Thursday, March 31, 2011

Big-Eyed Tree Frog

Here is my paper sculpture of a Big-Eyed Tree Frog.  The leaves were real and scanned, printed and cut from archival paper.  The pics of the tiny frog below was our baby big-eyed tree frog we had a couple years ago.  He was so tiny, he could fit on a penny!

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Kritter Kids "Barbie"

My sister, Tonya, always had tons of Barbie dolls as a kid.  Her three older brothers found unending amusement in the names of these dolls.  There was Workin' Out Barbie, Hugs & Kisses Barbie, Peaches 'n Cream Barbie, Shopping Spree Barbie, Rainbow Princess Barbie, Spring Blossom Barbie and Kitty Care Barbie, just to name a few.  There was even a John Deere Barbie.  You can imagine how hilarious some of these names would be to teen-aged boys.
This comic strip is an ode to my sister and all her Barbie dolls with the funny names.

Here is an animation cell of Ralph at Monument Valley, Arizona

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Shaggy Lion

Here are two views of a new African Tribal Mask.  I named it Shaggy Lion for the obvious reason; the untangled leather cord used to represent the lion's mane.  The dark faux wood was used for the face to add high contrast to the light tan leather of the mane.

Friday, March 25, 2011


This one was brushed with black magic india ink and colored with markers.  It is a caricature of Jack Nicholson's version of the Joker.

Jokers, October 1990

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Uncle Fred and his Steampunk Owl

This Steampunk Owl pendant was finished in June of last year and I posted it on Facebook.  I got a response from three people saying that they were interested in purchasing this owl.  I advised everyone that this piece was already spoken for.  One of the interested parties was my wife's Uncle Fred.  Little did he know, but I was saving the owl for him since he is so fond of owls.  I mailed it to him right away.  From what I hear, he was really surprised to get that owl in the mail!

Here is Uncle Fred wearing the owl pendant, along with his wonderful wife, Kathy, and their grandson, Michael.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Fingernails and Stephen King

I keep my fingernails really short. There is nothing worse than nearing the end of a clay project, only to mar it by gouging it with a fingernail. The blemish can usually be corrected, but I would rather keep things neat. So, one of my most important tools is my nail clipper. The one I use once belonged to my grandmom and I always keep it with me in my pocket.

Speaking of fingernails, check out the meathooks in this Stephen King caricature. The three pieces in this project were inked, airbrushed and cut out of illustration board. The caricature was wired so that the “flashlight” would actually light up. The eerie green fog was digitally added years later.

Lighted Stephen King, July 1992

Monday, March 21, 2011

Swamp Thing

Swamp Thing is a comic book character residing in the DC Comics universe.  He first appeared in the horror anthology, House of Secrets, in July 1971.  This issue of House of Secrets, along with the first 12 issues of Swamp Thing, was written and created by Len Wein, with artwork by Berni Wrightson.  The first series lasted for only 24 issues.
The second series of comics was produced to take advantage of the 1982 Swamp Thing movie by Wes Craven.  The comics were only marginally successful until Alan Moore took over as writer.  Moore took the character in a new direction, starting with issue #21.  For several years running, Swamp Thing was widely considered the best comic books had to offer and won many awards.
There have been two movies, an animated mini series, and four comic book runs.  Here are my takes on the character.

 Wizard Cover Art, November 1992

Paper Sculpture, March 1995

Girl from the Green (based on a Swamp Thing character), December 1997

Swamp Thinker paper sculpture, February 2004

Swamp Thinker Comic Book, February 2004

Swamp Thinker with digital background, January 2005

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Kritter Kids "Thesaurus"

We're back on track with the Sunday Funnies.  This is the start of my ongoing project of colorizing all of my Kritter Kids comic strips.  The goal is to have them all finished by the end of the year, and possibly publishing a book.  We'll see how that goes.  For now, here is a newly minted colorized strip along with an animation cell of Grant the ant climbing the base of Upper Yosemite Falls.

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Zebra Mask

I'm working on a support and a mold for a Zebra African Tribal Mask.  Here is an earlier version.  The new one will be larger, deeper and heavier.  This one is a real featherweight.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Panda #2

I reworked my Faux Wood Panda to give it a more three-dimentional look.  Everything is more rounded, especially the arms.  Also, the eyes are steel pins instead of clay.

Monday, March 14, 2011

Beatles Dress-Up

I did this paper sculpture for the book, "BEATLES ART, Fantastic New Artwork of the Fab Four". It is a full color coffee table book, released in 2006 by Boxigami Books. The two girls in the piece are modeled after my nieces, Emily and Jessica.

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Leatherhead Lion

Although similar to my Shoestring Lion, this lion shows improvement in the shape of the head and the faux woodgrain.  Work begins today on yet another lion head.  This will consist of a form that the soft clay will drape over and a mold that the form and soft clay gets pushed into.  Once the basic shape of the head is perfected, I can do all sorts of cool things with it, such as steampunk, millefiori, and extrusions.

With the computer issues resolved, my comic strip will return next Sunday.

Friday, March 11, 2011

Ronald Reagan

On February 6, 2011, former President Ronald Reagan would have been 100 years old.  Here are some photos and my artistic takes on the 40th President of the United States.

Official Whitehouse Portrait 1981

Rancho Del Cielo 1984

My first caricature of Reagan 1992

Paper Sculpture 1995

Patriotic Ronald Reagan 1999

Reagan Wrap 2002

Official Whitehouse Painting

Ronald Reagan and Ice-T in my "Bedbugs" comic strip

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Quilted Fetish Bears

These are called fetish bears or Zuni bears.  I don't know which one (or both?) is correct.  After blending the wood and malachite designs, they were passed through a pasta machine and cut into squares.  I chose each individual square for exactly the right spots on the bears.  (I don't slop anything together.  That's why I'll never make a fortune doing this stuff.  I work too slowly.)
I made a tool to do the embossing or quilting.

Monday, March 7, 2011

Julia Roberts

Many years ago, I did india ink and airbrush caricatures on illustration board and then cut them out with the intention of adding them to a real photo background.  This one of Julia Roberts was finished in February 1992.  The five alternate backgrounds were done in Photoshop about five years ago.  The first one is my favorite.

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Daniel in the Lion's Den

It's Sunday, and here is one of my bible-based paper sculptures, "Daniel in the Lion's Den".  The main thing I remember about this project was the pain I endured making the stone background.  The stones were made by dripping inks and paints onto very thick watercolor paper.  After the paper dried, the stones were cut out and rounded around the edges using an embossing tool.  Much pressure was needed because the paper was so thick.  Long story short, I couldn't do any work for over a month because the nerves were damaged in my thumb.

Saturday, March 5, 2011


My computer is sick and I am limited by what I can do with my art and Photoshop.  I am also limited by what I am able to do on this blog.  This will be the situation for the next two or three weeks.  Until that time, I will be posting whatever my system will allow me to post.  Here is a poem and a paper sculpture about a one hundred and four year old man named Gus.  It was part of a feature I did ten years ago called "Paper & Poems".

This is about a man I know
Most people call him "Gus"
The nicest man in the world
He never says a cuss

He lives around the corner
On the same block as me
He makes the bestest cookies
And gives me some for free

The oldest guy I ever met
About a hundred and four
I hope he lives much longer
Fifty years or more

Gus has a girl friend
Her hair is in a bun
He calls her "Young Chicken"
I think she's ninety-one

Gus will never lie to me
He always tells the truth
When he feels the need to laugh
I only see one tooth

I like to talk with Gus
He knows just what to say
Now he wants to take a nap
I guess I'll go and play

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Hummingbird Lines

The line work on this hummingbird looks like it was accomplished in about 30 seconds.  The sad truth is that it took about 2 hours.  The reason, other than I am painfully slow, is that I don't want to create something that has been done before.  Hummers have been drawn, painted and sculpted a kajillion times.  This hummer may look simple, but it will become a really cool polymer clay pendant with nice lines and style.  I hope.

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Malachite Beetles

For those of us unfamiliar with polymer clay, it has to be conditioned before it can be used to create magnificent works of art.  Conditioning clay means one has to keep squashing it over and over until it is thoroughly mixed and warmed up.  One Saturday, a couple months ago, I made a slab of clay to resemble malachite.  By the end of the day, my hands were colored alien green-blue.  As an added attraction, my thumbs had several blisters on them.
Here are some of the results taken from my malachite slab, Malachite Beetles.