Recent Adventures and a New Venture


I have had several interesting drawing experiences over the past month and neglected to share them here. The first was soon after I had arrived in Los Angeles and attended a sketchcrawl arranged by the SoCal Drawing Room, a group that was initiated by Karen Winters and grew out of the Everyday Matters Yahoo! Group and has been a lot more active than anything we’ve managed to hold together in New York. If you live in the area, I urge you to get together with this group.
We started out in Union Station; the weather was a little unpleasant but we managed to do some drawing in the courtyard and then headed over to Olvera Street, the oldest part of LA where, wrapped in several sweaters and a cap, I found a patch of sunlight and drew the old market. We concluded by lunching on French dip sandwiches and sharing journals. It was amazing what a variety of lovely work the group members have produced and I left happy and inspired.

The following week, I visited the Drawing Club on San Fernando Rd. The Club was started in 2002 by Bob Kato who is also teaches at the Art Center in Pasadena. Bob had been giving workshops to a lot of the animators at Disney and Universal and decided to create a place where people could do life drawing and share their work. Each Thursday and one Sunday a month, a model dresses as a character and poses to a story theme. Scenes have included Jedi Knights, Borscht Belt stand up comedians, comic book heroes, divas, and the morning I attended, a boxer in training. It was an interesting scenario and during the three hour poses, I made a half dozen photos in ink and watercolor. Other artists worked in pastel, charcoal, oil, and even on their laptops. It was a blend of polished pros and complete beginners. I do love that buzz that comes from a room full of concentrating brains; time flies and suddenly you realized you are dehydrated, exhausted, and utterly satisfied and three hours have flown past.

Last Thursday, back in New York, my pal, Tom Kane told me we simply have to go to the Drawathon in Williamsburg, Brooklyn. I had seen posters around for the even atnd it certainly looked, well, unique. Up to a dozen models in bizarre poses with specially composed music deep in the heart of New York’s artistic hub. And the event is hard core: from 7 pm to 3 a.m. We arrived at The Flux Café on Bedford Street at 8:00 under a full moon and the room was hot, steamy and packed. The music was intense and blasting and at least fifty artists were at work and not a stool or a chair was available. Fortunately, our pal Butch had wrangled us a seat and so we fortified ourselves with Pabst Blue RIbbon and got to work. The theme of the first pose was ‘Graffiti’ and the models, one a buxom babe, the other a withered old man posed with spray cans. Next three three models posed with fabric straps and shrouds interpreting ‘Elasticity’. At 10 PM, a model dressed as Van Gogh, complete with a red cardboard beard, painted another model in the nude, and an hour later, two women, one apparently with scoliosis, created ‘Tango gestures’. At 12:30, after members of the audience were invited up to pose for various prizes, we left, sated and spent. It was one of my wilder drawing experiences, part art class, part rave, and I can’t wait for the next one.

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This has been a rough week for me but I appear to have survived it. One of several sickening things that happened was the total death of my trusty 17″ PowerBook. Earlier in the week, it absolutely refused to start and then I discovered that, because it’s three years old, my AppleCare contract has lapsed and can’t be renewed. I worked on it for three days, using every bit of software and friendly advice I could assemble, but it seems like the motherboard (its second) has gone south. My old PBook helped me write two books, five hundred blog entries, dozens of articles and billions of emails, and I’m sad to see it go. But I do love this spanking new Macbook Pro and it seems to write blog entries just fine (and man, it’s fast!)
Finally, I have the first Podcast ready to go. You can get it here. I urge you to subscribe and look for this symbol (probably in the news column on the left) for all future PodCasts. You can get it fed to your ipod like any other podcast (it may appear on the iTunes stores in the next few days) or just listen to it right there on the webpage.