Wednesday, December 30, 2009

IF: Pioneer (142-143)

Pioneer...Last night on the Kennedy Center Awards, Carl Reiner referred to Mel Brooks as a pioneer. He also referred to his "genius mind and unsensorable mouth." I have a tough time deciding whether I like Blazing Saddles or Young Frankenstein more, but for this Illustration Friday theme, it seemed that the Western was more pioneerlike. "Work, work, work, hello boys, I miss you."

I try to make light of this theme because every subject that I could think of as a pioneer was really not true. Although we credit the pioneers for their western surge in this country, they were closely observed by the people who were already living there. There were other examples where the history book that we read as children called people pioneers in this or that when in fact they were following in some other person's footprints. So Mel Brooks as a pioneer seems to work for me.

Monday, December 28, 2009

Latest Painting--Swan (144-156)

A very hectic week and a half trying to move two daughters in and out and out and in; getting ready for the holidays; and trying to be somewhat creative. This is my latest painting, which seems to have lost something in the photograph. It is from a picture of a swan that I took about a month ago.

Oil 18 x 22

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

House Portrait Done at Last (157-158)

I have been working on this drawing on and off for about two weeks. Typically, it takes me about 8 hours to complete a house portrait. This one took longer for a couple of reasons. First it is much larger than my usual 8 x 10 image (17 x 22). Second, it is a fairly complicated image with lots of shifts in tone. It is a white stone and white clapboard surface, which can be difficult to get in light and shade. Finally, I wanted this to be special because it is a gift for some people who have lots of great artwork in their home and I didn't want to pale by comparison.

I am pleased with the result, although it probably isn't the best photo here. I hope they enjoy it. Click on the picture to see more detail.

Monday, December 14, 2009

IF: Hatch (159-165)

This is General Edward Hatch. For the sake of this drawing, I used a great deal of crossHATCHING.

"Edward Hatch (December 22, 1832 – April 11, 1889) was a career American soldier who served as a general in the Union Army during the American Civil War. After the war he became the first commander of the 9th Cavalry Regiment, a Buffalo soldier regiment with African-American troops commanded by white officers." (

His biography on that site continued, "Hatch was born in Bangor, Maine, and educated at the Norwich Military Academy in Vermont. He volunteered for service as a private in the Union Army at the outbreak of the Civil War. He assisted in raising the 2nd Iowa Cavalry, of which he became colonel in June, 1862. He served under General Ulysses S. Grant in the South. After commanding the entire cavalry division in the Army of the Tennessee, he was made brigadier general in early 1864. His gallantry in the field caused his further promotion to the rank of brevet Major General (1864)
After the war, he transferred from the volunteer to the Regular Army as colonel of the 9th Cavalry Regiment (1866). He succeeded General Gordon Granger as commander of the Department of Arizona (which included New Mexico Territory) in 1876, negotiated a treaty with the Ute Indians in 1880, and became widely known as an Indian fighter.
He died in Fort Robinson, Nebraska April 11, 1889 and is buried in Fort Leavenworth National Cemetery Fort Leavenworth Kansas. "

Monday, December 7, 2009

IF: Crunchy (166-171)

The Illustration Friday theme for the week is Crunchy. I thought about things that are crunchy and saw that most of them were being rendered already. I thought of my dog when she has a bone or cookie. She makes a lot of noise and crunchy sounds. There is nothing that makes her life better than a steak bone.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Holiday Card(172-173)

Each year I get the opportunity to create a holiday card for our company. This is the background illustration I created this year. It was created in Photoshop.

This prompted an interesting conversation with my creative partner Dwayne. I posed to him the issue that the term "digital painting" is not an accurate description of this medium. There isn't any paint and I have long had a problem with that characterization of this type of artwork. Guru of Glib that Dwayne is, he resolved the issue with a new term--pixeling. I like it!

So this is a Photoshop pixeling. I am happy with the outcome and have to manipulate the image to work for the various elements (name tags, invitations, electronic, and print cards).

Happy Holidays!