Birds have always intrigued me, and I'm happy to use them as a metaphor now and then. These images were commissioned in black & white, which of course is quite rare anymore in this Turnerized world. My approach has changed due to time constraints and is very evident when comparing these two illos. There just isn't the time on two hour turnovers to draw as finely as I used to.
Birds: Then and Now
A Coney Economy
I was thinking Coney Island when I proposed a theme for a series of illustrations running in the Wall Street Journal. The Bull and Bear are at it again as news of the economy gets grimmer by the day.
A few ideas were struck because they were deemed scary, but I'll recycle them elsewhere.
And finally, at the end of the section is an optimistic image of the bull ascending with anticipation.
Is anyone else having trouble getting their head around the constant talk of billions of dollars? And just when you feel like there might be a cieling to the billions, a discussion of trillions begins. And then there is this nagging feeling that no matter how much money we (taxpayers) throw at the problems (incompetence, fraud, gluttony), it's like shoveling it into a bottomless pit. Hence my idea for the current TIME commentary page on bailouts.
I've had occasions to illustrate commentaries, naratives, lessons and poetry, but never a prayer until now. The image for the WSJ accompanies a prayer said before each flight the author takes, believing it insures a safe passage.
The sepia bleed has been something I've been enjoying lately.
Pirates no longer resemble the iconic characters of Treasure Island, but the danger still exists for any ships navigating the waters off the coast of East Africa. There's no romance in the chaos born pirates of today, and drawing them, sans eye patch and peg legs, is no longer fun.
The sketch had the motley crew dregged up from the waters holding an assortment of weapons. I reasoned that they wouldn't be captive for long if they still had a means for violence, and so I struck them from the final version.
This alternative sketch draws upon the "walk the plank" idea. I was uncomfortable with the image and was glad they chose the other.
Arrrr...is there anything more interesting to draw than pirates? Ok...dragons and devils and deep sea fish, perhaps.
Autumn Falls Away
The Leaves are on the ground in Eastern Pennsylvania as we begin to turn our thoughts to Winter and our interiors.To Autumn by William Blake O Autumn, laden with fruit, and stain'd
With the blood of the grape, pass not, but sit
Beneath my shady roof; there thou may'st rest,
And tune thy jolly voice to my fresh pipe,
And all the daughters of the year shall dance!
Sing now the lusty song of fruits and flowers.
'The narrow bud opens her beauties to
The sun, and love runs in her thrilling veins;
Blossoms hang round the brows of Morning, and
Flourish down the bright cheek of modest Eve,
Till clust'ring Summer breaks forth into singing,
And feather'd clouds strew flowers round her head.
'The spirits of the air live in the smells
Of fruit; and Joy, with pinions light, roves round
The gardens, or sits singing in the trees.'
Thus sang the jolly Autumn as he sat,
Then rose, girded himself, and o'er the bleak
Hills fled from our sight; but left his golden load.
The Party is Over
This feels like a good time for our collective national conscience to pause and reflect about the current circumstances. Nothing should come as a surprise, given the neo con philosophies that have goverened us, blind faith in America's big casino - the stock market, and a sense of entitlement that led average citizens to live way beyond their means through credit debt. However, I'm feeling hopeful. In the context of history, a period of degredation, excess, lack of empathy, and injust war...is followed by an age of compassion and enlightened governing.
Not surprisingly, the majority of my work these days is divided between the election and the economy. Here are some highlights.