Ann Arbor

Barrons, Blown Covers, Facebook Faces

My Dad went into the hospital last Wednesday the 26 having a series of siezures, and it has been a long difficult week shuttling back and forth between Grand Rapids and Ann Arbor, living out of the hospital hospitality hotel and averaging about 2-3 hours of sleep a day. Thank goodness for the help of my siblings who have been pitching in and working in shifts, so each of us can catch up with work for a couple hours a day. Still not out of the woods, but I’m taking a short respite today (Thursday) working at my home and getting a full night’s sleep, after which, I’ll be back at the hospital for the weekend. Dad’s only semi-lucid and cognizant at this point, but showing signs of improvement every day. More than likely he will be spending some time in a rehab facility once the hospital stay is deemed complete.

In the meantime, life and work marches on. The ‘Blown Covers’ contest is currently in the process of presenting the monthly winners of the ‘Halloween’ contest, and below is my entry for this particular theme (included among the ‘slush pile’, which was presented at the beginning of the contest this month due to popular demand). Mine was an attempt to comment on how the Xmas season seems to be encroaching earlier and earlier on the holiday season. This sketch was completed about 2 and a half weeks ago.


Also this week, I’ve been working on more illustrations for the ‘investment book’ (all of which have been kept under wraps for the time being, on request from the author), plus wrapping up the museum figures project, and below, is a rush assignment for Barrons on voting influence.

Currently working on another WSJ assignment, which I’ll post later, plus several sketches for upcoming projects that I need to catch up on. Found a little time later in the day to resume with my ‘facebook faces’ self imposed project. This one is of Paul, another of the local singer/songwriters I met through a local songwriter group.

163 & Blown Cover Entry

Blown Covers, Facebook Faces


Really liked how last night’s portrait of Matt came out (#162), so tried to do another in a similar style (couldn’t quite capture the same magic though). This one is of ‘Cat’, another of the ‘Woody Guthrie’ people from that local theater production I was involved with several years ago (she was the stage manager), and we all seemed to join facebook right at about the same time. Others from that group include: #160 (John, Props), #149 (Bill, fiddle player, pit band), #117 (Martin, music director), #102 (Erin, asst. director), #37 (Bud: old woody/pa), #42 (Glen: middle age woody), #51 (Annie: ma), #100 (Keenan: young woody) and #127 (Margi: choral director), and of course, myself (Tim: Cisco & utility infielder).

And another ‘Blown Covers’ contest is over, and here was my entry for this month.

Meanwhile, continuing to finish up the ‘investment book’ interior illustrations, and I’ll be starting on another museum display project next week. Hope to be home in Grand Rapids this evening.

139 Kris (+Blown Covers +Amish Girls +etc)

Baker Book House, Blown Covers, Facebook Faces


Today’s facebook portrait is of another local bass player, Kris. A rather quick one today again, as the workload was pretty full. (and¬†interestingly enough, I just did the math on this project, and, having started it on March 28th, 142 days have elapsed, and with me having completed 139 of these portraits, I’m pretty pleased to see that I’m only 3 days behind the original pace I set for myself — a couple of ‘double-dip’ days and I should be right back on schedule).
Another ‘Amish Girl’ interior illustration (I’ve set myself a quota of one of these a day, until I get done with the other ongoing projects I’ve yet to finish up, at which point, I’ll probably speed up on the progress), and then another illustration for the ongoing investment book project.

And, with the ‘blown covers’ contest all but complete this month (the ‘slush pile’ will likely be posted tomorrow), it is probably safe to post my entry for this particular ‘global warming’ topic. I had a pretty weak concept this time out, as I was consciously trying to avoid the sort of images that were presented at the outset by way of inspiration (but it turns out that was exactly what they were looking for, i.e.: New York underwater or Polar Imagery). I probably had NASA and the Mars Rover on my mind, and I wanted to show how tiny and fragile our world was from a far off perspective, with no place else to go if we ruin it, and with a hint of a footprint in the foreground to remind how humans have an impact wherever they go. Probably should have brainstormed a little harder.

111 Trout & Blown Covers

Blown Covers, Facebook Faces, xibitz


Working today on the ‘museum figures’, and will take a break in the afternoon for a long bike ride, but in the meantime, I also found time for today’s ‘facebook portrait’. This one is of my wife and ‘first mate’, Terri, done in oils (taken from a photo of her on our sailboat last summer).

And, there are some changes going on over at the ‘blown covers’ blog, with the weekly pace becoming too hectic to keep up with for the authors/curators, and it will switch over to a monthly format starting this week (with 7 more contests promised). The sketch below was my entry for last week’s ‘cats and dogs’ theme, which ended up in the reject pile. I was happy to see, however, that I was the only one who touched on the ‘Romney dog carrier’ idea. My first idea, doing something along the lines of a ‘facebook for dogs’ (whenever our dog goes out to sniff along the property line, we refer to it as ‘checking nosebook’, and imagine her ‘liking’ certain scents, or feeling the need to ‘comment’ on others), well, that concept was only picked up by one other artist, and it was more neatly and concisely drawn than I probably would have handled it.

Anyhow, with seven more of these ‘contests’ to go, I plan on trying to do a sketch for each and finish out the cycle. It has been an invaluable creativity exercise over the past few months, right when I needed it most.

Later in the afternoon I finished up another of the ‘museum figures’ (as well as made some adjustments to some of the existing figures).

back to work

Blown Covers, xibitz


Spent a long weekend sailing and taking a break from work over the 4th holiday, and am having a hard time getting back into ‘work mode’, but I still have enough on my plate that the ‘facebook portraits’ will still be put on a back burner for a few more days. The black and white figures above and below are for a Museum display project that I’ve been working on for several months and are now starting to move into the final phases. More of these to come later in the week.


My ‘Blown Covers’ sketch last week is pictured below. Had a hard time with this one, and with a busy week, wasn’t able to put as much time into conceptualizing as I would have liked, so wasn’t too surprised that it got lost in the shuffle. Still, I enjoy the challenge each and every week of just ‘getting it done’.