What Would You Bring to a Holiday Art Exchange? (The Tiniest Ring Master in the World Drawing)

I have been invited to a few white elephant gift exchange parties, but this was the first holiday party where I was invited to do a holiday art exchange. Everyone had to bring a piece of art they created and, just like a white elephant gift exchange, we drew numbers to discover which artwork we’d bring home.

I wasn’t sure what to create. I didn’t have much time, so I drew something tiny. In fact, I drew, “the Tiniest Ring Master in the World”. She is a sight to see, triumphantly perched on top of some kind of green stag beetle. You can see the work in progress below.

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Of course, I was nervous about whomever would receive my art. Would they genuinely like it? Would they just pretend they were delighted by it? I mean, I really wanted someone to squeal with excitement upon opening it and seeing this tiny drawing.

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The gal who won mine got a kick out of my Tiny Ring Master. Others said if she didn’t want my strange, little drawing, they would happily take it off her hands. But she kept it. That made me feel satisfied that I had done a good job.

What did I win in the exchange? Well, the artist was just as nervous as me, unsure and doubting his art. It was a large, canvas, drip painting by a good friend of mine in lovely purples, blues and pink that formed a pretty lady in all those splashes and blurs of paint. Of course, I was happily surprised to receive it. Now, I need to find a frame to make it shine and proudly hang it on my wall.

First of All, I Apologize For Lack of Faith As I Traverse The Dangerous, Internet Forest

It’s been a long time since I sent out a message into the vacuous, internet abyss. I mean that’s how it feels when you put words and art into the electronic space and nothing happens….nothing….happpens….no replies….no response…..nothing….Have you experienced that? It makes me feel more awkward and strange than I already feel. It makes me want to withdraw and be swallowed up in the shadows and never come out again. I guess that’s officially why I create strange art and why there is a Secret Society of Magical Creatures. So for the lag in time and the lack of faith…that someone is out there….that someone cares….that someone is listening…..that I’m not completely alone in the dangerous and indifferent internet forest….let me apologize. I’m sorry.

A commissioned portrait painting for a family in Portland, OR.

A commissioned portrait painting for a family in Portland, OR.


How to Get Your Vintage Fantasy Portrait Painted Here (My Donation to NW Dance Project)

Have you ever wondered what it would be like to time travel back a 150 years or more?  Have you ever fantasized about wearing top hats or corsets and frilly dresses?  Well, you don't have to wonder about it anymore.  You can get your fantasy self portrait painted here!  I'll make you look dapper and comely in all the clothing and accoutrements of the Victorian and Edwardian era. 

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I take your stories; like the moments you're most proud of, or the trips you've taken, or your favorite pet and combine them into a special painting that celebrates your life and your accomplishments. 

I do this for anyone, but right now, I'm donating one custom portrait to the NW Dance Project for their silent auction.  They are one of my favorite dance troupes so I am happy to help them raise money to keep up their amazing performance art.  If you win this portrait painting, here's what you'll get:

  1. You or up 2 people of your choice painted on an oval 16x20" canvas.

  2. Your stories, accomplishments and/or dreams illustrated in this portrait.

  3. A favorite animal or pet in this portrait with you.

  4. An in-depth interview so I can get to know who you are and what you want in this custom portrait.

  5. You painted in subdued vintage colors and clothing.

  6. A one-of-a-kind piece of artwork, valued at $650.00.

Below are a couple examples of portraits I've been commissioned to paint before.  Make sure you go to the NW Dance Project's Golden Gala and put in your bid to win this luxurious fantasy portrait.  It's May 12th, 2018!

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Here's What You Missed at the Bunny Art Show at Candy Babel

If you didn't make it to the Bunny Art Show at Candy Babel, here are 6 things you MISSED:

#1---BUNNY CHALK ART:  What a delight to have it there to greet you and tell you to come on in.  It was on the sign and on the sidewalk.

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#2---A HUMONGOUS CANDY BAR:  Colorful candy was everywhere to make your mouth water. 

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#3---COLORFUL CHARACTERS:  Yes, even the folks there were colorful and fun, saying hello to everyone.

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#4---A BUNNY GIRL!  Yes, a bunny girl made an appearance (she was also the owner of this candy dynasty).

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#5 LIVE CUDDLY BUNNIES! Yes, I couldn't believe I got to pet and cuddle some cute bunnies!  You could have too.

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#6 BUNNY ART, OF COURSE!  Last but not least, you missed the many pieces of bunny art.  They were so fun.  Some funny.  Some fantastical.  All wonderful...because they were odes to bunnies!

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My Vintage Bunny Art at Candy Babel.jpg

You  can see my vintage bunny art in the 3 white frames.  Everyone thought they must have been from an old children's book.  Some people said it looked so familiar like they has seen it somewhere before.  Well, that's what I was going for.  I'm glad my bunny fantasy adventure  hit the mark.

Would You Be Surprised to Find These Giant Bunnies? (My 3rd Drawing for the Bunny Art Show)

I realize there are actually some pretty big bunnies out there in real life.  But do they ever get this big?  I mean do you have to fear that they may knock you down and crush you because they are so big?  I thought it might be equally sweet and exhilarating to come across giant bunnies, so that's what I drew in my 3rd drawing for Candy Babel's bunny themed art show.

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I showed an artist friend this drawing and he said it made him feel like he was getting a hug.  I guess he meant it was just so warm, sweet and charming.  I can see that.  But I can also see how you might want to tread softly in a field of giant bunnies.  What do you think?  How would you react in such a strange situation?  

I should know soon if I got into that bunny art show.  Wish me luck.  I really want to get into it.  I put a lot of work, imagination and love into these funny bunny drawings.  Can you see that?  Can you tell?

Would You Trespass If You Came Across This Mysterious Bunny Gate? (My 1st Drawing for Candy Babel Art Show)

For the Bunny Art show at Candy Babel, I decided to create a bunny girl adventure in 3 drawings.  It had to be mysterious, magical and sort of sweet...I mean...after all, it's for a candy shop, right?  Below is the first drawing I created for the bunny themed art show.  I thought I'd show a bunny girl who comes across a mysterious iron gate with bunnies on it.  She has to ask herself if she should trespass or not.

Work in progress of "Bunny Trespassing" drawing.

Work in progress of "Bunny Trespassing" drawing.

Work in progress of "Bunny Trespassing" drawing, now with some color.

Work in progress of "Bunny Trespassing" drawing, now with some color.

I'm actually worried about it. I don't know if I'll get in this art show.  I submitted it, but I just don't know.  I haven't shown my drawings to anyone except an artist friend....ok.....and now to you too.  He said he really liked it.  I guess I should trust him.  After all, he is a professional who sells art in several galleries.  What do you think?  Would you want to take home this bunny girl?  Would you go on an adventure with her?  Would you trespass?

Final drawing fo "Bunny Trespassing"..  

Final drawing fo "Bunny Trespassing"..  

I'll show you more work in progress for this art show in my next blog posts.  Let me know what you think.  Am I on the right track or what?

Who Wants An Alien Girlfriend? (My February 2018 Cover for Metaphorosis Magazine)

Below is my work in progress for the February 2018 cover of Metaphorosis Magazine.  You can see the evolution from drawing to completed painting.  It was a quick turn around of when it was due.  I only had 1 week to finish it.  I wasn't sure if I'd make my deadline.  In the end, I turned it in a day early.

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It's a story about a guy from a small beach town who learns his girlfriend was an alien.  When I first heard this description, my mind filled with images of insect heads popping out of 1950's hourglass dresses.  But the girlfriend is far less obvious than that.  She's full of mysteries yet means our hero, the boyfriend, no harm.  In fact, she's quite benign.  You can read the whole story starting in February 2018 at Metaphorosis Magazine.

My Unsettling Sci-Fi/Fantasy Art for A Claustrophobic Sci-Fi Story in Metaphorosis Magazine

I enjoyed painting the cover for the December 2017 issue of Metaphorosis Magazine, a sci-fi/fantasy fiction magazine, so I hoped to work on another cover.  I didn't know I'd get the opportunity again so quickly, like the following month's issue, January 2018.  I'd like to think they loved how well the last cover turned out and that's why they came knocking on my door again.  It makes it sound more flattering that way.

The 1st thumbnail sketch for the January 2018 cover of Metaphorosis.

The 1st thumbnail sketch for the January 2018 cover of Metaphorosis.

But the truth is that the other cover artist that they had set up for January had to bow out so they asked me to fill in.  I stepped up to the plate, ready to swing my bat again and win another one for the team.........wait a minute.........I'm an artist.......what's with the sports analogies?......errrr.......I mean I sat down to my art desk and took out my sketchbook and paints, ready to paint my heart out again.

The final drawing for the painting.

The final drawing for the painting.

The story I was to illustrate for the cover was a cramped, tense, psychological, sci-fi story called, "Jewel/Gem Offer".  It's about an estranged mother who travels across the universe to bring her grown daughter a plant-weapon.  I wanted to instill all those disturbing feelings in the story into my painting, so it needed to feel unsettling and claustrophobic.

The work in progress of the painting.

The work in progress of the painting.

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As usual, I worried and fretted as I painted, hoping it was good and that my editor would approve it.  Was I getting the characters right?  Did my illustration reflect the story's intent?  Would it create curiosity and excitement for the January issue?

The final cover that was too orange for my editor.

The final cover that was too orange for my editor.

When I turned in the final painting to my editor, he said he liked it, but it needed more of a color range for the background.  He wasn't too fond of the orange.  I went back to the original thumbnail sketch that I submitted to him.  It did have more color; reds, oranges and yellows.  

The final cover with a more colorful background.

The final cover with a more colorful background.

Once I added them, he approved it and we were good to go.  Above, you can see how it looks with the magazine title and text.  Which cover did you like better?  I asked a couple friend if they liked the orange one or the colorful one better?  They couldn't agree.  Personally, I liked it simpler and just orange, but that's just me.

If you'd like to purchase this painting, click here. 

Is Sasquatch A Magical Creature? (The Work in Progress of My Sasquatch Painting)

You know what?  I don't know if Sasquatch is a magical creature.  What do you think?  I don't know if he exists.  I don't know what he's looking for or if he has already found it.  What I know is that he is a part of the Pacific Wonderland, the place I call my home which is why I chose to paint him for ZB Gallery's "This Pacific Wonderland" art show.  

A magical creature drawing for  the Secret Society of Magical Creatures .

A magical creature drawing for the Secret Society of Magical Creatures.

In some way, I had already gotten in touch with the spirit of the Sasquatch when I was creating drawings for the Secret Society of Magical Creatures.  I drew an Omni (your guide on your magical quest in the Secret Society of Magical Creatures) as a big hairy creature who was going on an adventure with a little bunny girl.

A quick sketch for the Sasquatch painting.

A quick sketch for the Sasquatch painting.

When ZB Gallery invited me to be in their art show, I came back to that Omni drawing and decided to make it into a Sasquatch.  Of course, I still wanted him to be with a bunny girl and to still be going on an adventure.

The final drawing for the Sasquatch painting.

The final drawing for the Sasquatch painting.

I imagined the two of them having a serious conversation before they decided to proceed up the hill into the darkness towards Pittock Mansion.  Bunny girl would tug on Sasquatch's hand and say, "Hey".  And Sasquatch would look down at her and say, "What?"  And they would hash it out and puzzle it over and figure out if it was a good idea to go up there or not.

What do you think they are saying to each other?  Whatever it is, they seem like they are going to be good friends and look out for each other.  They know it's a scary, cold world out there and it's better to travel through it with good friends.  

You can buy this painting through ZB Gallery at this link.