Friday, October 31, 2008

IF: Vacant... in the head

Zdepski's illustration for the Computer Delusion
I did this piece waaaaaay back - 1999. It was for an article called The Computer Delusion - It was a school assignment, to take a series of current magazine and journal stories, with all imagery removed from them, read and interpret them. This was from the Atlantic Monthly, dealing with dollars being funneled from library book purchases, teachers salaries, etc.. and placing it into computer learning and technology upgrades, at the detriment of students.

LAST MINUTE UPDATE: 10 years later, and I finally see who did the original illustration: Mark Fredrickson! Great Job... Different takes on the same story.

A fine exercise for illustrators in the making over at the University of the Arts in Philadelphia.
Mark Tocchet runs a great program there, and I would encourage any young artist interested in Illustration to check it out!

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Pulp: Dock Cutie, shot in the arm

Zdepski's grayscale version of Dock Shot Cutie
I have to keep up with Chad Grohman... He pushed me down and took my lunch money by cranking out TWO more Pulps for Vin DiFate. This is a revisited piece with a dock cutie in distress. My original version was very plain vanilla. The burning barrel and gunshot to the arm, as well as bloody hand print on the dress add the needed drama to the scene. I hope to have it underway, if not finished for NYC session. If I can't get my lunch money back, I may be able to get enough for a Twinkie or Snackpak Pudding.

RANT: I'm pissed at the Bursar's Office... They are yanking my Student Loan around, basically giving back a private Grant to Hiroshi Murata, since he threw my most recent tuition bill on his creditcard... their policy is to reimburse the creditcards, no matter what... this puts me in a very, very awkward position, hat in hand, going back to the Murata's. Total Screwing of their wonderful gesture. PISSED PISSED PISSED! Not a bit of help from the other people in power, either. EFFEN PISSED!

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Why I Like VA: Sunsets too

The area I live in is the Shenandoah Valley, north branch. It's the last great valley before you cross into the wiles of West Virginia. Same place that Stonewall Jackson sniped at the Northern troops with his hit-and-run tactics. The views are spectacular and dramatic from one day to the next. I often see weather patterns changing within the valley floor, with clouds scraping over the peaks to dump rain over on the Blue Ridge. This photo is two or three days after my morning photo, a few posts ago. My minister's-kids cousins jokingly refer to this as "Jesus Light", as seen on the brochures of every Baptist and Lutheran church. This shot is from the Food Lion parking lot in Strasburg VA, looking south and west towards the "Little Sluice", "Sugar Knob" and "Mill Mountain" group.

Monday, October 27, 2008

Warthog and Ocelot: REVISED Poster

Here's the revised pieces place in the poster artwork. The Reference is a bit "inside" the NYC area, since this was a poster for a joint Warhol and Basquiat show in '84. I'm adjusting it for my own uses, but trying to keep it recognizable for those that know and appreciate the original.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

A new day, a new decade

My darlin bride, Noelle and I celebrated our 20th wedding anniversary last night... with the kiddies. We went to dinner at the new/old Mexican restaurant in town to test out the new management and chef. We then rushed off to the Wayside Theater in Middletown VA for the Agatha Christie play, The Mouse Trap. The cast was very good, and even though it was a long night in a dark theater, the kids had a great time and chatted about it all the way home. 11:30 on a school night... straight to bed, do not pass go!

My bride and I will be getting away together in November, when I can take a day or two... leaving the kids with grandma. Dogs will be starving at home, trying to jimmy the chinchilla's door lock.

photo: why I love VA... early morning clouds over my Strasburg neighborhood... i live in a hilly development.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Jesco: My Favorite West Virginian

This is part one of four... i highly suggest the entire DVD.

WV standing tall and tapping on plywood. It's a fascinating piece. I encourage you to find out all you can about him, buy his shirts and start your own Elvis memorabilia collection.

Dig the black-eye about midway through

here's the stand alone link if you want to page through and discover a different reality: JESCO WHITE: DANCING OUTLAW

IF: LATEnight: Georgie rolling in at 10am on Sunday

rouge all mussed, hair all tussed... stinking of elderberry wine.

"Where did I leave my teeth?!!"

Ole' G-Dubbiayah needs to get to church in 20 minutes!

Illo Friday Fun!

oil on canvas - 11x14

Monday, October 20, 2008

Warthog and Ocelot: Promo Poster

zdepski's self promotional piece, andy warthog and jean michel ocelot
this is a self promotional piece, soon to be adjusted for an entry in the calendar of animal/artists. i plan on entering it into the society of illustrators, but i will need to tighten the ocelot's drawing up a bit more. the two portraits exist as two white and black charcoal drawings on clear gessoed cardboard. they have a yellow background, but that had been snipped out in photoshop and placed over a flat yellow fill. the red stars are also hand painted, clipped filled and floated on the yellow background. i'm trying to be as true to the original poster, but still keeping it hand-drawn and loose.

Friday, October 17, 2008

Ronald McGeisha

girls just wanna have fun.
Japan Probe has a pile of fun Japanese links and stories gleaned from the latest news sources in Asia. Of course, there are these questionable human-interest pieces that get tossed into the mix. always good for an eyebrow raising.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Debates the Third... Tapped out.

zdepski's sketches of the third presidential debate, october 15, 2008
Zdepski's sketch of Mark Warner, former governor of Virginia and Senate candidate
burned on debates. Still not nailing the Obama look. I don't know what it is. He changes with each degree of turn when you watch him. I'm drawing from life (motion TV), so i don't look at any still photos when I'm working these up. McCain is looking on, but Obama is a man of mystery. The one below is a pic of Mark Warner, former governor of VA, and current Senate candidate. I watched an interview with him and sketched as he talked. Very boyish in his look. I'll be glad when this stuff is over and we can get down to business of getting out of the quandary we're in.

Thai Embassy and Smithsonian Fun

zdepski's son, Niki and nephew Radd at the Smithsonian
zdepski's photo of the Lincoln life mask at the Smithsonian
zdepski's sketch in the Royal Thai Embassy
zdepski's quick sketch of dinosaur bones at the smithsonian
zdepski's sketch of the carousel ride near the smithsonian castle
first off... I'm 46 today... let's get past that and on to the updates. we car rallied into Georgetown and the DC mall for a whirlwind tour of the Thai Embassy and choice Smithsonian buildings... My nephew, Radd was officially made a "Rabinsky" with a few forms and official stamps by the Royal Thai Consulate down in beautiful Georgetown, right near the banks of the C&O canal. It was all very business like... kind of like being in the waiting room while you friend is in the salesman's office at the car dealership. I scanned the rack of tourist info for Thailand... quite beautiful and inviting... too bad there's so much turmoil over there. I drew a couple of pics of the other folks in the waiting room... everyone is filling out paperwork, or waiting for an official to return with a new form. We then hit the streets for a short walk to a Chinese food court... Chicken and rice and a lot of laughs. I piled everyone back into the cars and scooted down around the Lincoln Memorial, past the Washington Monument and Jefferson Memorial, a jig and jog to the Smithsonian Castle. I love that building... We walked into the West wing, the only one currently open to the public, for a tour of the eclectic: A tiny model of GORT, from the Day the Earth Stood Still, a stuffed snow leopard, carved ivory, Olympic medals, and my favorite of all time - The life mask of Abraham Lincoln, done two months before his assassination. We soaked in as much as we could, then we all held hands as we scampered across the parkway, the U.S. Capitol Building to our right; Washington Monument Obelisk on the left and the Natural History Museum before us... The kids had a blast, as did the adults. Dinosaurs, Elephants, Whales, Worms... The Hope Diamond... after a quick carousel ride for Radd and Niki, we were back to the cars and out of DC before the rush. What a nice day. I have a pile of reference material, and bunch of sketches to mess with.
Pic1: Son Niki on the seat, and nephew Radd on the shelf at the Smithsonian west wing
Pic2: Abraham Lincoln's life mask in bronze, Smithsonian
Pic3: Pencil drawing in the Thai Embassy of folks doing paper work
Pic4: Dino-Gesture drawings in the sketchbook from Natural History Museum
Pic5: The Carousel outside of the Smithsonian, in the parkway area.

Monday, October 13, 2008

Kids and Painting

How to involve children in art.
from my pal, shaun the sheep.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Yawn Faun: A bit tighter

zdepski's refined version of the yawn faun for the holiday card
got out my big magnifying glass and my pointy brushes. i don't like to work this tightly, but to paint this kind of a subject, in this style, i need to pull it together. i left some knife marks in the snow, but the body, face and details are all "point of the brush", as Murray Tinkelman would say. this is going to be my family and business holiday/christmas card. i need it to be non-denominational, so i went towards paganism. Yawn Faun is just getting ready for his winter's nap.

Friday, October 10, 2008

IF: Strings: Ames Piano Quartet

zdepski's illustration of the Ames Piano Quartet, Czech Piano Quartets, 2005
I did this illustration back in 05 for the Ames Piano Quartet. I wish it had better distribution, but it's a small label publishing a small quartet. It was digital from an initial line drawing. textures were basic, but i was just getting into digital at the time. I couldn't get the chamber players to pose for me, so I had my friend Nate pose in different postures, then adjusted the hair profile to reflect that of the actual musicians... some balding, others full head of hair. cheating... i know, but deadlines loom in our business.
One other "Stringy" illustration was one I did for the Baltimore Consort's Gut Wind and Wire, a 2007 release. They were kind enough to set up a still-life with their instruments as I did an oil painting of them. After the initial 3 hours on location, I took it back to the studio and tightened it up a bit, but overall it stayed the same. It's here: Gut Wind and Wire CD Cover

Artist Under Fire

and you think YOU have it hard! Read this, about Artist Len Smith
Perhaps the most fascinating part of this story has to his sketches of a tree were then the basis of a hollow steel model, then replacing the actual tree under the cover of night to spy on the Germans... I wouldn't have believed it if I had seen it in a movie. Didn't Charlie Chaplin do the same thing in one of his movies?

" He is volunteered for a mission in which he is disguised as a tree in no-man's land. He evades the German troops trying to cut him down for firewood and saves a comrade from the firing squad, escaping through a pipe which their rotund German pursuer cannot fit through. Charlie makes it through to the ruined cottage where Edna tends his wounds before the Germans arrive."

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Gettin' Political... again, debate sketches

Paul Zdepski's pencil sketches from the US Presidential Debate, Oct 7, 2008
An hour and a half later... I only really nailed one... that's McCain in the middle. I did a couple of overboard pieces that just look like crud, so i didn't post them. The lower right pick is SUPPOSED to be mcC, but he walks around like a caged chimp, so i missed the facial gesture. It works as a drawing, but not a portrait... obama is tough. i still haven't nailed anything on him, except the ears... low hanging fruit.

Sunday, October 5, 2008

Junkies: Meth Text

zdepski's watercolor painting, Meth Text
Zdepski's watercolor study of his dog, Tilly
Susan is texting her beau to see if his batch is done cooking. She could use a bit of tingle in her veins.
My watercolor technique is feeling a bit more relaxed. i found a sketchbook with some cold-pressed d'arches in it. the painting of tilly the dog is on loose d'arches 90 weight. the loose paper has a soft cream color, whereas the cold-press is a 88 or 90 white. i'm using a limited pallet. 2-5 colors, depending on complexity. i think this junkie is the most color i've used in one since i've started back into it, at 5. It's nice to work with clean colors... i spent a pile of cash on pigment, so i'm expecting results.
Methamphetamine seems to keep recurring as a theme, even if it's just a facet of the drug scene in my area. we just had another bust with 10 labs being found... these guys can't stop on their own. it owns their skull.

Friday, October 3, 2008

IF: Sketchbook: Vice-Presidential Debates

zdepski's sketches from the Vice Presidential Debate, Oct 2nd
SUGARY... Sara got the worst of my pencil last night... she reminds me of the woman behind the counter in planes trains and automobiles, or McDurmont's police officer in Fargo. Remember... she'd be driving the bus if Johnny's too drunk... I'm not sure where she'd turn off - Denny's? The World's Biggest Ball of String? Jimmy Swaggart's Church-arama?
Biden is a tough one too... tiny eyes... large forehead. Out of three versions, only one was worth posting here. He's much less sugary... more like lima beans.

Thursday, October 2, 2008

In the News - Winchester Star
Not a great story, or gallery hanging, or photograph of my work, but they spelled my name correctly, which is saying something!
The mill usually is a good venue. Some schlock, but plenty of good regional painters, and a few from across the USA. My painting friends, Bill Firestone, Peter Collins, Don Black, and long-time painting buddy Wilson Webb all show here, and is often the only time I see them in a year's time. We're so insulated and self-focused that we forget there are hundreds of other painters out there, going through the same struggles, show to show, venue to venue, gallery to gallery... all chasing the same bone.
(sorry, no link for Peter Collins... he's hiding down in Miami, painting in the everglades)

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Watercolor: Squiddly

zdepski's watercolor painting, squiddly
Here's a small study from my lunch hour on Monday, same day I colored Ice Kitty. This is on a sketchbook page, where the kitty pic was on vellum. I still like paper, but the vellum has possibilities... maybe if i stretch it? Has anyone stretched vellum and painted on it? Whawm-back...


J. Hubert and Robert Zilbub... the perfect ticket... of course, chaos is only a heartbeat away.

just thinking on my commute...