Pods

Pods. Micron Pigma and Staedtler Pigment Liner pens on Strathmore Artist Tiles. 4" x 4"

Pods. Micron Pigma and Staedtler Pigment Liner pens on Strathmore Artist Tiles. 4″ x 4″

This is another in a series of small pieces I’ve created in my thinking time at work. I took a bit more time than usual going back through and addressing the details, which made it look very sharp and well-defined. I like the fact that it’s entirely abstract, which is a departure from my usual, and I’m especially happy with the density of the coverage. If I had my druthers, I’d rework some of the shading in spots, but I’m pleased with the overall effect.

Crystalfall

Crystalfall. Sanford UniBall Gel Impact pens on Strathmore 400 Series Black Artist Tiles. 6" x 6"

Crystalfall. Sanford UniBall Gel Impact pens on Strathmore 400 Series Black Artist Tiles. 6″ x 6″

This was the third in a series of experiments with some new pens from UniBall, and the first one that’s passable as art. The pens are brilliantly easy to use (the ink flows really well), but they’re coarser than I’m used to, which makes real precision difficult. Still, I’m happy with how this one came out.

Going Somewhere

Going Somewhere

Going Somewhere. Micron pens on Strathmore Artist Tiles. 4″ x 4″

This is the latest in a collection of small pieces that I’ve been creating in my spare time at work. I’m very happy with this one; I especially like how I was able to balance the flow and scale of the arrows to provide a sense of motion and depth, and the tessellation (which is the same as that featured in another recent drawing) came out well. There’s also a non-obvious EKG element I enjoyed creating that references some tests my daughter underwent to rule out possible explanations for some chest discomfort she’d been suffering. (All is well.)

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.