It's the Pictures that got Small

I've been illustrating spots for Vancouver magazine's Panorama section for the past four years. In today's market, that's like a lifetime. Happy to report we are still going strong. It's like a roulette wheel of random topics, with a universal range of subjects covered.


These run at about 1" square, so there is always a premium of distilling images down to their simplest form. It's the kind of discipline that keeps you sharp.


Next on the list is the Art of Roughhousing. Having raised two boys relatively unscathed, I consider myself to be a bit of an authority on the subject. 'Rasling was always a favorite after-dinner activity with the lads when they were toddlers and I always allowed them the priviledge of pinning me for the count. When I was handed this manuscript, I realized there were levels of Rough Housing that I had never considered. These are well-planned, creative physical activities to engage in with your kids.




Too many kids are sheltered to the point of becoming sedentary. This book gets you to move and have fun with your kids. It's definitely a step in the right direction.




Get Out!

I love what I do and I'm lucky to have a really great studio. But if I don't get outside I go crazy. Time spent away from the studio, and escaping that feeling of always being 'on' is absolutely essential. It's like a reset button that allows creativity to untangle itself and flow again. It's been a long winter and now it's warm, things are green and it's time to gear up for summer, to get outside!

Summer is always too short and there are too many things to do, but I desperately try to get as much as I can out of it. I usually try to take the month of July off and spend time on the dock at the cottage, exploring trails on the mountain bike and swimming with the kids. This year I'm planning on loading up the car and driving to the Rockies, a la Clark Griswold, on a camping trip.

I do a lot of 'how-to' assignments, but this one was sweet because I have done enough wilderness camping to have a first hand experience as well as a real passion about the subject. I've done a number of canoe trips and know enough to pack the essentials and travel lightly. But I also know how important it is to bring along a hammock and espresso maker.

This series was commissioned by Gary Davidson at Explore Magazine, for a feature call 'Camping 101'. I carry a sketchbook along on my canoe trips. I've also worked on a number of personal journal sketches that were used as model for this series. I like the simplicity of working with two colors, keeping things simple for the sake of clairty.

Be prepared for anything. Stay dry and make sure you know how to build a good fire. When's the last time you were deliberately out of mobile phone range? It can be done.


The President's Brain is Missing

Not a quote from Donald Trump, but the title of a brilliant and funny sci-fi story by John Scalzi, over at
Working with Irene Gallo is always a treat. I haven't posted this illustration yet, this was initially available only for registered members of the site.


This is one of those images I've been meaning to post for a while, but today I was given a reason - this piece was 'chosen' by the American Illustration 30  jury. Not sure how many would dig deep enough on the AI website to find it, so here it is!



Nothing like a change of seasons, and nothing more exciting than springtime. Once the snowdrifts melt and the yard gets cleaned up, it's time to play.

Spring was on my mind when I whipped up this cover for the Washington Post's Real Estate section. Snowflakes were still drifting by the studio window when I was working on this piece, but it was warm and bright in the studio.


Hard Knock Renovations

I own a house that was built over 100 years ago. I know renovations. I have resurfaced, remodelled and repainted almost every square inch of my home over the years. It's an ongoing obsession and if I ever get everything done I will probably have to sell it. Not that it's all bad - I enjoy the results - recently I was riding high after finally wiring proper lighting in my dingy basement (another in a long list of small victories).

I really enjoyed working on this assignment for Indianapolis Monthly, about the nightmarish ordeals faced by a pair of naive homebuyers who picked up a lot more than they bargained for buying a house without having an inspection, and doing the renovations on their own. They called the house 'Beelzebub', and were convinced for a while that the house wanted to do them in. Fortunately, both have prevailed.

  I'll be getting back to my ongoing projects later this week. Building a workshop in the basement. I like this quote by Jerome K. Jerome:

'I want a house that has got over all its troubles; I don't want to spend the rest of my life bringing up a young and inexperienced house. '