Thursday, October 25, 2012

The Spinster Aunts

Drop by Gallery Nucleus this weekend to see this inherited portrait of the Spinster Aunts.  It's part of a group show celebrating Mike Yamada & Victoria Ying's new book Curiosities.

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Sunday, August 26, 2012

Something Wicked This Way Comes

Recently I've been exploring some digital work, and with the the help of Mike Yamada and Victoria Ying at the CDA, I brought up visual exploration of the Ray Bradbury story, Something Wicked This Way Comes.  I was trying to push the creature aspect of the carnival.

Sunday, July 01, 2012

Gallows Song

The Two Donkeys

A gloomy donkey, tir'd of life
one day addressed his wedded wife:

"I am so dumb, you are so dumb,
let's go and die together, come!"

But as befalls, time and again,
they lived on happily, the twain.


The third in a series of Gallows Songs I've been working on.

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Dandy Lion

I'm continuing with my formal animal portraits.  This isn't *actually* the cowardly lion, but I do love that line from the movie...I'm afraid there's no denyin'.  I'm just a dandy-lion.  I've had it in my head for a while now.  A fate I don't deserve?

Monday, May 07, 2012

My Backyard

I've left the poem as it fits in the original illustration for Highlights Magazine.   The poem was written by Lynda Hawkins.

Monday, April 30, 2012

White Russian Hamster

I'm continuing on with a slue of formal animal portraits.  Expect at least a couple more.  I did a wikipedia search for 'White Russian', and I was surprised by the number of different meanings.  I'm now wondering if I should have given him a cup of tea and had him be a White Russian Tearoom Hamster, but perhaps that would have been going too far.

 I had a horrible track record with hamsters growing up.  My sister was able to keep Bud alive and happy for many many years, but I seemed to kill off at least three during that same time period.  One died the day after we got it.  That was my cue to stop with the animals for a while.  Then, in the 6th grade I got a couple of gerbils--a boy and a girl.  In two years they had 50 babies, which we either gave away to friends or sold to the pet store in exchange for hamster food.  I'd call that a good solution if I didn't shudder each time I walked past a pet store snake section.  Yes, I have done my part in the overpopulation in the gerbil community..or the pet snake community.  I'm not sure which... but blame me.

Wednesday, April 04, 2012

Beauty and the Beast Final

Beauty and the Beast process

Here is the progression for this Beauty and the Beast image-- a piece for an important friend.  The underdrawing was scanned into the computer and I did a rough color comp to hash out how I wanted the composition to be arranged.  Some of the colors there are darker and moodier, but in the end I wanted an image that was ultimately romantic.  The third image down shows a final version, but revisions needed to be made.  The beast had to be burlier and stronger, and Beauty felt too contemporary.  After a rough sketch, a detail shot of the changes is presented last.

Tuesday, March 13, 2012


I've been busy  tidying up a number of different images, all in various stages of finish and/or publication.  In the mean time I hope you will enjoy this recent chicken head.  Thank you.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Interior of the Castle of Shadows

Here are  few of the interior chapter headings for The Castle of Shadows, which will be out this Spring.  We alternated three castle frames from chapter to chapter with an individualized circle image specific to the chapter.  The project was a lot of fun.  There are more where these came from.

Monday, January 23, 2012

Castle of Shadows Map

The Castle of Shadows is due out this spring from Houghton Mifflin.  Here is a sneak preview of the map I did for this charming story by Ellen Renner, which I can  best describe as a cross between a Hitchcockian political thriller and The Secret Garden.
The type placement is mine, and only an approximation.  The final design will be cleaner.

Friday, January 20, 2012

The Air

This piece was commissioned by a lover of Christian Morgenstern's Gallows Songs.  The poem, translated from German:

The Air

The air was once close to dying.

"Help me, my heavenly father"
she exclaimed with a very dull look.
"I am stupid, I'm fat;
You know everything else for the Council--
send me on trips, in a bath
and sour milk is recommended;
if not-- let me get the devil!"

The gentleman, fearing humiliation in front, 
invented for them- Tonmassage.

It is since then the world screams.
And the air grows splendid.

My challenge was to illustrate air.  Bubbles came to mind quickly, but a broader image left me stumped.  The bright fellow who commissioned the piece plays world class tuba and when another friend happened to mention that the B flat played for alligators on a tuba sounds precisely like their mating call, I decided to investigate further.  The male alligators respond to the tuba by reciprocating the same guttural noise, laying low in the water.  The vibrations off of their back create this amazing ripple and bubble effect on the bog surface.

With tonal massage, milk and birth all calling for representation, this is the image I cooked up.