Saturday, July 29, 2006
So, I have been quite remiss, I know, in updating this blog. . .hello? is anybody still listening. . . ? Ah, oh well. Below are several new posts, showing some sketches from my time in Virginia. I have been back for about a month, but busy with new projects. I am doing some costume illustration for Joanna Johnston for the upcoming film "The Spiderwick Chronicles", very fun project based on a series of children's books, and I am also doing some drawings for the new 'Nancy Drew' film that I hope will be used in the end credit sequence. I can't post either of these, of course, but eventually. . .in the meantime, look at the sketches!
University of Virginia, Charlottesville
Here are a couple of mediocre watercolors I did on the campus of UVA. It was founded in 1819 (I think, or 1817?) by Thomas Jefferson, and it is a really beautiful campus, with wonderful smallish enclosed gardens behind the student housing. This housing is original, and on the main 'quad' just behind the famous Rotunda, designed by Jefferson. I was really jealous of these students, getting to live in such historic quarters, until I found out they remain heated wood burning stoves, and the bathrooms are outside! (it snows there, so that sounded pretty bad. No AC either). I also made it to Monticello, Jefferson's home just outside of town which was quite moving and humbling. I have a pencil drawing of it somewhere (not sure what I did with that sketchbook. . .)
All Around Town
Here are some other miscellaneous sketches from around Charlottesville. I also took a lot of photos, but I'm not going to post those. Stand up bass players are a staple. I went to a show with 3 acts, and they each had one. At the end, they all got on stage together and played.
Bands from the area seem to love to come up with eccentric names, but this was my favorite band name of the ones I saw. These guys were really good, and played lots of covers from all over the musical map, in addition to their own compositions. Each of them is in another band, and has material from those as well. Sadly, there really wasn't a Swing Piggy CD. I bought one of the guys' CD (Dave with the beret) and it is nice, but isn't the same vibe as they all have together. . .The bass player is a dead ringer for my friend Dan Sweetman!
One of my favorite spots was the bar in "Fellini's #9", a restaurant (and mostly a bar) near my hotel. The food wasn't bad, and the walls were covered in posters from all Fellini's films, but the best thing was the music. Heard lots of good musicians there, including "88 Keys" Wilson, and his quartet. He and the sax player Roland Young had been playing together since 1954.
The best medicine for being on location with no real company is a sketchbook.
I spent the first month of summer in Charlottesville, VA, working on "Evan Almighty" with Tom Shadyac. It is a beautiful place, with lots of live local music, much of it right outside my door on the 'downtown mall' and in the clubs, bars, lounges along the mall.
The Slate Hill Show consisted of Slate Hill Phil (Phil Slate) and whoever else he could dredge up that night. He and a girl fiddle player mostly played outside in the afternoons on the mall, and then he had a regular gig on Thursdays at the Outback Lodge down the road. He was something right out of 'Brother Where Art Thou' and I could never decide if he was some kind of anachronism for real, or if it was a constructed persona. In any case, I really enjoyed his singing and picking. These sketches are from his afternoon on the mall show. . .(on Thursdays he sported a wool pin-striped suit complete with vest and braces).