Archive for November, 2009

bad guy

Monday, November 30th, 2009

Draw a face with sharp angles, add an angled brow and you’ve got a bad guy. But to really create an evil genius, you’ve got to add a monocle. The single eye piece really differentiates him from your run-of-the-mill thug. Sure, there are more frightening and maladjusted sociopaths but none more intimidating than your intellectual looney. They don’t have to use force to coerce their victims, one glance from their encircled eye and you know you’re in for it.

So, 007, you think you can end my quest for world domination!

So, 007, you think you can end my quest for world domination! You don't frighten us, English pig-dog! Go and boil your bottoms . . . (Sorry, mixing my movies)

Mischief

Saturday, November 28th, 2009

They say a picture is worth a thousand words. In that picture the eyes can tell the whole story.

Kitty? I'm not doing anything to the kitty!

Kitty? I'm not doing anything to the kitty!

Hats

Friday, November 27th, 2009

My first art-related job was as a technical illustrator. I worked with some real practical jokers. The main culprit was an ex-navy sailor and he had learned from some of the best. Once, before my time, he began slowly stuffing the brim of a co-worker’s hat with tissue paper. After a few days, he and the others were having lunch with the unsuspecting victim. They started discussing this new terrible disease that made the top of your head swell . . .

Some hats just don't make the right fashion statement.

Some hats just don't make the right fashion statement.

Quiet

Thursday, November 26th, 2009

Sneaking to the front of the line for the Black Friday sales.

Not on your life, I'd rather pay full price!

Not on your life, I'd rather pay full price!

Turkey

Wednesday, November 25th, 2009

Happy Thanksgiving to you all. Apologies in advance to all my vegetarian friends (please look the other way). By next week, we’ll all be so tired of turkey, vegetables might be a tasty alternative.

Turkey, turkey casserole, turkey sandwiches, turkey soup, turkey ice cream . . .

Turkey, turkey casserole, turkey sandwiches, turkey soup, turkey ice cream . . .

Happy

Wednesday, November 25th, 2009

This fellow just looks unusually content. Well fed, well tanned, and anticipating more good things to come.

Put your feet up and have a cup of tea. All that lunacy that's following you around can wait a few minutes.

Hmm . . . I wonder what's for dessert?

Up

Monday, November 23rd, 2009

Putting up sheetrock, American-made sheetrock (My heart goes out to all those poor people who survived Katrina only to be displaced again by their sheetrock), and clambering around the attic today. Hoping to have a finished wall in the living room for Thanksgiving.

I betcha, if dad comes through the ceiling, he'll land on something that hurts.

I betcha, if dad comes through the ceiling, he'll land on something that hurts.

Pet Paradise

Sunday, November 22nd, 2009

We’ve always had pets, and never just one at a time. The record was four dogs and four cats. I think there may have been a lizard around, too. The resulting animal sanctuary was the basis for the naming of my studio, “Barking Hollow.” In reality, only one of each was ours. The others were guests that stayed past check-out time. They also tended to live long, full lives while under our roof. Freckles, the spaniel mix, and Foggy, the cat, made 20. I do think it was at a cost to our own longevity or, at least, sanity.

Our present menagerie is ruled by Suki, the cocker spaniel. She’s seventeen and shares her space with two cats. While they get along well you can still see some conniving, either between the cats against the dog or one of the cats and the dog against the other unsuspecting feline.

You guys better cut it out or I'm telling!

Ohhh, You guys better cut it out or I'm telling!

Travel

Sunday, November 22nd, 2009

While I’m still in the boarding school train of thought, we used to travel a lot. My Mom worked for Pan Am and my Dad for Thomas Cook. I’ve come to appreciate how lucky I was. By the time I was in fourth grade, I’d been to Paris, Brussels, Jamaica, England, Italy, Germany and Switzerland (I was too young to remember the last three), along with numerous trips home to Ireland. At the boarding school, most of the kids were children of diplomats. I knew kids from Belgium, Spain, America, Nigeria, England and Ireland. It was quite an experience to realize that we were all basically the same, and wanted the same things. Now, if only we could convince the adults that it’s better to work toward a common goal.

Free time at the boarding school usually meant making do with whatever was about, and your imagination. We had are own “hand-held” game back then, “Conkers.” It involved running a string through a horse chestnut and swinging at the opponent’s “Conker” with yours. Decidedly low-tech, but there is a “World Championship!”

Hey! Let's play Conkers!

Hey! Let's play Conkers!

When my brother made his confirmation, our Dad came down to take us out (a really special treat). Our younger brother was over in Ireland at the time, too. While my elder brother and I were in boarding school, he got to go to Brazil!  One of my brother’s friends was from Nigeria and, since his family couldn’t come to him, Dad took him out with us.

What knees! No long pants until you were fifteen. Better to wear out your knees then your pants.

What knees! No long pants until you were fifteen. Better to wear out your knees then your pants.

Neat

Friday, November 20th, 2009

When I was a kid, I went to a boarding school in Ireland for a couple of years (it’s now a 4-star hotel, the food has certainly improved). Up in the morning, dress, run down the drive and back, then in for breakfast. If someone didn’t make their bed correctly, the nuns would pull all the beds in that kid’s dorm apart. His dorm room companions, just back from the long run, would have to do them again and miss breakfast. The beds would be perfect the next morning (nothing like psychological warfare and setting the messy kid up for retribution). If the nuns saw my studio today, there’d be no breakfast for a week.

I took my kids there for a visit while it was still a school. The government had built a motorway that cut the drive to half it’s original size. I even drove them around to where it originally ended but they still didn’t believe me when I said it was miles long, uphill both ways . . . in the snow . . . barefoot . . . in wool underwear (at least, that’s true).

You're in for it, the shilling didn't bounce on your bed! (Spelt "scilling" in Irish)

You're in for it, the shilling didn't bounce on your bed! (Spelt "scilling" in Irish)

Another lifetime:

My brother and I at Our Lady's Bower.

My brother and me at Our Lady's Bower.