Thursday, December 26, 2013

Noo Spinoolean Tarot - Seventeen of Christmas

This is the last of the Christmas-themed drawings I did this year. I'd originally planned there to be 55 leading up to the Holiday, then a dozen more for the 12 days of Christmas which, it turns out, happen afterward leading up to Epiphany. I'm not sure if I'll wait until next year for the other 37, or if I'll intersperse them throughout the year, whenever I feel the need for "a little Christmas, right this very minute." I rather like the idea of a complete deck of Christmas playing cards, with a Greater Arcana composed of the 12 days. I've got plenty of time to work it out.

I don't know if I'll make it back here before the next holiday. If I don't, Happy New Year, Everybody!

Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Noo Spinoolean Tarot - Eighteen of Christmas

In all of our haste and panic in the last month -- just like every year -- we forget what today is supposed to be about. We don't remind ourselves often enough what a treasure belief is, and what the birth of a baby thousands of years ago would ultimately mean for the world.

Even for those who are not spiritual (or whose spirituality has lapsed, like me), no other day of the year speaks so loudly to the power of one person to change the world. No day speaks so loudly of the value of our children and the endless, hopeful potential that they represent. Of all of the days of the year, this one says that we can be better than we are, that we can rise above the noise and desperation and hate and soar like angels. 

This is the Day of days. And we get one every year just like it.

I wish there were two.

Merry Christmas, Everybody.

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Noo Spinoolean Tarot - Sixteen of Christmas

Any excuse to smooch is a good one. 'Tis the mistletoe season. Pucker up!

Like me on Facebook. Follow @Spinoolean.

Monday, December 2, 2013

Noo Spinoolean Tarot - Fifteen of Christmas

Honest to goodness, some of the supposed "ugly sweaters" that turn up around this time of year really aren't. This one is, but that was the plan. So, anyway.

My Christmas cactus has buds on it and will soon have flowers. My Mom's two plants were already in unbelievably vivacious bloom with dozens of blossoms on each.

I'd like to say that I'm glad to be home after two weeks, but I've had revelations and epiphanies and some things have got to change. I walked in, set my bag down and said out loud, "I hate it here."

Fa la la la la, lala la laaa.

Tuesday, November 26, 2013


Last night, this blog crossed over 25,000 views. It's only taken three years. Wouldn't it be cool if I got another 25,000 by next year? According to Google Analytics, 80 unique people will look at this blog in the next month. Tell your friends to visit, please. I'll love you all more than I already do. Besides, it's my birthday in a few days. Sharing my blog with your friends is a great, low-cost gift!

To celebrate, I give you the following bullet list stream of consciousness for your morning. Think of it as Twitter in bulk:

  • Right now, the mountains are pink. The sun is just coming up. It's beautiful.
  • A couple of small rabbits just made their way across the yard. 
  • Yesterday, we watched two buzzards glide on the exceptional winds, barely moving their wings. Then I watched a bunny on a nearby hillock. Then the two buzzards tried to acquire the bunny for breakfast. A moment later, two coyotes visited the hillock. More happens in this place before nine in the morning than in most cities. But for the wind, it happens in total silence.
  • For the entire week so far, the landscape has been enshrouded in thick clouds with intermittent snow and howling winds. This morning, it's clear as crystal and the mountains are freshly whitewashed.
  • I love it when I'm the only one awake in the house. I feel like it's just me and the world. I could live like this forever.
  • With the sky clear, I should be able to get a look at Comet ISON. There's another comet going around the sun right now too. That's interesting, isn't it?
  • My dreams have been vivid, but I'm not remembering as many as I'd like. Last night I dreamt that I was in the midst of aliens and they were all green. Being more informed on events in the universe -- as most aliens are -- I discovered that green is the most common color of intelligent alien life, and the the green guys are fascinated by us non-green guys.
  • My Mom and I just had a brief conversation about climate change. Alas, she is a mouthpiece for Fox News.
Today's takeaways: share my blog and Like my Facebook page because you love me. Follow me on Twitter @Spinoolean because I say things and sometimes they're interesting. 

But mostly, thank you for helping my blog to 25,000 views. You're awesome!

Saturday, November 23, 2013

In My Dream, version 23

I don't make text-only entries to this journal very often, but...

In my dream, I was in a bookstore and I saw an alignment of books and book displays that would have made for an interesting poster. I collected my camera and went back to take the photo, but there were a couple of college-age girls in my way. Undaunted, I raised the camera to take the picture, and one of the girls saw me and posed. Just as I snapped the photo, she moved to greet one of her friends and I wound up with a picture of her in profile and a goofy expression on her face.

She came over to see the picture I took and I showed her. She asked me to join her for drinks. We left the bookstore, which was either a college bookstore or a campus library, and exited from the old, brown-brick building and onto the grounds. 

As we walked down the sidewalk, she began to recite a poem in a march cadence and i began to caper about like a drum major.  In the distance, we could see a friend of ours who was notorious for public outbursts of dancing. It was clear that he couldn't wait to catch us up, but I awakened before he joined us.


In other news, the clouds are sitting on the shoulders of the nearby mountains and the ground is covered with snow. There have been winter storm warnings with forecasts for up to twelve inches of snow. I'm informed that these predictions should be considered dubious at best. Even so, the cloud cover is complete, an extreme rarity in these parts as the sun shines nearly every day.

The two Christmas cacti are in full bloom. A book about Barbra Streisand's home is being read and, but for the furnace blowing warm air from time to time, it is still as the proverbial tomb.

Friday, November 15, 2013

Noo Spinoolean Tarot - Fourteen of Christmas

I meant to publish this yesterday and forgot, so now I'm a day behind. Rats.

Chestnuts roasting on an open fire.
Jack Frost nosing at your -- wait, that's not right.

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Noo Spinoolean Tarot - Thirteen of Christmas

El Jefe

Today is my Dad's birthday. He would have been 72. I drew my friend Kokopelli the day he passed away. In my mind's eye, he capers merrily on the same red stone on which Dad etched the Nativity that he gave me.

I find that I miss Dad more all the time. I think of him frequently, often in unusual circumstances, like merging onto the highway. I hear his voice all the time, too, oftentimes it's just the brief answering machine message that he recorded long, long ago: "Leave your name and number at the tone."

These are the ghosts of him to which I cling. 

Happy birthday, Dad.

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Noo Spinoolean Tarot - Twelve of Christmas

A few things that leap to mind about bells:
  • Poe wrote about bells and what started out lovely made a decided turn for the worse.
  • Rachmaninoff set Poe's "The Bells" to music. In German. That's a turn for the worst.
  • Mannheim Steamroller's version of "Carol of the Bells" is my favorite.
  • The church bells across the street from me chime 63 times at noon and 6:00 p.m. 
  • I like chocolate bells and sugar cookies that are shaped like bells.
  • I like AC/DC's "Hell's Bells."
  • I do not like the ding-a-ling-a-linging of the bells that go with those red kettles.
  • I'm a big fan of the Liberty Bell, but I haven't read "For Whom the Bell Tolls."
  • If you're the belle of the ball, you're not really a bell at all.
  • Leonard Nimoy was William Bell, and when he rang a bell, he disappeared.
The end.

Monday, November 11, 2013

Noo Spinoolean Tarot - Eleven of Christmas

Well, a lot of people won't be happy to hear it, but this is what you need -- and in mass quantities -- for it to look a lot like Christmas.

The mileage of those in the Southern Hemisphere may vary, but I ask you: how can it be Christmas in the middle of Summer? 

It's just wrong.

Sunday, November 10, 2013

Noo Spinoolean Tarot - Ten of Christmas

You know, I love gingerbread and I don't remember when the last time was that I had it. I have to change that.

When you eat a gingerbread man, do you bite off his widdle head first? Yes? 

You monster.

Saturday, November 9, 2013

Noo Spinoolean Tarot - Nine of Christmas

Friday, November 8, 2013

Noo Spinoolean Tarot - Eight of Christmas

Thursday, November 7, 2013

Noo Spinoolean Tarot - Seven of Christmas

I love candy canes. I really do. The only problem with them is keeping track of them. It always seems like I'm finding them in July.


Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Noo Spinoolean Tarot - Six of Christmas

A friend of mine remarked that if I needed a symbol for evil, I should include a certain red kettle in my pack of Christmas card drawings. 

While I don't agree morally or philosophically with the owners of these begging stations, it is undeniable that they are symbol of this festive time of year. 

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Noo Spinoolean Tarot - Five of Christmas

I love the ornaments that go onto Christmas trees, everything from glass bulbs (as we called them when I was growing up) to Star Trek starships. Tinsel and garland are lovely, but the bulbs are the Points of Interest on the tree, like roadside attractions when one is on vacation.

The variation I've depicted is one of my favorites. I'm sure there's something Golden Ratio-y about this style, but I'm not in it for the math. I'm here for the giddy way these sparkly beauties make me feel.

If you haven't acquired a new ornament for your tree, make one. Buy one. Steal one from your Mom. Do it now. You know you want to.

Monday, November 4, 2013

Noo Spinoolean Tarot - Four of Christmas

I once had a poinsettia that I kept alive for nearly ten years. It bloomed every Christmas too, as long as it was exposed to natural day-night cycles. That's the secret, you see. Poinsettias will only bloom when the nights are long and the days are short. They will never bloom again if you keep them at your office. Or if you throw them away after Christmas.


I've seen poinsettias in bloom in the wild in two places. When I was a kid, my family took vacations to the American Southwest in the winter. I remember poinsettias blooming alongside a several hundred-year-old mission church in southern Texas.

I also saw poinsettias at the end of their flowering cycle along a roadside on Tenerife in the Canary Islands. Long woody stems with explosions of red at the ends were growing between the road and the sea on the way to Punta de Teno.

I love poinsettias. They're one of my favorite things about Christmas.

Sunday, November 3, 2013

Noo Spinoolean Tarot - Three of Christmas

Well, it looks like I've bitten off a lot for this project. After a bit of research, a number of new illustrations have been added. That's not a bad thing.

I can't say more right now...because I have to put a pizza in the oven. I'm starving!

I'm sure that a lot of people will be sick to death of me and my pictures by the end of December and all I can say is, tough cookies. 

I do what I want.

Merry Christmas, everybody!

Saturday, November 2, 2013

Noo Spinoolean Tarot - Deuce of Christmas

What would Christmas be without gifts. Are they better given or received? Is more merrier? Handmade or store-bought?

One year I wrapped all of my Christmas gifts in the classified pages of the newspaper and planted giant, brightly colored bows on them. Amidst all of the gaudy packages under the tree, whose stood out?

Mine did. Hurrah!

Noo Spinoolean Tarot - King of Bones

Today was Dia de los Muertos, the Day of the Dead. On this day, as I understand, it is customary to erect an altar to lost loved ones and on it place things that they loved. The fane that I chose to construct -- in the memory of my father -- is this drawing.

Kokopelli was not unlike a patron saint to my Dad. So much so that he even carved stone icons of him. On my desk right now is one of his petroglyphs, the Nativity. In this carving, a star stands above the Radiant Child who is surrounded by animals and an angel. Three Kokopellis represent the Magi. This simple object is one of my most cherished treasures.

I miss him.

Friday, November 1, 2013

Noo Spinoolean Tarot - Ace of Christmas

So, I have already endured a week of pissing and moaning about Christmas ads before Halloween, and boo-hiss consumerism. It astonishes me how people can turn anything to the negative. Christmas is a joyous thing. Why should any reminder of such a beautiful time of year be greeted with disdain, vitriol, and despair?

I don't get it.

This has inspired me to create a new drawing every day -- under the guise of a special new suit for the Noo Tarot -- on the theme of Christmas. There are dozens of beautiful objects, notions, ideas, and themes associated with the season, and I intend to represent as many as I can think of. From Rudolph's red nose to Mrs. Claus' smokin' hot badonkadonk. From silver and gold, to red and green. Animal, mineral, and vegetable. And I have a grand finale planned that will be enormously fun for me to make!

Let me be the first to say, Merry Christmas, everybody! I've got a feelin' for the season. You should get one too.

Thursday, October 31, 2013

Noo Spinoolean Tarot - Three of Bones

My friend Kyle told me today that he thought I was unique in that I'm compelled to create, that I can't not draw or write. It gave me brief pause. I expressed my gratitude for his kind words, but I've been thinking about it ever since.

In my life, "unique" has almost always been a euphemism for "odd" or "weird." Growing up I was told frequently how weird I was. I learned to hate the word. Just because I'm more articulate than you are doesn't make me weird. Just because I don't generally follow convention doesn't make me weird. Just because I like creative activities rather than football doesn't make me weird.

Although, now that I think about it, liking to watch golf on TV might make me weird. 


Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Noo Spinoolean Tarot - Deuce of Bones

Percival Lowell's Mars as the Abode of Life arrived in the mail today. It's a facsimile of the 1908 edition, complete with original illustrations. It's the third book about the early exploration of Mars (by telescope) to show up in two days. I might be obsessed.

I believe I've acquired more new knowledge in the last two weeks than in the last two years. It's exhilarating! But the reading material that I have accumulated in that time now amounts to about 4000 pages. I have a stack of books (remember books?) nearly two feet tall. Time hunker down and absorb the words now and see where the journey takes me. The remaining outstanding biographies are for Puccini and Oscar Wilde. Mahler, Richard Strauss, and Toscanini will have to wait. 

I'm looking back 115 years and am in awe of what was happening. The fresh discoveries of relativity, radio, and flight, and magnificent music like La Boheme and Also Sprach Zarathustra were all flowing into the world at the same time! I wonder if our era will be looked back upon with such interest? I doubt it. At the turn of the last century, the world was looking forward and upward. Now, everyone is casting their eyes downward. Then, the future was bright with endless potential. Now, the future is a cell phone upgrade.

How the mighty have fallen.

Monday, October 28, 2013

Decorated Skull

Sometimes I don't do as I'm told. There's a Skull Decoration Challenge that I decided to play with. It was fun. What I wound up with was nothing like what the rest of the artists did. Specs, who need's 'em?

As I continue to research my project, I keep finding interesting connections. I was already chasing Puccini, Verdi, and Toscanini around, then I found out that Gustav Mahler and Toscanini wound up in charge of the Metropolitan Opera at the same time, with fractious results. Mahler, it turns out, was a good friend of Richard Strauss. Strauss wrote an opera entitled Salome, based on the play by Oscar Wilde. Wilde is also on my list. And all of this (mostly) within the 1895-1905 time frame that is my target for the story.

If I had to choose an era in which to live other than this one, I know where my time machine would take me!

One wall in my bedroom is completely unadorned. I'm shopping for a world map, pushpins, and yarn. Let the giant creepy, stalker, obsession wall begin! There will be photos...someday.

Sunday, October 27, 2013

Noo Spinoolean Tarot - Ace of Bones

Apparently my artistic drought is over for a little while. I don't remember what I was doing yesterday morning, but the first three cards of a new suit leapt to mind, so I built the first two before my work shift started. Presenting the suit of Bones. (Note: Blogger is screwing mightily with this image. I'll figure out what's going wrong and fix it.)

In other news, I'm reading a biography of Percival Lowell, the 19th Century astronomer who is largely responsible for the promoting the notion that there were canals -- and therefore intelligent life -- on Mars. (If anyone reading this knows where I can find a biography of Giovanni Schiaparelli -- the 19th Century astronomer who invented the notion -- please let me know. I have yet to find one.)

I'm also reading one of his books, The Soul of the Far East. The language is lush, but his ideas are wholly antiquated. I find myself bristling at some of the things he says, but I remind myself that I'm reading to both get a sense of the man and the era. Doesn't stop me grinding my teeth sometimes though.

Also, I don't remember the last time that I read two books at once. It's a little exhilarating and intimidating, especially since one of them is at least a century old.

My story idea continues to build in breadth and momentum. I may have found my life's work. Stay tuned.

Monday, October 21, 2013

Noo Spinoolean Tarot - Ten of Roses

I've been having a lot of very vibrant dreams. Most of them have been stories. I'm writing them all down.  The interesting concept from last night's cerebral cinema was "war magnets." I still have to look into whether the properties of magnetism work in reality they way they did in the dream. Before that, it was time travel. In between that and now was the 19th century, worldwide conspiracy involving two celebrated astronomers. There were aliens that looked like they were manufactured in an inflatable swimming pool accessory factory. There were maggots. 

I don't want to talk about that one.

Why all of this activity? Well, I stopped drawing almost entirely a few months ago. I know why, and I've started taking action to correct it. You see, I made the mistake of looking at the traffic this blog was getting and how many unique people were looking at it. After a few months of letting the data accumulate, I didn't know whether to laugh or cry. In that "sub-electronic dilemma," I just stopped.

Along with the analytics, I'd been following a lot of artists (and craftspeople, and graffiti vandals, etc.) on Facebook. Initially, I started feeling insecure in my talent. What these people were doing was orders of magnitude more sophisticated than what I was doing. More visionary. More educated.

Recently I've realized something else though: it all looks alike. Many of these brilliant artists and illustrators (and vandals, like Banksy), have mastered repetition. They have a signature style in which they create. They paint or draw (or deface, like Banksy) the same thing over and over.

I don't do that. I may work in projects, like the Spinoolean Tarot and the Noo Tarot, but my body of work shows a vast array of styles and subject matter -- everything from blueprints, to marketing concepts, to movie posters. From digital design to pen and ink illustrations. And this doesn't begin to touch on the writing I have done.

So what does all this add up to? Since looking at the work of other artists by definition includes comparing myself to them, I must stop. At the very least, I must stop for the most part. My eyes have an insatiable need to behold beauty, so I must look at beautiful things. But I think that I must return to creating the beauty that my soul-windows require instead of finding it -- to my detriment -- in the creations of others.

Some weeks ago, I turned off my personal Facebook page. My "artist" Facebook page remains, but it has languished like this blog lo these many months. I have continued to look at the offerings of other artists, but I will cease in that too. My remaining presence will be on Twitter, because -- and I'm embarrassed to my very core to admit this -- it's fun. At least it's more fun than Facebook, that's for sure. So, follow me @Spinoolean (for the artist stuff), or @JGabarronIV (for the personal stuff). I don't curse, and I try to keep it upbeat.


I have many irons in the fire right now. I'm beginning research for a massive trilogy -- something I swore I would never write -- set in 1900. I'm planning the sequel to The Empty Space, my novel of 2003. In the best George Lucas tradition, that first story is now Volume I of The Tharleon Gospels. Volume II is to be entitled The Apocalypse of Minerva. On the art front, I have plans to finish drawing the suits of Pears and Roses for the Noo Tarot. I will put the definitive finish on the Spinoolean Tarot as well. All that should keep me busy for the next five years or so.

Then there's whatever else strikes my fancy. There's more to come. 

Today the World, Tomorrow the Future. 

Sunday, September 22, 2013

Cusp of Virgo & Libra

This leapt to mind because of a radio DJ. It's pen and ink with watercolor marker fill, actual size three-by-five inches.

Yesterday was a workday, but before I began, I had coffee, went to the grocery store, and drew this picture. Then I worked for eight hours moderating my company's Facebook page. In all honesty, it was a great day!

I've had some new ideas about my life and what I want to do with it. Where I go from here, basically. Prospects are good. There is hope on the horizon.

Today the World. Tomorrow the Future.

Saturday, September 21, 2013

"Wave of the Future" & "Lightning Trick"

There's been a dearth of creativity in the Johniverse for the last few months, to which this dust-covered blog will attest. However, things my peers say at work continue to inspire, and I've taken to drawing them on the spot and giving them away. The good ones I redraw at home. These were the good ones.

How the mighty have fallen.

I'm in the process of a slow personal reorganization, the first step of which was to terminate my personal Facebook page. My artist page is still there, of course, so that I have a venue to share my drawings. A serious look at how I use Twitter is next. The upshot is this: these venues are not making me happy. Quite the opposite most of the time. I don't have lifespan that I want to invest in unhappiness anymore.

I think that's progress.

Monday, September 2, 2013

Three Card Monte

It's been a long time since I've done any drawings by hand, except for the occasional sketch. For the last month I've been on holiday from creating new art (or revamping old art). After drawing hundreds of Tarot and Tarot-like cards in Adobe Illustrator and beginning the process to finalize the Spinoolean Tarot for a stab at publication, I was ready for something else. 

Alas, I have no idea where to go. I have some ideas -- I'm never short on ideas -- but I don't feel particularly jazzed about any of them:
  • Revisiting The Empty Space from an illustration point of view, one illustration per day as dictated by the story. That would be almost three hundred new illustrations, all of which I would do by hand.
  • Continuing the story of The Empty Space. I loathe that it would be thought of as a sequel, but it would. The Apocalypse of Minerva would pick up in real time, 11 years after I stopped writing (note I did not say finished) The Empty Space.
  • Continuing The Empty Space in illustrations. Again, over 300 hand-drawn pictures would be required.
  • Continuing the Noo Tarot. I still have hundreds of cards that have not been realized.
  • Rewriting and illustrating The Looking Spring.
  • Rewriting and illustrating Moonsdance, a short story I wrote about the romance between an Earthman and a Martian.
  • Rewriting, illustrating, and continuing Adventures of Lightspeed Mary.
And so forth. I could spend every waking hour on these projects and not finish them all in my lifetime. And that doesn't include new ideas.

I will note that, in drawing the three pictures I just finished, I feel revved up. I retired (threw away) two used-up pens in their creation. I took the photo above and pushed "post" to Facebook and immediately had an idea for another drawing.

Oddly, I'm not too old for this. Stay tuned.

Thursday, July 25, 2013

Spinoolean Tarot - Chariot

This new version of The Chariot probably amuses me more than it should, but I find it much preferable to last year's. Something about Sphinxes on wheels truly evokes the absurd.

Saturday, July 20, 2013

Spinoolean Tarot - Fool

Friday, July 19, 2013

Spinoolean Tarot - Sun

The version from last year is positively blindingly bright, what with its yellow background and all. I find this version much more civil, less obnoxious than its predecessor. 

Protect your skin. Use the appropriate SPF sunblock.

Thursday, July 18, 2013

Spinoolean Tarot - Strength

What's an eight-letter word with only one vowel?

I prefer this to last year's version which included a second figure. It's also in keeping with using animal heads for the main character when an animal of any kind appears in the card. As I go through to revise the cards, that's one of the things for which I'm on the lookout.

The answer to my teaser is, of course, "strength."

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Spinoolean Tarot - Star

I like this one a lot better reduced to it's constituent components and set on blue. It just wasn't as dramatic on yellow and I was never happy with the figure.

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Spinoolean Tarot - Hermit

This is so much more mysterious -- and so much less Led Zeppelin -- than the original version from last year.

Monday, July 15, 2013

Spinoolean Tarot - Death

The original version had a horse. I've decided to do something else with all the cards with horses. This card now looks like the titular character is a spectator at a Renaissance slash metal concert...or a homecoming parade for Black Plague High. 

Oh, well.

Saturday, July 13, 2013

Spinoolean Tarot - Devil

This version is considerably simplified over last year's version, and not quite such a literal take on the Rider-Waite.

Friday, July 12, 2013

Spinoolean Tarot - Lighthouse

I never thought the original version of this card was brooding enough. Changing the background color has really brought it to life.

Thursday, July 11, 2013

Spinoolean Tarot - Moon

I affectionately refer to this card as the "Release the Kraken" card. The Rider-Waite deck features the lunar orb, two towers in the distance, two frolicking or fighting dogs, and a crawdad. In an effort to streamline the image, I removed the towers that appeared in my first version and enlarged the Kraken, in addition to changing the background to reflect the new color scheme.

I consider this drawing to be final. It's one of my favorites.

Sunday, July 7, 2013

Spinoolean Tarot - Wind Rose

I continue to tinker with the Spinoolean Tarot, readying it for publication (if someone will buy it to publish, that is). My most recent inclinations have been to simplify the cards even more than I had previously, to change the colors around (the Major Aracana originally featured a yellow background, which I'm now trying with Wands and Cups to see which I like better).

In the Rider-Waite deck, this is one of the busiest cards. In addition to the Wheel, it includes Hebrew and alchemical characters, clouds, four angelic figures, a sphinx, and a devil. Since one of my goals has been to remove all recognizable symbols, I originally chose only to use the Wheel -- represented as a very simple wind rose -- and the sphinx and angel. For this version, I have retained only the wind rose, although I have added some ornamentation to it. You can see the original version here.

Saturday, July 6, 2013


I always feel a little guilty when I work with ethnic or cultural themes or motifs when I'm not part of the culture. I have Mexican and Spanish ancestry, but I have no relationship to that heritage, for example. When I draw Kokopelli or Tawaret, I feel just a bit uncomfortable.

At what point do cultural and ethnic symbols and rituals belong to the world instead of just those born to them? Obviously there are no Ancient Egyptians or Ancestral Puebloans these days, but their descendants are here. Do they own the Zia and the Pyramids?

I like to think it makes me careful to be respectful when I portray these ideas. I do so much enjoy working with them.

Friday, July 5, 2013

Vector Selfie

I wanted a cartoony picture for my Facebook page. I didn't use it, but here it is anyway. There's no escape.

Thursday, July 4, 2013

Hel's Tar

I saw the cover for Helstar's Glory of Chaos album and thought, I can do that!

I couldn't. Not that I really tried though. What I wound up with is this amusing (YMMV) heavy metal parody.

Rock on, headbangers.

Monday, June 24, 2013

The Apocalypse of Minerva

I've been having something of a creative lapse lately. In my life I've either been an artist or a writer, but seldom both at the same time. I feel the Muses shuffling from foot to foot. I think they're about to switch chairs.

In 2002 I started writing a novel. In 2003, I stopped writing. I'd achieved the goal I set out to, but new threads had developed in that organic way that can happen when an author's story starts telling itself. Part of the storytelling involved moving 11 years ahead in the timeline. It's been 11 years in real time and I'm feeling the nudge to revisit those characters.

This urge prompted a poster. I don't know if the idea will bear fruit, but it's what's on my mind right now.

I'm also trying to prove that this blog is not dead. Not yet, anyway.

Saturday, May 25, 2013

The Lierza Cone

On August 20, 1980, I thought this was a good idea. Well, to be fair, I dreamed it up -- including the hexagonal font -- and then made copious notes the next day. The notes say that it was to be a green and purple duotone on a metallic silver background. The notes also indicate that this "special edition" featured the original soundtrack to The Lierza Cone...whatever that was. This album cover's not terrible, and it might even have been a little cool in real life if realized according to the notes.

Some years later, Bowie got around to releasing Ziggy Stardust -- The Motion Picture, but the cover looked nothing like this.

Many years later, I began to revisit The Lierza Cone as part of a mockumentary about Roswell, Area 51, ancient aliens, and alternate realities. I may get back to that. It was coming along swimmingly.

Friday, May 24, 2013


Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Awareness Awareness!

Every now and then I hit my threshold with the stupidity that is Facebook. One of the things that I find most irksome is the idiotic "sharing" of graphics that allegedly are to raise awareness for the Disease of the Week. I just wish it would stop.

Sunday, May 19, 2013


On October 8, 1980 I thought this was a good idea. According to a note on the original sketch, it was "from a dream." There are several drawings of record covers that I did that I dreamt up. I was a little obsessed with the idea of becoming a record cover designer at the time, so I'm not really surprised. I just wished that I'd dreamed something good, since clearly I knew even less about design and art than I know now. The beauty of recreating this artwork is that I now have a brick pattern in my library. The photograph of the band was borrowed from the internet. 

Oddly enough, I've never really liked ARS.

Saturday, May 18, 2013

Black Sabbath

On October 21, 1980, I thought this was a good idea. I was young; cut me some slack. Since Black Sabbath is about to release their first album in a hundred or so years, I thought I'd build my original idea in Adobe Illustrator and see how it looked.

Not unsurprisingly, 21st Century technology will not save questionable and juvenile ideas.

Tuesday, May 14, 2013


This is just something I threw together to mark the historic occasion of Minnesota being the twelfth state to make marriage equality a law. Hurrah!

Sunday, May 12, 2013

Mother's Day Treats

With this drawing, I am reserving my own personal very special penthouse in Hell. Carry on.