Volume 1- Issue 2
June 8, 2004
am running behind on my personal deadline to get this newsletter
out. The Bethlehem Steel Prints have been out for a few
weeks now. However, my failure to let you all know right
away was for a very good reason. I've been busy working
on the drawing for the poster for the upcoming "Bethlehem
Historic & Cultural Festival" on June 11, 12 &
13 under the Hill-to-Hill Bridge in Bethlehem..
particular drawing started out as any other drawing but
it soon took on a personality of it's own. A very demanding
personality, I must say, because it took control immediately.
I was helpless! It led me in directions that I've never
been before. My pen and I did everything we could to keep
up as it twisted down one treacherous path after another.
This drawing was merciless!
seen these paths before. In fact, Ive been on them before...
with my pencil, not my pen; The idea of using ink to create
things like glowing light, sparks, smoke, clouds or people
was terrifying, not to mention presumptuous. These elements
are easily handled with a pencil (and a little help from
a shading stick and an eraser), but I've always used my
pen strictly for architecture or "man-made objects
such as brick, concrete, steel, etc. And, of course, trees
can be manipulated much easier and can always be erased
and redrawn in the unlikely event of an "ooops".
Not with a pen! When you put a solid black line on a solid
white surface, it's there for good. No mistakes allowed!
If your pen decides to get an attitude and leak a large
blob of excess ink onto your drawing, the only thing to
do is wipe the tears away, curse at yourself for not paying
attention, and grab a new sheet of illustration board. And
this drawing cared about none of that!
after my intended 50 or 60 hour journey turned into a 150
hour journey, I was tired, beaten and torn... but I survived!
And as they say, "what doesn't kill you only makes
you stronger"... so now I rise up and dust myself off,
and proudly present to you the drawing that took my skill
to the next level, and is perhaps the best drawing I've
hope you enjoy my efforts.
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"Bethlehem Steel Festival Poster"
on the drawing
medium - pen & ink
image size - 13" x 15"
aprox. drawing time: 150 hours
here's the culprit. It's a beauty, isn't it?
was given free reign by Bruce Ward, the president of The
Steelworkers' Archives, to create a poster for the "Bethlehem
Historic & Cultural Festival", an event to celebrate
and recognize the heritage that was produced by the Bethlehem
Steel and it's workers. Bruce, having worked at The Steel
for many years as well as being a photographer, had many
images at my disposal. I am usually very adamant about using
only my own photos for my drawings, but when the images
are no longer attainable... I have little choice but to
accept the images from someone else.
all of the images are of actual steelworkers. Some are as
current as the past ten years, and some are from the early
1900's. Take note that some workers aren't wearing hardhats
or protective gear... only cloth caps, overalls and the
shirts on their backs. I suppose OSHA wasn't around yet.
However, the two men working at the "48 inch mill"
(5 o:clock on the drawing) were wearing wooden shoes to
protect their feet from the heat.
are two people in the drawing that were not steelworkers.
The first is my son, Dave Jr, who can be found at the top
right corner holding a sledge hammer. He modeled for me
as the token "muscle guy" and as a representation
of the young men who didn't get their chance to work at
second is the man on the left who's image is coming from
one of the stacks. He wasn't a steelworker, he was a miner.
He's also my best friend's father who passed away nearly
thirty years ago. My friend Gary Stahler was left with only
two pictures of his father. This was one of them.
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Announcements & Good News
Bethlehem Steel Prints
- now available -
off the presses... my first three drawings of the Bethlehem
Steel are now available as hand-signed open edition
prints. The prints are 14" x 18", suitable
for framing in a 16" x 20" frame.
from the Past
prints are available locally in Bethlehem, PA
at the following retail shops:
you live outside the Bethlehem area and would like to
one or more of these prints, please contact
an effort to spread my artwork around the world,
I'll give you a great deal!
Festival is Coming!
11, 12, 13, this coming weekend under the Hill-to-Hill
bridge near Lehigh & Conastoga Sts. There will be
music, food, crafts, displayed steel artifacts, a moon
rock from NASA will be on display, bus tours through
the Steel, and the fun just goes on and on!
yeah... and I'll be there handsigning the posters which
will be in a limited edition of 500. During the festival,
the cost of these posters is $20.00 ea. (tax included).
A portion of the proceeds will be going to The Steelworkers'
Archives. After the festival, the posters will be sold
at $40.00 ea (if there are any left).
if you're in the area this weekend, try to stop in and
here for more info about the festival
Drawing to be Unveiled
festival poster is going to appear in "The Go Guide",
a weekly excerpt in Thursday's Morning Call. It's to accompany
an article about the festival.
still in the works, is the official unveiling of the poster
for the media. It was supposed to be early this week,
but that didn't work out. I'm thinking it may be at the
festival on Friday night, so I can present one to the
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This is a feature where I answer one of the many questions
people often ask me about my artwork or my ability to
If you have a question you would like answered, click
do you know when you're finished with a drawing?"
answer is really very simple... I'm done just before
I think I'm done... and not a second sooner!
like gambling at a casino. The longer you play, the more
chance you have of doing something stupid, such as trying
to increase the perfection of the shadow on someone's
nose or betting your entire purse on a single bet.
learned the hard way that I have to be careful not to
"overwork" a drawing... something I happen to
be really good at, by the way. I'll stare at a drawing
and begin to find things that could be, maybe just a little
bit better. So I'll grab my pen and add a line here...
and another line there... and then here... and then...
oops, a bit too dark. Okay, I'll add some lines to the
surrounding area. So, in a feeble attempt to blend away
my mistake, I begin adding lines. The harder I try just
makes things worse until I finally reach a panic stage
as I'm hastily scratching lines into the surface of my
I'll get caught by a wave of reality and accept defeat.
Then I'll throw it away. Yes, I must say I've successfully
destroyed many fine drawings. Most of them are gone forever,
but I do have a few lingering about as a reminder for
me to stop drawing before I'm done.
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This is a regular feature where
I acknowledge and thank those who've helped me in some
way with my pursuit of artistic success.
I would like to acknowledge:
would like to thank Bruce, the president of The Steelworkers'
Archives for giving me the opporunity to do the festival
poster. He believed in my ability to produce something
of quality and substance to represent his festival, and
it was that belief that pushed me to do the job that I
I owe him thanks for all the photos and images that he
allowed me use. Without them, It would've been a boring
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