Friday, January 08, 2021

52 Fridays - Drawing #2 - The Egyptian Museum

Drawing of small Egyptian Figure
    Happy Friday! So, I missed posting on here last Friday, but I did post this on Instagram on the 8th, so I am covered. That means I will do a double posting on here today!
   Last  week I drew from a photo I took at The Egyptian Museum in Cairo, Egypt in the #BeforeTimes when I was literally traveling around the world. The Egyptian Museum is a sprawling, causally maintained facility, full of what seems to be millions of artifacts in dusty display cases with cracked glass and yellowing typewritten description tags. I loved it. I skipped the lines for King Tut to hang out with the more neglected displays such as these exquisite figurines. Unfortunately, I don’t have any historical details about this about this piece, but looks to be carved from Malachite and it was 3-4 cms. high.

    I hope wherever you are at and whatever your situation you can find something that brings you joy.


Friday, January 01, 2021

52 Fridays - A Drawing Project

Greetings and Happy New Year! Here's wishing that 2021 is a better year than 2020, which is a pretty low bar to cross. I'm not one for setting "New Year's Resolutions" (sidebar shout out to my pal Neil's podcast where he recently ruminated on this very topic), but I do love to set goals for the year. S.M.A.R.T. (Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant and Time-based) goals, stuff like, log 1,200 miles walking/running/hiking. I hit 1,972 miles last year. This year I decided to set an art-based goal that will motivate me to draw more often. Inspired by my prolific friend (same guy with the mentioned podcast) Neil Bruce's "52 Fridays" music video project from last year, that I contributed some video clips to, I have decided to do an art version of that project and will post a drawing every Friday through 2021. I will primarily be posting new drawings, but there might also be the occasional blast-from-the-past. 

This week's drawing was done today and was taken from an image I found on Instagram posted by "@johngrahamtribalart". It's an interesting woodcarving of a simple, primitive style face from the Lobi tribe according to the info from the original post. I used a cheap Bic ball-point pen and drew it in a little travel sketchbook that doesn't lie flat, so I get to be a hand model. 

Only fifty-one to go! 

See you next week,



Sunday, December 20, 2020

Another "Off-World" Birthday

This is the fourth birthday that my wife Janet will celebrate "off-world". She left this Earthly realm a few years ago and I miss her terribly, always will. Janet's hands were always busy drawing, knitting, baking; she was an artist and creator of many things. We were fortunate to live in Ireland for a couple of years where Janet earned her MFA at the Burren College of Art. She had Irish roots and loved living in Ireland as I did. We returned for visits as often as we could. While looking through photos and video of our life together, I found this snippet from our last trip there in December 2016. It's so strange, sad and wonderful to get this glimpse of Irish pub life (courtesy of Connolly's Pub, Kinvara) and hear Janet's laugh again. I'm grateful for all the time I had with Janet. She was a beautifully formidable wife and friend and I am a better man for having been with her. 

Cheers my sweet baby,


Tuesday, December 08, 2020

Shadows on the Wall


Shadows on the Wall

We are always surrounded by art. We just have the right eyes to see it.

From yesterday, some shadows that I saw...


Wednesday, December 02, 2020

52 Fridays - A Case Study in Good Collaboration

I've been creatively collaborating with my friend Neil Bruce for over fifteen years. Our first project together was on my short animated film, "ZANK", back in 2005 for which he wrote a fittingly zany music score. (Catch up on "ZANK"'s history here). Our next project was a few years later when I created a music video for one of his songs "A dream of life". Neil is an idea  and creative machine, and always has several projects going on, including a podcast called "There is Another Way" aimed at anyone pursuing a creative life, multiple YouTube channels and album projects. Check out his website for more information. 

Hal and NeilI'm grateful for Neil's friendship and particularly enjoy the creative sparks that fly whenever we get a good chat on. Through the years, we have generated more movie, art and music ideas than we could ever possibly finish in our lifetimes. Finding a good creative collaboration partner is as rare as finding a good romantic partner, both contain an element of mystery and chemistry that can't be explained or quantified. Collaborating is a tricky dance as there are egos involved, so care must be taken to honor each other's point-of-view, while talking honestly about the value of the ideas and whether they support the overall vision. Beyond the alchemy of idea creation, then there's the practicalities of crafting the ideas into a coherent plan and finally accomplishing something. For all of this to happen, all parties involved have to maintain communication and enthusiasm for the project until the end. I've seen too many projects die-on-the-vine because one person or another starts "ghosting" the thread and the project sinks beneath the waves of day-to-day life. If you want to get something done, you either make it happen or make excuses. The best of creative partners can help keep your creative life going, particularly when the well runs dry. Just as it is with a running or exercise buddy, it's easier to stay on track when you have someone to answer to and share each other's struggles.

Which brings us to my latest collaboration with Neil, his weekly music video project called "52 Fridays", found on his "Light Before Sound" channel. 

I have contributed four videos for his music on this project so far and will likely have a couple more before it is finished. 

If you find your creative life is stuck in a rut, then think through your circle of friends or people in your network who might be good to collaborate with and reach out to them and give it a try. You might be surprised where it might lead. Remember, you can go faster alone, but further together.

Thank's Neil!


Monday, June 25, 2018

The Old Guinea is All New Guinea to Me!

I love primitive art from every culture and time period. There is a spiritual power and fierceness I find that permeates art created in pre-modern cultures. I am no scholar or authority on primitive art (the scholars and authorities are vigorously nodding their heads in agreement), but merely an admirer, so often when I am drawing for pure pleasure, I will crack open a book on African or Mexican or, in this case, Melanesia culture and flip through until something speaks to me. I always acknowledge the culture I am literally drawing from because I respect their art and hope that the information inspires someone else to learn more about an indigenousness people. Here is the link to the Papua New Guinea National Museum and Art Gallery.

I have recently done two drawings of New Guinea, Astrolabe Bay Masks that were collected in the late 1800s.

I generally am first drawn to a mask by it's overall shape and this one has a strong, top-heavy look. The mouth-like eyes are weird enough for me and I like how you can see the cutouts for the wearers actual eyes just underneath. The mouth itself looks dangerous, something from a nightmare.

The second mask reminds me of some mutant beatnik with the tiny soul man beard hanging off his chin and crazy, beanie hat on his conehead dome. I also love the cinnamon bun eyes, once again with cutout eye holes just underneath.

I hope to travel to Papua New Guinea one day and draw some masks from the real thing and not just from a photo.