Monday, November 30, 2009

Victorian jumping fox

Idea via Caio Fernandes. Thank you, Caio.

And some advice I've been mulling over from R.L. Bourges (when I expressed admiration for her commitment to her writing process) "If you're ever faced with the choice of jumping or being pushed, take whatever time is available for the decision, then jump".

This is the one of the trees that was red in the earlier blackbird photo.

Edit: changed photo

Sunday, November 29, 2009

What Remains?

On waking, did your dream last night leave a strange flavor or glow behind when it fled? Or is your unconscious a joker, and was a pun involved? Did you meet a stranger who seemed familiar, or did someone familiar suddenly turn strange?

At Titus the Dog, a late entry to November's illustration challenge.

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Miette vs. the Mad Scientist Krank/Entangled

In City of Lost Children, Miette's (Judith Vittet) love for One leads to her fate becoming entangled with that of Krank (Daniel Emilfork). Judith Vittet was nine when the film was made, and her performance is stunning. The illustration Friday prompt is entangled.

Friday, November 27, 2009

Snow Cake

Alex Hughes (Alan Rickman) watches Linda Freeman (Sigourney Weaver) jumping on a trampoline in Snow Cake. This is a lovely film, a sort of Odyssey in the sense of Alan Rickman's character coming home to himself.

Thursday, November 26, 2009


Dear Reader,

I wish we could join each other in a cup of tea (even if neither of us has come apart).

Eat your heart out, Roland Emmerich.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Can a blackbird sing the blues?

When I was younger, I was always kind of appalled that older people talked about the weather – it just seemed so mundane. But now , with these last few warm days before the rainy season – well, I just wouldn't believe the stillness and serenity if I wasn't here (even if it's it's not a unicorn in the garden).

Blues, blues, blues:

Cobalt (and others) on Invisible Paris

Ultramarine on l'astronave

Cerulean on Random Shots

Indigo on Celeste Bergin

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Challenge #3

Here they are, ready for alteration by drawing ,digital manipulation, collage, needle and thread, or rifle practice (printing out first is recommended for the latter two) ...and NEW this challenge, you can in addition or alternatively write a caption/brief history of these two if you choose. Let me know here when you have posted, I will be listing the links in my post of December 10. Looking forward to your creative works!

Do you know this film?

I will edit the answer in later today - this is from the beginning. Also later today, an illustration challenge.

Outside the little caravan in the rain, the cyclops men tap on the window with a candy apple to attract Denree, the little brother, as One (Ron Perlman) gazes sadly at his late employer (Ticky Holgado). The beginning of a sequence of adventures that ends with the destruction of one family, of mad scientists and clones, and the finding of a sister for little brother. Amazing film, a lovely dystopia - it's the City of Lost Children (La Cité des Enfants Perdus), directed by Marc Caro and Jean-Pierre Jeunet, who first collaborated on Delicatessen.

Needless to say, I wish my name were Ticky Holgado.

Probably will do some more of these next week just because I find the film inspiring.

Monday, November 23, 2009


Like a lot of adolescents, Ginger had trouble fitting in.

If you want to see some more finished drawings, check out the story of Salfon the Roof Cleaner. It's been published in Spain, but if anyone has any connections in U.S. children's book publishing...

Sunday, November 22, 2009


Tonight the professor checks the settings of the machine, the inmost chamber of which holds the light from a perfect Spring day some six months before, a day of fragrance and gentle breezes. In truth, the Professor is none other than the Daylight Robber, who caused an apparent eclipse and general panic when he extracted the sun's presence from this vanished May 12. For years he has been studying the translation of light into the language of other senses than vision.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Fire in the Heart

Like looking into the heart of a flame, or a figure in a Persian carpet.

Fire in my Heart, The Super Furry Animals

Is that on backwards? I wish my name were Gruff. "Monkey Bars are sweet" - what does that mean? Oh - blue guitar, like in the poem! Seems to be a benign flying eyeball, not one of those ones that suck your brain out - shame about the earth, but the dolphins warned us. You who do not click on the link (mon semblable, mon frére) will never know to what these lines refer...

Friday, November 20, 2009


I pulled this one from the files for the Illustration Friday prompt "music". This was done for the first person story of a man whose first symptom of a brain tumor was hearing a combination of Procul Harem's "Whiter Shade of Pale" and a Bach Fugue. The art director told me that the writer liked the illustration, which was important to me. The musical notation is the opening bars of "Whiter Shade of Pale".

This is just too gorgeous not to share- Neil Ornstein's Papageno on Snorkblog

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Subversive comfort

The stripling tree in the background is about seven or eight feet tall and is growing up between the sidewalk and the street. Just the thing to encourage thoughts of a return to Eden (see also under Sheri Tepper's wonderful book, The Family Tree). A slow green explosion...well, I can dream about the triumph of nature over civilization (especially when people are wandering around with those #%@**^ petroleum powered leaf blowers). What's your odd source of comfort?

Here's a peaceful dream on Ruhezone

For those who would like a more rowdy environment, TFE is throwing a book release party for Liz Gallagher's The Wrong Miracle on Totalfeckineejit. Sign in the comments there or on her blog for a chance to win this hot-off-the-presses book.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

His Mama told him not to go...

But did Reginald listen? NOooooOoooo........

I drew these in San Francisco's Conservatory of Flowers and then cut them out. This is the most humid room, with the carnivorous plants, so these guys are kind of slouching.

When my nephews were little, we used to occasionally catch one of those old movies on television where the hero is going through the jungle with the kind of lame heroine and his faithful native servant. The heroine collapses, saying "I can't go on", and the hero has to carry her. Then the faithful native servant gets carried off and/or eaten. What's that about? I always explained to my nephews that it seemed inaccurate, because men have more upper body strength, but women have more endurance. Anyway, used to kind of irritate me.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Different Drummer

Photographed at the carousel in Golden Gate Park. This is the one I had with me, he seemed to match the background.

The Garden flew round with the angel,
And the angel flew round with the clouds,
And the clouds flew round and the clouds flew round
And the clouds flew round with the clouds.

– from "The Pleasures of Merely Circulating", Wallace Stevens

More directional challenges: Just returned from the grocery store, where black vinyl turkey footprints leading to the poultry section have been adhered to the floor. It created a brainstorm as they looked to me just like black arrowheads urging the shopper out of the store (try drawing it if this doesn't make sense).

Monday, November 16, 2009

Equilbrium Enhancer Flight Test

The Professor wondered if his love of embellishment had unbalanced his wonderful new machine.

It's been awhile since I did a t-shirt, so I just put this on redbubble, and the Illustration Friday prompt is unbalanced.

In other news, I realized I was late announcing the Icarus winner, he will be flying off to Megan at All I need is Everything

This new discovery seemed familiar as his heartbeat, yet infinitely strange

This was so much fun - I went on a sketching meetup with a great group of people, drew the characters and cut them out (except for one I brought with me) on location and then photographed them in San Francisco's Golden Gate Park.

On urbandon, you can see closely observed nature from a different part of the world.

I'm thinking there are echoes here and in other places on the web of Baudelaire's "Correspondances"

La Nature est un temple où de vivants piliers
Laissent parfois sortir de confuses paroles....

Nature is a temple whose living pillars
Sometimes give forth strange perfumes...

Sunday, November 15, 2009


I was having a discussion with an old friend about what motivates artists/creative types. The truth is, with all the not wanting to show up at the office, engage in normal small talk, and be a grownup in various ways, one still wants to be of use to others. One wants to contribute to society at the same time one is stubbornly refusing to participate, or alternatively being subversive. Yup I'm saying "one" instead of "I" in a rather ineffectual attempt to be discreet.

Concerning light, this is a very lovely post on Titus the Dog on related themes.

And a wonderful post on artistic community on Spirit Cloth

Let your little light shine -

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Tom Waits

One from the files - A visual compilation of some of the themes and characters from various Tom Waits songs. I was just in North Beach yesterday, part of which is very neon-lit and honky-tonkish, possibly it provided the songwriter with inspiration at some point. I do find the line "What was the girl with the snakeskin's name?" to be quite amusing. Guys, I have to say, I have been at a couple of parties where women wearing leopard-print or snake scale leotards were described to me by male friends as "hot". Evidently, a subtle, mysterious quality...

Michael at CoffeeMessiah sent me a link to Waits' I don't wanna grow up. Thank you, Michael.

Friday, November 13, 2009

The False Knight on the Road

O where are you going, says the false knight on the road
I'm going to my school, says the wee boy and still he stood
What is on your back, says the false knight on the road
Me bundles and me books, says the wee boy and still he stood

Not to worry, the wee boy gets the best of his opponent.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Escape Velocity

Well, I became rather smitten with the Daylight Robber character. I tried to make a story but this is the further image I had...perhaps more later? You may have to right click to read the text.

There is another night scene on Alice's Drawing Board which is exquisite.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Intrepid Imperialist

...setting out with his determination, his uniform and his technology. Sometimes it's hard to see important stuff that's right in front of your nose, though.

Please see the link at fragments, treasures, memory about the current plight of Black Fellas Dreaming Place, an irreplaceable collection of Aboriginal Art about to lose its current home. There is a link to a petition there.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

November Links

Anthony was amazed when he looked out the window and observed an enormous wooden rocking horse being lowered through the night sky via tractor beam.

More amazing views...

Waiting Room Aquarium


k. grace bears

Please feel free to jump in if you like - here's the original illustration to play with.

Monday, November 9, 2009

Lil Icarus

Those crazy kids and their cockamamie flying machines! What won't they get into next?

This little guy is flying off somewhere...indicate in the comments if you'd be interested in having him land with you, I'll pick a name at random and announce it in a week.

Here's something for the writers...I really liked the odd list of the nanowrimo participant at Errantry

Sunday, November 8, 2009

This is April

This is the illustration for April for the Calendar of drawings from posts here. I've now displayed all twelve months on Tiny Theatre - see button at right.

Monday there will be an odd sort of giveaway here.

Here's the duck magician as he appeared in the original post

The Uninvited

I fear thee, ancient mariner!
I fear thy skinny hand!
And thou art long, and lank, and brown
As is the sea-ribbed sand!
- from The Ancient Mariner*, Samuel Taylor Coleridge

I'm seeing one of those 3-D animations, with Clint Eastwood in the title role and Robin Williams as the wise-cracking albatross who just won't stay dead. May we could Nemo the fish in there too. I'm open to suggestions for the Wedding Guest, let me know if you have any ideas.

*For those who didn't have this in school, it is a very long poem advising respect for living creatures, but in the most convoluted manner you can think of.

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Friday, November 6, 2009

But think of the potential!- the photograph

But think of the potential!- the cartoon

I've been watching old black and white monster movies - should Anthony stick with creative endeavors? You be the judge.

Later today: But think of the potential!- the photograph

Alack, Alay - Google has stolen my blog thumbmails away.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Brothers in Arms

These mist-covered mountains
Are a home now to me,
But my home is in the lowlands
And always will be

- Mark Knopfler, Brothers in Arms

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Rainy Day Toads

An Illustration from a couple of years ago for an article in a Florida magazine about the amphibious fondness for rain.

Edit: Suggestible folks are advised not to read the comments....

Tuesday, November 3, 2009


This is Anton, Anthony's Russian cousin. I'm not sure what preceded this misadventure.

Monday, November 2, 2009

The Other Calendar

Here's the alternative to the Alice in Wonderland Calendar.Below, the image I chose for May. I have taken previous posts and altered some for the calendar format - the one below originally appeared here

I'm pricing them at $15.00 each, with shipping included for the U.S. and $3.00 each for overseas. Available through Paypal here:


Sunday, November 1, 2009

Lounge Lizard

The picture was taken in Revolution Books in San Francisco, but he could be relaxing in his club or study....