It’s been quite a spring!

My wife definitely has a green thumb, which means I get to enjoy the sight and aroma of many different types of flowers. This year I was moved to paint – or at least attempt to paint – some of them: irises, lilies, and a flowering variegated bower vine. I rendered all of them on an iPad Pro with an Apple Pencil using Sketch Club and iColorama.

Iris.

Lily

Flowering Bower Vine

The #TimeVirus

The digital art piece I present below, entitled The #TimeVirus, was partially inspired by the following short talk by Eckhart Tolle, in which he refers to the experience of grief and the virus that will finally get us all, if another virus or something else doesn’t get us first, time.

I painted the Neanderthal image on an iPad Pro using Procreate and posted it back in 2016, (see post here including details on the Neanderthal skull). I created the background in Tayasui Sketches and “liquified” it in Procreate in 2019 (see that image further on down). Tolle’s talk prompted me to combine and adjust the two in Procreate and then iColorama as a way of making sense of the corona virus and reactions to it.

I hope you like the image and especially Tolle’s talk!

The #TimeVirus

Liquified Background

Liquified Background

 

Spending Extra Time with Those Who’ve Departed

In the last couple of weeks I’ve spent a fair amount of time on my iPad Pro rendering digital paintings of two friends, both musicians, both from Athens, OH, Jerry Schaffer and Bruce Ergood, who’ve recently passed away, and it’s beginning to become clearer or me that doing so, painting portraits of the dearly departed, creates an unusually liminal opportunity for me to spend bonus or lagniappe time with them. I’ve done it before, see my posts on Cuthbert or Lotfi, two examples that immediately come to mind; however, I’m only now coming to terms with certain dimensions of this experience.

The experience is obviously built on fond memories. Memories surface that evoke thoughts and feelings tied to familiar facial characteristics and other reminders as reflected in the photo references I use. Beyond that I can’t really add much; except that “muscle memory” and “day dreaming” are involved. It’s kinda’ improvisational and transcendental. In some ways it’s memory spilling into the Present Moment and being resurrected forever in the Now that tends to constantly escape us but that’s always there, or rather Here.

It was helpful in many ways having conversed by phone with Jerry’s Robin and Bruce’s Jane before digitally and free-handedly painting the portraits and experiencing this unexpected, extramural connection. The immediate grief embedded in those conversations continues to reverberate, which is helping me reprioritize things in my life as I age and, more broadly speaking, as we move into uncharted territories in relation to COVID 19. In both conversations this grief was scrambled and amplified by the pandemic, making what is already painfully real – really painful. And yet, grief has a way of shedding a new light on an old world, since, afterall, there’s no turning back.

Rest in Peace, Jerry (see obit):

Rest in Peace, Brucito (see obit):

Cartoon Clean Up

At the suggestion of some of you, I’ve tried submitting cartoons to the New Yorker, but it’s tough. I submitted Rear View Mirror Check on Jan. 2, 2018, and it was “declined” on Feb. 14, 2018. So, you see, it took them a month and a half to notify me.

There are ground rules and so many implicit evaluation criteria to consider. First, anything submitted cannot be published anywhere else. That means not posting it on this my illustroblog, not on FaceBook, not on Instagram, nowhere! Then there are the other criteria related to quality, irony, humor, timeliness, etc.. Good editorial cartoonists are brilliant, fast, courageous, and otherwise remarkable people in so many ways. What they do on a daily basis blows my mind. They inspire me to keep trying; and, they crack me up.

Besides Rear View Mirror Check, I’ve submitted 10 others from Sept. 2018 to as recent as March 14, 2020; and, I’ve withdrawn all ten of them for one reason or another, mainly because enough time had expired that the cartoon was no longer timely or relevant. Then I toss them into my Trump Gallery and throw them up on FaceBook and Instagram.

So here are 5 cartoons (with submission date) that I withdrew today (March 23, 2020), starting from oldest to newest.

Submitted: Feb, 20, 2020

Ditto Birds

Submitted: Feb. 29, 2020

That Hat

Submitted: March 1, 2020

Start All Over

Submitted: March 8, 2020

While You’re At It

Submitted: March 12, 2020

Nobody But ME

Jack Fine at the Old Point Bar in Algiers Point

In 2005 Ann and I moved to New Orleans and wound up buying a house in Algiers Point, 420 Alix St. to be exact. I especially loved the “420” part from the start. Good thing because, little did we know, Hurricane Katrina hit four months after we got there, but that’s another story. A few weeks before Ann and Jaxin showed up in late April, I had already moved in and started getting as much ready around the house as possible for their arrival. On my second night there, I strolled down to the Old Point Bar just a few blocks away. There was live music, so I found a place at the bar and ordered a beer. I can’t remember the name of the band, but I loved their sound. I sat there sipping my beer and listening to the music, and all of a sudden, the guy sitting next to me – at the bar – started playing his trumpet. Yes, he started playing his trumpet from his seat at the bar right next to me! I remember thinking, “live fucking music!”

That man’s name was Jack Fine. Look him up! He’s a legend. I’m not the one to tell you who he is or who he was. I just know he’s been all over. We talked during a break, and every time I’d see him after that, on a regular basis here and there, we’d greet each other and continue the same conversation. I got to meet the man before the legend.

I was thinking about Jack Fine earlier today, so I searched Google for a photo so I could sped some time with him, drawing him from a reference photo from this source. Ladies and gentlemen, Jack Fine:

Jack Fine

Jack Fine

If you know or knew Jack Fine or of you’re familiar with his music/life, please use the comment section to share your two cents. Thank you.

Technical; I drew the image free hand using the photo at the embedded link above on an iPad Pro with an Apple Pencil using the Sketch Club app along with a tweak or two in a cool iPad app called iColorama.