Wednesday, October 28, 2015


Halloween Adventure, for Illustration Friday
A nice little witch flew by to announce that it's almost time to light the jack o' lanterns again. Then she and her little kitty sailed off for a spooky adventure way out into the charcoal sky.
Are you ready for the goblins to wander by?
Happy Halloween, wherever the night takes you!

Thursday, October 22, 2015


Seasonal Stuff!
Is it just me, or do you agree that scarecrows are sort of creepy?  I mean, they're created to sit silently out in the cornfield with the intent of scaring birds or other creatures. Then in the autumn, faded and tattered they remain, with fixed expressions staring off into space. Like morbid mannequins, they bide their time, content to stay and seemingly unfazed whether their duties were accomplished or not.

Cornfields were few and far between when I was a kid growing up in suburban Southern California, so these guys randomly appeared in small backyard gardens or as novel, holiday props.  Some of our older and creative neighbors had fun with Halloween, setting up elaborate seasonal displays on the path towards the doorstep. Most of these were just to create a little atmosphere and amusement before the trick or treaters could get to the goodies. Of course, there was always the trickster in the neighborhood who would be sitting there unmoving, dressed as a scarecrow or some other stuffed dummy, just waiting for the unsuspecting kid to walk by so he could jump out and scare the living bejeezus out of that poor soul. Having two older brothers, I was pretty used to being tortured like this and expected to be frightened at every turn. But I did take an extra glance any time there was the possibility that a human being was inside any part of the Halloween decor. Just a quick glance though, because ultimately there was a nice person waiting at the front door ready to hand out treats.

You might have guessed, the theme at Illustration Friday is "Stuffed." Rather than thoughts of settling into cushy, comfortable chairs after a full meal or cuddly, fuzzy animals, I'll be waiting with my friendly (hopefully not too scary!) scarecrow. We're almost ready to fill a few bags with treats, here. And I promise, no tricks! ;o)

Wednesday, October 14, 2015


Autumn Moon and Stars
I once worked in an art department where the person who signed the checks was convinced that there were certain shapes that none of us clumsy, hired hands would ever be able to execute the degree of perfection which was required to create the production patterns for this product. So each time these shapes appeared in one of the designs, rather than sending our inferior efforts back (to the check signer) for a series of rejections, we tediously spliced copies of one or more of these computer generated shapes into our otherwise very exact, precise and hand inked vellum patterns. To add insult to injury, once these patterns arrived at the factory overseas, their employees would interpret them by very primitive hand painted methods and the results weren't always so pretty. They, too would always throw it back to us, to try to cast blame on the patterns they were given to follow.

Anyway, one of these standard shapes happened to be a star. The check signer had this idea that there existed a uniform and perfect five pointed model, similar to the old fashioned gummed, foil types one might get as a reward if such a thing existed. But we were rewarded richly- with vellum sheets of these stars printed by the row, in every imaginable size, waiting in our flat files for the next design that summoned the surgical precision and dreaded honor of wielding the golden Xacto. Needless to say, we avoided including these shapes in our designs if we could help it!

Coincidentally, "Star" is also the posted topic at Illustration Friday this week. From the heavens above, the sparkly radiant objects that inspire poetry, songs and dreams also stir dark memories of living nightmares. So I'm just here to have some fun with watercolor today- Imagining star shaped leaves in autumn, wobbly, little hand painted stars and a kind and gentle moon nestled in the clouds.  I never set out to be perfect. And I think that is universal knowledge by now. ;o)

Thursday, October 8, 2015


Ink, for Illustration Friday
Some things are indelible and can't be erased or covered up, no matter how badly we'd like them to disappear.