The Bicentennial Man

The Bicentennial Man - Inspired by the Isaac Asimov short story of the same name. A fantastic story about the nature of humanity and free will. 

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Whitetail Suburbia

 Suburban Deer 3 (ADT) 

Suburban Deer 3 (ADT) 

One morning I went out early for a walk. It was a cool and foggy dawn breaking into a sunny September day. I began my regular route and had not yet walked for more than 3 minutes before I was silently surprised by the sight of a young whitetail buck. He was casually grazing on the grass of my neighbor’s front yard. I stopped abruptly and stood staring and gawking in amazement. He raised his head with equal alertness and stared back. For a spec of time we stood and stared quietly in the fog. I was locked into looking but my senses called upon my mind to keep walking. Just as suddenly as I’d seen the deer a primal feeling of fear swept over me. It was very early in the morning. I saw no other people or cars on the street. I was by myself. And so I moved on. The young adult deer went back to his breakfast.

This was not the first time I had seen deer. I live in a suburban wooded area where they are commonplace. But that morning in September was the only time I was alone and on the same level as the deer. It was mating season and he easily could have charged and killed me. I had to fully respect the deer’s presence. In that moment I had to recognize his right to exist as a living being, not as nature sideshow or a garden nuisance.

I present to you my inspiration for this month: The Whitetail Suburban Deer. They eat our gardens and trash. They jump out in front of our cars.

They have also learned to live with us.  Enjoy more artwork here!

 

On the Way

It's been a very long hiatus from my blogging. I've taken much longer to revamp my website that connects to this blog than I thought. And although I have not yet completely finished my website overhaul, it's nearly done. So I figured I'd check in here and prove I'm still around.

In the coming weeks I will post my spring and summer happenings. Spring has always been my favorite season. Summer will have a lot of festivals and a lot of new artwork to talk about. I'm on my way.

Black History Month

Black Working Man 1 (2011)

Links to some of my favorite black visual artists in honor of Black History Month.

Charles White – His drawings are made with incredible draftsmanship. His work conveys raw emotion. White is one of the best social realist painters in American history, period.
   
Aaron McGruder – Creator of the comic strip “The Boondocks”. I’m a great fan of the strip, not so much the TV show. Funny and politically savvy. More info also on the IMDB.

Jerry Pinkney – Illustrator of children’s books and novels since the mid 60s. His images burst with color, movement and emotion. He is a master storyteller. A great video about his work is here at the Norman Rockwell Museum.

Kara Walker – Best known for her disturbing and haunting cut-paper silhouette installations, she’s a master of story and composition. She is very clever in her use of positive and negative space.

Aaron Douglas – A great illustrator mostly associated with The Harlem Renaissance. His conceptual illustrations are still reprinted and republished to this day.

The Deep Connection


[ Passion (2010) by Lynne Margeaux ]

Is it just me or does love tend to be the least understood emotion?  It seems we have a good understanding of what it means to hate, to be sad, to be angry. But love, although not completely misunderstood, is definitely less understood. Why I’m not sure. Maybe it’s just because we tend to focus on the negative more so than the positive aspects of life. Maybe it’s due to the fact that love can get mixed up with other emotions, like lust, anger, fear, and jealousy. I’m not certain that is the reason either. Regardless of what the causes or reasons may be, love is still the most mysterious and (in my opinion) the most powerful feeling a human being can experience.

All the arts echo this confusion of understanding about love. All of our stories about love seem to involve some level of awkwardness, obsession, lunacy, and pain. Cupid shoots a weapon usually used to kill into unsuspecting mortals and wounds them with the overpowering feeling of love/lust. All the romance movies nowadays are comedies, very awkward comedies. Romeo and Juliet die tragically for their love. All the best love songs have a sense of begging and longing in them. Family love is portrayed as hectic, goofy, and crazy on television shows and in film. Even friendship, like Sam and Frodo in The Lord of the Rings and Gilgamesh and Enkidu from the epic tale of Gilgamesh, are great affairs of love, heartache, and folly.

The only common denominator I can see that may begin to describe love is the connection. The deep connection that comes from knowing yourself, allowing others to know that self, and in turn being trusted enough by others to know their selves as well.

What do you think?

This Valentine’s Day weekend, I wish for everyone to remind themselves that love is about the connection, not just chocolates, cards, diamonds, and roses (although those things are nice too!).

Happy Valentine’s Day!

Proud Fire Providers


“The fire was a success. He was safe. He remembered the advice of the old-timer at Sulphur Creek, and smiled. The old-timer had been very serious in laying down the law that no man must travel alone in the Klondike after fifty below. Well here he was; he had had the accident; he was alone; and he had saved himself. Those old-timers were rather womanish, some of them, he thought. All a man had to do was keep his head, and he was all right. Any man who was a man could travel alone. But it was surprising, the rapidity with which his cheeks and nose were freezing.”

This is a passage from one of my favorite stories, “To Build A Fire”, by Jack London. It’s the story of a man who is traveling in the middle of winter in the Klondike accompanied by a native husky. He wouldn’t listen to the old-timer, to the dog, or even to his own body about the dangers of traveling alone in these conditions. This story comes to mind every time I see videos on TV of cars sliding and crashing into each other, unable to avoid one another on the icy roads.

In the northeast and here in the mid-Atlantic, we’ve been hit pretty hard by winter’s wrath. While New York and Boston have already exceeded their average snowfall rates, the Baltimore-Washington region got its first significant snowfall of 6-10 inches… during the evening rush hour! It was a hot or more appropriately, a cold mess! I was glad I didn’t have to be out there.

I am always intrigued by people who are shocked at how vulnerable we are to the elements of nature. Just because you have a 4x4 truck, doesn’t mean you can drive as if the roads are clear. Just because the city has snowplows and salt in supply, doesn’t mean the city will get to your house as soon as the storm has ended. We have better radar technology to forecast the weather, and we have heated cars and heated houses. But a storm’s timing and intensity is still somewhat unpredictable and therefore very dangerous. The story “To Build A Fire” is a great reminder to respect that fact. To realize that although we are indeed able to make fire, our mastery of fire is not a guaranteed protection against the hostile elements of nature.

I won’t tell you exactly what happened to the man in Jack London’s story, but I will say these words were his last thoughts, “‘You were right, old hoss, you were right,’ the man mumbled to the old-timer of Sulphur Creek.” Meanwhile, the husky dog that had made several attempts to rush the man along survived. We are proud fire providers and that’s okay. But we are also mortal.

The Squirrel


I think I may be one of the few people who actually like squirrels. Maybe it’s because I have no gardens or grassy lawns I have to defend. In any case, I admire their creativity and ingenuity when come to acquiring and storing food. And this tenacity or audacity if you will, makes them one of the few animals on the planet that can thrive alongside humans. Let’s face it we destroy natural habitats like cancer kills cells, yet squirrels still flourish. Of course rats flourish, and pigeons flourish but I’m not talking about those animals today. There are not a bunch of YouTube videos featuring pigeons set to music. (Is there?)

Anyway, aside from all that they are one of the most fun and readily available animals to draw. Most squirrels are used to humans and will stop and stare when confronted by a human one-to-one. They have amazingly dynamic poses of climbing, digging, running, and eating. Just don’t feed them unless you want a friend for life.

Poster print available at my store on Imagekind.com