Wednesday, 20 August 2014

The shrine at Mt Tskuba

Your bog-standard torii gate.
Our Man sketched these sights of the Shinto shrine halfway up Mt Tskuba, about 50 km from Abiko, but a world away from the cares of the bunker. The overnight trip was a welcome respite from the shock news received on Friday that a good friend of Our Man’s has been diagnosed with stage four cancer. There is no stage five.

An 800 year-old tree.
This took me an hour to finish. So many lines to put in, but each
 represented an individual piece of timber.  Must have taken the carpenters
quite a bit longer to put the real thing together.
Now wash your hands.

Wednesday, 13 August 2014

Monk-ey business

Saw this chap at Tennodai Station vying with drinks vending machines for passers-by spare change.

Tuesday, 12 August 2014

Master copy

There is a bit of method in Our Man’s madness. See, all this faffing about with art and stuff is not just to expand his consciousness or keep the Mitsubishi Corporation pencil division profitable, but to provide Our Man Enterprises with something tangible one day: self-made covers for self-published books that don’t immediately (or at least on second viewing) repulse readers.

So, to that end he thought he’d experiment by copying a master, none other than Geoff Grandfield who created some brilliant artwork for Walter Mosley crime novels back in the 90s for Serpent’s Tail books (pictured below) that are on Our Man’s shelves. You might know him better for his Graham Greene covers for Penguin USA (check them out on his website, they are something else).

A few immediate observations: coloured pencils on sketchbook paper, as lovely as they are, show Our Man’s limitations. Also, even a slight difference in proportions can change a person’s face quite dramatically from a mean brother to a Desperate Dan. This drawing business ain’t as easy as it looks.

Back to the drawing board for Our Man. He’s not sure that he has the wherewithal to master anything more complicated than a 4B Mitsubishi, but he’s inspired by the approach Mr Grandfield has taken and with a slight change in scene and style (less downtown LA, more shitamachi Abiko) Our Man might figure out a suitable style before one of us dies.

Sunday, 10 August 2014

View of the neighbours

“Another one?”
“Yes, get a move on.”
“One? What am I supposed to do with one?”
“Well, you could take it inside and wash it. You don’t get it?”
“Oh, I get it all right. You’re the one who doesn’t get it. Why do you make me go into the kitchen one at a time?”
“They stay fresher that way.”
“That makes sense only to an idiot. Normal people don’t think like that. What kind of a man thinks like that? Put them all together.”
“That’s not the way I do it.”
“You are so annoying. Do it your-bloody-self then.”

Man and woman as overheard from Our Man’s breakfast table one Sunday morning.