Photo Phriday: Phuck You

Subway Sketch

2009 Derby Cover

For the third straight year I have been asked to design to cover for the Gotham Girls Roller Derby Season Program. I showed the sketch a few weeks ago, and I teased it during my most recent 12 of 12, but here, in all its glory, the final approved version of the art (sans text.) They are going for a retro pin-up feel for the program this year, so the cover is a little bit Gil Elvgren, a little bit Enoch Bolles, and a little bit Dave Stevens.

Who Am I?

I'm rereading an old book series and I pulled out the next one this evening. Tucked inside was a receipt from March 13, 2002 from KB Toys for two "Ninja Hamsters." What the hell was a Ninja Hamster and when did I own one of them, much less two?!

Photo Phriday: Phurniture

Crossing Broad River

This photo was taken in 1931. It could have been taken yesterday. Well... not yesterday because this bridge was torn down a year or two a go, but it certainly could have been taken during my childhood, which is the point I guess. This bridge crossed Broad River, and connected the two towns on any significance in the county where I grew up. It always seemed an overwhelming structure when I was a kid, so high, and wide, and it marked the mental boundary between home and... out there. Crossing this bridge meant home was near. I've always had a thing for that sort of symbolism. When I lived in Savannah and I would leave town I always went out of my way to cross the Savannah River Bridge on the way back into town, because that meant I was home.

Turns out that this bridge was special after all. It was the last portion of Highway 29 to be built, connecting two major stretches of road. And it was the only bridge in SC built with skewed through truss, an unusual arrangement that you can see in the photo. The amazing things is that this is what it looked like. This photo is such a strong memory trigger for me. You can see more photos of it here. It's gone now, replaced by a simpler, and far less elegant structure, like so much else in the world. But for me, this is what crossing Broad River looks like.

Winter Itch

Growing up in the South, I'll admit, I didn't understand winter. Seasonal Affective Disorder seemed like a joke... you get sad in winter? What? Then I moved here and discovered that it gets dark at 4pm and doesn't get light until nearly 8... yeah. Depressing. The concept of layered dressing was completely foreign to me. Wind chill was an academic exercise. Real winter brought me lots of surprises.

But by far the worst part of winter to me is "winter itch." This is a completely new concept to me after moving here, and it seems to be much worse in the New York City radiator heated apartments. Like most things medical when it comes to the internet I get varied and conflicting advice about what to do. Drink more water, don't drink more water. Moisturize, but only with water based lotions. Moisturize, but use petroleum jelly. Use a moisturizing soap when bathing. Don't use soap at all when bathing, except for the face and hands. Buy a humidifier, but don't OVER humidify or you risk mold in the house. I've seen sites that recommend rubbing myself down in olive oil, sunflower oil, Crisco, baby oil, oatmeal, lanolin, coconut oil, cocoa butter, and cold cream. And sites that condemn just about every one of those.

So here I am, left with dry skin all through the winter, and relying on expensive lotions that seem to last just a day or two and no idea how the rest of the Yankees put up with this every year.


Still working on the derby art for this season, nothing has been approved, so I can't show you any full pieces, but here's a little tease.

Mushroom Stroganoff

Been a while since I posted a recipe here, and Xander asked about my Mushroom Stroganoff recipe in the 12 of 12 post, so I figured I'd post that for you:

Mushroom Stroganoff

2 Tbsp Olive Oil
Hungarian Paprika
1 1/4lb Mixed Mushrooms, sliced
2 Shallots finely chopped
3 Tbsps White wine vinegar
6 Tbsp dry white wine
1 1/4 cup Sour cream
2/3 Vegetable stock (I used Better Than Bouillon)
1 Tsp Stone Ground Mustard

Place mushrooms and Paprika in a large covered bowl and shake until they are coated. In a skillet heat half of oil, saute mushrooms for two minutes, remove from pan and set aside. Add shallots to pan and saute until they begin to soften. Add vinegar and wine and bring to a boil. Stir in sour cream, return to boil, let reduce for a few minutes. Add stock and reduce until sauce coats the back of a spoon well. Stir in mustard and mushrooms, salt and pepper to taste. Serve over egg noodles, with sour cream and parsley to garnish.

The original recipe called for some sliced gerkins to be added, but that seemed... weird, so I skipped it. The paprika was measured at 1 tbsp in the recipe, but I added a bit more to make sure the mushrooms were well coated. I used an assortment of mushrooms, about 4 different types that were packaged together as a "Chef's Assortment." I added some criminis to that to get the full measure called for in the recipe, but the sauce is fairly strong and tangy so any solid mushroom would probably work fairly well in the recipe. Enjoy!

Happy V-Day

Meme Day!

Since yesterday was 12 of 12 I am skipping Photo Phriday this week. Instead, let's have Meme Day!

Via Vinnie:
A. Go to Google
B. Type your name and the words "likes to" all in quotation marks… re: "Cully likes to"
C. Report back on the first ten things that come up for your name. (I only have 7, but frankly I'm surprised that many came up since I have an unusual name.)

1. Cully likes to be quiet and focus on what he has to do.
2. Cully likes to eat lizard legs.
3. Cully likes to read. (Links to a PDF, so I'm not linking it here.)
4. Cully likes to play peek-a-boo.
5. Cully likes to run with balls. And scissors.
6. Cully likes to be around other people.
7. Cully likes to complete your SB. (Which is short for "small blind," a Poker term I guess.)

February 12 of 12

The 12th of the month means it is time for Chad Darnell's 12 of 12! Let's go...

Pick a shirt... any shirt.

Work... well... SOME work... not really the work I was being paid for... well, not paid by my boss... anyway... move along! Nothing to see here!

Leftover Lunch! Succotash pudding and a small salad.

My Moo cards arrived today! I keep a few of these tucked into the pocket of my Moleskine sketchbook so that when people are looking over my shoulder on the subway I can direct them to the collection.

More "work." I needed a bit of fabric for the show I'm costuming so I ran around the corner to a local fabric store.

On the way home. Some pretty angles.

It's gourmet coffee I guess... and you can pay for that sandwhich with money from the ATM.

The window of the Ruben Museum, which I pass nearly every day.

The beginnings of dinner, a delicious mushroom stroganoff. I got these pretty assorted mushrooms from the Asian market over the weekend.

My accumulating shopping list... so far this week I need salt and chamomile. (It's been a slow week.)

Taking a few minutes to catch up on Lost. I REALLY hope Locke fixed things, the time flashes are already beginning to grate.

A little more work to do before bed. Its a busy couple weeks.

Subway Sketch

Okay, Here's the Deal

I am D-aRa-U-N-K. ($5 fressh ginger margaritas!) So you guys will get a legitimate post tomorrow. Right now I'm going to bed. Go to the comments in the previous post and argue with addisonbr for me. That will keep you busy until I recover. Night!

Dear Senator McCain

They just don't get it do they? In the debate over the stimulus package today John McCain was quoted as saying "$50 million in funding for the National Endowment for the Arts - all of us are for the arts, but tell me how that creates any significant number of jobs?"

The arts community immediately mobilized and began sending him messages via his website. Here is mine:

How does funding the arts create any significant number of jobs? Let me just give you one small example. I am a scenic designer who frequently works for a small children's theatre in Manhattan. The theatre produces 7 shows each year, mostly during the school season. Each show employs 4 Designers, a stage manager, a director, a technical director, two carpenters, a stage manager, 5 office assistants, 8 to 12 actors, a music director, a choreographer, two box office assistants... in other words nearly 30 people per show.

This doesn't even begin to account for the people who work for the lighting rental houses, the fabric stores, the paint stores, the costume rental houses, the printers, the lumber suppliers, the hardware store, and dry cleaners who receive funds from each of our shows.

We pay royalties for book rights, to the playwrights, and the musicians. We hire accountants and use ticketing firms.

We are a SMALL theatre company and in all each of our shows pours 30 or $40,000 back into the local economy, and that is simply what we ourselves generate. That doesn't account for sales at nearby stores or restaurants, sales at book and toy stores because the children want the book our show was based on, taxis, subways, babysitters, strollers... the bottom line is that art IS business. Please stop treating art like a luxury that the country can live without. Art drives the economy just as surely as manufacturing or service, and it is time that that was recognized and "stimulated" along with everything else.

Eyvind Earl's New York

Eyvind Earl is my favorite artist that you've never heard of. I guarantee that you know have seen his work, and hopefully admired it, but never contemplated what the rest of his body of work might look like. He is most famous for having done the background paintinsg for Disney's Sleeping Beauty. But he has a whole other body of work that is rarely shown or discussed. Recently I came across this image of his, depicting a winter scene in New York City.

Lovely isn't it? As stylized as it is I recognized it immediately. The Gapstow Bridge in Central Park. Here is a photo I took of the area yesterday, trying to capture it as closely to the painting as I could. You can see the familiar outline of the Plaza Hotel in the painting, but it is a bit too far over in real life. He also seems to have reversed the direction of the creek, for aesthetic reasons I'm sure. I love trying to see some inspiration as the artist would have seen it though.
I'll tell you a little secret... I was in the area because the final point in one of my puzzle geocaches is close by. Shh!


Ladies and Gentleman... the most entertaining thing I saw at Comiccon today... Gay Aquaman! I have no idea who the market for the Tonner Tyler DC Stars Collection is... but just looking at this Aquaman meets Twilight doll made me a little bit gayer. (I really can't wait to see how many google hits I start getting off of "gay Aquaman.")

Comiccon was an enormous success. There were a huge number of people there, I guess news of the recession hasn't reached the nerds yet, and lots of fun geeky stuff to look at and swag to collect. I got a Flash ring from the DC booth, and the newest iteration of Wonder Woman's chest emblem on a button. I think this makes the 4th of those that I have.

On the purchase side I snagged a Blue Lantern tee-shirt, and some patches (I love patches) for Green Lantern, Superman and Xavier's school. Some Koi waterbrushes for sketching, and a few other odd things. I saw lots of upcoming toys to drool over, a Superhero Squad Marvel Girl, which will be a MUST have, but by far the cutest thing I saw were the Brave and the Bold Minifigs. The Aquaman may have to come live with me.

The most unexpected siting were these:

Two 6x6" or so JC Leyendecker studies. (I link to that page just because the image was obviously done for the same company these were. Perhaps it is even the finalized version of these studies, who knows...) If you don't know Leyendecker research him. His work is beautiful, and it was a treat to see these up close. Not something that I would expected to see frankly, in and among the comic book art.

After the Con Kid Flash met me and we went to see James Jean's show at Jonathan Levine. I LOVE LOVE LOVE Jean's work, and seeing it in person was amazing. If you don't already follow his blog, and check out his sketchbooks, both linked from the site above.

A good day.

Photo Phriday


NY Comicon is on the horizon. The one day a year that every geek withing a 100 miles converges on lower Manhattan and... well... geeks out. Last year I met James Gurney and David Petersen.

This year I hope to meet Adam Koford. And... uhm... maybe do some other stuff. It is a day of full on geekery!! You never know what is going to happen.

Rejected Sketch

Subway Sketch

NY: A Less Interesting Place

Yet another of the small things that makes my home sparkling and brilliant is gone. The vegetable peeler man that I mentioned in my December '08 12 of 12 died on Sunday. You can read more about him here. He made enough in 4 decades of sitting on a street corner peeling carrots to buy an apartment on Park Ave. You have to admire him.

Rest in Peace Joe, I regret I never bought one of your peelers.

Feeling Silly?

Ready to have some fun? Lock your door, get everything really quiet, turn on your microphone and play with this tool from the incomparable Ze Frank. Imagine an Etch-a-sketch, but controlled by your own voice, or whatever sound there is in the room. Several people have already mapped songs or TV shows using the tool. It is difficult to control, but has some fun results, if for nothing else than seeing what you can accomplish with sounds out of your own vocal cords.

Have fun!

Subway Sketch