Monday, May 11, 2009

Woe is Bottom

Or, "When Bottom misses his cue in 'Midsummer,' and Tree-Dude from 'The Old Woman in the Wood- takes a fancy to his fair lady."

"Woe Is Bottom," c. 2009

"Lose track of that iceberg, and the world flips over..."

"Let Go," c. 2007
"You can pin your hopes on anything. The thinner the justification, the more desperate the motivation, the harder we hold onto it. Lose track of that iceberg and the world flips over: you don't mess with people's real sh*t... The most inconsequential things are the most important... especially for those who have no hope."

-Jacob, on "Gossip Girl" writing for Television Without Pity. You can find his recaps here:


And I promise you, even if you never pay any mind to the show or have never turned it on, his recaps are awesome. Funny, well-written, touching--the whole nine.

I'm a big fan of that show, but an even bigger fan of the recaps--where the TWOP recapper goes into great detail about the facades being put up by the characters, how people really crack once someone knocks down their last hope once and for all, how a person (if ever) can get past pain they've gone through or bad choices they've made, and the idea of being a "New" versus an "Old" version of yourself (and whether those changes or "New" versions or reforms ever really work, ever really stick, and are ever really real).

Anyway, I thought of his recaps when posting these pictures.

"It was then he showed me..." c. 2007

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Happy Mother's Day!!!


Hi everyone!


Hope this Mother's Day is filled with smiles and relaxation. Love and hugs to all the great moms I know (my own and my friend Dorothee, for example), and to all mommies in the world.
XOXO!

Friday, May 8, 2009

Draggin' along

"The White Fire Of Guilt," c. 2008

"Dragon Dance," c. 2008

"Yang," c. 2008

I should warn everyone that I really, really, really like puns. I wrote my college entrance essay on telling terrible jokes, all the time, and how much I enjoyed doing so... and included several bad jokes in said essay... and somehow, was still admitted!

Point being, that in two out of these three pieces, there are dragons. Hence my silly post title.

The first one I did after reading a poem about Indonesia that really struck me. I don't recall if it was formally published or not (a former teacher of mine gave it to me from a book she'd found), but it was talking (basically) about the dichotomy of poverty and riches in Indonesia, especially with tourists being in the latter category. There was a line about the tea being made with fire, and the whole passage made it abundantly clear how difficult and painful it can literally be to farm the tea, while the people who drink it just kind of sit around comfortably, without consequence. I wish I could find it to explain it better, but the drawing I did will have to suffice as my interpretation and explanation.
The second one is called "Dragon Dance," and I guess I was on a roll since I did it shortly after the previous piece, and after pouring through some magazines with tons of pictures of Indonesian dancers, sculptures, and architecture.

The third one was in the Los Angeles Municipal Art Gallery Juried Exhibition last August. I was excited to get to be part of it, and I was also excited that a happy piece of mine got in! I do some stuff of an upbeat nature, although a lot of it tends to be dark. Anyway, the piece is called "Yang," so it's about happiness and the good half of the entire Yin/Yang phenomenon.


Anyway, I know in a fair amount of stories dragons can be evil or a foe to overcome, and in some songs they're (questionably) stoned-- but in my case, I just hope they seem merry and fun.

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Brown paper bag memories

Well, not actually penned on a brown paper bag, but from a sketchbook--of brown recycled paper. Which, perhaps, was once a paper bag? Anyway, I've been meaning to do more of these and haven't had time, but I really like doing brown on brown sepia drawings. It has some of the stark contrast of black/white ink drawing, but it's just subtle enough that it makes you think of an old photo, and feels sort of subdued. I'm not sure how to quite explain it. All I know is I want to do more drawings like this. Sadly, pesky things like work, assignments, and the whole twenty-four hours in a day thing get in the way.

"Happy Zoo," c. 2007






"Distance," c. 200

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Happy Noir Fool's Day!

I have no pranks for this holiday, but a film festival to link to:

http://www.film-noir-alley.com/festival-of-film-noir.html

I can't wait! I attended two years ago, I'm not sure why I didn't last year, but I definitely plan on going again this time around. I love black and white noir-looking drawings and comics, and it's one of my favorite styles to work in. So, seeing these movies is always really fun and inspirational.

Apart from getting ideas from movies, I also get ideas from photos that I've taken. I took a photo of some former students of mine a while ago, and turned it into an ink drawing. I don't know why (maybe it's just my subconcious coming through and being... well, dark and moody? noir-y?), but in the drawing they came out looking a lot older, and the setting just seemed darker. Like, they were having some kind of top-secret conversation. Or, at least, that the girl in the hood knew something was up. Her being in profile made it more mysterious than I expected.

"Grabbing A Slice," c. 2007

This next one was meant to be more noir-y, and I did it for the 2008 annual "Love and Hate" exhibition at Mattie Gomez's gallery down in Long Beach.
"Picture this Gallery:" http://picturethisgallery.weebly.com/gallery.html also does framing, and Mattie is one of the sweetest people ever!
There are meant to be multiple stories going on in the picture. A friend of mine told me that I reminded him facially, not of the chick in the background... but of the woman in the foreground. Dunno, I'm in my twenties, but maybe he can see the future and clicked on his brain's fastforward button, and knows what's to come. Ha ha! Seriously, though, I'm knocking on wood because I'm pleased with how this piece came out, but not so sure I'd feel the same way if I were to live it. Y'know?

"All I Want For Christmas," c. 2008

This last one was meant to be noir-ish when I did it, too. I think women getting followed around, especially on trains and such, happens a lot in noir films. And she seems to know she's being followed, too--something not every noir lady is lucky enough to realize before the villain tries to off her.

"Crossing Cars," c. 2006

Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Solidarity

"Solidarity," c. 2009

Oh my goodness! Yay!


So, all press is good press, but good press is better press :-) I am glad if something inspires people to speak out against that proposition, though, and am grateful the drawing had an impact on this particular reporter.
Go check out the show up at 2nd City Council Gallery, in Downtown Long Beach CA. The piece they selected from me is the one above, and the one mentioned in the article.

Saturday, March 7, 2009

Caught Red-Handled

"Caught Red-Handled," c. 2009

This is an illustration I did based on my London pictures. If, you know. That tourist girl in the pink coat was a hat thief who was sketchy and not so good at stealing without being suspicious-looking, who had a British girl standing in the distance watching her kleptomania silently, while an English Policeman (bless his soul, not carrying a gun, as most of them don't) stood by cluelessly, and random other Brits/tourists kept on shopping merilly away.

Friday, February 27, 2009

Viva Londres!

Me, standing in the thick of Portobello Road in front of a hatstand:

The South Bank, with the London Eye and Big Ben in the background (and a random, though much appreciated by me, Carousel sitting in the middle of the walkway):


Southwark Cathedral. It's beautiful inside and out, and even in the rain:

London Bridge: The neighorhood, around the corner from the bridge itself:

Street art from Brockley, in Zone 2 where I stayed with my friend:

An Owl, from the Bethnal Green Museum of Childhood. He's Plush! And orangey-pink! I love him! Sadly, he was antique and behind glass, and must sit in his spot so British children with lovely accents can have the chance to "Oooooh" and "Aaaaah" at him, the way I did in my less fantabulous American accent:


And on that cuddly note, I am pleased to say that I got to visit London for the first time in four years, and am still in love! Sigh. I got lucky enough to go there as an exchange student on a study abroad program for six months when I was a junior in college. I went to Goldsmith's College in New Cross--some people know about it because of famous graduate Damien Hirst, and his propensity for putting sharks in formaldehyde.
I have more pictures up on my facebook, but for blog purposes I picked a handful of fun and more random ones to show. I am inspired after having gotten to see a great off-Broadway type of play, to go around to all my old haunts, to walk around the buildings and history and everything that you can't help but just breathe in when you're in London, and to have seen some AWESOME art. This artist's exhibit, over in East London, was especially killer:





I'd write more, but I have to get back to everything I got behind on while I was over in Merry Olde. Cheerio! Maybe a drawing will come out of all this. Hrmmm...

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Yummy!

If you like Mexican food that's super good, then check out Abuelita's up in Topanga. There's a Frida Kahlo inspired show up in the resturaunt, so yay for bright happy art being displayed while one consumes good food:

http://www.abuelitastopanga.com/artist.html

My piece is called "Everything's Coming Up Frida," which I guess is a self-explanatory title.

Monday, January 5, 2009

First post!


Hi everyone!


So, it's a new year, which means doing new things. I am venturing into the blogosphere while sorting out my proper website. I'm going to post illustrations and fine art that I have worked on or am presently working on here, as well as updates of shows/work/and other stuff that I'm up to. For anyone curious about some basic info about me, I'm a New Yorker who's lived in (and loves) London, but who presently resides in L.A. Thus far, I'm pretty busy with my job (I edit comics), my own work on the side (various art-y things), art fairs, and gallery shows, so most of that stuff is going to be what I write about.

Perhaps I'll mosey onto other topics, too, but for the most part I think blogs are like what Twitter is meant to be: a way to update people on what you are doing, and to keep people informed on your shiz, but not to make a post every time a fleeting/silly/insane/comment you may regret later thought comes into your head. I don't know. I'm against censoring creativity or art, but I guess I'm glad to personally have an internal "panic/DO NOT DO!" button in my mind that prevents me from incessant status updates on facebook, or from writing blogs every time someone or something doesn't thrill me, or things that I find quite silly, all along those lines. Hence, the creation of something more artsy-fartsy, and hopefully a bit more fun to read! :-)

Anyway, as is evident from above, I'm starting off this blog with a post of a drawing I did a while back of the Hollywood Forever Cemetery. Noir-ish lighting, courtesy of photoshop.
Hope everyone who stumbles upon this is well! Oh, and ¡Feliz Año Nuevo!

-D.V.L.