Body of Work

My drawing of prima ballerina, Julie Kent has been posted at VanityFair.com with a wonderful article by Elise Taylor in honor of Kent's final performance and retirement from American Ballet Theatre tonight. The drawing features every ballet Kent danced during her long career at ABT. You can see the finished drawing and the piece here. Below are some process photos, including my pencil drawing which used Roy Round's iconic photograph as a reference. Once the pencil drawing was finished and placed on the lightbox, it was straight to ink with the list of her 100 ballets slowly being crossed of one by one until the work was done . . .

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#TwitterFiction

 Yesterday I participated again in the Twitter Fiction Festival at Sub Culture in NYC, drawing live during the event. The above drawing was made before the Festival started, live on the big screen--a stream of consciousness Twitter Doodle Curtain Warmer . . .

Yesterday I participated again in the Twitter Fiction Festival at Sub Culture in NYC, drawing live during the event. The above drawing was made before the Festival started, live on the big screen--a stream of consciousness Twitter Doodle Curtain Warmer . . .

 Comedian Nick Turner was the host for the event . . .

Comedian Nick Turner was the host for the event . . .

 The first reader was Lindsay Faye . . . 

The first reader was Lindsay Faye . . . 

 This was drawn live during Myke Cole's dystopian tale of The Fractured Girl . . .

This was drawn live during Myke Cole's dystopian tale of The Fractured Girl . . .

 My favorite story of the night was from Anna North who read six short pieces, including the dramatic story of the cheese headed baby (along with stories about the woman who wanted to turn mice into men, a tea drinking killer robot, a brother and sister saved from a fire by shrubs, a story about the action hero's wife and, finally, a town plagued by a rain of salmon . . . .)

My favorite story of the night was from Anna North who read six short pieces, including the dramatic story of the cheese headed baby (along with stories about the woman who wanted to turn mice into men, a tea drinking killer robot, a brother and sister saved from a fire by shrubs, a story about the action hero's wife and, finally, a town plagued by a rain of salmon . . . .)

Hello Goodbye

 Playwright and composer Bill Russell and Henry Krieger, presenting songs (and some cut) from their musical, Side Show, last night at 54 Below. The show featured many performers from the recent Broadway revival and celebrated the release of a  live album of Side Show songs , recorded last year at 54 Below.

Playwright and composer Bill Russell and Henry Krieger, presenting songs (and some cut) from their musical, Side Show, last night at 54 Below. The show featured many performers from the recent Broadway revival and celebrated the release of a live album of Side Show songs, recorded last year at 54 Below.

Jeté

 I spent a lot of time with dancers a long time ago. Dancers say that once they've learned a piece its "in their body."  Sometimes I think dancers' bodies are in my hand... 

I spent a lot of time with dancers a long time ago. Dancers say that once they've learned a piece its "in their body."

Sometimes I think dancers' bodies are in my hand... 

I Draw The Line

Here are my drawings from Symphony Space's Wall To Wall Johnny Cash Show last Saturday. I went the distance, doing live backdrops for each of the three sections, a set with Balthrop, Alabama and a few portraits along the way.  It was a great day....

 Part One: Love and Death! 

Part One: Love and Death! 

 Part Two: The Outlaw.... 

Part Two: The Outlaw.... 

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 This is a detail from the live drawing with Balthrop, Alabama....  

This is a detail from the live drawing with Balthrop, Alabama....  

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Sing-Along

Out front of the Belasco Theater last night, after the final performance of John Cameron Mitchell’s run as Hedwig in the Broadway revival of Hedwig And The Angry Inch.

Inside the theater, an intimate party of invited guests enjoyed (more than a few) celebratory drinks together in the green room under the stage. But on the street outside, fans of Mitchell and Hedwig crowded together, singing the entire musical score (co-written by Mitchell and Stephen Trask) under the marquis. Some of them had managed to get tickets and had seen the performance, but the majority of them made the pilgrimage simply because being there and participating in a Hedwig sing-along means something important to them.

I left the party early and stood across the street, watching and listening to the crowd perform acappella the score, in order—including the fictional theme from Hurt Locker, The Musical which is an inside joke from the revival.

“What’s happening? “ a passer by asked a lady to my left who watched and sang alone from across the street. “John Cameron Mitchell is done with his run in the show,” she explained. The man nodded and replied, “so, he is leaving office?”

Soon after, the performer and writer Mike Albo (who co-wrote the fictional Hurt Locker’s program for the revival and is an old friend of Mitchell’s) walked by me on his way out of the downstairs party. I told him how the crowd had performed the entire score and he shook his head in wonder. He’s been on the Hedwig trip from the very beginning . “It’s amazing,” he said with some disbelief before heading off in to the night.

Later this week, Darren Criss begins his run in Hedwig And The Angry Inch which continues performances at the Belasco Theater.

Employee Of The Month: April

Last Thursday, I got to join in again with Catie Lazarus's Employee Of The Month Show. Guests this month included Justin Sayre, Cindy Chupack, Betty Halbreich and Olympia Dukakis. Here's the live drawing from the night--skillfully rendered while avoiding the flying foils during a duel between Catie and Olympia Dukakis. Just one of the many hazards of the job, I guess . . .

BTW, The New York Times did a great profile on Catie abut a week ago. You can read it here.


Rainy Monday

 Rainy Monday Sketchbook   "I'm soaked and miserable" Laura texted this morning. "No bus." She added moments later, halfway through her commute. "Coming home," she surrendered.

Rainy Monday Sketchbook

 "I'm soaked and miserable" Laura texted this morning. "No bus." She added moments later, halfway through her commute. "Coming home," she surrendered.

Exquisite Corpse

My studio-mate, Bernie DeChant, is pretty compulsive about his print process when it comes to his photographs. He spends a lot of time doing test prints and proofs, making sure everything looks just North of perfection. In practice, this means a lot of partial images and unsuccessful prints get thrown out or discarded. And sometimes--every once in a while--I pick one up and draw on it . . .

Given Tree

Alden and I were talking about trees the other day. He has a lot to say about pretty much everything, although being pre-linguistic at his tender age, I can't really pretend to know his take on a given subject. I do know his passion knows no bounds.

Anyway, I was telling him about the now virtually gone subtlety of weather and wishing that he could have seen a spring and winter like the ones I used to know when I was a kid. I was wishing he could have met my mom and seen the weeping willow at the top of the hill by my grandmother's house. I was remembering the past in a bittersweet way, wishing it wasn't gone so he'd know what I knew and why I knew it.

And he smiled because everything is new to him, especially his memories. . .

Brooklyn Spring

 Over in Carroll Park, the children dressed in black are out with their parents after spending the last few months inside. Alden and I are enjoying wandering the city with warming air. We're raising a city kid on museums and subways, free concerts and backstage passes. Let the sun shine, we're ready for the Spring!

Over in Carroll Park, the children dressed in black are out with their parents after spending the last few months inside. Alden and I are enjoying wandering the city with warming air. We're raising a city kid on museums and subways, free concerts and backstage passes. Let the sun shine, we're ready for the Spring!

Village Blues

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Binky Griptite, last night at Greenwich House, playing the blues for the Uncharted Series. Griptite turned the venerated music school into a roadside blues bar--people even gathered on the sidewalk outside to listen. The place was so packed I actually had to sit on the stage to get this drawing. There are worse places to be than at the feet of Binky Griptite when he's playing guitar...

Late Night Subway Sketch

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Around midnight last night, I walked through a sprinkling of snow in Times Square, over to the F train at Rockefeller Center. The train pulled in just as I got to the platform and I got a seat by the door, pulled out the drawings I had just finished and looked them over. Then I lifted my head, glanced at this guy and started drawing. By the time I looked up to check a detail, he was gone, so I can't really say if it's a good likeness...

Live On Stage!

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Here's my drawing--and two great photos of me drawing it--live on stage at the Greenwich House Music School last Thursday night. I'll be drawing live before every show on Thursday nights through the end of the Uncharted Season!

The photos are by Peter Parrella!

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If you don't know where you're going, every way is up...