Monday, November 19, 2012

Recent work

It's been a while since I've posted work from other venues. Last month I created a series of portraits in a clean linear style.

Friday, October 19, 2012

Final Day 9/11 pre trial hearings, Oct. 19, 2012

Today ended a week of pretrial hearings for the military commissions 9/11 trial. The five accused opted to not attend, so I sketched that scene first; empty chairs where the detainees sit and the Commander testifying under question from Mr. Swann  that they did indeed choose to not attend. The rest of the day's sketches were individual sketches of several motions being brought to the table. We head out early in the morning tomorrow, with some opting to stay on for USS Cole/Nashiri hearings next week. No sketches, so I'm homeward bound.

Day 4 9/11 pre trial hearings Guantanamo

The fourth day in court KSM once again showed up in his vest; a total of three detainees attended.
I tried doing a two-page drawing so you have a panoramic view of the court scene. It kind of works.
Off to final day of pretrial today.

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Day 3 9/11 pre trial hearings, Guantanamo Bay

Third day into the pretrial hearings started out with just one detainee attending: KSM's nephew Ammar al baluchi. Victim family members spoke with me and I drew them in the first sketch of the day while ACLU lawyer Hima Shariz spoke. Shortly into the session, it was announced that KSM had indeed decided he wanted to attend; he'd changed his mind earlier and was on premises but not in court, a disappointment to all who had hoped to see him in the camoflauge vest approved by Judge Pohl just yesterday as a garment he could wear to court.

KSM was escorted in, and I did my best to capture him in that vest as well as during his verbal exchange with Judge Pohl- a surprising allowance, and not to happen again per Pohl's follow up.

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Day 2 9/11 pre trial hearings in Guantanamo

Finished the second day in court here in Guantanamo. Only two of the five charged were at today's hearing; Ramzi bin al Shibh and Walid bin attash. Today we also heard from ACLU lawyer Hima Shamsi and civilian lawyer David Schulz. With the recent ruling allowing KSM to wear a certain article of clothing it's suspected he'll be in court tomorrow.

Monday, October 15, 2012

Guantanamo 9/11 pre trial hearings: day one

Back in Guantanamo sketching the 9-11 pre-trial hearings. Began the day in court and
then spent the afternoon sketching from a split-screet monitor so I could get different angles. The detainees were very involved this time as opposed to the arraignment.
More to come tomorrow- hearings going on all week. Plenty of stories- here's a few links for fun:

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Following up- my SLJ cover and interior spread finishes

Earlier in my blog I told you about how this job came to me via email while I was on a trip in China with just my laptop and iPhone on hand. Thankfully I always carry a charcoal pencil to sketch with. This was a job I just could not say no to- Jonathan Kozol writing on the differences in education for rich versus the poor. The art director, Mark Tuchman, is terrific to work with. He was willing to take the extra steps and provided me with ample reference, quick feedback, and a cover concept that required the main figure to be in color while the rest of the background remained sketchy black and white. 
So, armed with my charcoal pencil, I sketched away, shooting my sketches with my iPhone, uploading, and emailing, with a 12-hour time difference from various China hotspots. Once they were approved I was able to upload and digitally paint the sketches with photoshop and my laptop trackpad. A little challenging, but it actually forced me to loosen up, which worked well here. 

Mark then took my work and added his design magic. I am thrilled with the collaborative results.

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

11 Years ago today

A radio announcer said "a pilot of a small plane apparently lost control and hit one of the WTC towers"- so I rushed to my roof window and peered out, where I had a view of both towers. A thin trail of smoke rose up. Turned on the tv, and as cameras focused on the first hit, the screen filled with the second plane. The rest is history as we know it today. Nothing has been the same since, nor will it ever be for any of us.

On that day, I watched from the rooftop with my brother and his roommate as the unthinkable happened. Within the hour, documents fluttered three miles over the Hudson river waters and dropped. Smoke and ash soon followed as the streets below filled with silent people walking home, handkerchiefs, the air punctuated by sirens and nothing else. The subway train above, still in it's tracks. All of us in shock. 

Today we are rebuilding, and a generation of middle-schoolers  only know a life that always included this tragedy. Years have helped us heal, but we will never forget. 

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Hate music groups

A recent assignment came my way, about how 'hate music' is a growing industry. Wade Michael Page was an avid musician and racist, using music to express and spread his idealogy. While it was noted in the article that the groups are smaller, there are more members and they are more dispersed-with Music is one of the ties that bind.  

I wanted to express the hatred, so chose a limited palette of red and black, keeping the illustration loose and raw.The art director was terrific, suggesting I take two separate ideas and merge them. Really enjoyed this collaboration!

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Some recent work: cover for School Library Journal

Last month while I was away, I got a job I just could not refuse- cover and interior for School Library Journal with an art director I truly enjoy collaborating with.  Since I was literally on the other side of the world with just my iphone and mac laptop I ended up drawing some roughs, photographing them with my iphone and uploading. From that point, I digitally painted using the laptop trackpad. I had to loosen up- and the concept was to keep the background sketchy, figure in color so it came together beautifully. I'll post the cover when it comes out.

Monday, May 14, 2012

What I saw

I thought it would help shed some light to let you know how I was able to sketch different views during the 911 arraignment. Above are rough sketches from my sketchbook showing two large monitors with split screen displays. Thanks to some
pre-travel negotiations and the help of several people I was given access to sketch from
these monitors. Mo, the senior video technician at Gtmo, set it up so I saw exactly what I needed to see: detainees, judge, prosecution, defense, all from the perspective I'd been dreaming about, but could not access physically. This allowed me to capture many
crucial events from the front rather than the back. My appreciation goes out to Todd Breasselle and Michelle Shephard for helping to initiate and orchestrate the 'room with a view'.
And here is a photo I took of the WTC as it looked on Saturday May 12th,'12. It is now the tallest building in NYC again, nearly completed. The solar flare shows two blue lights coming out of it, much like the projections we see each year that symbolize the original towers. A fitting coincidence.

Sunday, May 6, 2012

Press conference in Gtmo this morning-sketch study

As things wind down in Gtmo, we are having a final press conference. I did a few sketches to capture the group in a panoramic, above, and KSM's lawyer Nevin, below.

Saturday, May 5, 2012

911 arraignment in Guantanamo- sketches

A long day in gtmo court today, starting off with all four accused refusing to speak and later, going into prayer session in court. It was an image I could not pass up sketching.
I had a unique perspective in the morning, drawing from monitors that gave me the perspective seen from in front of the court rather than in back, where I'm usually sketching behind a thick glass window in the viewing gallery. I managed to get out 8 in the morning, then moved to the courtroom viewing gallery and captured 3 more, including victim family members flown in to watch the procedure. 
I have never sketched this many before- there were so many scenes I wanted to capture, so many worth capturing. KSM had dyed his beard a henna red, which was a little startling at first. That, and a female defense attorney attired in modest head-to-toe covering in deference to the detainee's beliefs.