March 2008

If you grew up in the 80s, you probably remember Do They Know It’s Christmas?–a benefit single that included Bono, Sting, Phil Collins, Bananarama and many others. Under the name Band Aid, they raised money for famine relief in Ethiopia.

More recently, I think in 2005, artists such as Beck, Rilo Kiley, REM and Wolf Parade got together to record a benefit single for Unicef. The song, Do They Know It’s Halloween?, rocks all kinds of @$$. Nowadays, the song is easily downloadable, but Unicef is a great organization and a small donation never hurts.

Now, onto the rock!


ali.jpgA painting I recently finished.

So I’m still learning how to computer color. I don’t quite have the hang of it yet, but here’s my latest little diddy. Wondering if anyone had any thoughts or suggestions.


Instead of starting from a black and white image, I used a full color scan. I wanted to see what it was like to keep the paper texture. I don’t know if it helped or not. And then, instead of blocking out color, I threw a bunch of browns and oranges on the buildings and overlaid, color burned and saturated them like crazy. Same with the sky. The thing is, the subtle colors in the paper texture made things uneven. I couldn’t get the sky all blueish, it definitely changes color. And also, Photoshop couldn’t properly merge all those partially transparent burns and overlays. Anyone else have this problem? After flattening, the end result was quite different from the original layered image. Enough so that I had to rethink my approach, and instead of making the background vibrant, I muted it out (which I think is okay because it doesn’t compete with the foreground now. I’m still not sure what I think about it.

Oh, if anyone knows any websites that teaches computer coloring, I’d love the suggestions. Thanks!

I can’t believe I hadn’t seen this earlier.

So I’m working on JH4…


Now do you see why I’m gushing over Bruegel?

Recently I stumbled onto the artwork of Pieter Bruegel the Elder.


I dunno. I think this might be one of the most beautiful illustrations I’ve ever seen. If anyone has a hi-res pic of this, I’d love to use it to make a print.

As for Bruegel, he was a Dutch or Flemish painter and printmaker who lived from 1525-1569. His paintings are equally beautiful, always with a lighting that’s both vibrant and somewhat muted. His renditions of the Tower of Babel are incredibly dramatic. One of my favorite Bruegel paintings is his Children’s Games.


I’m not usually as taken with 16th century art as I am with more contemporary artists; I generally prefer the likes of Sol Lewitt, Franz Kline and Basquiat over, say, Quentin Massys. Okay, okay, so admittedly, I am a Caravaggio nut. Then again, who isn’t? But man, there’s a quality to Bruegel that’s undeniably crazy wonderful.

I mean, c’mon. That big fish pic. Ain’t that just about the best print ever?