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Thursday
Apr282011

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.

Wednesday
Apr202011

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 Tor.com.
 
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!

Wednesday
Mar232011

Springtime

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.

Tuesday
Feb152011

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. '

Sunday
Jan302011

Out of the Deep Freeze

Here is the lastest screenprint, part of a series of swimming robots I am working on. He is happy at home in the aqueous depths, I am busy working my way through the depths of winter.

It's a deep freeze. Great weather for making ice rinks (been a great year so far!) but my thoughts keep wandering somewhere far away, where the surf is rolling and the sun is hot. I won't be escaping winter this year, so I just have to wait it out. It's always a great time to get to work in the studio and dive into new directions.
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