Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Shame on Ashley!!!

I received a very well intentioned e-mail from my cousin yesterday about a missing girl. I did a quick Google search and quickly found out this was a hoax. I responded to my cousin and told him and everyone else on the list that if you get an e-mail like this, the best thing to do is check places like Urban Legends or Snopes to see if they are real or not.

Usually with these kinds of things people are fishing for e-mail addresses. So, even if you feel you have a real e-mail it is best to copy and paste the pertinent info into a new post and send that along.

So once I found that this was indeed a hoax (a joke by a girl in Philadelphia) I sent an e-mail to my cousin and all on his list to let them know. Below is a great response to use should you ever see something like this again.


This is one of those things, I have two baby sisters, not that they are babies anymore, but nevertheless, I have two younger sisters. When I see an email like this I never hesitate, and I certainly don't think to check, cross reference, or research whether or not the said email is true. I see a missing little girl who obviously could not defend herself against a violent malicious world and my heart simply goes straight out to her and her family.

I try very hard not to forward or send spam email to all of my friends and family. When I hear, when I find out that something like this is a hoax it breaks my heart. I think about all the real missing and abducted children out there who might have a chance at being saved, and when I find out that pranksters are playing a practical joke it just kills me.

It is because of emails like this that people become skeptical and pessimistic. This is also the reason that these kind of emails do not get sent on or forwarded.

The sad truth of the matter is this, like the fable of old about the boy who cried WOLF, after you hear it so many many times and you find out the "cry" is not real, you stop to believe.

So when the time comes, when a child REALLY goes missing, no one cares, and no one listens.

This is the damage that these fakers have done to all the missing children, to all the parents of those children, to the community at large, and to all the people of the world.

The next time we hear "CRY WOLF," we will never believe, and that one time, that one time will be the time it actually matters. That will be the one time we as a world internet community could have made a difference.

But, like I said, No One will believe the alert is true.

So here and now I ask all of you to send this forward so that we can make the guilty parties involved actually feel guilty about what they have done.

My cousin was the one who did a little research before passing this on and found out the truth; THIS ALERT IS AND WAS A SCAM!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Let us all hope and pray that the decency of humanity will never let this happen again.

Just imagine if this girl was your daughter.........your sister.............your friend. How would you FEEL if you knew someone out there in the world had ruined the chance of her survival because of a hoax???

Let us all stand up right now, stand proud, and stand true. Let us all stand tall and say, "We will not tolerate this kind of behavior anymore!!"

It is time we bring morals back to the American, no, to the World population.


Send this email forward. Let everyone know, this type of behavior will no longer be tolerated!

With any luck, and with all the hope that I, and you can believe in, this email will get back to the original person who sent out this false alert so that the individual who started all this insanity will know how destructive there actions have become.

Just so that everyone knows, this is not a forward, ( granted I hope it will become one because of the severity of the issue ) but know this...... this is not a forward! These are my thoughts! These are my words laid out on the page and I believe in them.


this is your DAUGHTER.......

this is your SISTER......

your MOTHER......

your FATHER.....

your BROTHER.....

your AUNT......

your UNCLE.....

your GRANDMA......

your GRANDPA.......

Any one of these people could be the missing person that YOU and your FAMILY are looking for.

So let us stand together and let these cyber pirates of the moral human spirit know that fake alerts about missing persons are not a practical joke!!!!

As I said earlier, PLEASE, send this forward. It is far past time we all began to stand tall and proud on a pinnacle of moral ground.

We have all, myself included, let it slide for far too long. And this is why I am drawing a line in the sand here and now.

Enough is enough!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

No More!!!!!!!

Monday, November 13, 2006

Still trying to CLEAR my Schedule

Work is getting a bit insane here. We just had a name change. We are now known as the Museum of Contemporary Art Jacksonville. It is a MUCH better fit for us as we only have two pieces of work that can be classified as modern. It has been loads of work just to get the name approved and now I have the logo and all the brochures, stationary, posters, signage to design as well as a new web site. I also landed a few freelance illustration gigs and web sites. And on top of all that, I am going on a much needed vacation next week so I have to cram two weeks of design into one.

Hopefully, by the end of next month I will be back at it. Thank you for sticking with me through it all. Good luck and happy pencils to all of you!

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Illustration Friday – Wind

It's hard to believe that it has been two weeks since I found time to post, but time has a way of blowing right past you. I got busy with some new projects at work and had a freelance project to keep me busy and both had me winded. When I saw the latest topic for Illustration Friday, I couldn't figure out if I would attempt wind, as in wind the watch or the wind blows. As I contemplated that, the museum kept me busy as well as the weeds in the yard. I have gotten very friendly with tillers and jack hammers recently as I work to, FINALLY, get my yard in shape.

With ALL that going on, I really didn't find any spare time to get the pencils out. HOWEVER, the big freelance project that I had actually was perfect for the topic.

I had to do a series of three illustrations for an Office max training presentation. I can't go into the topic any further but I can show you the illustrations.

They were challenging.

They were fun.

They are my addition to Illustration Friday.

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

Illustration Friday - Quiet

There is nothing like the quiet one finds in nature. And it is no accident that peace and quiet go hand in hand. Avoid an accident… cherish the quiet… and remember…

when there is no one arguing… one finds peace…
when your baby is sleeping and dreaming… one finds peace…
when the hands are on the steering wheel and not on a cell phone… one finds peace…
when the sun sets and you have put the last log on the fire… one finds peace…
when you don’t care about other people’s possessions… one finds peace…
and when two people are in love… both find peace…

I missed Illustration Friday last week but I did do something for it. Take a look if you get a change. Thanks.

Wednesday, September 27, 2006

fear is not really a phobia but…

A phobia (from the Greek φόβος "fear"), is a strong, persistent fear of situations, objects, activities, or persons. The main symptom of this disorder is the excessive, unreasonable desire to avoid the feared subject. When the fear is beyond one's control, or if the fear is interfering with daily life, then a diagnosis under one of the anxiety disorders can be made. – Wikipedia

What I really fear is what power has done to America – the politicians, the business owners and the poeple. Why do we tolerate it? How do we sleep at night knowing that someone, somewhere is being tortured all in the name of democracy. I do not condone in the slightest the evil or the twisted reasoning that those who attack the United States and other like minded, freedom loving countries. Nut it is no wonder they hate us so much.

This is an exerpt from an editorial in the Washington Post.

Are We Really So Fearful?
Ariel Dorfman

He confessed to anything and everything they wanted to drag from his hoarse, howling throat; he invented accomplices and addresses and culprits; and then, when it became apparent that all this was imaginary, he was subjected to further ordeals.
There was no escape.

That is the hideous predicament of the torture victim. It was always the same story, what I discovered in the ensuing years, as I became an unwilling expert on all manner of torments and degradations, my life and my writing overflowing with grief from every continent. Each of those mutilated spines and fractured lives -- Chinese, Guatemalan, Egyptian, Indonesian, Iranian, Uzbek, need I go on? -- all of them, men and women alike, surrendered the same story of essential asymmetry, where one man has all the power in the world and the other has nothing but pain, where one man can decree death at the flick of a wrist and the other can only pray that the wrist will be flicked soon.

It is a story that our species has listened to with mounting revulsion, a horror that has led almost every nation to sign treaties over the past decades declaring these abominations as crimes against humanity, transgressions interdicted all across the earth. That is the wisdom, national and international, that has taken us thousands of years of tribulation and shame to achieve. That is the wisdom we are being asked to throw away when we formulate the question - Does torture work? - when we allow ourselves to ask whether we can afford to outlaw torture if we want to defeat terrorism.(...)

Can't the United States see that when we allow someone to be tortured by our agents, it is not only the victim and the perpetrator who are corrupted, not only the "intelligence" that is contaminated, but also everyone who looked away and said they did not know, everyone who consented tacitly to that outrage so they could sleep a little safer at night, all the citizens who did not march in the streets by the millions to demand the resignation of whoever suggested, even whispered, that torture is inevitable in our day and age, that we must embrace its darkness?

Are we so morally sick, so deaf and dumb and blind, that we do not understand this? Are we so fearful, so in love with our own security and steeped in our own pain, that we are really willing to let people be tortured in the name of America? Have we so lost our bearings that we do not realize that each of us could be that hapless Argentine who sat under the Santiago sun, so possessed by the evil done to him that he could not stop shivering?... (more)

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

My Back Yard

When you live in Riverside and renovate an old house, you never know what you might find - or find out. My house has yielded some pretty interesting things. Last week, a man showed up at my door and wanted to see the place. He grew up in the house in the sixties and seventies. It seems that Lynyrd Skynyrd actually jammed on my porch numerous times. He told me all about the missing plaster in our house and the history of some of the renovations that were made. He told me how the huge magnolia in our back yard was used to hoist engine blocks out of his friends' cars to work on them and how the gouges can to be in the bathroom door. We always thought that the owners we bought the house from were responsible as they hacked up the kitchen cabinets fairly well among other destructive things.

The stories from the past are certainly amazing. I can't imagine what we don't yet know, but it's the yard where the best treasures are found. Every time I work in my yard (and believe me, it needs work) the earth yields another secret. Recent finds include Batman and Power Ranger figures, a rubber lizard that has been keeping all the Cuban lizards company and a Ronco-matic type hair trimmer comb. Every time the earth is tckled, she yields another secret. The most amazing by far is the unidentified copper work of art my oldest dug up while weeding. If you know what it is, please drop me a line. I am going to start a new feature on the Rap blog for others who have found unusual treasures from the past.

Friday, September 15, 2006

Rube Goldberg Lives

I generally HATE getting impersonal, forwarded e-mail. It's not that I don't appreciate something funny, emotional or moving. It's just that they are… impersonal. I guess to good part of it all iss that my friends are thinking about me. And that in itself is a wonderful thing. And even though I HATE it, it is like watching a car wreck, I find I just can't help myself. Maybe it's because I am hoping that I will actually find a personal note attached. More likely, it's because I just don't want to miss anything.

Here's one of those "moving" ones. It's not the spiritual kind of moving, it's something else. It's actually a Honda commercial. There are no computer graphics or digital tricks in the film. Everything you see really happened in real time exactly as you see it. The film took 606 takes. On the first 605 takes, something, usually very minor, didn't work. They would then have to set the whole thing up again.

The film cost $6 million to make and another small fortune to run because it is a two minute commercial, but it is one of the most watched ads on the net and is actually paying for itself. The voiceover is by Garrison Keillor, but I didn't hear it because I

And you thought those people that set up a room full of dominos to knock over were amazing...


It is said that change is the transition that occurs from same to different. While that may be the rule, sometimes it is the other way around. I am getting ready to go into a focus group this morning. While I do enjoy the dialog and ideas that focus groups can offer, most of the time the outcome of the focus group encourages the dumbest that a group can offer.

Our society is influenced and manipulated by marketing and advertising agencies. Pollsters and lobbyists control our political parties. And the almighty dollar has become the Almighty.

But that doesn’t mean that everyone is a victim of the dumbing down of the world. There are mavericks who do what they feel is right and have the courage to stick by their ideas. I applaud them and encourage you all to refuse to change to fit in.

Tuesday, August 29, 2006

And on a Positive Note… RUN

I had to work Sunday. Sometimes th new job requires that. But it was enjoyable work. We hosted a community art project in the park across the street from the Museum where I work. The event was called Sunday in the Park with George. We loosely based the idea on the musical of the same name. We started with an illustration that I did of Marilyn (for the Andy Warhol aspect) and had everyone paint it in a pointillist style (for Georges Seurat). We also let people do oil pastels mini portraits that they could take home or add to our collage. The kids were great and had loads of fun. It's amazing to see everyone's different portraits. It was hot but we sure did have fun.

So, where does "run" come into play? Well, look closely at the painting. There's plenty of running going on there.

Monday, August 28, 2006


Why is it that we are always in such a hurry to grow up? As a child, I saw everything with much clearer vision. The world was a much happier place. I didn't care what was happening half way around the world much less who killed who across town. I look at my childdren and they are worried about those things. My younger daughter worries about the things in the world constantly as well as the homeless people in the park at the end of our street… and not the good kind of worry. Our children have been forced to grow up quicker. The onslaught of marketing starts at birth and nothing they do in their lives isn't watched and recorded. They want to be taller, prettier or the best. Nothing is that bad about these things but when you add them all together… you realize… that childhood is a thing of the past and the world is out there waiting to eat you up if you give it the chance… where are the simpler things in life?

Friday, August 18, 2006

Illustration Friday - Match

OK so I was back for a couple of weeks. They jsut seem to keep finding things for me to do so I dusted off an old image and here you go.

There is a bit of a tie-in with the previous posts as this does seem to show a bit of the underbelly of society. I went through a phase where I painted in this splatter style watercolor. They were quick and fun and left many a thumbnail stained with pigment.

It is amazing how stream of thought or serendipity has a place in life. I had an old painting with a match and I just drew one at work for a project. I'll add that quick sketch later. And maybe, just maybe, I'll find the time to try something completely new.

Thanks for stopping by.

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

330 Miles Per Gallon!

It can be done… at least that's what the builder says. Even if it doesn't make it all the way to 330 mph whatver it does will be better than what we have now. The manufacturer's website is interesting but the discussion on Wired's Autopia blog poses a lot to think about beyond this one vehicle.

We can only dream.

Saturday, August 12, 2006

Illustration Friday - Play

it's playtime and since i was having so much fun last week, i decided to stick with the series… so, it isn't as much fun as catching rain with a butterfly net but you haven't seen where he plans to set sail…

and sailing is probably the best idea for travel these days anyway… what with the gas prices the way they are and flying is a bit scary right now… gas-guzzling SUVs, manned by crazed, gun-toting fools with cell phone permanently attached to their heads kind of makes driving anywhere some kind of loopy… so… time to set sail…

night all…

Tuesday, August 08, 2006

Illustration Friday – Capture

Capture can get a person to thinking about all sorts of dark and scary images. The citizens of my lovely city are enduring somewhat of a murder spree, Jacksonville has surpassed Miami for bragging rights in the state of Florida and will probably make the top ten in the country. The neighbors on my street has been plagued by recent thefts and breakins, and I have had to deal with attempts.

So it would have been easy to just dust off my long unused pencils or watercolors and drawn some kind of criminal capture with a bit of police brutality thrown in for good measure. BUT I couldn't. I chose instead to look to the lighter side of lifeÂ… at things that make me happy. And children most certainly do that. My own children are such a joy.

I like the way their logic works and that's what got me to thinking about this weeks word. If a child wanted to catch some rain drops what better thing to use than the butterfly net that he used only minutes before to capture a butterfly?

Oh yeah, and if any of the thugs in this city get near any of my kids, they better HOPE and PRAY that the police catch them before I do. There. Now you get a little bit of darkness from me.

It feels good to be back.

Thursday, July 13, 2006

Illustration Friday – Skyline

so… i made it back… just barely…

this is part of a job for a friend… he owns a great comic book and toy shop called gotham city limits… yes, i'm a bit of geek, but i'm not quite a mouthbreather…

the logo should count for the skyline… it is one of three logos that i have designed with skylines in them… the FridayFest logo is the other of the award winning logos… the remaining one is actually for Skyline Realty and the client dictated the look to me and every time i see it, my skin crawls… ah well… who said the client is always right…

Sunday, July 09, 2006


my girls never ceas to amaze me… i am the only male in my household and so i have gotten used to being in tough with the feminine quite a bit but my wife and daughters are all so different… i can see little bits of my pesonality… interests… in both of my girls… as well as my wife's and i guess that is only natural but as i said earlier… they never cease to amaze me… for instance my oldest always comes up with the most amazing and off-the-wall/out-of-the-blue questions (and an answer to this would be welcome… speculation is great too) she just came in and asked me why men's t-shirts are so long? any ideas? anyone?

Thursday, July 06, 2006

Still Here… But Mostly, Still There

Moved in. There is just so much work. The museum is relly diggin having an artist on staff and taking full advantage of irt. Deadlines are killing me. BUT… I'm still loving it… as they say in the Mickey D commercials.

The new job is great. The rest of the new crew will be in by the end of the week. Then, the work will really begin.

So, anyway, apologies for being quiet. More to come as I settle in.

Friday, June 16, 2006

Illustration Friday - Dance

when the world has grown weary of me and my ways…
don’t walk away teary for halcyon days…

look to the sky… on the leaf by the path…
and open your eyes… remember my laugh.

when you have the choice, don’t miss the chance…
to raise a glass… to do a dance…

but i’m not gone… i still walk this earth…
for many years… and for all it’s worth…

i’ll give what I can … probably more…
and never pass by that unopened door…

i’ll laugh… i’ll cry… and i’ll hold your hand…
and do the unexpected and all that i planned…

life may be hard, but i’ll have fun…
and the world will grow weary of all that i’ve done…

so until then… i shall dance…

i figured I'd better get a jump on it this week… i start a new job monday… settin up shop at one of the largest museaums of modern art in the south… maybe i'll be able to sneak a painting or two on the wall when no one is looking…

Tuesday, June 13, 2006

Illustration Friday - Jungle

"Why are senseless slayings so assaulting to the senses?"

As soon as I heard this week's topic, I thought of the concrete jungle. But, "concrete" just doesn't say enough. It has become an urban jungle where only the strongest survive. In business and life on the streets it is the same. It seems man cannot tolerate the earthly jungle of trees and animals…not as a species. We seem to have to dig and destroy and build our own temples to and for ourselves. I would almost say that we are like ants. We build our communities and they spill over into the surrounding landscape. We wage war against the neighboring communities, making raids and stealing food. But that would not be fair to ants.

I just read that Tim Hildebrandt died this past Sunday. For those of you who aren't familiar with his work, he and his twin brother, Greg, were giants in the fantasy illustration field. I first came across their work after reading The Lord of the Rings. He and his brother were also responsible for the original Star Wars movie poster. I am sure that geeks and mouthbreathers all over the world are in mourning. I think their interpretation of Tolkien's work are, by far, the best. Their work is classic, harkening back to N.C. Wyeth's fantastic work on Treasure Island and Robin Hood. The Hildebrandts, along with Frank Frazetta, were some of the biggest influences on my career. Here's a pen and ink that I did way back in 1979.

Tim died due to complications of due to diabetes. There is a tribute to him at Spiderweb Art and more of his art can be seen here without all those messy copyright overlays.

Thursday, June 08, 2006

a couple of portraits of mick

I haven't got the slightest idea why, but I found both of these in one of my old sketch books. I thought they were kind of fun so I scanned them and had some fun in Photoshop. They were done a bit later, but they bring me back to my college days, especially my last year.

Tuesday, June 06, 2006

Illustration Friday - Portrait

So, I am back and busy as ever. I have a few deadlines to keep so I'm just going to have to dig deep. This one is from the late eighties. It is one of my faves.

Saturday, May 27, 2006

Illustration Friday

“My therapist told me the way to achieve true inner peace is to finish what I start. So far today, I have finished 2 bags of M&M's and a chocolate cake. I feel better already.”
– Dave Barry

The Cupcake
When I was eight or nine years old, my parents loaded up our '66 T-Bird and headed out for what was to be one of the most amazing trips I would ever take. Some day, I need to sit down with my mother and my sister and write it all down before all of it is lost forever.

To make a very long story short, we took a three week trip across country. The year was 1968 or 69. We left Florida in June and headed west with stops in assorted campgrounds along the way. No, we didn't rough it, we were pulling a 13 foot Shasta camper and we had our faithful dog Peanuts to keep us company and entertain us. We made all the great spots along I-10 and just over 30 years later I find out my wife made almost the identical trip the same year. We were only a few weeks apart as we visited such places as the El Paso with a lttle juant into Mexico. At the time it cost 2¢ to leave the US but 3¢ to return from Mexico. We also visited the Grand Canyon, Yellowstone, Carlsbad Caverns, Disney Land and the Hoover Dam to name just a few of the spots.

Now, we didn't make the exact same trip. We stopped in Cheyenne, Wyoming to visit my mother's oldest brother and his family. It was the first time I can remember meeting them although I know I met my Uncle Ray and Aunt Jean years before at a family reunion. The "Cupcake Story" actually comes a fews years later when I next saw my cousins. My Uncle Ray had two daughters, Janet and Cindy. Janet is the older sister and had a prothestic leg from the knee down. And for her sixteenth birthday, her younger sister Cindy, decided to play a practical joke on her. She made her an chocolate cupcake laced with Exlax so all night long she heard her sister hopping down the hall to the bathroom. Now it sounds a bit cruel, but siblings will do such things to one another. So that is my cup cake story.

On a side note. My cousin Janet's first husband died in a freak accident not long after the birth of their third child. And just like most young couples, they weren't prepaed for such a loss. The taxes from the estate were mounting and Janet just couldn't keep up. But the IRS can be harsh and demanding, so she turn to her congressman, Dick Cheney for help. He worked with her on her case but before everything was cleared up, in frustration, she removed her leg and wrote her "check" out for the amount owed and sent it to Uncle Sam. Both she and the future VP got a lot of press out of it and Janet actually recieved the "cancelled check" and wore it proudly for many years afterward.

I'm off for vacation now. I won't be back until next week. Be procductive and have fun.

Thursday, May 25, 2006

An Anonymous Plea

You know those little signs you see stuck on the side of the road? Most of them are pretty self-serving – slumlords looking to "help you stave off foreclosure" or "Make $5000 a Week from Home".

This one was probably the most selfless signs I have ever seen. It was posted in a place where "homeless" people generally stand and ask for money because they have cancer, or lost their job or met some other wild tale. Now, I'm not a cold-hearted person. I have been known to take some of those unfortunate souls to dinner on occasion or to just listen to their story. This, however, was something special. It was at the bottom of the off-ramp from I-95 near my house. Every time I came home I said a prayer. How could I not?

A few weeks ago, my wife asked me to take a picture of it so she could send it out and add to the prayers for David. Yesterday, I finally made the time to do it and when I got to the spot, I found this simple sign torn into pieces and left on the side of the road.

Someone is going to have some bad mojo for that.

If you are the praying type, please offer one up for David and all the Davids out there. And for the special someone who has so much love that she would ask strangers to pray for her loved one.

Friday, May 19, 2006

Illustration Friday - Sorry

The night was cool
when I walked up the steps to your room…

It took me years to do it…
but I finally got the nerve to hold your hand.

It was something that I had to do.
I had only recently gotten comfortable
with telling you that I loved you.

Up until a few months ago
it was unspoken but I always knew.
I could see it in your blue eyes.
Blue like the sky and every bit as deep.

And as I took your hand in the darkness,
I could feel your heart beating with mine…
slow and steady and time seemed to stop…
and part of me, the selfish part,
wanted to hold on to that moment forever…
hold on and never let go.

So I held your hand in the dark.
Your hand was so soft, but too warm for December…
no words spoken…
then I, too, closed my eyes
and let the memories of the times we shared flood over me
and I wondered why this moment
had taken so long to arrive.

Was it only yesterday that I picked you up
and carried you through the door and put you in your bed?
Or was it a week ago?
Time slips in times likes these. Peace settles in.
And the night begins to play its tricks on you.
So I held your hand, this one last time,
and one last time I turned to you for strength
because I knew you could hold this reality together.
You were always the strong and sensible one.
The magical one who could do anything by shear will.

And I held your hand.

Then time slipped away… like the beating of your heart,
there in my hand… and it was time for me
to walk out that very door I had carried you through.
Time to leave you there with your wife one last time.

I started out with a new illustration but I ended up thinking about the death of my father and the words just started flowing. And I thought about the last time I saw my father alive. I was young, but not as young as the self-portrait I did almost thirty years ago. But it seemed to fit because I drew that when I was seventeen after having one of those run-ins seventeen-year-old boys inevitably have with their fathers.

And how does this all tie in to this week's Illustration Friday topic? I'm just sorry I didn't appreciate him more when he was here.

Thursday, May 18, 2006

Graveside…the photo

Some of you wanted to know just what that photo was in last weeks Illustration Friday collage so I figured I would share it with you. Please don't ask me the details, I have no idea where it came from. I have quite an extensive collection of vintage photos.

Wednesday, May 17, 2006

Illustration Friday - Angels and Devils

So, I made it back… barely. I'm glad all of you have been able to keep up with it. While I haven't had the time to get pencil to the paper as often as I would have liked, I did manage a quick look at a few of my friend's work. Fantastic as usual. You should visit Illustration Friday and see for yourself.

This is a quick pencil sketch that I scanned in and used it as the main subject of a Photoshop collage… much fun was had…

Thanks for stopping by…

Monday, May 01, 2006

Illustration Friday - Under The Sea

My illustrations are from the award winning Reef Set series by Ned DeLoach and Paul Humann. They are just a few of the books that I have had the pleasure to work on with these two incredible underwater photographers. You should buy their books if you are into anything under the sea. Since the late 1980's I have drawn about 80% of all the species that are found on reefs from Alaska to the Galapagos and from Florida to Brazil. These drawings are more for reference and ID so are not specifically anatomically correct. If you want to see the good stuff, my super friend, Frank Hilzerman has a great illustration of a Dragonet up.

I will be doing something more for Illustration Friday in the next day or so, so please do check back.

Monday, April 24, 2006

Illustration Friday - Robot

Watercolor and colored pencil and a little color help from Photoshop.

Hello to everyone who is still there with me. Thanks for hangin in there. I picked up some kind of nasty bug and was in bed for almost a week. And then had to play catch up. Hope everyone had a great Easter. Or just a little rest.

Friday, March 31, 2006

Illustration Friday - Spring

When the weather warms up, people head to the beach… even the elves! At least I think he's an elf.

The original English word for the season Spring was 'lent' and this was replaced by Spring only in the 16th century, based on the notion of something beginning or rising, like water 'springs' from the ground.

The Spanish word primavera literally means 'Spring' and first referred to a tree native to Mexico and Central America, so called for its early flowering. The word ultimately derives from Latin primus 'first' and ver 'Spring'. The Italian culinary term primavera is short for alla primavera 'in the style of springtime', which denotes anything served with a mix of fresh Spring vegetables, such as asparagus, broccoli, carrots, peas, peppers, or zucchini.

Friday, March 24, 2006

Illustration Friday-MONSTER

This is a quick watercolor and colored pencil illustration. I wish I had more time as it was a very quick sketch. As I began to work on it, more and more ideas kept coming to me. Maybe one day, I'll find the time to finish this one.

It was fun.

Monday, March 20, 2006

Illustration Friday - Feet

OK, so they are probably more eyes than feet, but I really started because of the feet and got carried away. And then I couldn't help myself. They got hold of me and wouldn't let go.

Friday, March 10, 2006

Illustration Friday - Tattoo

The Start of Something Big
colored pencil 2006

Wow…what a tough topic this week. It really made me think. And made me work. I guess that's what it is all about.

Saturday, March 04, 2006

Another Insect

So, I took a look through some of my old paintings and found this one from 1991. It is called More Than A Mouthful. I guess Hooters is good for something after all.

Friday, March 03, 2006

Illustration Friday – Insect

The Mole Cricket

watercolor 2006

I hear them watching me and I crush them with the news of the world with a force that shakes me to the innermost workings of my life. The teacher has more power than those with their fingers on “the button” but no one seems to care. Each is caught up with their own misguided beliefs that they are the most important thing in the world. It is frustrating to be human. But what else is there?

The words are something that I had written in a sketchbook from a long time ago. I'm not certain that it works with this illustration. I'll leave that to you. I did manage to spend a few hours today and knock this painting out. It feels good to have a brush in my hand again.

Tuesday, February 21, 2006

What If?

I am certain you have been asked the question, "If you knew you would die tomorrow, what would you do?" And when you were asked that question, your mind started racing and you became pretty creative with your life. You might take a trip. Or talk to that family member or friend that has been out of touch for too long. You would definitely look at EVERYTHING differently because you would want to remember every little detail. And when you woke up on the morning of your last day, you would be happy to be alive, even for a few hours more.

It's a hypothetical question, but it is one that we should all ask ourselves because it could be true. By asking yourself this one simple, albeit scary, question, you can start yourself down a path towards a much more fulfilling life.

Illustration Friday - Song

Monday, February 13, 2006

Illustration Friday – Simple

It's me again. I have finally been able to get back at it and it wasn't simple, even though the illustration is a bit on the simple side. I have heard that we should keep our lives simple to maintain happiness.

I wonder why it is that when we wonder we tend to look up?

Sunday, January 22, 2006


I was talking to my oldest girls recently and she told me that being a teen was the hardest thing she has ever had to do. I quickly responded that being a parent was the hardest thing I had to do and quickly added that it was all worth it. It got me to thinking about my own parents and what I learned from them.

My father taught me that I could do anything I wanted.
My mother taught me that I should.

Friday, January 20, 2006

Illustration Friday – Cats

In the grasp, but the joke’s on him.

It's how I want it.
It is the way of our kind.

Let them think THEY are in control.

That purring is not the song of contenment,

But a silent snicker
That even I cannot control.

I do admire his whiskers so.

This is the first watercolor I ever attempted. I do hate publishing illustrations at hand, but I recently got swamped at work and it’s all I can do to keep up with what I have going. I have plans for quite a number of cats painting in the near future. When they are finished, I shall post them here.

Friday, January 13, 2006

Ellustration Friday

E is for Ernie

This is a mascot I created for one of my clients. As you can see from his name, he is an enzyme. Unfortunately, Ernie is no longer with us. Before he went, he got deposed. Silly lawyers! The company he worked for got caught up in some legal wranglings and had to go away – Ernie went along for the ride!


Friday, January 06, 2006

Illustration Friday – Sea

I have been doing reference drawings of fish since 1988 for New World Publications. I have drawn almost every species of reef fish from Brazil to Florida and the Galapagos to Alaska. So when I get the chance to do something fun, I jump at the chance.

The sea is a wonderous place. And we take it for granted. And we take…and take…and take…

We know so little about it, but what we do know should have us all taking heed and treating it with respect. We owe our lives to the ocean. It provides us food and water and the very air we breath.

It is a wonder.

I wonder why we don't get it?

If you want to do something, check out REEF. It is a non-profit that is committed to the preservation of the marine environment. They can be found at . It's time we gave something back.

Thursday, January 05, 2006

Illustration Fiday – Flavor

Raisin Bread…

In my previous post, I mentioned that my parents were children of the Great Depression. Another story from my father's childhood revolves around my grandmother and her method of making raisin bread. Having very little money and being frugal to boot, it is said that Nana would make the bread dough and put it on the table across the room. Then she would pick up a solitary raisin and throw it across the room at the waiting dough. If it stuck, they had raisin bread that week. If she missed, she would pick up the raisin and save it for the next loaf to try again.

This week’s assignment was a bit difficult for me and as I tossed and turned in bed last night, I remembered how my Nana added a bit of flavor to her family's meal.

Wednesday, January 04, 2006

The Lugwah Prize

There's a post by an old cracker writer who sometimes calls himself Old Folks about a journalist who gave himself the Lugwah Prize.

The Lugwah Prize is a commemorative silver dollar showing Drouillard, the sign-talker with Lewis and Clark, pointing to the lugwah. From the French "la gloire" meaning "over that mountain yonder". So all Droulliard had to do was point west and cross the next mountain until he reached the Pacific. And he looked like a genius. All he had to do was keep focused on what was in front of him. But once he achieved his goal, what next? Turn around, retrace your steps and head home. Old Folks and probably Art Brew himself, would tell you that glory is a foolish thing and that the way back home is more important. For me, family and friends and the experiences in life are more imortant, but you do have to keep your goals ahead of you and strive to reach them, so you can see what is really important to you.

I have my own Lugwah prize. My parents grew up during the Great Depression. For them, and most people, money was tight at best. My father was the youngest of six and wanted money of his own so at a very young age he made a shoe box and shined shoes for what he could get on the street. I still have that wooden box. It may be the one thing I have left that my father made with his own hands. It reminds me that hard work and determination can be had by anyone. Nothing is impossible.

The box is vey worn.