The “polar vortex” has us in its grip this week, and I’m still awaiting a go-ahead on a large project that I expect to hear from Any Day Now. In the meantime, there’s a lot of cancellations around here and in-between shoveling the driveway, I got to thinking about that very first Oscar broadcast that me and my brother watched back in 1973. I was 11 years old, and I was a huge fan of the ‘Poseidon Adventure’, and was rooting for Shelley Winters and the Best Song category. In later years, of course, I became huge fans of several of the movies nominated this year, including The Godfather, Cabaret and Deliverance. I thought I’d put some of my spare time to use and work up another caricature poster for that seminal year (for me) of 1972/73. I may finish this up tomorrow, should my schedule permit. In the meantime, below is a quick turnaround illustration I did for the Chronicle of Higher Education on Tuesday.
Worked on the finish for the Oscar poster over the weekend. As I said in the previous post, this was something I was doing every year from around 2004-2016, and then fell off the wagon in the last few years. A present for my brother who has been hosting a long running Oscar Viewing Party for more years than I can remember. As children, I remember us sitting and watching the Oscars together every year, starting around 1972, and even when we grew up and moved out of the house, we would call long distance to compare notes after the broadcast. For some reason, felt the urge to pick up the stylus and whip another one out this year (and if time allows, I may catch up on the two years I missed, just to keep my streak intact).
Something I’ve been neglecting the past few years. Since 2004 or thereabouts, my brother has been throwing a ‘Oscar Viewing Party’ at either his home, or at his restaurant in Chicago. I’ve commemorated each year with a caricature poster featuring all the nominated actors and films. In 2017 I got as far as a rough layout of the poster done, but then a busy schedule kind of sidelined the final art. In 2018 I didn’t even get as far as a layout. Since I had a little downtime this week, I worked up a rough sketch for this year’s nominees, and I’ll likely be finishing up the finished illustration sometime this weekend. You can see the other posters in the series here.
Was scheduled for Jury Duty this week, so I dutifully cleared the week on my calendar. I called in the Jury schedule hotline every night, and was told every evening that I didn’t need to report the next day. So I had a bit of down time this week. I began working on an idea for a future coloring book project. As I said in the previous post, the idea being a set of scenes from my favorite books. I think my favorite sort of work, as an illustrator, is in depicting fictional scenes, whether it be short stories for Alfred Hitchcock’s Mystery Magazine or River Styx, or novels or longer works of fiction. Hoping to do a few more samples along these lines (doing some science fiction, romance, crime fiction, classic literature, adventure) before presenting the idea to a publisher.
Got my complimentary copies of my “Western Screen Legends” coloring book last week, and it got me thinking of a new spinoff idea for the next collection. My son had just finished reading a book that I had given him for Christmas, one of my favorites, “True Grit” by Charles Portis. I thought it might be interesting, as a spinoff from the last book, to do a book of ‘favorite scenes from my favorite books’ (not sure what the title should be, quite yet), but I started off with a sketch today from the aforementioned book. (perhaps I’ll select a bit of relevant text from the book to reprint at the bottom) Other books that could be included; Moby Dick, The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, Murders in the Rue Morgue, Treasure Island, Robinson Crusoe, White Fang, Oliver Twist, Wuthering Heights, Wind in the Willows, Alice in Wonderland, Jungle Book, Crime and Punishment, The Metamorphosis, etc etc — In the meantime, I think I’ll get going on some samples and present them to some publishers, like the last book.