Monday, October 29, 2007


Ok, ok, I PROMISE I've finally figured-out what sort of art upon which I wish to concentrate! I've often thought about murals (and faux painting) as a possibly satisfying artistic endeavor. That's why I started studying acrylics and color theory a few months ago. There's a real market out there, and I like the ego-boosting idea of this BIG art form out in the public (or in a home). (Plus, it pays well.) But, man, as I collected several books and videos on the subject, the whole project appeared so complicated, well, I just felt defeated before I even got started. But, the other day, I decided, Dammit!, I REALLY need to get on with SOMETHING. (I don't feel comfortable with the idea of house, boat and pet portraits, so I've abandoned that idea.) Anyway, so I started clearing-out my utility room. And then, as luck would have it, I ran into an old artist acquaintance who does murals. She said she needed help with murals on a regular basis, and was basically willing to teach me what she knows. Wow! So, I finished cleaning-out my utility room, and bought a couple of drywall sheets, and bought some house paint and craft paint (to go along with my acrylic artists paint) and started on my very first mural this weekend. You can see it, half-finished, in the photo. And, gosh, I really enjoy working at this scale, I realize. The REACHING over my head bothers my shoulder, so I'll need to be careful there, and use step ladders and scaffolding and whatnot to reduce the strain. (I can also use my left arm for a lot of the "dumb" painting.) But this is COOL. I'm VERY happy happy happy. And with my friend helping me, I do believe I've found my "niche," and a kind of new career. We'll see. I have a lot to learn!

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Sailing Photos

Me and my friend Alex ( went sailing for a couple of days in his new Macgregor 26 (last week). (His girlfriend doesn't like to come along all the time, so he's usually eager to get some crew.) We started at Fort Desoto Park, near the mouth of Tampa Bay, then went out into some open ocean sailing (the Gulf of Mexico), and then around Egmont Key. We decided to have dinner in Cortez, FL., at the Fish Shack, so we docked down there, and ended-up staying the night at the dock, rather than "anchoring-out" somewhere. The next day we had a great sail back up to Fort Desoto. 10 knot wind on the beam. Sweet. ...Alex snapped a couple of photos of me at the helm. In fact, I did 90% of the helm work, which was great because Alex was exhausted (having been out all week already) and because I have such little experience on these bigger boats. Almost all my experience is on sailing dinghies and sailing canoes. And since my Islander 24 is almost ready to go, I really needed to get some more exposure to handling these larger craft. "Good times," says Alex. Indeed.

Thursday, October 11, 2007

I got a hug tonight!

This girl took one look at her picture, then looked at me, then looked at her picture, and then looked at me again and put her arms around me for a couple of seconds. I think her mother cried. Nobody said anything. Man, I'm a shy person, but moments like that make me want to keep drawing caricatures forever. There was a large crowd around, and everyone was quiet. Haunting.

Tuesday, October 09, 2007


A little accident happened last night. I was holding my technical pen in my hand as I wiped away some eraser fragments, and got mad because the little fragments wouldn't get out of my way fast enough, so I really pounded the board, trying to sweep 'em away, and then I realized it: some ink had been dislodged from the pen, and my manic hand movements SMEARED it all over the drawing. See those long strokes in the upper right of the pic? Those ain't seagulls! Ouch. Maybe when I color it, I can add a dark cloud...? Man, I have many hours already in this particular work... My first sailboat! ...New rule: Always use brush to sweep-away eraser fragments.

Monday, October 08, 2007

Pet Portraits (and other things) in Pen and Ink

If anyone wants a portrait of their pet, just let me know. I'm doing 'em for free right now, to build a portfolio. I just finished this kitten (from a photo on the Internet) as an example of my work. ALSO: If you have a home or boat, I can do portraits of them as well. All FREE for now. I've included a photo of a "practice" house I did a few weeks ago (and previously posted).

Saturday, October 06, 2007

Pen and Ink!

Technical pens, hooray! I'm really liking this. Got .25 and a .50 Rapidographs. Sweet. ...
These are two works-in-progress, all ink. I love what can be done with these things. Boat, house, pet portraits, people portraits, nice. I may pursue this.... And watercolor can be added.

Recent Caricatures

The two little kids are from tonight. On the little Mermaid in the tub, the mother had requested "something I can hang in the bathroom to look at while I bathe her." The little girl was 16 months old, but looked older, actually. Cute!

Thursday, October 04, 2007

I guess I need advice

Anyone else (caricaturists) have shoulder problems? Or HAD them? What did you do? I've met some guys who have had surgery, but that's not financially viable for me. Heck, even going to a doctor for a simple visit seems too expensive, because, I'm thinking, what's he gonna say? "Stop doing that which is causing the problem." That's what.
I don't know. Man, last night I went to work, all positive and happy, and had a fairly steady evening after a slow start, and I was careful, and then, afterwards, as I very lightly reached forward **CRACK** went my shoulder, and a shooting pain nearly floored me. I wasn't holding anything, touching anything, nothing, just reaching forward a few inches, and BAM! Wow.
I've been reading a little about shoulder injuries. Sounds like I have a rotator cuff tear. Has anyone else had this? Is this what caricaturing does? Or is it something else? I have the impression that it WILL continue to get worse if I don't stop drawing the way I'm drawing, that is, hours of reaching to a vertical plane (the easel). But how long do I have? A few months? A year? I'm trying to draw much more slowly, unless I get busy. ...If it were up to me, I'd use a drawing table. I would no longer need to LIFT my arm with my shoulder, as my drawing hand/arm/shoulder would be largely supported by the table. I've heard guys say they LOVE their drawing tables after years of using an easel. But that's not possible for me. It's not in my control. Oh, well.
...I have some decisions to make. Any advice would be valuable. Thanks all.

Wednesday, October 03, 2007

A strange and mysterious thing happened...

Yes, something strange happened last night. I was sitting at All-Star Sports, doing nothing, and then I decided to SKETCH BODY SITUATIONS. Now, for three years, I've tried to wrap my mind around FACES. I've poked and pinched and prodded my brain and my arm to understand and to render FACES. But rarely have I thought much about BODIES and the ACCESSORY OBJECTS of the craft of comic illustration. Oh, I've seen my fellow artists work hard and produce brilliant animals, vehicles, anatomy, et cetera, but I simply let "familiarity" nurture my own efforts (as I continued to dote on the face itself). Now, if you show me something, I can draw it. But that's not the same as remembering it or being creative with it. But, last night, I was thinking how sick I was of drawing lousy race cars and tigers and fish, to name a few of my lowly efforts (which I whipped-out from a flawed memory). So I started drawing on my lapboard. Hmm... I thought. ...I'm seeing immediate improvement on my old designs.... Hmm... And then it happened: I drew a cool-looking race car, and then a cool-looking female, and I was absolutely THRILLED. "Wait a second!," I thought. "I can do this all the time, with all the body situations! I can develop (and remember) excellent designs for each situation! For everything in life, actually! All sports, hobbies, characters, animals, et cetera, et cetera!!!" Wow. I didn't know how much fun I was missing. Man, I DRAW for a living. So, dude, DRAW. Work on that motorcycle, and when you get it good, and get that "thrill," draw it like that every time. And then, when someone wants to be drawn on a motorcycle, instead of cringing, I'll say GREAT! and whip-out my latest knock-'em-dead creation! Wow. Now I see it, now it SEE IT. Why didn't somebody tell me??!!! (By the way, thanks to Keelan for HIS designs. The race car I'm working on comes from his body situation display [as well as a few others]. I'm going back to the "source." lol)

Two Sisters

More from Sports tonight. I was able to get a photo of the older sister (the ACTUAL girl, that is), too.

Mom and son

A little drawing from Sports tonight. Duron shoulder.

Tuesday, October 02, 2007

Wind Song again

Man, my heart aches looking at her and not being with her. And then I'm with her for a day or two, and I must leave her to go back to Orlando. ...No, I'm not crying.
Actually, I have great news. My old boat, the Starwind 22 up in Orlando, has been sold. I had put a down-payment on it, and made a couple of payments on it (but had not starting using it), when I found Wind Song in Apollo Beach (Tampa Bay) (I paid cash for her, and got the title). After much confusion back up in Orlando, I finally was allowed to sell the Starwind, and I put it on Craigslist and sold it within 48 hours. The deal was finalized this past weekend. I lost about $2000 on the whole deal, but I'm rid of her. Now it's just me and Wind Song and the sea. Yet... I gotta stick around a while longer, 'til Spring anyway. But that's okay... kinda... ...Aargh!

May as well post a caricature

I still do this for a living, even though the hours of shoulder-work have just about laid waste to my right shoulder. Have I mentioned that? I just draw more slowly and be careful how I move about. Maybe I should draw on a lapboard. I'm sure that would help, but I'm afraid I'd have even more kids climbing on my back, trying to see. Three years, no vacation. Week after week. An extra day or two here or there. Man, I'm crazy. And I'll have this shoulder injury to endure the rest of my life and remind me of my days in Orlando. ... Need...Vacation....Sanity...Fading.... ...LOL.
The caricature is of a 4-year-old boy. Not my best, but, hey, I tried. I always try. Very standard face, but decent likeness nonetheless, I believe. Or maybe not. I'm distracted and burned-out. Wow.
But I'm okay. I was going to "sail off into the sunset" in a few weeks, but life is life, and I must wait 'til springtime. That delay is probably bothering me.