Thursday, December 17, 2009

Sketch for "Moon"



1 stop mooning about WASTE TIME, loaf, idle, mope; informal lollygag.

2 he’s mooning over her photograph MOPE, pine, brood, daydream,fantasize, be in a reverie.

Friday, December 04, 2009

"Drunk" "Again"

I visited the Intuit museum today (Chicago's outsider art museum) and was lucky enough to spot this tattoo design of knock-off Mickey Mouse who is " 'Drunk' 'Again' " (love those quotation marks). The current main floor show is called Freaks and Flash, a show about tattoo designs ("Flash") and the people who sport them ("Freaks") --

-- Of course the Mickey tattoo design (which I'm considering getting, by the way, tramp stamp, perhaps?) reminded me of R. Crumb's famous poster "Stoned Agin!" --

-- which was the inspiration for another piece of art that I posted in October, and this Series 5 Garbage Pail Kids card illustrated by John Pound, card #177: Lazy Louie or (as the card that I own names him) Meltin' Milton. The image below is of the original artwork, which was already sold, apparently, on eBay, but I've already contacted Pound about the original pencil and color roughs for this painting. I've never bought a piece of art before, but it seems like this might be a good place to start; here's to inebriation and art about it!

Friday, November 06, 2009

A Couple'a Quick Jam-jams

Here we are, more faces

Some scans from a limited edition offset print book I'm working on. I'll be selling them at SAIC's upcoming Winter Art Sale (open to the public 11a-7p Fri, Nov 20 and 10a-5p Sat, Nov 21) as well as at Quimby's, Chicago Comics, and possibly Graham Cracker and Golden Age, all in Chicago. If I find the extra time in my schedule I'm thinking about creating a few special hardcover copies of the book as well, which I will sell only at the Art Sale. I will also definitely have some small glossy posters of four of the faces that will appear in the book printed in gold and purple.

AND remember... faces are everywhere.
J. M. Szancer, illus. for Lokomotywa by Julian Tuwim (Poland, 1954)

I found this image today on the blog A Journey Round My Skull, which has been a great source of strange drawing and illustration ephemera to feast my eyes on. This is the first in a series of images called The Wonderful Wizards of Lodz, Kids' Books from Poland Part 1. Aside from my attraction to the sunburst shape of the train wheel, this illustration is just filled with mystery. What exactly is the turtle doing? Trying to reach the center of the wheel? Avoiding being run over? Being run over? Chasing after the cloud on the opposite side? Are they enemies, friends or lovers, the turtle and the cloud? All of these questions are made possible by OUT OF CONTEXT and viewers like you.

Thursday, November 05, 2009

Monday, September 07, 2009

James Jarvis

Check out the drawing blog of UK illustrator, James Jarvis. I am a long time fan of Jarvis' work (my first introduction to him came from his work in the world of vinyl toys, and his comic, Vortigern's Machine, is a must read for fans of the playful & tripppy) but I had kinda sorta forgotten about his brilliant cartoons until I stumbled upon this short animation presented by Nike in collaboration with Richard Kenworthy, called "Onwards":

Onwards from AKQA on Vimeo.

Like Vortigern's Machine, this video is a really successful marriage of hand-drawn sensibilities and a clean computer finish. And I love the crow attack. See more on Jarvis on his website, his other blog, his toy production website Amos, and the Amos blog.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Kids today

I recently came across some of the newer series of Garbage Pail Kids Cards. They make use of a lot more scatological humour than the earlier ones: here are some of the more revolting ones for you to peruse ( ;) )! I think Red-Eye Rob will probably find his way onto my bathroom mirror. And how in the world could the writers miss the opportunity to name the Batman spoof "Batty Bruce?" Seriously, Batty Brad? Better luck next time, fellas.

Friday, July 17, 2009


The drawing on the left was draw yesterday by Sam Bertin, while we were waiting for the Art Spiegelman talk to get underway at the MOCAD. Not really a self portrait, I know. I drew the other two this evening. I think in order for this to be fully complete, it needs another "me" looking straight ahead at the viewer. Later.

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Rogers Park Art Walk

Opening May 16th, at Hotei Art Center, part of Rogers Park Art Walk Chicago, works by:

Ben Bertin
(among others)

Opening night cover charge of $20. Here is a more detailed description of the event, hope to see you there!:

Rogers Park Art Walk

Chicago, IL, May 6th, 2009 – With the cold winter winds now but a chilly memory, Chicago’s Rogers Park neighborhood is throwing a party the best way it knows how – with great local art, music, food, drinks, and plenty of reasons to get reacquainted with neighbors in this unique community. Hundreds of works of art produced by local artists will be offered up for sale at multiple locations along Morse and Glenwood Avenues, at local galleries, restaurants and bars, and even vacant storefronts festively decorated and accompanied by DJs, bands and other local performers. The Rogers Park Art Walk – the first gathering of its kind in a neighborhood thriving with creativity and expression – kicks off Saturday, May 16th at 7 p.m. till 12am and will be repeated once each month through August.

“Our goal is to get people in the community to come out and see the many places we’ll be featuring, some of which are otherwise vacant storefronts. This is a great way to help local businesses, building owners and artists all at the same time, while also getting people from outside the neighborhood to come and see all the good things that are going on here despite the economy,” says Walk coordinator and Hoteí cofounder Omar Farah. “We want to build this event up so that it’s considered a major art walk on par with many of the other better-known Chicago neighborhood art walks and festivals.”

Farah hopes to enlist up to 60 artists to exhibit their work in one of the many locations along the walk. Besides Hotei Gallery and Art Center (1445 W. Morse Ave.), he will have use of two additional otherwise vacant store fronts at 1409 W. Morse Ave.& 1412 W. Morse Ave. and other local businesses like The Glenwood Tap and live music at Duke’s, among other venues. B1E Gallery will open their doors and their patio for fire dancing performers. Artwork will then be on display throughout the month at Hoteí.

Admission to the event is $20, which includes access to all sites, entertainment and open bar and drink tickets good at local establishments. Free parking at the corner of Morse and clark.

To buy tickets in advance and to see the entire lineup of artists, go to

Artists and musicians interested in participating in this unique night are encouraged to contact Omar Farah at Hoteí Gallery & Art Center (


Hoteí Art Center is an art and wellness center located at 1445 W. Morse Avenue in Chicago’s Rogers Park neighborhood. Hoteí’s mission is to create a gallery and center for the exhibition, sale, creation and expression of all art forms, from traditional visual arts to the esoteric and healing arts. By placing an emphasis on local artists and instructors, Hoteí aims to provide its community with a greater exposure to art as well as activities that educate, empower and lift the spirit of its community. For more information, including class and yoga schedules, visit: or call 773-

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Character sketches

Antoine Laumet de La Mothe, sieur de Cadillac, founder of Detroit

The Nain Rouge, aka the Red Dwarf, aka the Red Demon, aka The Demon of the Straits

A Red Dwarf Star (duh)

More Nain Rouge

My notes on the last page refer to the symbolism of the two things being held by the Spirit of Detroit statue, seen here with its creator, Marshall Fredericks.

CAUTION! WIP (Work in Progress)

I'm pretty sure that the more I add to this one, the better it will become. That's the working theory, anyways.

Graph Mandala

Sometimes, it's easier on a grid.

Monday, April 27, 2009

NEXT Art Fair 2009/Thomas Roach: Fun, Natural Fun (Take Off Your Shoes)

I was asked, just this morning, to be a part of a collaboration with my friend Thomas Roach in a joint drawing (my part of the collaboration might look familiar) that will be on display on the 7th floor of the Merchandise Mart (222 Merchandise Mart Plaza, Chicago) as a part of NEXT Fair 2009, represented by Scott Projects (actually, to be fair, I'm represented by Thomas Roach who is represented by Scott Projects). The show's opening preview is this Thursday, April 30, and then will be on display from Friday May 1 - Monday, May 4. This is awesomely exciting, stop by if you have the time!

And, if you have more time after that, head on over to Scott Projects to see Thomas' solo show entitled Fun, Natural Fun (Take Off Your Shoes), opening Saturday, May 2, 2009 from 6-10 PM. I've always felt that Tom's work has always had a truly sincere quality to it, and he is always pushing the limits of image-making into new territories.

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Run, Work in Progress

This is a work in progress, working title "Run." It's mixed media, and I would tell you all of those medias but I am instead not going to until the thing is done. I have been making a whole bunch of these weirdo faces, as evidenced by my previous two posts, which is where this collage/drawing began. Before I knew it he had a body and was running in the hills. The next step, I think, is to add some kind of explosion in the distance, inspired by an explosion symbol I have been seeing a lot of in my study of the history of Japanese manga. Here are some images I found online and scanned from the books "One Thousand Years of Manga" and the comic book story "Barefoot Gen."

And finally, just to show how amazing the monsters and creatures of Japanese art (always a huge inspiration for me) have been since basically the beginning: