Shaky

shakyThis week’s challenge at Illustration Friday is “Shaky.”

I go against the grain of the art community in most of my politics, especially when it comes to ecology, the economy, and the military.  That is one of the main reasons I wanted to separate The Small Town Big Life Show from The Artistic Biker.  I didn’t want the politics to interfere with the art and vice versa.  I am not a tree hugging, tofu eating, prius driving, latte sipping, hippy like my good friend Mark Dyson.  I do have a healthy respect for living things and refuse to kill things unecessarily.  I didn’t eat at a local restaurant for almost five years because they moved their establishment from one side of a street to another and cut down a 150 year old tree to do it.  Ok, maybe I’m a little bit of a tree hugger.  On the economy, I typically follow that if you support the infrastucture, it will support the people (REPUBLICAN).  You will do better in the long run to support the industries that create jobs than you will creating social programs to support un- or under-employed.  And for the military, I am not a pacifist by any stretch of the imagination.  I agree that the best defense is a good offense.  If you take the fight to them, then there won’t be a fight in your back yard.  Sometimes, war is the only viable option for the security of our nation and our world.  Often, though, I find myself conflicted on whether or not a particular fight is one of those viable options.  I find myself asking more and more often how the comments or actions of a foreign leader actually affect my security.  Sometimes, I even find myself more concerned about my neighbor’s and our leaders’ reactions to those foreign events.  My country has troops stationed everywhere in the world there is a conflict.  Lately, I have been asking if that is simply because we have troops everywhere, or if the conflict is only there because we are.  I’m sure it’s a little of both.  Sometimes, I feel like the little bit of peace we have carved out for ourselves here might be falling away on shaky ground.

Big Boys and Small Cars

unfoldMy son, Boy1, is 6′ 6″ or 7′ or even possibly 8′.  I’m only 5′ 7″ so from down here he just blots out the sun.  He drives a little Chevrolet …sonoma? I’m not sure, but it’s one of those miniature pickup trucks.   The thought of him getting in and out of it fit well with this week’s Illustration Friday theme, “Unfold.”

I’ve been promising the folx on Twitter some photos of my ride to and from work every morning.  I couldn’t really get a good image of the curving roads because of the glorious trees blocking it out.  I probably should have gotten some pictures of the farmland and cows too.  Maybe next time.  This gallery is for you Avenefica! (Biker chicks are hot!)

Notes from the Man Cave

Adapt - a self portrait

Adapt - a self portrait

On Tuesdays, I like to post the weekly challenges I am involved with, or any new challenges I might find.  The Illustration Friday challenge this week is “Adapt.”  Of course with my background in biology, I immediately thought of evolution.  After brainstorming a bit I came down to cro-magnon in a business suit, or a chameleon in the unemployment line.  I also thought of my friend Nick Dupree and the ADAPT organization.  I decided there was enough depression about the economy and ran with the cave man.  I borrowed a business suit from the Hanna Barbara line and viola!  Adapt – A self Portrait.

weekly drawing challenge at wet canvas

weekly drawing challenge at wet canvas. China marker on Canson recycled paper 9" x 12".

I went to the Oklahoma City chapter of the Colored Pencil Society of America meeting last week.  One of the guys there was giving a demo of blending and color choices.  He drew a beautiful dragon head from imagination.  I’ll talk more about that tomorrow, but I have always loved doing dinosaurs and dragons.  However, my dragon heads always end up looking like beaked muppets.  I was trying to decide what I needed to fix that.  Just today on the ride home from work, I decided that I needed to draw more animals.  I watched the special feature footage of how they did the dragons on Reign of Fire.  Turns out they based much of their dragonry on cats, especially their movement.  That’s what I was thinking about when I came across this week’s drawing challenge over at Wet Canvas.    That’s kind of like the universe saying, “Hey Blade, draw THIS!”

Cracked!

Cracked!

Cracked!

I tell you what, a three day weekend will really throw off your schedule if you let it.  I have spent this entire weekend planning to get things done, but not near enough getting them done.  It has been a GREAT weekend, though.  I set up for a new painting that I might even get around to finishing some day.  I visited with family and some old friends.  We had a trip to the Zoo.  And I did eventually get the yard mowed.  I’m almost ready to get back to work so I can get some rest.

It is once again time for Illustration Friday on Tuesdays here at The Artistic Biker.  This week, the theme is “Cracked”.  While thinking about this, I was watching The Land of the Lost marathon on the Sci Fi channel.  That made me think about the dino egg I drew for Thing-a-Day back in February.

hatching

hatching

Saturday Responsiblities

Guess what I'm supposed to be doing?

Guess what I'm supposed to be doing?

Ah, a three day weekend.  Plenty of time for rest and relaxation.  Time to do the things that I have put off doing for myself like sunbathing, or taking a rest or… Oh, apperantly I’m supposed to be doing chores.  I am apparently supposed to take care of the yard maintenance, the vehicle maintenance, and any other “honeydew” my lovely young bride has in mind to make our humble abode more pleasant.  I pulled the lawn mower out and saw how 20+ days of rain have affected our yard and thought, “What a great painting that would make!”

lawnmowersketches1

compositional sketch 1

So, I ran into the house and grabbed my sketchbook.  I put the lawnmower just the way I thought it should go and walked around it for close to 30 minutes looking at it from different angles and configurations.  This was when my wife caught me.

It’s not so much that she was mad at me, she really wasn’t even frustrated at me.  She just managed to give me a look of disbelief.  One of those looks that makes you feel guilty that you’re not doing what’s expected of you.  She brought me a hat and my mini-sketch book and said, “That would make a nice painting.”  That’s just one of the MANY reasons I love her.

comp. sketch 2

comp. sketch 2

comp sketch 3

comp sketch 3

comp. sketch 4

comp. sketch

color study

color study

Finally, I broke out the mini-sketch book to make this color study.  As I was finishing it up, I could hear the thunder.  I looked up to see scattered clouds on an otherwise gloriously sunny day.  I grabbed my camera phone and snapped a photo of the final layout.  Ten minutes later it started raining in what we call locally rain-shine.  That’s when you’re standing in direct sunlight and still get a soaking.  I probably should have mowed the lawn at some point.  But I believe it will make an EXCELLENT painting.