Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Cartoons for a proposed book

Sometime around 1983, when I moved from Paris to New York City I did a few cartoons for a friend of mine that was proposing a book idea to publishers. These were sketches done with a Pentel marker pen on layout paper. Nothing ever happened with this project but is was fun to create the characters.





Above are some other cartoons that I did during the same period, unfortunately I lost the captions.

Monday, June 27, 2011

My very first travel adventure

My father left Germany in 1925 for America and later sent for my mother. Germany was going through a real crisis after World War I. To pay off their war debts they just started printing money which caused extreme inflation (Washington, are you listening ?). My mother and dad were paid every day because the next day the money would be worth half. A wheelbarrow full of money would buy a loaf of bread. The situation grew intolerable, so they left for a new future in America. My dad sold fruit on the train while traveling to Detroit where he would look for work. Once there, he followed the streetcar that took workers to a automotive plant where he applied for a job as a tool and die maker, many of the workers there were also from Germany. In 1935, when I was seven years old, my mother decided to take me on a trip to Germany. It was a strange trip to say the least, Hitler was in power and the usual greeting at the stores or bank was "Heil Hitler!". We went over on the ship Breman, which was later converted into a troopship that was sunk near Norway during World War II.


Everyone did not like that sailor suit, I had the crap beat out of me. A few years later, back in the States, the same thing happened to me during the war, the kids called me a Nazi.

Bremen NEW

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Travels during my career

I have had a long, exciting career in the commercial art and advertising fields, and have been lucky to have worked for clients that have sent me to some very exotic places, countries that one might not visit normally. On the maps, the orange dots represent vacation trips and the white ones represent work-related trips.

My first great trip happened in 1958 when I was art director on the Chevrolet account at Campbell Ewald advertising agency in Detroit. Chevrolet wanted to show their trucks and cars performing on very tough, almost impossible roads. They found that some of the worst roads were over the mountains between Argentina and Chile and decided to send us down there to take photos and to shoot TV commercials. When we arrived in Buenos Aires we were unable to get the previously shipped cars and trucks off the ship as the dock workers were on strike. The agency told us to stay, so what would have been a two week venture turned into six weeks. We finally were able to get the vehicles and get on with our photo shoot over those wild roads, it was quite an experience, to say the least.
When my wife Jeanne and I got married in 1965 we had a great cruise planned, but it was canceled for repairs on the ship. We then decided to go to Suriname for our honeymoon. Suriname is on the top of South America between Guyana and French Guiana, which we also visited. French Guiana is the location of the infamous Devil's Island.
I've also been on plenty of photo shoots in Florida, Arizona, New Mexico, Nevada and California. Most of these were for art directing the photography for various automotive brochures and catalogs that I had designed.
I've also traveled in the Georgia's Okefenokee Swamp as well as the Florida Everglades, even camping out there. Puerto Vallarta is another place I have vacationed many times, a great place.
I had a travel agent client, Transcontinental Travel, that I did a lot of work for and instead of getting paid for my efforts, I chose to take airline tickets. Some of these trips included France, Italy, Switzerland and Belgium, and we often traveled first class.

Transcontinental Travel planned to open offices in Cairo, Beirut and Damascus and sent me there to take photos of the area for future brochures. On one occasion in 1973 my wife and I were in Luxor, Egypt when the war broke out between the Arab countries and Israel. We were immediately brought back to Cairo where we were waiting to leave the country. At 3.00 AM our hotel notified us that buses were ready to evacuate us. We were driven across the desert to Benghazi, Libya. It was quite a ride which included a long border stop to enter Libya and later a harrowing ride through a wild desert sandstorm. We had no diplomatic relations with Libya at the time, but the U.S. sent an ambassador there to help us get accommodations and a flight out of Libya in a few days. Finally we were put on a Bulgarian airliner which flew us to Rome, a relief as we thought the Libyan government might have held us hostage.
For Transcontinental I traveled to Morocco, Ghana, Ethiopia, Sudan and Kenya.

I had another great client in Michigan, the Premier Corporation. The Advertising manager was Jim Donahue, who I began working with at his art studio Allied Artists in 1947. He sent me on a trip to Japan to photograph the unloading of cattle that Premier was sending there. I flew over on the cattle-loaded cargo aircraft and they sent my wife over on a regular flight. I was seated in the cargo hold with the cattle and it was kept very cold, the pilots felt sorry for me and invited me into the cockpit for most of the flight. When we arrived I took photos of the unloading, which took a few hours, then I met Jeanne and we had a wonderful two week vacation in Japan and we even spent a week in Hawaii on the way home.
When I freelanced in Detroit I used to get called in to work on premises at McCann Erickson in New York on client presentations for a couple of weeks at a time. On one occasion I found out that McCann was looking for an art director for their Sao Paulo, Brazil office. Jeanne and I were thinking about moving out of Detroit, so I immediately applied for the job. I lost out to another Detroit art director, Bill Gilmore. At that point, we decided to move to Paris. I lived and worked in Paris, France from 1977 through 1983 and one of my best clients was the Lintas advertising agency. They sent me to work at their offices in Vienna and Madrid, sending my wife Jeanne along also. They also sent me to teach their staffs how to render comps and storyboards in their Jakarta and Singapore offices and even threw in a trip to Bali as a bonus. These trips all made it worth dealing with the outrageous deadlines that are part of this business.

Monday, June 20, 2011

Various illustration styles

The first two examples below are part of a series of illustrations that were done for the American College in Paris when I lived in France. They were basically pencil drawings with washes of gray tones. My wife, Jeanne, attended the college and got an art history degree. When I flew over to Paris, the girl in the seat next to me was Mary McClean, who ended up working at the college as their graphics director and she commishioned me to do these illustrations.



Ink line drawings done for a Chevrolet brochure.

Ink line cartoon illustration done for Friends Magazine.
Doing a lot of illustrations in various styles was very interesting to me as I love to experiment and I never got bored by the commercial business. When the illustration business slowed down I started doing storyboards. The only thing bad about that phase of the business were the brutal deadlines.

Saturday, June 18, 2011

More illustration styles

I enjoyed a very long career in the commercial art business because I liked experimenting and exploring various art techniques and styles. I also did a lot of graphic design work through the years as well as being an art director on a magazine and at Campbell Ewald Ad agency.

A Magazine illustration, not sure, but I think it was for Friends Magazine.

Line illustrations for Volkswagon.

A line drawing for Family Weekly.

ILLO759 copy
I don't recall what this ink line drawing was for, possibly a magazine or newspaper ad.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Sketch, sketch, sketch !

A lot of my time is spent doing sketches of ideas for paintings or cartoons. I keep them in a file and review them every once in a while.

This sketch was done when I was developing characters for my CATZ PAUSE cartoons. Those are my cats, Laura, Jpeg and Tiff.

More cat sketches done with a marker.

Idea sketches for cartoons for Gloria's blog.

A quick sketch of Gloria.

A sketch of Gloria and myself.

G&H4 copy
I scanned the above sketch into the computer and added some color.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Figure studies

Before I began painting my new series of abstract nudes I did a series of realistic nude studies. I have posted a few previously, here are a few more. These are from an exhibition that I had at the Craig Smith Gallery a couple of years ago. I used acrylic paint on canvas for these paintings.

A photo of me painting "Harry At Work".

Censored Nude

Draw....Me !

Dress Me

Musing Muse

Frolicsome Muse

Friday, June 10, 2011

Portrait by John Trusk

A friend, John Trusk, did a portrait of me. If you live in my area of Michigan you would be familiar with his work, he always has pigs in his paintings. He has exhibited in The Scarlet Macaw and also in various restaurants in Sawyer.


I responded this morning by creating the digital print below which I will give him today. One of these days I'll convince John to start to experiment with the digital medium, I think that he would be great at it and would also love it.


Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Marker book

This book on rendering with markers is the first of many I have written for Watson Guptill Publications. It is still available at used book stores, check


Below is one of the many demos from the book, this one shows markers being used on rice paper. There are many step-by-step demonstrations that show markers being used on various paper surfaces.



Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Marker rendering on bristol board

When I first started writing books for Watson Guptill Publications the editor was intrigued with the fact that I had done a lot of marker renderings and suggested that my first book should be Landscape Painting With Markers. This is one of the step by step demos from the book. It is a marker rendering done on bristol board. Markers can be used on a variety of interesting paper surfaces, which I demonstrated in the book.

I began by doing a very tight drawing with a Pilot Fineliner pen, then the sky area was put in with a pale blue Magic Marker, using the fibrous core inside the bottle. Then I colored in the bright clothing of the people. I begin to add a yellow green color to the grass area. The sky was a flat blue, I don't know why the scan has a yellow color running through it.

I finish the grass area and add shadows of olive. Next I add a few black areas so I have some darks to work against. I add the tree and the background buildings. Then I fill in many of the smaller areas as well as define some of the details.

I continue to accent details throughout the picture with a black Markette pen. I used colored pencils to add detail on some of the clothing. This pretty much is the same technique that I employ when doing marker renderings for my advertising clients. It is a fast, clean-looking technique that is well-suited for working under the pressure of a tight deadline.

Friday, June 3, 2011

More shoes

A few more shoe compositions for my new series.
Mike Vosburg, an artist friend of mine, has started a great blog, catch him at, you'll enjoy his very interesting art and commentary.




Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Photo experiments

I do a great deal of photography and am involved in an interesting project, taking photographs of some of Gloria's shoes, of which she has many. I like the colors as well as the interesting shapes and unusual compositions that can be created with these items. These photos eventually will be exhibited in a gallery, I'll have to come up with a crazy title for the show.