Messing around with the ‘paint tools’ in my software package, I drew up this quick self portrait in the winter of ’06.
As an xmas present to my wife I promised that I would do an honest to goodness oil painting (not digital) of whatever she chose. I ended up doing a family portrait based on a series of photographs of us that were taken on South Manitou Island back around 1999 (we had photos of me and Keenan, of me and Terri, and of Terri and Keenan, but not one of the three of us together). This was the first time I’d put brush to canvas in almost ten years. I certainly enjoyed the experience, the smells of the paints and thinners, the feel of a brush in my hand, but it is not something I’m liable to jump back into anytime soon. She seemed happy with it, and we framed it with a nice gold frame and stuck it in the living room.
During a slow period in early January, I started work on a piece for a promotional mailing. I never ended up actually using this piece, when the workload went back to its usual standards, and I forgot all about doing a mailing until later in the year, when this idea didn’t seem quite so fresh. I love doing caricatures, and group portraits are always a blast to try and figure out logistically (not only do you have to nail one face fairly closely, but you have to try and get a bunch of them at the same time). At the time, we were regular viewers of this television program, and it always cracked me up how perfect everybody’s hair always looked, despite being marooned on a deserted island. It is not often that I do ‘non work related’ projects like this (and actually see them through to finish). I’ll try and post more of these oddities as I run across them in the archives.
2006 started out fairly busy. In addition to all the pieces posted in this entry I also had a series of illustrations and a quarterly newsletter for AG Edwards that I’ve been providing illustrations for over the past few years. I don’t include these illustrations in this site in deference to our usage agreement (but will post them when the time window expires). I also had a textbook project for Adventure House during the month of January, that needed a series of 40 or so small spot cartoons, that I also do not include in this blog due to contractual obligations (and due to the fact that most of them just weren’t all that interesting – pictures of medicinal bottles and faces of different types of people).
At the top, is pictured an illustration that I did for Newsday, for their lifestyle section. This article talked about how the new year’s season is prime time for couples to split up.
The small spot to the left, and the small spot on the right, are both from my semi-regular ‘health care’ column that I provide for the Wall Street Journal. The one above concerning the health benefits of bee venom, and the one to the right is probably something to do with ‘female troubles’ (based on the conservative nature of the illustration).
Also for Newsday, I had a same day black and white assignment in early January regarding the ‘trapped miners’ that were big news around this time, with regards to how the press was being insensitive to the feelings of the family members for whom this was on ongoing ordeal.
Another piece for the same client, was another same day black and white assignment, this one being about the recent elections in the middle east.
I had a couple pieces for America magazine around this time. I don’t quite remember the topics of either of these. If I had to guess, I would say the one above had to do with lay ministry and the one below having something to do with ministering to the sick and elderly. (above and below)
This piece to the left was for Barrons. Once again, I’m afraid I don’t remember the topic. I used a technique that I only use every once in a while on this one (that I really should incorporate more often). When I have an illustration with a plain white background, I like to put just a hint of yellow around the image, as it really seems to help ‘pop’ the black lines of the illustration.
The Chronicle of Higher Education assigned a pair of illustrations to me in January. The piece to the right had to do with medical students and interns needing much more practical experience working with actual patients rather than the textbook-heavy studies that they currently seem to be getting. Thanks to my wife for posing as the student for me.
For the same client, I also had a rather long horizontal illustration. Something to do with government eavesdropping on student’s online communications. This was rather an awkward layout and concept, but I tried to make the best of it.
And, finally, in addition to all these, I had a full page cartoon illustration for Christian Home and School, about preparing your toddler for school, and the ridiculous lengths some parents go to to get their child a good ‘head start’. My dog ‘Lady’ makes an appearance in this one.
A fairly steady year workwise. My Father’s cancer went into remission and I was able to return home at the beginning of the year. Several new clients signed on this year, among them was Barrons (a subsidiary of the WSJ) who has kept me fairly busy in the latter half of the decade.
Dabbled a bit more in music recording this year, and released a cd of original songs, along with the help of a collaborator (available here).
My son is a Sophomore in High School this year. Sailed Lake Michigan in the summer months, and took up Disc Golf as a new hobby on a limited basis.
These are what I consider my best work of 2005:
294 illustrations this year, bringing the total up to 10,652 since 1989. Less than half of the volume of last year’s output, but at nearly the same salary, so I think I must be doing something right.