Limited Edition Print Pre-Order - Combustion

Now available for PRE-ORDER, this very limited edition print called Combustion! This edition will be limited to only 45 prints and with the pre-order, you get a special gift and free shipping. Visit the shop for more information.

This award winning piece was originally created for a story written by Erin Hoffman for her story "At the Foot of the Lighthouse (Todai Moto Kurashi)" published by Tor.com.

This image size is 11" x 13.75" printed on 13" x 19", 192 g/m archival enhanced matte paper. Each print is carefully inspected then signed and numbered. The print will also come with a Certificate of Authenticity which will document each print and will also be signed.

Please visit the shop to purchase this very limited print right now!

Dead Snake Handlers - and Sex

Out of the entire story, there was this one scene in the book where the main character was having a sort of 'wet dream' about a mysterious snake handler that was helping her out on her property while she is working on her house. A mysterious man; snakes; sex - you can do the math on this one. I decided to go for it with my sketches and Irene went with it. A few of them might have been a bit overt but sometimes, you have to take a chance and see what sticks.

This piece is a little tighter than I normally go. Lately, I've been in the mood to render and my vision for the piece required it. I've been combining a bit of rendering and graphic-ness to my work lately. I am not sure if I'll continue doing it as I am starting to feel a bit restless and want to be more expressive as I normally am. Still, I really love this piece and very happy it came out the way it did.

Thank you Irene at Tor! It was a fun job and got to watch quite a few reruns of Columbo while making all those scales.

Here are the sketches I sent in to Irene and below are some process shots during the course of the painting. I did have a false start there early on when I put a black texture down all over the piece. I couldn't see the transfer anymore. With some other paintings, its not so bad but since this painting was so involved I had to rethink how I needed to do the piece.

I ended up re-prepping the board and starting from scratch. It was no biggie - I thought I was going to save time, instead I spent more time. Such is life.

You can see the colors I chose to be in the piece and the final sketch I used to do the painting. With the way I work, the art directors rarely see that final sketch. I usually get approval on the rough sketches you see above and tighten it up for me. Because my work has a tedency to be random when I am making a piece, I don't like to show sketches that are too tight because I may change bits here and there. Actually, those are some of the most detailed sketches I've sent in a while. If it's a significant alteration for some reason, I'll talk to the art director but it is incredibly rare that it happens.

Toronto Blue Jays Care Foundation

I was invited by Dave Murray, illustrator and owner of the Garrison Creek Bat Company to create a custom bat for an upcoming celebrity charity event for the Toronto Blue Jays. Each bat is custom made being turned on a 50 year old Rockwell lathe before being hand finished.

The auction happens at "The Curve Ball", which is the charity gala happening May 13th on the Rogers Centre field. It's a huge event with tickets running at $600.00 a piece with many of the baseball players themselves attending the event. Unfortunately, I have prior commitments and canot be there in May but I am trying to set something up for July for a visit - check out a game and hang with my iller friends up in the north.

The charity is the Jays Care Foundation, which is the charitable arm of the Toronto Blue Jays. From their website:"Since 1992, Jays Care Foundation has created opportunities for children and youth in need by providing access to programs that promote regular physical activity, encourage the pursuit of higher education and impart fundamental life skills. The Foundation has made possible the building of dedicated, accessible, safe youth spaces for recreational programming, inspiring engagement through the sport of baseball. As the charitable arm of Canada's only Major League Baseball team, Jays Care is making a Major League effort to invest in Canadian children and communities from coast to coast."

There are 15 artists who created bats and I hope they all sell at the auction to help raise money for this amazing foundation.

My bat is called ‘Propulsion’ – named for that power one wants when they are up for bat - also connected to the concept of the foundation; having the power and help to succeed and thrive. As a teacher and long time advocate for student scholarships, I think programs and foundations such as this are immensly important to the future of so many young kids and I am honored to be part of this.

Thank you Dave for the invitation and a special thanks to Kristina for being a sport and modeling for me.

Below are some process photos:

 

UB Today Magazine

UB Today Alumni MagazineArt Director: Rebecca Farnham

This painting is for a story about standing out among other colleges and universities in a very competitive time in our economy.

Rebecca honed in on the densely populated schools with a central one standing out but there was a feel that they may have been churches or elementary schools which I could understand. The newer, more modern schools were the way to go but I was concerned about them looking like banks. (Insert not-so-funny joke about the cost of tuition!)

In the end, I really enjoyed creating this piece and trying to make it work compositionally even if it's rather simple. The layout worked out well.

Thumbnail sketches.

First final 'too church-y' version rough.

Second final rough which was used to go to final.

Final painting.

Portrait of Tara

For the month of February, my significant other Kristina Carroll created a 'challenge' called Month of Love. She invited about 20 illustrators to join in and every day, create a piece of art that revolves around the theme of 'love'. There was some amazing results.

Unfortunately, because of being overloaded with paying work, the daily job of creating an image for the site took a back seat for me. At least I got to watch some amazing artists come through with very cool work.

This image above is a portrait of my friend Tara Jacoby who was also part of the Month of Love group. The last day of the challenge, we were all assigned a different member to create a portrait of.  Tara has been a long time friend and it was wonderful to get the opportunity to paint her.

Alien Pencils

These were to be part of my solo show last year that I decided to pull out at the last minute. I didn't think they worked well with all of the other art at the time. I came across the scans recently going through my files as I am switching into a new computer. I am still not sure what they are going to be for but most likely part of a larger series down the road if I decide to continue exploring it. Still, I thought I'd share even though they are a bit far off than what I normally do but maybe it'll take me down a new path somewhere. At any rate, I am fond of the results. At the time, I just wanted to work in pencil again and get back into the zen of rendering for a while. Also, now that I think about it, it gave me an opportunity to figure out how these guys wobbly limbs functioned.

All Untitled | 8.5 x 11 | Graphite on Found Paper