Scott Bakal
August 2009
Illustrator Party - New England
Back on August 16th, I was cordially invited to an annual illustrator get-together up here around Boston.  I was a little worried because all I kept hearing about was tequila, tequila, tequila!  I thought, 'Jeez!  These guys are serious!'

As it turned out, we had a wonderful day of talking about art, looking at each others sketchbooks, drawing, catching up with regular life stuff, eating some great grub from our two hosts Rob Dunlavey and Alan Witchonke.  It was also nice to meet some new people too!

Alan Witchonke, Tamar Haber-Schaim, James Kaczman, Elizabeth Traynor, Rob Dunlavey, Stephanie Oddleifson, Jim Roldan, Robert Saunders
Mark Fisher, Alan
Sean Thomas, Elizabeth Traynor, Jim Roldan, James Kaczman
Tamar, Mark and Saunders
All these shots above were during the brunch over at the Dunlavey's.

Then a bunch of us decided to head out to the local park and do some sketching.  RobD took us up to a rather interesting nook called the Hunnewell Pinetum.  We didn't draw very long, maybe an hour, because it was a scorcher of a day and we all agreed, it was time to regroup and head over to Alan's for the dinner.

Just shooting right in front and behind me and all around taking in the beauty.
...then the festivities of the evening began over at Alan's place.  Great BBQ and everyone brought a little something to add to the mix...

Yes...that is a bottle of something-or-other with a scorpion inside a cobra's mouth!

Hey! There's John Dykes!
The celebratory shots!
Dinner was BBQ'd well marinated steaks and corn, salads, salsas, vegetables...the works!  It was a great 12 hour day with some great folks.  Cheers!

Controlling Internal Environments...and Pink Plants.
I was contacted by Heidi Spacher at Natural Solutions Magazine to do three paintings for an article about Adult ADHD.  Leo Espinosa mentioned seeing these pieces in his copy of the magazine in my previous post.  The heart of the article is about learning how to control the emotional confusion created and learn to work with it in one's life.

I haven't looked at these for nearly two months and reflecting on it, I would say that I really went in a very abstract direction with this work with only some frail lines showing the woman dealing with this issue.

Maybe the abstract and confused parts of these paintings came from my own confusions.  The week I was doing sketches for these, I was running around Massachusetts looking for a new place to live, sleeping on someone's couch with a periodic trip to a hospital in Connecticut to visit my Mom.  (She's fine.)  I think a lot of what I was going through ended up in these be deep about it.

This is the second series I've done with Heidi.  (Thanks!) It's nice to be able to do series of pieces rather than the one-off all the time.  A nice collection of work comes from it.

The Refractions of Inner Light
Once in a while, when I really think about it, I would find myself in times of my life that are a bit darker than others.  Now, I think everyone goes through those sorts of things because life can be an interesting, weaving road trip of emotions.  What I find interesting is that sometimes, I don't necessarily realize I am getting into or in that sort of frame of mind.  You know, just by travelling through life and being preoccupied with work and other things that keep a mind working in a dozen directions, life becomes a sort of haze.

So one day, sitting around staring into space finding a moment to reflect on what's going on around me, sometimes I am surprised to find that I am not all that happy with some things going on around me because maybe, I just get used to things or not paying attention all the time.  Not that I am miserable, but find myself definitely in need of switching some things around.  Other times, things are just wonderfully perfect.  It depends upon the instance and things going on around me.

So when I got this job from Yoga Journal, the text sort of reminded me about this internal thing and which I assume others have.  It's not exactly what the paragraphs were about in the article, but that's okay.  The text and my experiences came together and worked perfectly.  Sometimes, maybe, you just have to stop and 'dust that inner gem'.

Thank you to Charli Ornett and the gang at Yoga Journal for another great job.  On newsstands now.

The Wonderous Sense of Happiness...and Aliens.
"Not Quite Fitting"
I finally have started getting my life back on track again.  As some of you know, I had recently moved to Boston from New York.  Moving can always make a person nuts and I am the type of person that gets pretty freaked out when things are upside down.  You see, I don't mind change, I just don't want it to happen when I am there!  Most have experienced the horror of moving but after I got through the first few days, life up here in Boston (except for the locals inability to drive worth-a-shit) has been splendid.

I've been lurking here and there on Drawger wanting to share some of the wonderful experiences so far and some work I've been doing.  In the last 30 days, I've moved, visited NYC for the Giant Robot Dime Bag opening, buying antique furniture from the local auctions, hanging out with local illustrators Leo Espinosa, Elizabeth Traynor and Alan Witschonke and apparently a big to-do is happening up here this month with more fellow paint-slappers.  Edel Rodriguez also popped up in Boston with his great family so Leo and I met up with him at the Barking Crab for lunch.  Later we took in the Shepard Fairey exhibit at the ICA ---*cough*--- and loads of other neat experiences.

Lots of things to post and write about and glad to get back into the swing of things and find some normalcy again.

To pick up where I left off, the above job was done the same week I did the three Yoga Journal pieces back in March-ish and printed in May (and since did another for them last month).  This was for good 'ole PlanSponsor and Soojin Buzelli.  The art direction was 'Not Quite Fitting".

One of the first rooms I needed to get done in the new house was the studio.  Here's a couple of shots for now.  It's a beautiful 1910 Victorian about 18 minutes south of downtown Boston by train.

I've been working on a personal series which I started this of which is here on the table and which is sort of a rip on one of my other piece titled "Intergalactic Neighbors #1".  I guess I ripped on my own art because "Intergalactic Neighbors #1" was lost/stolen in New York and I think I was suffering from seperation anxiety.

I had some ideas lingering about for the last few months and I wanted to draw some stuff very simply and clean.  I've only done two so far but I have about 50+ different ideas thumbnailed...and I have no idea if I will follow through with this series.  I am feeling right now that it is just to get into the rhythm of working again after nearly a month of turning down jobs, living out of boxes while I get things organized and living without a studio.

"The Intergalactic Study of Life on Planet Earth" | 15x12 | Ink and Acrylic
"The Mothership Refuels" | 15x12 | Ink and Acrylic
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Bakal is teaching at TutorMill, an online mentoring site for students of illustration!