Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Chimp Sketch of the Week #33


This is a sketch of  Pele a beautiful resident of Save The Chimps In Florida. it is drawn in charcoal with a little white chalk for highlights. 

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Chimp Sketch of the week #32


This is another one I did for Save the Chimps I will be posting sketches of many of the Residents of Save the chimps in the next few months as I will be doing a gallery show with them this spring and I am currently working on sketches for that show.

Monday, November 19, 2012

Chimp Sketch of the week #31

Thoto RIP

This sketch is another one I recently painted of a resident at SAVE THE CHIMPS. Thoto was a circus chimp which had all his teeth pulled out as a measure of protection for his handlers afraid he might bite them. Thoto was eventually sold into medical research and forced to live in a cage. I instantly fell in love with his face when I saw his picture and it inspired me to paint him. This beautiful chimp is a perfect example of the great work that Save the chimps do because poor Thoto was forced through most of his life as an entertainer and lab experiment but thanks to save the chimps he was able to live the last ten tears of his life as a chimp.

For a full obituary of Thoto please go HERE and please consider donating some money in his honor.

Meet Thoto in this clip from YouTube. I was hoping to meet him one day but I am so happy that I could paint his portrait and honor him and save the chimps in this way.

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Chimp Sketch of the Week # 30

Here are two drawings I did of two chimps that live at SAVE THE CHIMPS in Florida they were displayed prominently and for sale at a recent fundraiser. The one on the left is DEVON and was sold, the one on the right is JORDAN and still available. They also took the portrait of Jordan and printed it on T-SHIRT as another way to raise funds as seen in CHIMP SKETCH OF THE WEEK #27 you can buy that HERE.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Waiting for Normal

As I write this in the wake of the worst natural disaster to hit our country in recorded history followed by a nor-easter adding insult to injury only a week later. I had been without electricity for twelve days having just got back my lights heat and hot water. Many people I know are still without any of those things and some might not have them for weeks. One thing that I will remain with me is to never take what I have for granted ever again.

On October 28th I went to my parents’ house in Long beach with my wife and children for brunch to celebrate my 34th birthday. We knew a hurricane was coming but we never thought it would be as devastating as it was. Just over 24 hours after I left my parents and headed inland back to my home, Sandy hit with the force of a monster. 3o foot waves crashed over the boardwalk and into the street. Long Beach is a barrier island and that night the bay and the ocean met, so that literally the entire town was in the Atlantic Ocean. My parents while still in their home, because they refused to evacuate, found the first floor of their home submerged under four feet of ocean. Many of my friends lost everything.
I did not know any of this until later in the evening when we had lost power and cell service was horrible. I finally got hold of my parents and discovered they were at a friend’s home about 15 miles north of Long Beach with three other family’s all who had lost their home to Sandy.

The looters started Tuesday morning after the storm at which point my father asked me to take him home to get his valuables knowing full well that it would be a while before he would return to live there if ever. That night I drove with him back to the place in which I grew up. There was not a single light in sight and even with my brights on it was darker then dark I did not recognize a thing. Driving down the main road into town I saw cars parked in strange positions and I quickly realized, they had been moved by the canals as they rose and submerged the streets. On top of many of those cars were boats. There were large boats sitting on top of other boats sitting in the middle of the street. Wires were down everywhere and this is when I realized the impact of this storm. The town that I grew up in, came of age in, had my first girlfriend, and went to school it was all destroyed. Driving into town I saw huge chunks of the boardwalk on people’s lawns military vehicles policing the streets and the police enforcing a curfew that at that moment I was in violation of. I was almost arrested for the crime of going home. My neighborhood was a warzone.

But the worst was when I entered my parents’ home. The place you grew up in is like a sanctuary to any adult if you are as lucky as me to be able to go back. But this was not that home. I felt in the pit of my stomach a fear, at this point whoever was in town was desperate having no running water, no heat, and no lights I had no idea if there was a stranger or looter in my house I could not see two feet in front of my face even with the flash lights. My sanctuary was a grave yard.

In the days that followed Long Island has developed a new lexicon, with phrases that have entered our daily speech like “Do you have power?” or “Did you find gas?” There are only a few gas stations that are pumping gas because so many don’t have electricity. Watching people stand on line with gas cans in the cold has become the new normal. Waiting in line for only an hour to get gas has become something to brag about. Gas stations receive deliveries of gas accompanied by a military escort and there are police at every gas station. Tempers are running high and people are exhausted by the predicament that they find themselves in. It is getting colder every day with tempertures dropping into the 30’s as Sandy was the only thing between Fall and Winter. At our jobs we congratulate each other when our colleagues receive calls from neighbors that their power is back on. This is the wealthiest country in the world and we are congratulating ourselves that our homes have electricity again as if we live in a third world country. And I find it ironic that we keep waiting for our power to be turned on because the whole time it is the lack of power that we all feel because nothing is in our control anymore. But we without power are the lucky ones, compared to those without homes. We all sit and wait for the world to return to normal. The best thing we can do is try to regain our routines, go to work take our kids to school, anything that gets us closer to normal.

Monday, October 15, 2012

How I spent my summer

I spent the summer doing Plein Air watercolor studies. As mentioned in a previous post I reloaded my Cottman travel set set to suit my needs and with a moleskin watercolor notebook and water brush I am able to do these studies as conveniently as drawing with a pencil.

I fell in love with the Plein Air Painting ideals this summer and this is something I plan on taking further breaking away from the comfort of the sketchbook and taking to an easel and extended palette and travel to paint in open air. Of course here in NY we are headed into our cold season so this might have to wait until spring.

Below is a sample of some of my favorite studies from the summer.

Monday, October 8, 2012

Chimp Sketch of the Week #29

Charcoal #2 

This chimp is part of my on going experiment with Charcoal. This Chimp is available for you to by and take home. Click here to buy me

Sunday, October 7, 2012

Cotman Watercolor Reload

So I spent the summer doing watercolors but I needed a quick and easy way to do it.

love my Cotman watercolor travel set, I bought it while studying in Florence, Italy back in the summer of 2000 but as I matured as an artist, not all of the colors in the pallet worked for me anymore. I wanted to use a limited pallet that was more versatile. After much internet research I found a few articles on how to make my own watercolor set out of Altoid containers and pill boxes, but at the end of the day I just could not get rid of my $12 Cotman watercolor set so I decided to reload it.

I removed all of the half pans from the box and ordered empty half pans on-line. I also ordered 8ml tubes of Winsor & Newton watercolor paint. I wrote the name of the color on the side of the half pan for organizational purposes and for easy reloading of the colors.  

 I filled each empty half pan with one-third of a tube using a slightly altered limited but extremely versatile pallet that was introduced to me in graduate school by my professor and great illustrator William Low.

Warm primary’s: Cadmium Red Light, Cobalt Blue, Cadmium Yellow

Cool primary’s: Quinacridone Red, Phthalo Blue, Cadmium Lemon        

Additional paint: Cobalt Violet, Viridian, Burnt Sienna, Yellow Ochre, Payne's Gray and White Gouache. As you can see I simply kept the Burnt Sienna and Yellow Ochre from the original set

I let the paint sit in the half-pans for 48 hours until dry and then placed them into the travel set.

Now using a basic binder clip I can attach the travel set to my Moleskin watercolor sketchbook and with a water brush (synthetic brush with water in the handle) I can now do Plain Air watercolor studies as easily as sketching with a pencil. 

I will post some of my water color studies in the next few weeks. 

Saturday, October 6, 2012

ATLAS Ayn Rand Slate and Scientific American

This week I did two illustrations about Ayn Rand and her book Atlas Shrugged. First on Wednesday Eric Johnson and I expanded on our collaboration when we published a piece on the on-line magazine Slate we then on Friday published a post on the same subject at the Primate Diaries on Scientific American

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Chimp Sketch of the Week #28

Neil and HAM

The recent death of Neil Armstrong got me thinking mostly about the romanticism of mans accomplishments and determination. The journey into space and the landing on the moon was and will always be one of Mans greatest moments. But lets not forget that it was not only Man that lead to this achievement, so today as I pay tribute to Armstrong with a portrait I also pay tribute to HAM as a representative of all of the Chimps that gave their life to science and assisted in the ultimate landing on the moon. If it were not for these chimps the only Man to do a moonwalk would have been Michael Jackson.

The First Primate on the Moon

The First Primate in Space

Monday, July 23, 2012

Chimp Sketch of the Week #27

Jordan Tee Shirt 

I recently did a few portraits for Save The Chimps in Florida a Chimpanzee Sanctuary with over 250 chimpanzee residents. They took one of them and put them on a shirt.

Buy one here I don't get a penny but its a great cause

here is the original drawing

Saturday, July 14, 2012

Chimp Sketch of the week #26

Save the Chimps in Florida needs $800,000 for chimps with special needs

Sunday, July 8, 2012

Chimp Sketch of the Week #25

Pepper (RIP)

I logged on to facebook the other day and I saw a post that Pepper the chimp had passed away. Pepper was born in 1970 and spent her first 27 years in research, first at a Merck, Sharp & Dohme laboratory, followed by seven years at the Buckshire Corporation. When she became too strong to control, she was sent to the NYU Laboratory for Experimental Medicine and Surgery in Primates (LEMSIP). Pepper spent some time in breeding, but was mostly used for research, including some 307 knockdowns, 36 punch liver biopsies, one open wedge liver biopsy, six cervical biopsies, 10 lymph node biopsies, and four bone marrow biopsies. In the lab, Pepper was plagued by fear and anxiety, and would rather starve herself than face an unpleasant situation. Luckily she spent the end of her life in Sanctuary at Fauna but unfortunately so many others do not.

I never met pepper of course but reading about her in the book The Chimps Fauna Sanctuary make me feel as if I did. It would be nice if everyone reading this post would go here and make a small donation to the Fauna Foundation in Peppers honor.

The Chimps of Fauna Sanctuary: A True Story of Resilience and Recovery by Andrew Westoll
Drawing based on photo by Frank Noelker

for a complete obituary of Pepper please click here 

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Happy Anniversary

Today signifies the one-year partnership of the writer Eric Johnson and I publishing at Scientific American, we completed 32 posts together. Below is the image I created for today’s Anniversary post

Below are a few of my favorites over the year.

Monday, July 2, 2012


This one was inspired by an article Eric Johnson wrote. I drew this one a year ago after reading it. We recently published them together at Scientific American. click here

Monday, June 18, 2012

Chimp Sketch of the Week #24


Toby is a chimp living at the Chimps of Fauna Sanctuary in Canada. No one is sure where Toby was born but he lived his first 24 years in a zoo in Quebec, taught to act as a human child, wear clothes and eat with utensils. He still likes to wear bracelets and sunglasses from time to time but he also shakes his head continuously as a sign of stress and anxiety. Life for Toby at Fauna is not always easy being a bit of an outsider due to coming to the sanctuary later then most and from a different situation. He has had a few altercations with the other chimps once having a finger bit clean off of his hand.

To read more about Toby and the other residents at Fauna you should read the Book The Chimps Fauna Sanctuary by Andrew Westoll and read my review of the book here www.thisviewoflife.com

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Chimp Sketch of the Week #23

Chimpanzee The Movie 

In Disney Natures Film “Chimpanzee”We Learn Whether Human or Non-Human Primate Family is King

        For me the movie “Chimpanzee” was as much about the apes in the audience as it was the apes on screen. The movie follows Oscar, a newly born chimp and his groups day to day activities in their constant search for food. Oscar is a rambunctious little chimp who is learning every day from his mother how to tale care of himself. Oscar has an occasional moment of independence but it will be years before Oscar will be able to fend for himself. In his group (which is his extended family) there are other children and their mothers as well as a chimp referred to by the narrator (Tim Allen) as Grandpa, who is on the cusp of his fiftieth birthday. There is also another chimp in the group that is singled out, an alpha male named Freddy. As soon as the movie begins we learn that Freddy is in no way interested in the youth of the group, as alpha it is his responsibility to patrol the borders of his territory and groom the other males to keep them in line.
      Freddy is busy ensuring the safety of the nut groves that exist on his territory becosue when in season they provide a feast for his group. But Scar and his rival group attack and in the process kill Oscar’s mother; this is where the story really begins.  Now alone Oscar is forced to try to fend for himself but he is too young and without his mother to teach him he is helpless.

      After being thrown aside by everyone else in the group, Oscar follows Freddy around to try to learn from him.  At first Freddy ignores young Oscar but then something truly amazing happens, Freddy begins to teach Oscar how to make tools and how to crack nuts. Freddy begins to share his food with Oscar, grooms him and then to make the adoption complete, he lets him ride on his back which is typical of a mother and child but never of an alpha male. According to Jane Goodall in a recent interview at People.com this almost never happens that an alpha male will adopt a young chimp and in turn save his life.
    As I sat there in the audience with my four-year-old daughter on my lap I could not help but think about the parent child relationship. Being the alpha male of my own small group with my own nut grove to protect I understood the difficulty of Freddy having to divide his time teaching and looking out for Oscar while also patrolling his borders and keeping the rest of the males in line. There is much for a hunter/gatherer to do in this modern world and parenting is more than just a mother’s job.  My daughter sat on my lap and I comforted her as she cried into my chest with compassion for Oscar. And at the same time that young Oscar fell asleep in Freddy’s arms, my daughter fell asleep in mine. I looked up and recognized us in them as the movie screen completed its transformation from screen to mirror.  

Monday, June 4, 2012

Chimp Sketch of the Week # 22

A Cheat

This week I am cheating, I did not do my Chimp Sketch of the Week instead I had my Daughter Lillian do one. This is what she came up with… not bad huh, a chimp … I mean chip of the old block.

Here is a few more images that Lillian has done lately. 

She has recently moved past abstract expressionism and become quite the figurative artist

All images © Lillian Eliza Gold

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Chimp Sketch of the Week #21

Not an Etching 

I drew this in ink using a nib and brush then added yellow acrylic paint that I smeared into the background using my finger. I will be selling the original drawing on Etsy for $25.  if you are the one to buy it you will get two for the price of one because I drew it on the back of a botched etching.

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Cave Painting

This image was done for an article titled The Allure of the Gay Cavemen at Scientific American. I had fun drawing this in charcoal I first stained the paper with Lipton tea then went to a primal place respecting early man and their need for visual communication, in many ways all illustration started with cave paintings and in many ways all of my work is simply another cave painting.

Monday, May 21, 2012

Are You Chimp Enough?

This image was done for last weeks post at The Primate Diaries our most successful 
thus far so I thought I would post it here.  it was also posted at Discover.com and made image of the week on sicentificamerican.com thus far so I thought I would post it here.  it was also posted at Discover.com and made image of the week on sicentificamerican.com 

As you can see it also made the front page of the the web-site. theres something about boobs that makes us all crazy even if its a chimps.