted.

Click on them to make them bigger.

Saturday, December 20, 2008

IF: Voices... in the wilderness

zdepski's watercolor painting VOICES for Illustration Friday, December 19th, 2008
I went with the first thing to hit the sketchbook page. As I was painting it, I couldn't help thinking about the blog-o-sphere or news in general. So many voices all vying for attention. yak yak yak yak... nothing real, but hyping to keep you listening to their view.

Winsor and Newton inks, Winsor and Newton watercolor on Canson 60lb sketch page.

Click the pic to make it bigger.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Lil' Rams and a Jello Mold

zdepski's sketch of a biddy football watercolor of the Strasburg Rams
zdepski's sketch of an elf suspended in a Jello mold of Santa Claus
I finished my lil' Rams Scrimmage piece. i did it in watercolor on velum Bristol. I used toned inks for many of the edges, but didn't go overboard. The piece is for my daughter's marching band fund raiser.

ALSO... the Jello mold idea came to me while meeting my friends Aaron and Cathy for an impromptu beer. I was thinking of a Santa Claus Jello Mold, with dwarfs/elves/gnomes surrounding him... then the idea of something suspended in the Jello was the next logical step... but what? A MISSING SPOON!

oh,... and the elf that was last seen mixing the Jello.

I think this may be my next-year's Christmas Card.... go real over board with a fully set banquet table, and an elf in amber.

too much.

As Always, Click on the images to make them bigger.

Monday, December 15, 2008

Pile-Up: lil' Rams

Zdepski's painting of the Strasburg Rams football team as RamBabies
my daughter's high school marching band wants to go to some South Carolina competition... but it costs $400 per kid to get there. I offered to donate a piece. I'm thinking postcards, at a couple of bucks per... open edition prints if there's a market, and the raffle chance for the original piece. It's a real Southern-style football town. The Big Horn is their mascot, Purple and White are the colors. This is a color comp - I'm going to play with the coloring a bit more, perhaps standardize the head and horn colors.
As always, click on the image to view it at a larger size.

Filthy Lucre: PZ bucks from Nate and Jeremy


Nate Rhodes and Jeremy Ziegler were hard at work over at Dorian Recording, cranking out PZ bucks (similar to Geoffry Dollars) for a present of painting lessons this Christmas. I can't go much further into it... spoiler.

funny stuff. they used my thomas jefferson portrait from 1999. i busted out, especially since i was expecting to see my own goofy mug on the cash - thankfully, no.

Saturday, December 13, 2008

IF: Rambunctious - Bobby ripping up the lawn

one of zdepski's dogbabies characters, bobby
dogBabies Backyard ABC': Color comp of "B is for Bobby". I did the drawing in graphite, but imported it into Painter to give it an oil paint simulation color comp. I will not be doing this in oil though... I plan on executing them all in watercolor. Click on the picture to make it bigger.

all part of my MFA thesis project

Silverman Lecture Reaction Paper - MFA

Zdepski's photo of Burton Silverman at the Society of Illustrators in New York.
Here it is... the Burton Silverman paper from his lecture to our MFA in Illustration class at the Society of Illustrators in New York on November 14th. It is as finished as I can do within the reaction paper format. I had decided to focus upon the impetus that makes a person launch into the unknown. It's a much broader subject, and could use a more skillful writer behind it. Let me know what you think... by the way, the Vin Di Fate paper has been downloaded over 200 times since its posting in September.

Click here to Download the Burton Silverman paper in PDF format, 800Kb.

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

A Golden Age: 1956











Illustration never had it so good... of course, turmoil in Algiers, Viet Nam, Montgomery, Selma, Cold War, Atomic testing...

I found these illustrations while researching Burton Silverman and his drawings of the Montgomery Bus Boycott... I was looking in the wrong magazine. Burt told me yesterday that the drawings were initially printed by the New York Post... and their online resources are worthless (only back to '99).

Top: Let's gaze into the future... Dominos in the fast lane.
Next: Better living through concrete. A blurry shot of an architectural model. pretty cool.

Two cocoa ad kids

Post Toasties Kids

All of these are from Life and Time, 1956. Various ads, article illustrations and a lovely Lifesavers ad that reminds me of Damien Hurst, no?

Space paint kid... Like the two color print shift.

Then: a small Norman Rockwell detail of a dozen vinettes for PanAm Airlines.

Look how cut the little Commies are! We are SOOOOO decadent compared to their righteous indignation at our greed! Go Mao Go!

WAAAAy down is a French ANTI-SPEED poster... Wild!

well, back to writing the Silverman reaction paper.

Saturday, December 6, 2008

IC of DC - Framing Finished

Zdepskis Warthog and Ocelot print, Faun Yawn painting and Yes We Can print
Niki Zdepski and Warthog and Ocelot paintings and print
I only had two pieces to worry about getting frames on for tomorrow's drop in Arlington. I popped an existing frame around "Faun Yawn", but was scrambling all week to get the "Warthog vs Ocelot" print into a decent frame. I chipped away at bits and pieces throughout the week, and finished today mid-afternoon. Dan Rugh, at Commonwealth Press was able to get 40 good impressions, plus a few Artist's Proofs, so to have this one framed gives the whole project a moment of finality. Dan had sent along one of his beautiful "Yes We Can" prints for the Pittsburgh Food Bank. I was able to matte and frame it for my living room... it looks fantastic! Niki helped me today, and you can see him posing with the original acrylic paintings and the final print in the middle. Ready to hang! I'm going to drop these off with the Illustrators Club of DC tomorrow, and plan on sticking for the board meeting... The rest of my free time will be spent writing a reaction paper. I doubt I'll get it finished, but it should be well along the way.

Friday, December 5, 2008

IF: Similar - Pup Portraits

Four of Zdepski's dogBaby characters
A quad of four dogBabies, all posing for individual yearbook photos. Funny how they all look like they're from the same litter. each is acrylic on wooden panel, 5 inches square.
DogBabies are the theme for my MFA thesis, and are a major focus of my energies, when not being a dad, husband, mechanic, lawnmower or snow-shoveler... I gotta get moving on my thesis work.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

the Nichols and my darlin' bride

beth and fred nichols in their showrooms
paul zdepski's beautiful bride, noelle
two photo from the weekend. Beth and Fred Nichols, each photographed in one of their venues - Beth is posed in their Annex, which is a beautiful colonial home, filled but well placed with art from Beth's repped artists. Fred was in full effect with walk-in visitors (ourselves included) in the working studio's gallery. They're a wonderful team, each is engaging and a wealth of information and laughter. We had a great visit... all too short. If you get down the east side of the Blue Ridge, anywhere between Culpepper and Charlottesville... hunt out the little town of Bourborsville. They have a bunch of Vineyards and horsey farms around, so it's a beautiful place to get lost. We plan on a timely return. My lovely bride is showing her red streaks in the bright winter sun on the UVA museum steps. Gosh she's pretty.

Austin Briggs for Lunch

Zdepski's photo of Austin Briggs poster and signature
Zdepski's photo of Austin Briggs poster and signature
Zdepski's photo of Austin Briggs poster and signature
Zdepski's photo of Austin Briggs poster and signature
While out for a bite to eat at the Revolution in old town Charlottesville VA on Saturday, Noelle and I spied a bunch of Austin Briggs (1908-1973) original TWA posters from the late 1950s decorating the place. The era was right at the cusp of the propeller and jet crossover. Austin's work is vibrant and inviting. His work is bold, and mixes the graphic style he perfected in comic illustration from his Flash Gordon days, with the painterly influences surrounding him in the "Beat" New York atmosphere of the Abstract and Pop era. Sorry about the glare, but light was bouncing all over the place, since people still insist on seeing what they're putting into their mouths.

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

SI to IC - Logo work...

Society of Illustrators and Illustrators Club of DC by Paul Zdepski
Tink is my model... I'm developing a new look for the Illustrator's Club of Washington DC, Maryland and Virginia...

not really, just poking fun.

Monday, December 1, 2008

Congratulations Q Cassetti! SI 51!

Q Cassetti, photographed by Paul Zdepski
My good buddy and fellow MFAer, Q Cassetti has just announced a piece was accepted into the Society of Illustrator's 51st Annual Show! Way to go! She's always is full of surprises and ideas! Way to go Q!
Her site, qcassetti.com has a wide variety of work, and her WONDERFUL and informative blog.

My Bride of 20 Years - and a walk in the park








We had spent a too short Black Friday weekend in Charlottesville VA at a very nice and very fancy Bed and Breakfast called South and Second or some such... It was a HUGE southern Victorian with plenty of high ceilings and bookcases only a basketball player could reach. We knocked around "C-ville", as the locals refer to it, and were able to make a day run to visit with fellow VA in Panama artistic team, Fred and Beth Nichols. What a fun time! They have an expansive studio set up for painting and printmaking. It looked to be nearly 4K sqft of floor space, if you include the showroom/gallery in front... did i mention the annex? A colonial up the street, CHOCK FULL of paintings by artists in Beth's fold... she reps 15 or so landscape painters, and seems to think the worst of the downturn is over, considering her sales numbers. Noelle and I tootled back to C-ville to catch the El Lissitzky show in the UVA Art Museum. It is a breathtaking show. I love the stuff. There is plenty of art for everyone in there... Chinese, Greek, Roman, 18C, Pop, Ashcan... it goes on... I really feel fortunate to have seen it all.
The bride and I poked around town, which has a lovely bricked over mainstreet walking mall... 5 or so, blocks long. We ate French and Italian... and Soviet at the "Revolutionary" soups and sandwiches shop. Lots of fun, and the kids hadn't worn grandma and grandpa out by the time we rolled in on Sunday.
The weekend's drawings are mostly Noelle across the table from me. It's the only time I could get the pen to paper in any way. I did bring watercolor, but it wasn't a working weekend... it was our 20th... remember?
SO:
Sketch 1: Noelle reading the New Yorker with her coffee, ink on paper
Sketch 2: Me in the library, 7 am on Saturday... Inelegant and eating a Danish.
Sketch 3: Noelle reading some other magazine with coffee... sensing a theme?
Sketch 4: Noelle all dressed up and in the Italian place, first night... ink again
Sketch 5: Noelle and me tying one on at the French joint. good food and good drinks.
Sketch 6: NYC Dogs in the Park - Girlie Pup
Sketch 7: NYC Dogs in the Park - Guy Pup

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Andy Warthog: on the Printfloor

Photo by Dan Rugh of Zdepski's poster, Warthog and Ocelot

Photo by Dan Rugh of Commonwealth Presses print floor, Warthog and Ocelot
Dan Rugh at Commonwealth Press called last night, and after all of the gory details, said the poster was done and being shipped today! Poor guy got hammered with the flu, and a SECOND cornea detachment this year... Heebie-Jeebies.

These two photos are by Dan, showing a close up of the print after the third screen and the shop interior with posters set on all of the stations. He really bent over backwards to get this done, and I can't thank him enough work working it into the schedule. Now I have to to build a frame for the one going into the IC of DC, MD and VA members show on the 7th... that means matte, glass and framing... ughhh.

Tomorrow is being spent working on the Toyota... new starter, should go quickly, then I can start the frame(s). I also have the little deerBaby "Yawn Faun" piece going into the same show... I forget if it's framed... oops.

Bride and I are off to Charlottesville VA for a 20th anniversary jaunt to a BnB. I hope it's not too cold in the Blue Ridge. I hope to shoot a pile of shots around town and on Skyline Drive.

Happy Thanksgiving to you all!

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Pulp: Dock Cutie Final

Zdepski's Pulp Dock Cutie final, oil on canvas
Zdepski's Pulp Dock Cutie detail, oil on canvas
I knocked out the dock pulp cutie, after a great crit at the Society of Illustrators two weeks ago. Vin Di Fate asked that I create some overlap with the burning barrel and figure, so this is what I developed. I really dug the big skull idea that Dave Labrozzi and Anthony Accardo had in their pieces, so I added a cliché smoke skull in mine. I had tossed around ship types, and in the end I came up with a freighter and a small Harbor tender. My model was Betty Page. I love her look and hair, which I think goes well with the theme of "Pulp". Two weeks too late for class credit, but I had a great time seeing this piece through to the finish.

Friday, November 21, 2008

IF: Opinion... about the Hula

Puapualenalena hulas for the Uhane, by Paul Zdepski
Puapualenalena and the U'hané in a Hula Competition, 2008 - Digital
Page 6 from the Hawai'ian folk story, Puapualenalena, Wizard Dog of the Waipi'o Valley by Thomas Cummings, Jr. The Evil/Mischievous U'hané have encircled Puapualenalena and are poo-pooing his attempt at Hula.

They begin to sing a ditty:

He looks so ugly
He sounds too shrilly
He dances poorly,
Truly, truly.

We'll chat as well, but quite, quite sweetly
We'll show him how we dance right fleetly
We'll know he'll know we're very neatly,
The best at chant and dance completely.


Of course... our hero pup wins. Due out in 2009, the story is part of the Trickster project with Matt Dembicki, editor.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Andy Warthog Postcard

Paul Zdepski's Andy Warthog promo piece postcard
Here's the postcard that has just gone to the printer. Dan Rugh and the Commonwealth Press crew up in Pittsburgh are pulling the colors as I write this... Three colors, three screens - 40 impressions... limited edition if you're interested. Dan has the chops to pull prints from the ORIGINAL screens of Andy Warhol for the Andy Warhol Museum. He has recently done a Warhol homage with the Anti-Flag Food Bank Benefit poster. Lots of great thinks coming out of his studio. I'm really honored that he is doing these prints, and it adds a bit of cred to my prints since he's taken it on.
Thanks Dan!

Monday, November 17, 2008

NYC: SI Drawing Nights - Tues & Thurs







The models at the Society of Illustrators were really good. Tuesday's session had a jazz trio pumping sounds. There were to Anglo female models, the women were quirky, with cartoonish false eyelashes and hair styles. I was wondering why I hadn't searched for a drawing session like this prior to executing my pulp pieces. These ladies were really "50s Nior". The Thursday session had a blues trio jamming in the background with a AfAm male with long dreds and a chunky redhead with porcelain skin.
Picture 1: Head in near profile. Charcoal pencil on watercolor paper. Good view of the lashes and hairdoo. dig the bow!
Picture 2: I tried some pen and ink, directly without pencil on watercolor to get the feel and to combat my need to control all aspects of the session. The model had a real baby face, which gave it a major Lolita vibe.
Picture 3: TOUCHDOWN! Nude football comes to SI! I like the theatrical nature of this pose, This was the first one of the sessions. Charcoal on watercolor paper
Picture 4: I broke out the Winsor and Newton watercolors on the second night. I wanted to try to get loose, but it didn't always work. This has pen thrown in, which i don't really like... perhaps I should just try to use a darker color with a liner brush to hit those same accents next time.
Picture 5: My favorite of the sessions. If I was a wise Illustrator, you would never see the other pieces posted here, and I would only show you this... It's got everything you want in a watercolor: Fresh, wet, vibrant, instantaneous.
Picture 6: Two models, Four Head and Torso sketches. These were 5 minute poses, watercolor on wc paper.