Tuesday, November 3, 2009
HELLO GOOD READERS. I'm going underground and am not sure when I'll be back up for air. It's been wonderful to share and correspond with you in this way. I hope to meet again down the line.
Very Best, Nick
Monday, November 2, 2009
Friday, October 30, 2009
Thursday, October 29, 2009
Wednesday, October 28, 2009
IN THE VEIN OF FOUND ART let's look at the Cheerios box. I enjoy looking at commercial photography and trying to discern the subtext. TD Canada Trust is the best. They've got a whole slough of questionable images. Or how about the Rogers adverts that come in the mail filled with images that make television watching into this amazing group participatory love-in. This content affects human beings. Eye contact is everything.
Tuesday, October 27, 2009
I MISS THE CROW QUILL. I spent 3 years of my youth drawing exclusively with a crow quill following Dave Sim's technique. I drew 5 issues of my black & white indie road movie comic, The Cheeseheads.
This photo was taken of Max MacDonald as a cheesehead circa 1993.
PHOTO BY HOLLY CRAINE
Monday, October 26, 2009
HERE'S MY OWN HUNGRY GHOST image. I drew this up and pasted it to the inside of a file drawer. Whenever I'm turning into that vacuum flaky artist person I try to ponder the content of this hasty sketch.
Friday, October 23, 2009
SOMETHING ABOUT THIS NOSE makes me think of the 1970's. Can't quite put my finger on it. I know I'm remembering something perhaps it's cute little Patty O'Toole that I was in love with in kindergarten.
Thursday, October 22, 2009
HERE'S ONE THAT'LL MAKE make you groan. Do you think Botticelli envisioned this future? I saw the original Birth of Venus in Italy along with a whole body of Botticelli paintings and I have to say I think he was an illustrator first, painter second. The white caps on the waters in the background of Venus are so representational. In a time where painters were rock stars and all working for the religious state it is interesting to see what has distilled the test of time.
Apologies for the lack of Blog specific creations. I must say the schedule is too full for that extra 1/2 hour a day these days.
HERE'S A DETAIL FROM THE ORIGINAL.
Wednesday, October 21, 2009
Tuesday, October 20, 2009
AN OLDER PORTRAIT OF Hank Williams the third for EXCLAIM Magazine. Turns out Hank is interested in taking down the country royalty of the Williams name. His live show is 10 times as vile and whiskey fueled ad any ACDC/Whitesnake/Metallica/Judas Priest concert. One of his more memorable lyrics:
"I put the dick in dixie and the cxxt in country."
Monday, October 19, 2009
FOR YEARS NOW I'VE WANTED TO CREATE a feature film that splices together all the performances of one actor into a single narrative. (I'm sure it will be done before too long in this age of deconstruction and the DJ). The idea is that you sequence his like emotional performances together. The effect would be an psycho-emotional strobe ala Herbie Hancock. Here's a series of Denzel Washington photos overlapped to contain Denzel's full range inside one figure. Great actor.
Also came across these incredible photoshop images of celebrities put together.
ELIZABETH HURLEY & NICHOLAS CAGE
LETTERMAN & LENO
JOLIE & PITT
PITT & CRUISE
To see where these came from click HERE.
Friday, October 16, 2009
When I was 12, Shane Kenny held at drawing contest at the local comic book store. This was my submission for the reproduction category. One day I'll find my submission from the Marvel Try-Out Book and post it also.
Thursday, October 15, 2009
Wednesday, October 14, 2009
BEEN HAVING FUN WITH hand lettering. Here's something that's on the drawing board at the moment. It's for a hard cover edition of a novel I illustrated for Daniel Wells at Biblioasis -- Terry Griggs', Thought You Were Dead.
Here are couple other covers for Cormorant Books. I love hand-drawn type!
Tuesday, October 13, 2009
LISTENING TO DR. MARTIN Luther King this morning. I picked up a series of CBC Massey Lecture Series recordings from my local second hand book store, Macondo Books. Brilliant. Will listen closely as the days go by and share.
Ran the 5K 23 minutes and 26 seconds.
Monday, October 12, 2009
15 YEARS AFTER THE DEATH of Billy The Kid, William Robinson and Alex Petrie started one of the longest running foot races in North America. Today I'll be participating in the 5km Thanksgiving Day race in my hometown of Guelph, Ontario. They're calling for temperatures between 5 and 8 degrees. I'll let you know how it goes.
Here's a portrait of another runner. Daryl Hannah as Pris from Ridley Scott's masterpiece, Blade Runner. Incidentally, note the 1st person voice over in the vintage Blade Runner trailer. Not Harrison Ford.
Friday, October 9, 2009
SO DISNEY BOUGHT MARVEL COMICS for 4 uncountable billion dollars. Does that mean we'll see Miley Sirus joining the X-Men? My spider senses are tingling with the post-modern, ouroborosian narrative possibilities at work here. Imagine the weighty Electra plot line you could weave with Billy Ray Sirus entering the marvel canon. There's plenty of Darth Vader dogma to mine here though somehow I can't imagine the accompanying amusement park experiential applications of the topic.
But forget H. Montana for a minute. I want Cher comics. Perhaps Disney could buy Cher, (born Cherilyn Sarkisian) and we could have a whole series of Diva adventures. They could opperate like that strange disco mutant from the 80's that could manipulate light. Dazzler I believe? The singing superheros would howl each other into submission. Mariah vs. Whitney special foil wrapped collectors edition.
But seriously. I do have an idea for a 6 page Cher comic. I'd love to go to Vegas, where she's booked for the next 6 months, and experience the legend and then report on it in comic form. It would be full of sentiment and metaphore. There must be a home for a piece like this out in the world.
REMEMBER THIS ONE?
CLICK ON THE SILVER SURFER TO GET THE LATEST INFO ON THE KIRBY ESTATE IN RELATION TO THE DISNEY ACQUISITION:
Thursday, October 8, 2009
Wednesday, October 7, 2009
Tuesday, October 6, 2009
EVER FIND YOURSELF leaning on old habits? Do you keep playing the same repertoire over and over? (the stuff you're good at?). Try distressing the process. The brain needs to be exercised. Give it a challenge. Take yourself out of your comfort zone and you will be rewarded. (See Picasso below.) I challenge any readers to create a portrait using ketchup and mustard. Have fun and see what happens. Send me your results and I'll post them here. (please do not send originals - ha!)
Monday, October 5, 2009
MY WIFE AND I regularly watch Grey's Anatomy and I have to say the level of gruesome loss and pain in Shonda Rhimes' hit television series and (subsequent follow up sister program, Private Practice) is unprecedented. The emotional pornography on display is becoming too much to bear. But the network is well aware and quickly inserts contrasting advertizing that offers remedy to the suspended ache of a commercial break. I know this isn't a new concept but now, more than ever, advertising is the psyco-salve that answers all of Seattle Grace's tears.
Friday, October 2, 2009
Thursday, October 1, 2009
BEWARE THE HUNGRY GHOST. My old friend Peter Georgelos tells me of a Buddhist image of the insatiable wandering mouth. It's something that seems more present than ever in our spiritless modern world. I've always found it so compelling that Kennedy chose space as the key to new human frontiers -- a vast black emptiness. I suspect all our answers reside inside of us.
Todays drawing is built from the new 'Cashmere' special edition toilet paper. Special edition to raise awareness in the fight against breast cancer. Not to be a negative nelly but I've had it up to here with ribbons and the co-opting of the unarguable cause (Nick Craine! how can you possibly disagree with this!?). It seems that most charities exist to perpetuate their own existence. Take the magazine fundraiser at my kid's school. Once a year an army of children sign up their grand parents and neighbors for countless subscriptions to Reader's Digest, Chatelaine, Macleans etc. in a veiled campaign to raise money for the school. Meanwhile a year down the road the magazine people begin their own campaign with their new database of names and addresses and systematically start selling renewals with no thought of the school children. Just another example of an aspect of our society that is self governing consumerism. 'Let's use the kids to achieve our bottom line'. I know I'm oversimplifying things and yes I'm all for sincere efforts to create awareness and find solutions and cures.
My request is this. Could we please stop co-opting causes to borrow their empathetic capital? Otherwise we are merely wiping our asses with good intentions and continuing to live in the void, our lives unexamined.
Incidentally, the company that creates this product (Kimberly-Clark) uses vast amounts of paper each year to meet consumer demand, and more than 2.5 million tons of this paper is composed of virgin tree fiber. The company is guilty of sourcing from endangered forests and emitting toxic substances such as mercury and dioxin that have devastating effects on the environment and human health. One Kimberly-Clark plant in Washington emitted 26 pounds of mercury into state waterways in the year 2000 alone.
Wednesday, September 30, 2009
Tuesday, September 29, 2009
I REMEMBER A STORY SOMEONE once told me of a Christmas sandwich. This family had a joke gift of a peanut butter sandwich on wonderbread that had been circulating from family member to family member for over 15 years. The sandwich hadn't broken down at all beyond becoming a little lumpy from being wrapped and unwrapped for over a decade.
Here's Conan O'Brien made from Smooth noname peanut butter and wonderbread. I'm sure it's been done before. In fact I'm almost certain I've seen George Bush done on wonderbread or maybe it was an apple pie. Either way there was gingham involved.
Monday, September 28, 2009
Friday, September 25, 2009
Thursday, September 24, 2009
Wednesday, September 23, 2009
Tuesday, September 22, 2009
Monday, September 21, 2009
IF I RAN THE WORLD I'D create the truth-in-advertising commission. I picture the Quaker people all singing hymn's and grinding corn flour. Or the aunt Jamima lady stirring my cream of wheat. I'd love to see some truthful advertising when it came to food or perhaps the gaming industry. Can you imagine some honest ads for casinos? Photographs of the grown men and women changing their diapers in the casino parking lot, ill met by moonlight.
Any Quakers out there? Please don't take offense. This isn't about you. It's about the folks who have co-opted your identity. BTW. Check out the little heart shape on Quaker Man's cheek. I added some make-up to his face but the heart was there already.
Friday, September 18, 2009
AMERICA IS BEAUTIFUL. AMERICA IS HAUNTED. It's a culture of acquisition that has created a few of my favorite things. Comic Books and Jazz. Amy Winehouse seems to be a crest on the wave of the American broken poem. Her life, when viewed through the lens of her work is, in itself, high art. Perhaps it's all a con but I believe I hear the person behind her thick mascara mask in some of her recordings. It's as though she's living at the site of betrayal -- stuck in a groove with her parents music playing in the background.
Thursday, September 17, 2009
MY FRIEND, SCOTT DESCRIBES his workspace as a submersible. Life as the self-employed freelancer can be a lonely game. Every so often you tap the side of the hull to send a wee message to your fellow submariners. TAP TAP TAP. PAUSE (barely audible response) tap tap tap. (Translation = This wicked client is very close to hiring me -- I can sense it in the waters). We are like the wales in the deep with our common song. "Are you assigning?"
Here is a portrait of my friend, colleague and fellow gentleman of the deep, Gareth Lind. You will have seen his work in Eye Weekly. From 1997 to 2007 he published hundreds of adventures of the anxiety ridden, media saturated sad sack, Horst Weltschmerz. This well respected comic response to Canadian Politics has been recently revived inside the pages of The Canadian Charger (a very valuable creation!).
See The Canadian Charger by clicking on Horst:
Wednesday, September 16, 2009
HOW ABOUT JACK PALANCE? I absolutely love his embodiment of Rudi Coxx in Percy Alden's, Bagdad Cafe. The films location is in line with My Own Private Idaho and Paris Texas. The empty sunlit basin quality of the landscape is a cinematographers dream assignment. I can't stand singing in films but I'll make an exception with this one. It's an incrdible fable where people take the small gifts they have and create something that wasn't there before.
The song from the film continues to make me buckle to this day.
Listen to Javetta Steeles sing, Calling You HERE.
Tuesday, September 15, 2009
WHEN WE WERE LAST IN NYC, my wife and I went to a production of, All My Sons by Arthur Miller. The show featured John Lithgow in the father role (fiercely committed), Patrick Wilson, Dianne West and Katie Holmes in her debut role on Broadway. Being my first time at a big Broadway show I foolishly started taking pictures of the stage and nearly got pumbled by an usher. Also in the audience was genius character actor, Doris Roberts.
Here's an incredible caricature by Jason Mecier from San Francisco. On his site he orders his portfolio by materials (Beans, Food, Yarn, Candy). It's fantastic!
For more of his work click HERE.