Saturday, December 31, 2011

The Last Post of 2011

This drawing of the now gone Castle restaurant in Gladstone, Oregon is a walnut ink wash with a bit of pen & India ink. I did it from memory, so I know it isn't exactly correct, but it's really just a study, and I'll revisit the subject later for a more correct rendition.

As I recall, the Castle started out as a lapidary shop in the 20's and was later converted to a roadhouse in the late 30's or so. In the 40's and 50's it was a very popular jazz club in the Portland Metropolitan area. My dad remembers drunks falling into the moat outside, and visiting one time in particular during the mid-40's and there being buckets on the dance floor to catch leaks from the roof; the dancers just danced around them. Can you imagine the insurance liability today? In the 70's my parents and I would go there for dinner once in a while, the food was fantastic, not healthy mind you, but oh, so tasty. Sadly The Castle was closed down for good sometime in the late 80's or early 90's, and allowed to decay quite a bit. A few years ago a local business man, Jim Raoke (owner of the landmark, Roake's Footlong Restaurant) tried to re-open it as a restaurant, but the grandfather clause on the zoning had expired due to lack of use, and the neighbors put up a big stink about letting him do it for fear that he would open a strip club (despite Roake offering to sign an agreement that he wouldn't). Fucking imbeciles! The result was that the Castle was razed and replaced by a small housing development of shitty looking, cookie-cutter houses, called Castle Park. Sigh.

Walnut ink  drawing of the Castle Restaurant (demolished) in Gladstone, Oregon

Well kids, it looks like yet another year is coming to a close, so this will probably be the last post of 2011. This has been a turbulent year, full of tough choices, sacrifices, and sad losses (R.I.P. Pete). There were even a couple of times that were just flat-out scary, yet somehow I made it through. Having said all that, I don't think I would trade any of it for anything, because along with the bad, I have learned a great deal about myself, truly testing my limits from time to time. Not pleasant, but certainly valuable. I also picked up some truly awesome clients this past year and would like to thank them all for giving me a chance to work for them, and thanks also  to you readers for stopping by and taking a look at my blog.

And now, I propose a toast to us all:  
Good health, prosperity and better times in 2012. Cheers!

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Bombshell Logo Project

I just wanted to do a little boasting about this logo project I recently finished up for the Bombshell Brazilian Waxing & Beauty Lounge in Richmond, Virginia. At this writing they haven't changed over their website yet, and I'm also working on some images for their Facebook page, but this is a sneak preview of things to come. Not only that, but I did a logo for Pop Rocket Cosmetics, which is their new cosmetic line that will be coming out soon as well. I'll be posting about that one a little later.

Christmas Sketches

Earlier I was trying to get myself into the holiday mood with some Christmas sketches.

The classic snowman.

A Christmas stocking.

And of course, Santa Claus.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Happy Birthday, Randy Rhoads

Many years ago, back when I wanted to be a musician, I was hugely influenced by the phenomenally talented guitar virtuoso, Randy Rhoads. He would have been 55 today if he hadn't been tragically killed in a small plane crash back in March of 1982. While his influence on me was initially musical, I have to think that somehow he has influenced me artistically as well, if nothing else, just because he had such a huge impact on me when I was younger.

There has been a great deal written about Randy and his talents, his incredible tone, his fluidity, dedication and so fourth, so I don't think I can really add anything that hasn't already been said, and even if I could, nothing I could say would speak as well about him as his own playing. So here are three examples of his talent, all of them live versions recorded from the soundboard for top quality. And now without further ado, I propose a birthday toast to Mr Rhoads: happy birthday, and thank you for the inspiration. Cheers!

I know this is pretty late in the day—in fact  it is already too late on the East Coast—but, I have been putting this off all day, because I've been fighting the urge to go off about the shabby treatment of Randy's recorded legacy by the shit-weasels, Ozzy and Sharon Osbourne. However, I don't want to sully something honoring Mr. Rhoads, so I'll  leave most of that for another post at another time, but I will say that I hope both Osbournes get exactly and precisely what they deserve. And in case you're wondering, it's a long story, but briefly, in an effort to screw the original drummer and bass player out of their royalties, the Osbournes re-recorded the bass and drum parts for the first two albums with different musicians and erased the original work, then re-released the albums. While Randy's amazing work was left intact, it is now diminished, tied to musicians he never worked with, and that he had never met, all for the greed of two very pathetic individuals.