Friday, December 12, 2008

my candy was taken away by a baby

that's right. a kid stole my ipod, right off the teacher's desk in my classroom! at first i thought it was one of my own students, which broke my heart. now i'm 99% sure it was taken while another teacher's class was in the room, which makes me feel only marginally better about it. unfortunately, i was not aware that it was gone until about an hour after it happened, so we could only narrow it down to the twenty or so kids who were in the room at the time. i've told my students and the other teacher's students that i will not punish anyone if it is returned safely. i also offered a reward for good information that led to recovery. but that was two days ago, and nothing's happened so far.

just for the record, it was a 5th generation, black, 30GB ipod video classic, serial number 2Z6164G3TXK. it was in a black metal case that had a leaf/vine pattern etched on the front, to the right of the click wheel. i had over 9300 songs on my ipod, which had taken me two years to load. unfortunately, i had no backup for my song library, due to computer problems. so even if i finally get a new one, it will be a long road back to where i was. that's what burns me most of all.

i'm so sad. so much of me was in that thing. all the scouring the internet for obscurities that only a few people know or care about, songs that were woven through my memories and tied to my own personal history--it's all gone, and i'm so sad.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

make me feel good like i'm something

over on the left of the screen, if you scroll down a little ways, you'll find a section called "folks who like my bloggity skills". i'd like to invite you to click on the link there so you can keep tabs on what's happening around here at i nearly died.

won't you join in the fun and become a follower of my little collection of drawings and silly ramblings? i promise not to brainwash you.

okay, maybe just a little brainwashing.

in fact, he's lost a few pounds recently

eric davis

click image for a closer look

"it's a long, long road
from which there is no return
while we're on the way to there
why not share
and the load doesn't weigh me down at all
he ain't heavy, he's my brother"

so if you didn't get the reference there, this my little brother eric. when he was a baby and i a wee young lad with a speech impediment, i called him "egget".

he recently went back to college (neither of us made it through the first time). he's really giving it a go, i must say--making straight A's this time around. actually, nothing lower than a 99 so far!

yeah. that's how we roll.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

round-robin artwork!

steve buscemi

click image for a closer look

this is my contribution to a larger piece that will eventually be manipulated by five--count 'em, five!--artists. here is what the whole thing looks like right now, with my mr. buscemi next to james keegan's giant, talking moth:

by the way, the word balloons are a part of the requirement. this is how it all works:

1. one member of the shelton diagram factory correspondence school begins a drawing or painting.
2. he/she then creates rules for the piece (i.e. you must fill in the empty word balloon and include a new blank word balloon in your drawing, which is the rule here) and mails it to another member artist.
3. the second member adds to the work, following the initiator's guidelines.
4. the second member then mails it to a third, and so on, until the fifth artist receives and adds to the piece, which completes it.
5. the fifth member starts a new artwork, and the cycle begins again!

we had tried for the last couple of years to do a simple one-for-one exchange, but things tended to stagnate after a while. we're hoping that this new system will inspire everyone to keep things going.

if you'd like more information about the shelton diagram factory correspondence school, look up our facebook group, or check out the SDFCS blog at this here link-a-roonie.

Sunday, November 09, 2008

drop hugs, not bombs

click image for a closer look

"is solace anywhere more comforting than in the arms of a sister?"
-alice walker

and here we see emily and julia, two of the four brandt sisters, on top of a mountain.

i often wonder if the world would be a better place if all the men in positions of authority would just step down and let women run things for a while. something makes me think that there would be far less bombing and lots more hugs.

ladies: don't invite sarah palin, though. that would defeat the purpose.

Tuesday, November 04, 2008

where is everybody?

julia on the beach

click image for a closer look

here's julia again, on the beach in winter. we love going to the beach in the off season, when no one else is around. not that we don't like you or anything, but we need our space sometimes, you know?

thanks for understanding.

hang on. obama's victory speech is starting...

...aaaand that was the first time that a politician's speech has ever made me cry. what can i say? the man's got skills.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

repair, reduce, reuse, recycle


click image for a closer look

so we're back to celebrities whom i've seen in person. i saw moby back when i worked at a record store on st. marks place. he came in the store, soon realized that it was crappy, and left. i don't really listen to his music, but i do admire that he is a famous person who actually uses his wealth to help the planet. so i found this picture of him that i drew months ago in my old sketchbook, and saw that i had never colored or posted it. so i, um, colored and posted it.

i think the captain's face came out better (both were colored in photoshop, which i've been practicing), but i really like the background on this one. i used a crayon drawing i had done in my "art in elementary education" class. yay crayola!

Saturday, October 25, 2008

there will be boots

there will be blood

click image for a closer look

one of my favorite scenes from "there will be blood" is the one when the derrick blows up and the men are silhouetted against the backdrop of a giant wall of fire. definitely a top 5 movie for me. daniel day-lewis can pretty much do no wrong. he took several years off from acting to make shoes, for pete's sake! how awesome is that?

i would like to have a pair of those shoes, btw, if anyone ever sees them on ebay or something.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

o captain, my captain

captain brandt

click image for a closer look

here's a new drawing of my father-in-law, captain richard brandt. i can call him "dad" now, but before we were married, i could only refer to him as "captain" or "sir". it was also a family tradition that any boyfriends/fiancees of the four brandt daughters could not hang their stockings on the mantle at christmas. until we were married into the family, we had to hang our stockings on the bar, with all the family pets.

it's good to have goals.

Monday, October 20, 2008

out late, playing darts

out late, playing darts

click image for a closer look

so here you go. i decided to try coloring in photoshop (see previous post). s'okay. i think i learned a few things, anyhoo.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

i don't remember who won

we played darts

click image for a closer look

also, we took turns. i decided to blend two photos together to make one image, because i liked the variation of the arm positions. julia's mid-air dart is actually visible in the original photo(!), but i had to make up the one that i'm throwing. i'm trying to decide whether i should draw in the bar/background, add color, or just leave it alone.

i've actually been toying with coloring it in photoshop, which could be good or bad. since i'm kind of self-taught in that arena, i don't really know (or maybe remember is the better word) the "proper" way to color in photoshop. i've just sort of experimented my way through the features, for the most part. it might be interesting to see how it would turn out.

Thursday, October 09, 2008

a birthday portrait


this is my cousin-in-law daniela, whose birthday is this month. i did a portrait of her sister kristin (oh the time has come...haha) for her birthday a few years ago, so i figured i should finally even the score.

i've sent out two rounds of postcards now, with no replies for work. i think i'm going to start submitting to agencies to see if i can get some representation. i love drawing, don't get me wrong--but it sure would help if i got paid for it from time to time, no?

Monday, September 29, 2008

a personal one this time


this is a portrait of my mom! i started it in person when i visited her this summer, and i finally finished it with photo reference today. let's hope she likes it.

i want to start doing more portraits of the people i know, so if i know you, your phiz may be showing up here soon!

Thursday, September 18, 2008

here's hoping...

barack obama

i made this drawing into a t-shirt! you can buy it here.

i swear, if he doesn't win...let's just say i might want to make a loooong visit to another country.

Friday, July 11, 2008

every now and then, i try to be a painter

sands point preserve

but then, the chemicals make my skin peel. maybe i shouldn't wash my hands in the turpentine, no?

this painting was done en plein air at the sands point preserve on long island. i made three paintings that day, and this was the first one, which ended up being my favorite. i guess i should've heeded the words of the wise man kenny rogers, who said, "you got to know when to hold 'em, know when to fold 'em, know when to walk away, etc."

sorry i let you down, kenny.

Tuesday, June 03, 2008

it ain't me, babe

cate blanchett

i always liked cate blanchett, but i was truly blown away by her portrayal of dylan in i'm not there. the people with whom i saw the movie were not impressed with the film all that much, but i thought it was a unique way to explore the life of one unique individual. the only drawback in my eyes was that in using so many actors to play one character, the viewers inevitably choose a favorite, which causes them to like the other versions less. and the other actors were certainly left in the dust by dear cate here.

i wanted to do a picture of her as dylan(or "jude," as her version of dylan is named), but didn't find a decently-sized photo that i liked enough. so i went with a glamour shot, and i'm pretty happy with how it came out. she certainly inspired a nice, subtle palette, i think.

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

i need your vote!

julia and emily 1 julia and emily 2

click on them for better detail (it's worth it, i think).

so i made this image via a process called solarplate printing, or solar etching, as it is also known. it is a very nice way to do the look and feel of metal plate etching, without all the acid on your hands and breathing in the aquatint dust and such. check out this guy for more information about it.

by the way, the models here are the lovely julia and emily brandt, wife and sister-in-law of the artist. i'm the artist.

anyhoo, i need your input here! i want to put one of these on my official website, but i cannot decide which one. well, i suppose i could, but i thought it would be an interesting little project to involve all three of you folks who actually stop by here. so what do you say, can you help me?

oh, and if you didn't catch my last post, it's got some nice stuff. click here, and scroll down for the portrait of dr. house!

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

i have actually met only one of these

bjork jack black jim carrey parker posey hugh laurie

and that was miss parker posey, whom i ran across during my former incarnation as a hipster-east-village-record-store-employee. see this post for more info.

of the five portraits you see here, i am particularly proud of the bjork and the hugh laurie. i'm not quite as satisfied with the jack and the jim, but i do feel like i'm generally starting to get my speed and accuracy up to levels i'm comfortable with.

ooh, when i typed the word "satisfied" just now, that exact word was mentioned in the song that was playing. that song owes me a coke!

Saturday, March 29, 2008

i really didn't make them wear the clothes

this is a portrait of puck and buttercup, our little cats, dressed up as diego rivera and frida kahlo:


it took me forever to get their faces right, but i think i pulled it off.

Thursday, March 06, 2008

more celebrities - now in vivid technicolor!

ryan adams sam waterson carly simon

here are some more famous folks i've seen out and about in nyc:

mr. waterson i've seen on a few occasions, at various tapings of law n' order.

ryan adams, along with then-girlfriend parker posey, came into the now-closed east village record shop that once employed me. he bought a smiths bootleg. see, even musicians with contracts like to stick it to the record companies! of course, parker posey will be showing up here shortly.

carly also came into the record shop. she said, "you probably don't know who i am, but..." and i said "of course i do! i think that song is about me!" she laughed and asked if we could possibly carry her new (at the time) christmas cd, which was recorded in a hotel room or some such thing.

Thursday, January 10, 2008

i see movie people

christina ricci jim jarmusch kevin spacey

here are some more celebrities i've seen in person. see my previous post for an explanation of why i'm drawing them.

attention, lady celebrities: i need to see more of you in person (no, i mean a larger number of you). my list is a little dude-heavy. wait, does '80s rocker sebastian bach count as a guy or a girl?

Wednesday, January 09, 2008

the two davids

david morse david cross

i've decided to do a bunch of celebrity portraits/caricatures for my main website,, in an effort to attract some clients. i figured that, instead of choosing only my favorite famous people, i would draw every celebrity that i have seen on the streets of new york. i actually got the idea for this project when i saw david morse (always plays a cop, often a creepy one) walk past me over near lincoln center. the guy is enormous, by the way.

i saw mr. cross twice--once on a sidewalk in the east village on the day of the big blackout a few years ago, and once at niagara bar a while back. i actually approached him that time and said a quick hello-and-how-are-you, something i rarely do.

more coming soon!