Sunday, February 28, 2010

Blast from the Past #281: Creepy gardener

I drew this back in 1984, but I can't recall the exact circumstances of its creation. My best recollection is that it was one of the handfull of drawings I did for various fanzines.

I actually like this one a lot, especially the folds in the gardener's shirt. -- PL

Friday, February 26, 2010

Blast from the Past #280: Firesheep

Although this may look like a (justly) rejected design I might have submitted to Playmates Toys years ago for consideration as another mutant animal character in the TMNT toy line, it is not.

The things is, even though I know it wasn't done for Playmates, I don't really remember WHAT it is, or what I drew it for. Given the drawing style and technique, I'd guess it to be from the late 1970s or early 1980's. And it is so specific -- an anthropomorphic sheep in a fireman's gear. Weird. -- PL

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Blast from the Past #279: Fruit bowls on coquille board

These two drawings, done on coquille board, were created back in the late 1970's or early 1980's for a local chain of supermarkets called "Big Y" and used in advertising circulars.

I was given two sample fuit bowls by the local Big Y supermarket to use as reference for these drawings. That was pretty nifty, as I got to eat the fruit after drawing it! For a "starving artist", that was a nice perk. -- PL

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

It's not over yet...

... winter, that is.

The weather forecast, when I looked at it yesterday, predicted snow for each of the next four days. Given how relatively mild our winter has been this time around, I hoped that meant maybe a few inches per day of light snow... an accumulation which would disappear fairly rapidly as the weather warmed back up.

Well, last night just before heading to bed I poked my head outside to see how things were going, and already about three or four inches of snow had fallen. I took a photo of the bush in the front yard -- the combination of the camera flash and the light cast on the bush by the pole lamp creates kind of an eerie effect, I think.

Today, when I woke up and looked out the back window, this is what I saw.

Snow! And lots of it. And it's very dense,wet, very heavy snow -- the kind you most hate to shovel. And it's still coming down. Hard to believe that I was out on a motorcycle a mere two days ago... and yesterday rode my bicycle to Florence! Aargh.

There is one tiny positive thing I can say about it -- in some places, there are interesting colors in the snow, like the blues seen here.

It reminds me of those photos you sometimes see of icebergs, with those wonderful bluish hues. I wonder if the extra moisture in the snow has something to do with the color? -- PL

Friday, February 19, 2010

Steve Lavigne, Herald of Spring

Who needs red-breasted robins when you have Steve Lavigne, who graced us with a visit these past few days, and perhaps brought a breath of spring along with him? Steve hung out with me and the Mirage dudes -- he, Dan, Mike and I (along with non-Mirage friends Rick and Rob and my daughter Emily) went to see "Wolfman" last night (capsule review: "A very nice-looking empty movie.") and went out for a nice dinner in Northampton later.

Steve also had fun setting up his new office at Mirage -- he's hoping to come down from Maine to use it occasionally, and we're all for that! Here's a photo of Steve relaxing with some fine graphic literature after completing the basic set-up of his new space.

Coincidentally, Steve's new office space is in Eric's old space, while Eric has been, for the last few years, in what USED to be Steve's old office space which he occupied before moving back to Maine about ten years ago.

Eric joined us for lunch and walking around today, and of course we started to talk about how all of us (well, except for Mike and Dan) are really eager for the winter to end so we can get out on our motorcycles, and discussed various trips we want to take this year. It got me so fired up that I had to take a VERY short ride when I got home -- there was just enough time before the sun set to take what amounted to a ride around the block. I stopped to take a photo of the bike I rode (the Honda Deauville 700) before reluctantly heading home. Look -- almost no snow in this picture! (Sharp-eyed viewers might see the towers of UMass off in the distance behind the Deauville.)

I would have ridden more, but I didn't want to risk hitting a patch of black ice in the dark. -- PL

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Blast from the Past #275: "Futuristic city" drawing inspired by a novel by Joan Vinge

Years ago, when I had one of my drawings accepted as the winning entry in a competition to determine the artwork which would be featured on the posters and t-shirts of the UMass science fiction convention "A World Beyond: A Happening", I met the author Joan Vinge at that same convention. She was very nice and interesting to talk to, and that encounter led me to seek out her novels. I read several of her works, of which "The Snow Queen" was my favorite.

In reading "The Snow Queen", I was inspired to do this almost-finished drawing of one of the settings in that book, a city the name of which I have forgotten. But I remember that her description of it was quite compelling. -- PL

Monday, February 8, 2010

Blast from the Past #273: Another "alien bar" scene (unfinished)

Much like the "Blast from the Past" #134 I posted back in Jauary of 2009, this is yet another drawing inspired by the original "Star Wars" cantina scene. I can't recall whether I drew this as a stand-alone piece or if it was intended to be part of a comic book story, but I am pretty sure it was done in the late 1970's. I can't remember why I didn't finish inking it. It's kind of interesting how I used almost the exact same perspective for the bar scene in both pieces. -- PL

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Blast from the Past #271: World trees

There is no date on this drawing, but from the style I would guess that it is something I drew in the late 1970's or early 1980's. I can't recall why I drew it -- I don't think it was ever published.

I wonder if this piece was inspired by the concept of Yggdrasil, the "world tree" of Norse mythology, which I'm sure was mentioned from time to time in the "Thor" comics that Jack Kirby drew. -- PL

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Red on the snow

During the winter, Jeannine keeps a birdfeeder outside our kitchen window, and it's fun to watch the various hungry winged critters who visit it in search of nourishment. This morning, I spied a somewhat rare visitor...

... a cardinal. Using the zoom lense on a new camera I was trying out, I managed to get a pretty decent shot of it. I like the contrast of the bird's brilliant red plumage againast the stark whiteness of the snow. -- PL

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Blast from the Past #270: Toothy monster doodle

I found this while going through some old stuff a couple of days ago.

I can't say for certain, but due to the fact that it was doodled in ball-point pen on yellow legal pad paper, I suspect that this was drawn during one of the lengthy meetings with lawyers we used to have at Mirage in the 1990's. -- PL

Monday, February 1, 2010

What are these?

I'm hoping someone who reads this blog can help me to identify the plants in this photo.

I see these things often around here and think they are quite beautiful. Any ideas? -- PL

Back to Chapel Falls

After posting those photos of the frozen waterfalls at Chapel Falls, taken last January, I decided I had to go see what they looked like THIS January. So two days ago I braved the 17 degree temperatures and drove up to Chapel Falls. It's interesting to contrast this photo...

... with the first one from my last entry and see the different shapes the water froze into. I think, too, that the fact that the left side of the waterfall in the newer photo is free-flowing water is a good indication that even though it was 17 degrees the day I took that photo, we have had, overall, a milder winter this time around. Last January that entire waterfall was frozen, with only a little flowing water visible through some cracks and holes in the ice.

Of course, while there I couldn't resist the urge to take some shots to turn into panoramas, so here's a panoramic view from near the top of the upper falls...

,,, and another one from a spot near the lower falls. -- PL