Friday, June 26, 2009

Sketching to get customers...

( A little more finished):

(Early stage):

(Small photos make for big mistakes):

Just sitting around at a caricature stand is no fun, so I recently decided to do graphite portraits of the faces in Keelan's book. People see me working on the "pencil portrait" in my lap, and say "Ah, that's beautiful, and for only twenty bucks?" And I say, "Well, no, actually, this is a portrait sketch, which is somewhat different from the cartoon sketches we do here, like this..." ...and I show 'em a caricature I've done. This usually gets business going. The problem is, I worry that someone might say, "Hey, you're trying to trick me!" But all I've gotten so far is positive result, although people will sometimes say, "But could you PLEASE draw my kids like that, in a real portrait?" I just tell 'em that it's not allowed, but also that it would take most of an hour, and that I'd have to charge $75 or more, even if it was allowed, and then I explain that, no, I can't give them my phone number or email or anything, by contract. Which sucks, of course, since I see SOOO many people everyday. But I think that's standard practice. ... Anyway, everyone seems happy. I give 'em CC's business card and write my name on back, if they persist.

The photo here is a recent example. About a half-hour of work, so it's a bit rough looking, and has errors, but, boy, the other day, people were really stopping in their tracks to see me work on it in my lap. I mean, the thing is, this sort of sketching is REALLY slow. I'm just going scratch-scratch-scratch with the pencil lead, slowly working-up toward the right values. But that's the point. Slowly observe, scratch-scratch-scratch, build-up the values, learn-learn-learn. It's an inefficient process if you want to make any kind of decent money doing portraits, I would think. Although I suppose I need the money. If anyone DOES want one of these, just let me know. 75 bucks.

....The main thing is, this is simply good practice.

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Today at Animal Kingdom

Without a doubt, today was the hottest day EVER at AK for me. I don't know the actual temperature, but the rare breeze was HOT in my face. And being the gentleman I am (no snickering!) I let the two FEMALES with me use the only two fans we had. Whew! I sweated. ...I think all the guests went back to their hotel rooms, to the AC. We were VERY slow. So we got to draw each other and produce some FINE ART! (So to speak, lol..)...


And here's a sighting of the rare Monkey Boy:

Next, we have what I call (using a French accent)"Peachy and Sarah at the Beach" :

And, finally, Keelan meets his match:

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Animal Kingdom

Getting my mojo back, a little... That is, getting some confidence back... Today at Animal Kingdom:

Dennis and a friend of mine:

...And I learned a trick today. If you're an artist who is shy (like me), you can just say, "Hey, let me take a quick photo of this drawing," and then take the pic, but furtively include the model as well... :

And then a typical mermaid:

The bad thing is, this was a great likeness. Wish I'd gotten a pic of the model.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Some Art, Finally

Some caricatures from today, live at Disney. I put away my pencil and did these with marker only, trying to increase my speed:

A "Bikini Babe," cute but a bad likeness, and some bad proportions (and she HAD to have her dog in it, lol):

A Face Only, not too bad a likeness, and she wanted to be making a "peace" sign:

Three sisters. The father said to not write their names, and he really loved the result.

And then one just for fun, from yesterday. I saw a forlorn fellow, harried among the chaos of All-Star Sports Resort's crowds of children and weeping..., so I drew him from memory, imagining his plight:

Monday, June 15, 2009

Surprise Surprise

As Jim Nabors said... lol... Hey, so, I decided to go ahead and get a normal place for myself, ...well, kinda... But at least I have Internet access... So I guess I'll still keep bludgeoning the cosmos with this blog... Whatever...

Bye Bye

Moving-out today. No more Internet. So I don't know when I'll post again. Don't have anyplace to stay, so I'll just do the Motel 6 World Tour. (My own invention!) Or, actually, the Motel 6 Orlando/Kissimmee Tour, lol... Hopefully I can get the boat going soon, and be able to camp/cruise on it sometimes, and save money. ...See ya!

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Heat Exhaustion

Wow, summer is here, and, of course, I jumped right into this past week, working on my boat a couple of days, and helping Mike move, and moving myself... So it's not surprising I got some heat exhaustion symptoms.
Here's an excellent Weather Channel video on how summer heating affects your car. Interesting:

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Inspirations... We Be Madmen

I'm beginning to think that I'm at a stage in my life in which I'm finally trying to define myself, and I'm enjoying it. "Hey Tim, you draw too slow and detailed!" Yes, I draw slowly and with detail. "Hey Tim, you're not really the 'life of the party,' are you!" No, I'm not the life of the party. "Hey Tim, loosen up or something, stop thinking so much, and quit making such bizarre life decisions." Sorry, but I have always been analytical and strange, and have moved my soul and body according to a distant siren's call. ...There is a siren calling me, I think, far away, shrouded in mist, but I hear her voice, her faint, beautiful call.

And I find like-minded souls.

(Go to for more detail. The below notes are from that site.)

Alberto Torroba:

"In 1990, Alberto Torroba sailed alone across the Pacific from Panama to the Philippines. That’s remarkable enough. However, what made his voyage truly amazing is that his boat was a 15-foot open dugout canoe made from a single tree. Two years later, on a beach in a remote island of the Philippines, he built a catamaran from plywood and bamboo, married a local girl from the island, and continued his voyage to China.

"The tall, longhaired Alberto is one of the truly free spirits in this world. He is not one to follow trends or take advice. He had spent his early years working on his family’s sprawling ranch in Argentina. In his early 20’s, he turned his back on ranching to explore the world in small boats. Over a period of several years he nearly circumnavigated South America in a variety of open-decked sail-powered fishing boats and became highly skilled in handling the vulnerable little vessels in all types of seas. He went on to cross the South Pacific in a 24-foot engineless sloop, and later to round New Guinea in a 19-foot outrigger canoe. "


I've mentioned Alberto before, a couple years ago, but now I realize how similar he is to me, or at least it seems to me. He has been doing things I CRAVE to do, things I've done partially, and am now actively planning. The point is, I see that my strange inclinations have precedents. We madmen are rather rare, but we run into each other every once in a while.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Name Contest!

So my new boat needs a name. Someone suggest one. OK?

...All right, so I know that's not really a "contest," so I apologize for getting everyone excited. I would like to name her, though, so somebody help me. Thanks!

Today I got to work on "her." (See, I really need a name.) Actually, I've worked on her the last two days.

First thing, I had to bend the aluminum plate back into place at the bottom of the mast. It had been damaged into a 90 degree angle by someone towing her on her last voyage. Amazingly, I got everything to line-up, and it works fine, fitting into the "pulpit" which sits atop the foredeck:

Next, the rudder I was given does NOT fit this boat. Again, apparently on its last voyage, the skipper lost the rudder/tiller assembly overboard. I bought a 5/16th-inch threaded rod at Home Depot, and used it to connect the dissimilar parts. Looks like it might work fine:

Finally, I had to figure-out how the roller furling jib works. I've never touched one before. Jay, the co-owner of Lake Fairview Marina, helped me out greatly. And it works great!:

At the end of the day, she looked like she was coming together:

Next, I'll get the mainsail on, and get the mainsheet assembly, er, assembled. Couple of missing parts there.
...And then I'll stick her in the water and see if she floats. I already know I need to replace the centerboard gasket at the bottom of the boat, but I don't think that's necessary just yet. And the self-bailer needs to be replaced, but I think "it'll do" for now.

Friday, June 05, 2009

Brought her home...

Well, actually, I brought my Chrysler 15 Mutineer to Lake Fairview Marina, all the way from Titusville, with a quick stop at my condo:

Lovely lines:

Lots of interior space, relatively speaking, and in not too bad condition:

I've rarely used these kinds of small trailers, and they always seem fragile to my mind after so many years of driving big rigs. But this trailer is only a few years old and looks and rides like new. No problems. I dropped her at Lake Fairview Marina in Orlando, and will make necessary repairs/upgrades there, which shouldn't take too long. I'd gotten to know the folks over there a couple of years ago, and it was good to see 'em again. Good day overall. Always a nice feeling.

Thursday, June 04, 2009

Incredible Video

This video hits home with me, including the lyrics. The scene is of wild dolphins and whales playing, and the lyrics are of sailing and being alone. makes me think of how I probably was never destined to have a normal job or a normal life, or to be "good" at anything normal. Try as I may, I'm not that normal person, and I fail at almost everything. I'm strange, difficult, goofy, selfish, artistic, heartful... And all I want is a certain freedom and "elbow room." You know, room to operate my soul in this world. I'm always feeling cramped, in a sense. My brain feels squished, or imprisoned, without this elbow room, the SPACE to move about and search and lazily THINK. I don't know... Self-absorption is part of it, but it's more like my mind is absorbed with the reality of myself, this entity, looking out at the universe through the windows of my eyes. I am part of this universe, and I, as this entity, am the closest and most intimate element in my universe, so why not being self-obsessed? I've done so many things... I studied to be a preacher, but I lost my faith in the process. I hitch-hiked across the country, but found a boring job and a boring life in Sacramento. I skipped-about California and Colorado, working at ski resorts and being a ski bum, and working as a waiter in San Francisco and Los Angeles, but I found my way back home to Texas, only to have my mother die and thus be thrown into a wild ride of self-pity and drunkenness for years. I learned to upholster furniture, half-heartedly, from my dad, but chose to learn to drive trucks afterward, and crisscrossed the country for years. I taught myself to draw and to paint, and got a job doing that, doing caricatures at Walt Disney World in Florida, but that's a failure too, in the sense that I am NOT an entertainer/caricaturist type and I am NOT a salesman; sure, I pretend to be, and make the effort, but certainly it's not my strength. My strength seems to be ill-defined. Something unorthodox, some sort of craving or desire to move forward, to search, to see utterly new things, a kind of terrific curiosity. That's my strength, but I don't know what it means.

Wednesday, June 03, 2009

New sailboat

Mark my words: I will sail this boat around the world! Well, MAYBE... I've talked about dinghy cruising before, but now I have more sailing experience and also an excellent sailboat for the purpose.

It's a 1979 15-foot Chrysler Mutineer daysailer, an open dinghy. (Chrysler once built boats.) I don't have any photos of MY exact boat, since I don't pick it up until Friday, but I collected a few from the Net. Mine looks exactly like these. And, yes, in a way, part of me wants to make a grand attempt at a life-defining event, sailing around the world in an open sailing dinghy. Now, whether I'm crazy enough to do it, we'll see later, but it's not completely insane. Properly modified, I am convinced that such a vessel is capable of a circumnavigation. Google the sailor Frank Dye and see his ocean-crossing adventures.

Here's a shot of a Chrysler Mutineer like mine:

One of the great things about a boat this size is the ability to make repairs. Instead of spending a thousand bucks to have a boat yard haul-out your big cruising boat, you can "simply" slide it up a beach and turn it over. (OK, it weighs over 400 pounds, but it's still possible.):

The most famous sailboat for dinghy sailing is the Wayfarer. As you can see, it's very similar to my Mutineer:

Another great thing about cruising in a small boat is the maneuverability. Instead of being stuck in big anchorage or an expensive marina slip, you can "slip" away into the shallow back-country or to a less-accessible anchorage, raise the boom tent, and relax in quiet solitude:

Finally, a cruising dinghy CAN go anyplace a large cruising boat can go. Frank Dye crossed the North Atlantic Ocean from Scotland to Iceland, in a Wanderer in the 1960's:

Frank's dinghy capsized a couple of times in near-hurricane conditions, but he righted her and continued. Here he is goofing-off mid-ocean:

The critical "trick" to understanding dinghy cruising is this: It is not dangerous per se, it is uncomfortable.

Of course, it actually IS dangerous, as is any activity on the ocean. But I certainly would choose a storm at sea over a driving holiday down America's highways which kill 50,000 people annually.

I suppose, in the end, I'm just lazy. Rather than have the worry and expense of a big boat which needs a motor, I choose a boat I can ROW when needed. Instead of anchoring a big boat with a big heavy anchor, I lazily toss my little anchor overboard, or I lazily sail RIGHT UP to the shallow shore, rather than going to the trouble of having to secure the big boat at a proper water depth and then get out the inflatable. Instead of working for years at difficult jobs to make enough money to go cruising in the big boat, I can go cruising, more or less, TOMORROW in my dinghy, so to speak. Instead of having a heart-attack trying to stay off a lee shore, I simply sail down to it and beach the boat and wait for better conditions. And if my boat gets damaged at sea, instead of it sinking and sending me to the lifeboat and desperate rescue attempts, I simply repair it (it's unsinkable, anyway), which may be difficult, but is completely possible, and then I sail onward.

Yes, onward.

Me and Mike's Condo

Me and Locoduck are moving-out next week, so I took some pics. He's getting a house with his girlfriend, and I'm hitting the Motel 6 circuit, I guess, unless I'm camping on the new sailboat I just bought. (More later on that.)

Here's my creepy white van in front of our building:

And if you merely turn-around, you see Taco Bell across the street (Kirkman):

And then, if you turn your head, you'll see HOOTERS through the trees. We were truly blessed! ( lol ):

For Esly...

Looks like your beloved Denny's is now a BAR!
(Click to enlarge):