Saturday, December 30, 2006

Illustration Friday: Phoenix

“The phoenix hope, can wing her way through the desert skies, and still defying fortune's spite; revive from ashes and rise.”

-Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra

Yeah, well, I got this Wacom tablet for Christmas, and now I've gotta figure it out. So, while I'm figuring and testing it, I'll try different things out on the IF posts. As with a lot of what I do, I find the most difficult thing is figuring out when to quit... so here's sort of an overdone illustration.

And then, below is the post I didn't get done in time for 'peace' last week. Not at all what I had in mind, but I just couldn't get my original idea to quite come together.

So, peace to everyone this last weekend of '06, and here's to the wish that hope for good things will rise up out of the ashes of this battered year.

Sunday, December 17, 2006

Illustration Friday: Help

"The nine most terrifying words in the English language are, 'I'm from the government, and I'm here to help.'"
- Ronald Reagan

Actually, after I'd already started on the drawing, I heard someone from Mississippi speak and say that the government now was doing a pretty good job down there helping Katrina victims.

Don't know who this guy's s'posed to be... just some bureaucrat.

And now, a BONUS feature!!!

Because I've missed so many weeks... (no excuses, chalk it up to laziness and life in general)... I'm gonna get all caught up in one swell foop. Below please see my post for


Bartholomew could not mask his concern that clear Sunday afternoon after Thanksgiving, when, on a stroll with Myra, his intended, they met Reginald. Was it an invention of his mind or might there have been a twinkle in Myra's eye as Reginald tipped his hat?

Peace to all, and find someone who could use a helping hand... or just a tip of the hat.

Sunday, November 05, 2006

Illustration Friday: Smoke

Five firefighters lost their lives battling the Esperanza Fire in Southern California last month:

Pablo Cerda, 23
Daniel Hoover-Najera, 20
Mark Loutzenhiser, 43
Jason McKay, 27
Jess McLean, 27

The blaze was a result of arson, which should be considered an act of terrorism.

Smokey the Bear needs to shed his nice-guy image and start baring his teeth.

Peace to you and deepest respects to the families of the fallen five.

Thursday, November 02, 2006

Illlustration Friday: Wind

Thursday night... almost didn't make this week's post. Started doodling and ended up with a wild-haired dude in a trench coat. Put him up on a cliff in the wind. Don't think he's gonna jump, but I really don't know what he's up to. Communicating with, or shouting at, God?

Peace, and may the wind always be at your back.

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Illustration Friday: Ghost

I figured the 'ghost' topic was chosen in honor of Halloween, and since I'm not a big fan of Halloween, I thought I'd do something connected to Dia de los Muertos. For those of you who are unfamiliar with it, I grabbed this from (it explains much better than I can):

Dia de los Muertos is celebrated throughout Mexico and the Southwest states, and coincides with the Christian All Souls and All Saints Days. On November 1st and 2nd people remember those who are deceased. November 1st is considered the Dia de los Angelitos—the day to remember children that have died, November 2nd is the traditional Dia de los Muertos (day of the dead). Pictures of the deceased are placed on Dia de los Muertos altars with their favorite food and drink. Candles to light their way home, and soap and water to freshen-up after their long trip back are also often placed on altars. Trinkets they were fond of, symbols they would understand, and gifts are left to communicate to them that they are always in the hearts of those they left behind, and that they are still part of the family even though they aren’t physically with us any longer.

José Guadalupe Posada (1852-1913), a political cartoonist, created many art pieces of calaveras (skeletons, though the literal translation is 'skulls', I believe). This illustration is an homage to one of Posada's pieces, done in modern dress.

This is the 52nd week in a row I've put something up on Illustration Friday. It's been a wonderful experience. From the start people checked in and commented with encouragement and insightful observations. Every week the IF site hosts scores (yea, hundreds) of unique takes on a given topic. I've been inspired by the fresh creativity on a weekly basis, regretting only that time has not allowed me to check every post every week. Sort of a challenge to try to get around to some of the regular commentors before they post a comment to me... something I rarely accomplish. Seems I'm always playing 'catch up.'

Well, gotta go. Blackie needs to go out for his evening constitutional before bedtime. Peace to all, and stay safe.

Sunday, October 15, 2006

Illustration Friday: Smitten

As closing time drew near, Reginald realized that Myra was quite possibly the most beautiful woman he had ever seen.

Peace to one and all, and drink responsibly.

Sunday, October 08, 2006

Illustration Friday: Trouble

On one particularly boring day some 5,000 years ago -- it may have been closer to 5,000,000 years ago, but who's counting? -- First Woman Eve was lolling about under a shady palm. She was bored. Nothing was wrong particularly. Maybe that was the problem... everything was always... well... right. She sighed a sigh, stretched her arms lazily, and surveyed the compound.

Nice enough place, everything she needed was within easy reach... water, fruit and veggies. Being vegan, she and Adam didn't even consider sampling one of the myriad creatures that ambled aimlessly about the place. And there were a bunch of them... sleeping under every rock, hanging or perched in every tree, and sunning in every open spot it seemed. In fact that lughead Adam was out finishing up his one chore... naming the last two or three dozen animals.

When Eve thought of Adam, she sighed again and knit her unblemished brow slightly. The guy was fairly good-looking and was nice enough and all, but, sheesh, he really was dumb as that creature he had named Ox. And boring... he was just plain boring. She stepped over Lion, who was dozing next to Lamb and yawned. The whole place was boring. Nothing ever happened.

That was when something coming down the lane caught her eye. It was Serpent, rolling something along in front of him. She chuckled. He wasn't soft and cuddly like Koala, or strong and fast like Horse, but he was, well... interesting. He always seemed to be up to something. He had discovered that his little hands were prehensile, like Monkey's, the better to investigate things. And just last week, he had taken to walking upright on his hind legs, imitating Adam by stumbling about and tripping over roots. Serpent made Eve laugh.

And here he was again today, but what was it that he had with him? The little guy was toiling so hard... Maybe Eve would give him a hand. As she got closer, she realized what Serpent was pushing. Oh, what had he gotten into this time? He knew better. He must have been exploring the one tree they weren't supposed to go near and had knocked off one of its fruits. The little imp.

Maybe today wasn't going to be as boring as yesterday... and the day before...

Well, dear reader, you can probablly guess what sort of trouble Serpent got Eve into that day... and how Adam stepped right into it himself. And you know the results... pain of childbirth, toiling from dawn to dark, you know, complications of life.

Oh, and Serpent lost his hands and legs.

Peace, everyone, and keep your nose out of trouble today.

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

Illustration Friday: Quiet

“In cities no one is quiet but many are lonely; in the country, people are quiet but few are lonely”
-Geoffrey Fisher

Peace and quiet to all.

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

Illustration Friday: Phobia

There are so many phobias from which to choose for this week's topic... where to begin? I went to one of the many lists online... hundreds of things to be afraid of.

One stood out, though: politicophobia, or fear of politics/politicians. That got me thinking a step further... how about the politics of fear? There's been enough said about that in the last few weeks and months as we head into the election season. Does the administration and Fox News scare me? You betcha. It's working, Dubya.

Not letting the Democrats off easy, either, though. They've allowed the Republicans to give them a phobia of the L-word (and, no, I'm not talking about the TV show of the same name). No, God forbid that anyone allow themselves to be labeled 'liberal.' When did it become bad to be a liberal?

And then there is the American voting public at large. Do we have a collective fear of the voting booth? With only 55% of the eligible voting population showing up in the last presidential election, we deserve what we get. Those who can get their 'base' out win.

Even if it's a phobia that gets them out of the house.

Peace to you all, and let's not allow our phobias to get the better of us.

Sunday, September 17, 2006

Illustration Friday: Change

Here's to that quick-change artist, Clark Kent (aka: Kal-El, 'Star-Child'). As I was drawing this, I was wondering, how the heck does he tuck that big ol' cape into his pants?

Peace to everyone, and don't change just for the sake of change.

Saturday, September 09, 2006

Illustration Friday: Farm

In 1974 Papa and his sisters
Sold the farm, and we went
To live in town.

Great grandpa Claus and Grandpa Chris
Had driven cattle and coddled sheep,
Had threshed grain and sprouted beans

From the 1880s to the 1970s...
Our family was there
On the valley floor...

Through flood and drought, we were there.

My boyhood was there;
My adulthood was elsewhere.
Then I ran with my dogs;
Now I walk with my ghosts.

This afternoon I walked
My dog on a leash in this city.
And I, I feel the tether 'round my own neck.

-Twisselman, 2006

Peace to all, and keep the good memories alive.
Illustration is based on a photo from the Solomon D. Butcher Collection, Neb. State Hist. Soc.

Friday, September 01, 2006

Illustration Friday: Safe

To love at all is to be vulnerable. Love anything, and your heart will certainly be wrung and possibly broken. If you want to make sure of keeping it intact, you must give your heart to no one, not even to an animal. Wrap it carefully round with hobbies and little luxuries; avoid all entanglements; lock it up safe in the casket or coffin of your selfishness. But in that casket--safe, dark, motionless, airless--it will change. It will not be broken; it will become unbreakable, impenetrable, irredeemable.
-CS Lewis

Peace to all, and give someone special the combination.

Sunday, August 27, 2006

Illustration Friday: Run

We've been through some things together
With trunks of memories still to come
We found things to do in stormy weather
Long may you run.

Long may you run.
Long may you run.
Although these changes have come
With your chrome heart shining in the sun
Long may you run.

Well, it was back in Blind River in 1962
When I last saw you alive
But we missed that shift on the long decline
Long may you run.

Long may you run.
Long may you run.
Although these changes have come
With your chrome heart shining in the sun
Long may you run.

Maybe The Beach Boys have got you now
With those waves singing "Caroline No"
Rollin' down that empty ocean road
Gettin' to the surf on time.

Long may you run.
Long may you run.
Although these changes have come
With your chrome heart shining in the sun
Long may you run.

-Neil Young
, "Long May You Run," 1976

Yup, Mr. Young wrote that song about his '48 Buick Roadmaster hearse, Mort, which he used as his bandmobile in the early days in Canada. Transmission went out, I think. He subsequently got another hearse, dubbed it Mort 2, drove it to L.A., and the rest is music history.

Peace, all of you, and may your run be long.

Thursday, August 24, 2006

Illustration Friday: Match

The goal of life is to make your heartbeat match the beat of the universe, to match your nature with Nature.
-Joseph Campbell

Peace to you and your nature.

Illustration Friday: Play (color version)

Yeah, here's last week's colorized.

Peace, all.

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

Illustration Friday: Play

Well, I haven't gotten any farther than this, sketched out last Saturday. And the week is quickly slipping by. So... in the quest to put something up and not skip a topic, I offer this takeoff on the dogs-playing-poker theme. If I get time, I'll finish it up along with the offering for the next topic.

Last Friday night my wife and I came home from the movies to find our cats, Skweex and Tiger, sitting on the living room floor playing some five-card draw. Imagine our surprise. I mean, Skweex knows Tiger isn't allowed in the house.

Peace, everyone, and never draw to an inside straight.

Monday, August 07, 2006

Illustration Friday: Capture

Someone's got hold of that peace dove again, and they're not gonna let her go. As usual, the 'collateral' damage in war includes children and senior citizens... on all sides (and there seem to be more than just two sides).

Heard a news report yesterday that said, "Americans will feel the pain of this conflict at the gas pump." Yes, actual words. Bodies are being blown apart or stuffed into bags, and we're suffering (?) at the gas nozzle.

I do not forget the families of those in our military. I pray daily that the soldiers will be coming home soon.

Maybe we can find out who's captured that tired and beaten old dove, and get them to unshackle her. Peace to all of you who read this and to all whose lives are being shattered.

Friday, July 28, 2006

Illustration Friday: Clean

An important duty of the bartender is to run a clean bar. I bartended for a coupla years after college, kicking around with no plan and no direction... Nothing high-class; a beer-and-wine joint, a bowling alley. No fancy drinks; Swiss highballs (otherwise known as wine coolers), whiskey straight up, or whiskey and water.

I spent a lot of time washing glasses and mugs.

So here's a set of glasses, very clean, done in a 3-D program (StrataPro). Yeah, I let the software do most of the work, but, hey, I had to draw the profile of the glass; something for the program to lathe. And I had to compose it, make the shaders, set the lights, and such.

Anyway, if I think of something to actually draw, I'll add it to the blog... I won't put a new entry on IF... I'll just add to this post.

Peace, everyone, and keep it (whatever 'it' you choose) clean.

Wednesday, July 26, 2006

Thursday, July 20, 2006

Illustration Friday: Sacrifice

When I read the topic, the first thought to come to mind was Papa, who gave up much to make sure his three kids had opportunities he never had. I think he felt trapped in his occupation, and I believe there was unrealized potential in this man.

He died 28 years ago, and a day has not gone by in those years that I haven't thought of him. I have had a blessed life, due in no small part to my Papa.

Peace, everyone. Hug your loved ones.

Thursday, July 13, 2006

Illustration Friday: Skyline

Half-completed deal. Was gonna put a panoramic skyline of the neighborhood... six or seven houses, trees, etc. Yeah, 'coulda, woulda, shoulda...' Anyway, another hectic week.

So I must thank all those who've visited this blog... and respectfully ask pardon for not having the time to get my fix of all the reg'lars I visit. Hopefully this coming week will allow some breathing room. I'll get back into the swing of things some day.

Peace to you, and may your skyline be free of exploding missiles. (This has been an upsetting day in parts of the world)

Thursday, July 06, 2006

Illustration Friday: Sticky

Yeah, those crazy caramel apples at the Boardwalk can be pretty sticky, you bet.

Hey, it's been crazy at work and around the house... so I didn't get around to visit hardly any IF posts this past week... and here it is Thursday, and I'm barely getting some quick thing on board. Not apologizing and not complaining... It is what it is.

Anyway, peace to all, and hang in there, sticky or slick.

Sunday, June 25, 2006

Illustration Friday: Rain

Was listening to this song the other day, written by Gordon Lightfoot, covered by Bob Dylan, Elvis Presley, and Peter, Paul, & Mary. For melancholy rainy days. Peace, everyone.

In the early mornin' rain
with a dollar in my hand,
With an achin' in my heart, and my pockets full of sand.
I'm a long way from home, and I miss my loved one so;
In the early mornin' rain and no place to go.

Out on runway number nine big seven-o-seven set to go.
Well, I'm stuck here on the ground where the cold winds blow.
The liquor tasted good, and the women all were fast.
There she goes, my friend, she's a rollin' down at last.

Hear the mighty engines roar, see the silver bird on high.
She's away and westward bound; far above the clouds she'll fly,
Where the mornin' rain don't fall, and the sun always shines.
She'll be flyin' over my home in about three hours time.

This old airport's got me down; it's no earthly good to me.
'Cause I'm stuck here on the ground, cold and drunk as I might be.
You can't jump a jet plane like you can a freight train,
So I best be on my way in the early mornin' rain.

Gordon Lightfoot, 1962

Sunday, June 18, 2006

Saturday, June 10, 2006

Illustration Friday: Jungle

It's a

in there.

Peace to
and may
there be
in your

Sunday, June 04, 2006

Illustration Friday: Portrait...

...of Blackie as a young dog...

Back when Blackie was a young dog dandy,
Dressed to the nines, on the town he'd bandy.
High-struttin' and high-falootin' was he
In those doggie days; footloose and carefree.
Taking a break, for this portrait he sat;
Bow-tie and tail(s), sharper than the aver'ge cat.

Peace to all.

Saturday, May 20, 2006

Illustration Friday: Sorry

This doesn't quite say 'sorry' to me.

Turmoil? Remorse? Anxiety?

Maybe despair.

Took it from a sketch I did a couple of years back...something I did quickly in a dark time...a personal thing. Funny how bringing it back out can remind me of a hurt. But just as quickly I realize that all things, including despair, pass.

Peace and goodness to all.

Wednesday, May 17, 2006

Illustration Friday: Angels/Devils

I dunno. Had to put sumpthin' up there in my mission not to miss a week of IF. They both look devilish and evil to me.

Didn't start with a sketch (or a plan... does it show?). Just started messing around in Photoshop.

Sunday, May 07, 2006

Illustration Friday: Fat

I guess I don't so much mind being old, as I mind being fat and old.
-Benjamin Franklin

Not picking on Ben. As founding fathers go, he's probably one of my favorites. Don't think he owned any slaves. He was an inventor, a printer, a wise-saying sayer.

Didn't know how to illustrate the topic, so I started searching for quotes, and the one above from Ben just struck my fancy.

Many thanks to all who left comments last week. I try to visit as many posts as I can, but time got away from me. I'm sure Poor Richard had a profound saying about time, but I don't want to search through his almanacs.

Peace to all.

Saturday, April 29, 2006

Illustration Friday: Under the Sea

The Pacific gray whales pass through Monterey Bay twice a year; once on their way to Baja for the winter, and again as they head back to the Alaskan waters for the summer. Whale watching trips are a great way to see these cetaceans up close. I'll limit my watching experience to the deck of the boat... not from under the sea, thank you very much.

Peace, all.

Saturday, April 22, 2006

Illustration Friday: Robot

Don't know where the heck this idea came from (somewhere out in left field?), but it sprang to mind almost immediately upon reading the topic, and it wouldn't shake loose til I put it down on paper... and then into Photoshop to finish. Peace to all, humanoid and android alike.

Sunday, April 16, 2006

Illustration Friday: Spotted

Okay, I want everyone to know I really, really, really intended on not getting all heavy and PC with this week's topic. Just like last week when I really hadn't meant to get up on any soapbox. Believe me, it's really atypical of me to get all outspoken and preachy. I'm a pretty laid-back person. Really I am. (So how many 'really's' in this paragraph, and what does that say about one's writing ability?)

So, I see the topic for this week is 'spotted.' "Oh, great," say I, "I used up the perfect spotted topic with that dead cheetah last week." So, I'm thinking abstract ... maybe a super close-up of a leopard's spots. But I think on it throughout the day at work, and I think 'spotted owl.'

"Whoa," you say, "let's not get all Sierra Club again." Believe me, not my intention. I did an image search on Google and found this cool shot of a spotted owl by Jared Hobbs (on which this illustration is loosely based), and that was going to be that.

But then (and here's where I get into trouble), I look for a quote to go with the pic, and I find this:

"Read this Article if You Want to Hunt the Spotted Owl By Lance Winslow

"Recently I was in a coffee shop and I was discussing with a friend the abusive lawsuits and junk court filings of the spotted owl. He asked me if I knew what those spots were for?

"I told him know (sic), that I assumed it was like a Zebra or any other species which had such markings, it may have had some evolutionary reason for attracting a mate or possibly to blend into the scenery like camouflage to aid in hunting or to keep from being hunted. He said no silly. The real reason that those owls have spots is so you line up your rifle sights on them. They are like targets he explained.

"Well we both had a laugh, but then he said well we are going to have to kill them anyway. I asked why? He said they are very prone to be carriers of Bird Flu. Not sure if that is true but it kind of makes sense. Think on it."

I won't comment on this, except to say if someone wants to hunt a spotted owl, please print out this illustration and shoot it full of holes. Print as many as you like... or just shoot your computer monitor.

Peace to all.

Saturday, April 08, 2006

Illustration Friday: Speed

"Yeah, the cheetah's pretty fast, but not faster than a bullet."

How fast can man prove his dominance over Mother Nature by utterly destroying her?

PLEASE NOTE: Lengthy comment on the next post below, if you're so inclined to read it.

Otherwise, peace to our planet and everything on it.

Comment on 'Speed' illustration

When I started searching for 'speed' resource photos through Google Images, I hadn't intended the above Illustration Friday post to be any more than a nice action shot of a cheetah running. I found some beautiful pictures, any one of which I could sketch and be done with the topic for the week. But one photograph on the fourth page of the search grabbed me and wouldn't let go of me. It showed two dudes kneeling behind their trophy of the day. The image linked back to an African safari company; one that promises to give you a "complete African experience." The company shall remain nameless here; I'm not out to persecute anyone for how they make their living. I just want us to take some time to think this hunting thing through.

Now I realize that if you've come to this blog, you probably got here through Illustration Friday. This being the case, I'm probably preaching to the choir. We artsy-fartsy folks tend to be on the socially conscious side of things. But lest you think that I'm striving toward the politically correct angle, please know that I'm not totally against hunting. I was raised on a ranch, the fourth generation of a family that hunted the hills and fields of central California (though I shelved my shotgun some 30 years ago).

That said, however, we never hunted anything that didn't end up on the dinner table. We plucked, cleaned, and ate every duck, pheasant, or quail we hunted. Hunting purely for the sport of letting blood, though, is something with which I'm hard-pressed to identify. What is it about our species that makes us the only animal to kill purely for the sake of killing?

When the news hit recently about our Vice President's unfortunate hunting accident what shocked me wasn't the reckless hunting practice that put stray pellets in his friend's face and torso. No, it was a related story that disclosed on another day he had single-handedly killed 70 pheasants! How does one man pluck and clean and eat that many birds? How much lust for killing is healthy in one red-blooded American male?

Let's assume he has people who do the plucking and cleaning. Because, yeah, he's a busy guy. He's got a country to run... uh, I mean, help run. But how much room can he have in his freezer? Let's say he takes ten... no, let's give him the benefit of the doubt and say he takes 20 birds back to Lynn to cook (or to have the help cook). That still leaves 50 dead birds back at the "we-raise-'em, you-shoot-'em" compound. We can only hope that they went to a food bank or a soup kitchen and weren't tossed in a landfill.

Let's leave the VP alone and get back to the big-game hunter. Who eats cheetah? Or zebra? Or giraffe? These are all animals on the price list for that particular safari site. I suggest that if someone wants "the complete African experience," they work on getting potable water to the millions on that continent who don't have it.

The aforementioned hunting company has a code of ethics, mind you:

The company holds to the belief that the primary Ethic of the Professional Hunter is to ensure that each hunt is concluded with minimal suffering and distress to the hunted animal.

Hmm... since when is death considered "minimal distress?"

Tuesday, April 04, 2006

Illustration Friday: Spring

California may have its faults (no pun intended... or maybe it was), but one of the beautiful things about Spring in Central California is the appearance of the wildflowers on the green hillsides.

This Spring the poppies have started to show, now only in small groupings. If the weather conditions are right, some magic combination of wet and sunny days, the hills and pastures veritably explode in carpets of golden poppies and velvety blue sky lupine.

It was a very wet March, colder than usual, and we will probably have to settle for spots of color here and there. We'll take what we can get.

Peace to all.

Saturday, March 25, 2006

Illustration Friday: Monster

People call Lawrence a wicked monster...
He hasn't hands, rather claws like a lobster.
People are hurtful: they choose not to see
That he has feelings deep like you and me.

He'll crouch in the dark, all hollow inside,
Trying to hide from the taunts and the chides.
Bit of a beast in each of us, it's true,
So when Lawrence weeps, it's for me and you.

Our world cries for compassion. Peace to us all.

Tuesday, March 21, 2006

Illustration Friday: Feet

Okay, so it's not really a pic of feet... but it's an illustration of something important to my feet... my shoes. Oh, and my smelly socks. I try to run four to five times a week. I'll go stretches of months at a time when I'm very good about it. Then there are weeks at a time when the shoes don't see the light of day. Ran the Big Sur Marathon when I turned 40, but since then I've only had the gumption to train for half-marathons; the Humboldt through the Avenue of the Giants being that run of choice.

I've included the progression of the drawing... first one being the inked sketch, next one with flat areas of color added in Photoshop, third working on shading, and last one with the inked layer made visible again. Looking at it, I'm sorta partial to the illustration without the inked lines, the third one. Any feelings one way or 'tother?

Peace to all.

Thursday, March 16, 2006

Illustration Friday: Tattoo

Yes, tattoos may be alright for some folks,
But don't stick my flesh with those inky pokes.
Won't sport skin art of 'Mom' or 'Dubya Bush'
On my upper arm, left ankle, or tush;
No tasteful rose, no swaying hula girl...
Don't ever intend to give it a whirl.
'Tis true in whatever form, art is art,
But I've no canvas on my fleshy part.
Not worried 'bout contracting a disease;
Just don't stick me with any needles, please.
Been busy... not complaining... a good sort of busy... fun, but time-consuming, projects at work... family things and such. Tried several times to come up with something for the topic... false starts, all. But I'm determined to put a post up on every topic.

It really is true... tattoos do nothing for me. I don't know. They just don't excite me. Not that I object to others doing what they want to their bodies. Enough of this. Peace, everyone.

Sunday, March 05, 2006

Illustration Friday: Insect

Statistics from the World Health Organization:

Malaria is responsible for as many as half the deaths of African children under the age of five. The disease kills more than one million children - 2,800 per day - each year in Africa alone. In regions of intense transmission, 40% of toddlers
may die of acute malaria.

About 40% of the world's population - about two billion people - are at risk in about 90 countries and territories. 80 to 90% of malaria deaths occur in sub-Saharan Africa where 90% of the infected people live.

Sunday, February 26, 2006

Illustration Friday: Tea

Another week; another flimsy excuse. Busy on deadline stuff for brochures and print jobs and such. So... not a lot of time for new creations. This dude to the left was drawn a few years ago, based on someone I saw at a coffee bar earlier in the day.

I was looking for some inspiration for the 'tea' topic and ran across a quote from C.S.Lewis about there being no such thing as a cup of tea too big or a book too long. That reminded me of this guy. I found him, added a little tea string/tab thingie, and there you have it.

I apologize that I haven't gotten around to visiting the blogs of folks I try to check in on weekly. I'm getting to it, albeit slowly.

Peace to everyone. Take it easy on the caffiene intake.

Friday, February 17, 2006

Illustration Friday: Song

Maybe I wanted to finally be one of the first 100 folks to post for a topic. Maybe it's because I've got to devote this entire weekend to figuring out my taxes. Whatever the reason, I've taken an old photo-illustration I did of my son playing his guitar; when I was checking out various filter/layering/hue-saturation combos.

Anyway, song is very important in this household. Thanks to my wife's musical genes, our son and daughter are extremely talented musically. It's a blessing to be in the room when they're together playing a song. I gotta stop now, before I get all misty-eyed.

Peace to everyone. Put a song in your heart.

Sunday, February 12, 2006

Illustration Friday: Simple

A Book of Verses underneath the Bough,
A Jug of Wine, a Loaf of Bread—and Thou
Beside me singing in the Wilderness—
O, Wilderness were Paradise enow!

Some for the Glories of This World; and some
Sigh for the Prophet's Paradise to come;
Ah, take the Cash, and let the Credit go,
Nor heed the rumble of a distant Drum!

Look to the blowing Rose about us—'Lo,
Laughing,' she says, 'into the world I blow,
At once the silken tassel of my Purse
Tear, and its Treasure on the Garden throw.'

And those who husbanded the Golden grain
And those who flung it to the winds like Rain
Alike to no such aureate Earth are turn'd
As, buried once, Men want dug up again.

-Omar Khayyam (translated by E. Fitzgerald)

Okay, there's my simple Valentine's Day sentiment. Before I went Googling for the exact poem, all I knew was the 'jug of wine, loaf of bread, and thou' business; which I thought was a pretty simple set of needs. I had done most of the work on the illustration already when I looked up the actual words, so I didn't bother to go back and set it 'underneath the Bough,' or amidst 'the blowing Rose.'

You folks more knowledgable than I may have known the whole poem (which goes on quite a ways from where I left off) and the fact that Omar was a Persian poet who lived during the 11th century. Mr. Fitzgerald translated some of his works in the 1800s, and he enjoyed a fair share of posthumous fame. ...Well, maybe you can't actually posthumously enjoy something... but, anyway his poetry was being recited again.

Be nice to your Valentine on Tuesday. If you don't have one, please spread some good will to someone else. Peace to all of you

postscript: Whoa. Just posted to IF, and I see that there are already over 300 entries on the topic... and it's only Sunday morning (in this part of the world). So much art, and so little time to view it all.

Saturday, February 04, 2006

Illustration Friday: Chair

Yeah, Blackie the Mutt was more than a little peeved at me for all the coverage the cats got a couple of weeks ago; and nothing more than a mere mention of his doggie door. So a couple of days ago I told him that he would be worked into the next Illustration Friday thing, no matter what the topic was. Silly of me to be promising things to a dog, you think? Especially silly when you realize that he couldn't hear a word I said. He's 12 years old and stone-deaf.
He's been a good pooch all these years. We got him at the SPCA when he was just a few months old. He was a street pup, wandering when they netted him, I guess.

When I read the topic yesterday, I tried to break the news to him... "You're out of luck, unless you can think of an interesting way to include your hairy self in a picture with a chair." He snorted and slumped off to the other room, only to reappear minutes later, bringing my great-grandfather's chair in much the same manner you see here. Well, maybe not exactly... he can't really stand on only one leg... At least not long enough for me to sketch him.

Oh, and the chair... It belonged to my great-grandfather, Claus, who immigrated to the U.S. from Germany in the 1870s, sailing aroung the horn of South America with four brothers. They landed in San Francisco and settled first in Half Moon Bay, where there was a small enclave of German immigrants. They eventually made their way south, to the Salinas Valley and beyond.

I don't think the chair came with Claus from Germany, but it is a cherished possession, nonetheless.

Anyway, I've included photos of the chair, and, of course, of the black and tan dog. Peace to everyone.