"You and I have a rendezvous with destiny. We will preserve for our children this, the last best hope of man on earth, or we will sentence them to take the first step into a thousand years of darkness."
And the lights are going out at this minute.
Here’s an example of pure abstractionism—or more accurately, non-objectivism. A true non-objectivist piece has no direct reference to anything in the physical world, which means that if you ask, “Is that yellow thing a duck?” the answer will always be NO.
I have never really understood this kind of painting, but what does that matter? If lack of understanding stopped people from doing things, we’d never have experienced New Coke or Obamacare.
Anyone who has followed my Tumblr for a while will recognize this face. Of course it is Marci, seen here as I first discovered her.
Marci was the first of nearly 100 Tumblr models, and this was my first Tumblr portrait. I’m sure I must have posted it a long while ago, but since it has mysteriously vanished I decided it was time for an encore.
Short story: I was minding my own business when Marci materialized on my dashboard with her pixie face and her impossibly orange hair. I immediately asked for permission to paint her—fully clothed, I mean: For all I knew, she was still in high school.
I asked again—and again, and again—literally dozens of times. Some would suggest that I’ve painted her too many times. These are the same people who believe that there is such a thing as too many chocolate chip cookies.
I don’t even want to understand that kind of thinking.
Marcela: The Wine-Colored Dress
Of course it’s actually Marci, my stylish Colombian model. But here she is too well-dressed and elegant for a nickname, so we will inject a greater note of formality.
This large portrait was created in the late 19th Century French Academy style (the painter William-Adolphe Bouguereau was a particular influence) which faded with the arrival of Impressionism. Today, the names of the Academy masters are remembered only by art students, and often for purposes of mockery alone.
Certainly it’s true that their approach seems hokey to modern tastes: In an actual Academy painting, Marcela would probably be dressed in a silken toga, strumming a lyre while cherubs shower her with flower petals.
Actually, I wouldn’t be surprised if that really happens.
Line Art for Children’s Book Illustrations
I began my brilliant career as a children’s cartoonist. Here’s the line art for a few pre-digital pictures I created for a comical book about dogs.
Before the Bath
Here’s another nude in a style suggestive of 19th Century poster art and Japanese ukiyo-e woodblock engravings. There is a slight (simulated) embossed effect on some of the linework.
The palette is limited to rich sepia hues with a faint touch of lavender.
I was sketching a perfectly ordinary figure when suddenly this proud and passionate African queen began to emerge, demanding to be drawn instead. Given the fiery look in her eyes, I thought it best to cooperate.
Yes, she is a cartoon character; but it might be a good idea not to mention that in front of her. This is a lady who means to be taken very seriously.
She Ain’t Got Nothing But the Blues
This is Marci, and that’s what she claims. Well, don’t believe it: Marci is abundantly blessed with beauty, talent, taste and intelligence.
Plus, she has hordes of admirers. Plus, she can bake amazing cookies.
You cannot have cookies and the blues. This has been proven scientifically.