Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Summer Business Card Special

 Business card package deal promotion for Summer 2011. Get the design, printing and US shipping for one affordable price. These are high quality standard sized (2 X 3.5) business cards, full color double-sided UV coated or dull matte finish on 16 pt stock. Other quantities are available starting at as few as 100 cards. I can also get you magnet business cards, postcards, flyers, and much more. Just let me know what you're looking for.

Monday, July 25, 2011

Oregon Coast Watercolor:Twin Rocks

I just finished up this watercolor painting , which I am sending to my niece who is having a birthday later this week. She doesn't read this blog (at least I hope not) so it's not like I'm letting the cat out of the bag, and if you know her, don't tell her. Now she's living in Texas, so I chose Twin Rocks because of a childhood connection, oh and I should point out that she's only 6 years younger then me, so there isn't a huge age difference. My sister used to have a beach cabin on the Oregon Coast in Rockaway, which is just a stone's throw from the town of Twin Rocks. It was named for the two rocks (actually called sea stacks), although they really don't look like twins, more like a dragon or sea serpent, actually. Anyway, it seems like we spent quite a bit of time there when we were kids, especially in the summers, and this is one of my favorite views, and hopefully one of her's, too, so I thought I would send her a "little piece of home".

Twin Rocks looking south from Rockaway, Oregon.

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Lesson Learned: Don't Force It!

It may seem like an odd decision to highlight one of my mistakes on my professional blog, even if it was many years ago. But, as my old friend Pete often used to say: I've never learned anything from my successes, I've only learned from my failures. It's even better is if you can learn form the mistakes of others. This cartoon comes from back in 2003, it was my submission to a local newspaper's cartoon contest, and despite the problems it was my first published piece. That doesn't mean that I won the contest, it simply means I followed directions, so my cartoon was published on the newspaper's website in the honorable mention section (the whole article has since been removed) along with  the sixteen or so other cartoonists who also followed the instructions. I don't remember the exact contest requirements, but I think the one's who were disqualified all had size related/layout issues. The theme of the contest was Portland history, which I have a huge passion for, so it seemed like the contest was tailored just for me. However, as the deadline neared, I had talked myself out of doing it, (actually it was the cruel little voice on my head that did all the talking) but as luck would have it they extended the deadline because of a lack of qualified submissions. So I defied the little voice and went for it.

I have always had a fascination with the Hotel Portland, a beautiful 19th century hotel which should have been preserved, but sadly, was torn down in the 50's to make way for a parking lot—Seriously! Today the site is Pioneer Courthouse Square, Portland's Living Room, although they brought back some of the original ironwork, and the Starbucks on the square used some tiles from the original hotel for their floor, so at least some of it is still there. Anyway, I had this great idea about a mythical resident of the hotel who created a time machine and went forward 100 years to modern day Portland, only to discover the hotel was gone and the locals were rude and surly. I even had a great bit where he went to the rare book room at Powell's bookstore, and finds some of his books for sale. Well, as you can probably imagine the story came out to be about 8-12 pages of material, but I only had 4-5 panels to tell the story. So, of course, being the logical type that I am—yes, that's sarcasm, in case you missed it—I tried to jam all that material into a five panel cartoon, rather than coming up with a new theme or a different story line. The result is a disjointed story that really doesn't make a lot of sense, because so much of it had to be cut out. Lesson learned: don't try to force it. Artistically it is okay for the most part, but that single dark panel in the top corner with all the other panels being mostly light, throws the entire composition off balance. It would have been stronger if I had either used some darks throughout, or removed that big patch of dark all together. Oh, and I used the font Comic Sans, which is a crappy font even for cartoons. Well, that was a long time ago and I've learned a couple of things from the experience, and now, hopefully so have you.

Thanks for stopping by.

Not a complete failure, but it could have been much better.

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Parking Lot Characters: The LargeTopless Guy

I was nearly finished with this one before I realized just how much this fellow looked like a middle-aged Charlie Brown gone to seed. It was one of the first sunny days we had had this year, and I wasn't even all the way to my usual sketching grounds when I spied this gomer strutting down the main drag in downtown Oak Grove. This is what happens in Oregon after a cold and drizzly spring and early summer, guys like this feel compelled to take their shirts off and wander around at the first provocative hint of sunshine. Now as an artist and former connoisseur of nude dancing establishments I've probably seen well over a hundred miles of naked human flesh, some of it more pleasant than others, and I consider the human form to be a fascinating piece of machinery, and generally take each one as is. However, when I see sights like this it really makes me wonder about the ├╝ber-conservative folks who get so offended by public breastfeeding. Seriously! A woman can grow a small human being inside her body, and then after it is born, use her body to feed that same little human. How amazing is that?! Yet, here we are in the year 2011 and despite a growing laundry list of the benefits of breastfeeding to both mother and child, there are still people who are offended by this act as if it's something dirty and shameful. Meanwhile, this character, and his ilk, like so many fur-less bears, can lumber down pretty much any Main Street  in the great US of A with nary a glance. I'm just sayin' it seems a little backward to me.

Thanks for stopping by.

A large topless guy strolling down the street.

Friday, July 1, 2011

Sketch: Devil Girl Portrait

This is just a quick color sketch of a devil girl's head, I was trying out the new tube red gouache I picked up yesterday. It comes from a local company in West Linn, Oregon called M. Graham & Co. It's pretty nice to work with, and I find it interesting that they list honey as one of the ingredients.

Anyway, I haven't done any devil girl stuff in quite a while, and it's also been far too long since I've done any gouache, and it felt real good on both counts. After I've worked out a few of the kinks I'll probably put some original art similar to this piece up for sale on the Vintage 66 Etsy shop. So, you'll want to keep an eye out for that later this summer. Thanks for stopping by.


Color sketch: Devil Girl Portrait