Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Happy Holidays

Wishing you all a most loving, warm and happy holiday, and for us all, a peaceful, uplifting and hopeful New Year.

Friday, December 19, 2008

Figure drawing 12-18-2008

It was the last session in 2008- and what a year it was indeed. These figure drawing sessions really are so good, to keep the skills dusted off and honed, as well as meeting other artists. Last night we had some amazing young artists come draw-young
and just deeply talented- all of us drawing for the joy of it. I have met many fine people while facilitating these sessions, and in the giving of my time, have received back in many unexpected ways. Perhaps the best part, is that I had no expectations other than getting myself to draw from the a model each week. Little did I know! From these sessions came an online teaching job for the Art Academy in San Francisco, curating my first show at Hopper House, and four calls back to Guantanamo- the practice of live drawing so essential for a court artist. To those who visit this blog, thank you, and my wishes for all to have a healthy and happy 2009.

Friday, December 12, 2008

Omar Khadr- December sketches

Today's motions to bring photographic evidence out today was denied. His defense team suggests that the photos
may shed doubt on the charges that he was responsible for throwing a lethal grenade. Khadr's
tribunal is slated to begin January 26th in Guantanamo, though many question whether this
will happen as the Obama administration comes in.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

9/11 commissions

Here are more from Monday's court session, a big deal with families of victims from 9/11. I was concerned that they would feel I was being a predatory or opportunistic sketch artist, but found when I spoke with them that they were very open to me sketching them. Some were not, understandably, so kept out of view behind the curtain that separated media from them, and the folks who allowed me to sketch them sat out front. It was a little awkward perspectively to draw them at one angle while standing and balancing my board and materials, and then look through the glass windows and get Mohammad and 4 others in, all the while moving my pastel pile around. This being in part an excuse for sketches I'd hoped could have been a bit more polished- but you do what you can and have to live with it. I feel incredibly fortunate to be sketching these tribunals and working with the media and military. We'll be back in court on Friday for Omar Khadr's commission.

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Guantanamo Bay 9/11 co-conspirators sketches

I'm here in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba for the week, to sketch at the commissions. The high-security court has us in a back room behind three layers of thick glass and I have to stand in order to see, balancing the board on a window ledge and chair, with my pastels sitting on top of the paper, moving it as I drew. That explains the awkward holes and drawings.. or tries to. As it turned out, the 3 days we were to be in court with Khalid Sheik Mohammad et al, with victims' families in attendance for the first time ever became only a day in court. I had intended to do a much more in-depth series of portraits of the accused; but reserved the first day to show the families in attendance. The families in my sketches were willing to be drawn and had brought photos of other victims to represent those who could not attend. The next case up is Omar Khadr this coming Friday.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Women's History Poster 2008

Here's my latest project - National Women's History month poster. It was a killer because I had to do it TWICE; my photoshop file got corrupted. Oofta! What I learned from this, is that even with Time Machine running things can make you go mmmmmwwwaahhh.
Note to self: burn a disk if working on an intensive digital file.
Anyway, the poster went pretty quick the second time around!

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Hamdan heads home

An amazing development, as Hamdan was not slated to be moved for at least another month. To read the rest of the story, click HERE

Friday, November 21, 2008

Immigrants in the United States

I just finished this opinion piece on immigrants in the U.S. and a lack of acceptance that has been rearing it's head more than ever lately. As Thanksgiving is coming up, let us remember that our United States is a compilation of many races and cultures.

Monday, November 17, 2008

The finished poster

Well, this is it- a patterned tie, and a few minor touches of color and adjustments on his face. It was hand drawn but digitally painted, a first for me with a poster. Just love the Cintiq for making it that much easier to do, and still keep an organic quality to it. I'm hoping that I did Dr. King justice here. My next personal project, and I'm one of thousands I"m sure, is to do an Obama portrait.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

MLK in progress

Well, it's been quite awhile, but this project finally is moving along. In between trips to Guantanamo, teaching online and working my book series- all of which I am so loving- this project has been simmering along. I still have some details to add, it needs some livening up, some heat- so you'll see another posting when it's completely done.

Friday, November 7, 2008

Figure drawing 11/6 at Hopper House

What a turnout we had last night; the upcoming show is going to be great- only one month away. Facilitating these sessions have been such a great experience for me. I've met artists in the area, I keep my figure drawing skills sharper, and working in Edward Hopper's house is quite an honor, to name but a few of the great things that have come out of doing this.

Monday, November 3, 2008

Bin Laden's media secretary al Baluhl convicted

Today a military jury convicted Ali Hamza al Bahlul, the second conviction of war crimes before a special terror court. He was found guilty for creating an Al Quaeda recruiting video as Osama Bin Laden's media secretary. Sentencing will be read later today. I drew these images in June, when I had been sent to draw the 9/11 co-conspirators. A new courtroom had been constructed especially for the high security cases, and I wanted to sketch as much as I could to get a feel for the environment, which is a room at the back of the court for media, behind thick glass windows. It was the first time the court was being used in it's official capacity, so there were a few delays during audio cutout. At one point the judge left his post just to keep the tribunal moving forward- the drawing at the top. For more on this case and it's outcome:

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Figure drawing October 30th

Some more figure studies from our session last week. Later on Monday I'll be posting some drawings from Guantanamo Bay of Al Bahlul- his verdict will be in, and it's going to hit the news in the U.S.

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Upcoming show at Hopper House

I will be curating a show at Hopper House of some of the figurative work we've done in the drawing workshops, and am very excited about it. Drawing weekly has helped me to keep my skills sharp for court art, but also gives me the opportunity to meet and work beside other artists in the community- in Edward Hopper's house, no less. There will be a reception Dec. 6- details will follow regarding time- those in the area, please stop by and see the show in December. Or come by and draw with us on Thursday evenings, 7:30-10. Click here for more info on that.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Kamin tribunal at Guantanamo Bay

I'm a little behind with posting to the blog.. so will catch up in increments. This is from last week's trip to Cuba. I had gone to draw the Canadian detainee Omar Khadr on Wednesday- see my earlier posting. That has been bumped until January 26th, so it's good I went and captured a recent image of this very important trial.
Since I was already on premises, the opportunity to capture any court activity is something I would not pass up. I had missed Ghailani, which went on at the same time as Khadr. However, the Kamin case came up Thursday. He chose not to attend the tribunal, so you see an empty chair, and the witness is one of the soldiers testifying about his behavior and lack of attendance. From there, very strong arguments were set forth by both sides. The biggest issue always seems to be about information- lacking, transparency, etc.
A reminder to check out Miami Herald's coverage of Guantanamo and the Defense Link site for up to date information.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Omar Khadr motions in Guantanamo

I'm in Guantanamo Bay Cuba with Michelle Shepard of Toronto Star ( check out her book on Omar Khadr "Guantanamo's Child'- Embassy's top 20 most influential books of the year) and Omar El Akkad of Globe and Mail. Thier companies sent me to sketch Omar's motion hearing today.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Latest Hopper House session

Just a few studies from last week's session. I head to Guantanamo Bay to do some more court sketches, flying out Tuesday and in court Wednesday and Thursday. I will be posting the work so keep an eye out!

Friday, October 10, 2008

Hopper Figure drawing, Oct 10, 2008

Another drawing session at Hopper House, feeling kind of rusty and not really 'on' but that's exactly why I should be doing this.
The model has a very Rubinesque quality and the energy high with plenty of people drawing. I really enjoy it and feel that
being able to draw in Edward Hopper's house is truly a privilege.

Friday, October 3, 2008

Author Norman Maclean for WSJ

This was commissioned by Wall Street Journal, Books section- a portrait of author Norman Maclean, who is probably best known for his book 'A River Runs Through It'. I feel honored, as this particular book was a family favorite, and my grandfather was an avid fly fisherman. I was asked to do a portrait with an organic edge, and decided to work in the river/fishing element. Because it is a small piece, the larger face was chosen. I adjusted the final to make his expression to be more open- it felt too severe in the sketch.

Friday, September 26, 2008

September 25 2008- figure drawing at Hopper House

Another session, this time with model Nick. I needed the practice, always, and like a good stretch and run, you feel so good afterwards. The venue is lovely and one of my favorites, Mariet, came to draw.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

The latest in Guantanamo

Pre-trial hearings of the 9/11 conspirators have been going on this week at Guantanamo Bay. I was almost sent, but the media felt that what I had sketched in June was enough to carry the story- which continues to fascinate, but has been buried by economy/election stories, etc.
Read and see more about it here:

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Columbus landing spot in Guantanamo Bay

Here's the spot where Columbus landed, hoping to find Gold in 1494. They only stayed a day, then moved on. I took this
photo in June 2008. Enjoy!

Friday, September 19, 2008

Columbus cover

Whew! I just finished this cover for Worldwatch Institute. It's based on a classic Durer engraving but with a spin; Columbus has ridden into North America with compadres War, Religion, and Death. We celebrate his arrival, but the truth is much less pretty than we perhaps care to believe. I enjoy having Columbus Day off and celebrating Thanksgiving, but have felt bothered by the glossing over of this event. I am one-quarter Pueblo so there is a personal attachment to the truth as well. Anyhow, this was done digitally in Photoshop with layers over a sketch. Line by line by line..
in my next posting I will attach a photo I took in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba this July, of a point where Columbus had landed there too- a nice point marker denoted the spot.

Friday, September 12, 2008

More figurative work

Last night we had a rough start, with lost keys and several interruptions- yet it was still a very successful drawing session.
I wanted to push and exaggerate, play it up, and could have gone way farther with it. Oh well, had a good time anyway, and loved the variety that was coming out from a great turnout of artists.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Nomenus Quarterly

In the latest issue of Nomenus Quarterly, I have some of my Guantanamo Bay artwork featured.
It's an impressive publication, and I encourage you to view the archived issues as well.

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Latest figure drawing, Hopper House

It took awhile to warm up. Drawing is truly an exercise- stretching, loosening, and reaching that fluid place where you find the line (or lines- sometimes the mistakes are just as beautiful). The model, Angel, was a pleasure to draw.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Hopper House 8-28-08

Just finished a drawing session at Hopper House.. the model was fantastic, she had a very Hopper-esque quality. I find that this is really important for me to do on so many levels- like anything, the more you do it, the better and looser you are. Stretching that creative muscle is always important, no matter how long you've been drawing. And above all, it should be fun- challenging, but fun. Have a great Labor Day weekend!

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Figure drawing started up again at Hopper House

We started off again after summer hiatus with a great attendance, and the debut of new drawing horses that I built. I based it on the ones we used to use at Art Center- simple wooden bench with resting back, much better than what we've been using. Thanks to a generous anonymous donation, I was able to purchase enough wood and supplies to make three- and still would like to make four more.
The model was Bobbi Golden, who always knows how to strike great successive poses. Next week we'll have another female model, and then I'll try to alternate and mix it up a bit. To see more about Hopper House figure drawing check out the link on my blog. Thanks for visiting!

Saturday, August 16, 2008

Busy, busy.. on the lighter side

Sorry I've dropped off the blogosphere lately.. juggling courtsketches, books and life in between.
When I'm not in a courtroom- or a playground, for that matter- I've been working on a series of very lighthearted books targeted toward younger children on our body parts. It's really a fun series and I enjoy the lighter cartoony style. Here is one for the book on 'Eyes' showing color blindness.
This coming week, the Hopper House figure drawing sessions will be starting up again, so I'll be posting sketches from those.
I will also be posting some articles and links about the Guantanamo Bay commissions artwork.

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Hamdan sentence

I did not end up going back to Guantanamo Bay this week to draw the sentencing, so am posting what I drew earlier in the tribunal.