New York City

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.

Hands by Michael Arthur

Last night, I got a couple of last minute tickets to see Lynda Barry and Matt Groening speak at BAM. They're an accomplished pair, with an almost life long friendship that resembles a marriage but isn't. The night before, I had been talking in a bar with Loser's Lounge leader Joe McGinty about my admiration for long friendships between creative people--Groening and Barry's deep acceptance, obvious frustrations and absolute adoration of each other is about as inspiring an example of creative lives lived separately and together as you're likely to find.

In addition to her accomplishments as a cartoonist, Barry works as a professor of creativity at the University of Madison, Wisconsin and--although they both spoke of the challenges and histories of their creative endeavors--I found myself particularly moved by her assertion that the hand is leader to the creative act. In Barry's estimation, drawing is simply the follow through of a curious hand and a childlike acceptance of truths revealed. I had never thought about it in these terms, but it's a notion that sits well with me.

When I got home after the talk, I showed Laura a breathtaking video Barry shared--a YouTube clip of a baby discovering its hand. "I like to think that the hand is discovering the child too," a delighted Barry had said. Laura went to bed then--our baby, Alden, was already sleeping--so  I went in to the other room, made myself some tea and pulled out my sketchbook, reminded again that drawing is really just allowing the lines to be what they will.

by Michael Arthur

Star-studded guests of monkeylazarus's Employee of the Month show at joespub last night. The guests included comedy-writer Simon Rich, Top Chef Tom Colicchio, musician Stephin Merritt (Magnetic Fields) and legendary Mad Magazine cartoonist Al Jaffee!

by Michael Arthur

The remarkable Andrew Rannells in rehearsal last week as he  assumed the golden pumps of Hedwig on Broadway. I got to sit in and draw at the Belasco Theater on Tuesday and Friday as the company fine tuned the transition.