The Child and the Ape

The Child and the Ape

The Child and the Ape. Micron pens on Strathmore Bristol 300 Series Paper. 12″ x 12″ *

This piece took some especially crazy turns as I was creating it, but I’m pleased with the final result, especially the non-abstract elements such as the crawdad and the human figure. It references the killing of the gorilla Harambe, who was shot by staff at the Cincinnati Zoo after a three-year-old child fell into his enclosure. This was as close to a no-win scenario as any I’ve ever seen, and though I believe the zookeepers made the right decision, my heart aches for Harambe, and for the staff who had to end his life. That must have been one of the hardest things they’ve ever had to do.

* Note that this photo is very slightly different from the final product; I realized after I’d taken it that I’d forgotten to include the nib in my signature, which I added post haste.

Hidden Faces

Hidden Faces

Hidden Faces. Micron Pens on Strathmore Bristol paper. 4″ x 4″

This is another piece in the collection I’m creating in my spare time at my ‘real’ (read: pays-the-rent*) job. To be candid, I’m not especially thrilled with this one, but there are a few things with which I’m very happy (e.g., can you find the finger?) This was the first one I created in my role as a Scrum Master at MaritzCX.

* I should note that I really love my work! Being a Scrum Master at a forward-thinking software shop like MCX is a very rewarding way to make a living.

Primitive Hawk

Primitive Hawk

Primitive Hawk. Micron Pens on Strathmore 300 Series Bristol Artist Tiles. 6″ x 6″

I started this piece with the intention of recreating a particularly pleasing aspect of another piece that I’d started but discarded; that being the wings and tail of the hawk. After they were laid in, the rest flowed very naturally. I’d intended to make this part of a larger composition (hence some of the lines run off the page), but that’s still a fantasy at this point in time. The imagery of the hawk’s head, tail, and wings reminds me of traditional art from the native people of Southeast Alaska (the Tlingits, Haidas and Tsimshians); hence the title.

Blood and Tears

Blood and Tears

Blood and Tears. Micron pens on Strathmore 300 Series Bristol paper. 12″ x 12″

This piece evolved over several weeks, and was created to honor both Philando Castile (who died at the hands of a police officer in St. Paul; the investigation is ongoing), and Brent Thompson, Patrick Zamarripa, Michael Krol, Lorne Ahrens, and Michael Smith (all police officers who were viciously murdered by a gunman in Dallas.) In spite of the grim content, I’m satisfied with most of the technical aspects of this piece, notably the larger tessellation and the tadpole. I’m designing a unique frame for it that might require trimming the excess paper surrounding the main drawing. If I find the time to complete that project, I’ll post a photo of the results.

Hawking’s Breakthrough

Hawking's Breakthrough. Micron and fountain pens on Strathmore 500 Series Bristol Plate 2-Ply. 11" x 11"

Hawking’s Breakthrough. Micron and fountain pens on Strathmore 500 Series Bristol Plate 2-Ply paper. 11″ x 11″

This piece took a while! The spring soccer season started (I coach two teams), plus I got laid off in the middle of producing it, so a lot of my spare (drawing) time got occupied with job-hunting. I’m pretty happy with how it came out – I like how I integrated my sig into the piece in a new way, and the realism elements look good. It honors Stephen Hawking, who (along with a number of other luminaries) is backing the Breakthrough Starshot project, an attempt to send small, light-propelled probes to another star system.

Monarch

Monarch. Micron 01 pens on Strathmore 500 Series Bristol Plate paper. 11

Monarch. Micron 01 pens on Strathmore 500 Series Bristol Plate paper. 11″ x 11″

 
I missed working on a square sheet, so I decided to cut some of my 500 Series stash down to size, and this is the first effort in that format. I’m deeply satisfied with this piece – I took a great deal of time refining the details, and it’s is arguably my best work yet, at least from a technical perspective. It celebrates the recent news of the rebounding population of Monarch butterflies, though they are not out of the woods yet – Please consider planting some milkweed that hasn’t been treated with systemic pesticides in your yard.

Carli’s Gold

Carli's Gold. Micron 01 pens on Strathmore 500 Series Bristol Plate paper. 11

Carli’s Gold. Micron 01 pens on Strathmore 500 Series Bristol Plate paper. 11″ x 14″

 
This piece honors the victory of the U.S. Women’s National Team in the Women’s World Cup of 2015. In particular, it celebrates the accomplishments of Carli Lloyd, who won the World Cup Golden Ball and the FIFA Women’s World Player of the Year, and scored a hat trick in the World Cup Final. I really enjoyed working on this, though it required a substantial amount of effort to complete. I’m especially happy with certain aspects that worked out well, such as the shading. There are a couple of weak points, but the overall effect is very satisfying. 

Junior Champ

 

Junior Champ. Micron pens on Strathmore 500 Series Bristol Plate Surface paper. 11

Junior Champ. Micron pens on Strathmore 500 Series Bristol Plate Surface paper. 11″x14″

This piece pays homage to Maya Ramirez, winner of the first Project Runway Junior design competition. Maya is a student at the Toledo School for the Arts, where one of my children is also enrolled. Unfortunately for Maya, I’m still experimenting with shading faces (I’m not especially thrilled with how her visage came out.) However, the model to the left is wearing one of her designs from the final episode at New York Fasion Week, and it looks reasonably pleasing to me. There are a number of other aspects of this piece I liked, so I’m calling it a keeper. 

Side note: This was the first opportunity I’ve had to work with one of Strathmore’s higher-end papers. It’s impressive how much more readily the ink takes to the page; the flip side is that it’s hard to be patient enough to let it dry (there are a number of smudges that will attest to that.)

Waveriders

 Waveriders. Gelly Roll pens on Starthmore Postcard paper, framed in clear and black laser-cut acrylic. 6

Waveriders. Gelly Roll pens on Starthmore Postcard paper, framed in clear and black laser-cut acrylic. 6″ x 8″

This is a piece I did a while ago, and it’s still a favorite. I used the Glaze series of pens from Gelly Roll to make some of the borders really pop, and I had to mix the inks on the paper before they dried to get the colors I wanted.  The blending in particular was a huge hassle to get right, and filling in the large areas evenly with relatively small (and somewhat unpredictable) instruments wasn’t exactly easy, but I’m very pleased with the results.

Heart Asunder

Heart Asunder. Micron pens on Strathmore 300 Series Bristol Artist Tiles. 6

Heart Asunder. Micron pens on Strathmore 300 Series Bristol Artist Tiles. 6″ x 6″

This piece came out of a heartbreaking incident that’s too personal to go into, but caused me a great deal of distress; hence the subject matter. I especially like some aspects that were experiments in form and coverage (such as the flowers and vines.) Though I don’t think it’s my best work, it’s generally pleasing to me. If I were to do it again or come back to it, I might tweak the droplets to give them a bit more depth, and add some details to a few of the patterns.