Sunday, December 18, 2011

Pepper Clock

Peppers, watercolor on illustration board, December 18, 2011
This is going to be my new kitchen clock after I attach the motor and install the hands and put it in a square, black frame. No one else in the world will have a clock like it. I like unique things. I'm not sure what possessed me to use illustration board with watercolor. The paint dried almost on contact with the board. It ended up looking more like acrylics than watercolor, but at least the surface is super flat, which is what I wanted.

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Lake Erie Captain

Lake Erie Captain, mechanical pen on illustration board, 1992
This was another gift for my dad. I drew it from a National Geographic picture of a boat captain whose port was Put-In-Bay, located on the north side of South Bass Island in Lake Erie. I grew up in northwestern Ohio, and we frequently went on day trips in our small power boat. Put-In-Bay was about the farthest we ever ventured across the always-choppy waters of Lake Erie. I think all artists must have a favorite piece or two from their body of work, and this is definitely one of mine. It's been almost 20 years since I drew this, and I'm still pretty pleased with how it turned out. I was always very comfortable with this technique. It was strangely relaxing to lay down all those short, little lines. After an hour or two, the image just begins to appear, almost magically.

Dad's Lighthouse

Dad's Lighthouse, ink wash on illustration board, 1984
My dad didn't actually have a lighthouse, but if he could own one, this is the one he'd want. I was home for Christmas break during my year at art school when I made this for Dad. It hangs in his home office. So much of the artwork I produced during this period of time was black and white. Art supplies were expensive, and I was convinced I would ruin the picture if I tried to use color. I chose to go with what seemed safe. I learned about the thousands of shades of gray.

Friday, December 9, 2011


Katie, mechanical pen on illustration board, 1988
Here's another "blast from the past." I presented this drawing of my niece to her mom, my sister, as a Christmas present in 1988. I drew it from a photograph. I knew I wanted to draw the simple, ruffled dress and the adorable bonnet, sitting off-kilter on her head. The adorable face was also a huge attraction! She was a wonderfully pleasant baby. As I recall, the picture was taken in bright sunlight, which is why Katie is squinting slightly. This sweet, baby girl is all grown up now and beginning her career as a financial analyst near Washington, D.C. How time flies!