Volpane In Love

Decade Archive of my personal blog from 1999 to 2009.

Monday, February 15, 2010

Shirtless doodle in the style of "Loren and Sylvia"

From 1987-89

Back when I was in college I had a close friend named Kathy Sprague. Kathy was also gay and helped me find my way out-of-the-closet. I will always admire and appreciate what she did for me and despite our lives diverging along sexual lines, I will always consider her a dear friend.

We also collaborated on a comic book, based somewhat on our own lives. Our alter-egos were named "Loren", which is my middle name and "Sylvia" which is a name Kathy always liked. There is also a well known syndicated comic with the title "Sylvia", but we felt safe using the name because we were telling deeply personal stories, which had nothing to do with that syndicated newspaper strip. Someday I may share here the one issue of "Loren and Sylvia" that Kathy managed to print with her own money.

Anyway, I drew "Loren and Sylvia" with a distinctive stylized shorthand for creating characters like I'd seen done with other popular comic strips, namely "Peanuts" and "Doonsbury". This doodle of a shirtless male is an early attempt to draw a character in this style without clothes.  It looks a little like "Loren", but even at this late date I doubt that is who it really is.

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Sunday, February 14, 2010

Male Crotch

From 1987-89

This next series of images feature men. I tend to think about men a lot and how they appear to me. This includes how I appear to myself. My purpose is not to be crass or rude, but to depict the truth I see, which is perhaps the only way I can do this. I can only hope that you enjoy what I put down on paper.

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Friday, February 05, 2010

New Order Clown - Euclidian Solids

From 1987-89

Back in the late eighties, I remember the English musical group New Order did a video featuring costumes modeled after designs by a surrealist artist. Unfortunately I never paid much attention to who the artist was, but the costumes made the wearers seem to be clownish because they obstructed movement. The video as I remember featured these clowns carrying around and arranging large forms of squares and spheres. It didn't make much sense, but the images persisted in my brain until I had to jot them down. Please if anyone remembers or knows who the designer was, I would appreciate knowing.

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Wednesday, February 03, 2010

Paul Poiret - 1910

From 1987-89

Ah, yes...a coat by Paul Poiret. This sketch of a fashion photograph looks like it is from the height of Poiret's oriental-ism. I've always been a great fan of fashion design from the beginning of the previous century, especially the nineteen-twenties and nineteen-thirties. In college I collected Tom Tierney's books of paper dolls published by Dover for reference. Unfortunately his copies of the Erte collections are no longer available, nor are Dover's reprints of fashion catalogs containing Erte's designs. But Dover has continued to publish other designer's works and Poiret is a favorite.

The shape of the coat which is emphasized by the stylized pose of the mannequin is similar to how a robe or kimono might drape, only Poiret has used fairly modern western forms to achieve this with a wide embroidered lapels and a frog clasp.  I suspect the fabric is silk velvet in either brown or avacado green. The sleeves seem to be gathered, as well as the back which seems to gather below the knees, just above the lower edge, creating a unique form that you only see in coats from this time period.

I did a short series of sketches featuring fashion models and clothing back in my college days, although I mostly shared them with close friends. I named the model in each sketch Theo, after my grandmother and sometimes gave them captions as if they were speaking to someone off page. In this sketch I was thinking of my boss at Waldenbooks at the time, so she looks somewhat different to the original model, who I think had a triangular face. Clearly I didn't want to lose the effect of her pose so I redrew the part that went off the page above her right arm.  Her hat looks as if she's wearing a cleaning woman's scarf, but I assure you the original was worth my recording it here.  Too bad pencil smudges.

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Saturday, January 30, 2010

Sketchbooks Project


I have over a dozen sketch books that I've filled over the past two decades, which I intend to share some of the material here. Some of the stuff is interesting, some banal and much is pornographic. The pornographic stuff I'm posting gradually at Y!gallery under my "volpane" moniker, if you are interested enough to sign in there.  I don't have a lot posted there yet, but if you want me to post more I expect some encouragement there.  The click-able gallery above is the tame material although because I am an adult gay man, you may find the frank depiction of crotches, etc. not to your liking.  My plan is to give each image a unique post here with some description as to why it ended up in my sketchbook, so you will eventually see everything here that is posted there.  I encourage you to comment and engage me in some dialogue.  I like that kind of thing.

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