US Naval Academy Wind Quintet

Naval Academy Wind Quintet – Pentel Brush Pen and White Charcoal pencil on Toned Paper 11″x14″

From left to right: MUC Dembowski, MUCM Hanner, MU1 Morton, MU1 Madsen, MUC Valerio

In December while working on a visual journalism project, I had the chance to sit down at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center and listen to the US Naval Academy Wind Quintet perform for the families and service members who were there for their various appointments.  I sat down and took advantage of the the scene and took a little time to draw as I listened to the holiday themed music.  When I finished drawing I introduced myself and shared the drawing with them, getting their names and even the email of one of the members to send a virtual copy their way.

Fast forward a few months to just around a week ago, I was contacted by the band asking if they could get a print of the drawing for one of their members who was retiring.  Typically the retiree is given a photo that they all sign, but instead they wanted to get my artwork as a their parting gift.

I’m honored that I get to be a part of capping off a service members career.  Congrats to MUCM David Hanner on a well deserved retirement, best of luck in your future endeavors!

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Walter Reed – Collected Images

Recently I spent a few days at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center as the start of what I hope will be a continuing project.  I’m going to be continually profiling the military life through images and possibly even start doing some casual interviews/talks with people.  The idea here is to give a behind the scenes look at a place many don’t get to see and show it through my own eyes and hands. Continue reading

Inner Harbor and the Random Inspirations

A cold windy day at the Inner Harbor in Baltimore isn’t exactly my idea of a good time.  But when you have to make due with a crappy situation, you find inspiration (and warmth!) where you can.  In the case of a couple weeks back, Barnes and Noble gave the necessary warmth and coffee fix our splinter sketch group needed early in the day.

The result was a brief glimpse at mundane life.  I’m finding that book shelves and areas with a lot of them can make for some really effective background devices.  They’re not particularly hard to capture the feel of in a short amount of time either.

Not wanting to fight the cold, a couple of us headed up into the Baltimore World Trade to the observation deck.  It’s useful to find a new way to see an area, especially one as well traveled as the Inner Harbor.  This was our fourth or so trip to the area in a different context, and it was beginning to feel a little stale.  Getting up above it all helped me to find things I wanted to represent and the warmth to see it through.

The submarine and the last image came from our time up on the observation deck.  If anyone hasn’t seen it yet, there are a lot of artifacts/ruined pieces from the attacks on 9/11.  These have particularly profound impact on me each time I pass them as they represent a large chunk of my adult life that has been directly affected by that single day.  I found the wall you see in the image above on the observation deck amongst a few more pieces of broken stone and metal on display.  It shows a collection of portraits of people killed in the attacks that called Maryland home.

Penn Station, Baltimore

Spent a day at Penn Station in Baltimore last Friday drawing the constantly shifting and changing crowd and staff.  It’s fun to try and catch a likeness in a matter of minutes or in some cases seconds.  This is the start of a new sketchbook and a break from the white paper sketchbooks from the past.  I’ve done toned paper work before and loved to work that way so this change isn’t completely new to me.  Continue reading

Occupy Baltimore

14″x11″ Pentel Brush Pen on drawing paper

Another day, another locale.  In this case, an old locale with a new purpose.  Just at the corner of the Inner Harbor in Baltimore is a rag tag collection of tents, tarps and signs denoting the ongoing protests of Occupy Baltimore. It’s small, but it’s there, and the people holding up in the cold winds intend to continue this show of dissent.

The real importance are the people down there that really believe in what they’re doing.  They are real people with names and faces and families.  To that end, I give you Vince:

11″x14″ Compressed charcoal on drawing paper

Vince has a job.  Vince has a wife with a job.  It’s not enough and he’s out on the corner to say something about it.  There he hopes someone will take notice.

Fells Point

A day on by the harbor is always a good time.  I don’t think I can remember a day I haven’t enjoyed just being near the water.  It’s not the beach, but it’s a welcome change from the crushing weight of the city and roads.  The water lapping against the hulls and wharf it makes for a calming soundtrack while putting a little charcoal to some paper.

Continue reading

Baltimore Book Festival

Another Visual Journalism outing a new part of the city to explore and a little bit of adventure thrown into the mix.

The rain did all it could to keep me from getting anything worthwhile out of the day, but thankfully I was able to find a few dry spots and a seat here and there that wasn’t completely drenched.  I started off in the Peabody Library, where the image above came from, and moved out into the monument area afterward where I snagged a few sketches while out and about in the tent city that had been set up.

I finished up the day trying to catch some conversation going on around me on paper, going more for the general feel of the area and the people I was around.  The above was an exchange that was going on between two of the event organizers.  One being a very boisterous personality welcoming people, and generally getting on with those he recognized and going back to his conversation.  It was part of the exercise of the day, but with all the rain and how hard it was coming down, this was about all I could make out for most of the day.

Maybe the next location will have less rain…