Table of Contents: > Sketchbook


Ursula Andress in TODD-AO

Ursula_Shepelavy

Here’s a quick one — a sketch portrait of Ursula Andress as Vesper Lynd in the technicolor carnival that was the original Casino Royale. The one where Peter Sellars seduces her behind the fish tank. When I cut the painting I had accidentally done it in almost the exact aspect ratio of TODD-AO, hence the title. Best to click, it’s a long one, so it shrinks tiny. Cheers

Local Pop

Shepelavy_Pop_Philly_VIsta Shepelavy_Red_Shoes Shepelavy_Manniquin_Regal

Some recent moments of pop happenstance wandering around Philadelphia — Ellsworth & Broad, and shop windows on Bainbridge and 4th street respectively. Topmost iPhone, the others digital SLR — Enjoy.

Nicola

bert jansch nicola

Was poking around the internet looking for a hi-res cover for this Bert Jansch double album I was digitizing. On the original twofer CD it was the size of a postage stamp. Gorgeous piece of work when you can really take it all in, no?

Seeing Clearly

celmins

Ocean, 1975 Vija Celmins / drypoint on paper

What we call seeing a thing clearly, is only seeing enough of it to make out what it is; this point of intelligibility varying in distance for different magnitudes and kinds of things, while the appointed quality of mystery remains nearly the same for all. Thus: throwing an open book and an embroidered handkerchief on a lawn, at a distance of a half a mile, we cannot tell which is which: that is the point of mystery for the whole of those things. They are merely white spots of indistinct shape. We approach them, and perceive that one is a book, the other a handkerchief but cannot read the one or trace the embroidery of the other. The mystery has ceased to be in the whole things, and has gone into their details. We go nearer; and can now read the text and trace the embroidery, but cannot see the fibers of the paper or the tread. The mystery has gone into a fourth place, where it must stay until we take a microscope, which will send it into a fifty, sixth, hundredth or thousandth place. —John Ruskin on the picturesque sublime

Juxtaposition by Dave Hickey25 Women: ESSAYS ON THEIR ART, 2016 / Univ. of Chicago Press

Regency

Shepelavy_ballston_1Regency / Digital /
Coxsackie Antique Center, Rt, 9, Coxsackie, New York

Is this thing on?

can_you_hear_me_now

Transmissions sputter back to life… onto a fifth year of broadcasting. The signal has faded over the past year, gales of advertising mostly, then our radio tower plain and blew up (by which of course I mean a virulent SQL database corruption keelhauled my rickety, jury rigged WordPress build.) So, then, is this thing on? Are we going?

ViewOfDelft

Comrades!

I painted this figure study over a few days this summer. I walked by it one night, a month or so ago, and as I lingered for a minute and thought — that’s right — View of Delft.

Yes, as in Vermeer’s view of Delft, entitled View of Delft.

1660-61_View_of_Delft

A blasphemous chuckle, right, but gumdaggit if this sketch and title aren’t now bonded like noggin epoxy — the phrase passing over my little ditty of a painting like a sky-blotting arial banner, featherweight but indelible.

So, as I said the blogs been down for a while, swept under crosscurrents and swells of obligations, dissolutions and advertising and I’m casting about for an inaugural post and all I can think of is View of Delft.

Here’s why. Cause this blog is, if it is anything, even in this particularly unhinged association, about searching for our own little private views of Delft — little lagoons, obsessively surveyed, rendered, cleared out out by hand.

Lagoons. Because in the clotted coastline of the blogosphere, it’s what this is, really. A tiny lagoon, home to beatniks, old salts, venerable preps, society matrons, homespun cuties, movie stars and scientists… Gilligan’s wake. It’s a beachhead from which we can re-embark on our quest to find and stake out other unlikely harbors. A stretch of landscape we can fix in our minds and take a draught or a puff and contemplate, then set off satisfied.

And when others arrive, like you dear reader, perhaps you’ll survey it appreciatively, like a scoutmaster, and think “I would’ve given you a commendable. That was one of the best pitched camp sites I’ve ever seen, honestly.”

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Or something. Are we going? Is this thing on? Is this really broadcasting if there is no one there to receive? We’ll see. More soon.

Some credits: All the weird snippets about broken and sputtering radio transmissions are taken from Shellac’s epic angular shanty “The End of Radio,” which will serve as this latest sally’s theme song. The Herculean rebuild of this leaky beached blog was coded by the gifted and rad Marcello De Feo. Check his kung-fu. It is ace. The charming illustration of Moonrise Kingdom is by Adrian Tomine.

Mermaids & Space Cuties

Fawley_Mermad Navigator_Finished_Shepelavy

So one day I ask my pal, the enormously gifted tattoo artist Steve Fawley, if I could paint me some flash of a mermaid who looks like Jane Russell. Because such a thing may not have exist in the world, it seemed like a fine thing to bring into it. And he says, sure — paint me a space cutie in exchange. So here they are — certainly I’m on the rich side of this deal. What a stunner. Perfectly fetching & a prime example of Steve’s masterly of the traditional form. My cutie was the buildup of a forgotten sketch in tribute to Wally Wood & based on Robert Bonfils cover painting for pulp paperback Nautipuss. Check out Steve’s kung fu here.

Colonel Wilma Deering

Colonel Wilma Deering — off duty, gouache on board, 9 x 6.5

So, on a lark I watched some episodes of the old 1979 series Buck Rogers in the 25th Century. Man, what a glitter encrusted sci-fi glam delight! Most of the other shlock series of the era have aged poorly, revealing more artless clunk than period charm. Not here. There’s a grin-inducing disco exhuberance to the whole affair — a vision of the future that’s equal parts Saturday morning Sinbad, Star Wars, and the roller skate fantasia Xanadu. In reading up on the show, the oddest thing I came across was a terse but enthusiastic appreciation of the show by esteemed cultural critic and poet Clive James, “Battlestar Galactica (Thames), though glaringly a cheap Star Wars rip-off, looks better on the small screen than in the cinema. The best comic strip science fiction on television at the moment, however, is Buck Rogers in the 25th Century (LWT). The hardware looks good and Wilma Deering looks simply sensational, like Wonder Woman with brains.” Amen, comrade. In commemoration, then, a quick three day sketch of the fetching Erin Grey  as the indefatigable Colonel Wilma Deering, off duty, of course.