Tuesday, October 31, 2017

Halloween Sibling Carving

“The companions of our childhood always possess a certain power over our minds which hardly any later friend can obtain.”

Inktober 2017 / Hideous Progeny Drawing 27

Yes, it is October 31st today and this is drawing number 27.  

While I was arguing with my younger son about his homework on the subway ride home late last week, an unsympathetic individual relieved me of my cellphone, and due to a terminally uncooperative series of computer and “cloud” backups, most of my data. 

Several days, and over a dozen hours of Apple tech support later, I am pleased to report that I did not lose everything, although I did lose all of some things... but at least I know when most of our dental appointments are scheduled. Mostly.

So, back to finishing Inktober. I still have a few more drawings in the pipeline. And I have yet another appointment with Apple tomorrow. So more delays. It will be a bit of Inkvember, I fear.

This drawing was originally destined for National Pumpkin Day last week, but it seems equally appropriate today.

Happy Halloween! And maybe consider printing out the contents of your phone on paper....

Wednesday, October 25, 2017

Arboreal Marsupials in the Subway

"From my infancy I was imbued with high hopes and a lofty ambition"

(But don't let my parents know)

Inktober 2017 / Hideous Progeny Drawing 25

Did you know that because of their low nutrient diet, koalas sleep 20 hours a day? That they are "asocial" and "spend just 15 minutes a day on social behaviors." They also have the smallest brain in proportion to body weight of any mammal. Koalas are therefore definitely not innovative thinkers. According to Wikipedia, "when presented with plucked leaves on a flat surface, the animal cannot adapt to the change in its normal feeding routine and will not eat the leaves." 

Perhaps those koalas were busy watching YouTube videos while reclining on the couch and were hoping if they remained motionless long enough their mother would heat the leaves up in the toaster oven and serve them?

But they are cute! 
Are they still cute? I remember hearing that they were adorable, but when I look closely...

Who was I talking about?

Just kidding guys. I really just wanted to draw you with animal heads. Among other creatures, I considered birds and snakes, but nothing seemed more appropriate than Koalas.

You may disagree.

Tuesday, October 24, 2017

Strangers and Familiars

"I believed myself totally unfitted for the company of strangers."

Inktober 2017 / Hideous Progeny Drawing 24

What could make the stressful morning commute in subway cars packed full of strange humans better from my son's perspective?

Perhaps if everyone brought pets.

Sunday, October 22, 2017

Passive Aggressive Massage

"I will be even mild and docile...if thou wilt also perform thy part, the which thou owest me."

Inktober 2017 / Hideous Progeny Drawing 22

My son is under the impression that being available to provide back and neck massages at any time is in my job description as his mother. 

We disagree on this point, and I have made this clear a good many times. 

Despite my fine application of loving, positive, parental boundary setting, there may have been a few passive aggressive neck rubs delivered over the last year.

Thursday, October 19, 2017

Sympathy Fish

"Pitiless as you have been towards me, I now see compassion in your eyes"

Inktober 2017 / Hideous Progeny Drawing 19

Doing reading homework on the train on the way home is pretty damn difficult...even for those who are not a tired, distractible 10 year old boy.  

But I can't afford to be too sympathetic, or else, we will never be finished, and never get home.

It finally happened. I had a good run of 18 days of finished ink and watercolor drawings. this Inktober. But there is no way this one is going to get a color treatment tonight unless I stayed up extra late, and I am no longer allowed to do so.

So here it is as a monochrome. The fish was going to be a really lovely reddish orange to contrast with the florescent light of subway. 

Please use your imagination to conjecture what a nice job I might have done with that.
Sadly, when I finish it later when I don't have a deadline, I will probably fuss over it and kill it. 

But it is safe for now.

Wednesday, October 18, 2017

No Exit

"Have I not suffered enough, that you seek to increase my misery?"

Inktober 2017 / Hideous Progeny Drawing 18

It's been a rough week.
And it's only Wednesday.

Tuesday, October 17, 2017


"We must continue our course with the rest and learn to think ourselves fortunate"

Inktober 2017 / Hiseous Progeny Drawing 17

Hard to be grateful during the morning commute on the NYC subway.

But cold weather and the approach of Halloween does present the opportunity to dust off the skull neck gaiter- and to reveal one's essential undead nature.

Saturday, October 14, 2017


"There is something at work in my soul which I do not understand"

Inktober 2017 / Hideous Progeny drawing 12

Those electronic rectangles, so soothing to the individual when one is surrounded by others...providing virtual human connection, and shielding one...from other humans in physical proximity.

Yeah...I wanted to draw some skulls. That's a pug and a house cat.

Sorry boys. 

Underground Monsters

"It is true, we shall be monsters...but on that account we shall be more attached to one another"

Inktober 2017 / Hideous Progeny Drawing 14

It is true, I biked the kids to school for five years at least partially to avoid having to deal with them on the train twice a day. 

We are all much more mature and calm now, but we still have our moments.

Not that these comments explain this drawing. I can't claim that.

Collosal Stature

"My person was hideous and my stature gigantic."

....particularly when standing on the living room furniture.

Inktober 2017 / Hideous Progeny Drawing 13

A little pretend for Friday the 13th.
Some kids want to imagine being doctors or firefighters or superheroes....

I did not do him justice. But sadly, the health gods have ruled that I am no longer allowed to stay up late to work on silly drawings.

Wednesday, October 11, 2017

Mutually Assured

"For while I destroyed his hopes, I did not satisfy my own desires."

Inktober 2017 / Hideous Progeny Drawing #11

Mutually assured destruction/devotion

Misery with Cords

"Misery made me a fiend. Make me happy, and I shall again be virtuous."

Inktober 2017 / Hideous Progeny drawing 10

The abject misery of adolescence. The absurdity of being asked to do homework when there are so many important electronic cords. 

It is hard to be polite to your humorless jailer in these circumstances.

Yeah, it's late and unfinished. Again. I was busy with feeding, nagging and transporting today. Same old.

Monday, October 9, 2017

Wet dog

"There is love in me the likes of which you've never seen"

...And the smell of wet dog.

Inktober 2017 / Hideous Progeny Drawing 9

The burning, yet unsatisfied desire for a pet meets a particularly unsubtle metaphor for the challenges of self regulation in an unfinished, poorly documented drawing. 

Sunday, October 8, 2017


"I must not be trifled with."

Inktober 2017 / Hideous Progeny Drawing 8

Our older son has been master of the dismissive look since six months of age. And, as his nursery school teacher observed, he has never been afraid to say no to an adult. 

Now that he is 14, we are not earning his approval any more frequently.

Another late, unfinished and poorly photographed drawing for Inktober. (And it's only the 8th day of the month) I am definitely going to have to get my act together, or fall hopelessly behind.

Saturday, October 7, 2017

Many Handed Progeny

"You are my creator, but I am your master"

Inktober 2017 / Hideous Progeny Drawing 7

Late and unfinished again. 
But there were people who needed to be fed and taken places today, so time to make drawings about neediness was limited.

Friday, October 6, 2017

We Belong Dead

"I became myself capable of bestowing animation upon lifeless matter."

Inktober 2017 / Hideous Progeny Drawing 6

Unfinished and poorly photographed as I missed the daylight today, but my son tells me I should post it anyway as to not fall behind.

I guess this one is about the intersection of the love of zombies and the hatred of homework. I will try to explain tomorrow when I finish it and take a better picture. 

Thursday, October 5, 2017

Growing Groins

“Many happy and excellent natures would owe their being to me.”

Inktober 2017 / Hideous Progeny Drawing 5

We grew some weird carrots. 
I have enlarged their size for effect here. They looked quite impressively large before they were removed from the dirt. They turned out to be quite stumpy, and strangely bifurcated...or trifurcated.

As my husband remarked, "Anyone can grow something, but not everyone can grow stuff with a groin." Apparently, we are good at growing things with groins.

Wednesday, October 4, 2017


"No father could claim the gratitude of his child so completely as I should deserve theirs."

Ha ha. Just kidding. 

My younger son likes to rest his head on top of mine, driving his remarkably pointy chin into my skull. My older son is more interested in maintaining his own perspective and is presently less interested in denting the maternal cranium.

Hideous Progeny / Inktober 2017 drawing 4

Tuesday, October 3, 2017

Cardboard Progeny

“Beware; for I am fearless, and therefore powerful”:

Hideous Progeny / Inktober 2017 drawing 3

Monday, October 2, 2017

Sunday, October 1, 2017

Hideous Progeny

“hideous progeny...the offspring of happy days”:
(And free of hydrogenated oils)

Today is the first day of Inktober, a yearly "art challenge" where one is supposed to make a drawing in ink every day. I embraced it last year mostly as an opportunity to make a series of drawings that were NOT on napkins.  Not that the napkins are not executed in ink, but it's not traditional ink. 

The drawing series last year ended up being mostly about my then fairly recent travels in the world of "alternative" health and wellness filtered through my longer term interest in representing fragmentation and discomfort with the body. 

I managed to scare away at least 500 followers a week on the Daily Napkins Instagram account during Inktober 2016. The drawings were definitely not popular with those who were expecting to see images of pugs dressed as batman rendered on napkins

I've been having trouble identifying a theme for the year's drawings. I am afraid they will be no more popular than last year.

For the moment, I think I will just offer the information that this is a drawing of my younger son and a Jiffy Pop Popcorn foil. The term "Hideous Progeny" comes from the introduction of Mary Shelley's Frankenstein. She writes at the conclusion: “I bid my hideous progeny go forth and prosper. I have an affection for it, for it was the offspring of happy days when death and grief were but words, which found no true echo in my heart.”

I will try not to entirely neglect the napkin enterprise during the month.