Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Whoa...SLATE!

So my birthday is June 4th, summer is my favorite season, June is my favorite month, and this is the month I found out that this project will be in a real art book. Just this morning, in a perfect way to close out this incredible month, Slate actually did an incredibly nice write-up about this project and about me! You can read it right here and the things they wrote about me were just amazing to read. Again, I am deeply humbled, enormously thankful, and really excited. Wow!

Alright, tonight's piece is taking longer than I thought so it will be posted tomorrow. This is only the second time I've tried to be a little realistic and the first time I've consulted some historical reference. The piece shows the blubber of the whale being peeled off, and it was such a difficult thing for me to imagine and visualize that I had to go searching for some point of reference. I liked what I saw and am trying to adapt that, with ballpoint pen no less, to my own Pequod and Starbuck and Stubb. You'll see tomorrow.

So, yeah...Slate! Man, what a great way to end June!

Of tattoos, Solar Brothers, French graffiti and more

In the last two weeks, there has been quite a bit of interesting news. First, and most excitingly, Daryl L. L. Houston, the man behind the Infinite Zombies blog among other things, has gone and gotten an amazing Moby-Dick-inspired tattoo based on my own art, the illustration for the Fin-Back Whale from page 131 in the “Cetology” chapter. This is a first for me, and it is an incredible honor. Skin lasts a lifetime, and knowing that someone thinks highly enough of my own art to permanently ink it on their own body is really just an amazing feeling. Daryl was kind enough to send along a photo of the work shortly after completion, and here it is…























As always, with any tattoo, modifications and simplifications need to made to adapt the work for the medium of skin and flesh. My original illustration was quite large and densely detailed and those details are just impossible to transfer to skin without muddying the image. My wife has quite a few tattoos and we’ve had an opportunity to talk at length with several very talented tattoo artists. I think the modifications made to the image for Daryl’s tattoo actually look exceptionally good, and overall I think the tattoo is just incredible. I’m a bit envious, and even more humbled and honored that Daryl chose my art to live with for the rest of his life. That really means a lot. Even my wife doesn’t have any tattoos that I designed, and she’s got quite a few tattoos! When this project is finally complete, I plan on getting a large tattoo of my own to commemorate this journey. I’m not sure yet exactly what I will get but it will involve a whale and a harpooneer, although probably not Ahab. I’m not sure if I want to be marked by that madman for the rest of my days. I’ve got a long way yet to go anyway, so for now, I’m content to simply gaze at Daryl’s wonderful piece and think again about how cool it is that my art was turned into a tattoo.

Next, Kevin Bramer, who I know as Whitey, of the comic and zine store and review site Optical Sloth has written a wonderfully favorable review of my most recent art zine “The Solar Brothers, Volume II” (hand spraypainted covers, sewn Japanese stab binding, xeroxed internal pages) and you can see the review here. I finished this zine in April of this year so I would have it to sell at Columbus, Ohio’s S.P.A.C.E. (Small Press and Alternative Comics Expo) and it was received rather favorably. Unfortunately I am all sold out of this and every other zine and comic I’ve ever made, so they are no longer available. Still, Whitey’s review shows the cover and has some nice details, so check it out. Also, there may yet be some very intriguing developments involving these Solar Brother illustrations and the work of an immensely talented poet I know, but more work needs to be done.

Lizzyg of France, the woman behind the always intriguing blog voicenovoice, posted about a rather astounding bit of graffiti she recently came across in this blog entry. She wrote that the graffiti reminded her of me and this project, and after looking at the photos she posted I can see all sorts of almost eery thematic similarities. There are squid, octopi, whale like shapes, huge looming faces, and all sorts of other strange images that look in many ways like they could have been illustrations for Moby-Dick. It is well worth checking out.

I've finally gotten around to updating My Art For Sale page and there is a small handful of newish stuff - two Solar Brothers and a few other things. It's strange but other than these Moby-Dick illustrations and two or three older pieces that my wife really wanted to keep, all of my original art has been sold, traded, or given to friends. Really, the vast majority was given to friends or sold really really cheaply to friends, but it's still a bit strange to me that these pieces are physically gone from my life forever. I guess that's necessary though, and it keeps me focused on making new work which is essential.

Last, I have a new post up (from Monday) at the Infinite Zombies blog which you can read here. This one examines the three mates – Starbuck, Stubb and Flask – and how I conceptualized them. I’ll have a few more posts up over there this week, and then sadly (for me) the blog will be turning to other works of literature.

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

MOBY-DICK, Page 294

Title: ...to this block the great blubber hook, weighing some one hundred pounds, was attached.

7.25 inches by 10 inches
ballpoint pen on found paper
June 29, 2010

Monday, June 28, 2010

MOBY-DICK, Page 293

Title: They viciously snapped, not only at each other's disembowelments, but like flexible bows, bent round, and bit their own; till those entrails seemed swallowed over and over again by the same mouth, to be oppositely voided by the gaping wound.

8 inches by 7.5 inches
ballpoint pen on found paper
June 28, 2010

Saturday, June 26, 2010

MOBY-DICK, Page 291

Title: But no doubt the first man that ever murdered an ox was regarded as a murderer...

6.75 inches by 8.5 inches
acrylic paint, ink and marker on found paper
June 26, 2010

MOBY-DICK, Page 290

Title: It is upon record, that three centuries ago the tongue of the Right Whale was esteemed a great delicacy in France, and commanded large prices there.

7.75 inches by 5 inches
ink on found paper
June 25, 2010

MOBY-DICK, Page 289

Title: "Up dere," said Fleece, holding his tongs straight over his head, and keeping it there very solemnly.

5 inches by 7.75 inches
acrylic paint, ballpoint pen, ink and marker on found paper
June 25, 2010

Friday, June 25, 2010

MOBY-DICK, Page 288

Title: Faintly smacking his withered lips over it for a moment, the old negro muttered, "Best cooked 'teak I eber taste; joosy, berry joosy."

5 inches by 7.75 inches
acrylic paint, ballpoint pen and marker on found paper
June 24, 2010

MOBY-DICK, Page 287

Title: "You is sharks, sartin; but if you gobern de shark in you, why den you be angel; for all angel is not'ing more dan de shark well goberned."

5 inches by 7.75 inches
ink and marker on found paper
June 23, 2010

MOBY-DICK, Page 286

Title: Sullenly taking the offered lantern, old Fleece limped across the deck to the bulwarks; and then, with one hand dropping his light low over the sea, so as to get a good view of his congregation, with the other hand he solemnly flourished his tongs, and leaning far over the side in a mumbling voice began addressing the sharks...

5 inches by 7.75 inches
ballpoint pen, ink and marker on found paper
June 22, 2010

Monday, June 21, 2010

The best and hugest announcement ever!

I have some very exciting news to share! All 552 of the illustrations I am making for this Moby-Dick project will be collected into a real art book, to be printed by the fine publishers at Tin House Books!

This is really thrilling for me in so many ways. I never ever in a million years would have expected this to happen at all. It certainly wasn’t my intent when I began this project, and even when some friends suggested that I investigate it, I just didn’t think it was a possibility. I think what makes me the happiest about this all is the fact that now anyone and everyone who has been interested in this project can own all of the (eventual) 552 illustrations for a very reasonable and affordable price, right on their own bookshelf to look at whenever they want. The book will be able to stand on its own as an artifact of this endeavor, a permanent record. It is also an honor, and a humbling experience, to be able to contribute something small to the enduring legacy of Herman Melville’s monumental novel.

I don’t have many details yet, but I will continue to share them over the coming months as things become clearer. Right now, at this pace, I expect to finish these illustrations some time in March of 2011. Maybe a bit sooner, maybe a bit later, but too far in one direction or the other. Apparently book publishing, especially for a project of this magnitude, can take some time so the book will not be available until some time in very late 2011 or early 2012. I know that seems a long way off, but when you consider that I’ve just crossed the halfway point in my own illustrations, it actually seems quite soon. More details, such as format, page count, price and so on will follow whenever I learn them.

As always, I owe a huge debt of gratitude to a few people who made this book possible. First, and always, nothing would be possible without the love, support, encouragement, critique and friendship of my amazing wife. I can’t emphasize enough how she is really such a crucial part of this endeavor that it simply wouldn’t be possible without her. Second, I owe an avalanche of thanks to artist and illustrator Sophie Blackall, without whom this book would never have happened. She is such an incredible artist that it still amazes me that she tracked me down and sent me such kind words. But she was really the one that started this whole process and there would never ever have been a book without her putting things in motion. Finally, there are no words adequate to describe the gratitude and affection I have for my agent Seth Fishman of Sterling Lord Literistic. I will be honest, initially I was very reluctant and a bit suspicious of the very concept of an agent, but Seth put up with my seemingly endless questioning and doubt and showed nothing but incredible patience, good humor, warmth and kindness. Through email after email, phone call after phone call, he has shared with me priceless advice and great wisdom and has proven himself to be someone I can trust completely. This project couldn’t be in better hands, and he put in so much hard work to get this through to the publication level it is astonishing. And all because he really believes in this project! That really means a lot to me. Seth is a genius and a great human being and this book is truly his as much as it my own.

Okay, I am going to leave this post up for a few days because I am so excited I want everyone to be able to see the news! As soon as art posting resumes (some time Thursday morning, maybe Friday morning at the latest) I will all at once post the 4 or 5 pieces I will be working on this week. If you have any questions about the book, please don’t hesitate to send me an email and I’ll get back to you right away.

A book! A real art book! Holy smokes! I am still in shock!

Sunday, June 20, 2010

MOBY-DICK, Page 285

Title: ...this old Fleece, as they called him, came shuffling and limping along...

6.75 inches by 8.5 inches
acrylic paint, ink and marker on found paper
June 20, 2010

MOBY-DICK, Page 284

Title: Nor was Stubb the only banqueter on whale's flesh that night. Mingling their mumblings with his own mastications, thousands on thousands of sharks, swarming round the dead leviathan, smackingly feasted on its fatness.

7.75 inches by 10.75 inches
ink and marker on found paper
June 19, 2010

Thursday, June 17, 2010

MOBY-DICK, Page 282

Title: Stubb's whale had been killed some distance from the ship. It was a calm; so, forming a tandem of three boats, we commenced the slow business of towing the trophy to the Pequod.

7.75 inches by 10.75 inches
ballpoint pen and ink on found paper
June 17, 2010

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

A work in progress

This will be tomorrow's piece. There is still some work to be done on it, so it won't be posted until tomorrow evening. This is all ballpoint pen so far, but it will be getting some ink and acrylic paint in small touches. You'll see. I just wanted to post it now, mostly so I could say that drawing the water took foooooorrrreeeeevvvvveeeeerrrrr. Alright, check in tomorrow night at about this time for the finished piece.

MOBY-DICK, Page 281

Title: The crotch alluded to on a previous page deserves independent mention. It is a notched stick of a peculiar form, some two feet in length, which is perpendicularly inserted into the starboard gunwale near the bow, for the purpose of furnishing a rest for the wooden extremity of the harpoon, whose other naked, barbed end slopingly projects from the prow. Thereby the weapon is instantly at hand to its hurler, who snatches it up as readily from its rest as a backwoodsman swings his rifle from the wall.

11 inches by 8 inches
acrylic paint on found paper
June 14, 2010

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

MOBY-DICK, Page 280

Title: But however prolonged and exhausting the chase, the harpooneer is expected to pull his oar meanwhile to the uttermost; indeed, he is expected to set an example of superhuman activity to the rest, not only by incredible rowing, but by repeated loud and intrepid exclamations...

6.75 inches by 8.5 inches
colored pencil, ink and marker on found paper
June 13, 2010

Monday, June 14, 2010

MOBY-DICK, Page 279

Title: At last, gush after gush of clotted red gore, as if it had been the purple lees of red wine, shot into the frighted air; and falling back again, ran dripping down his motionless flanks into the sea. His heart had burst!

7.75 inches by 10.75 inches
ink on found paper
June 13, 2010

Sunday, June 13, 2010

MOBY-DICK, Page 278

Title: The red tide now poured from all sides of the monster like brooks down a hill. His tormented body rolled not in brine but in blood, which bubbled and seethed for furlongs behind in their wake. The slanting sun playing upon this crimson pond in the sea, sent back its reflection into every face, so that they all glowed to each other like red men.

7.75 inches by 10.75 inches
acrylic paint, ballpoint pen, colored pencil and ink on found paper
June 13, 2010

Saturday, June 12, 2010

MOBY-DICK, Page 277

Title: Like desperadoes they tugged and they strained, till the welcome cry was heard — "Stand up, Tashtego! — give it to him!" The harpoon was hurled.

18 inches by 11.5 inches
acrylic paint, ink and marker on found paper
June 12, 2010

The point of no return

With page 276, I have officially reached the halfway point of this endeavor. "The point of no return." Even though I've been thinking about this for a few weeks, it has yet to sink in. As soon as I finish the illustration for page 277, which should be posted some time this evening, I will actually be closer to the end of the book rather than the beginning. Part of me is still in shock.

It's not that I doubted myself. Even way back in August of last year, when I started this project, I knew I would finish. I just didn't have any real frame of reference for how I might feel when I reached that point, or even when I reached this halfway point. I mean, I know I'll be 80 years old some day, but right now I have now idea how I might feel or what I might be like when I get there.

So far, this journey has really been every bit the surreal, exhausting, thrilling, terrifying and unbelievable trip I thought it might be. However, one thing does stand out, more than anything else, and that is how visible this whole thing has become. I never, ever, ever expected that. I've told many people this, in emails and in person, but my decision to put all of this art online, in a blog, was motivated entirely by my desire to share the art with a few friends and family members out of state. That's it. It wasn't some kind of secret plan to get famous or to sell art or anything. I was just kind of excited about this, and I wanted a few people I cared about to be able to see it.

It's been really incredibly strange to me how many new people, and in some cases new friends, have discovered this project. I'll be honest, it's sometimes a very tricky thing. So far I've been able to stay very focused on my own internal vision of Moby-Dick and to create these illustrations from that place, without worrying about what people would think, whether or not people would like it, and so on. But I'll be honest, it is sometimes impossible not to at least be aware of the fact that now I am creating art that I know a small community of people are going to look at regularly. It's just...like I said, a very strange feeling for me.

It's not that I am not grateful, because I am. I'm very grateful to every single person who visits this blog, whether they comment or just check out the art. It means a lot, and it's very humbling. Everyone has been incredibly kind, supportive, encouraging, and genuinely friendly. But I'm not sure if I'll ever get used to it. Really, I've been drawing pictures and making art since around 1998, and I've been completely and totally obscure up until now. And that was (and still is) fine because I never set out to have a career in art. But so much has changed with this project, and it's really been weird. Good weird, but weird.

I fear I am rambling so I'll stop. I didn't spend a lot of time thinking of the momentous post I would write when I got to the halfway point. I figured it would be best if I just sat down and cleared my head a bit. It's really exciting for me to reach this milestone, and I am even happier when I look back at all the art I've made so far. I really like the art! Sure there are a few pieces that make me cringe a bit, a few things I wish I could re-work, and so on. But all in all, I am really very happy with what I've made. It all looks pretty cool, and that was my biggest goal when I decided to do this. To make illustrations for Moby-Dick that look pretty cool.

Before I get back to work tonight, there are some people I would like to thank. As this project has grown bigger and bigger, as more and more people have found out about it, there are a few people whose love, friendship, support and encouragement have really been crucial to me, especially during the times when I was near exhaustion or staring at my weathered reflection in the bathroom mirror, splashing cold water on my face, and asking myself "What the hell have you done?"

First and foremost to my incredible, brilliant, beautiful wife. She has been there every step of the way, she is the first to see every piece, the first to give me honest feedback, and the first to help me up when I'm stumbling or fading. I have had to sacrifice so much of my time with her to work on these pieces every single night, and she has dealt with the solitude with grace, dignity, love and unwavering dedication. She knows how much this means to me, and she has done everything humanly possible to help me achieve the goal. Without her, I would have flamed out around page 10.

Gigantic thanks to Seth Fishman. He knows why, and hopefully you will all know why as well, soon.

Thanks to the artist Zak Smith who created one illustration for every page of Thomas Pynchon's Gravity's Rainbow. I'm never sure if Zak was the first person in the world to do something like that, but he was definitely the first person whose work I became aware of, and he was a huge inspiration for my own project.

Additionally, thanks go to good friend and artist Shawn Cheng who was one of the very first people to notice my art and has been a constant source of support, encouragement, advice and friendship to me for years now. Shawn and Zak along with the artists Sean McCarthy, Matt Wiegle, John Mejias and Craig Taylor are currently working on a project entitled Six Versions of Blood Meridian, creating an illustration for every page of that novel. I'm not sure if it's still ongoing or on hiatus, there hasn't been any new art in a while, but it is well worth looking at. Obviously, another huge inspiration to me since they began well before I did.

Thank you to Meg Guroff who runs the web site Power Moby-Dick, a completely annotated, full text version of the novel and a wonderful conglomeration of all sorts of Moby-Dick related ephemera. Meg was the very first person to contact me about this project, way back around page 5 or 6, and she was also the very first person to interview me. I visit her site every single day and learn something every time.

Thank you to Scott B. down in Georgia. Scott was the very first real person, not a blogger or an interviewer, to write to me about this project. His emails have been a constant friend throughout these 9 months and he never fails to make me smile. He was also able to track down for me a copy of the tiny abridged version of Moby-Dick that I first read as a child, which he sent to me as a gift.

Thank you to the brilliant artist Jeffrey Meyer who kindly shared with me volumes of advice on collage techniques and has been huge source of inspiration for me. If anyone out there deserves to have a massive art book of their work published, it is Jeffrey.

Thank you to good pal Brian Stevens, my grumpiest, most curmudgeonly, and paradoxically kind-hearted friend. He's been a bit of a patron of the arts to me over the years, and I believe he actually owns more of my original art than anyone in the world. Probably even more than me.

Thank you to my old college friend Tobin Becker who, in an offhand remark in an email, actually sparked me toward attempting this project. I think of him often as I work.

Thank you to Michael Lapides, the Director of Digital Initiatives and the Curator of Photography at the New Bedford Whaling Museum. He too was one of the first to reach out and contact me, and he has been kind enough to share my project on the museum's blog as well as to offer advice and encouragement through these months.

Thank you to Aaron Cael, one of the two people behind the blog TITLEOFMAGAZINE. Aaron did a great interview with me but, even better, painted an awesome and massive portrait of me on found wood which now hangs in my studio.

Thank you to Jamie Hook, curator of the Open City Dialogues lecture series in Brooklyn for inviting me to come out to the city and talk about my project. I was so nervous, but the talk went really well and I met a lot of great people.

Thank you to Hannah Stephenson, an amazing poet and the woman behind the blog The Storialist wherein she writes poetry inspired by images found online. Her gifts are prodigious, and she actually wrote a poem inspired by my illustration for Page 115. Something like that has never happened, and it is strange and wonderful to see something I made inspire someone else to create something so beautiful and unique.

Thank you to William Terrell, of the November In My Soul blog. His emails, while rare, are fascinating and heartfelt and he too has been a real companion on this trip.

Huge thank yous to the fantastic artist Sophie Blackall, a fellow Moby-Dick obsessive whose art and illustrations just blow me away. She has been kind enough to write and encourage me, which is crazy because she is so good, but the emails mean an awful lot.

Thank you to Daryl L. L. Houston who was kind enough to invite me to join his online group read of Moby-Dick and to post about my art over at his Infinite Zombies blog. It's been great fun to be able to write so extensively about my art, and Daryl has been very kind in giving me so much latitude over there.

Thank you to every single person who has purchased my art over the last few months. I use cheap art supplies, but they ain't free, so it's been an incredible relief to be able to sell some pieces and not sweat it when I have to make a run to Dick Blick's.

Thank you to everyone who interviewed me, blogged about this project, linked to this blog or my web site, and just in general wrote nice things about me on the internet. I'm certain every one of those things was instrumental in bringing people here, and I owe you a huge debt of gratitude.

Finally, and most importantly, sincere thanks to everyone who has visited and continues to visit this blog, everyone who has ever left a comment, and everyone who has ever sent me an email, even if it was a quick one to simply say "This is a cool project." I never knew how much that kind of thing would mean to me, and it has really been an honor to be able to share this with you all. I am only halfway there, so I do hope you will continue on with me for the rest of this journey. It will be no easy path, but I hope I can reward you all somehow.

Alright, back to work in the studio...

MOBY-DICK, Page 276

Title: Yes, a mighty change had come over the fish. All alive to his jeopardy, he was going "head out;" that part obliquely projecting from the mad yeast which he brewed.

9 inches by 12 inches
acrylic paint, collage, ink, marker and pencil on found paper
June 12, 2010

Friday, June 11, 2010

MOBY-DICK, Page 275

Title: The waves, too, nodded their indolent crests; and across the wide trance of the sea, east nodded to west, and the sun over all.

12 inches by 8 inches
ink, marker and watercolor on watercolor paper
June 11, 2010

Thursday, June 10, 2010

A work in progress

I got in another 60 minutes of drawing and watercoloring tonight, and it's still not done. This would have been today's piece. It's shaping up nicely though and will definitely be complete and posted, along with the passage of text from the novel, some time tomorrow evening. I should have two pieces done and up on Saturday, to keep pace.

This is how things are looking for page 275 right now...

A question for anyone out there with tech / blog knowledge

I moderate all of the comments on this blog, but only to weed out spammers. Any comment from a real person that is about this project, my art, Moby-Dick, me, or anything related to those topics will get posted, no matter how critical or kind it is.

I do get quite a lot of spam comments though, and they've been increasing in frequency. They don't bother me, it's very easy to just screen them and click the "reject" button. But I've been noticing a really strange pattern and I can't figure out why it's happening.

I average about one spam comment a day. For the last 4 or 5 months, a full 90% of these spam comments have been left for either page 044 or page 108. It's weird. The spam comments are almost always for those posts only.

Does anyone out there know why those two posts seem to get the avalanche of spam while the rest of the blog is relatively untouched? It's not urgent, but I find it very curious and I'd love to know. Please either leave a comment (ha!) or email me the answer. Many thanks.

New post at Infinite Zombies re: the Pequod and other ships

I've got a new post up at the Infinite Zombies blog about my illustrations for the ships the Pequod, the Goney and the Town-Ho. Check it out right here.

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

A work in progress

This is how tomorrow's piece, the illustration for page 275, is looking right now. I had wanted to get more of this done tonight so I could post it tomorrow morning at the magic hour, but things got very hectic and there just wasn't enough time. So far, this is about 60 minutes of drawing which is all I could manage the time for today. It still needs the waves, water and clouds added in ink, and then the color needs to be laid in. Lots and lots of color. I am pretty sure I'll have this completed and posted by late tomorrow night, so keep your fingers crossed.

Oh, I'm posting this now so I don't look like a slacker.

MOBY-DICK, Page 274

Title: "When you see him 'quid", said the savage, honing his harpoon in the bow of his hoisted boat, "then you quick see him 'parm whale."

10.75 inches by 7.75 inches
colored pencil, ink and marker on found paper
June 8, 2010

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

New post at Infinite Zombies blog re: duelling a whale

I've got a new post up at the Infinite Zombies blog about my illustration for page 030, the first time I drew a harpooneer duelling a whale. Check it out right here.

I have been mentioned...

I am always deeply grateful and truly humbled when other bloggers and web sites mention this project, so I like to post those links here to show my gratitude. I hope this kind of thing doesn't ever seem self-centered. Please tell me if it does, even if you email me in private.

First, Gilbert Musings, an intriguing web site devoted to the intersection of the 5 senses, the arts, and many other things, was kind enough to post a very nice update along with birthday wishes to me right here. It's always very cool for me to see my art posted on someone else's site like this, and the happy birthday wishes were even nicer. Thanks! Oh, and they also did a brief interview with me back in March which you can read here.

Next, Stephen Crowe, an illustrator and graphic designer living in France, has taken on an even more insanely ambitious, brain-melting task and is currently illustrating James Joyce's Finnegan's Wake. You can see the amazing results of his labor here and you really should because it is phenomenal, brilliant, challenging, and unlike anything you might have expected. Recently, his delightful illustration for page 15 centered on a Moby-Dick inspired line and is just sublime. He was kind enough to mention this project, to also wish me a happy birthday, and to link to a page with some interesting information about my surname and some unusual connections to Joyce's work. You can read it all at this entry here.

Okay, later today a new Infinite Zombies post and also a question for any of you out there with some internet / computer knowledge. Something weird has been happening for months and it's got me scratching my head, although it is nothing serious at all.

MOBY-DICK, Page 273

Title: ...previous to that connexion, the short-warp goes through sundry mystifications too tedious to detail.

4.75 inches by 8 inches
ink and marker on found paper
June 7, 2010

Monday, June 7, 2010

MOBY-DICK, Page 272

Title: As the least tangle or kink in the coiling would, in running out, infallibly take somebody's arm, leg, or entire body off...

10.75 inches by 7.75 inches
acrylic paint on found paper
June 7, 2010

MOBY-DICK, Page 271

Title: Hemp is a dusky, dark fellow, a sort of Indian; but Manilla is as a golden-haired Circassian to behold.

7.75 inches by 10.75 inches
acrylic paint, colored pencil and ink on found paper
June 7, 2010

Sunday, June 6, 2010

MOBY-DICK, Page 270

Title: For though other species of whales find their food above water, and may be seen by man in the act of feeding, the Spermaceti Whale obtains his whole food in unknown zones below the surface; and only by inference is it that any one can tell of what, precisely, that food consists.

7 inches by 15.5 inches
ink and marker on found paper
June 6, 2010

Saturday, June 5, 2010

MOBY-DICK, Page 269

Title: The four boats were soon on the water; Ahab's in advance, and all swiftly pulling towards their prey. Soon it went down, and while, with oars suspended, we were awaiting its reappearance, lo! in the same spot where it sank, once more it slowly rose. Almost forgetting for the moment all thoughts of Moby Dick, we now gazed at the most wondrous phenomenon which the secret seas have hitherto revealed to mankind. A vast pulpy mass, furlongs in length and breadth, of a glancing cream-color, lay floating on the water, innumerable long arms radiating from its centre, and curling and twisting like a nest of anacondas, as if blindly to clutch at any hapless object within reach. No perceptible face or front did it have; no conceivable token of either sensation or instinct; but undulated there on the billows, an unearthly, formless, chance-like apparition of life.

12 inches by 9 inches
acrylic paint and ink on found paper
June 5, 2010

Friday, June 4, 2010

Today is my birthday

I am 41 years old. I had wanted very badly to be at the halfway point (page 276) by today. It seemed somehow appropriate. However to do so would have meant really rushing the art and while I want to discover new ways of working more quickly, I don't ever want to do that at the expense of the art. So in the end, I worked at what seemed like the right pace and was happy with all of the art I made this week.

I will almost certainly be taking today off, mostly to spend with my wife and some friends and to celebrate a bit. I have a lot of thoughts I'd like to share, but I think I will save those until I do reach the halfway point on this project some time next week.

It's weird, but because of the timing of when I started this project, this will (with any luck!) be the only birthday I experience while working on the Moby-Dick illustrations. So it's kind of special that way.

Alright, off to have some fun. But first, thanks to each and every one of you who visits this blog, emails, comments, and in general encourages and supports the work. It really means a lot, every single day, and it has become a big part of what keeps driving me onward.

(STILL don't look my age! Ha!)

New post at Infinite Zombies blog re: Queequeg

You can read it all, and learn how agonizing the process of visualizing Queequeg was, right here.

Thursday, June 3, 2010

MOBY-DICK, Page 268

Title: In the distance, a great white mass lazily rose, and rising higher and higher, and disentangling itself from the azure, at last gleamed before our prow like a snow-slide, new slid from the hills. Thus glistening for a moment, as slowly it subsided, and sank. Then once more arose, and silently gleamed.

15.5 inches by 10.75 inches
acrylic paint and ink on found paper
June 3, 2010

MOBY-DICK, Page 267

Title: Yea; foolish mortals, Noah's flood is not yet subsided; two thirds of the fair world it yet covers.

7.25 inches by 10.25 inches
acrylic paint on found paper
June 3, 2010

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

MOBY-DICK, Page 266

Title: As morning mowers, who side by side slowly and seethingly advance their scythes through the long wet grass of marshy meads; even so these monsters swam, making a strange, grassy, cutting sound; and leaving behind them endless swaths of blue upon the yellow sea.

10.75 inches by 7.75 inches
ink and marker on found paper
June 2, 2010