Thursday, April 30, 2020


I ran across this German opinion piece by Volker Heise in the Berliner-Zeitung newspaper which describes one man's psychological asparagus withdrawal that landed him in the ER, as well as his more serious struggle to cope with Covid19 stress. His reaction to having no fresh local asparagus was so "extra" that I felt inspired to illustrate the piece. I do sympathize with his anxiety, though, and I hope he feels better; we're all going through some stuff right now.

But you must understand, Germans are obsessed with asparagus ("Spargel") in the Springtime; the type and provenance of the asparagus is a big deal, something one might show off to one's coworkers for social clout. Enthusiasts will absolutely engage in shady backdoor trade to get the fresh local best if they must. Also of note: Germans peel asparagus before cooking and serving (in butter with a side of luxury). I never knew that until German YouTube served me an ad of a woman lovingly peeling asparagus in a slow motion in her rustic kitchen at sunrise.

I've translated the article as best I can. My understanding of what he said about the protesters is a little iffy.

Thursday, March 26, 2020

Creators talk about their art

Here's a random jumble of creators talking about how they make stuff and think of ideas. I like how they're all pretty down to earth and direct about it. I often hear art making discussed as if it's something closer to spiritual sorcery, and while I appreciate that it is meant to be inspiring I just can't identify with that perspective. Enjoy!

Quentin Blake illustrating:

Eric Carle talking about making The Very Hungry Caterpillar:

Charles Bukowski on writing:

Lisa Hanawalt, a cartoonist or animator or...?... talks about creating the concept art for Bojack Horseman. If you've never seen the show, it's an excellent cartoon for adults about a fading TV star battling addiction. The show is both very sad and serious, as well as absurd and slapstick. Like Don Draper meets The Far Side. I've included a clip from the show below Hanawalt's speech.

and a clip from Hanawalt's show Bojack Horseman:

Saturday, March 21, 2020

Sketch by me

It's been a while since I've drawn in charcoal so yesterday I spent the afternoon practicing. I pulled such a weird expression because I rarely get a chance to draw contorted faces and the interesting shapes they create. When I draw portraits professionally, of course I try to make the subjects look good, not like monster-clowns. But that can get a bit boring.

I took a few photos as I went so you can see how it progressed over the afternoon. You're supposed to work on the entire thing at once, not to go bit by bit... but I did anyway. It was just that kind of day.

This isn't finished; the left side of the page is blank, leaving room for another weird expression that I'll integrate with this on as a bigger composition when it's done.

More entertainment: Napoleon's wedding cake

As promised, more entertainment for the quarantine and sheltering-at-home crowd. This is a professional recreating an historic recipe by Napoleon's pastry chef. And it is INSANE. Prepare yourself for an epic new definition of "labor intensive."

Wednesday, March 18, 2020

Some Entertainment

If you're shut in your home for the foreseeable future like I am, I have some light entertainment for you. I'll keep the entertainment posts coming, unless I get distracted and forget, once again, that this blog exists.

Here's somebody recreating Monet's daily meals which I ran across on YouTube. I have visited Giverny on a rainy day in spring, I did have questionable cider at a cafe nearby, and I can easily imagine this household running like a well-oiled picturesque machine. 

Video description: birds-eye views of someone following recipes interspersed with narratives of Monet's life and his paintings.