Wednesday, March 31, 2010

The Boys In The Band

The Penguin Quintet:
Written by Don LaRovere
Illustrations by David Street
Arron, Baily, Cooper, Dean, & Edgar. Fun bunch. Kid's dig'em!

Monday, March 29, 2010

Calico Ghost Town

Before I came back to Barstow in September of 2008, I thought Calico was just a place you took relatives from out of town. I needed to go someplace different to draw, so I drove up to Calico. My sister loves the place. She's the one that turned me on to just hanging out there. I sat near the old school house and worked on a new project for hours. The feeling up there was real nice. Peaceful. I'll be doing it again real soon; closer to sunset this time. Look for the new project to be posted soon.

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Top Five - List No. 1 ~ First List

Judas Priest was taken to court for allegedly putting subliminal messages in their music that lead to two young men killing themselves. The press made a big deal out of it. Well what I wanna know is, where was the press coverage when Air Supply and Dan Fogelberg turned me into a pussy? What with their sad sack songs, "Oh don't leave me. How will I live without you" crap! I'm lucky I made it out of my teens alive.

Here are my top five wussy songs and the girls that go with them.

[in order of how bad the song sucks & how bad she thrashed me] :)

No.5 Babe [Styx] ~ Paulette
No.4 Back to Avalon [Kenny Loggins] ~ Cyndee
No.3 Runaway [Jefferson Starship] ~ Lori
No.2 Give Me Some Time [Dan Fogelberg] ~ Denise
No.1 I’m All Out of Love [Air Supply] ~ Tammy

Notice no one ever dumped me to Rush, no surprise there!

Friday, March 26, 2010

My New Favorite Word

Simpatico [sim·pa·ti·co] –adjective

congenial or like-minded; likable:

"I find her simpatico in every respect."

Fearless Joy

Far better is it to dare mighty things, to win glorius triumphs, even though checkered by failure... than to rank with those poor spirits who neither enjoy nor suffer much, because they live in a gray twilight that knows not victory nor defeat.
Theodore Roosevelt

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Harvey Wood by Randy Campbell

Randy came to me with this story he told his daughters. He asked if I thought I could come up with something. I loved the idea. The project keeps getting side-lined, but that doesn't mean it isn't worthy of the whole world enjoying it. So "Whole World meet Harvey Wood, Harvey meet the Whole World." Make sure you enlarge the image. He's a cute kid, even if I do say so myself.

There once lived a young girl by the name of Sandy. She lived with her parents and her brother in a beautiful white farmhouse, snuggled in the foothills of the Cascade Mountains.

Sandy filled her time after school and on weekends reading her favorite books, and painting with water colors. But what she loved to do most was play outside. She especially enjoyed flying the kite that her dad made for her from newspapers and round sticks. Summer was her favorite time of the year. Shorts, t-shirts and bare feet made her feel happy and free.

Long before Sandy was born there was a tree that grew in the forest. It was a very large cedar tree. On the tree were thousands of little splinters. There was one little splinter that was different from all the others. He was different because he dared to dream. His dream was to be the splinter that gets stuck in the finger of a little girl. His name was Harvey. Everyday Harvey did his exercises to be strong. When the time was right he wanted to be the splinter that poked out the furthest so he would stick into the finger of an unsuspecting little girl...

...[ to be continued ]

Wednesday, March 24, 2010


George Harrison was asked in 1987, if he still believed that all you need is love? This was twenty years after the Beatles had recorded the song. The question was part of a TV show looking back on the "Summer of Love"

His answer was simple, direct, and full of convection.

"Yes, absolutely!"

Love (Emmett Fox, 1937)

There is no difficulty that enough love will not conquer,
No disease that enough love will not heal,
No door that enough love will not bridge,
No wall that enough love will not throw down,
No sin that enough love will not redeem . . .
It makes no difference how deeply seated may be the trouble,
How hopeless the outlook, how muddled the tangle,
How great the mistake. A sufficient realization of love
will dissolve it all. If only you could love enough,
you could be the happiest and, most powerful being in the world.

All You Need Is Love (Lennon/McCartney, 1967)

There's nothing you can do that can't be done.
Nothing you can sing that can't be sung.
Nothing you can say but you can learn how to play the game

There's nothing you can make that can't be made.
No one you can save that can't be saved.
Nothing you can do but you can learn how to be in time

There's nothing you can know that isn't known.
Nothing you can see that isn't shown.
Nowhere you can be that isn't where you're meant to be.

It's easy.

All you need is Love

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

" Dad, REALLY!"

L's gift to me this Christmas. A Masterpiece! The words to the right side of the man are dialog. L. tells me "he's saying 'kfdb@gi&uh!g$ruhlku', Dad!" I laughed ~ and he was quick to respond, " Dad, REALLY!"

Monday, March 22, 2010

Return of the Splotch

This poster was for a friend of mine.

Lets go back a little bit. It started in High School. The local bands would come to me and ask if I would design their fliers and logos. Back then, everything was done by hand. If there was a mistake, I would have to start over. Advances in the last ten years have changed the way I do everything. What I can do on the computer today, was impossible to do back then. Adobe products, like Photoshop and Illustrator, allow me to add and subtract things from my original art quickly, therefore cutting down on time and frustration. Getting back to this piece. I love all the colors. To think it started from just a little doodle I drew at lunch. Everything is basically just one layer on top of another. From my original ideas, to line drawings, to watercolor splotches, and hand written text, forty layers finally making up one piece. It was a great learning experience. I had a great time!

[one of those splotches from the watercolor class is in this piece]

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Art of the Macabre

My fascination with the mystic of death, grave yards and headstones goes way back. I started making “rubbing” of headstones after a friend told me of his collection. The beauty of charcoal or graphite pencil on sketch paper takes on a life of its own. The rubbing shown here is from the Randy Rhodes Mausoleum in San Bernardino, Ca. Randy [1956 -1982] was the guitarist for Ozzy Osborne. The pencil lines in the rubbing are in stark contrast to John Tenniel illustrations, and that’s O.K. There is a time and place for both. The “Blue Angel” is a watercolor, pen & ink of a headstone in Rome. I did this around 2007. I like the freedom watercolor and ink gives me. I kind of like to work fast, and take the first thing that comes out of my head. I don’t know why I do that, short attention span maybe? Don’t they make medication for that?

[thanks to Randy and Gab for their help]

Saturday, March 20, 2010

The Brady Bunch On Acid

This one is my favorite. It started as a project with just the kids in a straight line, and ended up with the nine grid. Truth is, these days we’re more like the Brady Bunch on acid. G.[First Square, Second Row], and I worked very close together on his. All the kids where pretty vocal about their renderings, and gave some good feedback. H. [Second Square, Second Row], said “You made me look like a chipmunk!” S. [First Square, First Row], is the first born, and the first drawn. His success promised everyone after him success. I. [Second Square, First Row], always has a smile on, teeth optional. C. [Third Square, Second Row], like the flame red backdrop,he always has something cooking on the back burner, and when it’s ready, it's guaranteed to be mind blowing. L. [Third Square, Third Row], is the youngest of the boys, and there is no doubt, he can hold his own. Youngest of the seven kids, and the only girl, G-G. [Second Square, Third Row] Well, she's everybody’s favorite, and you can see why. Blessed vessel of all these beautiful cherubs is J. [First Square, Third Row] I know, because I was there to see every single one come out of her. [Third Square, First Row]That's me.

Mass Media Market Strategists

The inspiration for the hybrid of watercolor, pen & ink I do, goes back to a Tootsie Pop commercial from the 1970’s. I was taking a beginning watercolor class at Boise State University in 2006. We were given the assignment of doing an abstract. I loved it! Painting pictures of barns was not doing it for me. The finished piece was to be cut up into 5”X 7” splotches. From there, we picked our favorite one and reproduced its abstract qualities on a larger paper. I finish the assignment and the class, and had all of these beautiful splotches leftover. That’s when I remembered the commercial. It’s amazing what sticks in our minds, and even more amazing how it comes out. The commercial took Plain Jane pen & ink and married it with a psychedelic backdrop. That idea and Photoshop gave me permission to go crazy! So I would like to thank the mass media market strategists for plaguing my Saturday morning cartoons with their relentless assault of propaganda, for without you cramming this image in my brain, I would not be the person I am today.

The Inspiration

Friday, March 19, 2010

Mad As A Hatter

It’s a nice night out. The moon looks like the Cheshire Cat from “Alice in Wonderland”. This prompts The Hatter in me to ask, "Why is a raven like a writing desk?" Then you say, "Because Poe wrote on both."
Next time you get a chance, take a look at John Tenniel illustrations for Alice's Adventures in Wonderland (1865), and Through the Looking-Glass, and What Alice Found There (1871). They are beautiful. All his lines have meaning and purpose.

[thanks to Dion, for the answer to Hatter's riddle.]

Thursday, March 18, 2010

First Post

I went to the store for a few things tonight, among other things, I bought a loaf of that super duper whole wheat bread, a block of sharp cheddar cheese, and Gulden’s mustard. The mustard is what tipped me off. I had bought, right down to mustard, grilled cheese sandwiches the way my Dad made them. He’s the only guy that I knew that ever put spicy brown mustard on his grilled cheese sandwiches. As I looked in my shopping cart, I got the first hint of peace I have been waiting for since he died in August. Everyone has their thoughts about where we go when we die. I have quietly been beside myself for six months. Tonight at the grocery store I got the distinct feeling my Dad got to wherever he was going safely. And he wanted to tell me in away I wouldn’t mistake it for anything else. Grilled cheese sandwiches with mustard.

First post tonight: It’s my plan to talk about art mostly, but obviously, it can be about anything. For sure, you will see the art projects I’ve worked on, and will be working on.