Rilke 02

9″ x 12″

I’ll just keep on posting pieces as this Rilke project goes along, even though these are all preliminary, laboratory kind of work. Why not. It’ll keep the process light. And humor is hard to come by in this text, unless you think baby slaughter and celestial revelations are funny.

Rast auf der Flucht nach Ägypten

9″ x 12″

Continuing (read: starting) the images for a forthcoming retranslation of Rilke’s cycle of poems “The Life of Mary”. A number of these will be showing up on the work-a-day in the next few months — results may range from pretty successful to laughably unsuccessful — as I try to enter a very challenging text with brown ink and gold leaf, materials I don’t understand. Will start by drawing. Here is me beating around the edges of “Rast auf der Flucht nach Ägypten” (Rest on the Flight to Egypt).

Butcher Hand

11″ x 14″

I’ve got an acute interest in hand-painted food signs. When I travel, I photograph them, and have well over a hundred in my collection now from all over the country. Most of them are fun to look at, often really gross, and sometimes touching. They seem to say something about how “we” think of food. There are cultural/regional styles that I like seeing and which remain a mystery to me. I am considering starting another page here on the Work-a-day just for hand-painted food signs of North America.

Anyway, this is a watercolor I did today inspired by a painting I saw on an abandoned butcher shop in Pecos, Texas a few weeks ago. The original is by far the most narrative hand-painted food signs I’ve seen. It’s like an altarpiece.

How Things Are Made

9″ x 12″

This is actually a brand new one (you can tell by the wetness of the yellow). I was thinking I’d revisit the Wastrels, but what emerged was more a precocious woodland child emerging from my ribcage. One just can’t tell until the marks start going down. The Genesis 2: 21-24 reference was more or less accidental. Or incidental.

Cat Box

9″ x 12″

Bought at the old Value Village here in Tucson.

Feast of Belshazzar

10″ x 16″

This from the group of drawings when I did copies of Rembrandt, Velasquez, Goya and Carravaggio paintings replacing all the figures with ghosts. Some were more successful that others. A couple of those will soon be on the cover of Gordon Massman’s new book with New York Quarterly Press. The Fear of Operations and Fear of Anaesthesia drawings from the beginning of the work-a-day page.


9″ x 12″

Well well, so much for the idea of keeping up with the work-a-day’s while traveling for a month. I’ve been scolded for drawing while driving more than a few times in my life, and even though it may not feel hazardous, I’m sure that it is. So now I post some things retrospectively and trying to get this sucker cranked back up again. Here’s one that I found in a sketchbook I had lost (in my closet) and is a preparatory drawing for the two scar paintings from the Edelweiss series.

I think I’ll give up not doing work-a-days for lent.