stan getz from beak to bell 030515

Now it can be told: My recent interest in the saxophone and the world of jazz is due to my acceptance of a commission to do a portrait of Stan Getz, the tenor saxophonist known as The Sound. I knew next to nothing about Getz, and was completely unfamiliar with the structure of the saxophone. Now, with several drawings under my belt, armed with the critically praised STAN GETZ: A LIFE IN JAZZ by Donald L. Maggin, and (just as important) having listened to some Getz sides, I am well on the way to meeting my deadline of April Fool’s Day with some familiarity with Mr. Getz and the world he inhabited. This is an enjoyable project, and I think I’ll come out of it a better artist. I’m a long way from the finish line, though!


Here is a new drawing, a work in progress. For the first time there is a real effort to put some of the keys and rods where they belong–to learn how things work together. There’s also “post-production” work with the tablet’s photoeditor, experimenting with selective focus and “mood lighting.” All of this is in the service of making the final drawing of the series more genuine, and all that jazz.


Happy 111th birthday to the Good Dr.

Originally posted on One with Clay, Image and Text:


As I indicate by my signature, I am an admiring fan of Theodor Geisel, known to the world as Dr. Seuss. FOX IN SOCKS charmed my own socks off me, and one of my fondest memories is reading it aloud to my toddler daughter.

Here are the words to the acrostic:

Let’s start with a task that will not anger bees
Leaves zinnias unfettered and gracing the trees
Out where it’s assumed that a favoring breeze
Obscures a disaster with greatest of ease
One way to get smash hits as featured in Hulu
Opine that the seaside has snagged you a lulu
See–he’ll never cease to amaze all us toddlers
Serves up Feats of antics for Mollies & Coddlers
Escape to his Casa–it’s Perfect for Dawdlers

…and please do visit, where the Good Doctor lives on!

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saxophone 030115

If March goes well, it will be chock-full of drawings of saxophones and jazz combos and portraits of major jazz musicians. In that spirit I kicked off March with a drawing of a saxophone of a friend of mine. No poetry, no “value added” distracting ancillary material–just a saxophone, a hint of the stand it rode in on, and some counterbalancing background.

There’s this great Bob Dylan song whose title is repeated four times in its forthright chorus, thus:

I Want You
I Want You
I Want You
So bad
Honey, I Want You.

In its image-rich first verse there is reference to Silver Saxophones, thus:

The silver saxophones say I
Should refuse you . . .

Everything on the page I just made followed. It may be flavored by my recent partnerlessness (notice, for instance, how the word WANT is emphasized), but hey, so many love & longing songs have been fueled by such. I wonder if Mr. Dylan’s song had such roots. The Truth is out there, no doubt, but let’s find out later, if at all.

i want you 022815

Here are the words to the triple acrostic:

Idle wallowing won’t play
If we’re wishing woo today
If that candlelight won’t do
Inch & pinch & bill & coo
Itches scratched may be très fou

TRIVIA: In the film BREAKFAST AT TIFFANY’S, Holly Golightly uses the phrase “très fou,” thus: “I suppose you think I’m very brazen or très fou or something.” It means Quite Crazy.

HISTORICAL NOTE: The movie 50 SHADES OF GREY is currently playing in theatres around the world.

Today I tried drawing a horse without looking at a horse. I kept using drawing-trickery to disguise my ignorance of horse anatomy–then a Yiddish word popped into my head that I’d seen in Philip Roth’s PORTNOY’S COMPLAINT and also Herman Wouk’s YOUNGBLOOD HAWKE. The word is chazerai. Wouk defined it in HAWKE as “faking, foolishness, trash.”

So here’s my fake horse, under which is some fake haiku, with a bad-pun title to boot.



this is not a horse
an artist ought LOOK at a horse
before he draws one


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