Apr 01 2010


Published by under reviews,shakespeare,sketchbook

I just saw ASP’s Othello. Unfortunately I missed the dress rehearsal for this show, so it was just a regular performance. Well, actually, it was a daytime performance primarily for local schools. It was kind of neat seeing Shakespeare with a bunch of high school students. I could sense their confusion at times, but for the most part they got into it. They were most audibly impressed by the fight scenes (very well-done) and the kissing scenes.

This is an emotionally powerful performance. Jason Bowen has the title role, and he starts off as a very mild and genteel Othello, but once Iago turns his mind to jealousy, his wrath is palpable. At the intermission the audience already knows Othello has fallen wholly into Iago’s trap, and it becomes almost an exercise in masochism to return for the second half and experience the tragic conclusion, wherein dread and pathos for Desdemona’s fate is amped up higher and higher before — well, if you haven’t already seen or read it I guess I shouldn’t spoil the ending, but it’s a Shakespearian tragedy.

The set design is interesting, but odd.  There’s a weirdly-shaped backdrop that has lines radiating out like cracks, not just across its surface, but out across the whole theater space (above the actors’ heads — see first two sketches). One of the kids sitting near me asked “what are those lines for?”, so at least somebody was paying attention. Most of the platforms are pointy triangles, and have more triangles cut out of them. I read it as a cracked-mirror metaphor, the whole performance being enacted in the cracked reflection of Othello’s broken love/trust. (Not bad, for what I’m sure is a tight budget for set design.)

As usual for ASP, the acting is excellent across the board. Ken Cheeseman does a great job with the juicy role of Iago, and I especially enjoyed Doug Lockwood as the inept Roderigo. It’s somewhat long, at almost 3 hours, and the parking is kind of tough around there. But the show is worth it. It only runs through this weekend, though, so hurry if you want to see it.

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Mar 31 2010

Connections to old New York trips (part 3 of 3)

Published by under landscape,sketchbook,travel

And finally, here are two drawings from Central Park — one I did two weeks ago, the other is from the 2007 trip.

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Mar 26 2010

Connections to old New York trips (part 2 of 3)

Published by under Uncategorized

I can’t really post about the Natural History Museum without showing some drawings of the huge fabulous dinosaurs in the atrium.

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Mar 25 2010

Connections to old New York trips (part 1 of 3)

Published by under Uncategorized

You know that that Glyptodont I blogged about last week? I was trying to think where I had seen one before, and I came across this page in an old sketchbook. I think that’s him, right there between Centrosaurus and Moschops. This drawing is from New York’s fabulous Museum of Natural History (which, incidentally, is right by the New-York Historical Society, where my work was featured in the big Slavery exhibition a few years back). We went there to see the butterfy house — more pics below! Not sure why I didn’t post these at the time.

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Mar 24 2010

Old Sketch of the Day #10 – Abstract composition

Published by under abstract,sketchbook

I went through a stage where I did a bunch of compositions like this, inspired primarily by Richard Diebenkorn. I really enjoyed the exercise, although I’ve never felt as personally connected to abstract work as to representation.

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Mar 22 2010

Pirates of the Carribean

Published by under reviews,sketchbook,tools & tech

I finally got around to watching the last POTC movie. The plot and editing were a complete mess, but of course it was visually very cool. I drew these in OpenCanvas 1.1, which is a fabulous freeware drawing program. It’s not very feature-rich, but there’s a lot of control over the behavior of the pencil/pen tool, and I think it gives better results for digital “inking” than any other program I’ve used. I tried coloring the shot of Geoffrey Rush with both OpenCanvas and ArtRage for comparison.

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Mar 19 2010


Published by under animals,sketchbook,tools & tech

I forgot how neat the Harvard Museum of Natural History is. Or to be more precise, I forgot how FULL it is. I remembered the awesome glass plant collection, the mineral room, and some cool fossils. But the collection of animals is MUCH bigger than I remembered. It’s a shame that a few of the large mammals are literally coming apart at the seams, but they have some really awesome dinosaur skeletons. Here’s one example, the Glyptodont.

(ink + Photoshop)

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Mar 18 2010

Wacky Characters

Published by under sketchbook

At one point I was thinking about doing a program for the wedding, illustrated with little funny characters like these. This direction seemed a little too silly, and ultimately we decided to scrap the entire program idea due to lack of time. But I still think these are fun.

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Mar 17 2010

Subway Baby

Published by under sketchbook

Here’s a cute little kid I drew on the subway (on the way to catch my train for NY last weekend).

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Mar 16 2010

Penn Station

Published by under sketchbook,travel

Due to signal problems on the Newark-NY line caused by the torrential rains Sunday, we got to languish in Penn Station for two hours, enjoying the absolute lack of either architectural ambience or SEATING OF ANY KIND, while we waited for our train. To those who tore down the magnificent Old Penn Station and designed this travesty I say, #@%$ you.

Also, it didn’t help that we both had colds. Not the best end to our NY trip, which was otherwise quite cool despite the uncooperative weather.

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