soulless technique and blame


     Here’s some crap from early college.  Mainly concentrating on technique more than content, although it seems I was partial to black lines on white paper form an early age.  I remember being very proud of this at the time.  I even made a couple more versions with different colors and textures and matted them all nicely on some black card stock with the careful use of spray adhesive.  My narcissistic young self admired these works and thought them fit for framing at the time.

     But now…  Now, I kinda hate them.  I look at the above image and what I see is all the excitement and raw content of the Sharpie craze and nose bleed trapped inside a kind of soulless technique.  I know I was young and still learning but I can’t help but hate this.  I fucking hate it.  Those straight lines and unimaginative use of still life objects.  Sure the contour lines on the leaves are nicely done but there’s absolutely no self-discovery going on here at all.  Funny…  this isn’t the first time I’ve been way too hard on myself for crimes committed in college.  I know now that I needed help and encouragement at the time but I still have trouble fighting the impulse to blame myself.

logo man and the pain of college

     Recently got the courage up to go through the two old beat up portfolios of crap I saved from college.  Mostly messy charcoal drawings and the like.  No two ways about it, college was messy.  Amidst the flimsy, torn charcoal drawings I came across this little bit of brush work from one of my classes.  We were working with an India ink wash or some shit an this was one of my little doodles.  If you don’t know already “Vincent Stemkin” is my pseudonym and what you see above are my real initials.  Dang, just look at that shit.  So young and positive and fullo ambition.  Egotistical dreams of greatness…

     Man, this is difficult.  I’ll stop here and let my ambitious little logo sit and gel, hopefully finding a place for itself in the latest chapter of my artistic life.

bamboo engineers have a tough job


     Another assignment from early college.  This was when I was still living with my mom and she was renting this awesome studio-type apartment above a drugstore.  The subject matter here was one of those cheaply made, bamboo-wicker-type chairs that were all the rage in the late 80’s, early 90’s.  These chairs were designed to hold the weight of a normal adult or two calmly relaxing young adults (for example, me and my future wife).  Of course, the two young adults in question can remain calm and relaxed in a chair this size for only so long before they become active, horny young adults.  The physical stresses that two people in such a state produce are far greater than the maximum rated capacity for a chair of this type.  This was the first of at least two chairs my mother had to purchase when I explained to her they accidentally broke when I happened to sit down in them too hard, clumsy me.

sans whiskers


     A quick cat sketch from my 20’s.  I just realized I didn’t even bother with whiskers.  I think this was an assignment for Drawing I or some shit from college.  Not much sincere content here, just trying to impress the teacher.  I did draw all this from memory though, no actual cat was involved (I guess the absence of whiskers was a giveaway).  Back when my youthful optimism was driving me to work on my technique, use different hardnesses of pencils and draw cutesy, positive images.  Bleah.