Monday, November 17, 2008

Lil' Stuff

Here I am, once again, apologizing for not posting on this blog. I'm not sure who I'm apologizing to. I don't think anyone reads this one...which is fine. It's mainly a record for me to remember stuff..."for it is the doom of men that they forget." Wow, that was a random quote from the movie Excalbur. What a weird memory I have.
Anyway, this is a page from one of the many sketchbooks I've kept over the years. Who knows what was on my mind when I came up with this. That's what a sketchbook is for...randomness. I don't keep one anymore but I really should. There's no telling what kind of ideas might flow out at a random moment.
Man, this entry is really weird. I think I need to go to bed. G'nite lil' guys.

Tuesday, September 02, 2008

Punk Butch

I drew this from a photograph of my friend Butch dressed in his punk outfit. I don't know if I still have the photo and I don't know why he was dressed punk but I guess I liked the picture enough to do a drawing from it. I wasn't one to use colored pencils alot and I'm not sure why I chose that medium for this particular piece but it turned out okay. I have no idea what year this is from. Let's just call it a long time ago.

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Fire Face

When I was living in SC, probably around 2000 or 2001, I started painting again. It wasn't a successful time in that I only painted sporadically. However, during that time I did have fun. I went to Lowe's and bought some plywood and just started applying things to the surface. I experimented with mediums and didn't care too much for the imagery that was emerging. On this particular painting I used acrylic paint, flourescent tempera paint, shoe polish, chalk and oil pastels, grease pencil and who knows what else. It was all about the surface, building up texture and layers of color overlaid with white and black. Like I said, fun.
As I've said before, I long to have the space to start painting again. I hope that I will be able to have a studio some day that is big enough to accommodate painting.
I wish...

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Church Art?

I think I designed this back in 1997. I was working as a youth intern at my home church in Pensacola, FL. One of the events they had annually was a huge lock-in. At that point in time there were at least a couple of thousand teens showing up for the thing. It grew so big they started putting carnival rides in the parking lot. I believe we made a huge styrofoam version of this to hang as a promo piece but I don't have a picture of that. All I have is this. I used to do a lot of drawing at my church while growing up. I'll bet there's a ton of folks back home with sketches I've done on the backs of bulletins and such. I used to draw during the services and then I'd either give it or throw it away. 9 times out of 10 someone would take it from me to save it from the trash. Over the years I also worked as a custodian at my church and every once in a while one of the secretaries would have me draw up something they needed for VBS or whatever. I've designed characters for the children's ministry, VBS promo material, coloring books for the music department, and tons of clip art for the youth ministry. There's no telling how much I did for them over the years. I have some of it but I'm sure there's stuff I've forgotten. I'll try to share some of the other stuff with you all as time goes on. There's a metric buttload of it.

Wednesday, August 06, 2008

Dem Bones

I promised to show this picture back in February of 2007. I guess I'm a bit tardy. This entry goes with this past entry. Go there and then come back here. It will make more sense.
I took a drawing class in college (with the wonderful Sue Buck) and the assignment was to design a skeletal system for a cartoon character. Since none of the assignments ever let me show off my cartooning skills I decided to go nuts on this one. I did 2 drawings for the assignment. The Popeye drawing was done second. This one was first. It's a pretty good drawing. The only complaint I have about it is that I made the newspaper too straight. I should have had it all wrinkled and creased. I don't know why that didn't occur to me. Duh!
So this was one of my more successful drawings in college. I was right proud of it then still am today.
Click on the image to get a closer look.

Thursday, May 29, 2008

Company Cartoons

When I was at seminary in the early 90's I was part of a touring drama team called the Company. As you might imagine when you travel, rehearse and perform with up to 22 people at a time you can get a bit punchy. I'm sure many of our weirdest in-jokes came from too many late night van rides or rehearsals. This particular joke started with My Pretty Marky and grew from there. Mark's hair was magnificent and all the Company girls were jealous of it. Hence, My Pretty Marky became one of his nicknames. After that, someone wondered what it would be like to have Company action figures and, well, my weird artistic imagination did the rest. This was published in the Company newletter. All in all, I probably did 4 or 5 cartoons while I was in the group but this one turned out especially nice. You can click on the image for a larger view.

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Mr. Balloon Man

Back in SC, my friend Shawn is a balloon master. He started because he wanted to entertain his daughters and now he's into it big time. I created 2 different cartoon versions of himself for him to use for promotion. The first was his Chester the Clown persona. (I'll have to post that one later since it's on a disc somewhere) Later he tired of putting on the makeup so he became Mr. Balloon Man. That's the cartoon you are seeing to your left.
I haven't talked to Shawn in a long time. I hope he's still doing balloons and having a great time doing it.

Monday, February 11, 2008


Collagraphy is printed collage. You build a plate pretty much the same way you put together a collage but you have to build it in a way so that it can withstand the printing process. When I was introduced to printmaking in college, I fell in love with collagraphy. (It's no wonder I am now doing collage) Collagraphy was my favorite type of printmaking. Unfortunately, all of the prints and plates I did in college burned up in an apartment fire back in SC. The only existing prints reside with friends (I hope they still have them).
The collagraph above is the second one I ever did. The first was a trial in which I glued a work glove to a piece of cardboard and tried to print it. It was a mess. After that fiasco, I figured out the limitations and proceeded to make a plate. When I brought it in and started to print it, my teacher told me that I should spend more time on the plate...that it was too early to print it. I ignored her and printed it anyway. Her reaction was pretty sweet in that she had to admit that it was a really good image. I added some color and printed a small edition. It was fun. I really wish I had an original of this or a better image. It was a pretty amazing piece. And the funny thing is that I went home and built another plate and brought it in and my teacher told me the same thing. And the next turned out even better than the second one. I think she left me alone after that. Actually, she had me teach a workshop on collagraphy later on and I had similar experiences at other schools. The teacher's asked me to teach collagraphy because I was better at it than they were.
I really miss doing collagraphy. Perhaps one of these days I will be able to take a class at Sev Shoon or somewhere else in Seattle so that I will have access to a press. Of course, I've forgotten most everything I ever learned about it. But I can still build a plate. Who knows. I might just start with that.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

The "X" Paintings

I did these paintings around '98 or '99. I had a desire to paint but didn't have any ideas on what to paint so I just did some studies using the letter "x". It was actually quite fun. I used all types of mediums...even shoe polish.
I have a desire to paint again but I don't really have the space to do it. I've toyed with the idea of doing small cartoon paintings but I just haven't had time to play with it yet. In the future, it would be nice to have a studio where I could be free to do whatever without having to worry about getting paint on anything. That's the only way to paint really...with total abandonment and freedom.
I think my favorite of the bunch is the white one? What's your favorite?

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

The Wise Men of Klimt

Once again, it's been awhile since I posted on here. I just forget about it. So, without further ado, here's another moment in Mart History.
When I was in junior college, I took a painting class and I found it boring. The only project I enjoyed was the pointillism or stippling project. You know, placing dots together that looks weird up close but super from a distance. Seurat's Sunday Afternoon on the Island of La Grande Jatte is the most famous example. I wish I had a picture of that project. I think I eventually painted over it. Anyway, the point I was trying to make was that I didn't like the class so I didn't try painting again for quite a while. I dove into printmaking and the rest is Mart History.
While at the University of West Florida I decided to give painting another go. I took a class with a teacher who was all about you finding your own way. In other words, he didn't teach squat. So, I spent alot of time in the library looking at the different painters, finding the ones I really liked and trying to figure out what they did by copying. But before all that, I just tacked paper on the wall and started slinging paint around. It was quite fun and I came up with some really weird stuff. I enjoyed it so much that I neglected printmaking for a while. In fact, the only time I've ever lost time in the studio happened while I was painting. I went into the studio at 9 am and before I knew it, it was 5 pm. I had skipped lunch and suddenly realized I was hungry. It was a great feeling though...being in the zone like that.
One of the first paintings I ever did was the weird one you see above. It's scanned from a slide so it's not a very good image. Imagine the colors being more vivid and you'll be closer. At the time I was really into Gustav Klimt. I ended up zeroing in on a section of one of his unfinished paintings, turning it upside down and copying the patterns. The shapes started looking like weird heads so I created this weird little world called Planet Klimt. I called these guys The Wise Men of Klimt. I actually did several different takes on this design but I eventually moved on to other things.
I still love painting and hope to return to it someday. It's so weird to be confined to a tiny 5" by 7" space with my collages when I used to do these nearly wall sized paintings. I wonder if I'll have any trouble going big after working so small for so long? Probably, but I know how to get past that. Just sling some paint. That'll get the juices flowing again.

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Long Time, No Post

Gosh, it's been awhile since I've shared any Mart History with you all. Here's another cartoon I did on the computer while running sound for The Trial of Ebeneezer Scrooge at Taproot. I thought it looked interesting with the realistic castle in the background. That's the first time I've ever done that.
Here's hoping I can dig up some more stuff to share in the near future.

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Another Poster

Here's another poster from the Art on the Tracks days. Click on the pic for a better look.

Monday, April 16, 2007

Alien Surprise

Last Christmas, I ran the sound effects for The Trial of Ebeneezer Scrooge at Taproot Theatre. There were a couple of big breaks where I had nothing to do. The light board operator was reading a book but I found the light in the booth to be too low. Eventually I fell into doing these weird drawings with the Paint program on the computer. I did about 60 of them during the run of the show. I haven't had anywhere to post them so I thought I'd slap one up here for now. I kind of like this one. It's simple. I've thought of doing paintings based on some simple designs like these...I just have to find the time to do them. I should be able to squeeze them in there somewhere amongst the collaging, writing, reading, working, sleeping, and spending time with my wife. Yeah, right.

Sunday, April 15, 2007

Alma Mater

Here's another exhibition poster from 1989. This happened right after I graduated with my BFA. A bunch of us took this Summer Workshop with Judy Heuler and it was pretty amazing. We just took over the painting studio for the summer. We each set up a space and left it up for the whole summer. Not having to set up and tear down was great. You just walked in and started working. A lot of good work got done that summer got an exhibition out of it. I have no idea which pieces I did that summer or which ones got shown. Chances are they don't exist anymore (due to the apartment fire in 2000) or they are in someone elses possession. Frankly, all I remember was a summer of comradery and creativity.
Just a few days ago I received an email from UWF. (University of West Florida in Pensacola) It seems they are having an Alumni Invitational Art Exhibition. So, I sent my stuff in and we'll see what happens. On the email list, I found one of the girls that was in the summer workshop with me. I emailed her just to catch up. I only know where a couple of these folks are. I just hope they are still doing art or at least in the throes of rediscovering their me.

Monday, April 09, 2007

Art for Aliens

This is the poster for a show I was involved in back in Pensacola in the late 80's. For the life of me I can't remember the piece I had in the show but it looks like it was a fun show. On the poster are names of people that I remember fondly but have no idea where they are now. Actually, I do know that one of them still lives in Pcola and attends church where a friend of mine is the minister of music. I've asked him to have her contact me but she hasn't. She did tell him to tell me that she still has all the art I left with her to store. She says she's keeping it. I don't mind because I don't want it back. I wouldn't mind seeing it (and her) if I ever make it back home. I really don't have a clue which pieces of mine she has.
I do remember the piece that Debra Bond had in the show. She was in several classes with me at UWF and she did this really cool piece with an alien looking guy in it with a lightbulb shaped head. I think I referred to it as the "Lightbulb Man" or something like that and she used it as the title. We all used to help each other name our pieces. It was fun. I still help Sarah name hers.
Anyway...looking back on those Art on the Tracks days brings back fond and weird memories. Maybe I'll come across some of those folks one day. That might be nice.

Monday, March 19, 2007

Award Winning

This is a page right out of Art in America magazine in January of 1990. (to see it more clearly, you can click on the image) I was chosen to represent UWF in this art competition. I sort of remember one of the profs telling me they were going to nominate me for the award but I didn't think too much of it. It floored me when I won. It's too bad they didn't award cash but I did get $500 worth of art supplies. That's a cool thing for an art student. I still have some of the brushes that I use even now. They held up pretty good.
And, just in case you were wondering, I was in another magazine. Actually, I was on the cover. It was in October of 1995 and the magazine was Facts and Trends. It's a magazine of "News and Information from the Sunday School Board of the Southern Baptist Convention."
Yeah, I know. Nobody's ever heard of it.

Monday, March 12, 2007

Nekkid Women

Yep. That's right. I had to draw nudes when I was in college. All you Southern Baptists...look away!
I can recall the first day I had to draw a nude. Not only was she naked but there was a lot of her. (C' know what that means) For the first few seconds I paused, not sure what I should do. I finally began to draw. I can't tell you when the transformation from uncomfortable to comfortable took place but I can tell you that after a while, you just sort of view them as you would a still life. It's just something to draw. Heck, during breaks, we'd all just hang out and chat with the models. We got to know the ones that did it alot. It was no big deal.
For some odd reason, I only had to draw a male once and he wasn't nude. 99% of the time we had females. The first girl I drew was the big girl I was talking about earlier. She modelled for us so much, we got used to her and we could draw her blindfolded. Our instructor figured that out and threw us a major curve. She brought in this very athletic gal and it totally threw us all for awhile.
I do recall that I did get uncomfortable one other time. We were drawing the girl that is pictured to your left above. Well it was all going fine when out instructor brought out a ladder. The model put one foot on the floor and the other she planted way on the 4th rung. Well, as you can imagine, it afforded some of us quite a unique view. I had to move my easel to the other side of the room.
The only other time I got uncomfortable was during my first nude photo shoot. The instructors brought in a model for the class and for a while she posed in various costumes with props. After a while, she asked what we wanted next and someone suggested nude. (I'm sure it was one of the guys) She stripped and we all began to take pictures but after a few minutes I sensed that the atmosphere we a little too sexual. The guys in the room (except for me and the male instructor) were giving the model instructions as if it were a Playboy shoot. I started packing up my stuff. The female instructor asked if I was leaving. I answered in the affirmative and explained that I thought things had gotten out of hand. The next day I found out that she stopped the session right after I left.
I really miss figure drawing. It's great exercise. It keeps you limber and your chops fresh. If I had the time I would find a class in town and try to go once a week. Perhaps when I move beyond the collage stage that I'm in now, I will pursue a class. It would certainly be a good way for me to get back into top drawing form.

Monday, March 05, 2007


I did this painting in college. I believe it's called Neo-Plastodon. It was named by a fellow student because it looked to her like a dinosaur rising up out of rocks or something. To me, it's one of my most successful paintings. There's alot going on that you can't see here. The entire canvas is covered with gauze and then painted with bright colors. Then I painted over all that with the white and black. Up close, you can see all kinds of subtle color peeking through. The geometric patterns were governed by what the gauze did naturally on the canvas. Someone actually donated a large amount of gauze to the school and no one else wanted it so I decided to experiment with it. I ended up doing several gauze paintings. I sold one to a girl in Pensacola. I hope she still has it. I believe a couple of others are with another old friend in Pensacola. I asked her to store my paintings for me because she had the space and I guess I never asked for them back. Last I heard, she told a mutual friend that she still had them.
This picture of it is pretty terrible but it's the only record I have of the painting. When I lived in Birmingham, I met a fellow artist named Antjuan and we traded paintings. He got this one. The last time I saw him he told me that someone had stolen it but that he knew who did it and he was going to get it back. That cracks me up because the painting is about 6' X 5' and pretty heavy. It's not like you can tuck it into your coat and make off with it.
I really long to paint like this again. Not so much the imagery but just the freedom that a large canvas allows. It's like having a big field to run around in. It's so much fun. Unfortunately, apartment life doesn't allow for these types of expressions so I'll just have to wait until we can get a little more elbow room.

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Sincere Comics

Way back in the early 80's, I used to buy comics alot. Somehow the owner of this establishment, Dave Sincere, found out I was an artist (I probably told him) and asked me to do a flyer for him. I did and here it is presented in glorious black and white. I later did some other stuff for him...a business card and I can't remember what else. He was a nice guy. Everytime I went to the store he would tell me I was wasting my life...that I should be a comic book artist instead of going to college. Heck, maybe he was right...I don't know.
I remember going into his shop one day and he introduced me to this strange fellow who had a comic idea and wanted to find an illustrator. I talked to him and found him to be from the planet Huge Geek. I still remember his idea too. It was something like "Mr. Sound Effects and the Unknown Mind." I think it was a telepath and a guy who could make sound effects. Wow! What a super power.
I also remember meeting Dave Dorman at the shop one day. He's a famous artist especially well-known for his Star Wars renderings. Look him up.
Anyway, I eventually moved away and stopped collecting comics. I don't know if Sincere Comics still exists in Pensacola or not but I hope it does. If so, thanks Dave, for giving me a little bit of work.

Wednesday, February 07, 2007

Popeye's Anaktomy

I did this drawing in college. The assignment was to design a skeletal system for a cartoon character. I got so excited about the assignment, I did two. (I'll try to post the other one another time)
I'm quite proud of this drawing. It still looks pretty good to me. I think if I were to do the same assignment today, I would tackle it with some other medium besides pastel. But the pastel gave a softer look to the cartoon figure of Popeye and helped the illusion of depth. I tried to shade the figure so that he would seem 3D. I'm not sure I'd make the wall behind the blackboard brick but, at the time, it seemed the most strikingly visual thing to do.
Forgive the reflection of the photographer. This drawing has been encased behind plastic since the early 80's and I'm not about to take it out. That's why it's lasted this long without damage.