Sunday, September 25, 2016

Pondering the Motive

As can be seen from the most recent entries, I have really enjoyed decorating envelopes and sending them off to various people with letters to them contained therein.  Using one's talent to brighten the day of someone else is something that satisfies a deep need to be helpful and to be cogniscent of those around you....yet, over the past few weeks, I've had to ask myself whether or not the sending of the letters is for others, or simply for me.  It certainly gives me something new to post each week.  But am I missing out on the satisfaction that comes from doing good in stealth, without fanfare? And so, I've had to examine the motives, and be sure that it's about the receiver, not the giver.   Yet, I also enjoy posting art because I have gained so much from viewing the art of others, looking at their techniques and being inspired by their creativity.  The creation of art is really quite incomplete without the viewer, sharing it with others, because it requires, by its very nature, an audience greater than the creator.  This dilemma has been weighing on me, and I haven't posted what I've sent out for a couple of weeks.  I'm interested in your thoughts on the matter.     In the mean time, here's a couple more envelopes.  One that I gave with a gift to a true bibliophile in the family and another that I gave with a sympathy letter to a friend that recently suffered a tragic loss.  


Saturday, September 10, 2016

Envelope Zen

This past week my brother requested an envelope with a Buddhist vibe, Tibetan Buddhism no less, so I had to get access my chi and really pull something out of my hat.  I did this Tibetan mask on the front, and a Buddha image he liked on the back.  I've always liked the imagery that comes from the orient, especially the way they use their reds and blacks.  Here's how his envelope came out:
I had another buddy contact me from Iraq where he is currently stationed and wanted to get into the whole envelope illustrating gig for the letters he'll be sending to his family.  We spoke about a few ideas, and I promised him an envelope too.  Here it is...I know, Iraq, camels...pretty cliche, but I had fun knocking out this one, especially the bedouin on the back of the envelope.  Here's how they came out:
Both were done with pen and ink and gouache.

Saturday, September 03, 2016

Working Through the Addiction

The past few weeks I started doodling over envelopes and sending the, out to people for various reasons...when I started, I thought it would be a one time deal, but since then, not only have I had continued requests for envelopes, but I just really enjoy knocking them out.  I'm addicted.  There is something about doodling on an envelope that takes away any inhibitions that a canvas, rag paper or new sketchbook might's just a stinkin' envelope anyway, right?  But the fact that it's just an envelope lends to the lack of constraint.  Also, it's fun to send a letter to someone that shows you actually spent some time and thought into what is being sent...something lost in our incessant electronic communication...something that has become so impersonal and immediate.  Anyway, here are a few more envelopes done the past couple of days.  I'm sure there will be more....  
I did this one for the son of one of my cousins who likes Dinosaurs.
And here's the development of an envelope, front and back, for another loved one.

Friday, August 26, 2016

...and More Envelopes

Continuing on this envelope trend, yet another two people became recipients of my aimless doodling this week.  Here's front and back of a frog themed envelope:
And here's one to my uncle that is sporting a butterfly theme:

Saturday, August 20, 2016


A few weeks ago I sent a letter to a fellow in New Zealand who was kindly sending illustrated envelopes to others.  I thought it would be fun to send him one so he could be a receiver, as well as a giver.  He was kind to thank me.  I posted a picture of it, and then had a few more requests for "designer envelopes" for other friends and family. So, with a desire to brighten one's day, and armed with an excuse to doodle, I knocked out a few more envelope doodles. Here's a few of the fronts and backs of the envelopes.

Saturday, July 23, 2016

Insect Garden

Another lazy Saturday has found me with the options of either listening to all the innumerable talking heads spewing their rhetoric about how diabolical any political candidate currently is, or, enjoying a few hours of peace sketching and painting something that has nothing to do with any of that....consequently, I chose the later.
Inspired by the amazing work of Felicita Sala, I decided to do something a little simpler, and painting a bunch of different things and then cutting them out to add them to one composition.

Enjoy this little insect garden....done with gouache and a hint of prismacolor here and there.

Saturday, July 02, 2016

Deep Sea Diver

Lately I have been pondering the word DEEPEN...and the phrase "deepen your discipleship."  This phrase is useful in various aspects of ones life, I suppose.  Nonetheless, I came across an old photo of a deep sea diver that I really liked, and decided to play around with it.
I started with a quick sketch:

Then finished up the pen and ink work:

I then antiqued it with my favorite mix of chicory brew in cooked it in the oven a bit:

Then I did a few highlights with gouache and some prismacolor, and created a little more subtle background for the finish:

The scan came out a little blurry in some spots, but I'm happy with the way the final piece turned out. It will go nicely by my aquarium.