Bosnian Sniper Fire

Look out, Sinbad! Cheryl Crow, run! It's a trap! We'll have to bring peace to Bosnia some other way!

[An alternate interpretation could be she's about to pimp-slap Bill. You can really see the rage.]

Watercolor, acrylics, and ink on watercolor paper. 7 1/2" x 6 1/2"

(If you're looking for a band name, Bosnian Sniper Fire is the one. You're welcome.)


I always forget what I did on the weekend by the time Monday morning rolls around. Hopefully this will help. I'm still hearting the crap out of the Rose Art watercolors. They're even better with a decent brush.

Now playing: Belle & Sebastian - It Could Have Been A Brilliant Career


Food court redux

The combination of Moleskine paper (which doesn't take wet media at all), cheap watercolors, and a really cheap brush is actually very liberating. When it turns out less than you were expecting, you can be all, "what do you expect?" The unfortunate thing is that these colors turned out better than I was expecting. Serves me right. Thanks a lot, Rose Art!

Now playing: Yeah Yeah Yeahs - Rich


Breathe, draw

Me being overly dramatic, due to the excess of Talib Kweli in my headphones. A very accurate depiction of my utensil cup, however.



Could I just find a toddler who doesn't squirm that much? Is that possible? He has no appreciation for how much effort is involved in portraiture. The pacifier was much more cooperative.


You're welcome

Three songs in my head, that will infect yours:

Vadrum Meets Super Mario Bros 2
One, this guy has a sweet rig. Two, they just don't make video game theme songs like they used to. Three, be prepared for the fact that you will want to take two pens and hit everything around you.

Foux da fafa
I have no way of proving this, but Matt B is behind this. Of that I'm certain. I fully encourage you to bring aspects of this to your life. Twirl umbrellas, pop out from behind trees, use French phrases and words out of context. I'll admit that when my wife and I walked past the bread section in Wal-Mart after I saw this, I pulled out a baguette and said, "Oh ho ho ho!!!" It was funny to me. She disagreed.

I love the Jose González version of this song, but I just discovered how great the original one is. It's even better.


"3.24.08–I brought my ink and brush into work today and did a couple drawings before other people got here. The drawings themselves aren't that great, but I also spilled a bit of the ink on my desk. Oopsadoodles. I think the moral of this story is to leave the ink at home next time. It's not worth it, in my opinion.

"3.24.08, 4:08 PM–The trash man hasn't come by to do his thing. It's a little perturbing, and I'm afraid it's becoming a trend. How are we supposed to make any headway on our yard clippings like this?

"3.25.08–It's International Waffle Day today. In an ironic twist, it's a Christian holiday being hijacked by a secular holiday, as it just happens to coincide with the Annunciation, a day which gets too little attention if you ask me. Instead of celebrating the hand of God reaching down to forever alter the course of humanity, we eat waffles. Don't get me wrong, I love the waffles. I just don't get the silence from the non-Catholic Christian community. At any rate, I need some waffles in my belly, stat."

It's a new Moleskine, so I'm going more journal-oriented. Also, my workplace is having an International Waffle Day celebration today. Score. Also also, "oopsadoodles" is trademarked by my wife. It's a funny word to say if you've accidentally chopped your arm off or something.

Now playing: The Apples In Stereo - Beautiful Machine Parts 3-4


Easter weekend

Did you miss me?

"March 22, 2008—Where will Marcia's keys lead us today? Probably nowhere, since I do all of the driving. But it is a pretty nice Saturday, so we will probably end up out and about. No doubt on a hunt for children's books, so Marcia can get a leg up on the pile while she's on spring break. And the dog park too, our typical Saturday tradition. I'm also hoping to make it to Meininger's, to peruse the art supplies. That place is like a candy store."

So sooner had I written this than the weather turned. We ended up with 4 inches of snow. But we did make it to the dog park, and to Meininger's. Also, this is another niece of mine, Hailey. I'm grateful that little boys don't have to wear easter stuff like this. I'd have some issues if they did.

Now playing: The Siren Six! - All In The Family (UK Version)


The weekend

I have Good Friday off tomorrow, so there will be no Ooch comic. Don't act like you didn't see that coming. I'll be at home watching March basketball-related event, and the WCHA Final Five. I leave you with this uplifting piece to get you through. Happy Easter!

Ink is my radar

On the left, how I looked on the day I received my Trained Monkey Certificate, ten years ago come June. That day was ridiculous. I couldn't stand people making a big deal out of a high school diploma, because I was setting my sights so much higher. Really, I looked around at some of the people graduating with me and put very little satisfaction in my accomplishment. But at least I got to sit with 650 other students and their families in a stuffy gym for two hours. So there's that.

On the right is another niece of mine, Michaela. She was 9 when I left for Colorado, and this summer she'll be 13. Time is flying too fast, and I fear that by the time I make it back to Minnesota I won't be her favorite uncle anymore.

Now playing: ESPN - The B.S. Report: 3/19


My reading spot

Musings on my new favorite place to take in some Russian lit. You guys, this Dostoevsky cat really knows his stuff.

Now playing: Death Cab for Cutie - Little Fury Bugs


It starts today.

"March 18, 2008 — It starts today. This is the day I truly begin to strive for great artistry. For too long I've sat in a place of comfort and leisure, afraid or unwilling to make sacrifices for this persistent dream of being a great artist. Today I have to ask myself if this dream is really worth pursuing, not for the first time and, God willing, hopefully not the last. Today I must be in or out. Either I commit to chasing down the elusive beast or I give it up as mere frivolity. There are any number of things to hold me back, very good things with which to occupy my life. But this dream, this passion, may never leave me alone. So the question remains: IN OR OUT? Today I choose to be in. Today I select the path of determination. Today I rededicate myself to elevating above the fray, come what may. Today I dream of growing the beard of the truly inspired individual. It starts today."

If you didn't catch the American Experience episode about Ansel Adams on PBS last night, you owe it to yourself to track it down. I always dismissed him out of hand, solely because everyone had a print of his in their house. I never really considered his message or his artistry. Apparently the guy was very dedicated and hardworking. That makes sense, and gives me a shot in the arm. The part about his lightroom techniques was fantastic. Dude burned and dodged like a mofo, obviously.

Now playing: Radiohead - Fitter Happier



I have a niece in Minnesota. I've seen her once, over Christmas last year. Luckily, there are photographs. The hardest part of living away from your family is missing out on the young'ens growing up. The easiest part of living away from your family is leaving again when the young'ens are really loud and draining. Not Jenna though, she's still too young to be anything but passive.


Waiting for Good Eau

Taken from this photograph by Keith W. Laumb, a mostly long-forgotten photographer and teacher. I was trying to capture a Parisian feel with it. The photograph really trumps my efforts, but I'm pleased nonetheless.

March 5 - 12, 2008

Let's hear it for blind contour drawings!

Now playing: The Beatles - Hey Jude



I usually have a nostalgic connection to a car I drive, but not this one. I didn't drive it long enough to really enjoy it. This is my 1990 Eagle Premiere. I drove it for only a few months in mid-1999. It was a hemi, meaning all 6 cylinders made a lot of noise and delivered only slightly more power. I wasn't all that impressed. It was fraught with radiator problems the entire time I had it. I vaguely remember it stranding Jan and I on the side of 494. Good times. It eventually passed to my sister, who ran it into the ground, as she did all cars. She was like a freakin' car graveyard. I wonder if that's on her resume.

Now playing: The Beatles - Getting Better


Star Wars

I grow weary of the endless demand of posting new content everyday. I appreciate all you loyal viewers, you have no idea the kind of ego boost it gives me in the morning when I see that I had 10 visitors the previous day. It's phenomenal, as are all of you. Only I can't keep up the pace. That doesn't mean a drop-off in new content however! Oh no no! My plan is to do fewer pieces, but post updates and progress. I know you've been dying to get a deeper view of the genius in action.

So here's the latest Moleskine spread I'm working on. I ususally start with an object, then see if the background is worth filling out. For my object this time I decided it's time to join the ranks of designers who think Star Wars is worthwhile solely because of kitsch value. I don't actually hold this belief, but the stormtrooper helmet is an interesting shape. So there then. I began with green pen, which I'm none too thrilled with. Black works better in my opinion. But I was stuck with a green pen, so I had to use it. I hatched like a fiend, letting it go a bit more sketchy than I normally allow myself. I'm trying to free the beast I guess.

I colored it in with my colored pencils. The important point to note here is that I was in front of the TV, in a dimly lit living room. I didn't really get a good look at the colors I was using, mostly I judged light and dark and colored accordingly. In retrospect I really love how that part turned out. Talk about freeing the beast. I noticed I had a nice black Pigma Micron pen in with the colored pencils, so I brought that out to bust down some of the green. Oh ho ho ho, Gerard Depardieu! Now we're getting somewhere.

I don't know where this goes from here. I'm sure it'll be fantastic, but it might not be until Thursday morning. Stay tuned?

Now playing: Stéphane Grappelli - Alabamy Bound


New Ooch.

There's a brand new Ooch comic waiting for you this morning. I had mulled over completely abandoning the project, but popular demand (two people) called for its glorious return. So here you go. Think of it as Jericho, but with a larger audience.


Ten second portraits

The Fine Arts Center is a great place to practice drawing fast. I absolutely love how these turned out, despite some of them being completely unrecognizable.

February 26 - March 4, 2008

Two months in and I'm already running out of ways to keep this fresh. Green pen? Ah, no. Backgrounds? Meh. Taking off the glasses? Yeesh. I never realized how much I used them as a reference point. I may have to go back to boring old same thing every day. Maybe this whole process is just part of a spiritual, artistic journey.



I dig the effects of putting two unrelated inkies next to each other. The one on the left is Sasha digging into her Christmas present from Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory. The one on the right is a road in Missouri. They have nothing in common except shared experience.

Hey, what was your favorite Brett Favre moment? Mine was when he threw up a horrendous interception to Corey Webster in overtime of the NFC Championship Game last year. His last throw ever will be one that haunts him for the rest of his days. Every time he drops back in his Wrangler jeans in a wheat field with his buddies, he'll be replaying that moment in his mind. That makes me smile. As a person I wish him nothing but the best. As a football fan, I'll see him in hell.

Now playing: Reinbert de Leeuw - Trois Gymnopédies: No.1


In the brown shag carpet of a cheap motel

We're double dipping today!

You know how sometimes your friends can grab your camera, and take a picture without you knowing about it? And then you don't get the roll of film developed for years? And then you're looking at the developed pictures and don't remotely recognize where this one picture came from? Well it turns out you can get back at them by making an unflattering illustration of them. In your face, friends! In your respective faces!

A very stately house near the SCSU campus. It's apparently on the National Register of Historic Places, though I haven't yet figured out why. Perhaps some research is in order? I bought a real fine brush and used it on this one. I need to practice my fine lines for an unrelated project.

Now playing: Cake - Dime


Dog park

Not my best work, I admit. But it shows just how much my style changes when I'm trying to work fast. I go completely shaky and nervous with my lines, and go more for general impression than details. No matter how much I try, I can't get strangers' dogs to sit still for portraits. What gives?!