About a month or so ago, while I had some down time, I decided to try my hand at doing an interpretation of an old comic book cover, inspired by a blog that I’d been reading for the past six months or so called “Covered” run by an illustrator/cartoonist named Robert Goodin (his website here). I picked out a rather obscure canadian title from the sixties called ‘Ghost Rider’ from the multitudes of samples available at the comics.org site, and the original version can be viewed here. This was my first attempt at something like this, and I probably could have pushed the envelope a little further, but it was a fun break from the routine, and I may try my hand at this again sometime in the future should the opportunity arise. You can click on the image above to see a larger more detailed version of the illustration.
Continuing to do a lot of painting this month, finishing up some more xmas presents, and building up a catalog of paintings to choose from for a possible show later in 2011. The painting above is one of the latter ones.
Below is a portrait of a friend of ours that I’ll be handing her in a few days for a christmas present. She’s a bit of a gardening aficionado, and gave me a blank canvas (either last year or the year before, at which point I sketched her sitting in her living room, and promptly forgot about it for a long spell, that is, until I started up with this painting bug again)
I also finished up another xmas present, this one for my father who lives out in Phoenix.
The following two paintings were ones that I gave to my wife and son, and didn’t get a chance to take a photo of before they got put under the tree.
Again, thanks to Terri for the photos.
For the holidays this year, I decided to break the oil paints out of mothballs (I haven’t actually touched a brush to canvas since doing a gift for my sister-in-law’s sibling in January of ’09, almost two years ago), and do a series of paintings as xmas presents for my siblings, parents, nieces, nephews, wife and son.
I started out doing more ‘traditional’ images for my sibs and parents. Painting to ‘please the audience’ for the most part, and they ended up feeling more like a chore than anything else, and had a certain stiffness (most of these are pictured at the bottom of the posting). Then I started loosening up, and I had the most fun doing a series of small paintings for my young nieces and nephews (and my son), where I let myself go a little bit, subject wise, and these ended up inspiring me to continue painting in this fashion, and I may end up doing an extended series for a possible showing sometime later in the year. Most of these were quite small (5×7 for the most part)
The following pieces were the more ‘traditional’ paintings that ended up going to the more ‘traditional minded’ recipients. They tended to be a little larger in scale (anywhere from 10×16 to 16×20 in size). The sunset picture for a sister who lives in South Haven on the shores of Lake Michigan, the two fawns for my Mother who had a couple baby deer like this visiting the previous year at their Grand Haven home, and the ‘wine and cheese’ picture for my brother’s restaurant.
I have a few more to post sometime over the next week or so, the pictures I did for my son and wife, father and a close family friend, and I may post more in the coming year as I dabble in this a bit more.
Thanks to my wife, Terri, for the photos, which, for the most part, came pretty close to capturing the true colors and details of these pieces, which was challenging to say the least, and much better than previous efforts.
I’ll be adding some of these images to items at my Zazzle store over the next couple of weeks, in case anyone is interested in a print, postcard, etc.
After a slow couple of months, it was nice to have a fairly busy Christmas rush. It is also a little encouraging to see the illustrations taking a guardedly optimistic tone with regards to the economy. Hopefully this bodes well for the coming new year. The illustration above (and the ‘arrow’ spots below) were a quick turnaround project for the Wall Street Journal this week.
I also had a quick turnaround assignment for Barrons this week (which ended up getting held until the following week, after all), pictured below, and below that was an illustration for the Miami Herald.
A fairly busy week, and in addition to the projects crossing my desk, I still found time to perform some music on Monday and Tuesday, and I’ve been finishing up a series of oil paintings which I’ll be posting next week. It’s been about 5 years since the last time I got out the paints. Happy Holidays everyone and best wishes for the coming new year.
Christmas week started out nicely, with a couple of quick turnaround jobs, and by the end of the evening, I had 5 new jobs, most of which will be coming due by the end of the week. A little late to save the month, but it’s a nice trend that I hope continues for the next year.
The one above was a fast one for the Wall Street Journal this afternoon, part of the ‘aches & claims’ column that I’ve been illustrating for them since the early part of the decade (at one time a weekly column, then bi-monthly), but which have slowed down to a trickle of assignments during the latter half of 2010. The other assignment will be coming due in the middle of the week, at which point I’ll probably have a few new pieces to post.
ADDENDUM: The ‘Aches & Claims’ column, that I had been illustrating with some regularity since 2002 eventually wound down to nothing in the next few months, I would only have about two more illustrations for this column before it shut down completely. A nice run, and I would miss the regular conceptual challenges, not to mention the steady stream of reliable income. A big thanks to Sue Foster, my WSJ designer during most of this time, I sure enjoyed myself, and you were always a pleasure to work for.