“ePUNymous portraits” by Samantha Berger

Posted on by sam

Greetings, Blogkateers and Site-Peepers!


This latest episode of Samantha Berger’s Blog features a new project I have working on called EPUNymous Portraits. I thank Paul Zelinsky for inspiring that title.

This is how it came to be.

I was having a hard day, and was about to post something like “Looking to borrow Suit of Armor to protect myself from all the meanies and haters out there.” to all my social media feeds. When suddenly I saw a single shallot sitting on my counter top. Suddenly it struck me to take a pen and draw a portrait of “Gene Shallot” on that shallot. I don’t know why this occurred to me, but it did, and so I did.

It made me laugh and I posted *that* instead.

And just like that, I shifted my perspective, and took myself right out of Darkville.

I proved to myself, once again, that shifting perspective, and finding humor is the secret to my happiness. Since that day, two weeks ago, I have spontaneously created one of these EPUNymous portraits every day, always unplanned until the moment inspiration strikes.

Here’s the whole collection so far. I hope they make you laugh, too.


© Samantha Berger

“Gene Shallot.”
© by Samantha Berger



© by Samantha Berger

“Fiona Apple.”
© by Samantha Berger
Took me three tries to get a Fiona I was comfortable with.
One of the others looked *just like* the Warden from Orange is the New Black.
But this isn’t oranges…it’s apples.

“Lucille Ball.”
© by Samantha Berger
Made from a tennis ball found in the Union Square dog run, so I’m sorry to say Lucy is a little slobbery.


“Jon Hamm.”
by Samantha Berger
*I learned a lot about drawing on deli meat during this process. Meat as a canvas is non-negotiable and unpredictable. Sometimes you go to put a line down and it works. Sometimes, it does just the opposite: it acts like a sponge and SOAKS UP THE LINE YOU ALREADY OUT DOWN! I had *five* failed Jon Hamm attempts before getting to this one, which could be better, but I can live with it. I learned a lot about MYSELF, too. I am STUBBORN AND WIN THE GAME OF TENACITY! (not as much fun as game of Yahtzee). Also, I don’t eat meat. I only draw on it.
This one’s dedicated to Joyce Wan.


© by Samantha Berger

“Billie Challahday.”
© by Samantha Berger
Happy Newish Jewish New Year!


© by Samantha Berger

“Johnny Cash.”
© by Samantha Berger
*The day I made this, I went to the Farmers Market, and almost used it to buy berries. Hmm…is this dollar not worth anything anymore because of the drawing? Or is it worth *more?* I guess you could say, it walks the line.


“Woody Allen.”
© by Samantha Berger
*Done in my friend’s firewood pile in Hudson, NY.



“Chris Rock.”
© by Samantha Berger
Done on my friend’s stone path in Historic Hudson, NY.
I was hoping one day, someone would look down and see Chris Rock among all the other stones and burst out laughing, just like the real Chris Rock would want!


“Philip Glass.”
© by Samantha Berger
*I left my friend’s house in Historic Hudson, NY, and set off on a Kid Lit Creative Retreat in the gorgeous Catskills! When I unpacked my luggage, my friend had packed a glass for me, knowing I wanted to draw Philip Glass on it. Deeply moving. What a good friend.


© by Samantha Berger

“Jack Lemmon.”
© by Samantha Berger 9.30.2014
This one was made at the Spruceton Inn, in the Catskills, during the Kid Lit Writers’ Retreat!



“Elisabeth Moss.”
© by Samantha Berger
Also done at the Spruceton Inn, while on the Kid Lit Writers’ Retreat.
Note, I tried drawing on three kinds of moss, and none of them would take the ink. I was about to give up, when I saw this short light moss on a tree. Yes, I had to straddle the tree, shimmy out over a creek bed, and it was raining, but IT WORKED. Turns out, I will go to great lengths and elaborate set-ups to get my pun!
My apologies to this tree and the moss for the ink-drop.
But perhaps one day someone will walk by and suddenly think, “did I just see Elisabeth Moss in that tree?” Hee.

“Brad Pitt.”
© by Samantha Berger
Or, as I have come to call him, “Bradvocado Pitt.”
You just know he is gonna sprout some hot tree.
One of my favorite authors, Nina Laden asked if I would trade her a piece of artwork for Bradvocado Pitt.
I asked if she meant the photo or the actual pit?
She said, the pit, of course, that’s the actual art.
So…it’s going to Nina’s house.


“Shel Silverstein.”
© by Samantha Berger
Dedicated to Casey Scieszka & Steven Weinberg & The Spruceton Inn
and all the Kid Lit People, who went on the retreat:
Peter Brown, Jen Hill, Tim Harrington, Ruth Chan, Jenny Han, Brianne Farley & Angela Dominguez


“Shelley Duvall.”
© by Samantha Berger
*The other half of “Shel Silverstein.” (the Missing Piece?)


“Harvey Milk.”
© by Samantha Berger
*I will never forget the text I got from my friend Kirsten Price, simply reading “Is that Harvey Milk in my fridge?” Yes. Yes, it is.


“Ginger Rogers”
© by Samantha Berger
(I cannot believe I made this just this morning!)


Because it was an inspiring day in the peak autumn bliss…


“Simon Pegg.”
© by Samantha Berger
Made in Historic Hudson, NY!




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