Sunday, January 29, 2012

Poker Faces

I'm thinking about designing a deck of playing cards featuring influential film directors from the past century, along with stylized versions of some of their most famous shots (it could possibly turn into a school assignment if I play my cards right.......ha, puns). This is what I've come up with so far.

The idea came while watching Martin Scorsese's 4-hour Personal Journey through American Movies this weekend, so he was lucky enough to be the first card created. Of course, I had to do Woody next, seeing as I can just about caricature him in my sleep from all the art projects I've done of him in the past year.

Stay tuned for more installments!

The Founding Face of Pixar

I sent in some artwork to the Pixar fan site "Pixar Times" recently as part of their new Knick Knacks project (it's like Disney's Vinylmation product line, except 2D and set in a Buzz Lightyear template). I figured no Pixar tribute would be complete without a nod to its creative co-founder John Lasseter---idea-man behind Toy Story, Cars, and other favoraites, known especially for his constant enthusiasm and walk-in closet full of Hawaiian t-shirt---so that's how I ended up with the cherub-faced figure above. Be sure to head over to Pixar Times  to see the rest of the great submissions in this round!

Saturday, January 21, 2012

A Snowy Day in the Bronx

I was hoping to trek down to the World Financial Center this morning for the New York chapter of the 34th worldwide SketchCrawl (like a pub crawl, but for sketching things), but then snow happened. Figuring that a 2+ hour round-trip commute might not be worth it, I decided to do my sketching from home. I ended up with the two above sketches of a peacefully snow-laden Bronx.

I thought I'd throw in this sketch of St. John the Divine as well. I sketched it the other day while picking up book near Columbia University, but couldn't quite finish for fear of losing my fingers to the cold.

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Remembering Doc Berger

DeSmet Jesuit High School lost one of its greatest teachers this past week. Dr. Patrick Berger---lovingly referred to as "Doc" by just about everyone who knew him---was the rare breed of teacher who melded education and entertainment so seamlessly that it was easy to forget how much we were learning in between all the laughs.

Doc was as exuberant as they come, no matter what challenge lay at hand. He introduced us to great American authors---from Hawthorne to Fitzgerald---with the same vehemence that he employed to rally the troops for our annual calendar sales. We all welcomed his morning announcements orations with smiles and chuckles; the greatest tragedy is that we never thought to record his rich monologues and set the audio to a medley of inspirational movie speeches---the Youtube hits could have been gastronomical. Truly, Rome may have had Cicero, and England, Churchill, but we had Doc. There was no equal.

In his wisdom, Doc also knew that grading high school English papers was a dish best paired with a cold glass of scotch---or perhaps an entire bottle or two...we were never quite sure. But the advice was valuable, and the individual concern always evident. Doc met us where we were and encouraged growth from there. In doing so, he won the respect of everyone. His infectious laugh was matched only by his enthusiasm for the subjects he taught, and I'd like to think we were all the better for it.

In memory of Doc Berger and his unparalleled spirit, I've put together the above portrait---an attempt to capture the Doc that I knew best. I am sure that his spirit will live on in all who had him as a teacher, and all who knew him as a friend. May he rest in peace while we carry on his passion.

If you would like to read more about Doc, feel free to view this obituary at