Monday, December 26, 2011

K is for Keres

In Greek mythology, the Keres were female death-spirits. They were described as dark beings with gnashing teeth and claws and with a thirst for human blood. They would hover over the battlefield and search for dying and wounded men. As soon as they caught a man who had fallen or one newly wounded, one of them clasped her great claws around him and his soul went down to Hades, to chilly Tartarus.

Monday, December 19, 2011

J is for Jerff

The Jerff is a creature from Swedish mythology. It is a hodgepodge of various creatures, usually described as being the size and shape of a dog, with some cat like features such as the head, ears, and claws. It also supposedly has a thick coat of shaggy brown fur and a tail resembling that of a fox.

The Jerff is notorious as a symbol of gluttony because of the strange eating habits it is supposed to have. It will make a kill and then gorge itself until it is swollen and unable to eat more, at which point it will find two trees and squeeze itself in between them, pushing the meat through its own body before returning to the kill and repeating the process.

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Calder & Mondrian

My latest comic illustrates an account described by Alexander Calder. When he was a young artist, he visited the studio of Piet Mondrian. This event was "the shock that started everything" for him. I am working on a series of comic strips that illustrates how different artists have influenced each other. Interacting with other artists often can be inspirational for artists.

I don't often color my comics. I enjoy the black and white quality of line art, and it usually suits my purposes. However, some of these art history comics may have to be rendered in color.

Thursday, December 8, 2011

I is for Ichthyocentaur

In Greek mythology the Ichthyocentaur is a fish-centaur, or a particular kind of Triton. The sea creature is described as having the forefeet of a horse in addition to the human body and the fish tail. They were said to be capable of raising or calming storms.


Obligation (2011)
Mixed Media (colored pencil with acrylic)

When I do a colored pencil unit with students, I try to have one going myself. When I do a demonstration showing how to create different color effects, I demonstrate in the context of my own drawing. From September to December, that's what this was for. I also have students collect multiple sources from different sources to create a collage to use as a reference for the drawing. In that way, when students have questions, I can point to something to show how color choices can be made. We discuss surrealism.

My own choices are random. I find whatever jumps out at me. Sometimes themes emerge. For me this drawing is about the obligations in life: getting up in the morning, grabbing quick breakfast, putting on the monkey suit, beating the traffic -- and somehow an Egyptian slave seemed to fit.

Monday, December 5, 2011

H is for Hobgoblin

Hobgoblins are small, hairy little men who are often found within human dwellings, doing odd jobs around the house while the family is lost in sleep. They are also fond of practical jokes. I am sure that all of the items that I cannot find (one sock of a pair, the lids of Tupperware, etc.) are accumulated in their nests. And I am positive that they love to eat the nice white erasers I try to keep around for drawing. How else would they keep disappearing?!