Tuesday, September 29, 2009

New Orleans Vernacular: First Look

I've been drawing New Orleans for the past few weeks, getting a sense for the language of her architecture. I don't know of another city with such definitive TYPES.
I'm just drawing what I see, what I like, then arranging the fable streetscape. Looks like I need more Garden District houses, maybe more French Quarter too. I'll be sure to pick some up when I go there in a few weeks.

Friday, September 25, 2009

I would like to take you to the State Park.

SKIDAWAY ISLAND STATE PARK, that is. Inspired by Ken Burns' new documentary, The National Parks: America's Best Idea (from clips seen at the Concert in Central Park film I saw yesterday at the Telfair) I awoke this morning with a desire to hike, to climb a mountain like we used to do in Virginia. I chose the next best thing in Savannah and biked to Skidaway from Downtown through the cross-section of settlements from my house in the mid-1800s city...through the Victorian District and first streetcar suburbs ...through Ardsley Park and the original early 1900s "suburbs", watching fathers and mothers walk their children to school...
...enduring the mess of Southside sprawl, malls and multi-lane traffic arteries (which I did not photograph)...
...to the outskirts of the city where rural cabins mix with mid-century ranchers...
...then finally to the edge of the mainland, crossing bridges, island-hopping through the marsh...
...and onto the TRAIL to seek the treasures of the Southern Colonial Coast, including:
multi-dimensional spider webs,
dark, reflective swamps like eyes into a deep soul,
weathered sinews of a dead tree on the salt flat,
curtains of spanish moss,
a snake and one of millions of small fiddler crabs scampering sideways across the forest floor,
Shell middens, the dinner detritus of the natives,
Confederate earthworksthe writhing gnarly roots of a cedar at the water's edge,
great diagrammatic drawings on the weathered interpretive signs,
and a Bonus: Bethesda Home for Boys, an historic orphanage I always wanted to see. I was drawn from the road upon seeing an old narrow road under a tunnel of branches which led me to this entrance and another alee beyond the arch.

When I returned home with a face that had faced the wind and sun (and traffic and imminent danger of fast 18wheelers and no road shoulders) and a hungry stomach, I decided to make my own food: 4 loaves of whole-wheat bread, the family tradition. I feel so rugged and resourceful.
Thank You, Ken Burns and John Muir and all the other Parks heroes.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Postcards Remind

...me of my friends
...and how I need to visit them...
Unbeknownst to me, while I was posting this, my friend was calling me to ask me when I was coming to visit the farm.
And so - In a few weeks, I am off on a Southeast Road Trip: Arkansas, Alabama, Mississippi, Louisiana, and Florida. Looking for small towns and old buildings and, my friend.

Monday, September 21, 2009

Last Day of Summer

I had to pick up some drawings in South Carolina. I always want to stop at these roadside produce stands I see in the country. I did. The peaches are deeelicious.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

I would like to take you to the County Records

I discovered a secret (to me) repository of old Savannah maps today. Past the offensive facade of the County Courthouse, through the automatic sliding doors with a no knives allowed sign, through the x-ray security screening, paying no mind to the large sign that points the wrong direction to the RECORDS room, around the corner by the Recorder's Court where I infamously appeared several years ago to face charges of "biking through a square," elevator to the third floor, ignoring more confusing signage, and through the unmarked door (also known as 314) to the Deeds and Records Room. Here you will find a series of huge wall maps, framed under glass, hanging on the walls. They are worn, some so much that the print is worn off. How many fingers crawled across this surface? The maps range from 1906 to about the 1950s. As you can see from the photos, it is nearly impossible to photograph these maps thanks to the reflective glass, low light, and the fact that one can only view them from a distance of three feet or less. This is a room filled with shelves full of deeds, after all, not a museum. Upon asking, I was informed that the maps have not been scanned. Too bad. So - you'll have to go see for yourself.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Postcards Remember

A few weeks ago, I decided to assess my collection and move it to nicer quarters from this old cardboard box. Regrettably, National Postcard Day(s) is not until May and I just can't wait that long to share some of the postcards that I've collected or made. Their value ranges from the aesthetic to the sentimental to the hilarious.
These are the two remaining postcards from a set I made following a spring break trip to Boston and Cape Cod. I cut and collaged photographs from the trip onto smooth white bristol, the minimalist Cowgill aesthetic. The set documented, made a memory of, the trip and served as thank-yous to friends and mentors for their generosity.

MOTOR Structures

Does it seem strange to sequence about from historic maps and architectural elevation drawings to MOTORBIKES...not to mention VINTAGE AUTOMOBILES and MUSCLE CARS? Though I am a little embarassed, I thought to broaden the lens to show the relationship between all the things that interest me and that I am compelled to draw.
I enjoy drawing the Motors series because of the parts that fit together. Admittedly, I don't really understand how they all work, but the beauty and efficiency of old cars and motorcycles (especially the motorcycles because you can see their motors on the outside) is very akin to other structural systems of which I am fond: cities, houses, rooms... In my second year of architecture school, our studio spent a week or two drawing a big V6 motor Professor Stoeckel salvaged from some old truck, I reckon. This was one of many projects in which we drew an uncoventional object using architectural conventions: plan, section, elevation, perspective. These drawings are not top-of-the-portfolio (or even near the portfolio), but they show a process and the genesis of an interest in mechanical structures and all structures because of the potential to see them in plan, section, elevation, and perspective and appreciate and begin to deduce their complexity of parts.

Friday, September 11, 2009


Dear Miss Guerin,

Thank you for your enquiry.
I've made a few minor adjustments to the images as I made test prints.
Let me assure you, they look better in real life...


A few MOTORBIKE Inspirations...


MOTORCYCLE STARS of the Big Screen

The Riding Machines of DAVID DeLONG
from David DeLong: Passages Organized by the Telfair Museum of Art, Savannah

Wednesday, September 9, 2009


A few months of talking about drawing motorcycles and hunting images and I can now finally introduce the latest in the Vintage Vehicles Postcards series: MOTORBIKES ! Visualize Steve McQueen flying on this bike in The Great Escape...

I was overwhelmed by the abundance of cool vintage bikes, and it was no easy task to select only six to draw. I've surely left out lots of good ones. Here are some neat sources for motorcycle enthusiasts:

The Selvedge Yard

Solvang Vintage Motorcycle Museum

Vintage and Classic Bikes

Vintage Motorcycles on flickr