The goal of this project is to kick out about 100 watercolors of soldiers from archive photographs of the Civil War. Mostly I am working with old portrait photographs. I’m not doing much to them other than translating them from photos to watercolor on paper. There’s some really interesting stuff coming up with this since I’m able to pick and choose any of the notable characters from this era that I find along the way. I’ll try to post all of them when I’m finished sometime later this year.
I’ve been making drawings of Hartford to get a feel of my new home. I’ve been riding my bicycle and driving around and taking photographs. I’ve also been looking at old photos of the city and region. It’s been very exciting and interesting to learn about this place. I frankly didn’t know much about Connecticut before I moved here so it’s been great to try and see what this region is about. Of course it’s really fun trying to make art from all of it!
I like trains, so it’s great to look up some of the history of Hartford and find out that there used to be a public transportation system throughout the region that even took you out toward Springfied MA. These trains were torn out by the 1940’s. It’s a real American tragedy told time and time again throughout this country but when you go through these photographs you really get a sense it really connected people. There’s lots of commuter traffic in and out of the city because most of the people in Hartford live in the Suburbs. I’m pretty sure there will be a reverse trend soon here. I can feel it.
For the last year I’ve been working on a blog called the Beautiful Bodegas. The blog is a collection of photos and images as a tribute to the neighborhood corner market. I’ve been basically compiling photos of these stores wherever I go and also scouring the internet for images.
Recently I added a submission page so anyone out there can send me photos of their local markets. I’m hoping people will send photos so we have an online collaborative space. Feel free to look at the images, send me a message and hopefully you can also send me some photos, drawings etc. in dedication to the our local store.
I caught the photo for this illustration on our first day in Kazakhstan this summer. When I saw this car I knew I had to make an illustration of this but I wasn’t sure if it would work for our project. After our project was finished, I decided it would look great as a poster and it somehow represented the image of life in the small towns and cities that work in and around the bazaar culture.
I had these made by a local printer here in Hartford, Connecticut. The print is a limited edition for our project Voices of Taraz. For those who donated 200 dollars or more would receive a special printed poster with the name of the project, signed, dated and numbered.
I think the print came out quite nice! I like the satin paper feel of this. The image is at 24 inches x 18 inches.
Above you can see a close up shot of our logo with a Cossack soldier. Cossack soldiers were part of the Russian military and often served at the borders of the Russian Empire. Many of those people who live in Taraz and the rest of Central Asia are descended from this ethnic group.
I’ve been working on a series of watercolors for those who have contributed to our Voices of Taraz project. A lot of really interesting little works that I hope will make our contributors happy that they’ve helped fund our project.
Some of the works are at 5×7 inches and others are at 8×10 inches. They’re all watercolor on paper and each one will be signed, dated, and with notations that it was part of our project.
Daniel Lubin from Brass Magic asked me to make his album cover art. You can see them above busking in Washington Square Park in New York City. I wanted to capture the energy of the band and make a logo that felt like the sound of the horns but also to give them some brand identity. The lead musician Daniel Lubin is a Tuba player so we decided to go with the logo of the tuba as a representation of his spirit and influence, but to also give you the sense that this is no doubt a horn playing funky brass band!
The final logo for Brass Magic
This was an early idea for the Brass Magic Logo that didn’t make the cut
I like this one in black and white! I think the fonts are nice too!
Daniel Lubin and the Brass Magic guys wanted something festive so we went with a guy holding a bottle of Vodka for the album cover and also maintained the two tubas logo on the inside of the cover.
Throughout the summer I’ve been working on a project called Voices in Taraz in Kazakhstan. Above is the invite which has already past at this point in time. The exhibit was wonderful and we had a great learning experience. We had a blog for the whole project which was in Russian and English: http://voicesoftaraz.blogspot.com/p/the-idea.html
Lots of incredible artwork came out of the exhibit! I made some video installations, took lots of photographs and most of all my love for watercolor was fully explored this last summer. I painted my favorite subject which are houses!
We had a wonderful exhibition at the Central Exhibition hall in Taraz! There were all sorts of different people from the community who came! We were really happy to see all of the wonderful people who came to talk about their city and local history!
The artist Gulnara Kospakova (Left) Me, and Anthropologist Eva Marie Debuisson on my right
We got to collaborate with a bunch of really wonderful people too! That’s the real power of art when you can bridge the everyday with a project about their city and they can all contribute a little to the project to make it something really fun!
My favorite part of the project may have been making a pinata for the kids as a memory of my own childhood to share with them. It wasn’t easy to do something like this because they had little idea how to play this game. I had to teach them plus I had to build the pinata. They had a great time and someone from the exhibit said they were going to build their own too!
I hope to make more projects in the near future! We’ll see what happens next!
I found this wonderful sign at an amusement park here in Taraz and had to make it into an image. I hope to make it into something in the near future. Perhaps it would make a great print but I haven’t quite figured out what for yet. I love the way the original sign painting follows the contour of the building. For my design I balanced out the size of the O and the letter M.
This book is a real find! A book published in 1965 on grain elevators from the Soviet Union! Lots of great photos, illustrations and packed full of information. This book really made my day. Click on the photo above and … Continue reading →