Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Catching up to Tuesday (299-296)

The weekend was amazingly hecktic and didn't allow any time for blogging much less drawing or painting. I was working or coaching the entire time and it wiped me out. Drove to the beach on Sunday night and took all of Monday to recover.

On Tuesday, I did some painting on the beach. I finished what I was working on, but don't really like it. It is a painting of a girl digging in the sand on the beach. In the end, the colors were too bright, the composition was awkward, and there wasn't any sense of touch. Hopefully today will yield a better outcome.

Worth noting yesterday was the passing of Jim Johnson, Defensive Coordinator for the Philadelphia Eagles. He was everything that they are saying about him and more. I had the fortune to create drawings for his wife Vicky of their dogs and grandchildren (you can see them on my website at under drawings). Through that experience, our family got a glimpse of life with Jim.

As a rabid Iggles fan, having these encounters with Jim was a thrill of a lifetime. When we had a chance to talk, he was interested in learning about lacrosse (my sport). He had an amazing way to make you feel important. He is and will be missed.

Friday, July 24, 2009

Worn out (303-300)

I haven't had any time to draw or paint in the past week. On the way to work this morning, I saw a cat in a field which seemed to be stalking the airport mice. I took a half of an hour and sketched an impression of it. There is a chain-linked fence around the property that I converted into a a broken barbed-wire fence. Poetic license. At least I drew today.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

No Time to Breathe (308-304)

NO entries because I have had to work almost around the clock since last posting. I didn't want to post another graphic illustration. Got to get something done!

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Flying Monkeys (309)

I had so much fun drawing this picture. I almost put a hole in the desk with all the pencil rubbing that I was doing. I was really trying to create a graphic that represented the saying "and monkey's will fly out of my butt."

I smiled the whole time I was drawing it.

Jackie's Photo (310)

I've been working on branding for the woman that cuts my hair. That's the Jackie's graphic that I showed a little while ago. Part of the plan is to put some large BW prints of Jackie and her co-worker on the wall. I spent time Tuesday working on the images that I took on Saturday. I think this turned out pretty nicely and she loved it.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

An Excercise in Failure (314-311)

Last night, after spending a decent amount of time painting, I decided that the piece I was working on was forced, poorly drafted, ill-conceived, and an abject failure. I turned the page and will hopefully start something new today. I am strongly considering painting over it rather than tearing it up (acrylic on watercolor paper).

I think back to a talk that one of the teachers at my daughter's college gave, where she had a bucket of Kentucky Fried Chicken and a bottle of Formula 409. She told the stories of how Colonel Sanders tried to sell 1000 restaurants on his recipe and the name 409 was because 1-408 failed. It's not much solice, but you can't be successful every time.

This blog was intended to stimulate my creativity and get me working on painting, drawing, and other creative endeavors. It creates a pressure that I let get to that painting. I will back off and try to start over fresh with some drawing. Hopefully today.

Friday, July 10, 2009

Up Late Doing Graphics (315)

After a turn on the mower cutting the back yard, I settled in to work on a cover illustration last night. I find it harder to work side graphics jobs since beginning this project because I don't have time or energy for both. After a day of being the creative voice for other people, it's hard to continue the same into the night.

Illustration is different. I rarely get to create illustrations during the day, so I enjoy working on this type of task. The photos I was provided by the client weren't the best, but I started anyway because the deadline was (as usual) very tight. I completed one version (top) and sent it off to the client.

She loved the concept and the style. Then she provided me with a completely different photo that matched the title of the article much better. I knew that the picture I used first wasn't going to be the final and the second shot allowed for better use of text.

In the mean time, I was trying to wrap up a website design that has been out there for a couple of weeks. I got started. That client emailed me at about 9:30 pm with another "hot" request, so I changed gears from web to collateral.

I wrapped up the cover and the mouse pad at about 11 pm and went off to bed after a brief glance at Facebook. My Toronto, Canada friend Dave Gouveia has returned to writing short stories and I wanted to read his latest. I need to download it from there to here--I really enjoyed it. Dave is one of three partners in a firm called 3 Dogz Creative. They are all incredible. Check out when you get a chance.

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Photoshop-o-rama (316)

I was pretty steady working on illustrations for work. In the poster, I had to delete several red pills and change the way the shading went. I took this and extended it to make what I think is an interesting background. A poster about infection? Now that's a catchy subject.

The second illustration was to match the lady that I did a couple of weeks ago. I had to get rid of a cane that was across this guy's face and jacket; change it to black and white; and then color it by hand. Not too bad for the outcome.

I did some painting last night, but not enough to show. I'm not sure if I will push through on that piece or start something new.

I should have some art time tonight, but I will be working on an illustration for a magazine cover.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Not much time again(317)

I find it very difficult these days to free up an hour or two to draw or paint. I have a drawing sitting on the couch that I want to paint, but I haven't gotten near it in two days.
The best I can muster for Tuesday's effort is a logo that I designed at work. The team selected the top one.
I show this not because I am particularly proud of the graphic, but because it is indicative of the kind of work that I have to do. I think there is a certain skill to being the executor of the vision of the customer. This graphic points out the overburdened nature of this business. Government Healthcare seems to create long complicated names if only to create obscure acronyms.
The real challenge is to put ego aside and match both the nature of the beast and the people participating in this environment. Doesn't do much for the portfolio, but I have enough portfolio pieces.
I hope I get time to get to something artistic today (Wednesday).

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Busy Busy (318)

Monday is always a hectic day for me as I try to work in my weekly trip to Cambridge for "Old Man Lacrosse." I did some more work on my new client's sign and logo and did the drawing for a new painting. I will need to see where that goes in the next few days. Here's a look at the logo.

Sunday, July 5, 2009

Metal Sculpture Sort of (320-319)

I spent the really nice day on Saturday doing some major projects which have been waiting for extended dry weather. I was able to clean the deck and then seal the wood. I worked on some other projects including a logo for a new client.

The lady who cuts my hair just bought the salon she where she used to work. She is a hard worker who is getting a break. I am working with her to create her identity. I'll post more as it develops.

Now for the title. Lisa and I went to one of the florists who was having a 50% off sale to purchase a Purple Martin house which I promised her for her birthday in March. We found one and brought it home.

Back in 1988 I returned from my assignment in Sicily on our way to Homestead AFB in Florida. It was December and Santa had a Barbie Dream House for the girls. The Barbie Dream House was a stick-built house, not pre-fabricated. It had beams and girders and individual walls.

Not since that Barbie Dream House have I had so many parts for a little house. This was a sheet metal and screws project. The 8-room apartment for the little tweeters was a challenge including a ratcheting device and a very tall pole. It took a couple of hours to assemble. When I got to the pole instructions, we discovered that there was no pole.

After a quick trip back to the nursery, we were able to get things done. Finished everything on Sunday and we are waiting the little mosquito-eater's arrival.

Friday, July 3, 2009

Americana Eastern Shore of Maryland Style (321)

Twice each summer a little slice of American pie is served up in St. Michaels, Maryland at the Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum. The quaint little town is a very popular summer spot for tourists as the Town the British Forgot.

We decided at the last minute to take the 15 minute trip to enjoy the Big Band Night that happens at the beginning and end of the summer. This year, it coincides with the 4th of July weekend and the town's fireworks display. This is a popular spot and can become a nightmare to navigate.

It couldn't have been a nicer evening. We packed a picnic and some chairs. This event has gone on for many years and was one of my father's favorite events. We spent a little time remembering how much my Dad loved the swing music. A normally reserved man, he would cut loose to dance on the lawn with his "girls," including my Mom and my daughters. Dad has been gone for 11 years, but this is one of my most vivid and favorite memories of his time with my kids.

So I took some photos and hope that they convey some sense of the place and the event. I like the 4th of July for it's garish red, white, and blue party complete with overeating, excessive drinking, and explosives. Everybody lightens up. Good for us.

Photos and end of work week (322)

I spent a good part of the day processing about 80 photos I took of the merger signing yesterday. The rest of the day was more catch-up and proposals. End of day was the end of the work week and we had a nice crab feast on the deck. No drawing or painting, but lots of fun.

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Jammin' and (finally) Painting (325-23)

I continue to wonder why we have to work so hard just to take a few days off. The whole idea of the vacation is that you need to get away and rest. The demands are amazing to take that time. I serve a group of people who want 150-200% percent of my time regularly. They all want to do lip service to wanting me to get away and have some rest, but don't forget to make sure it doesn't cause them any inconvenience. This means that I have had to jam two weeks into the week before vacation and then jam another week into the first few days after returning.

As a result, I need another vacation. You can see the viscious circle this creates.

I finally forced myself to paint last night. It's a little odd. The cat was really tuned up when I went home for lunch. So this is an impression of her fur flying on the green carpet. All you see is the blur of fur. The red is there to represent her real energy (not any blood that may or may not be drawn during her frenzied state).