Saturday, June 19, 2010

American Pride

I have been a soccer fan for going on 16 years now. I (like many of my southern compatriots) didn't understand the sport and thought it was actually pretty slow and pointless. I mean come on, 0-0 is a FINAL score?!?! That can't possibly be right. But like most things in life, it becomes MUCH more interesting when you understand the rules and nuances of the sport. While in college I had the good fortune to be roommate's with a talented artist/musician/goalie who explained the rules of "the beautiful game" to me. Since then I have been a HUGE fan, particularly of the United States National Team.

However, this has not always been an easy job. While you consign yourself to the knowledge that soccer in the United States is an "up and coming" sport, you are always hoping for the team that breaks through the barrier. Well, this year's team could just be that team. Usually, the U.S. team plays well for part of a game or they play well for one game but not the next. Or they make their way into a tournament and just do horribly the entire tournament. But this team is different. They play like they know what they're doing. Every time. (Okay, they sometimes take a bit to warm up to the game but they get there.) I have not been disappointed in their play this World Cup. Not once.

Which brings us to Game 2 against Slovenia. Not enough that they finish up a masterful comeback from a 2-0 deficit. Not enough that they did not give up. They WON the game. On a brilliant cross from Landon Donovan, Maurice Edu jammed home the winning goal. Except they didn't.

Everyone who follows the game knows what happened (or more importantly, what DIDN'T happen). Here is my take on it...

Take what you will from this. Do I think that it was a referee who had placed a bet on the game AGAINST the U.S. taking a victory? Do I take it as a vast conspiracy of FIFA who dislike the idea of such a "non-futbol" country as the United States advancing in the tournament? Or do I take it as a simple mistake by a referee who might have been a little in over his head? (Okay, for the record I definitely do NOT take it to be the last one.)

I am so proud of our boys. If they were to be knocked out of the World Cup in the first round I will be just as proud of them. They have done everything in their power to win. And to them, I say "thank you" for helping to reignite the passions of a fan who sometimes has trouble keeping the fire going. But for everyone else in the world of soccer, I leave you with this message...

Watch out. Our boys are coming.

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Iguanodon and Charlie Brown

Just a couple of new things this week. I've been working on my submission for Prehistoric Times magazine for the fall issue. I had done one previously but I was never EXACTLY happy with it. So I decided to give it another go with a different attitude about the composition. I went with less of a central motif and had the old girl wandering off into the background as well as added a little iguanodon for a little more of a family touch. I decided the foreground needed a little something so I put one of those giant dragonflies that were very prevalent at the time. I liked this composition MUCH better.

And I really wanted to submit one in color this time so after a few days of horrifying myself about the color, I grabbed the old watercolors again. And then I got THIS...

I'm still not happy with my watercoloring skills but I AM really just starting out with them so I can't beat myself up TOO much (even though I will).

So while I'm working, I take little breaks here and there and usually sit in the studio listening to my music and I do different little things to distract myself while something dries. I will sketch out a new drawing, play solitaire, or usually read something. I surround myself with a lot of different reading materials. Right now my main reading book is The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay but I also have a collection of Peanuts cartoons I've been picking up periodically. The man was, in the simplest terms, a genius. He could encapsulate inspiration and a way to live in a few simple ink lines and fewer words.

(Now obviously in this case I mean the inspiration of Schroeder's words NOT Lucy's but she also has her moments.) There is no anniversary today, no reason to be appreciative of a genius who left us ten years ago...other than the reason to always look on work that touches us and appreciate it again. We miss you, Sparky.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010


So a couple of weeks ago, I was asked by the marketing department at work if I could do some drawings of geckos to turn into coloring sheets for he kiddies. No problem. But since I wasn't being paid I asked if I could put the address for this blog onto the drawings just for a little exposure. And they agreed so, if you're joining us from that advertisement, then welcome! I hope you enjoy looking around. But for those who don't manage to find their way to Fernbank museum this summer, here are the original drawings I did for the geckos coloring sheets. (I think the graphic design department added a border or something. Not really sure, I didn't get a good look at them and they never emailed me the finished copies.)

First up is this little fella...

Then there's this little guy...(I LOVE the jazz hands and how excited he is to be doing it.)

Then this one.

And finally this little critter.

I'm not sure if these are big enough for you to color if you print them out at home, but please feel free to try. (Just let me know how it turns out. I'd love the feedback.)

And if you get the chance come to Fernbank Museum this summer. These little guys are really a lot cuter than lizards have any right to be. They always look happy (even when they are most assuredly NOT happy) and it's really fun to find all of them in their enclosures.

As always, enjoy!