Monday, December 31, 2012

Oh, Hey!

Oh, hey! It looks like I've got my new machine on line.

I hear firecracker explosions all around, in honor of the new year. Handle them things with care, will ya?

Arline Judge — Girl Crazy — 1932

Love, Comfort & Good Will

Okay, here's one of those bad news/good news kind of things.

Bad news is that my computer is finally kaput once and for all, even after months of replacement parts and repairs.

Good news is that I have a brand new magic machine to get up to speed, so I can finish my immediate deadline and maybe get back to some sort of normalcy.

Bad news is that right now, I'm coming to you from my iPad until I get up to speed, so I can't post my new year's images that I was gonna do.

Good news is at least I can type one letter at a time to wish you all a GOOD new year---with love, comfort and good will!

Sunday, December 30, 2012

Art Remains A Mystery

A Treasure

Mucha is a treasure for the world, it being a better place because of him. I take comfort in looking at his work.

Alphonse Mucha — Hearst's International — December 1922

Saturday, December 29, 2012


It doesn't matter how often you have seen a particular stunning graphic by Mucha, it's stunning every time you see it!

Alphonse Mucha — Zodiac Panneau — 1896

This is a print I bought at a private museum in London.

A Child's Dream

I dunno, perhaps, perhaps, just perhaps this poster might have been an inspiration for Winsor McCay to dream up Little Nemo in Slumberland—coming out several years before Nemo's debut. Y'know, Nemo's dream friend Flip was a sort of a clown . . .

Well, anyway, this is a fun approach for a circus promotion, although the graphic layout could have been done a wee bit better by not spreading all the characters out so evenly.

Barnum & Bailey — circus poster — 1896

Happy End of Year, Still Time to Be Festive Week

Bob Pepper — holiday greeting card — 1980s

Have Yourself a Merry Little Winter

Helen Dryden — Vogue — 1920

Friday, December 28, 2012

Fancy Dress Fashions

I wanted to post this cover on the 15th, just to be timely, but on that day my plans were foiled.

Frank X. Leyendecker — Vogue — December 15, 1913


Because of computer problems, I wasn't able to post up, in a timely fashion, some Christmas stuff I had ready to go. So while it's still a holiday week, and the computer is temporarily behaving, this is a glowful book cover by the ever-glowing Scott Gustafson. 

Let's pretend that this shows Santa coming home after his journeys to a private celebration at the Claus abode.

©1993 Scott Gustafson

Miss Me?

I'm BAAAaaackkk . . . 

Brian Bolland — Wonder Woman #63

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Enchanted Source

This is a thermal sort of iPad photo taken on Christmas Day at Kensington Gardens, the enchanted source of Peter Pan's origin, and one of Arthur Rackham's inspirations for his illustrations. When I get home and get back up to speed, I plan to do a special journal edition on this subject.

I'll be in transit for a couple of days, so see you in a few.

Cool Yule Jewel

Dignified, yet tasty.

Monday, December 24, 2012

Tree Ornament

Searching for a good souvenir tree ornament . . . This is the the favored choice so far . . .

Such Fun

Store displays are such fun. Tinker Bell seems to be overshadowing Peter Pan in the scheme of marketing.

Frenetic Festival

London is also a frenetic festival at the Winter Wonderland carnival, bombarded by cacophonous music, flashing lights and elevated voices of merriment. My favorite part was the hot mulled wine and roasted chestnuts.

Peaceful Wishes

Thank you to my commenting cyber friends---peaceful wishes for you . . . and, hey, all the rest of you too.

Christmas Eve in London is a luvely time and place.

Saturday, December 22, 2012

Phido Christmas

Harrod's has a Christmas gift department especially for pets, and this is my favorite item in there. I wish I could've afforded it for my dog. He'll just have to be happy with a stocking full of treats.

No Visible Means of Support

Now here's an interesting fellow with no visible means of support that sits around down by the London Eye.

'Tis the Season of Ebeneezer

I am delightedly haunted by the Spirit of Christmas Present in the heart of London.

Friday, December 21, 2012

Retro-esque Holiday

Taking the ferry back to the white cliffs of Dover, I couldn't resist snapping this retro-esque holiday graphic on board.

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Calais Window Display

Quite a few winter wonderland displays here in Calais. I'm spending a lot of time sketching sites, scenes and architecture here and in London. Hope to show some of that sometime in January, assuming my magic machine will finally be re-enchanted.

Memorial Sculpture

Calais, France is a lovely ancient town that suffered WWII devastation. Shown below is a beautiful Art Deco memorial sculpture, one of a number of powerful sculptures scattered here-abouts.

Where I Am

Here's a fun Christmas/Winter window display, where I am right this minute, in Calais, France.

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Heroic Portrait

This is a heroic portrait of the late Christian Blackwood, filmmaker (couldn't you tell?). He purchased this pastel drawing from me, so it's now floating around somewhere out there in the big wide world.

Monday, December 17, 2012

Aztec-ian Birds

This is a study of some birds we placed in painted murals of ancient Aztec times for a museum exhibition.

Sunday, December 16, 2012


This is a pastel portrait of sorts of a Pro-Rodeo champeen bull wrestler guy or whatsomever they're called. I love doing portraits of people who are engrossed in their passions.

Saturday, December 15, 2012

Picabo & the Fastest Man Alive

A cover portrait I rendered some years ago of Picabo Street and Michael Johnson, using pastel chalks:

Yo Yo Ma

Watercolor wash rendering

Friday, December 14, 2012


No real time for commentary right now, just enough time to start my alternative images from my portfolio. Let's start with portrait drawings, though some of you may have seen some of these on one of my other blogs.

A crayon drawing based on an old photograph of Coco Channel:

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Breathe Deep

Well, girls and boys, imagine my surprise that my computer is going back to the shop for the same reason as the last three times since October 23. This coincides with a bit of traveling I'll be doing, so my posts will be coming to you, as this one is now, from my cute little iPad--for the foreseeable future.

Here's the thing. I had some nifty Christmas-sy images lined up, but didn't have opportunity to transfer them to this device. I could just opt out of posting for awhile, but I enjoy this bloggy stuff too much.

I have some of my portfolio stuff on the iPad, so at the risk of boring you, I'm going to be posting some of that--with some pieces that you may have seen on my other blogs and some not.

The geniuses promise me that they will do everything in their power to make this right for me, but it will take until after Christmas, due to waiting for a scarce part. There's even a slight possibility of a replacement machine, but there are complications with that as well.

So be that as it may (I've always wanted to use that phrase, though it doesn't really make sense to me), I will be bellying up to the (space) bar and post when and what I can.

If for some perverse choice of the Universe I am unable to follow thru with my Quixotic plans, I wish you all Happy Holidays (this is not just a Christian time of year, so back off all you holier-than-thouers, and show some tolerance for the rest of us sinners that have different ideas about this time of year!).

As one of my favorite artists (hi James!) has coined:

Breathe deep and seek peace.

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

"Dad, What Did You Do in the War?" "I Slept, Son, I Slept."

Speaking of my dad, and WWII, that's him below, full page in Life magazine, February 22, 1943, bless his tired soul. 

And the newspaper clipping verifying it:

All the Young Turks

Because of different camera angles, you probably don't see that much resemblance between the cocky young turk from the last post to the cocky young turk, below, that was me—at the basic same age and rank as my dad was. But we really looked alike, though he was much more fearless than me, though I don't think he ever rappelled out of a helicopter hovering at a hundred feet. Though he faced enemy fire many a time and I never did . . . phew.

Time Capsule

Time to put up with a little more of the autobiographical slant of this image blog. Well, you don't HAVE to put up with it, but here goes.

Going through your deceased parents' possessions can be an amazing trip through time, a way-back machine of sorts, without Mr. Peabody and Sherman. My parents weren't packrats, per se (okay, maybe my mother was to a certain degree), and so much stuff has been lost over the years, due to flooding and some mysterious 'leave-home-quickly-at-midnight' scenarios I had to go through as a kid. 

But I'm still going through a fair amount of stuff that my mom left behind as she made her final mysterious journey (she passed at noon, on the dot, the day that I told her, while she was in a coma, that I had to leave at noon that day and wouldn't be back till much later that night), so that I was with her at her last breath. But I digress.

My parents divorced long ago, yet my mom still had a number of things of my dad's that I'm now slogging through. I don't want to miss anything that would shed light on his early years, so piece by piece I sort out old receipts and work detritus from interesting photos and memorabilia. 

One photograph that slipped out from some newspaper clippings is one I hadn't seen before. It was a tiny little thing, probably a contact print from a small negative. I squinted to see any detail, and not having much success, I scanned it at 1200dpi and was delighted to look in on my dad in early WWII uniform with the WWI style helmet. He's the cocky young smiling chap to the right, in the image below, looking aMAZingly like I did at his age (he was 18 in this shot in the South Pacific—He lied about his age when he joined the army at 16 years old). So he's a corporal here, and looks fearless as he begins his deployment in the Pacific theater. It's like my scanner was a time machine window, looking back in time. It's fun to look forward to more photographs of that sort, still to come.

So, in the same box was this souvenir coconut, coming up on 70 years of age, and seeming quite pristine for its travels. As a kid, my family left homes in the dead of night, and yet this moonlit gal must have gone with us every time. My mom had said that she lost good silver and packets of letters on those  great escapes, and yet this coconut made it all the way to the future. Do you think there's a market for this kind of momento  on EBay or such? I don't want to keep it, but I'm sure not tossing it into a landfill.

And then there was this copperish tin can, below, that was sealed tight with a lid that wouldn't budge. Something made some clatter when I shook it, but it wouldn't open up. It looks like an old K-ration can, but what amazing thing could be inside? My wife was thinking maybe it had some ammo or explosive gimcrack from the theater of war, and I pictured maybe currency from one of the number of islands that my dad waded ashore to help liberate. Whatever it could be, I thought, wow, this is truly a time capsule, and my curiosity made me try harder to pry open, which I finally did.

HA! There were SOAPS knocking around in there, still smelling fragrant and fresh, and a set of nail clippers (!?). World War II vintage souvenirs. I was slightly disappointed, hoping it would be something that could help put my daughter through the next two years of college, but still delighted in getting to know my young parents a little bit more as I delve into these boxes.