Sunday, December 09, 2007


I know I have posted this on the blog before, but this is too perfect an image for this category. I love robots... It's the STAR WARS thing in me I guess. I don't know... Anyway, this is an illustration for a long-abandoned book project that I started on my own about a year an a half ago. I just couldn't find anything to build a story on. Hopefully, I'll figure that one out soon.

Tuesday, December 04, 2007


Too many apples! You might say, eating apples in EXCESS! I am trying new techniques--trying to combine elements of the digital with various studio techniques. This illo was done very quickly, in about a day and a half (sort of off and on). I am also trying to push values a little bit. Areas in shadow do a lot to provide a sense of drama to an image.

Anyway, let me know what you think! Comments are, as always, welcome!

Friday, November 30, 2007


Okay, so maybe it's a wee stretch, but frogs are found in zoos aren't they? And some of those frogs might be (though I would concede that it's probably NOT the case, but still) princes awaiting the kiss of fair maiden!

Actually, I missed the IF topic this week and was hoping to sneak this in under the wire for today. Thanks for your patience and understanding!! Ta Ta!

Wednesday, November 28, 2007


Um, yeah... I know it's been too long since I've last posted but I am just too busy punching cows to be bothered sometimes.

Anyway, this is a piece I just finished... I am submitting this to the Spectrum collection this year. We'll see. I am hopeful. I have never submitted to this collection before so we'll see.

Trying to stay inspired... It's a full time job. There is so much great work out there--so many reasons to be excited by what I do. It's just hard when you feel saddled by WORK to push the outside of the envelope, you know??

Tuesday, September 18, 2007


Another Illustration Friday topic! This was a lot of fun to do--which is strange because I wasn't thrilled with the topic at first. But then, that's the point isn't it? To challenge yourself! This really went quickly too--basically from sketch to final in about an hour and 45 minutes!

Saturday, September 15, 2007


I am a big fan of Bill Mauldin, having read and re-read his book Up Front like, a million times. As a correspondent/cartoonist for Stars and Stripes during WWII, Mauldin was in a unique position to comment on--and lampoon the military because, well, he a soldier himself. He was attached to the 45th Infantry which saw action in just about every major theater of operations in Europe.

Mauldin gained noteriety by openly challenging the "spit and polish" attitudes of the military during wartime. His irreverence, as shown in the above cartoon, earned him a face to face meating with General George S. Patton, who threatened to jail him for spreading dissent until General Eisenhower intervened on his behalf. Eisenhower understood, I think, that Mauldin wasn't tearing the army down as much as he was trying to build up those who were doing the fighting. He created the characters of Willie and Joe to represent every G.I., or dogface, and their trials as fighting men in a seemingly never-ending war. His cartoons gave voices to those brave men. It also provided them with a much needed chance to laugh at themselves and their situation--as well as those who were commanding them.

I was thinking a lot about Bill Mauldin today as I was reading through a couple of blogs of servicemen serving in Iraq. As someone who vehemently opposes the war in Iraq, I find so much hope in reading the words written by these brave folks in uniform. There isn't the same kind of chest thumping, rah rah rhetoric that you hear from politicians and pundits stateside. Instead, there is an empathy and a genuine desire to create a better life for the people of Iraq. There is an awareness, a feeling of reckoning with many of them. I was thinking how each of these bloggers, in their own way, is like Bill Mauldin hunkered down with his bottle of ink and brush. They are watching and thinking and taking it all in--even as the world is on fire around them.

Just as Bill Mauldin brought a gentle humanty to G.I.s during WWII, so do these bloggers in Iraq. My hope is that some of our leaders will see that humanity too and bring them home soon.

Thursday, September 13, 2007


Still working on this picture book--which is no easy task given how busy I am. I am hoping to have this done so it can print this spring--maybe this winter. It's just going so slow!! Anyway, here is the latest establishing image of the father and son as they prepare to explore the zoo! I'll post more as I get them done. As I said, it's going SLOWLY!

Monday, September 10, 2007


I am happily posting again! I have been so busy with a big promo push, getting ready to update the website etc... So I haven't really had the time to devote to the cool stuff.

Anyway, I fired off this sketch today between deadline crusnches. It's not really a good likeness of me but this is sort of how I see myself these days... I really need to get into the gym.

Monday, July 09, 2007


Here is an illustration--finished I hope, from a new book project I am working on. I am still sort of tweaking the style a little bit. We'll see what happens. I am shooting for a very rich, colorful look in this book--a lot more loose than how I usually work. I'll post more soon!

Saturday, June 30, 2007


Just got back from our beach vacation--still wishing I were ON vacation. But, life does go on, no matter how much I'd rather be fishing...

Anyway, my rep got her website updated last week. I think it looks great and I am very happy to be in with such a talented and diverse group of professional artists! Next up is my PictureBook ad which will be an ad in a major childrens' illustrators directory. Hopefully, this will translate into some steady freelance work coming in.

This coming week, I have to play a little catch up. Still working on the childrens book and I also am starting a new sculpture project. Lot's to do! I'll post some progress pics soon!

Thursday, June 21, 2007


Here is a work in progress for a new book project I am working on for my mom and dad's publishing company. It's basically about a father and son at the zoo and all of their misadventures... Anyway, this illustration was started in pencil using good ol' pencil and paper. I spent a lot of time trying to get the look of the people right and I am still sort of toying around with some other different looks. I wanted the characters' faces to have a very VERY dynamic look. It's probably a little broad but I can always pull back if I need to.
The process is basically to take a pencil drawing and scan it. Then I bring the image in photoshop and make some adjustments to the contrast. The sketch is just a guide really, I'll keep little of the original sketch. I then bring the sized and adjested sketch into Corel Painter and basically "paint" over it with the painting layer set to MULTIPLY. That way, I can still see the pencil drawing underneath. I can toggle back and forth so that I can actually see the painting without the line work. It looks a little strange at this point becuse I am painting back to front and some elements are sort of just hanging in space waiting to be filled in. Still, I think it's off to a good start.
I want this book to have a very solid, painterly look to it. I am trying very hard to allow myself to work loose and fast while using large brushes. It's easy to zoom WAAAAAY in and work on every minute detail. I think this way, the characters look more alive. Well, anyway... We'll se. I am pleased so far.

Wednesday, June 13, 2007



I just finished watching HANNIBAL RISING and man was I disappointed. I mean, I had read the reviews and I sort of expected that the movie would be weak but GEEZ! This was just sort of pointless.

The great and cool thing about the character of Hannibal Lecter (as portrayed by Anthony Hopkins), what made him the greatest screen villain since George Sanders voiced Shere Khan in THE JUNGLE BOOK was his steely charisma. Not to mention his biting--and somewhat surprising sense of play. Hopkins's scenes in SILENCE OF THE LAMBS are, with due respect to Jodie Foster, why I watch that movie over and over again.

This HANNIBAL RISING however turns Lecter into some Euro-trash sleaze with an indistinct accent and a persistent smirk. I couldn't understand what he was saying half the time either. The supporting characters are equally pointless. It's almost as iff they wandered in from other WWII era movies. This ponderous movie doesn't really provide any new insights into this beloved bad guy. Instead, it feels sort of thrown together. It's just sort of a bleak revenge story.

I always sort of pictured Hannibal Lecter as a priveleged young man in Baltimore. He probably went to private school where he became famously well liked for cooking exotic gourmet meals for the gang at the residence hall.

I don't know... I guess I just had high hopes for this movie.

Monday, June 11, 2007


I am currently working on a project for my mom and dad's small publishing company Warbranch Press. It's basically about a father and son's day at the zoo. The really cool part is that we live VERY close to ZOO ATLANTA (sometimes we can actually hear the lions roaring from our house!) and Leo and I have been taking trips to go and do some research. It's been amazing... I'll post some sketches soon. Nothing is really gelling yet but I have some time. I am really wanting this book to look different--to show some growth in my drawing and composition. So far, I am still crutching on old habits--over-drawing and not pushing the design elements very far. Everything is still too "SAFE." This is a great opportunity for me to try some different things.

I'll be able to explain more as I begin to post some drawings but really, what I want is for this whole book to be dynamic--more reflective of the kind of work that inspires me as opposed to what I think people WANT to see. I don't know how successful this attempt will be but I hope to post some preliminary studies soon. As always, stay tuned!

Wednesday, June 06, 2007


I have decided that I am going to make a firm commitment to post on this blog AT LEAST once a week--hopefully TWICE a week. I have a been slack assed shit these past months and have not really had the energy to write. Well, that's actually not really true. The truth is I haven't felt much like sharing these last few months. We've had sort of a lot of thrown at us and I truthfully have been all too happy to focus on work...

Creatively things are full of promise--well mostly. I just finished a pretty cool sculpting assignment for a toy company out west. It was sort of an audition and I hope I made a good first impression. I got the gig after someone saw some of my work on this blog actually... Hopefully, I'll get some more work from them. Toy design is a lot of fun. I also have the possibility of some more illustration work once my ad goes into the Picture Book Annual for Children's Illustrators. We'll see what happens.

As I hear more and as more things come rolling in, look for more news on this blog...

Cheers y'all!

Saturday, April 07, 2007


Okay so I know I need to replace the picture on my profile. I had some kind of snafu with earthlink and I lost some stuff. I'll get around to it...

Still thinking like crazy about Mandy's mom, Susan. I really do miss her. I was just looking at old photographs and seeing those old pictures of her surrounded by her family... It's bittersweet. She was always smiling and joking about something--a big one for gallows humor. She could find humor in anything--cancer for example. Mandy has really been having a hard time letting go. Luckily, we have some of her old journals--well ALL of her old journals. It's funny reading back about her impressions of holidays and visits. It's also very sad to read about how scared she was of dying. I think back to one of the last really deep conversations we had. It was a Saturday morning and I was lying on the floor in her bedroom talking and reading a New Yorker magazine while she sat in bed and watched television. This was a popular morning pastime when we came to visit--all of us gathered in her bedroom, me on the floor (usually reading and participating in the conversation in small fits) and Mandy lying in bed with her mom. Anyway, Susan asked me what I thought heaven was like. Without really thinking much I said, "Well, I like to think of it as a never-ending fishing trip on the intracoastal waterway." I was just thinking about what makes me happiest--where I really lose myself. I wasn't really thinking about cchosing my words carefully or anything--I mean, a dying person asks you what heaven is like, you'd better have a good answer. I don't know, I hope my answer was good. It was honest at least.

I don't know about Heaven. As a Christian, I have to believe that there IS a heaven, but what it looks like, I don't know. I do know that God is good and His grace is a blessing the touches us ALL, EVERYONE OF US... I like to think that Heaven is a reflection of that grace. I don't know. I just hope that if heaven IS an eternal fishing trip on the intracoastal waterway, that I'll have room for an eternity's worth of beer in the cooler.

Saturday, March 31, 2007


Mandy's mom passed away a few weeks ago, and I have been avoiding blogging about it for some reason. Possibly, because it's still pretty raw and close to the surface for us. We're doing better but there is a lingering sadness. We were all able to be there as she passed--holding each other and holding her hand as she took some of her last labored breaths. It was a horrible, wonderful, blessed, scary, terrifying, beautiful day/week. Mandy seems to be doing well--better anyway. Looking at her mom's journals has been a healing--though sometimes hard, experience. Some of the family set up a blog to honor Mandy's mom, Susan. Check it out here.

Monday, February 12, 2007


This is a new self-promo piece I am working on. I have a rep who is going to put more of my work out there so hopefully this will mean more work coming in. The only downside is that it will mean...MORE WORK. I barely have time to complete the projects in the pipeline now!! Still, more work means more money and that's always good.

One thing I have noticed in my work is that I have a tendency to over-draw. I heard an old drawing teacher tell a fellow student a long time ago that he was "over-drawing." I guess I thought he meant that he was drawing on top of something he shouldn't have been. I later learned that he meant that the student was using too many lines in his work--almost as if he were digging for the image with his pencil. The best drawings, he explained, are drawings that have "economy of line." These drawings come together with just a few simple lines. He was fond of saying how one of the best drawings he'd ever seen was a nude figure created with only three brushed lines. I thought this was just bollocks for a long time.

This past weekend I was looking at old Calvin and Hobbes strips and I noticed how simple-and how brilliant the drawings were. I then looked back at what I was working on which was a crossed-hatched, pencil nightmare. It had none of the weight, or soul of the simple drawings in those wonderful strips. My mom, an illustrator/cartoonist herself used to tell how Peanuts creator Charles Schulz once said of C&H creator Bill Watterson, "He draws the best night tables of anyone in the business." I don't know how accurate that quote is but it sure is the truth. I suddenly realized what my old teacher meant.

I am not a cartoonist by any means. I have far too much respect for cartoonists to call myself one. What they do requires a special kind of artistic skill and a finely tuned sense of humor. But I have TONS to learn from cartoonists like Bill Watterson, Mort Drucker, Jack Davis, Jeff MacNelly, and the list goes on... Lines are what hold a drawing up--the scaffold if you will. Everything else is just sauce for the goose. I spent a hell of a lot of time perfecting the skill of crosshatching. Now I think it has ruined me as an artist because I have gotten so wrapped up in the hatching that I have neglected the most important part. The Line...

Anyway, I am working on it...

Sunday, January 28, 2007


I was feeling really shitty until I saw this... If this don't make you laugh, you are a horrible awful person...

Friday, January 26, 2007


Well fuck... I believe I may have mentioned a thing or two in my last post about Mandy being pregnant. Well, she isn't anymore... She had what we found out was an ectopic pregnancy as seen here in the above image. Last week she went in for a routine checkup with the midwife and FOOM! Next thing I know I am in the recovery room comforting my wife after surgery to remove the pregnancy.

That was exactly a week ago. I haven't felt much like doing anything this week really, let alone posting on some stupid blog. The big plans we were making about selling our house and moving into a bigger house are now a million miles away. I have been trying to help out as much as possible--housework and daddy overdrive. It has been a challenge--especially since Mandy can't pick Leo up for aw while. There is a lot of tension. I think both of us are struggling with feelings that have only just started to rise to the surface.

For me, I am feeling incredibly guilty. Guilty because it took me so long to even come to a place where I was the least bit excited about having another child, and now... It's like I willed this to happen somehow (I, mean I know I didn't, but...) I think about how long we tried to have our first baby and all the sacrifices that we made to make that happen. I think about how spectacularly selfish I am sometimes and how I can be so blind to the blessings that are right in front of me. The air is thick with what might have been that sometimes it closes on me so tight that I can't breathe. If I am feeling all of this, you can imagine how Mandy feels...

I should point out however that there is a very HUGE silver lining in all of this. We can still get pregnant again. We just have to make sure that Mandy is monitored closely. Apparently, and surprisingly, ectopic pregnancies are pretty common in IVF patients. We just have to be careful... We are also talking about how we feel and we're healing some. Mandy has more physical healing to do, obviously. I will continue to try and help as much as I can.

Through it all, Leo continues to be our greatest source of joy. Even when he is playing in the toilet and pulling all of the books off the shelves and refusing to sit in his car seat... He is still the greatest and most amazing joy in our lives. I look at him and I simply disappear--like I am ether and I am just right there floating in the moment. It sounds like some kind of bullshit daddy dearest stuff I know, but I can't help it. Anyway,... Life goes on. Thank God, it does go on...

Sunday, January 14, 2007


Mandy's PREGNANT!! For those who don't know... Needless to say, I am excited--if a wee bit freaked. More to come...