Monday, October 17, 2011

Kauai sketches

Watercolor - 3.5 x 5.5 inches

Egad! It's been too long between posts... again... but school and Hawaii wait for no-one. Speaking of which, here are a couple watercolor sketches I made while visiting the garden island of Kauai for my lovely sister-in-law Erica and new bruv Mike's wedding. The top one is apparently the beach where they filmed the opening sequence to "Gilligan's Island"!

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

"Quick" oil studies - Yosemite triptych

In preparation for my first painting class in 18 months (wtf?), here are 3 oil studies of Yosemite, taken from the last time I was at the park. Feels good to get back on the oily horse.

Oil on canvasboard - 5x7

First 2 are 90 minutes, the last blew out to about 2.5 hours because I got distracted by my medieval murder mystery audiobook, The Tainted Relic. It's all Friar this and Brother that, so I had to pause every once in a while to figure out who was killing who.

Suffice to say, gotta pull my socks up.

Friday, August 26, 2011

"No Swimming"

Had a midweek plein air jaunt with Adam Ceja at possibly the most inconveniently situated park in America. It's basically a nature strip set in the massive truck parking lot that is the Port of Oakland, with a beach that - as indicated above - is strictly ornamental.

Didn't those smelly truckers looked PISSED about it as well... or maybe they always look like that.

Friday, August 12, 2011


This was a piece inspired by a mythology class I recently took with the truly awesome John Dobson. It's based on the primary male archetypes - knight, king, troubadour and mage - that constitute elements of the male personality. Here we see my book nerd mage dropping knowledge (geddit?) on the less dominant elements. Ahem.

Monday, August 8, 2011

Patagonian Sloth Badger

Closely related to the Honey Badger, the PSB has neither the terrifying ferocity nor the endurance of its cousin, possibly resulting from regular ingestion of rocks and dirt while digging burrows with its tusk-like canines. It does, however, share a thick skull and loose hide, which provide it questionable benefit against its only predator, the Maned Iguanalope, a carrion feeder.

The Iguanalope also happens to serve as the PSB's chief food source (besides rocks), but due to the badger's glacial speed, height disadvantage and downward-facing incisors, it has devised an ingenious - but often fatal - hunting strategy.
Lying prostrate on its back, the PSB plays dead and waits for its prey to approach and become distracted with eating through the badger's tough belly skin. If the Iguanalope is a slow eater - the badger attacks!

The IUCN lists the Patagonian Sloth Badger as an endangered species.

Friday, August 5, 2011

Menagerie variations

3 variations on the same theme: an elephant, a bear, a rabbit and a young boy walking through the woods. 

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Maned Iguanalope

First discovered by a stranded whaling vessel in the late 19th century, the Maned Iguanalope is endemic to a tiny rocky mesa at the southernmost tip of Patagonia. 

Averaging two to three feet in height, the creature feeds primarily on the carrion of the only other species native to this flat outcrop, the carnivorous Sloth Badger. According to eyewitness accounts, the Iguanalope's feeding strategy - provided it evades the sloth badger's clumsy ambush - is to simply run until its predator falls over and expires. 

Saturday, July 2, 2011

Loosey Goosey

Stopped by Lake Merritt on my way home yesterday and knocked out a quick sketch of a plump member of our local flying cattle herd. This is actually a composite of a number of geese, as none of the buggers was prepared to sit still.

I should definitely do this more often.

Thursday, June 30, 2011

Oak Ness Monster

I recently contributed a concept to the inimitable Dara Kerr's last article at Oakland North, which investigates the beast that lurks beneath the shallow depths of Oakland's Lake Merritt. I figured it would be apt to include a small tribute to the scores of gondoliers who have lost their lives to this carrion-breathed menace.

You can read more here:

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Oakland Hills

I am SLOOOOOOWLY teaching myself landscape painting - these are paintings #4 and #3 (some random spot in the Oakland Hills and Ragle Park, Sebastopol, respectively), about ONE YEAR APART. Jeez. Hopefully I'll knock out a few more studies before the summer is through - I wonder if there's an easy way to cart an easel around on your bike? 

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Black Market Benny

Black Market Benny was a short-lived character who arrived, like most dealers, to fill a void. His stock in trade, diacritical Latin alphabet letters, proved hugely popular with the immigrant community of Sesame Street, who had been underserved for so long by the show's Anglo-centric programming. It didn't take long, however, for Benny's activities to draw the attention of the League of Republican Mothers, who reported him to the IRS. Benny is eligible for parole in 2014.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Ramona the Happy Hooker

My contribution to Adam Ceja's painting challenge for 'failed Sesame Street characters'. This one's called Ramona the Happy Hooker. You can see more over @

Friday, June 10, 2011

Et tu, Brute?

This is a head study that got a little out of control. I'm not too jazzed about the caption, but that's what you get for an afterthought. 
On a related note - why won't they hurry the eff up with that "Rome' movie?

Juicy fruit

In an effort to make posting a more regular exercise, here's a couple oil studies from the past year chronicling my baby steps into painting. See if you can spot the thread between them...

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

A Blog is (Re)born!

Here goes the reboot of my blog - I hope I can't lock myself out of THIS bugger! (shakes fist at Wordpress)

A self-portrait to kick things off: "Portrait of the Artist As A Young Roo" (apologies to Joyce)