Posts Tagged ‘sketches’

His "Star Begotten" seems to predict human gene manipulation.

This has been one of those days I anticipated when I made this committment (to make a sketch a day for 365); those days that present challenges that make blogging problematic. Today it was a massive hemmorhage in the mobile mansion’s  main water pipe. We called in an RV expert. He arrived at 9AM. Unfortunately he was overaged and overweight and wanted nothing to do with the demanding  job which involved crawling behind and under the RV. He took one look at the damp, dark, weedy underbelly of the mansion and said, “I think I’ll pass on this one.” 

After letting our fingers walk through the yellow pages, we came up with another candidate. He was thin enough to crawl into the space where the leak was located and had the will to do so. We listened to him carry on an active conversation with himself, sometimes breaking into song, for close to three hours, wondering if we had made the right choice. But in the end he got ‘er done.

At any rate, here it is 10:35PM and I am just now posting, Those Amazing Humans, #26, H.G.Wells. War of the Worlds has always been a favorite of mine. I enjoyed both film versions, read the book, the Classics Illustrated, and listened to the Orson Wells broadcast that caused such a furor. I even have an LP and CD of the groundbreaking radio show. But one of his novels that is all but forgotten (and one of my favorites) is “Star Begotten”. “Star Begotten” is the story of one Joseph Davis, an historian, who begins to suspect that his own son and other chosen children have been purposefully altered by a bombardment of “cosmic” rays of an unknown origin in the reaches of outer space. Although it is later surmised that it might be the malignant interference of those pesky Martians again, when all the “alterations” prove to be positive in nature: increased intelligence, robust health and a universal dedication to the improvement of humanity, Professor Davis begins to believe that this generation of Star-begotten youths might be the only hope for a civilization bent on war and self-destruction.

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Listen to the beauty

This sketch in no way depicts the beauty of Majora Carter, the African-American environmental justice advocate and economic consultant from the Bronx. I think you have to see her move and speak to get the full impact. This morning I visited the “Democracy Now!” show for the first time in a while and was fortunate enough to catch part of a speech she made at a TED (Technology, Entertainment, Design) Conference in Las Vegas in 2006. I laughed, I cried, I marvelled at her speaking skills.

“Newsweek” has named her one of “25 To watch” and one of the “century’s most important environmentalists”. You can still catch the speech on the “Democracy Now!” website. Check her out!

"I'm so pretty!

Two of my favorite guys are the only guys who have said, “I’m so pretty!” and truly lived up to it. One of them, Richard Penniman, is depicted (left) in a serene moment, a boy and his process. Already the manic gleam, not yet full blown, but plenty enough to get me upset in a good but mysterious way at 12 years old. There was something so raw and powerful in those legendary old recordings. I loved to see that newest yellow and black Specialty label, couldn’t wait to flop another Little Richard pulse pounding electric performance on my trusty 45 spinner and get his New Orleans Jungle Boogie going. Big talk for a pre-pubescent rocker, huh?

The other is Muhammad Ali. He would definitely be on my to-do list, if I had one. Remember, this is a totally random process.

My slogan is (and feel free to use it if you live far away):  “Float like a jellyfish, sting like a jelly fish.” I know, not very catchy, but that’s how I roll.

Billing myself as Little Wretched, I shamelessly imitated my hero at an 80s Halloween gig.

I realize that appearing in blackface may be interpreted as racist behavior. But, in this instance nothing could be further from the truth. I absolutely idolize Little Richard and this event was my attempt to be him for an evening. It was fun! Ooh, my soul! Shut up!

Bonus sketch! Gojira (AKA, Aldo) sticking his head out of the car window.

Blowin' In The Wind

Al Gore, Man of Mystery

Al Gore is a hard one to figure out. I drew this sketch of him from a photo I took when he visited Guerneville to see what he and Bill could do to help us citizens of the lower Russian River pull ourselves from the floodwaters, dry out and get on with our lives. We are no strangers to the routine. I can’t even remember which flood he visited, the 1995 or 1997. I would assume it was the one closest to an election year. But I will not complain because I was a recipient of government assistance, and it really did help. There’s a positive association for you.

When he ran for office he seemed robotic at worst, deadly dull at best. In person he seemed more genuine, personable and focused, in the moment, not grandstanding, ready to deal with uncomfortable questions from the crowd.

Then he becomes the master showman/spokesman for global warming, wins an Academy Award. Could the Nobel Peace Prize be on the horizon?

Boom! He’s an adulterer, and he and Tipper are history.

What’s next, a fold-out pictorial in “Playgirl” or seclusion in a Tibetan Monastery? Only time will tell.

Mad Artist, Will Elder, Amazing Human #7

We end our first complete week of Those Amazing Humans (TAH) with a TOTH (Tip Of The Hat) to a very influential artist, Will Elder.

By the time I had finished junior high (or middle school, as it’s called these days) though I was still attending the First Baptist Church on a semi-regular basis, my sense of humor was becoming increasingly Jewish.

How did this happen, you ask? By constant exposure to Mad Comics (later Mad Magazine) and particularly the art and writing of Will Elder and Harvey Kurtzman, that’s how! Hoo hah! 2 Live Jews!

Notice how this sketch done from a very old photo of a young Elder looks a little like Jon Stewart of “The Daily Show” fame. Coincidence? Not likely. Stewart is just the latest of a long line of hilarious Jews that can be traced all the way back to Charlton Heston and Henny Youngman.

This project was originally intended to be only an unabashed copy-cat redo of “Julie and Julia” with me being Julie and Julia (with a few extra personalities thrown in to boot). Old dude does X thing for 365 days creating quite a stir among media cognoscenti, and generating enough cash to insure his dignified retirement for a few more years.

But even after only the few lazy, crazy Summer days I’ve engaged in this strange pursuit (Those Amazing Humans Sketch Book) I can confidently predict that it will be a life-changing experience. Thus far it’s only caused me scheduling problems. I have so many idle pursuits, it’s hard to find time for them all.

This one though is starting to creep up on me. I actually caught myself giving a little consideration to possible thematic approaches, holiday special choices, birthdays, paid requests, and an expanding universe of possibilities. What criteria should I use for future choices of the sketches I do? Should there be equality for men and women, inclusion of all races, creeds, and even the strangest beliefs? Or should I just continue in the random, much more comfortably loose way which has characterized my behavior thus far?

Like, why Ann Peebles? Because she is something else! I love her voice. She is powerful, passionate, funny, moving and outrageously dressed (in a good way). Most remember her for her big hit, “I Can’t Stand the Rain (Against My Window)”, but she definitely has more to offer than that. Especially when you can see her perform, so please check out available vids at your favorite source for this sort of thing.

Soul-stirring R and B Songstress, Ms. Ann Peebles

What do you mean it's nap time?

I am a big fan of surrealist art, so naturally I dig Dali. I remember as a child seeing him on TV, doing commercials, talk shows and game shows. I was pleased to see a good sampling of these appearances archived on YouTube. The “What’s My Line” clip is really a hoot, as is the Lanvin Chocolate commercial. Worth checking out.

I also attended a fabulous display of his jewelry creations in a  Palm Beach gallery a few years after his death. God just doesn’t make artists like this anymore.