Monday, December 22, 2008

The book to buy NEXT Christmas!

Designer Ian Black and I are working on a children's book co-written by his mother and his son. When the lucky publisher identifies themselves and comes forward with a deal to proceed, we're sure this will be all the rage next Christmas. I'll keep you posted, and hope everyone has a Very Merry Christmas, and I hope you don't lose any teeth over the holidays. It gets confusing.

Friday, December 19, 2008

Illustration Friday: Voices

I heard voices. I heard them all week. In my head.

 The voices said, "The Illustration Friday word this week will be either 'Cookie' or 'Dough', and that will enable you to use your existing holiday cartoon and you can post it quick enough to be hot on the heels of that Willie Baronet. Just don't ever expect to beat him. You will be disappointed. Only Tina has that power." 

But the voices lied. Or I misunderstood them. People do that you know. Misunderstand the voices that they think they are hearing. Happens all the time. 

Then I heard another voice. It said "What's stopping me?"

Friday, December 12, 2008

Illustration Friday: Rambunctious

"Marked by uncontrollable exuberance: UNRULY." Good thoughts for a Friday.

Monday, December 8, 2008

It was 28 years ago today...

John and Yoko. 1981. Oil on canvas. h18 x w24 in.

I was watching Monday Night Football in my apartment in Dallas. The Miami Dolphins were hosting the New England Patriots. Miami won the game 16-13 in overtime, with a 23 yard field goal by Uwe von Schamann. His 3rd field goal of the night. It was December 8th, 1980. I'm sure I was nursing a beer. I'm sure it was a Coor's. I was just a child and had not yet cultivated my sophisticated taste for imported malt beverages.

It was during the broadcast of that game when Howard Cosell broke the news to the world that John Lennon had been shot, and killed.

I'm sure I had several more beers that night. 

I painted the above oil painting a few weeks after that night. It's of the iconic photograph taken by Kashin Shinoyama that appears on the album cover of Double Fantasy, John Lennon's then just released record. The album cover is black and white, but I squinted my eyes and imagined some subtle colors.

Friday, December 5, 2008

What's the deal with Pirates?

These are some drawings I did yesterday for a children's musical songbook about pirates. What's with the fascination with pirates? They're criminals! Is it their silly clothes? Is it living on the ocean? Is it getting something for nothing? Probably just the funny way they talk, and the fun rides at Disney World. Do you know what a pirate's favorite letter of the alphabet is?? Rrrrrrrrrrrrrr!

Illustration Friday: Similar

It's eery how similar Brad Pitt and I are to one another. It's actually getting kind of old. I like my space, you know what I mean?  But what's really weird is how my mom looks nothing like Mrs. Pitt.

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Happy Birthday Howard Finster! Rest in peace.

Today would be the 92nd birthday of the Reverend Howard Finster, the eccentric artist who claimed in 1976 that a smudge of paint on his finger told him to "paint sacred art". Finster is credited with fueling the "outsider art" movement. He went on to paint thousands of paintings, of which I'm privileged to own a couple. He counted as his friends David Byrne of the Talking Heads and Michael Stipe of R.E.M. He painted album covers for both bands. The song Maps and Legends by R.E.M. is a tribute to Mr. Finster. I painted the above painting of Howard Finster in 1992 as a baby gift for my friends Scott and Lori, who are fans of his art, after the birth of their daughter Beatrice. I showed a polaroid of the painting to Howard during a visit my family took to his Paradise Garden in Penville, Georgia. He said that a lot of people have drawn his picture, and that mine was "real good".  Howard Finster died October 22nd, 2001. So, happy birthday Howard, I hope you're happy at whatever planet you landed on.
Painting the portrait of Howard Finster.

Howard giving me a brief drawing lesson.

This is Howard holding my daughter Kelly, 
who is now 17 years old.