I used to be a Nikon guy. Before that I learned photography on my hand-me-down Pentax K-1000. I still have that tank of a camera. Awesome stuff. Then my Grandfather died and I was proud inheriter his camera rig and numerous accessories. Some pretty sweet lenses convinced me to upgrade to a Canon the last time it was time to buy a new DSLR. Which was several years ago now. This guy has taken quite a few memories over the past few years. Although, mostly he does work for me and my wife. He is the one that makes digital our various aesthetic musings.
I did this drawing in my sketchbook, hence the watercolor and somewhat random writing. (Not really random)
This is my bike. It is one of several that I have, but I especially like this one. Not only is it fun to ride and useful to get places, it is also pretty well designed.
A lot people take pride in their bike. When people say, “Nice bike!” The rider might say, “Thanks!” I do this too when people take note of it, but I take a bit more pride in the compliment than they would, because I actually designed the bike. Working for Nirve for 7+ years I got to work on many bikes with a great team of people. We created lots of awesome bikes designed for normal people – not just the Spandexed Sport Enthusiast. In fact, we avoided appeasing that guy, because he already has a ton of bike choices with every other brand. Nirve made really great bikes for people that don’t already know where their local bike shop is. The goal was that with a Nirve bike in the window they not only see the bike shop for the first time, they might feel like it is okay to ride a bike as an adult. By making the bikes easy and cool, it was now accessible and more than possible, rather than just a weird sport or only for kids.
This bike – The Fairfax – was culmination of our city bike line. It is comfortable, easy to operate and maintain, and it looks awesome (beautiful paint, chrome, classic lugs and automatic vintage looking lights!) I plan on riding it for many, many more miles.
I have been wanted to do a little drawing experiment for a while now and I thought that this would be a great subject. I frequently like to draw without planning anything out, just to see what happy accidents will happen. This time I gave myself even more of a handicap. I made rules for myself that I had to draw the bike and all its details full size, one sheet of 8.5×11 piece of paper at a time. So I didn’t see what the complete drawing looked like until it was done. All those little numbers floating around the drawing are the order in which I drew it.
I was hoping to make a little animation of each drawing falling into place (27), and then the color floating up, but, frankly, it took me too long to post this as it is! That might have to be another back-burnered project. Just add it to the pile.
If I had a hammer . . . Oh, wait. I do.
It has been too long since I have contributed here! I have a good problem: busy with other work. I post non-possession work to my behance page if you want to look at other things I have been up to.
This “week’s” drawing is one of the shells from my collection. I was unaware that I even had a collection of shells until finally unpacking one of those unmarked moving boxes in the corner of the bedroom. There are still more of those nagging boxes filled with questionable content, so plenty of future fodder for drawing.
There is a local artist here in Charlottesville named Michael Fitts whose inspiring paintings I saw a several weeks ago and felt an affinity to. He paints singular, iconic objects on found metal, evoking a surreal symbology that is both universal and personal and strangely archaeological. I liked the idea of that wonderful texture that the found metal gives his paintings, and decided to appropriate that here. Also, the shape of the shell called for some dramatic lighting while still trying to achieve the graphic nature of my more typical style of drawing. I’m not sure it is entirely successful as piece in and of itself, but it is kind of interesting. Yes, no?
About a year ago I bought a book, Handmade Music Factory by Mike Orr, which gave me the confidence to try my hand at making my own string instruments. I already have a guitar. I also have a violin, accordion, ukulele and several other instruments as well – all content for future posts. Don’t let this mislead you. I am a terrible musician – just ask my wife. I would love to be better, and I could certainly spend less time doodling and more time practicing. However, at this point in my life I know that just ain’t going to happen. But it doesn’t stop me from being passionate about music and specifically the aesthetics of music production. Traditional folk instruments like a cigar box guitars (CBG) or diddly bows or a washtub bass are attractive to me not just because they are hipster-cool, but from a very amateur woodworker and musician point of view they are fairly simple to make. This one took about 6 hours once I had collected to proper tools and materials.
How does my CBG sound? If you ask me to play it, it sounds a lot like my regular guitar – terrible! I plan on making more guitars, cigar box or otherwise, and honestly hope that I get better at their construction, but that is almost secondary. As with many things, the aesthetics are almost more important for me. I love the way my cigar box guitar – that I made – looks hanging on my wall.
I included two versions of the drawing this week – one completed in my typical image making style, and one as snapshot of a byproduct of that process. I did this because I though that each was pretty cool, and this blog is about forcing myself to experiment in ways I cannot do on a commissioned piece. I posted a picture of the original drawing and guitar on my instagram (@stevehaske) if you want to see that. I draw the item with a black pen on paper – this time I went larger than usual on an 18×24″ drawing pad. Then I scan the drawing into the computer. I could photograph it, but I like the better control and resolution the scanner provides for flat objects. The only problem is that my scanner is made for 8.5×11″ paper, so I have to scan it in many times and then piece it back together in photoshop. When doing this, I have often marveled at the accidental cubism that is created when overlapping all those misplaced layers. This time I dwelled on it. I emphasized a few things as I imagined Braque might do, but pretty much left it how the scanner made it.
Moving from the cliche part of sunny Southern California to Virginia meant that we had to deal with seasons. And it turns out that we moved during a doozy of a winter. With record cold spells and snow dumps, I needed a coat. People from places with real winters might think that not having a thick coat is ridiculous. I say that living in places with below zero weather is ridiculous. One thing is for sure: winter lasting this long is ridiculous.
This coat was purchased at the local Good Will, so I can only imagine the history it might contain. Perhaps it was stitched together in a far off land of mystery and intrigue. Perhaps purchased at Smith and Sons’ Men’s Shop in 1967 by Karl Washington, and worn everyday that winter to his bearings fitting job in Dayton, Ohio. Or maybe it was lost in the back of James Celeritas’ closet and only found after his funeral. Or last month Bill Nueston decided he needed a change of pace, gave away everything, and moved to Southern California.
See the coat in person here – http://steveresteve.tumblr.com/
I don’t want to give the impression that I have too many toys from my childhood cluttering up our classy home decor. They do clutter up boxes in the back of the closet though. I had to hide them when the boys got old enough to notice them and harbor an intense, evil desire to utterly destroy them. Jetfire here is one of the few surviving Transformers. I have lost most of his accessories and he has some pealing stickers and yellow, cracked plastic. The patina of a well used toy make it more valuable than any ebay collector will ever know. I say this fully seeing the contradiction as I wrap them in protective plastic and hide them in carefully labeled boxes in storage.