Monday, November 7, 2016

Missiles-- Engage!

The biggest news out of my and Cameron's trip to France was that we got to see Victor Hugo's house, whose portrait is pictured here:

Also, we happened to get engaged.  Here's a blurry picture of the ring:

Cameron has probably written extensively, and betterly, about it on her blog, found here, but I thought I would add my side of the story, a few weeks later.

I had been planning to propose to her when we took vacation, since we never really got to go on vacation together last year.  And it just so happened that we decided that Frrance was the best place to vacation in April.  Scratch that, October.  It was originally April, but life got in the way, and I couldn't complain, since I didn't get around to buying a ring until August.  Thank you, mom, for the stone.  I'm sure my wallet would have committed suicide if I'd had to buy a diamond too.

My plan was to duct tape the ring to the inside of my wallet and chain that to my pants once we got through airport security, and then somehow secretly untape it and present it to her on the first full day of our trip, at Monet's Garden, on the Japanese bridge, or maybe a little off the bridge, since I was very, very scared of dropping it in the water.  I also planned to shanghai some unsuspecting tourist into filming the proposal on my phone.

The lesson I took from that first day is you don't make plans, because they will all go to pot and you'll miss the train to the place and waste $60 in unrefundable ticket fare, but it was probably for the best because it rained most of the day anyhow.  We bought tickets for the following Monday.  And I STILL had to walk around Paris with a very expensive piece of jewelry in my wallet, sending invisible signals to all the pickpockets in the area.  At one point, Cameron lost her credit card at Shakespeare and Company, which is a great store where they speak English, so I didn't mind going back there at 7 to retrieve it.

Since it was plain to me that first day that the trip was clearly destined to be a series of ever-wackier and more expensive misadventures, I decided that the sooner the ring was on Cameron's finger and out of my pocket the better.  The cafe we ate dinner in was too small to properly propose in, so I procrastinated until right before we were about to go to bed, and after thinking really hard about what the most romantic thing to say would be, softly blurted out, "marry me?"

She said yes, and made me untape the ring from my wallet and we found out I'd gotten it a size too big, but the rest of the trip was pretty good and when we finally got to Monet's garden the sun came out.  Here are some pictures.

The Streets of France

In other news, I went to France in October with my now fiancé.  The two biggest thins we didn't see were the Louvre and the Eiffel Tower, on the reasoning that they are big, and therefore hard to walk around.  Since Cameron documents most of the exciting tourist stuff (the link goes to her photo-heavy blog) I took it upon myself to document much of the street art we passed that I insisted we stop and take pictures of.
This was in the 10th ...district.

Next to the Pompidou.

Montmartre, near where Picasso and Van Gogh used to live.

Also in Montmartre, closer to the Moulin Rouge.

Near that cemetery where Jim Morrison isn't buried.

Next to one of the canals by our Airbnb.

On a side street, near the Academy of France.


In celebration of Inktober, here is a selection of the drawings I did during that month.

Thursday, September 29, 2016

Ambidextrous Me

After a chat with my good bud Russ, who is a permanent studio artist at the McGuffey Center, I have decided to sort of attempt to try to be ambidextrous.

My work is extremely loopy, and I've noticed over the past few years that I definitely have a tendency to make everything slant to the right because that's the way my right arm moves. Trying to balance it tends to make everything look stiff, so the best solution is clearly to learn to draw with both hands, and possibly also my feet.

I haven't yet done any finished art with my left hand, but I do have a pile of sketches I've been working on.

In other news, I just finished two zines, which I handed out sporadically at the Small Press Expo two weeks ago, and which I will be debuting at the Richmond Zine Fest this weekend.

Saturday, August 20, 2016

The Newest in Paint

My new piece for Whurk: the Virginia Cultural Review went live a few weeks ago.  You can see and read the poem that inspired it here.

I find I've been doing a lot more painting now that I'm not stuck in my office all day, and now that I'm not limited to only what I can fit on the coffee shop tables. I'll paint for a warm-up, I'll do sketches in paint.

Sometimes I sell them, in the form of putting them for sale on my shop, and not actually selling any of them. My shop is here, and even liking the art helps boost its visibility, if you don't want to buy anything. It might help get it in front of someone who does.

Now that it's the second half of the month, deadlines are rolling in fast, and I haven't had as much time to do actual art as I would like, so consumed am I with sketching, most of which is incredibly ugly and not worth the effort of posting. 

Sunday, July 31, 2016

Illustration Blues

It's been a sad few weeks in the illustration world.  I lost a couple of personal heroes, and also learned about a veteran illustrator whose work I absolutely adore, who also just passed away.  So, in chronological order, here's who went back to the big drawing board in the sky:

Carlos Nine, an Argentinian cartoonist and illustrator, died July 18th. I learned about his work from another artist I admire, Tomer Hanuka, and the tactile sensation of his pieces is something I haven't seen anywhere else.  If I had heard about him sooner, I probably wouldn't be able to shut up about him.

Jack Davis, one of the founding artists of Mad magazine, died July 27.  He was one of the best caricaturists of the whole shebang, and I'm quite happy that his heyday was a few decades ahead of my time, because it meant his art could appear in movie posters, ads, and magazines and comics of all sorts, for me to enjoy later on.

 Finally, Richard Thompson, a Washington-based illustrator and cartoonist I greatly admire, also passed on July 27th, from complications from Parkinson's which effectively ended his career far too early.  He's the only person I know of who has been able to bring Calvin and Hobbes creator Bill Watterson out of hiding twice.  I got to meet him once at the Small Press Expo, when I bought a book from him and was two dollars short on cash.  He scribbled on the title page, "What a bargain!" Some day I shall have to sneak over to his grave in the dead of night and leave him two dollars and a bottle of iron gall ink.

Tuesday, July 26, 2016

The Studio

 Starting at the beginning of this month, I was inducted in as a member of the McGuffey Art Center's Incubator program, in Charlottesville.  This comes with a third of a studio (you can see one of my neighbors to the left) and a year of reduced studio space rent. I view it as a job and attempt to spend at least 7 hours a day there, not including lunch, when I bring it.

To keep a schedule of good habits, I'm working on doing one sketch every day, and at least one painting a week, in the hopes that eventually some of them will be commercially viable.

I've also started working on daily social media updates on my art.  I'm now on Twitter and Instagram, @phostetlerart.
 I'm also committed to drawing one enormously fat man every two days.

And as a member of the McGuffey Artists collective, I'm designing their ad for the upcoming "Best of C-Ville" annual magazine thing, too.