Sunday, July 29, 2007

Illustration Friday: Moon

Taking the easy way out this week. I'm re-posting a drawing from a previous Illustration Friday... way back in November of '05. The topic was 'night,' and I did this coyote howling at the night light in the sky, stating that from time to time I felt like doing the same thing... the throwing back my head in a mournful noise bit, that is.

The first time I've resorted to this tactic of re-posting, but there are no hard and fast rules here, I believe.

Oh, and I posted the 'poem' thing late, after the deadline.
Click here if you care to see it. Just flaking out left and right it seems.

Peace to everyone, and here's to the occasional melancholy howl and the inner well-being it can bring.

Illustration Friday: Poem


I think that I shall never see
A poem lovely as a tree.

A tree whose hungry mouth is prest
Against the sweet earth's flowing breast;

A tree that looks at God all day,
And lifts her leafy arms to pray;

A tree that may in summer wear
A nest of robins in her hair;

Upon whose bosom snow has lain;
Who intimately lives with rain.

Poems are made by fools like me,
But only God can make a tree.

Joyce Kilmer. 1886–1918

So when I told my wife I was doing a tree for the 'poem' post, she said, "Oh, yeah... 'I think that I shall never see...' Hmm. A little trite, wouldn't you say?" I agreed. Then I secretly looked up the actual poem. Had never really been acquainted with the whole thing.

Maybe one level up from trite.

Anyway, I offer this is tribute to the wonderful California coastal oak trees that dot our hillsides.

Peace to all of you, tree-huggers and otherwise.

Saturday, July 14, 2007

Tagged Two Ways from Sunday

Well, no, it wasn't actually on a Sunday, but it's been awhile since, within two days, I was both graciously given the Thinking Blogger Award by Kathryn Howard (scribblesk) and kindly 'tagged' by AndyDoodler.

(Note: If you're looking for this week's IF post for 'Discovery,' click here.)

First the deal on the Thinking Blogger thing...

The participation rules are simple:

1. If, and only if, you get tagged, write a post with links to 5 blogs that make you think,*
2. Link to this post so that people can easily find the exact origin of the meme,
3. Optional: Proudly display the 'Thinking Blogger Award' with a link to the post that you wrote (here is an alternative silver version if gold doesn't fit your blog).

Yes, simple enough, but not so simple to come up with five names, as there are many, many who participate in Illustration Friday who make me think each week. I've chosen four from Illustration Friday participants and one digital artist who hasn't submitted anything to IF but whose work we've printed on our large format printers.

Again, a list of only five excludes another dozen or so who never fail to inspire, and I apologize in advance if any of these have already been singled out for the Thinking Blogger deal. Some of the folks I considered listing have gotten the award already, but it's downright impossible to follow the TBA trail all the way back to its origin in February.

*I am listing this under the assumption that all folks listed below know that they are under no obligation to continue the listing thing. This isn't some pyramid deal, and there will be no voodoo curse put upon you or your loved ones if you choose to simply read this and leave it at that. Heck, you don't even have to read this. How's that for 'no obligation?'

  • Dan Beck, Outhouse Studios... always has something interesting to say whenever he comes into the shop. His digital landscapes of Central California really have the feel of this place.

  • Tiffini Elektra X... grateful to her for her art booklet on successfully selling art on the internet, which she shares so unselfishly. She also has a good attitude about this blogging thing, blogging when she gets the urge, without obligation.

  • Digital Scott... is another Left Coaster, transplanted from another part of the country. I had the pleasure of meeting him for coffee when I was traveling to SoCal a few months back. Personable and friendly, he has superb technical illustration skills in Freehand but doesn't limit himself to that program.

  • Michael Dailey... puts as much thought as anyone posting into each Illustration Friday submission. Really gets you thinking, as well.

  • AndyDoodler... is the guy who 'tagged' me (different from the 'Thinking Blogger' thing... see below). First became acquainted with him through his 'paradise' equation , which is as logically sound as any math theorum I've run across.

Next, the 'tagged' thing...

The Rules for the taggee/tagger are:
1. post these rules
2. each person tagged must post 8 random(... hopefully interesting) facts about themselves
3. tags should write a blogpost of these facts
4. at the end of the post 8 more bloggers are tagged and named (* see the above bold asterisked note)
5. go to their blog and leave a comment telling them they're tagged

AndyDoodler tagged me, and I'll comply with the first three 'rules', but I'm going to let the trail die here. Since I've already listed five in the 'Thinking Blog...', I'm not going to tag anyone else. So if you feel like reading the eight random facts about Twisselman, interesting or otherwise, here they are:

  • I'm a fourth-generation Central Coast Californian, my two sets of great-grandparents on my father's side immigrating here from Germany in the mid-1800s.

  • After college I paid $40/month for a room above a family-owned bakery. Woke up to tempting deep-fried dough smells every morning. Think I gained twenty pounds living there.

  • I've voted in every presidential election since, and including, 1972. But I've never voted for a winning ticket. So, no, you really can't blame me. Maybe 2008 will break my losing streak.

  • Charlie and Louie, who regular readers of this blog will recognize, are the alter-egos of real people, two folks very close to me. Some of you have probably already figured that out. Only some of what I write using their names is true; most is fiction.

  • Began making a living at graphic art at the age of 42. My wife is to thank for supporting me during the mid-life career change.

  • I was once a professional scarecrow. Actually, I worked in pest management for a few months during grape harvest season, cruising the vineyards, shooting M80 shells over flocks of starlings that raided the juicy clusters of fruit.

  • I've never done pro bono work that didn't turn out to be a nightmare... and yet I still take it on, as I am a sucker for charitable causes. People getting stuff for free tend to come back for "tiny, little" changes again and again.

  • I've never seen a Western flick I didn't like, with the exception of Silverado. Saturday mornings you'll usually find me in front of AMC, sketching the theme for IF and watching some Western I've seen four or five times.

Okay, that's that, and am I relieved to have it off my plate. It was sort of hanging over me the last week, and I know that wasn't the intention of the folks who bestowed the blessings.

But that brings me to an observation or two about blogging in general and posting for Illustration Friday in particular. Blogging can be a full-time occupation, and of course it is for a growing number of people these days. But for someone working some long hours and trying to keep up with a family and the activities of its members, blogging is sort of hit-and-miss at best. I try to get a post up for the IF theme of the week and visit the blogs of those who have left comments for me. If time permits, I'll go to the IF entry list and do some exploring of people new to me as well as the group who stops by fairly regularly, but time usually just allows for dropping in on the folks who have dropped in on me.

Sometimes I feel guilty about that, but I need to adopt Tiffini's 'Blogging Without Obligation,' the logo for which I display over on the sidebar. There's enough to be concerned with in this life without adding guilt trips.

I applaud the IF-ers who get around to vast numbers of the week's posts, but I will never be able to devote that much time to this blogging thing.

Peace to everyone.

Illustration Friday: Discovery

In honor of that Greek mathematician dude Archimedes (287-212 BC), who discovered (or mebbe just gave a name to) the Law of Hydrostatics; said discovery made as he stepped into his bath and observed the displacement of water.

You'll have to go elsewhere if you want an explanation of the Law. My mother was the mathematician in the family... not I.

Oh, he also surmised that if he had a lever long enough (and someplace to stand) he could move the Earth.

Peace, everyone, and don't wait til Saturday night to soak in the tub.

Saturday, July 07, 2007

Illustration Friday: Geek(y)

"Circus is coming to town," Louie said as he dipped a pink shrimp into the cocktail sauce and tossed it into his mouth. "You taking the kids?"

Charlie didn't pause in his clicking of the remote. "Too old for that." Adding with a sidelong glance toward his pal, "The kids, I mean." He slowed his trigger finger down long enough to identify a Western on AMC... The Man Who Shot Liberty Valence... Lee Marvin was tripping Jimmy Stewart... and then back to clicking. "I don't much care for circuses."

Louie mopped up some of the sauce he'd dribbled across the coffee table and grinned his cockeyed grin. "Because of Milo the Greek Geek?"

No response from Charlie, who had settled on a repeat of Law and Order, one he'd seen two or three times.

"Remember Milo the Geek?" Louie was trying to get a rise.

Charlie grunted and took a pull from his beer.

"Man, I never saw you so upset," as Louie tossed his napkin toward the trash basket, missing badly.

Charlie turned and faced his friend fully. "He bit the head off a chicken and spit it back out at the audience."

"It was fake. It was a fake chicken," Louie grinned. "I mean you could only tell."

"You don't do that kind of stuff in front of kids," and Charlie turned back to the DA's closing argument. "Freakin' pencil neck geek."

Louie laughed out loud now and grabbed the last shrimp.

Peace to all, and steer clear of those sideshow acts.

Monday, July 02, 2007

Illustration Friday: Twist

It was 1968, and I remember sitting in a theater in Santa Barbara with my grandmother when this movie's plot twist was revealed in the final frames. I know my jaw must have visibly dropped, so taken in was I. To me, one of the best plot twists in movie history. Far be it from me to be a plot spoiler and name the flick, but I think most folks will recognise it without having it named.

The flick that failed to surprise me, but which a lot of people name as having cinema's best plot twist, was The Sixth Sense. I was prepared for the ending, as my wife had speculated the plot had been lifted from a Goosebumps book she had read to our kids years before. Sat through that movie with her prediction running through my head, and sure enough... Talk about a spoiler.

Peace to all you folks, and be safe and sane for Independence Day.