Friday, May 28, 2010

Small Package

A bit of Charles Schulz, but more like the figures in Rocky & Bullwinkle I think.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Call the Caterer

Between grad parties and wedding parties, this is the time of year to be a caterer. I've done a lot of food images over the years, for all of the food and shelter and city magazines. It isn't a matter of point and shoot; I have to re-imagine the food or the scenario. I re-imagined this pastry chef as a piece of Staffordshire pottery. Colorful, simple, sweet. I think I painted this for Town & Country.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

An American Icon

I cropped this head of Paul Bunyan from a tourism brochure and drew the dog and his dinner underneath it. At the time it seemed humorously incongruous; now it seems apt. The newest shouts of individualism are being paid for by large corporate entities who'd rather have obedient people working for them. Some Americans behave in a way Pavlov would be able to explain.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Airplanes, etc.

My parents once expressed hopes that I'd find a job in the airline business, so they could fly for free. A very sensible idea. The closest I've come is doing art for airline advertising. Fifteen years ago I did a daily ad for one airline. This week I've been doing some paintings for another. As a mapmaker, it's a good fit. But illustrators seldom are flown anywhere on assignment. I get to go places more often as a travel writer. I used to fly all over to write about ski destinations, but since I no longer ski I am looking for a different gig. Beaches maybe, or cities with interesting cafés. I once introduced myself as the food and wine editor for Skiing magazine. I could do the same for another magazine if asked.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Idleness is Vice

It's obvious to me that this man is breaking the law. Where are the police?

Monday, May 17, 2010

Making the Grade

I did this illustration for a Time magazine article about grade inflation. The metaphor of the ladder works two ways because an A is also a ladder to success. But not all A's are created equal. Some teachers are kinder than others, some schools engineer grade points, and some students get a leg-up for very good reasons. I'm grateful for every leg-up I got. I know it was easier in my day. Competition for grades has become overheated. I can't remember if there was anything about learning in the article, but learning has become less important than the score. Things we learn under this kind of pressure tend to be forgotten quickly.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Another Choice Drawing

This is another drawing I did for the New York Times op-ed piece about school choice last week.

Friday, May 7, 2010

Suburbia Illustrated

I grew up in suburbia. (Pause to allow murmur of shock and opprobrium to subside.) I hasten to add that it was different then. Less privileged, more innocent, and considerably smaller. My sketchbooks since then contain suburban imagery as a kind of leitmotif, a journey with destination, the destination being either the countryside or the city. The city neighborhood I live in today resembles a suburb of two or three generations ago, which may be why I love it. Houses midcentury and older. (Ours is circa 1900 and was built as a lake cottage.) This drawing is part of a series I've been working on for some time for an editor of children's books at Farrar Straus. Maybe I'm trying to rediscover my childhood. It's what we all do. If I can I'd like to describe those remembered voyages by car, preferably without text because the drawings are the story. One page will leave off where the next one picks up and the child will follow along with his finger, scrutinizing, as I did, the variety of domestic landscapes along the way.

Tuesday, May 4, 2010