May 26, 2007


Hey folks: My pal Chris needs donations for this year's AIDS/LifeCycle ride from SF to LA! It's a 7 day, 545 mile trek that starts on June 3rd. Help him out if you can! Every little bit helps. I know a few people who are associated with this event, and it sounds awesome! Maybe someday I'll make the ride.

Here's a link to the event, and to Chris' Page.

May 20, 2007


I haven't been drawing much at all the past couple of weeks as our crew's been working hard on our film. That said, Sketchcrawl was busy and fun, with about 80 of us attending, and a trek that took us from the Ferry Building on the Embarcadero up to Coit Tower and down again through Washington Square Park and Chinatown. Though I didn't really feel warmed up until maybe 5:30, I got a few drawings in the new sketchbook. Now I'm gonna go fill the rest of them. See ya!

And later tonight, the auction at Maverix Studios.


Some more from this afternoon, before the auction, at ol' Ritual Coffee. I'm almost there, a quarter of the book remaining. Press on, pencil!


Ah... finally done. A quick flirt with a Tadahiro painting, an original Jen Chang on my table, many hellos and some classical music later: one complete sketchbook over one complete weekend. Seating was tough, so I took a fire hydrant outside the cafe. It was great, some melancholy new compositions, reminiscent of Rachel's.

A very scary moment: a van sped by (and I can't emphasize enough how fast the damn thing was going) and rammed, quite intentionally, a little coupe that was trying to get away; they cleared the intersection, CRUNCHED! sped off and reared around a corner. Somethin' real dangerous; someone was trying to kill someone. In lighter news, a fairly drunk composer said that my cafe composition needed some work, and that last drawing? He didn't know what it was. Go figure.

May 07, 2007

The Grapefruit Moon

This is gouache with a Photoshop kick.
I went a little overboard with the glow;
I was reading Salinger today, if that's any excuse.

Talking about cities, one of the most important things for me to find in SF was a neighbourhood cafe; some place to hang out, work in and derive inspiration from. Thankfully I found a few. I don't think I'd stay sane without a place to call my own. Above is a painting of my old satellite studio, where I worked out many an idea over conversation and a lot of coffee. That's my seat right there, second from the register.

Do recall this last post: 3/5ths

May 05, 2007

Jane Jacobs

This post is to commemorate Jane Jacobs: visionary urbanist, champion of livable cities, saviour of the West Village in New York, the Annex in Toronto, and vibrant, walkable, tightly knit urban neighbourhoods everywhere. Today is Jane Jacobs day in Toronto. Go out and take a walk, and think about how lucky we are to be able to do that.

"Cities have the capability of providing something for everybody, only because, and only when, they are created by everybody."

All photographs here are stolen from google images, and I take no credit for them, though I do wish to thank their sources. One of them is of JJ with Philip Johnson, protesting the demolition of Penn Station; one example of what happens when we don't take care of our urban centers. The top photo is of Jacobs on her porch in Toronto. She moved her family there from NYC in 1968 in opposition of the Vietnam War.

After visiting New York in the winter of 2005/06, where I read Jane's the Death and Life of Great American Cities (among other texts on urban development, architecture and preservation), I decided that I had to meet her in Toronto later that summer; after all, she lived only blocks away from my neighbourhood cafe in the Annex, and she wrote about exactly what I loved and hated about living in cities. Sadly, she passed away before I had the chance.

Jane Jacobs on Wikipedia
Bio on the Project for Public Spaces website
The JJ Memorial Weblog
Jane Jacobs: Ideas that Matter
The Rockefeller Foundation's Jane Jacobs medal
JJ compares Toronto and Montreal on the CBC, 1969
JJ Day walks in Toronto
A photoessay of the West Village

and of course,
The Death and Life of Great American Cities said to be possibly the most influential American book on urban planning.

*addendum: It looks like things went well in Toronto!
Here a link to Jane's Walk photos on Flickr.