Wednesday, December 31, 2008

G A S P ! As if I needed another reason to get an iPhone...

The ultimate doodle device. 

The reality here is that this video is created by talented Disney artist Stef Kardos who (according to Drawn!) has been posting iPhone doodles to his flicker account. Soooo... the purchase of an iPhone may not instantly make me a doodle master... but I think I'd have some fun tryin'!

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Kitchen art

Well, okay, "kitchen art" is a stretch. I haven't completed any of my ongoing projects in the last few weeks. Initially, I was quite sick for several weeks right up to Christmas. When the holidays arrived, I started cookin' and I'm still going. As I type, there are two Turkey pot pies (pictured) in the oven -- an effort to get rid of the remaining leftover turkey. And tomorrow I'm making my favourite chili which is usually a big hit. After that I'll be less cooky, more arty.

I did want to point out a great art blog that I might get involved with in the new year. Different Strokes From Different Folks (hosted by painter Karin Jurick) encourages anyone to accept the challenge of getting a photo from the blog, making art based on the photo then uploading a pic of the final result. Then you get to see how a wide variety of people interpret the subject through whatever medium they use. Photos vary widely: old shoes, city landmarks, etc. For the final event of the year, each participant uploaded a mugshot of themselves and received a mugshot of one of the other participants to paint.

How cool is that? 

Answer: Very cool.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Monday, December 22, 2008

Still Sicky

Been unable to make anything except phlegm these past few days so I'm posting another old cartoon from the paper... similar theme.

Saturday, December 20, 2008


I've been too sick to do anything these past few days so I thought I'd post an old cartoon from the paper which sums up my misery. I think it was for an Earth Day story or save the planet or some such thing.

This image, one of the most popular hits on my blog, is available on a t-shirt and other products at my Cafe Press shop.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Hellraiser fish


This particular fellow used to be pretty popular, despite his ominous appearance. Known by the Latin name Abitibiousbowaterous, he began feeding off the smaller creatures around him, destroying the symbiotic relationships established over generations. Experts have determined that he will have trouble thriving in the future and do not expect to see many of his kind in Newfoundland and Labrador again.

A little pen and ink doodle, scanned and coloured in Photoshop.

Monday, December 15, 2008

Highlander tees

So, I've finally managed to get all the materials together for making some "Highlander the Snowman" shirts. One is by request from my friend Craig (AKA Townie Bastard). The other is for myself (I need to see how it holds up after a few washes). I don't know if I'm going to offer them in the shop or not.... that would require buying shirts up front (various sizes/colours) and having them at the ready. I don't know if I want to get that involved with selling iron-on transfer shirts. The expense is kind of high for doing low quantities. I'm hoping to get involved with silk-screening in the coming weeks. If that turns out to be fun, maybe in the new year I'll buy a bulk order of shirts and try some different things. I think a silk-screened shirt will last considerably longer than a transfer. Plus there's something nice about wearing a t-shirt that is essentially a hand-pulled print.
Jeez, I'm barely a few weeks into this blog and I've already managed to ignore it for 4 days. How do people keep up with these things?
The latest lino isn't finished yet. This weekend was consumed by Christmas parties, Sam Roberts and snow fences. And now I have a cold and don't really want to do anything. Blech.

Friday, December 12, 2008

Conan the Barbarian prop

I started painting a few years back with acrylics. Very fun when I started but the novelty wore thin in time. Not sure why. Then life happened. We moved... things came up. A year passed before I painted anything.

Then the paper I worked for folded. For the first time in nearly 15 years, I found myself without a paycheck. During this period of employment uncertainty, my friend, Nick Kokis, suggested we get together and do some painting. Oil painting. Yikes.

What the hell, I thought, it's time to get back into it and what better way than to be mentored by a friend with much painting experience. And an equal fondness for beer.

I had no great ideas for subject matter. Nick suggested the plastic skull he had in his studio.

Why not.

And so here it is... my first oil painting... a skull on a spikey stick. The actual plastic skull spent much of its modeling time on top of a Swiffer handle but that wouldn't look very cool in my first oil painting, now would it? Spikey stick it is. 

I was pretty pleased with the result. I'm sure a more experienced painter would find plenty of fault with it... but I'm not that experienced.

I tell people who I think might be shocked by the subject matter that it is important for an artist to practice recreating the human anatomy. The reality is that at 38, I still have the same fascination with skulls and skeletons that I had when I was 10 or 12 years old.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Busy, busy, busy

I've been busy these past few days with a few different freelance jobs which has been nice. One project is a web site design, the other is layout and design for a local book publisher. It feels good to be working again after a lengthy lull. This is why I haven't posted any creative projects in few days now... trying to make a few bucks before Christmas. Anyway, I'm going to finish my way-too-big lino project in the next day or so... perhaps I'll have a proof to post by week's end.

I was also thinking about re-creating my Highlander snowman as a open edition linocut print. Too late for the Christmas season I suppose but I could work on it for next year.

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Polaroid life

Okay. So heard a really wonderful story a few months back which I was reminded of today.

Today I heard something on the radio about the end of Polaroid's manufacturing of film. Yes, I know this was officially announced back in February but today I heard several plants were closing and several types of film would no longer be available as of this week. 

Anyway, that story reminded me of a really wonderful piece I heard a while back on CBC radio so I looked it up on the interweb and, low an behold, it was still there. This is the story of a New Yorker named Jamie Livingston. He was not a famous person in his time, but he was a remarkable person in his own right (as many people are).

In 1979, Jamie decided to start taking Polaroid photos


Nearly twenty years later, Jamie had a hell of a lot of shoe-boxes full of Polaroid photos.

Now, in 2008, Jamie's body of work over that period exists on the internet.

If you are approaching his material for the first time, please take the time to encounter Jamie from the beginning of his story before you skip to the end. You will regret it if you don't. I've been through his material several times and expect I'll be back again.


I don't know if anyone's noticed my links list or not but I'm adding to it regularly. I call them "Art Links" but most of them are actually "Painting-a-day" bloggers who I've become enamored with lately. In fact, I think they are the reason I wanted to start the Doodlepalooza blog. I don't feel ready to commit to a painting-a-day but I really like the idea of creating something everyday. And the blog is a constant reminder to myself that I should be doing something better with my time. Maybe I could start a less committed movement. Maybe "Sketch-a-week" or "Doodle-thrice-a-fortnight" or "I-used-to-draw-a-bit".

Anyway, a painting-a-day blogger named Jeff Hayes best describes the concept and origins if you are interested:

Pioneered by Duane Keiser (with a special nod to Kevin Macpherson's Reflections on a Pond project), the discipline of producing one new painting every day has become a phenomenon embraced by dozens of artists worldwide.  While very few of these artists produce a new painting every single day (I take weekends off, for instance), disciplined regularity is clearly the goal and essence of this practice.  Typically small in format - 6"x8" or less, these paintings are offered for sale online at the artist's website or through eBay, often for starting prices of just $100.  This lively niche of the arts world allows artists to experiment, develop, and just have fun outside the confines of large-format works.  The collecting public is also recognizing that these often stunning little masterpieces are a tremendous way to build their art collection.

Monday, December 8, 2008

Latest Lino

Here's a tease of the latest lino. I imagine this will spark quite a ruckus at the Doodlepalooza fan sites.

Saturday, December 6, 2008


No idea where this came from.

Thursday, December 4, 2008


23: days since I had a cigarette.
4: number of times I swore out loud so far today.
48: hours since I last had a piece of nicotine gum.
51: minutes since I last yelled at the cats and/or dog.
8: number of chips ahoy cookies I ate in one sitting last night.
9: number of time I've seriously tried quitting in the last decade.

Lumpy inspires me to stay quit. 
I'd rather be Grumpy or Snarly than Lumpy.

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Monday, December 1, 2008

Dark Santa

I finally finished the Dark Santa linocut I've been working on. 

What the heck is Dark Santa you ask?
Well if you liked Dark Knight and you're also partial to Santa, what's not to love about Dark Santa? Tired of the empty threat that is the naughty list, Dark Santa instills fear into the hearts of naughty-doers everywhere.

I'm fairly pleased with the print although there were a few issues I wish I'd handled differently. It's a two-colour reduction linocut which means the second plate (black ink) is cut from the first plate (red ink) so once you start cutting the second plate, there's no going back. Unfortunately I didn't print enough from the red plate to start with and while printing the black, had some registration problems so in the end, I only had six prints I was happy with.

They're available in the shop.

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Bereavement Fare

This is something i did for the Independent a few years ago. I think it was my first effort with the Wacom drawing tablet.

Friday, November 28, 2008

Snowmen cards

After a little prodding, I decided to have a go at making a set of snowmen Christmas cards. I initially bought a note card set at Staples but they were quarter-fold and didn't look that great. I hate those perforated edges. So I'm printing them on some nice white card stock that I have at home and they'll be 5.5" x 8.5": proper Christmas card size. There are three images so I was thinking I'd do a set of six (two of each image) including envelopes of course. I priced card sets on the interweb and I think $14 is a fair price for the set. I also had a t-shirt request for the Highlander Snowman so I might look into that over the weekend. I've got a little hobble tomorrow so the cards probably won't be in the shop until tomorrow evening.

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Highlander the Snowman: revisited

I made a few digital tweaks to this one. I was a bit heavy with the ink in the original drawing so i lightened up the electric bolt outlines in photoshop as well as added some colour which, i think, gives it a lot more razz-a-ma-tazz. Also opened up the space around the broom so it is better defined. The snowmen card sets are a-go and should be available on the Etsy shop by the end of the week.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Snowman Scissorhands

This one has a few splashes of water colour in the original drawing.

To do:

1) doodle new doodlepalooza banner    

2) doodle clever check-mark graphic

Monday, November 24, 2008

Highlander the Snowman

Jabba the Snowman

Turning fifty

My friend turned fifty last week (Happy birthday, Brian!) so I decided (less than 24 hours before the dinner party) to do a commemorative linocut. It was a bit of a rush job but it turned out pretty good. If I had more time, I would have been more careful with the lettering which looks a bit sloppy but I was pleased with the profile. It took a while to get a decent print because I haven't printed anything in a few months. I might do few more of these and post them on the shop sometime this week.

Blog noob

Since I became under-employed a few months back, I been thinking about developing a professional website to serve as a portfolio for my print design work. I had a gander at my (now defunct) site and frankly, I wouldn't want anyone to see it. By current internet standards, my home page from five years ago looks and feels like a musty Victorian tome. 

Unfortunately, the new site is still in development stage and won't be up anytime soon. I'm pounding through the "Flash for Dummies" book and meandering in the latest version of Dreamweaver, trying to reacquaint myself with web development. I started doing corporate websites 10 years ago but gave it up to seek my fame and fortune in newspaper design and layout. As Service Canada can attest, that career path didn't pan out like I thought it would.

So now I'm looking for work, doing a little freelance, upgrading my skill-sets, and getting back into drawing and painting. And, apparently, starting a blog. (Lord knows the internet needs another one.)

This will probably be the longest entry on the blog. The point of this space will be to post doodles, sketches, linocuts and paintings. Doodlepalooza is a spin-off of my Etsy shop Linopalooza where I've been selling linocut prints since March of this year. And, yes, I will use this space to shamelessly self-promote my wares.


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