Monday, November 29, 2010

IF: Savour

Zdepski's Church Lady drawing - Sing Rest Sing
"Savor the Flavor of the Savior" or "Sing-Rest-Sing"

I was at a religious service last week, and drew three pictures of the lady in charge of singing solos to karaoke tapes piped in over the loud-speakers. I always thought people that did that were kind of brave, or kind of nuts.

I can't stand singing in live situations... I hate musical theater, uncomfortable folk singer situations and campfire choruses. Perhaps because I was forced to sing in the church choir from early grade school through high school... when I rebelled and learned to mumble while pretending to sing.

Church lady isn't anything like that... She loves what she's doing, and doesn't give a hoot what I think. You go girl!

No malice meant here - she sang very well. I just can't be trusted with a pencil!

Three pages from my Strathmore sketchbook hastily fused into a wide image in Photoshop.
Click the pick to Savah the Flavah!

Monday, November 22, 2010

Gnome for Holidays Sketch

Gnome for the Holidays, sketch for Zdepski's Christmas Card, 2010

Gnome for the Holidays, sketch for Zdepski's Christmas Card, 2010
Forget the Jello mold Gnome. I'm going cute.

"Gnome for the Holidays"

Sketched during my lunch break - colored, and off to the printer by Wednesday.

To my friends who aren't on my postal mailing list: Download the Christmas and Holiday Card right here, right now!

Friday, November 19, 2010

my dear sister

Ellen among the Iris, by Paul Zdepski
I lost my biggest fan, protector, confidant and inappropriate out-burst'er today... My dear sister, Ellen. She passed away an hour and a half ago, in a hospital in New Jersey. She had suffered long and hard, but you would never have known it by her ability to find joy in every little thing.

I visited her in the Intensive Care Unit earlier this week, and we all had hope for her recovery, but the evidence showed the opposite. I drew her portrait in the hospital, while she was hooked up to the respirator, and intravenous tubes to various parts of her body. Even with those indignities, she looked peaceful and contented.

Ellen among the Iris, by Paul Zdepski

I sat with her and drew a portrait of her as a young girl of 13 years old, sneaking out into the garden in the wee hours of a summer's night. This piece is called "Ellen Among the Iris". She began her struggles at this age, and I wanted to show her in the un-bound joy she would so easily muster.

Tonight, I painted, cried and painted some more. She was a genuine love of my life... my dear sister. I miss you so...

Monday, November 15, 2010

IF: Burning

zdepski's portrait of Tillie as Hotdog
Tillie the Hotdog

not sure what this means. just did it on Saturday night - colored today after work.

it is what it is, my dog Tillie merged with a match-head - ghostly green flame.

Pencil drawing - Cintiq with Photoshop.
Click the pic to enlarge

Monday, November 8, 2010

District of Design

Paul Zdepski's interview on the District of Design blog
I've been profiled by the blog "District of Design", which is a Washington DC centric blog. I was surprised to hear they were interested in my work, since it's certainly not a slick and design oriented style, but I am glad they dig it.

Click on over to read the full interview. If you've been following my blog, you've seen the images, but there is a bit of history I tell that may not be known. Short and sweet with links to my sites and number... gotta love the web!

Friday, November 5, 2010

IF: Afterwards

Greg Zdepski jumping his bike over the Nellie, Paul Zdepski

Legend states: In 1963, my oldest brother Greg took an old woman's bike from 1938 down our hill, hit a dirt jump called "The Nellie" and proceeded to fly 30 feet into the air like a wounded pelican...

He hit the ramp with such force that the bike's front forks sheared off. upon impact with the ground, Greg's family jewels were driven into the now stationary framework...

He lay motionless on the ground... his junk crammed so deep into his abdomen, the by-standers thought he was dead.

...they scattered to the wind.

zdepski's pencil drawing of brother Greg's bike breaking while in the air.

The next in line, older brother Mark recounts after my posting:
It was a Sears bike that Mom had gotten w/ S&H green stamps just before the war. The jump was called "The Nellie", it was at the edge of Pete Schiable's lawn, at the intersection of the drive and the road. It was a steep dirt incline only about 12-15” high at about a 45 degree angle, but it could launch you to get air. The name probably derived from the first kid saying "Whoa Nellie" as he went over it in the dawn of kiddom. We (the observers in Pete’s lawn) used to exclaim "and he hits the Nellie!!", as the rider launched into the air, then we’d measure the distance, in a form of competition.

We’d reconstituted this bike from weather-beaten rust, got new tires from Clyde’s bike shop in Milford, and brush painted it red & black. On the maiden trip down the hill, Greg took charge and decided to go faster than ever before, starting in front of Mr. Curtis’ house (1/4 mile up the hill from Schiable's ramp). Pete & I waited in the lawn off to the side near the front stoop, it was a warm summer evening and I was laying down in the grass, light was failing. When Greg came into sight he was laid down, feet trailing behind, not even on the pedals, head down to eliminate drag, chest over the handlebars. At the moment that we exclaimed "and he hits the Nellie!!", the goose neck that holds the handlebar to the frame broke and Greg and the bike began to separate into slightly different trajectories. My distinct mental "snap shot" has Greg 6 or 8 feet in the air (probably exaggerated as I was small and was laying down), still climbing in a sitting position and holding the handle bars as the bike was falling away beneath him (kind of like 2001 space odyssey docking maneuvers). He and the bike were in silhouette (just like that scene in ET , he seemed to just keep climbing and traveling). After he hit on top of the bike he didn’t start groaning until after Pete & I had made our way over to him. Pete and I judged that he’d broken the record, but at a significant personal cost, because he’d broken his balls on the bike frame.

I think we repaired the bike, but only after months of searching for a replacement goose neck. I’ve laughed until I’ve cried in the embellished retelling of this story (I only chuckle when I type it).


preliminary sketch for Greg Zdepski jumping his bike
pencil in my canson, scanned and reworked in SketchbookPro and Cintiq - Full color illustration in the Corporal Punishment Series.

Click to enlarge the pain.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010


1954 ad from American Builder - Garage Doors
I found an old AMERICAN BUILDER magazine from October 1954 that my dad had in the attic. It's been kicking around the studio bookshelves for years. I cracked it open last night and found a pile of gems. The design ideas, advertisements and homes are really worth studying.

The garage door ad jumped out at me, firstly due to the garish designs, but secondly as a classic showcase of a full sample offering from a company displayed on one page. I remember the little magician on the lock mechanism of the garage door of our house, which was built in 1958.

1954 ad from American Builder - Bird Shingles

Our house had Aluminum Windows like the ones in this yellow and gray-tone illustration, too!

1954 ad from American Builder - Aluminum Windows

"Jackstraw!" - I love this interior shot! Look at that flooring texture with matching curtains! I'm going to make an Illustrator pattern from it... The color pallets in these ads are fantastic. Swatch time!

1954 ad from American Builder - Jackstraw Flooring

The masthead was cropped and placed on an image of the featured home, which came with blueprints in the issue. I want to have that house! It's a mix between Frank Lloyd Wright and George Jetson.

1954 ad from American Builder - Featured Home