Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Drawing Raven

Raven at Argos
Charcoal on newsprint

On the eve of New Year's Eve, our Tuesday Night Drawing group model was Raven. Scraggly beard, massive sideburns, tattoos, a popular model in both New York and here, and, according to him, a rascal of epic proportions and a womanizer. Probably one of the nicest narcissists I’ve ever met. And hey, maybe the narcissist/womanizer thing is just part of his professional image. Suffice it to say, he had a very interesting face that was fun to draw.

Los Alamos Drawing

It was just your usual New Year's celebration gathering. Ten artists, four models, three hours of drawing. At the historic log cabin Fuller Lodge in Los Alamos, the former headquarters of an exclusive boys school. In the 1940s the Lodge became the headquarters of the top secret Manhattan Project {as in “atomic  bomb”).

Three of us from the Tuesday Night Drawing group drove up “The Hill” to Los Alamos for the Monday night special drawing event put on by the Los Alamos Life Drawing Group. Friendly people, great models, historic setting, and a great way to warm up for all that drawing that's bound to happen tonight, New Year's Eve.

Happy 2015.

Saturday, December 27, 2014

Another Angel Appearance at Argos

Another Angel Appearance at Argos
Digital print on aluminum
22" x 16"

Most artists, and even some models, are not aware of the angel wings that are visible during many of the poses at Argos Gallery. I never say anything, but I suspect that a couple of the other regulars have seen them too.

Thursday, December 25, 2014

The Tuesday Night Drawing Pillow

Woman with the Tuesday Night Drawing Pillow

The most recent Tuesday Night Drawing Group that meets at Argos Gallery happened on the night before Christmas Eve, which was a good excuse to gift a one-of-a-kind art pillow to the gallery. I scanned a sketch from an earlier December Tuesday Night Drawing session and had it printed on a pillow at

The official Tuesday Night Drawing pillow.

The opposite side of the official Tuesday Night Drawing pillow.

Customized gift wrap paper, also printed at

Saturday, December 20, 2014

Martes Noche Artistas

Madonna del Martes Noche Artistas Groupo
28" x 22"
Digital print on aluminum

An art print inspired by one of the two-minute sketches from last Tuesday Night's drawing group.

Artist and Romeo y Julieta
Charcoal on newsprint
Charcoal study for an etching.

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Tuesday Two Minutes

 Even though our Tuesday Night Drawing Group model was one of my favorites, most of my drawings of poses longer than two or three minutes were just bad. Some of my two and three minute drawings were OK, only because I didn't have time to think about it. There might be an art lesson there somewhere.

Sunday, December 14, 2014

The Real Santa Claus

I saw him with my own eyes. 

No fake beard. 


Mesmerizing smile. 

It had to be him.

I had an appointment in Abiquiu (the village an hour north of Santa Fe where Georgia O'keeffe lived) to smoke a ceremonial Cuban cigar with artists/friends Joe Hall and Doug Coffin. 

Upon arriving in Abiquiu I stopped at Bode’s (pronounced Bo - dees) General Store to do some immersive-culture stuff, like ordering a green chile cheeseburger.

Famous green chile cheeseburger at Bode's. 
Bode's slogan: "Here a long time." 
Since 1919 to be exact.

Near the cash register they were giving away free homemade cookies and punch, and taking free photos with Santa. An old-timer was playing guitar and singing Christmas songs. 

The line of people with their kids and Santa’s friendly smile made it pretty dang obvious that this was the real deal. Either that or Bode’s went to Central Casting in Hollywood and paid big bucks for a character actor to come to Abiquiu. So which explanation is more believable? Anyone? Anyone? Exactly!

Santa Claus at Bode’s General Store in Abiquiu.

After eating two-thirds of the giant green chile cheeseburger I drove across the Rio Chama and up the dirt road to Joe’s adobe. Joe and I walked across the dirt road, carrying three Romeo y Julieta Cuban cigars, fresh from London, to meet Doug at his studio, a journey of about 100 feet. Doug brought out a bottle of Port, then we went to the studio patio that overlooks Plaza Blanca, an awesome white canyon landscape made famous in several Georgia O’keeffe paintings (also known as The White Place). Since I brought the cigars, I got the patio chair where Doug’s pal Dennis Hopper would sit when they were smokin’ and chillin'. So we smoked and, as they say in Hawaii, talked story. A beautiful day. Maybe the last really perfect day before Winter sets in, Doug observed. 

Doug Coffin y Romeo y Julieta y Port

Soon after our chat turned to opera (specifically, the opera Otello that Robin and I attended in Germany), Doug gave me this LAOpera hat that he modified by adding a “heartline” to it. Very cool, I think. Very.

Since it’s gift-giving season I gave Joe, Teresa, and Doug a Happy Whatever drink coaster, 
featuring a self portrait. Note the nice mermaid wine glass. 
No, I didn't give them a nice wine glass, just a cheap coaster.

We finished the cigars, and the afternoon, inside Doug’s studio, chatting and feasting on his eclectic collection of art, artifacts, drawings, and photos. Joe and Doug were enthusiastic about my idea to organize a drawing event in Abiquiu, for which I’ve already talked to a couple of the Tuesday Night Drawing Group models who are interested and willing to make the trip. That'll be a project for early next year.

Joe and I walked back to his side of the dirt road where his-wife/my-friend/artist Teresa joined us in their studio, which is also full of amazing and beautiful art: metal art, jewelry, and wearable art. We discussed ideas for artistic collaboration, coming away with some very enticing ideas.

As I drove back toward Santa Fe after dark, I barely missed getting caught up in the EspaƱola Parade of Lights. Hundreds of cars parked on each side of the highway, bonfires, tents, families, all waiting for a parade of lighted floats that must be a local secret, since I’ve never heard of it down here in Santa Fe. 

Recap: a Cuban cigar while enjoying the view of Plaza Blanca; a glass of Port; art; green chile cheeseburger; a hat; coasters; friends; and yeah, Santa, who, up until today, I thought was a fairy tale.

Quite a memorable December day.    

Saturday, December 6, 2014

The Santa Fe Etching Club

Woman On Gold Sheets
30" x 24"
Digital print on paper

Argos, the gallery where our Tuesday Night Drawing Group meets, is also an etching studio, home of the Santa Fe Etching Club. I’ve recently become fascinated by etchings, engravings, and all sorts of intaglio printing techniques and I’m anxious to interpret some life drawings into etchings. I hope to spend a lot of time in the etching studio this month, learning about soft ground, hard ground, aquatint, and such. The drawing above is going to be one of my etching projects.