Exquisite Corpse by Michael Arthur

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 by Michael Arthur

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 by Michael Arthur

 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 by Michael Arthur

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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 by Michael Arthur

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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! by Michael Arthur

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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... 

Marc Ribot and Emeline Michel at Greenwich House by Michael Arthur

Last night at the Greenwich House School of Music's Uncharted Series (where I am doing a residency through April), guitar legend Marc Ribot and Haitian songstress Emeline Michel paid tribute to Haitian classical guitar icon (and Ribot's mentor) Frantz Casseus in a gorgeous night of music. The evening had the feel of a school recital in the very best sense, not just because it took place in a music school, but because Ribot's concentration was intense--his playing just slightly out of his comfort zone--and the audience was filled with family, friends and supportive listeners. It was the Uncharted Series at its best, a real dedication and commitment to the challenging pursuit of a musical ideal, slightly out of reach but completely within the grasp of masters.

The Conversation. by Michael Arthur

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Alden has begun talking without words. He looks directly at me and goes on at length about whatever's on his mind, long meditations, short observations, tart dismissals and joyful bursts. I do my best to respond. "Oh, yeah?" I say. "Is that right?" I ask. He smiles or sighs or looks away, translating from pure feeling, making music from intonation, letting me know what he's thinking without the refinement of language...

Paint by Michael Arthur

Last night, after sunset, our new studio mate, Paul Loren, and I accidentally painted this Hassidic man into our studio wall. He asked Paul and I to please turn off his lights, so we painted over him.

Employee of the Month with Catie Lazarus: March Edition by Michael Arthur

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Liz Tuccillo ("He's Just Not That Into You", "Sex And The City") Syd Butler (Late Night With Seth Meyers) and Cynthia Nixon (come on, like I have to tell you) were the guests at last night's Employee of The Month Show at Joe's Pub . I drew this on stage during the show. Catie says I always make her look like a muppet. I say, only God can make a muppet.

Abstractions by Michael Arthur

 Just before midnight last night,on my walk back from the studio, I crossed 4th place along Court as the stop-light was changing from yellow to red. A soccer mom van going along Court sorta missed the change and rolled into the middle of the intersection and just stopped for the full length of the light. No traffic came as the van in the middle of the intersection waited for the light to   turn green.

Just before midnight last night,on my walk back from the studio, I crossed 4th place along Court as the stop-light was changing from yellow to red. A soccer mom van going along Court sorta missed the change and rolled into the middle of the intersection and just stopped for the full length of the light. No traffic came as the van in the middle of the intersection waited for the light to turn green.

Harps by Michael Arthur

 The Uncharted series began at Greenwich House in the West Village last night with a performance by Harpist  Brandee Younger  (center), accompanied by Mia Theodoratus (on the second harp, far right) and Courtney Bryan on Piano.  The uncharted series features artists debuting new work--myself included. You can check out the full list of performers  here . My contribution is six mounted prints of drawings I've been working on at my studio, drawings I've never shared on social media--in fact, they've really not been seen outside of my work space. Well, one of them went viral on Flickr a ways back, but the rest are unseen. If you want to check them out, you'll have to go to Greenwich House! The new drawings are experiments I've been doing with cartoons and stories that aren't really cartoons and stories. You'll understand when you go and check them out!  I'll also be drawing live every week before the show starts and then capturing the performance in a drawing. I'm looking forward to eight weeks of inspiring innovations amongst some fantastic musicians!

The Uncharted series began at Greenwich House in the West Village last night with a performance by Harpist Brandee Younger (center), accompanied by Mia Theodoratus (on the second harp, far right) and Courtney Bryan on Piano.

The uncharted series features artists debuting new work--myself included. You can check out the full list of performers here. My contribution is six mounted prints of drawings I've been working on at my studio, drawings I've never shared on social media--in fact, they've really not been seen outside of my work space. Well, one of them went viral on Flickr a ways back, but the rest are unseen. If you want to check them out, you'll have to go to Greenwich House! The new drawings are experiments I've been doing with cartoons and stories that aren't really cartoons and stories. You'll understand when you go and check them out!

I'll also be drawing live every week before the show starts and then capturing the performance in a drawing. I'm looking forward to eight weeks of inspiring innovations amongst some fantastic musicians!

Spring Cleaning by Michael Arthur

 Walking to the studio today, Alden was sporting his sunglasses and looking around at the world as we passed. He's pretty much been an indoor baby since he was born in late November. It's been a long cold stretch with plenty of rain and snow and it's a welcome relief to wander the black slush of Brooklyn in the thaw.  "He looks pretty cool," said a woman over by Court Street Grocers.  "He's just glad to get out," I said for us both.

Walking to the studio today, Alden was sporting his sunglasses and looking around at the world as we passed. He's pretty much been an indoor baby since he was born in late November. It's been a long cold stretch with plenty of rain and snow and it's a welcome relief to wander the black slush of Brooklyn in the thaw.

"He looks pretty cool," said a woman over by Court Street Grocers.

"He's just glad to get out," I said for us both.

The Bird Watcher by Michael Arthur

 This is an "out-take" from my  Armory Show series for Vanity Fair .  It didn't really happen--it's a juxtaposition of a drawing I was trying to get of an elderly man with his camera wandering and shooting the art and a bird I heard singing up in the rafters of the pier. It was a bare bones line drawing that I abandoned the other day--sometimes that happens when I'm trying to capture something and I get distracted or it just doesn't work in the moment--but I finished it this morning for fun. A cartoon of a scene that didn't happen but could have . . .

This is an "out-take" from my Armory Show series for Vanity Fair.

It didn't really happen--it's a juxtaposition of a drawing I was trying to get of an elderly man with his camera wandering and shooting the art and a bird I heard singing up in the rafters of the pier. It was a bare bones line drawing that I abandoned the other day--sometimes that happens when I'm trying to capture something and I get distracted or it just doesn't work in the moment--but I finished it this morning for fun. A cartoon of a scene that didn't happen but could have . . .