Before Christmas in America

A bunch of stuff in New York before Christmas.

this is a leftover from thanksgiving.  This is the spirit of thanksgiving.  Let the spirit melt over you.

Here is a peek into my annual Japanese new year’s card painting process.  This is the one time of year that i do a 100% non digital painting with acrylic, colored pencils, ink, and whatever else I can throw at it. Here are a few process shots.  The bad thing about gold paint is that it doesn’t reproduce well at all in print and photos.  The good thing is that the physical painting looks awesome in real life.  It doesn’t scan very well and looks better photographed if I had the right set up.  This took me about 4 days to paint.

I lived in Tokyo for a year and a half until the big earthquake and during that time I took to the Japanese tradition of sending out a new years postcard.  They usually feature the Asian zodiac animal of that year.  2014 is the Year of the Horse . The post office there holds everyone’s new years postcards and magically delivers them all on January 1st.  The top left says 2013 (in a complex Japan specific year numbering system) and the character below it is the special character for horse they use for year of the horse, different from the everyday horse character mind you.  On the right it basically says “Happy New Year”.
Happy 2014, may the year of the horse gallop in like a noble steed, with you the samurai archer taking aim and swiftly striking down your fears, doubts, and obstacles standing in between you and happiness.

Jen works with Tissot watches sometimes so we got to see this New York Rangers game at Madison Square Garden from their private box.  Tissot is the official watch of the NHL

other boxes.  They had these truffle fried chips that were amazballs and I couldn't get away from the bowl.  Also lots of booze and food.  Rangers suck this year, they lost 2-4

roommates Tae and Kat

About to make some christmas ornaments out of Sculpey and bake them and paint them.

Christmas fruitfly.  used paper clips in there.

Christmas Croissant

Christmas Narwhal

Red nosed reindeer.  used cotton

Saeko from visiting from Japan.  She was just saying how she can't eat anymore American food because everything is so big so she just ordered pancakes and they drop this massive thing on the table at the Roebling Tea Room and she fainted.

She brought me a fresh supply of hair wax or whatever it is and also this cute little travel sized one!  Haven't seen this before.  Gatsby is by far the best stuff out there.

6 or so years ago I was doing so many cheap alternative weekly illustrations per week that I was super burned out.  One friday afternoon I had to take a break so I went to Union Square to walk around like a zombie and happened upon this band playing old time jazz and they had a guy playing a washboard and that guitar that Django Reinhardt plays.  They were the Blue Vipers of Brooklyn.  I remembered their name and went to check them out, 6 years later.  They play here at Chez Oskar every week and other places around new york.  They're still going strong.

I talked to them for a little bit and David the washboard player is actually from Paris.

The arrival of Bob in New York from Colorado.  It's always a good time when Bob is around for the holidays.  This was not a coincidence that we are wearing the same shirt.  It was a coincidence that we happened to have the same shirt...... or is it?  I bought that shirt for Bob......

Cheeky Sandwiches on Orchard street.  Pretty amazing stuff, so amazing bob came here twice.  The draw for us was a photo we saw (that's much better than the one below) of this buttermilk biscuit with this amazing fried chicken that is spiced amazingly with red cabbage cole slaw and gravy.  Bravo Cheeky Sandwiches bravo.

just as we were tucking into this Marvin Gaye's "Let's get it on" started playing.  Bob said he wished that he was in a private room with candles this sandwich and this song.

seriously he gives me nothing to work with.  He was like this most of the days I was working at home in New York.

You know that Christmas song "Sleigh Ride" that has a line about it looking like a scene from Courier and Ives?  Well this is what their artwork looks like.  Wouldn't have known if I hadn't seen this and their name at the bottom in the bathroom of Meatball Shop.

bob gets a low bun instead of his high bun.  He learned nothing and has reverted back to his high bun.  I did shave off those side burns and gross fly aways later on.

Holiday party at Ellen's before we drive upstate for Christmas.