Monday, October 20, 2008

Diversity on Demand

Along with my routine commercial illustration assignments, those that help to pay the bills, come more personal undertakings and utilizations of my art, be they gifts, or commissions, or donations to a good cause. What follows is a sampling of a few recent such works which draw upon my knack for diversity of style, as well as a handful of those aforementioned bread and butter winners.

Clementines! Clementines!

This gouache illustration on watercolor paper was a gift for my good friends Eric Reynolds and Rhea Patton, celebrating the birth of their lovely daughter, Clementine Bean, as well as being a tardy birthday gift for the father himself. It was, obviously, a work of pure pleasure and love.

Flintstone, Underdog and Frankenstein

This gouache illustration on manila drawing paper was a commission for one of my Cartoon Jumble portraits, by friend and fellow cartoonist Pat Moriarity, who requested that I combine the three characters he drew the most as a child. It too was nothing but a pleasure. It was also the very first time I’ve ever drawn Underdog. Thanks again, Pat!

The Morphing Gentleman

Though drawn back in 1997, I’ve nevertheless include this piece, a brush and ink improvisation on paper, as it has just been donated to an innovative new arts-outreach project in Seattle, The Art Lending Library, which offers a borrowing gallery of art to those who might not otherwise be able to afford or encounter the experience of owning and displaying original art in their homes. Art, in many areas of discipline, can be checked out, just like a book, and returned when due so others can enjoy it too. A truly democratic sharing of imagery, sort of a grassroots alternative to greedy image-acquiring corporations like Getty and Google. I’m always happy to help with such unique and thoughtful enterprises, if at all possible.

Kitten Gets the Mitten

This pencil sketch, inspired by Jan Pfloog’s marvelous illustrations in The Tiny, Tawny Kitten, first published by Golden Books in 1969, is to appear in an upcoming show at Chocolati CafĂ© in the Greenwood neighborhood of Seattle. Entitled Animals & Mittens, it is a benefit for the Doney Memorial Clinic, which offers cost-free veterinarian services to the pets of homeless individuals. What heartless soul could resist such an invitation to support such a helpful cause?

Humphrey Tackles the Debating Season

This feature illustration ran in Seattle’s The Stranger, and its sister paper to the south, Portland’s The Mercury. Written by William Steven Humphrey, creator of the eminently goofy, and very funny, I Love Television column (see below), it ran the week of September 25th, at the outset of the Presidential debates. I did my best to help illuminate Steve’s pithy take on the need for a more visceral approach to the arena of debating decorum.

I Love Television, Again and Again and Again and…

Here are half a dozen recent illustrations from the column my drawings have been decorating, every week, since the Fall of 1996. William Steven Humphrey’s I Love Television is, without a doubt, my favorite regular newspaper gig. Long live the Hump!