Monday, September 14, 2009

Anger=Funny...I hope

More and more lately I am enjoying the mental ventilation of doing my little "political" cartoons. Anything that irritates me, I can think of a way to make it funny and get it down on paper and then it's gone. Voila. And I am no longer irritated by it. No fuss, no muss. Unfortunately, there is a LOT in the world that irritates me. So I continue to try and get it down.

This cartoon applies to all politicians. I don't really believe ANY of them when they make all those promises. I am sure they WANT to keep them. But for whatever reason, they don't. Usually even if they do somehow manage to keep those promises, they screw it up somehow. It's why I am not holding my breath on this whole healthcare cluster. Even if they manage to stop behaving like a bunch of cliquish middle school twerps, they won't really make it better. I HOPE they make it better, but keep in mind this is the same government who paid $600 for a toilet seat. And that was what was going on 30 years ago. I'm pretty sure they've done nothing but de-volve in that time period.

Which brings us to our current president. I like Obama. I truly think he wants to do what he thinks is best and by and large I think he's done okay. But good lord, he is one man up against the United States Congress. The most convoluted bunch of partisan, politics playing, pin heads that we could ever vote into a position of kind-of power. Even with a majority of seats, he will not be able to force things through. That was the whole point when the founding fathers put this little experiment into action. Checks and balances. If Republicans would take a breath, step back and look at a little historical facts they would see something. Jimmy Carter couldn't get through a bill if it promised kittens dipped in milk chocolate to every man, woman, and child. Was it because he faced a Congress full of abrasive and contrary Republicans intent on destroying his legacy and making fun of his rabid rabbit seeing, lust filled heart? Nope. It was controlled by Democrats. Granted, they may oppose him based on their own selfish little reasons, but they will oppose him.

But that's all a rant which I have been having with conservatives for a long time and moves away from the point of my cartoon. I thought this worked particularly well simply because Obama is SUCH a good public speaker. Everything he says DOES sound magical, and possible, and maybe even true. But it's not. Not because he won't try. He will (on most of it, I assume). Not because I think he's a starry eyed optimist. I believe he is a realist and will make concessions where necessary. It's not true simply because in the system we have created, it just isn't possible. (Man, I AM a cynic.)

Wednesday, September 9, 2009


Finally. I am done with the first of my commission pieces. I say that like I've been dragging on with this for months. Almost a full month but not quite! Ha! Take that, procrastination. I think I probably COULD have gotten it done a little faster but with complete and utter exhaustion taking it's toll on me, I think I did pretty well. I hope the client likes what I've done. I know I have certainly enjoyed working on the piece.

It's not dead on portraiture but I think it captures the feel of the moment quite well. And I think I have come quite a ways from having actual terror at the thought of trying to paint people. It's why I really only worked on animals for so long. There is a familiarity that people have of faces that they apparently don't have for animals.

As far as confidence goes, mine is pretty high right now. There is always a certain amount of uncertainty and questioning that goes on when you attempt something new and this piece was definitely a step away from what I am used to. But it has helped me discover that you don't have to be completely comfortable with something to find out you can do okay at it. (Jeebus, I sound like an After School Special. Or South Park. "You know, I learned something today...") Oddly, I had already figured that out as far as my life goes but for some reason I had never applied this philosophy to my art. Well, now I am. Along with the mermaid, I have another commission. This one is a landscape of a hotel in Scotland. A coworker of my wife, a native Scot, has a favorite vacation spot back home and would like a painting of it. It's going to be an odd size (4"x10") but therein lies the next challenge. I don't have the odd size ready for the hotel so I may post about the mermaid next but we'll see. It is going to be an interesting month or two.

Sunday, September 6, 2009

I did promise mermaids...

...and I am delivering on them. Sarah, make sure sneaky little prying eyes aren't around. This will be a first look at the birthday present.

First of all though, I am still working on the Fisherman commission. I have gotten it 95% done, but what little bit I did to it today is not enough to worry with a new picture so I am just waiting on the final product before I post him one last time.

On to mermaids.

As I said before my sister in law asked for a painting of a mermaid for my niece's birthday in November. I have been thinking about it diligently for six months even if I haven't been WORKING on it. I did get some sketches in...

I took the idea for this one from the Disney version of Ariel on the rock with the waves crashing...(maybe a little "From Here To Eternity" thrown in).

This was one I thought of while at work. Just a quick sketch to denote the speed and grace of mer-folk.

But I kept thinking that it wasn't EXACTLY what I wanted. I wanted something that was kind of a snapshot of a mermaid. Something that seemed more suitable for a painting's composition. So I turned to the internet. I found several images that were sort of what I wanted so I combined a few of the better ones and came up with this...

I decided this was the one I wanted to do, so today after working a little more on my commission piece, I got started on a mermaid. Keep in mind, this is VERY rough but it's coming along. And my wife insisted I put it on here because she liked it. Enjoy!