Here are Christmas cards I‘ve created for Barbara and I down through the years.
2003 (Barbara likes flying pigs!)
2004 The outside
2004 the inside
2005 (We liked watching Boston Legal with William Shatner as Denny Crane.)
Today in Indianapolis it’s been raining, snowing a bit with punishing winds.
27 years ago it snowed here on the day I married a lovely lady from Indianapolis, the love of my life.
This summer I’ve been doing some rearranging in the studio to make better use of what used to be the oil painting corner which was never utilized as effectively as it should have been. While I had my big easel set up and I could paint there I also had a model stand on the corner and I never used it for anything other than as a flat surface upon which to pile a lot of stuff. I removed that stand and shifted all the piled up stuff around, getting rid of a lot of it. I decided I wanted to build shelf units to fill that expanse of wall from the window to the floor to ceiling entertainment unit I built in 2001. The first two units would be for “stuff,” the third for books. This is the first unit to go in place.
As soon as they were completed they were filled. Each of the two “stuff” shelves are 8 feet tall and 16 inches deep. Here’s the second one in progress and in place.
The small bookshelf to the right is to be replaced by the 8 foot tall 14 inch deep unit pictured below which i just finished. Fourteen inches deep to match the entertainment unit.
Here’s all of them.
After 20+ years of collecting tools and some woodworking knowledge it was gratifying to be able to build this last unit which provided challenges in that it had to be assembled in situ due to the restrictions placed on it by the entertainment unit, the vent and the lack of true walls, etc. Challenges were presented at every stage but I was always able to find the correct tool with which to solve the problem. I’m glad I took the time to organize my garage shop before I started so I knew where everything is (mostly) so I could minimize any time wasted looking for tools. It also gave me the chance to make use of tools not used for years.
New sketchbook, a late birthday gift from my lovely wife! Running some practice head pages with Utrecht & Copic markers, trying to refine my line work.
Doing some preliminary, start-up sketches in the sketchbook using the iPad for reference.
Yesterday, September 17, I spent the day at the Cincinnati Comics Expo and a good time it was for me.
After about an hour while, I assume, the attendees were getting settled as to what they wanted to see and do, I was drawing constantly, mostly caricatures of people as their favorite comic characters.
This gentleman asked to be Superman then was so pleased with his drawing he came back later and asked to be drawn as Nick Fury!
I also was asked to do a couple of character sketches, this one in someone’s “James Dean Sketchbook.” She was carrying a black hardbound sketchbook and asking various artists to draw, from the provided reference photos, James Dean. It was my first time to encounter a movie star themed sketchbook. Usually it’s comic characters, Muppets, mash-ups of the two or other similarly bizarre combinations. At an earlier convention this year I was asked to contribute to an Alfred E. Neuman sketchbook.
This time I chose a photo and caricatured Dean.
There is also a gentleman who always asks for sketches of Medusa, not the mythological character but the MARVEL character, she of the flame-tinted living tresses. He looks for drawings that highlight the strength he sees in the character (where most artists go for the sex appeal), luckily I got that bit of information out of him before I started and decided to show her hoisting up several other more notable MARVEL strong-man types. Or bits of them!
He liked that enough that he also bought a previous Medusa drawing I had done for my letter-size sketch folio that was more pin-up than this one.
I also sold my 11th Doctor marker caricature out of my sketch folio.
Which I may make prints of for future conventions. (Without the annoying © symbol.)
I designed and executed this logo for a seller of hay.
Yesterday I was in Fort Wayne, IN for the second annual Summit City Comic Con.
Along with my friend Scott Story.
For the last ten years plus I’ve been plying my trade primarily in this corner using a computer desk I bought in 2000. (This photo is from 2009 when the heat went out.)
It’s a standard height desk arrangement which required me to lay my Wacom tablet on a surface higher than my elbows which resulted in a decade plus of hunched shoulders and widely placed elbows. I’ve recently decided that is not a good idea due to increasing instances shoulder elbow and wrist pain. So, I was inspired, after seeing a client’s computer work station where he was standing up as he typed, after he demonstrated it’s electrical raising and lowering capability, to get something like that for my work station. Hopefully one that would, at it’s lowest point, be sufficiently lower than the existing desktop, to allow my shoulders not to hunch, my elbows to function at right angles and my wrists not to be bent.
I found one here, Ergo Depot, which also had the option of just buying the base and using my existing desktop. As you can see from the photos it allows me to lower the desktop to it’s lowest level and stay in my Aeron chair or raise it and work standing for awhile. It will take some time for me to get things arranged for optimum comfort and for my body to readjust after more than a decade of hunching over but at this moment I’m optimistic this will improve things. I’m considering cutting the shape of the tablet out of the desktop to be able to inset the Wacom tablet to the level of the top or as close as possible. Same thing for my game controller I use for keyboard shortcuts with my left hand.
We were watching Warehouse 13 and I was doodling in ZenBrush so I started drawing Saul Rubinek who plays Artie;
Then I was in ArtStudio and sketching a generic face when it started looking familiar. Turned out very similar to Andrew Duggan, a staple character actor on TV and films in the 60s, so I got a photo of him off GoogleImage to sharpen the resemblance;
Still lots to learn before going live with this tool.
Upon returning from the holiday festivities I found an appreciative email from the recipient of a recent commissioned caricature. The clients were his parents and the piece was among his Christmas presents. He was kind enough to send me a thank you email and this photo.
I spent today in Cincinnati at the Cincinnati Comic Expo and had a great time!
I sold some copies of League of Analogues (had to explain the spelling once!) and did a couple of caricatures, one of which I remembered to photograph. Both were from photographs of grandkids that weren’t present.
The other (unphotographed) one was of a boy about 6 or 8 as Superman.
It came to my attention that some of the attendees thought all I was drawing was caricatures even though I had a sign out stating that I was available for character sketches so I did a couple as samples (something I had intended to do in the studio beforehand but business has been sufficiently demanding of my time I never got around to it). Something I resolve to remedy before the Kokomo show October 23rd!
For the past few years I’ve been creating a calendar to send to some of my clients, family and friends. The clients get the version pictured below which is shamelessly self-promoting, including banner ads at the bottom of each month showing examples of the various work I do. (The family version has no ad banners but lists all the family birthdays, anniversaries, etc.) Knowing what I like in a calendar I designed this for maximum note taking space in each day block. It is printed on 12″ x 18″ sheets of 80 lb. white stock, printed, hole-punched, coil-bound and fitted with an aluminum bar hanger, personally bent to shape by yours truly. Very much hand-made from start to finish.