• Tokyo storefront paintings by Mateusz Urbanowicz

    I’m always drawn to work that feels both intricate and gestural, a balance I keep grappling with in my own stuff. These illustrations really nail that. They are precise and clear but not fussy, and unafraid to be imperfect.

    I’m not sure what tools the artist is using, but my guess is Procreate on an iPad? I’d love to learn more about how he achieves such lovely wet-brush watercolor effects digitally.

  • Kaethe Butcher

    I really like artist Kaethe Butcher’s figurative ink drawings. I’ve found myself staring at them awhile today. She has this wonderfully expressive, loose-but-precise linework, and I love the way she uses tone and contrast — both spare and dramatic.

    She mentions in her bio that she’s a fan of Austrian Expressionist painter Egon Schiele, and I think I can see his influence. But while Schiele’s work has often struck me as clinical — if not deliberately lifeless or grotesque — Butcher’s work seems much more intimate, more connected with her subjects as people. She’s struck a nice balance between being formally interesting and also being emotionally compelling - that is, between being a good drawing and a good portrait, which Lord knows is not easy.

  • New prints are in!

    New prints came in today! Some new additions to my “Inventory” series: bits and pieces and memories from around my neighborhood. All are now available on my Etsy shop.

  • A toad by the side of the trail

    Frogger in reverse

    I almost ran over this poor toad when I was out on a bike ride one night. I enjoy evening rides on the bike paths around my town, but on summer nights there are often so many toads hanging out on the path that I have to slow down and thread my way around them. It’s like a game of Frogger, but in reverse.

    The toads seem surprisingly unconcerned with either my bike’s crushing tires or with the close proximity of giant human predators. This one sat there calmly as I took a picture of him.

    And so now I offer my tribute in ink: take care of yourself, brave toad.

  • Some test prints and proofs

    New work: my "inventory"

    I’ve been working on a new series of small drawings of things my daughter and I have found around our neighborhood this spring. With everybody stuck at home, Evelyn and I gradually stumbled into a daily ritual. We’d take the dog out for a walk each afternoon, and we’d talk about the things we saw changing around us: the flowers blooming and falling, the leaves growing, the colors changing, the bugs and birds and animals re-emerging as the weather turned warmer. Evelyn would come home with her pockets stuffed with whirligigs and buttercups and cicada shells, which she’d arrange in little taxonomic collections around the house.

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  • Considering George Floyd's murder and the protests

    Here’s a few things I’ve been reading this week that I’ve found really helpful and inspiring:

    • I love this piece that Stacey Abrams wrote for the New York Times about how much voting matters right now. Sometimes the most basic things — the things easiest to overlook or take for granted — are what can make the biggest difference.
    • President Obama’s piece about local politics and police reform is great — not only because it’s insightful but also because his calm, clear, eloquent voice is so comforting to hear right now.
    • Neil DeGrasse Tyson wrote a powerful blog post about his experiences with discrimination and police bias.
    • Marques Brownlee, a tech journalist and Youtuber I’ve followed for a long time, was inspired by Dr. Tyson’s article to reflect on his own life experience.
    • Ayesha McGowan is the world’s first (and so far, only) black female pro cyclist. In addition to being a great athlete, she’s also an excellent writer, and she’s been reflecting lately in her blog on the protests, as well as representation and racism in the cycling industry.[1]
    • Check out this great list of resources for antiracism.[2]

    I’ll update this list as I find more.

    1. Also I like the typography joke in the title of her site, A Quick Brown Fox. ↩︎

    2. Hat tip to kottke.org for the link to this list. ↩︎

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  • 'Bridges' proof

    New proof came in!

    This is a new ink drawing of an interstate overpass, from a trail on the Patuxent. That day the sunlight caught the tree branches just so, and I managed to take a picture.