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Hot August Nights

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Dude.  I totally forgot these drawings existed until I found them buried in a hard drive.  I had done a drawing on the reverse (that you can kind of see the ghost of) that a good friend showed fond interest in.  I ripped the page out of my sketchbook then and there and handed it to her.  Thankfully she was willing to scan the pages for me and send them to me… which is where I (apparently) forgot about them entirely.  Whoops.

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Josephine Baker

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“A violinist has his violin, a painter his palette.  All I had was myself.  I was the instrument I must care for.”
-Josephine Baker

3 June 1906 – 12 April 1975

Josephine was an American-born dancer, singer, and actress.  Born Freda Josephine McDonald in St. Louis, Missouri, she became a citizen of France in 1937.  Fluent in both English and French, Baker became an international musical and political icon.  She was given such nicknames as the “Bronze Venus”, the “Black Pearl”, and the “Creole Goddess”.

Baker was the first African-American female to star in a motion picture, Zouzou (1934), to integrate an American concert hall, and to become a world-famous entertainer.  She is also noted for her contributions to the Civil Rights Movement in the United States, for assisting the French Resistance during World War II, and for receiving the French military honor, the Croix de guerre.

After King’s assassination, his widow Coretta Scott King approached Baker in Holland to ask if she would take her husband’s place as leader of the American Civil Rights Movement.  After many days of thinking it over, Baker declined, saying her children (she had twelve children, all of which were adopted) were “too young to lose their mother.”

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Rosa Parks

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This year for Black History Month I’m going to highlight a different player in the steady march towards civil rights.  These women were strong and steadfast in their belief in equality, and they still have plenty to teach us today.  Regardless of how you feel about black history being relegated to a single month, this is important American history and we’d do well to keep these lessons in mind as we continue to fight for equality.

“I have learned over the years that when one’s mind is made up, this diminishes fear; knowing what must be done does away with fear.”
-Rosa Parks

4 February 1913 – 24 October 2005

Mrs. Parks was an African-American civil rights activist, whom the U.S. Congress called “the first lady of civil rights”, and “the mother of the freedom movement.”  She’s most well known for refusing to give up her seat on a bus in Montgomery, Alabama on 1 December 1955.  This act of civil defiance and the Montgomery Bus Boycott became important symbols in the Civil Rights Movements.

After her many years of service to the cause of equality she received national recognition, including the NAACP’s 1979 Spingarn Medal, the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the Congressional Gold Medal, and a posthumous statue in the U.S. Capitol’s National Statuary Hall.  Upon her death in 2005, she was the first woman — and second non-U.S. government official — to lie in honor at the Capitol Rotunda.

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Love

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The Gun Show is a project geared towards raising awareness of a greater need for gun safety and an even greater need to sharply decrease violence.  Artists from around the country have contributed designs for posters, which are for sale at reasonable prices.  I’m proud to say that I’ve taken part in this initiative.

You can buy my poster here.

The rest of the great posters can be found here.

Stop by.  Check them out.  And spread the word!

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Fangirl!

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Muse Art + Design here in Portland has started to showcase local artists in one of their shop windows.  The idea is to give each artist a month to display a piece of art that measures 4′ x 4′ and wouldn’t you know it?  I got the inaugural month!  Since most of my pieces are digital (with the occasional marker and water color piece) the first question I asked myself was “how on earth am I going to do a four-foot drawing?”  Chalk pastels were the answer.  I figured I spend enough time trying to emulate them I might as well actually use them at some point.

So I commandeered the living room floor, locked the dogs out, and spent a weekend crawling around and playing with chalk.  I’m not gonna lie, I felt like a kid again.

If you’re in the area you should stop by and check it out (the folks at Muse are real nice), but if not, you can at least follow the project at www.16sqft.com It should prove to be a great community show!

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Cutie Cthulu!

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Man! Talk about one from the archives!  This is one of the first pieces I did once upon a time.  I thought I had lost this little wonder but I unearthed it while digging through files deep in my hard drive.  You can see how certain parts of the style have evolved over the past few years.  Moving on…

A friend suggested I draw her as a Cthulu-riddled she-beast and I really couldn’t pass it up.  I mean, who could, really?

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Demon to some. Angel to others.

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Back in October (wow, I’m really keeping current aren’t I?) my mom celebrated her birthday, so I decided to draw her a picture.  What did I draw?  Was it a sensitive portrait?  Was it a luscious landscape?  Was it a beautiful and touching reminder of our beloved family pet?  Nope.  I drew Pinhead. From Hellraiser.  Because that’s how we roll.

P.S. She loved it.  And how could she not?  Look at how adorable this terrifying hell spawn is.

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First Grade!

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Back during Halloween I came across what was probably the best costume I’ve ever seen.  I think costumes tend to go a little too adult or a little too gruesome, so this was such a breath of fresh air.  She’s a kid on the first day of first grade and her parents let her dress herself.  It was so adorable.  It was heart melting. I had to share it with you good folks sooner or later.