Back to Work

AHMM, MacMillan, River Styx

Been a while since I’ve written.

The green light to begin sketches on the graphic novel came through over the weekend, and I began work on outlining the structure of the book, and this week I have been hard at work at sketches. Nice to be busy again. I’ve set the paint brushes aside for now, but hopefully when things get a bit more under control I can return to them.

But as a nice reward for getting back into the painting, I decided to enter three pieces in this year’s “Festival of the Arts” visual arts competition. Our town hosts an all-volunteer run arts festival every year (this is their 50th year anniversary), and I have only ever entered artwork once before, way back in 1990 (or thereabouts). I am pleased to report that all three were accepted and will be on display from June 1-22 at the old art museum here in Grand Rapids. From the previous post, the paintings were “Life of the Party” (the sleeping man with the party hat), “Shot and a Beer” (man in the tee shirt with the bottle of J&B) and “The Water’s Fine” (the girl in the bathing suit).

Meanwhile, I’ve also had a few smaller assignments to work on in the margins. Above was another fiction piece for Alfred Hitchcock’s Mystery Magazine, and below is a sketch for an upcoming River Styx assignment.

And as a sneak peek at what has been taking up most of my time this week, here’s a look at one of the sketch pages for the Dan Rather “What Unites Us” graphic novel. More on this, I’m sure, over the coming months.

Lots of Time at the Easel




I haven’t touched the oil paints for almost a decade, but the unseasonal slowdown in my work schedule, paired with the wait for several upcoming projects to get started, inspired me to pick up the brushes again. I haven’t ever been this prolific with the paintings, even when I did a series of small works for my family in 2008. I’m still not very good at taking good photos of these (the colors look much better in person), but here’s a sampling of what I’ve been up to the past month, in the ‘physical art materials’ world. The first three I’m planning on entering in our Grand Rapids Festival of the Arts in a few weeks (this is something I have only tried once before in the forty years we have lived here), and are my favorites of the pieces I’ve done so far.




These paintings are all based on old snapshots that I’ve found on the internet, some were in black and white and some are grainy old polaroids. Below are a few more along the same lines.







The next few are still ‘in progress’, with a little more work yet to be done. The one of the two girls embracing, was a recycling of the canvas of the ‘purple sunrise’ painting that I included in my last ‘painting’ post (I was quite unhappy with that one).





I’ve also been doing some of the more traditional landscapes and still life paintings, and reworking others that I previous posted.

paint6A tiny 9×3 horizontal of the Killarney National Forest in Ireland.

paint7The Little Sable Lighthouse on Lake Michigan.

paint8A shoreline St. Croix landscape (reworked from previous version).

paint9And finally, a still life from a ‘painting party’ we threw several weeks ago with some ‘artistic’ friends of ours. Possibly more of this stuff to come, as continue to mark time waiting for the various book projects I have scheduled to get the green light.





Excuse the Mess

Hudson Valley, Today Media



The website may be off and on over the next few days/weeks, as we have decided to change hosting sites, and need to switch the website over. Hopefully it goes without a hitch, but you never know. Thanks for your patience.

Still awaiting the green light on the graphic novel project. Above is a spot illustration for Hudson Valley I did this morning. I have a lot more paintings to post but I’ll do that in a separate entry.

Chomping at the bit

Green Prints



A couple of illustrations for GreenPrints this afternoon. Still in a holding pattern on projects that I’ve got lined up but with no green light to proceed as of yet. Been doing a lot of painting, which has been a bit of a blessing in disguise, and we’ve been informed that our backpacking permits have been approved for a summer trip down the John Muir Trail, so I can also begin stressing out about that big upcoming hole in my schedule. Been a weird year so far.


Picking Up the Brushes Again


irelandpaintwebFor some reason, I found myself digging the oil paints out of mothballs (after a ten year hiatus) and have picked up a pile of new blank canvases and have started oil painting again. The one above is of the coast of Ireland from a trip we took there a few years ago, and below is one of a sunrise on St. Croix.

stcroixbeachwebI still haven’t quite figured out how to take decent photos of the art, to best capture the colors and eliminate the glare from lighting sources, but I’d say those two on top of are the ones I’ve been the most happy with so far. Below are several other paintings that I’m still working on, adding various tweaks every couple of days.



KathninetailswebWhatever the reason for my sudden interest in painting again, I’m grateful, as it has certainly been fun, and lifted my spirits tremendously in the past few weeks. Once the ‘big project’ shows up, I’ll probably end up putting all this on a back burner, but for now, we’re painting again…