Andie MacDowell in L'Oréal ad

Andie MacDowell in L'Oréal ad

I am working on another drawing.  I decided to write this blog entry as I was drawing and then publish the entry when I finish the drawing.  This drawing is another in my Oh My Girls series.  I chose a picture of Andie McDowell from a L’Oréal ad.

I started the drawing the first weekend after returning from a visit to my sister’s home in New Jersey for the holidays.  I had the blizzard of 2010 fresh on my mind when I was looking through the September 2010 edition of O magazine looking for inspiration.  When I saw Andie’s picture I selected it and started to draw.  I had Ground hog Day in my NetFlix queue so I set the movie to start and went to my work.

So much of my art work is influenced by the mash up of music and movies that I have slammed into my mind over the years.  Ground Hog Day is one of my all time favorite movies.  Yes it is a romantic comedy and it does not have car chases, gun fights or special effects.  It is the story of how you can chose to change yourself and create your future.  If you have not seen it see it now.  If you know the film watch it again and apply it to your life.  Where are you stuck, how can you transform your almost certain future?

I am using purple for the skin paying homage to Jimi Hendrix’s Purple Haze in my brain.  I am listening to Pandora Radio for the first time.  I have several radio stations that I have created.  One station plays a lot of Joni Mitchell’s music. Joni’s songs have been in the soundtrack of my life since high school.  Her music flows like water and she writes tunes that do not conform to typical pop music.  I like to think that my art is similar to Joni’s music.  My art conforms to most parameters of art as it is on illustration board and is drawn with pencils.  My subjet matter is taken from life most of the time, but my interpretation of what I see is always seen from my minds eye.  My pictures take the viewer into another world just like Joni’s songs take you on a musical trip. What I draw flows out of my brain like a liquid psychedelic dream scape.

Ground Hog Daze on 20110107 at 23:23

Ground Hog Daze on 20110107 at 23:23

You may wonder why I am revealing so much about where I get my inspiration from? You may be thinking that I am crazy for displaying the source material for my artwork which looks nothing like the original.  Well as an artist I believe that drawing has to be fun.  If I wanted a copy of Andie I would just use the picture, or be lucky enough to ask her for permission to take her picture with my camera.  When I decide to use an image for source inspirational material I do so because I like to have a form from which to deviate.  Within the form of a portrait I can have the control to draw a face but the freedom to draw anything I want on the face.

As you can see the drawing has taken on some more details. I have been working on getting the chin area looking like the architectural decorations that appear on Victorian buildings.  I like to draw these ornate shapes in the areas of my work.   I also started working on the lips and placed some darker areas on the red to give some interesting shapes.  During this drawing session I was listening to Pandora Radio.  I have a Pandora station that plays the Moody Blues, Guess Who and Cosby Stills Nash and Young.  I first listened to this type of music when I was in high school in La Jolla California.  As I was drawing and changing from the purple hues to red hues I remembered how emotionally detached I was at times during my teen years.  The place that artist go when they create is hard for non-artist to understand I guess.  I can understand it because I have been in situations where I am deep into a art project and I seem to drift way deep and withdraw from the outside world.  At other times when I am not drawing I am fully engaged with people and events around me.

Ground Hog Daze on 20110116 at 23:56

Ground Hog Daze on 20110116 at 23:56

So when I was drawing and a Pink Floyd song started to drift into my headphones I really let it sink in that I was once again ‘Comfortably Numb’.  I have started the year of 2011 with the mind set of being in the Ostrich Party and have shunned all political, religious or environmental discussions. I do not care anymore.  I am focusing this year on creating art and now I can again get to that groove of being Comfortable Numb.  I have not been able to manage the fine art of balancing my drive to create art and being a consistent social being on the planet.  I have had some successes and failures but for the most part I have managed to keep a day job and supply financial support to those who depend on me.  During the creation of this drawing I find myself uncovering some of the long lost buried emotions that may be the source of why I draw.  Even as I write this blog I am uncovering memories just the way i use to remember my dreams by writing them down or sketching them as soon as I awoke each morning.  Am I wanting to go back into the Matrix or am I still in it?

I use to know a girl in San Diego named Eva Harvey. It was 1972 or 1973 and I was in the San Diego County Mental Health when I met her.  When I joined the Moonies a few years later she sent me a letter with the lyrics to another Pink Floyd song titled Wish You Where Here . I was at a point in my life when I thought I knew it all and had found the truth. I will never forget how humbled I felt when I opened her letter and she had written the lyrics to the song.  It blew my mind as I read the lyrics to a song that I loved and I always thought it was written about the other guy , but instead it was written about me this time. I still remember what great times we had in San Diego

Ground Hog Daze on 20110118 21:55

Ground Hog Daze on 20110118 21:55

Wish You Where Here

So, so you think you can tell Heaven from Hell,

blue skies from pain.

Can you tell a green field from a cold steel rail?

A smile from a veil?

Do you think you can tell?

And did they get you to trade your heroes for ghosts?

Hot ashes for trees?

Hot air for a cool breeze?

Cold comfort for change?

And did you exchange a walk on part in the war for a lead role in a cage?

How I wish, how I wish you were here.

We’re just two lost souls swimming in a fish bowl, year after year,

Running over the same old ground.

What have you found? The same old fears.

Wish you were here.

~ Pink Floyd

It is Friday January 14 and I am spending the evening working on the hair.  I have Pandora radio hooked up to a Tears for Fears station.  I was listening as I drew and read the biography of Tears for Fears and I remember how I loved their music when I purchased all of their CDs during the 1980s.  The primal scream for me is drawing things that start out as a normal sketch and then over time just get more bizarreness and colorful as I layer on more details.  I have the most relaxed feeling as I mix my colors in the deep greens and blues letting my imagination get lost in the textures of flowing bands of color.

Tears for Fears is one of my favorite groups.  Their music really speaks to my soul.  There a passage in a song called ‘Sketches of Pain’

Sketches of Pain

Great wide stretches of canvas

Signed by a godless name

Strange bright colours of madness

Only a fool would frame

Sketches of pain

Sketches of pain

sketches of pain

~ Tears for Fears


Ground Hog Daze, the girl with dirigible eyes

Saturday January 15 and early morning on Sunday I finished up the hair. I switched to listening to my music collection and as I listened to an iPod Genius mix Kate Bush came on.  How could I for get Kate Bush’s music.  I immediately switched to Pandora and added Kate Bush as a station. I like how Pandora has a short biography of the musicians displayed when their music is playing. Kate Bush like Joni Mitchel share one thing that I like about in their music, it is non-standard compositional style.

I purchased my firs box of 24 Prismacolor Verithin pencils. These pencils have a smaller and harder lead than the regular Prismacolor pencils. I used the Verithin to get more details in the image. I am really impressed with the quality of the colors and how I was able to mix on top of colors that were already present on the artwork. The Verithin pencils come in a 36 pack, but Michale’s in Albany, GA only had one 24 pack left. Eventually I’ll get the 36 pack so that I can have a better color selection for fine detail work.

This is my third drawing in the Oh My Girls series. I think I will take a break from drawing models in beauty ads. I did notice that my level of concentration has improved over the last few months of drawing. I discovered Pandora Radio during this drawing and used it a lot as I drew. I did something at the last minute with the eyes on this drawing. I added some shading behind the pupils to make them look like zeppelins or dirigibles. I got the inspiration from a previous drawing, Hilton Head Daze, where I added stripes to the eyes. Normally I leave the eyes white or light gray. My logic for leaving the eyes white with out details is that I want the person viewing the artwork to be grounded with the eyes as a comfort area to rest after browsing all of the crazy colors and shapes on the drawing. I decided on this piece to take the resting spot away. When I look at these drawings side by side they are very similar in the colors, but completely different.

Well I am done with this drawing and this really long blog post as well. I enjoyed writing my thoughts as I drew, hope you enjoyed the read and the evolving artwork.