A Small Homage to Mattias Adolfsson

I was in a lecture yesterday, so I started drawing in my notebook. One of the things I enjoy about drawing is that it doesn't prevent you from paying attention to what someone is saying - somehow the brain allows auditory input through a clean channel while a different part of the brain is engaged with the process of drawing. Anyway, I recently received Mattias Adolfsson's new book, Mattias Unfiltered, so his work has been on my mind. I've been amazed by his drawings for years and astounded by his ability to produce so many drawings of such exquisite detail and humor. I've often thought, "I should try something like that" when I see one of his spatial constructions that covers the entire page - like the axonometric on the book's cover - giving the sense that the microcosm being illustrated extends far beyond the limits of the paper. I utterly lack the ability to draw characters like he can - all the people, animals, robots, etc. that populate his worlds are beyond me at this point, but I can learn quite a lot from his way of drawing places. Apart from my fascination with Mattias' drawings, I've also been thinking for a few years about doing some drawing projects of my own that focus on imagined spaces - large scale sections, mainly, that might draw on the tradition of artists like Piranesi and Escher. I've also just discovered Mathew Borrett's work on Lines and Colors, and his stuff has my mind moving in some interesting directions. It was in this context that I made the drawing here. I might still add color to it, and I might extend it onto the left page in the spread ... I don't know. It was just a small experiment that might lead to other things. For now, I just want to say thanks to Mattias for the inspiration.


Portland Visit

I had a nice visit to Portland a little over a week ago, guiding a field trip for a large group of students. I didn't have as much time as I would have liked for sketching, but did manage to do a few. On Saturday morning, I met a group of students at the Saturday Market, and we decided to draw the nearby Burnside Bridge. After helping them with their own sketches, I stayed a bit longer and did this one with a Copic Multiliner SP - "Wine" is the color of the ink, one of my favorites.

The day before, I carved out some time from our touring schedule and did the vertical sketch at Pioneer Courthouse Square. I was trying to capture the umbrella-like structures and the building beyond ... but I was pressed for time, so things got a little sloppy. Still, it was a good way to spend the lunch break.

Friday evening I spent some time visiting my old friend Jeffrey Morgenthaler, bar manager at Clyde Common. He and I have known each other since our days at the Tiny Tavern in Eugene, OR, when I was playing guitar there and he was just beginning his career as a bartender. I did the sketch here with a Namiki Falcon and Noodler's Lexington Grey ink ... and just barely finished the drawing before the ink ran out. It was fun bending the perspective and trying to indicate the plethora of liquor bottles from my perch at the end of the bar.
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