Saturday, December 24, 2005

Illustration Friday: Holiday

Maybe I won't even begin to try to explain how my thinking ended up here when coming up with this little Christmas Eve game. I just know that when I saw the topic for this week, I decided I wasn't gonna risk Pat Robertson's wrath by doing some politically correct version of Merry Christmas. So, I went totally some other way. I don't know why.

I was just gonna put 'Happy...' above the two caricatures, but then I realized that neither Doc Holiday or Billie Holiday had particularly happy lives. Doc died of TB when he was 35. (Side note: do we all agree that Val Kilmer has done the best Hollywood version of this western legend?) Billie died when she was 44. She enjoyed success as a singer, but she went through some very rough times: raped at a young age, discrimination, and substance abuse.

Anyway, may everyone have a truly wonderful week, whatever belief (or non-) that you have. Go to my other blog for a more conventional seasonal greeting.

Sunday, December 18, 2005

Illustration Friday: Imagine

I have a friend I've never seen.
He hides his head inside a dream.

Someone should call him and see
If he can come out.

Try to lose the down that he's found.

-Neil Young, "Only Love Can Break Your Heart," 1970

Early Friday morning I checked Illustration Friday and found that "Imagine" was the topic for the week. I had a five-hour drive ahead of me, and I loaded up a bunch of CDs for the road trip to pick up my son at college. During the drive I would dwell now and then on the topic and how to visualize it. Nothing good was coming to mind.

But it was shortly after I popped in Neil Young's After the Gold Rush (during the third song, actually), that one of his lyrics painted a picture for me. I departed from the lost love aspect of the words and started thinking about this friend hidden in a dream; an allegory for one's imagination. Something that has to break free from what is and become what might be.

I think Illustration Friday is a wonderful outlet for 400-500 folks and their imaginings every week. It's a great place to share and be inspired by others.

What I imagined the illustration would shape itself into -- for the piece itself takes over sometime during creation, and the artist just hangs on for the ride -- was slightly different from what ended up here, but I'll go with it. May we all nourish our imaginations. Peace to everyone.

Saturday, December 10, 2005

Illustration Friday: Surprise

Four and twenty blackbirds baked in a pie was considered a delicacy at one time, I guess... just not baked live, as in the nursery rhyme. It would be a surprise I'd just as soon not experience. As a little boy in the 1910s, however, my father would provide his great-grandmother blackbirds for pies. Don't mean to upset anyone; it's just a fact that people used to eat that stuff. Maybe they still do somewhere. Hope I haven't offended anyone who's including this in their menu tonight.

Tuesday, December 06, 2005

Illustration Friday: Blue

Sat and thought about the topic 'blue' for quite awhile. It was my wife who suggested that I do a take on the Blues. "But," she said, "that's plural; not singular 'blue.'" I disregarded her objection and went with it. So here's my humble tribute to legendary Bluesman Lightnin' Hopkins (1912-1982). Thanks for the music and the sincerity, Lightnin'.

Saturday, December 03, 2005

Photo Friday: Experimental

Whenever I want to get experimental, I head to the kitchen. Some great (and not-so-great) concoctions have come out of those times.

Saturday, November 26, 2005

Illustration Friday: Small

I don't know what the heck that little guy is riding that ladybug... some sort of cross betwixt an elf and a fairy, I guess. I just know he's a little guy; has to be to be able to put a bit in a ladybug's mouth. Apologies to those bug experts who know better... I didn't have any source reference for the bug... Know she/he's probably all anatomically incorrect. Oh, well.

Wednesday, November 23, 2005

Photo Friday: Imperfection

Not just the cup; the 'Dad' part, too.

Saturday, November 19, 2005

Illustration Friday: Free

A bit of fun for Thanksgiving. When I saw the theme for this week, I couldn't get this blasted turkey out of my head. Being a Californian, known for our obscene attachment to the automobile and the freedom we find therein, I had to give the bird some wheels. I just couldn't figure out how to put a copy of Kerouac's On the Road into the picture. Anyway, hope everyone has a thankful, restful, peaceful holiday this coming Thursday.

Saturday, November 12, 2005

Illustration Friday: Strength

"Some people think it's holding on that makes one strong- sometimes it's letting go." - Anonymous

This week's topic had me stumped. Really liked the illustrations using motherhood as a strength topic. Didn't want to do a strong man, though I saw some good muscleman iillustrations at So I started searching for quotes on strength and found the one above, which got me thinking about the strength I've seen in true peacemakers. We need strong people of peace now more than ever. Started with a sketch, brought it into Photoshop, and played around with layers. Gonna have to start varying the technique here pretty soon, I guess. Peace, everyone.

Saturday, November 05, 2005

Illustration Friday: Night

Guess I feel like howling at the moon from time to time. Don't we all?

Thursday, November 03, 2005

Illustration Friday: Broken

First post to Illustration Friday. Scanned a sketch and worked it in Photoshop layers.