Flora arriving at Napa from Hawaii version one- artwork property of Flora Springs Winery


I'll be creating a 14 x 40 foot mural for the side of Wilfred's Lounge in Napa!

It's been in the planning for 9 months plus....But after talks/concepts/ and City Council Approvals the Wheels have finally started turning and the panels are finally at the studio!


But before we share all that,let's start at the beginning...

with Flora Cabral,later to be Flora Komes....

She was born in 1911 and grew up in Honolulu Hawaii.

At 18 she ventured overseas to San Francisco to attend nursing school.

She met and married Jerry in 1935,but only after graduating and securing a position as a nurse.

The couple had three children and moved around through California and Texas for Jerry's engineering career,eventually landing them back in San Francisco, working for Bechtel Corporation. In 1977,the couple purchased 325 acres of land and 60 acres of vineyards from the Martini estate,which became the Flora Springs winery,established by John and Carrie Komes and Pat Garvey and named in honor of Flora and the natural springs that run thru through the property. John Kome's talent as a contracter allowed him to renovate the old ghost winery building and other original buildings on the property .Here's a link to their site and rich family history.


So now you have some content for the final result we will reach later....

oh! and this is for the outside of  WILFRED'S LOUNGE in Napa. Wilfred was the brother of Flora and a bartender in Honolulu while living on the island.

Here's a great article on the interior,which was built by Bamboo Ben Bassham and Billy Crud


When first approached with the opportunity (Thank you Billy Crud,for the recommendation!),we were thinking of renting out a warehouse and having it all staged out with 4 huge 14 x 10 foot panels and scissor lifts and on location up in Napa for 10 days/2 weeks of solid mural painting.

As Covid and all that disarray was spreading last year,we eventually decided on creating it in the studio in Orange and then shipping,or getting it delivered by vehicle. Once all that was figured out,it was time to work on concepts....

Here are a few of them that were suggested by John and his son,Nat, who is the owner and original brainchild of Wilfred's, and a few i conjured up...

Outrigger in a Bottle- artwork property of Flora Springs Winery

This first piece was a twist on the "ship in the bottle" theme

picturing instead, a Hawaiian Outrigger, passing an island that resembles the mountains of St. Helena,where the future site of Flora Springs winery resides.

She is standing proudly at the prow,bringing a bounty of grapes to her future home.


Downtown Napa Skyline Colorway One-artwork property of Flora Springs winery

Downtown Napa Skyline Colorway Two-artwork property of Flora Springs winery
This second concept was an offbeat Tropical transformation of the DownTown Napa Skyline and Napa River Shoreline. While a fun idea to realise, it didn't have the impact of some of the other options....

Here's a picture of Downtown Napa at the riverfront...


Meanwhile,under the depths of the Napa River...

Deep Sea Diver/Shipwreck Wine Cellar-artwork property of Flora Springs winery


This suggestion from the Komes was very fun to create. A Deep Sea Diver and Shipwreck Wine Cellar!

i liked the idea of a moody underwater scene, to play off the parts of Wilfred's Lounge that are nautical and made to resemble a ship's interior AND because it is a scene that could be happening in the depths of the Napa River nearby. A Diver and Crab enjoy the vintage spoils of a sunken wine barrel shipment. Another really cool concept,but no references to Flora or Hawaii...

Here's some of the elements i drew up  to be able to move props and undersea characters around as the design formed...


Time to reflect back on the Hawaiian aspect of this family's story...

Tiki Vineyard-artwork property of Flora Springs winery

The next idea was to picture a Tiki Vineyard.  A Tiki Vineyard would be taking the Hawaiian and St Helena aspects of the Komes' story,and combining them in a way that welcomed the viewer to participate in the celebration of these two cultures. Wilfred's lounge,it's owner Nat Komes,and manager Michael Cobb (of Hi-Roller Tiki Lounge fame) all have experience and will be offering wine-based cocktails in addition to traditional Tiki Bar spirits and concoctions.


Here's some other colorways that explored the mood and time of day of this scene.....

Tiki Vineyard-artwork property of Flora Springs winery
Tiki Vineyard-artwork property of Flora Springs winery

Flora Springs in a Bottle-Tiki Vineyard-artwork property of Flora Springs winery

And here's another exploration into the initial "Outrigger in a bottle" concept. the essence of Flora Springs winery pours gracefully from a giant wine bottle and begins a journey over the hills and vineyards of St. Helena. She carries a fruitful bounty and shares tropical plants,fabric prints and Hawaiian Ku and Lono Tikis with this Land of Vineyards.


Here's a Brighter and more "Sears Catalog" retro colorway

Flora Springs in a Bottle-Tiki Vineyard-artwork property of Flora Springs winery


and here is the one that spoke to us all the most.

John,the founder,suggested something to do with the First Street Bridge in Napa.

First Street Bridge with outrigger-artwork property of Flora Springs winery

The First Street Bridge has gone through many changes since Flora and Jerry arrived,but the original stone bridge seemed the most friendly for a tropical flavored environment. Here's some pictures of that bridge.....

First Street Bridge with outrigger-artwork property of Flora Springs winery
So here is the picture that everyone liked. it captured the symbol of Flora and Flora Springs at the front of an outrigger and about to enter into the land of napa.... There is a Lono style tiki on the left....inviting the viewer into the painting,and also offering a bowl of fruit for the newcomers. Above him is a rich bounty amidst a scene of lush vegetation and calm cool waters. John,the owner,requested a tiki Winepress,so we added that at the other end for offset.

here's the original study i did for John....

So, after a long laborious process, the artwork and planned installation was approved by the city.

Then i found out that there was suddenly a door where there wasn't one previously...

and it cut off the best part of the mural....the outrigger!

That isn't good,and interrupts the viewer's experience when the doors were opened......
Half the crew is missing !

First Street Bridge with outrigger-artwork property of Flora Springs winery
It needed a little adjustment... Something that didn't interrupt with the main image...

So we came up with this......

First Street Bridge with outrigger-artwork property of Flora Springs winery
First Street Bridge with outrigger-artwork property of Flora Springs winery
The rowers were allowed to paddle forward a few strokes to avoid being trimmed,and that area was replaced  with more lush jungle vegetation,things not necessary to move the "story" of the piece along.


We had planned on dividing it into 16 5 x 7 foot panels,but switched that to the more common and easier to acquire 4 x8 foot maple panels 1" thick....and changed it to TWENTY 4 x 7 foot panels

So we finally got the wood panels ordered and delivered...

They were/are HEAVY!

Day One July 5th 2021

Day Two july 6th 2021

Time to gesso these beautiful panels.... But how much gesso?

After checking with a few sources/places....everyone had answers,but none of them were the same!

So i bought a gallon of gesso and set out to figure  out how many panels i can gesso with a gallon.. And then i'll apply that to figuring out how many gallons i need for the remaining panels....

here's some photos of today..... So far,half a gallon is gone,but i have covered Three of the 4x7 panels with 2 coats...

First Coats!

Second Coat application! I think i could probably finish 3-4 of these a day....After that my arm would get too sore... Here i am in my painting gear,standing on a metal toolbox to reach the top of this panel...

What a Dork!
Here's a better shot.... looks a bit more professional and determined....


Day 3 and 6 panels are done!

Wait? What is that i SEE?

Is that a MOAI? What's he doing here on the Mural? This mural is Hawaiian-based!


It's Day 4 and so far... Got a total of NINE 4 x7 foot panels GESSOed! YAY!

Taking a break as it dries....
working on these sideways is a lot easier than trying it vertical...No need to stretch my arms to incredible lengths!
Making unintentional art onto the studio's cement floor! A time-consuming process that has taken YEARS!

That's it for Now....

Will keep adding new content to this Blog entry as i progress further into Mural land.

Painting this thing is scheduled for August,after Tiki Oasis. 


Here is a record of a recently finished sketchbook  December 17,2020 to January 8,2021. 

This sketchbook had watercolor paper pages,so it was a little treat from the regular paper of past books...
Page 1

Here are some modernist vignettes,playing with bold colors and  inspired by Mid Century graphics,menus,matchbooks,and prints and patterns...

Page 2

A Hornbill with his Mid-Day Meal

and some birds flying and spying....

Page 3

A Study of a Gope(?) Board, Papua New Guinea

i used ink straight from the dropper,

blooted it,

then a wet brush to blend the colors together

Enjoyed the raw,spontaneous application

Page 4

study of North Sumatra Dwelling

Page 5

study of Spatula, Papua New Guinea

Page 6

Ventured out and went to the Bookman a few weeks ago,and found a wonderful old book

with Artifacts that just begged to be recorded!

Page 7

Wooden Adu, Indonesia

Page 8

When blotting and creating texture with the ink and paper

i'll have an area on the facing page that slightly echoes 

the more saturated surface,and can be used to create something entirely new

or appreciated as is.....

Page 9

A pair of Mask designs and a chance to play with texture and color bleeds.

Page 10

Two very raw and fast mask designs

rendered off the cuff

straight from the ink dropper to paper.

PAge 11

Sometimes one has to create a landscape

before setting off to explore it....

Page 12

Back in the early 90's,i would fill countless sketchbook pages with figure and character studies

and attempting to use as few unbroken lines as possible.Decided to revisit that exercise  from 30 years ago and see what fruits it may bring forth....

Page 13

"The Shade"

Sometimes a figure ,or a story 

just flashes in the brain.

Most often they are enigmatic and Mysterious 

,so it's best to just record it.....to let it flow out 

and decipher at a later date.....
Some days there will only be one

other days,they just pour out.

This sketchbook was lucky enough to receive a good number of these "flashes"...


Page 14

"The Child"

Page 15

"Comparing Beards"

Page 16

"Freeing a Bird"

Page 17

Another Inspirational Exercise is to find an illustration in an old book

and create a study BUT with a small twist

to hijack the original intent

or to reframe the story.

i achieved this by adding a third arm and hand

playing with the smoke....

Page 18

For these last pages,i quickly pencilled out a few jungle scenes

playing with exaggerating scale and rhythm

i would then fill in the watercolor to get an idea of the lighting

and then a final blackline after that.

After finishing six of these

i realized i had run out of sketchbook

and have switched back to the regular paper....

Page 19


Page 20

Page 21

Page 22

Page 22

I hope you enjoyed this little hike around a snapshot in time. May the optimism and enthusiasm to create and problem solve  inside this book be an indicator of exciting discoveries and opportunities in 2021.With so many surprises around each corner,it's good to have a sketchbook nearby....


Well Hello There

Hope you all are well and comfy.....

Seeing as these are the plague Times

Why not take advantage of the time and dust off some old projects/sketchbooks/etc.

Scan them/ File them away

and get a better record of some of the "sidetrack" subjects and exercises

that sit on the side of the road,out of the limelight...

These Sidetracks help the artist learn a number of things....

This particular project dates from around 2003.

The Book is from 1941 and is 11.5 x 15"
Cross Sectional Anatomy ....

Well,  a long time ago there were some firework labels

( i can still smell the bucket where the used ones were kept after doing their thing....

a mix of sulphur,wet paper,sweat and asphalt, laying them in the alley to dry and stacking them carefully.) and they were destined for SOME sort of collage

or shuffled away in an ephemera folder....

While not as "artful" as Golden and Silver Age Fireworks labels

my love of kitsch,odd graphic design,and collage sensed that these would

not only be a great snapshot of that timeframe of firework label aesthtic

but could add an unlikely creative "surprise" if introduced to an older and unrelated 

design framework... and this book was the perfect surface for these!

So here they are....

mostly just the pages

but will add little tidbits when necessary.

Let us begin!

Inside Cover

Some of the pages involve just arrangements of the labels

While others have them interacting with the text and illustrations

others are just the labels...simple....for reference.....










Kind of Boring.... At least the labels re interesting...

and then....All of a sudden on page 7 or 8 of this exercise.....


Finally ,the long awaited meeting has arrived!

Here's where they start to fulfill what they were intended for....















Also had a few intriguing incense packaging that arrived at the Perfect time....





Some of these pages were hand colored by some unknown doctor or surgeon in training...

aaaaand the Anti-Climatic last page of this exercise.....

that doesn't mean that these pages won't be added to,or even revised

(lots of ephemera in the studio that needs to meet the remaining pages of this book)

I hope this odd and interesting blog entry was enjoyable!


Well...it's been awjhile since i blogged anything,so let's try again.....

I've been working with Ed Rudisell and Chris Coy from the Inferno Room in Indianapolis and have been able to add some Dark Ambience to this Tiki-laden establishment.

Here are some photographs of the establishment before we begin sharing this artist;s contributions. Dave Hansen,a friend and talented carver created the iconic "Big Mo" mask and other incredible details . Chris and Ed also got ahold of a ton of Papua New Guinea carvings and sculpture,mostly from the Estate Sale of an Anthropologist,to fill the Inferno Room with authentic flavor. Stop by there for a few beverages when next you're in Indianapolis #TheInfernoRoom

Big Mo!

One of the first projects  was a Papua New Guinea inpired drum mug.

We wanted to showcase Big Mo and a huge 7-foot sculpture that  occupies the place.

Here are some of the initital brainstorm sheets.....

We also decided on a handle for this monolithic mug....

Also played with the overall shape of the drum/mug
Finally tightened down the details to turn in to the Sculptor....

And here's the finished product!

Produced by Tiki farm,and sculpted by some Brilliantly crazy sculptor named Shu,who translated the frieze like details Perfectly!

Here's a link to some Drum mugs i was able to custom paint...



The Inferno Room was also kind enough to allow my cannibal King to roam it's hallowed halls!

After the mug,a Menu was NEXT in line to create.

So i submitted some sketches/ideas......

After mulling over different layouts,and what to include,we decided on THIS

After that,Chris, Ed, and i began on 4-color Zombie Glass inspired by the Asanti tribe's deseased and "smoked" chiefs....

and finally went with the best elements of each....
and a Zombie glass is Born!

Next up.... the boys asked if i could create a Special membership card for the Room..


Just the project to showcase my love of old matchbook ephemera and naively charming offset printing distortions and distresses...

Here's what i pitched them as per their requests for a Hornbill on a Skull as the main focal point.....

and after some tweaking here and there,the cards were complete....

and an Exclusive "Ol Bikman Bilong Ples" (Big Man/Head Honcho in PNG)

We're also considering a patch based on the Hornbill and Skull from the card....

Also, we;ve been working behind the Scenes on a Top Secret Chief's Skull mug

But i won't share that until it's produced.

i hope you enjoyed this little tour on some of the contributions i was blessed to have an opportunity to create for the  Inferno Room and look forward to more projects with them in the future.....

these studies are for the "Dark and Stormy" , a look at the shadowy aspects of Tiki . This will take place in February at Night Gallery Fine Art in Santa Ana, CA. www.NightGalleryFineArt.com

I have decided to tackle the death of Captain James Cook

Once Lono to the Hawaiians,revealed to be only a man before his end...

Here are some of the initial studies

as i arrange the characters and play with the landscape...

and here is the finished woodburned portion....

and here it is after Acrylic tinting....

i will add more studies and the actual painting as it evolves..
Thanks for the visit!

Been back from a wonderful time in Melbourne (with my art brothers Doug and Toe) for quite some time.... Will share photos and tales in the future... But for now....

Sketchbook entries...

Been taking my breaks at work and dedicating them to sketchbook entries...

mostly old masters material

and other oddities.

Here they are

Four days a week

two half hour breaks a day

And a half hour after eating during lunch

Here is the fruit of these exercises and explorations...

a study from an old horror Comic (artist unknown)

travelling tribe

on the way to the feast....

Tree and Shelter (in Balineses style)

Vegetation studies after Balinese ink drawings

Wave study

after Kuniyoshi


after Kumiyoshi


after Bruegel

study of jupiter

after Cellini

detail from the fontanbleau nymph

after Cellini

study of "the Rescue of Andromeda"

after Cellini

Study from the Last Judgment
after Michelangelo

study of Parable of the Good Shepard

after Bruegel

Study after bruegel

study of faith

after bruegel

study from Everyman

after bruegel

Study from Everyman

after bruegel

Study from Everyman

after bruegel

Study from the Last judgment

after Michaelangelo

Ship of Fool studies

Study from Anger

after bruegel

Study from Hope

after bruegel

Landscape study
Study from the triumph of time

after bruegel

Study from Hell

after Bosch

Study from Hell

after Bosch

Study from Hell

after Bosch

studies from Poems of Thomas Gray
after blake

study from Poems of Thomas Gray
after blake

study from Poems of Thomas Gray
after blake

partial Thomas hart benton study

study after thomas hart benton

study after thomas hart benton

study after thomas hart benton

study after thomas hart benton

study after thomas hart benton

study after thomas hart benton

study from the Poor kitchen
after bruegel

study from Allegory of Avarice
after bruegel

after bruegel

Bruegel studies

studies for "Selfies at the 9-11 Memorial"
a Huge drawing in progress

studies for "Selfies at the 9-11 Memorial"
a Huge drawing in progress

studies for "Selfies at the 9-11 Memorial"
a Huge drawing in progress

studies for "Selfies at the 9-11 Memorial"
a Huge drawing in progress

studies for "Selfies at the 9-11 Memorial"
a Huge drawing in progress

the Procession

Figure studies
That's it for Now!

Thanks for visitin!

'Ello Mates!


Myself,the Toe,and our favorite giant Doug Horne

have been asked by the esteemed Tony Peake to create an exhibition for

the Infamous Kustom Lane Gallery in Hawthorne,Victoria


 So, we decided to do a Terra Austral version of our

Clash of the Titans

War of the Gargantuans

Blood Orgy of the Behemoths exhibitions

consisting of 10-12 subjects we vote on

and then each paint our take on that theme

in any style/medium/shape we choose appropriate....

and now we are planning


shorter title "Kustom Tiki! Kill! Kill!"

both titles thought up by our clever mr. Horne...

this will be happeningon Friday May 27th

with a Meet the Artist's Day/possible slide presentation

about the current show

and how we started these crazy themed exhibition/wrasslin matches...

on Saturday May 28th


Here's our first Promo Flier

capitalizing on Australian Apocalyptic Movies,as well as cultural icons  Crocodile Dundee

and Doug some kind of Indiana Jones badass...Fair Dinkum!

More fliers to come as we get the pieces finished and have time to play...
This show will have 12 subjects
of which we will each create a piece for the show

totalling 36 pieces!

the themes will be as follows...1.HAWAIIAN












Here's some studies for my AUSTRALIAN CRYPTOZOOLOGY category.

i will be tackling the YOWIE!

 Kangooland's Bigfoot...

and here is the study for what will eventually become a woodburn...

"the Chance Meeting" ink and marker on Aquarelle Watercolor paper

and i have been neglectful with this blog

and didn't even fill you in on November's "Mondo Tiki" exhibition at la Luz de jesus gallery.

Holden was kind enough to let us share some wallspace at this historic Tikifarm exhibit!

1)Tiki Farm's 15th Year Anniversary with Shelves and Shelves
of Mugs,Bowls,and other Ceramic Treasures from their vaults

2) Michelle Bickford and our dear Flounder (aka: Scott Scheidly)
will have a room full of their artistic offerings to amaze the peoples

3) Doug Horne,BigToe,and myself will also have work upon the walls
to add to the general atmosphere

4) Another Special treat is that all of us artists will have
Special Tiki Farm 15 Year Anniversary Mugs for you to acquire and covet

5) The Bookstore at La Luz will also be carrying 50 copies of my Coloring book
during the exhibition...
I'll have plenty of pens on hand if you'd like your copy signed...

6) Get a chance to chat it up with Holden,Scott,Michelle,Toe,Doug,and myself
in the FLESH! That's like meetin LINCOLN or something!

(Show duration November 6-29,2015)
4633 Hollywood Blvd. Los Angeles,CA 90027

Here's a link to the la Luz gallery page...

and here's a link to all the pieces i had up that month!


Here's a lil video i made of one of the pieces

a BIG 12 x 36' woodburn!

entitled "the Bridge"

Here's a couple more shots from that evening....

Warming up before showtime at the Legendary Tiki Ti!

LOOK how HUGE Doug is! He could Crush us ALL! That's Proud poppa Holden in the foreground! What an incredible 15 years Tikifarm has had!

Here i am with Derek "Monkeyman" Weaver,the cat who carved the Awesomest frame in the world for the Too much Information piece!

if you'd like to see details of this incredible frame and pieces Go HERE!


the Place was packed ALL NIGHT!
our special anniversary mugs SOLD OUT! How wonderful is THAT?
We also did a Docent Tour with Holden,Toe,and myself. It lasted almost 2 hours and everybody walked away CRAMMED full of information and Inspiration!

All in All,a great show and tribute to our little scene...

plus,Doug,Tommy,and i sold a BUNCH of pieces!

Doesn't get much better than that!
That's about it for now!

I'll leave you with this techno mandala video i created....



Well, June 20th's "Blood Orgy of the Behemoths" exhibition was a SMASHING Success!

With fellow Behemoths Doug Horne,BigToe,and Candy,we laid waste to Fullerton and made heads and eyeballs Explode with delight! 

A Big Thank you to Bax baxter, our curator,

Frank,kind and attentive owner of Max Blooms,

and lastly Deadhead Rum,and Sapporo Beer for supplying libations for the events!

Pictured above are the Four Behemoths in the midst of the Fray!

 Here are ALL the pieces in the Exhibition



and here is our promo for last Saturday's Drunken Docent Tour

A little Classier than the previous 80's Action Film meets grindhouse biker meets Radioactive Monster meets Phillipine Exploitation Film "look" of the previous promotional material..

This one just OOZED Fine Art and all that... And the King of france resembled Tommy,sooooo........i had to use it... Plus,seeing as Doug shined the Docent Tour to go to a BIRTHDAY PARTY,it was a pleasure to transform him into a hulking naked angel....


having enjoyed discussing the art with audiences before

via slide lectures,and "docent" tours

it was a relaxed intimate way to help the viewer understand each work

beyond the 3-minute scan of each picture....


So many folks responded so positively to the Opening,

we thought a Docent tour would be in order...

and thanks to the generosity of Sapporo

we still had PLENTY of beer from the Opening

and The Drunken Docent Tour was BORN!


Seeing as Candy and Doug were in absentia

it was up to Toe and myself to be able to convey a well rounded understanding

of the art of our missing behemoths...

So,this blog will be sharing prepatory sketches

with only my notes from the Docent tour to accompany them.

i don't have Tom's notes because he is a firm believer in the oral tradition of Docenting.

Nor his brilliant and rough original studies and inspirations... if he decides to  post them somewhere,i'll add a link...


Category: Tiki Temple

"Spirit Hut at Dusk"

and here is the sketchbook study for it..


links to Doug and Candy's pieces described above...



Category: Polynesian Legend

"Moai Reaper on the River Styx"

Sketchbook studies and drawings  for this painting

"Hawaiian Reaper"
and here is where the original concept of the Skeletal Moai was first conceived...
It was for the 2009 Tiki Tarot show at the esteemed Freaky Boutiki in San Diego.

As it was the Death card,i tried to apply that skeletal look to artifacts from

Easter island,New Zealand,Marquesas,and Papua New Guinean locales.

and two developed drawings

"Journey to the Underworld"
"Moai on the River Styx"
the first appearance of our Drinking word "Psychopomp" amongst the notes...

links to Doug and Candy's pieces described above...





Category: Classic Monster

"the Drink" (Leopard man-the Island of Dr. Moreau)

Sketchbook Notes and studies
Finding the perfect image for this piece amongst such a dense amount of visual and emotional material was quite a challenge...



links to Doug and Candy's pieces described above...


Category: Musical Figure

"the Siren's Song"

Sketchbook Studies

As a side note

Almost did a portrait of Bach,but wasn't sure how he'd react amongst contemporary songwriters...


links to Doug and Candy's pieces described above...


Category: Alien Encounter

"the Kelly-Hopkinsville Encounter"

Sketchbook Studies and Drawings


links to Doug and Candy's pieces described above...


Category: Oceanic


Sketchbook studies and Drawings for this piece


links to Doug and Candy's pieces described above...


Category: Prehistoric

"Mokele Mbembe"

Sketchbook Studies


links to Doug and Candy's pieces described above...


Category: Science Fiction

"the Renegade"

Sketchbook studies and Drawings


links to Doug and Candy's pieces described above...



Category: Literary Figure

"Portrait of Benvenuto Cellini"

No studies for this one.
It was sketched onto the wood and worked from there...



links to Doug and Candy's pieces described above...



Category: Mascot

"To Observe and Enslave" (NSA Mascot)

Sketchbook studies


links to Doug and Candy's pieces described above...

Thank you again for visiting and taking our Virtual Docent Tour.
Please Visit Often!