Steve Wacksman
November 2006
More About Me.
Ah, the "Blogospere"...ever expanding and virtually all-encompassing. It is a true testament to the power of the internet that gainfully employed people with families and hobbies will still take time out from their days' schedule to enjoy a 'virtual tour' of my explosively messy studio.

 With that in mind, I give you THIS , an interview with yours truly on the subject of our house renovation.

Within you'll also learn what I expect when I eat out and more about my dog. I really bared my soul for this interview. Please- one at a time- don't crash the server!
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I've noticed a trend lately: many of my fellow artsmiths posting pics of their pristine and well-organized workplaces. I am a true devotee of neatness and am easily driven to a state dangerously close to rage when I can't locate my keys, a particular item of clothing, or my evening sedatives. Don't ever want to be without those- believe me.
Buster watches over the git-fiddles.

However, it has been noted by many that man intrinsically posesses a dual nature, and here's where mine is most clearly illustrated: The workplace. It may surprise some of you that the magic tapestries I offer for your delectation are not woven isn a pristine vaccuum, but instead cobbled together in a maelstrom of detrius that most closely resembles the aftermath of a tropical storm in a trailer park.
Frequently onlookers will find me excitedly rifling through mountainous piles of scrap, looking for an errant sketch or hastily jotted note. brushes and pencils logjamming up the right hand side of my workspace with careless abandon. A fine peppering of eraser dust coats nearly everything. Books, magazines and receipts add to the landscape. An ancient Rolodex loaded with long-outdated contacts has taken up permanent residence in the left hand corner.
Indeed. this is a place for creation and nothing will stand in the way!
Fortunately my workplae is not subject to health inspection and in light of that fact it seems unlikely that things will ever change.
Happy Birthday, Okie!
Okie's one year old today. He celebrated with a chew followed by a nap.

That's my boy! Happy Birthday, Pal- and many, many more!
And Now Back to Our Regularly Scheduled Program
I did this little number for tne esteemed Dave Bamundo at the WSJ this week. Dave Bamundo is good people in general ( despite supporting a losing team ) but as an Art Director, he's tops!

He gave me an overview of the article, a thumbnail for layout and dimensions and gave me an indication of which of my pieces he liked most stylistically. Sketches were promptly approved. e-mails promptly returned  - it was downright heavenly.

I had a blast doing this piece! I decided to forego the Streamline/ Illustrator technique and do it all in Photoshop. Which was a bit of a revelation for me - I think my old technique might be obsolete. Somehow the Photoshop finish just looks more natural.

Anyhow- hats off to you, DaveB! Thanks for the gig!
Brushing Up On My Portraiture
Dreamy (Leo, not the painting).
Get it? BRUSHING Up? 'Cos they're paintings? Ha!

I've never been the go-to guy for portraits, even though I've always thought I did a serviceable job. I always would get my sketches rejected on the grounds that the likeness wasn't close enough. This was most often coupled with teh helpful advice "I dunno, maybe it's trhe eyes? Or the mouth? Maybe more hair on top?".

Eventually I stopped trying for those giggs; it was too aggravating and I'm a guy that's all about avoidance of aggravation- just ask my parole officer.

Still, I'm up for a challenge, so I challenged myself thusly: Grab a magazine. Any magazine. Open it and paint a portrait of whomever is pictured. In this case it was Leo DiCaprio. In case you can't tell.

I did a sketch in under 10 mins and finished the painting within an hour. The pink slash is way too hamfisted and the sketch was a slightly better likeness, but it's a start. I plan to do one of these a day until I lose interest and stop doing one a day.

I have very few 'painting' heroes. Gary Panter and Picasso are pretty much it. So if you plan to comment, please make sure you reference one or both of them. Here's a sample comment to get you started: " WOW! It's like Picasso and Gary Panter had a son and that son was you!"

Or, conversely: 'You suck!"
Dogue de Bordeaux Paintings
Okie will be one year ld on Monday the 20th- happy birthday, little pal!
While I know that some of those amongst us consider dogs the embodiment of evil and a suitable visual metaphor for man's inhumanity toward man, I love 'em. I mean, I LOVE the critters enough that I ( a devout athiest) consider them probably the only living proof of the existence of a divine being. Once I sw the face of God in a brick oven fired pizza, too. That's probably a story for another time.

So, as those of you who care enough to actually read my longwinded blather here already know, I've started pushing paint instead of pixels lately. We're still very much in the experimenting/relearning phase of this mission and are attempting to stay light on our feet and not get bogged down. Failures have been numerous, but slowly some interesting works are emerging from the pile.
I was contacted by the head of Australian Dogue de Bordeaux rescue to do a couple of pieces for a calendar, the proceeds of which will be funnelled back into the rescue efforts. These dogs remain fairly rare and it is a source of wonder to me that someone will go through what i had to go through in order to obtain one only to mistreat, neglect or simply throw it away. In fact, though, it happens enough to neccessitate rescue organizations to collect and rehome these magnificent creatures. I was happy to help ( and declare the paintings as a charitible donation to the Feds).

Here they are. I'm pleased with them, although they represent a stage in the process and not what I'd consider mature or confident works.
The Pleasure Was All Mine
I never, NEVER button my shirts all the way up like this. Never!
Last night's festivities were fun. Fifty bucks a head fun? I dunno, but fun. And what's with the lychee martinis? Maybe I have a warped self image, but I don't think of myself as the lind of man that, when ordering a martini, gives off a 'lychees instead of olives' vibe.

Was great to see and or meet you: eRod, Goldin ( David,  one day I'll introduce you to my wife- I think you'd really hit it off), Leo E, Ad McMuffin and Wig, Tim O'B and Marc B.

Also big ups to my college chum and roomate George Bates, recently married.

Book looks pretty good this year ( although with what I would term a 'tragic' lack of Wacksman, the sonsofbitches). Mark Matcho, errant drawgerite and man of mystery, had a nice piece displayed despite his claim that he 'didn't get anything in again this year'.

Stopped in to see DaveB at the Local around the corner, too. Go Rutgers!

Did anyone go to the after-party? I'd had enough art-geeking by midninght and threw in the towel. I guess it was the Lychee martinis.
A Self Portrait Of Myself
Walleyed and puffy - lock up your wives and daughters!
I love it when poeple say that. Or "Seven Thirty PM in the evening".

Here's the first self portrait I've done in over 7 years.  As much as I resisted the idea of getting glasses, it's been surprisingly fun. If 'fun' is the word to describe advanced decrepitude.  At least it's something new.

Been enjoying painting, although the amount of abject failures I've produced is a bit alarming. Thought maybe I'd concentrate on portraits for a bit - maybe the New Yorker will hier me next time Lionel Richie comes to town...
Seeya. Sucker!
Heartless Ghoul Looking For Employment?
Is it true? My sources say that Rumsfeld just stepped down!!!
Smoke Pot Now!
Not that i advocate the smoking of marijuana. I could care less.I was just looking for a provocative headline.If you're just sitting home watching Fashion House and eating microwave popcorn in your fuzzy slippers you can be chasing the dragon for all I care.
 Presonally, I get all claustrophobic when I smoke pot- had to give it up. I'm too much of a control freak to enjoy drugs. But that's not to say I won't cash the check of a pot-advocacy group when they hire me to do 20 drawings debunking many of the long-established myths that accompany discussions of the ol' wacky tobaccy.

Here's a couple of 'em.
Stoned and unmotivated
The book is as-of-yet unpublished (and, I might add, the check is as-of-yet undelivered...) but if you want to be one of those blowhards at parties who loves to pontificate about how hemp makes really strong rope and all that, this might be one for your 'must read' list.
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