These art works are just fun and interesting for me, so I guess this is another "for friends" page. Lots of little distraction projects in my life. ☺
How do you know when a bad joke becomes a dad joke?
When the punchline becomes apparent.
(I posted this because I really like the attitude on the goat. He seems so confident, so effortless.)
Not sure that I didn't already post this, but he's worth a repeat; this is "Low Self-EsteemPunk".
He's got the pressure pack with the steam but all he could come up with for an attachment is an iron. Although that's usually more useful than the weapons that are so popular.
Further adventures in encaustic painting... that's "wax". It's not at all the right medium for "magic miasma turns you into a wolf" but hey.
This is basically "melted Crayola"... I haven't ever really tried it with the good beeswax medium and the right tools. That is in fact my next thing; I have the right tools, try things in Crayola still and then try with the good media.
The sign says "Welcome to Islamic Yee-Ha! Middle Eastern cuisine with a Southwest kick."
Interestingly enough (?) this was a basket ingredient on Chopped the other night.
Another experiment with acrylic paint. This feels all Junior High School but it's actually starting to work for me as a medium. I'm back to obsessing over inks right now, though... Many of my best things are inks with ink washes.
If you're a pirate with an eyepatch, there is absolutely no difference between winking and blinking.
The real breakthrough on the rocket packs was developing fireproof legs.
One of my earliest Whiteboard drawings where this whole thing began. If I remember right the only earlier one was the now lost "Joe Camel" cartoon, where Joe Camel is in a poncho and sombrero carrying a big bag of marijuana, and the caption was "Unable to find work after his lifetime ban from advertising tobacco, Joe Camel goes to work in a related field."
*****************************************************I drew this while living in Auburn NY (home of the Auburn Maroons, I kid you not)... working with Jim Arveseth and Forrest Deitz, who was literally only one letter away from being a Forest Deity. This was my superhero take on Forrest, "a supersmart guy who is appalled at the dumb things going on around him."
(It actually fit pretty well... In the amazingly unlikely event Forrest is reading this, Hi! Hope things are going along smoothly!)
He had backup singers who would sing over a nice bass riff, "You Duh Man! Oooh yeah, you Duh Man!"
There on his shirt logo is a favorite joke of mine, .B with a line over it. If you see that with decimals, like 0.3 with a line over the three, that means it repeats indefinitely. So this is "B's repeating", which is pronounced by putting your finger sideways over your lips and flicking it up and down while saying the letter B.
I have this idea for a larger piece that has dancers in it; ballroom dancers. They are all dancing with imaginary partners in a room full of potential real partners. I'm torn between having the foreground guys in color, or having them in silhouette.
Either way, they're standing in front of a second silhouette layer with more dancers doing exactly the same thing, and then a third layer behind that with lights and the dark silhouette orchestra.
This is my commentary on The Single Life. ☺
"Sure dogs can whistle!"
"Well then why do I never hear them?"
Those of you reading this whole thing will remember my colleague Sonya who I did as a viking figurine with her giant dog. I mentioned then that I had made a cow named Moog who was a rocket pack kind of aviation pioneer...
I gave this to Sonya's daughter who came up with a cheer for our team to chant in the corporate games: What's our name? Moo with a G! How do you say / Moo with a G?
Moog! Moog! Moog!
I felt this deserved commemoration.
Those of us who knew Jeffy figured it was only a matter of time till he snapped...
(On an entirely different note; we say these things that we hear on TV through channels... Things like "He was such a quiet guy, never a moment's trouble, this came like a bolt from the blue, I guess he just snapped..." Which is a handy narrative but on closer investigation is usually bullshit. I heard an extended piece on NPR interviewing some of Dahmer's classmates, and they did not find anything about the story a surprising bolt from the blue. They knew if he was being quiet it was because he was blitzed on Pure Grain Alcohol, and he was drinking it trying to self-medicate the voices away. The real story never comes out unless someone goes back to pursue, and then most people won't hear it anyway.)
When I say I had the Roadrunner song stuck in my head, I mean I was typing away but a part of my brain was arranging it in great detail; the bass part, some pedal steel, everything.
I am being silly when I say "How did this happen?" though. Our pond and yard at work border right on I-71. I know exactly how he got hit...
We went to report it to security, maybe call animal services, but he dragged himself into the nearby woods, presumably to die... this was in late October, the coming months are hard enough in the wild when you're healthy. Poor fella.
When I found out the website name GothSky.com was available I couldn't resist getting it... it all started with someone I occasionally saw go by on Twitter. My main friend there Mrs. Park (an amazingly stellar human being!) followed someone named Raven Of Skys. Since no one else seems to like CamelNotationWhere YouCapitalizeInstead_of_underscoring I generally like to have fun with different ways to interpret a name that can be grouped differently... one of the more famous examples is penisland.com. (Pen Island. They sell pens. They don't however look closely at their site name.)
Anyway, I always called this person Ravenofsky like Tchaikovsky, and I liked the thought of a dark eyed Russian goth girl... so on a whim I checked Go Daddy (God Addy) to see if Gothsky was available and it was! I couldn't believe there was still a seven letter name available, I'd have figured the billion people with websites would have snapped up all the short ones long ago and all that would be left is ZQKEDYC.com
At first I was using it mostly to place things that were maybe a tad inappropriate; then to place things that were storylines the way the Rocket Science girls were at first.
It has currently morphed into a place entirely for the artwork of my friend Deborah Hinton (who is, can we all say it? a stellar human being and also amazing).
Anyway, the illustration below was my original header for the site; an attempt by me to do an Edmund Gorey. Which I didn't do badly, I think...
"What days of the week start with T?"
"ALL of them!"
Recipe: when kettle starts to boil, fill teapot with boiling water. Put kettle back on the heat, let it start really putting out an uncomfortable amount of steam. Dump the water in the teapot, put in the teabag, add about a mug and a half of the full-boil water. Let steep for 17 minutes. If yours comes out tasting like tanning fluid, come over and let me make some for you. ☺
Arrogance is a virtue, right?
This is probably one of my best pieces ever.
People write these little vignettes on Twitter and sometimes I like them so much I draw them. These are throwaways, of course, but I always put them in the comments on the original message and inform the writer "This is yours."
Veronica and I decided to make a witch decoration for Halloween to go with our Mackenzie Childs pumpkins. The hair is yarn separated to individual strands (because I'm obsessed!!!) and honestly it makes amazing curly hair. This is the only time so far that I used foam for the body. If any of the grandkids are reading this, Art Pro-Tip 1: The parts that they do not see do not require so much detail.
Horses. This was a throwaway experiment, Deborah suggested doing a background by mushing colors at it with plastic wrap. It's a really fun technique that maybe doesn't work here because I don't see greens the way you do... but it does work the way I meant it to, this is supposed to be an abstract field of color with different shades of silhouette.
And then it's supposed to get pearlescent splotches and lines and glitter/metallic highlights. But as noted previously, I'm always afraid to finish things.
Whenever I get somewhere with a painting, I am afraid to keep touching it... so this has been waiting for about two years for me to spritz it with a toothbrush full of opaque white, as advised correctly by my genius friend Deborah (who is, as I'm sure you'd guess, a fabulous person). It needs flecks of foam, she says, dot it up a little. But it is right now as close to something I'd actually hang in my house as anything I've ever done...
A "Montesaurus". They teach at Montessori schools. My great-nephew (who is also a Great Nephew and yes I'm going to say that everytime I mention him or his brothers) Liam went to one for the longest time and I made this in their honor. As far as I know they didn't teach him about Ouagadougou or even Burkina Faso, but hey... I wasn't actually there.
I love doing wood floors and paneling in ink...
The Afterlife: It’s Just a Job, Not An Adventure
Let me start off with a confession. I never really believed in an afterlife.
It wasn’t just the Extremely Young Adult picturebook version with clouds and a golden gate that triggered my bullshit detector, although that big gate with a line of people waiting at it but no fence around the rest of it made for some pretty loud dinging in my brain. I figured that maybe only some of the clouds were solid and when you found yourself standing on one you tended to stay there until you knew it was safe to move.
But no, it wasn’t just the picturebook afterlife… or the Catholic one, or the Hindu one, or even Valhalla. I didn’t think there was ANY. I kind of thought, this is your time, you are here, you do these things, and then you just wink out. You’re not here anymore, you are “feeding the trees”.
So imagine my surprise when in fact I wound up in heaven. I hadn’t really lived a good life; I hadn’t lived a bad life. Looking back on it, it shocks me to see how many years I lived printed next to how few things I did… the list of accomplishments is pretty short. (Especially since they print unimportant things in an appropriately sized font. Things like “ate breakfast” and “picked up my socks” are in a .001 font.) But apparently the good outweighed the bad, and I squeaked in. (I can’t tell you anything about the alternative. No one here will talk about it. Bringing it up is apparently some kind of faux pas.)
But I’m not here to discuss whether all the clouds are solid or if there’s a gate or what kind of metal it might be made from. I’m here to warn you; once you get here, that’s not the end. You don’t go sit in a gorgeous apartment and bask in the glory of your surroundings like an eternal Sandals Vacation Getaway. You have work to do, and what kind of job you get depends on how well you do on the entrance exam. Yep, it’s just like the military.
So anyway, here I am, and I’m kind of shocked and a little relieved, and the next thing you know I’m being escorted to a board meeting of some kind. And the extreme familiarity of the middle management types I’m seeing feels more than a bit surreal, I mean, these seem to be the kind of guys who spent most of their lives on earth developing mission statements and quality initiatives, and I’m suspecting that maybe this kind of thinking on my part is why I’m only marginally acceptable, maybe a little evil is okay but snarky is the Big Sin around these parts… which I can kind of see, I mean, if you’re going to spend eternity with someone, actual evil would liven things up once in a while, whereas annoying would drive you to something really unforgivable.
But to my surprise, they look at my charts, and they tut-tut-tut and give each other knowing looks, and then they say…
Well, I’m excited by this, it sounds like an honor. Protector of the weak! A savior in time of need! It’s Super Angel! So I’m thinking, hey, there must be some strength about me, maybe I’m not so lame as I thought, they see something useful in me.
The afterlife definitely doesn’t change this one thing about you: How big a sucker you are. The flesh may fall away, but the gullibility remains. But I’m getting ahead of myself.
"Wow man... the colors...!"
Comma, comma, comma, comma, comma, _____...
Black Hole Punch
I'm trying to work up a theology based on "Life is an office" but so far it's not working out for me... I thought it would be easy after the success of Guido Sarducci's "Life is a job." He makes it look so easy.
The thing that really stays in Vegas is your paycheck. ☺
I like the license plate t-shirt...
"Oh yeah? Oh YEAH? Well what if this was quicksand?!?"
"Oh. Is it?"
"No, but what if?"
(The movies I grew up with led me to expect a lot more quicksand in my adult life.)
People who live in glass houses shouldn't live in glass houses. For one thing the drapery is expensive.
Chalk on gray paper... I wanted an angel statue... ☺
"For one thing, we're both kind of married to our jobs as washroom attendants."
(P.S. this is my probable only effort at scherenschnitte ever. Unless I think of another dumb pun that requires it...)
Another entry in my "collective noun children's book". I intentionally made this one more childish...
One of my favorite coworkers, Dan Haskins, spent at least a year getting Bangalore India up to speed as a test facility; in his absence, I made this based on a character I used in a few parody cartoons. Before you think I'm VERY good: I bought the elephant.
Anyway, the character is Don Fastings who goes by the name Rama Don, and rides around on his pet elephant Bubber. (Dan was a southern kind of guy and I liked the Bubber/Babar gag.)
In one, everyone was running around higgledy piggledy because "The Python is ruining everything!" and Don rode in on Bubber, who stepped on the Python and all were saved.
Yeah, I know, lame. I didn't save any of the cartoons. ☺ They can't ALL be gems.
This is Dieter von Schnauzer, the Minister of Da Fence. Hi Jamie! (You should definitely meet Jamie... she's a fabulous person...)
Steampug the Mechanical Guardian Angel. I haven't decided whether to use him in the story or not... By the way, if you find yourself painting for fun, think before you decide to flock the wallpaper. ☺
This is the other star of All Cats Go To Purrrrrgatory: Floozy Woofsy. I am extremely fond of this drawing.
The painting on the wall, incidentally, is "Lady Rottweiler the Afghan Hound". She's married to Lord Rottweiler, a powerful member of Parliament, and technically she's just Lady Rottweiler but since she's not actually a Rottweiler herself everyone refers to her as Lady Rottweiler the Afghan Hound to both avoid and engender confusion.
Dr. Scotty, the star of "All Cats Go To Purrrrrrgatory". I had a phase where I drew Victorian anthro-dogs. I'm still in that phase...
This is what I see in my head when someone says "The Cavs are playing tonight."
ANNNNND while we're on the dancer theme
(I apparently like doing them as subjects) this is my friend Deborah Kay who quite enjoys being a member of her troupe and who is also a stellar human being (Hi Deborah Kay!) and a phenomenal artist (which I am not) but this isn't bad...
Some of Deborah Kay's work can be seen at www gothsky com (with the dots in it).
I made this for my friend Mrs. Park (hi Z!) who is yet ANOTHER stellar human being who unfortunately has to wear a CPAP mask to sleep and described the experience as being similar to this. My first sketch had an octopus strangling a diver and tearing his mask off, but she felt that was both too spot on and also too violent.
To those keeping score, I am surrounded by amazing people if one can be surrounded by faraway folk. I am here to tell you, you can indeed. ☺
I am working on a series of illustrations for a "collective noun" book... it started with a Tower Of Giraffes for my great-nephew (who is also a GREAT nephew) Liam McCalla.
The book, like so much that I do, is fictional. The drawings are real, though, and I send them to Liam and his brothers Anders and Nolan. (Who are ALSO great!)
This one is my first experiment with adding encaustic (wax) to a painting. Acrylics, pen and ink for the texture of the heads, encaustic for the ruff of white feathers. This is not the best photo, but it's not bad.
Note: A "kettle" of vultures is only when they're in the air, and I think you also say a kettle of hawks. I just couldn't resist the hot tub party.
I'm trying to find some way to paint that works for me, and being an engineer at heart I tend to try to solve problems with materials and procedures and not like say talent or lessons or practice.
This was an exercise in acrylics from a book; take a single color and use shades of it. I find it sadly like a high school kid's doodle book at the same time as I quite like it.
I used to work with Sonya vanLeeuwen, a truly stellar human being (Hi Sonya!) and I saw an art work by her (gifted) professional artist husband of their dog, a mastiff sort of werewolf looking fella. (The dog, not the husband.) The dog inspired me to try a sculpture, in which I envisioned Sonya as a Viking adventurer travelling the wastes with her companion.
This is the source sketch.
This is actually an okay likeness of Sonya. Except she doesn't have embroidery floss hair...
Basic body frame...
Completed Viking Adventurer ☺
The unadorned puppy. ☺
The final piece. Sonya either loved it, or pretended to love it. (But I KNOW she liked Moooog the Cow. Another story for another time.)