Friday, December 28, 2018

#54-58 of 100 Blue Logos

What happens if I put a box around one letter? What happens if I put a dot after each letter? These are  the results. It is interesting that I started seeing faces in the center one. This will come back in future designs.

Wednesday, December 26, 2018

#49-53 of 100 Blue Logos

Back to posting the 100 Blue Logos. Here are more explorations with line and shape. With number 53 I finally took off the e. It is funny. After looking at a word for so long it doesn't look like it is spelled right.

Friday, December 21, 2018

#44-48 of 100 Blue Logos

I was playing with the mixing the circle and the blueberries and then realized the blueberries looked like clouds as well. I enjoyed tilting the half circle.

Wednesday, December 19, 2018

#34-38 of 100 Blue Logos

Finals are almost complete and I have completed all the 100 somethings for this semester. Time to do more creative work and get caught up on posting. I have learned a lot over the past few months and will be sharing some of the things I learned as I taught.

Here again is more of a thought process. The top left is a variation of a past theme. Here I am still trying to find a hue solution I am happy with. The center and the bottom left are more playing with simple shapes. As the idea comes I put it down.

The two on the left are more conceptual. I play with both of these more latter on. The blue with the cloud is creating a more depressed feel. I pulled the color from Eyore in Winnie the Pooh, to get more of the somber down feeling.

The bottom right is representative of blueberries, one of my favorite fruits. I just couldn't pass up doing that.

Wednesday, November 28, 2018

New Illustration for “North”

For the Northern Vermont University Visual Arts 2018 Faculty Art Exhibit “North” I exhibited a number of illustrations that I created over the past few years. I also spent time creating a new illustration for my “A is for Alliteration” book that related to the the theme of North.

This one is titled “N is for a nearsighted Napoleonic navy nabob navigating nervous narwals not so nicely through narrows near numbats nibbling nachos, nine nefarious newt ninjas, and na├»ve nerdy naked mole-rats wedding neither necklaces nor neckties 'neath the nebulous northern night.”

I like long titles.

Tuesday, November 20, 2018

#33 of 100 Blue Logos

The final of my blue logos inspired by my visit to the Winnie the Pooh exhibit at the MFA in Boston. This exhibit was by far one of the best I had been to. I felt immersed in the world of Earnest H. Shepard and A. A. Milne. On the floor at one point there was this animation of words being dropped in the river like Pooh Sticks. I took the pattern in the water and incorporated it into the word.

Monday, November 19, 2018

#32 of 100 Blue Logos

This is the second of the Blue Logos being inspired by what I saw at the Winnie the Pooh exhibit at the MFA in Boston. I couldn't resist the idea of the word being lifted by the ballon.

On a side note, I am finally reading the Winnie the Pooh books. The exhibit has been inspirational on many levels.

Friday, November 16, 2018

#31 of 100 Blue Logos 100 Somethings

Part of the 100 something assignment is to take inspiration from our visit to the Boston Museum of Fine Art. We are to create at least 3 of the 100 something based on something seen while at the museum.

We specifically went to see the Winnie the Pooh exhibit. While walking around I was fascinated by the shadow on the wall of the hanging text.

Thursday, November 8, 2018


I have been slowly working on an illustration for Northern Vermont University's Lyndon Faculty Exhibit entitled North. As a colleague said, “You illustrated yourself into a box.” I gave my self a difficult challenge visually and after many thumbnails and roughs finally figured out a good way to compose the image. It was not easy and I wanted to give up and change my idea a few times. I am glad I stuck with it.

Now on to studies and the final.

This and a number of my past illustrations relating to “North” with the other Visual Arts Faculty work will be on exhibit in the Quimby Gallery starting November 27 at 6 pm until January 18th

Tuesday, October 30, 2018

100 Somethings: Blue Logos 26-30

One more variation one a theme. The center square is further exploration of color. The others are continuing to play with ideas. IT is funny the more you look at the spelling of blue the more it looks like it is spelled incorrectly.

Monday, October 29, 2018

100 Somethings: #21-25 Blue Logos

Here are more variations n a theme. I started working with trying to convey more of a feeling of blue, like being down or depressed. This caused a shift in color and intensity. The Middle is a variation of one of the first logos I created for this project.

Saturday, October 27, 2018

100 Somethings: Blue logo 16-20

I am posting these in the order that I created them. I find it interesting to see the process of how one idea influences another. How in the design process we also pull from past ideas and create variations of a theme. The concept of pushing complementary colors and opposites and then reversing the letters to emphasize the idea would not have happened had I not initially thought of doing a logo for the color blue using orange as a color.

Friday, October 26, 2018

Some Summer Sketches

One of the places I like to take my animals studies students to is The Squam Lakes Natural Science Center in New Hampshire. This has a great place to draw animals from observation.

One of the things I keep reminding my self about drawing is the need to keep drawing on a regular basis. Prior to the class, I was not drawing as much as I should and it took me a few days to get back into it. by the time we went to the science center, I was doing well again.

The sketches were done on-sight and the painting was completed later using Adobe Sketch on my iPad pro.

Thursday, October 25, 2018

Tuesday, October 2, 2018

Ernest Shepard

Last Friday I spent a few hours in the Winnie the Pooh exhibit at the MFA in Boston with my students from the Visual Arts Program at Northern Vermont University. I was awestruck by the beauty of Ernest Shepard's drawings. I had always loved them, but they took new meaning as I looked at the originals.

First, I loved his trees. They are so full of life, twisted and beautiful. I spent time drawing them to get a better sense of how he did it and then I spent time the next day drawing trees from observation. I hope to do more.

 I spent a great deal of time learning from a master. I was astounded by how he created so much personality with a tilt of the head and a few simple lines. It says so much about Winnie the Pooh, who he is and what he is thinking. These are things I will be pondering and applying for years to come.

Tuesday, September 25, 2018

More Blue Logos

I have been working diligently on the 100 Logos project. I just haven't been able to post them. Here is a small grouping of them. It is fun to see them like this in order to see a little more about how ideas evolve.

Monday, September 10, 2018

Wallace Tripp (1940-2018)

In 2011 I had the idea to contact one of my favorite illustrators, Wallace Tripp, and invite him to exhibit in the Quimby Gallery at what is now Northern Vermont University. This is a man who's illustrations probably had the most influence on me and my work, and it was only one book that I had and devoured (I have since found more). I love his humor, his wit, and intelligence.

Yesterday, I received word that he passed away at the age of 78. words cannot express how grateful I am to have met him and to have seen his great illustrations. I have been reflecting a great deal on the importance of allowing yourself to be influenced and to have heroes. The importance of taking a leap and asking your heroes to be a part of your life, even if it is for a brief moment, and even if you are deathly afraid of the outcome. I have been thinking of the importance of giving back to others and sharing what you have found.

Wally was a great illustrator, He did all of these things for me and for others. I am glad I was able to tell him what he did for me.

Here is some of his wisdom:

“The experienced illustrator subscribes to the principle of the application of the seat of the pants to the seat of the chair. Should inspiration whisk don your chimney, be at your table.”

“Illustrators are word people who happen to draw. We work with one foot in a book, the other stuck in a paint pot. Our Shoes are a disgrace.”

Friday, September 7, 2018

Day #4 of Blue logos

This project is more of an exploration than anything I have done before. As I work on it, I get an idea and execute it without much thought. I am looking at possibilities and getting ideas, often times it is faster than I can create them. As I am working on one I am getting an idea for another in reaction to the one I am working on. I am also recognizing how heavily influenced I am by what is around me. My hope is that as I get to closer to 100 they get more original.

Saturday, September 1, 2018

Summer Sketching: Whites Beach Vermont

This summer each member of our family selected a town for us to visit in our pretty, little state of Vermont. One of my daughters selected South Hero on Grand Isle, an island in the north part of Lake Champlain. While there we found Whites Beach. Right next to the beach there is a small forest where someone built hundreds of brightly painted bird houses. It is magical. I had to sketch it.

Friday, August 31, 2018

Day 3 100 Blue Logos

This one came rather quickly. What if you have the opposite color of blue when it is using the word “Blue?”

Thursday, August 30, 2018

100 Somethings #2 Blue

Day 2 of 100 logos is Red Yellow Blue. One of the purposes of this project is to maintain a level of consistency between the logos. It needs to look like the same company with variations

Wednesday, August 29, 2018

100 Somethings: Logo Challenge Day #1

I like to find ways to strengthen my creativity. One of the first assignments I give to first year students is to create 100 somethings. Last year I did 100 elephant character designs. This year I am creating 100 logos for the word “Blue.”

Saturday, August 25, 2018

And now for something completely different!

Here is an example of another passion of mine, LEGOs! This was my entry into the Annual LEGO Competition in the Quimby Gallery at Northern Vermont University (formally Lyndon State College). This was inspired by my trip to Cambodia last year. I received the Bronze award for it. My Daughter beat me. Her work was incredible and it had a story to it. I should have realized as an illustrator that the story is what connects people to the work.

Friday, August 24, 2018

Sketch from Cambodia: Phnom Kulen, Elephant Pond

After a scooter ride and a small walk through the jungles of Cambodia, we came across this wonderful site. I wanted to capture that moment as it just emerged out of the jungle as we turned the corner. Constructed around 802 AD Phnom Kulen or The Elephant Ponds is all that is left of what is believed to be the birth of the Khmer Empire. It was so peaceful.

I was able to visit in February of 2017 and I am just getting to painting some of my sketches from the trip.

Tuesday, August 21, 2018

Centetarian! Illustration for Tucker Turkey Spices

My grandfather has done many things in his life. He is a WWII veteran, father of 7 children, grandfather to 31, and he has 76 great-grandchildren and 4 great-great grandchildren.

He is also the creator of Tucker Turkey Spices. Recently, one of my cousins asked me to illustrate an portrait of our grandfather to replace a generic image of a chef. I was able to finish it just before his  100 Birthday!

I continue to be grateful for the influence he has been on me. I love his wisdom and his wit.

Friday, June 1, 2018

An Experiment with tigers

As I was working on one a current project that involves a tiger, I played with different ways of representing it. I ended up doing 5 of these. It is a water color background with black ink for the tiger. All of them have been sold. I will post the other four on Monday.

Wednesday, May 30, 2018

#100 of 100 Elephants: Stick Elephant

The last one! I went simplistic with this one. Upon reflection, this was an incredible creative exercise. Not only did I push myself, I realize now that I can push myself farther. It was frustrating. It was liberating. It was great to allow myself to explore with out serious consequences. I would highly recommend doing this to push your creativity.

Starting in the fall, 100 logos.

Monday, May 28, 2018

#98 of 100 Elephants: Backhoe

One morning I was working on a wood service project with my church. One of the congregation members had their backhoe to help with moving big logs. As I looked at it I saw an elephant. I was seeing elephants in everything.

Thursday, May 24, 2018

Wednesday, May 23, 2018

#94 of 100 Elephants: Lamp

This was another creative breakthrough. I was stuck. Was almost done. With all the elephants that had come before and all my thinking I came to this solution. I love the simplicity of the idea. Now it seems rather obvious.

I just realized he has no bow tie.

Tuesday, May 22, 2018

#93 of 100 Elephants: The Wizard

It took me 93 elephants to realize that the tusks can go side ways. It is small, but exciting.

This one has also been sold.

Monday, May 21, 2018

#92 of 100 Elephants: Genie

I really do not know what to say about one this other than it was really fun to draw. There is something really liberating about this project. This opportunity to explore possibilities to allowing yourself to fail and to come up with some joyful ideas.

Saturday, May 19, 2018

#91 of 100 Elephants: Hot Air Balloon

I lived in Albuquerque New Mexico for a number of years while growing up. The International Balloon Fiesta was something that impacted me visually in so many ways. The hot air balloons keep appearing in my work.