PixelCat personally examines each panel  for errors...

The last Blog entry  before this one

talked about the story of the Komes Family,Flora Springs Winery,and Wilfred's lounge

The concepts for the mural

prepping the panels (Gessoing each panel TWICE)

and finally transferring the drawing onto the panels

with a grid and pastel pencils and a raw umber underpainting....


and FINALLY! Here We Are! the PAINTING part!

We started with PANEL 10 and 20

the Top and Bottom Panels farthest to the Right...

the Beginning of the Hawaiian Style First Street Bridge and distant  Vegetation

And located beneath it,is PANEL 20 with the Tiki Winepress 
inspired by John Komes.
(see the previous blog for the whole wonderful backstory of

Wilfred's Lounge,Flora Springs,and the Komes Family)


Here is Panel 20 and panel 10 while i was fitting them together ...

Next up is PANEL 9 and PANEL 19

The Palm Fronds and First Street Bridge

Here are Panel 9 and panel 10 matched up

The Trunk of the Palm,the River,and some Ferns and Leaves


and here is PANEL 19 next to PANEL 20
Next are PANEL 8 and PANEL 18

Mostly the Stone making up the Bridge  Also,part of the Arch


At the prow of the outrigger is Flora,on her journey from Hawaii to Napa.

i used the Flora Springs Winery's iconic logo as inspiration  for the main character of this story.

The Grapes are a reference to the Komes Family'sFuture Winery.

and here are Panels 8 and 18 being pieced together
And a few more Close-ups and "Fit-Togethers".

Next up....
PANEL 7 and 17


The First Street Bridge  illuminated by a Tiki Torch 

and PANEL 17

Two of the Rowers for Flora and a bunch of River

PANEL 17 and 16 matching up
and here it is being sized up next to the panels on each side....


PANEL 6 and 16

While Panel 6 is finished
I will shoot a less "forced perspective" shot for here later

Here we Go!

PANEL 6 Under the Bridge and some background Forest....

Panel 16 is ,as of this writing,

still in progress....

Here it is further Along! The last Rower
As is Panel 15 to the left....

PANEL 5 and 15

PANEL 5 in Progress

The last of the Arch of the Bridge and the beginning of the Vineyard Bounty that extends from the far Left to the middle Top of the Mural.

Panel 16

Sizing it up with Panel 6 above it...
Panel 5

Fitting Together PANELS  6 5 and 4
Panel 15
Next up... 

PANEL 4 and 14

Panel 14

The River and some Vegetation

This Area is where they will have the door


the trunk of a Palm,the base of Two Tiki Torches,the River,and some Ferns and Leaves
Panel 4

Here is PANEL 4

and spotting problem areas on PANEL 3 that do not fit together smoothly

Don't worry,Got them all FIXED!


Panel 3 and 13

Panel 3 

Palm Fronds,Grapes,and Leaves
Panel 13
the River and Shoreline Vegetation
and placed against it's neighbor PANEL 12

PANEL 2 and 12


Grapes,Palms,and part of the Lono's Headdress

PANEL 2 next to PANEL 1

Trunks,River,and some Ferns

Also just a teeny BIT of the Lono

PANEL 11 and 12 fitting together...


PANEL 1 and 2

the Lono Greeter takes up most of these two panels

Which means that he'll be at least 10-11 feet tall!



and 1 and 11 Fitted together

Will be touching these panels up before they are picked up and delivered next week.
So i shoud have some better pics to share,and maybe a few of the unloading

if i don't get caught up in the moment!


Just loaded the panels and they will be in Napa/Wilfred's Lounge by Nightfall!

Here's tired ol kinny with Emilio from Flora Springs wrapping up our precious cargo for delivery.

Tired,but happy it turned out so well,and was a nice test of my energy,limits,and skills for 3 months.... It feels kind of strange to have this project developed and realized over the space of the year,and then to suddenly have it GONE! The studio feels emptier and the cry to create more starts slowly to increase in volume....Going to take a few days to decompress,and hopefully, i can soon share some details of the installation and all that ,as Wilfred's shares details!

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!

Fast Forward to the first week of August 

After Tiki Oasis.... All Twenty panels are Gessoed ...Twice!

The Winter of Gesso has been Conquered!

Seeing as these panels are 4 x 7 feet...the two coats add about 6-7 pounds of weight to these beasts...

Tho, moving them around has gotten easier.... Fringe benefit.... Cardio!

Next step is applying a grid to the panels.... 1 x 1 foot
in order to transfer the art to the panels.....

My first impression was that i could work on these sideways

treating each shape as a...shape,and not a specific THING

Like a Palm tree,or vegetation.. i thought that would help for a more accurate transfer of the drawing..

Boy was i wrong!

But More of that later,dear friends!

I began to grid out the surface of panel 10

the panel on the top Far Right at the end.

Figured i would work right to left Top Row first.....

Here's what i was going to start with  for the first 4 x 7 foot panel...

The panel was also reduced to a blackline/contour line drawing...

The Nifty thing about this grid method is that it allows for as much detail as you want.

Well... All this excitement and Anticipation to ACTUALLY START DRAWING 

needed a lil speedbump just to humble things up a bit...

After a nice proper sanding,i began to grid out the 12" squares

and noticed something strange..... the panels were.....a bit.........off!

Note to Self: Always measure wood panels for a mural upon receiving them

Because sometimes they might be 4 feet 1/2 inch wide and....get this....

7 feet 5 3/8 inches! An extra 5 3/8 inches! 

Needless to say... i was flummoxed  and began to pace.....

Pacing helps...


Called Stephen, the contractor and decided on simply trimming the TOP 5 3/8" off the top Ten panels

while trimming the BOTTOM 5 3/8" from the bottom panels..... They will be doing that on-site in Napa

which is a relief,as i'm not too good at power tools...tho this electric sander is something else!


The Sanding phase is the brief Desert,an attempt to "smooth things over" for the acceptance of Art 

onto it's surface! It's a nice meditative phase before the grid/drawing application

I can finish a panel in about 5 minutes and it's SMOOOOOOTH! Real Nice!

So with that Fire extinguished.... it was time to begin transferring the drawing sideways..

Well, after a day of struggling to view those lines as lines and NOT things

My head began to ache at translating...

So........ VERTICAL it is!

SO much easier to process,transfer,and Elaborate upon!

After a few days of Nervous Anticipation,i had finally gotten my Sea-Legs and was

locked and Loaded and cliqued in.....

Funny how each major step in this journey starts with anticipation and insecurity..

We are,after all, only humans....BUT! What awesome things have people achieved with drive and passion and determination! THAT is what carries me through this... A hope that i can create something awe-inspiring for a wonderful client in a wonderful town...Something the city can enjoy..

Also got up early and bought a nice 40 buck stepladder that is sturdy and helps me from toppling from a milk crate! Add that to the Cardio!

And after a few hours of readjusting my perspective

from Horizontal to Vertical

i had found a good match and a path to transfer this design faster

only took about 3 hours....Bet i can reduce that to 2 after a few of these!

First Panel (number Ten)

Sucessfully Transferred!

Here's a view of some other elements in the panels around it.....

As you can see the handle of the Tiki Winepress peeks up into the Number 10 panel

I will be taking the art and squishing it just a tad to have it fill the bottom right number 20 panel

i'll also be adding more detail to it....

But that's a few panels down the road and quite manageable....

Who could have predicted that there is so much pleasure in the interplay of struggle and reward?


Here's a few candid WIP Glimpses that my darling wife Aimee decided to capture...


Afte that, i sanded and prepped the surface of panel 9

just to the left of panel 10

For an Early Saturday Morning ASSAULT!

Well....it's getting late,and i am determined to get 2-3 more panels done...

Also will be ordering the paints soon!  

Now THAT part is going to be SO rewarding!

Until next addition......


The Tale of panel 9 and 8..

Next was Panel 9.... Just to the Left of the sketched out  panel 10

This one is mostly the palms and a bit of the Old First St Bridge...

Here's is the Art i was to transfer

a blackline/contour line drawing to indicate areas for different colors

And here is how it will eventually look....
Here's how this particular Top Panel area looks all together... Each Square represents 1x1 feet
The gessoed panel is sanded and then a 1x1 foot  grid is drawn out in blue pastel pencil. Then i start to freehand transfer the image ,using the grid for a guide. This is done with a red pastel pencil.

This is to record the initial design. Once i stack them side by side

Raw unber acrylic is going to be used to solidify the proper line and also to "join each panel accurately.
Here are some more clips of the process

Man! If my Charles Nelson Reilly t-shirt wasn;t so COOL,i would melt from the heat in the Hot August Studio! 

As you could see in the previous clips,the raw umber Clearly shows me where the color is going to go

and pops it forward from errant lines....

So, Now it's onto the NEXT panel... Number Eight!
Here is the Art with grid applied
And here is what it is destined to look like....

This section is the cool ,moss coated stone bridge.... the Quarry!  Do you see those grapes near the bottom? I plan on adjusting the art so that Flora and grapes will be on the bottom panel together.

I will be doing the same with the Tiki Winepress in the far right bottom  corner. It has it's handle and left side cut off onto the neighboring panels. So i will be slightly adjusting that art when the bottom panel phase begins.....
Anyway... back to the drawing transfer....
These rocks were a BIT confusing at first until i established a baseline for each row and used that to place each one.

Went on a tear and didn't really record much of the process..just the raw umber finished product...

and here they are stacked against each other
NOW WE GET TO............Panel SEVEN!
Here is the  Gridded up version for me to refer to during the transferring of the drawing to wood panel.
Here's what it will look like after finally applying the paint....

I can't tell you the anticipation felt in the studio as the ACTUAL painting part gets closer into focus.....
and here it is  in progress as it's being sketched out. Ive been using a pastel pencil
Sanguine for the actual design 
and  Indigo for the grid. The pastel pencil is nice because it can be easily erased in case i make a miscalculation... After i finish sketching it out,i cover the distracting lines with a light coat of gesso. 

Next step i move this panel (number 7) next to panel 8 to make sure the lines match up and the design flows effortlessly between panels. Once placed next to the panel, i then fill in the sanguine (red) with Raw Umber acrylic to further emphasize the lines before painting.  I will be giving these panels ONE more sanding before applying the paint... Getting my money's worth with this electric palm sander!

I didn't get any shots of 7-8-9 panels together,but you get the picture....get it? "picture"? groan....

NEXT UP ....


Here's the grid and color version 

This is the cool area under the bridge... with a HUGE flower! 

I will be adding more detail to these areas when the painting starts...

This sketching out of the image is to act as a GUIDE,where i keep the good elements/placement and slightly enhance/adjust the art to perfection for the final piece....

Here it is in progress... sketched out with the pastel pencil..
and a close-up of my reference  as i maneuver around this monster...

And here it is ,awaiting placement next to  the other panels and application of the raw umber acrylic....
You can see the sepia application on the panel 7 (with the torch) and panel 6 to the left  as i get the main lines formalized and matched up....
Three 4 foot wide panels together.... This is only 12 feet of horizontal coverage  for the top half of the design. Here is the amount of space sketched out so far.....
Panel 6 is on the left.....
and here is where we are in comparison with the WHOLE top half of this mural.....

and here is the 5 panel layout  that i will be tackling next...

Here's my POV  for the next week or so.....
Keeping a printout of the area to tackle in relation to what else is to come.....
Starting to slowly take shape....
sketched out panel, awaiting raw umber acrylic once set up next to panel 6...

here is panel 5 (far left) next to panels 6 and 7.

And Now..... PANEL 4 Friday!

Panel 4 is going to be Tiki Torches,some Bridge masonry,more Grapes and even a Pam tree!

Since it got too late to grid out Panel 4 last night,it was a FULL Day dedicated to this one....
Sanded,Applied the Grid,and then plunged into transferring the drawing, listening to Dan Carlin's Hardcore History and the tragic account of the SS Indianapolis,one of the greatest tragedies of the Second World War. Makes any effort/struggle on this end seem petty and easily overcome compared to the sacrifice,bravery,and sense of duty and heroism in the face of certain death.

During this episode https://youtu.be/Jqu7mM0kheE Carlin discusses what moved him to do an episode on this sad tale was Captiain Quint's speeech in JAWS,that he had watched earlier.

Quint recalled his experience at that tragic event and told of the poor soldiers and the multitude of sharks  who tormented them for Days...

Anyways... i Highly recommend any of Carlin's Historical examinations...

Perfect to listen to if you have a project to finish....


Finished the pastel part

Had some dinner

Watched JAWS II (i know,huh?)

and then  began to apply the raw umber acrylic .

Saving some of the raw umber for when i place this next to panel 5, to make sure it matches up.


Next Up! PAnel THREE!

Grid  and Color reference...
And here it is with the raw umber acrylic further refining the art....
Here's a fun little clip of the sketch when the overhead studio light gives it an Underwater vibe.

And here is yours truly taking the pastel pencil and blending it to fill out the initial design

before the raw umber acrylic ,seen in the photo above...

And here is Panel 3 

placed next to panels 4 and 5...

Well, that is All

until PANEL 2!


SEPT 29 2021

Well.... Fast Forward a month and a few weeks

(The Business Park the studio is at redid their roofing and i lost my landline phone and laptop and after a few sppedbumps, the laptop finally is back up at the studio! Needless to say, i am a child when it comes to navigating on my celphone,so i have been taking sporadic pictures of the process and will now attempt to play CatchUp! 

When Last we chatted, only panels 2 were left to transfer for the TOP half of this mural....

Seeing as there's a lot to catch up

We shall ZOOM thru the drawing transfer process and get on to the PAINTING part..

So...HANG on! Here we gooooo!


PANEL 2 Drawing transfer...

Here it is ,Gridded out 
Here's a rare shot of panel 2 ,as it is drawn up....


Next up is PANEL ONE

the TOP of the Lono style Tiki's Headdress!

Unfortunately, i didnt get a photo of the drawing transfer.

And will have to wait until i tackle the pieces stacked in front of it and can pull it out 

and photograph it before painting it....

Here is what the area for Panel ONE will look like....



Here is the artwork for this particular  part of the story.

I call him "the Greeter" as he has a double purpose...

He helps to add to the atmosphere of Hawaii and the Pacific that Flora experienced 

before her life in California.  

Secondly,he will be greeting the visitors to Wilfred's lounge

(if you missed this detail earlier... Wilfred was Flora's Brother 

AND a Bartender in Honolulu)

This Lono is meant to represent the warm and welcoming nature of the Komes family. 

Note to Self: That signature,once seen in Real Scale....

is gonna be smaller...


And here is the only shot i took of the transfer drawing for this one....
(i was in the pocket and caught up in the project...)

So here is a phot of Panels ELEVEN and TWELVE,as i placed them side by side to match them up.


The artwork for the panel....
And here is the initial transfer drawing before applying the raw umber for the underpainting and

clarifying the shapes...

and ...again...Here it is sized up next to panel ELEVEN...



this will be the area where they may have to cut out for the door,so i was sure to move any major elements out of that area.....

And here it is all tightened up and matched with panel TWELVE to the left....
and here it is all by it's lonesome!



This is also an area that is for the "door" area...

Not sure if it will be 2 big doors or just a single door with room for the door to be opened completely.... 

We shall see.....
The artwork that needs to be transfered...

and here it is with a few others....
(Panel 12 and 13) 
and then each one needs to be turned on it's side and the panel above each is sized up 


The outrigger and occupants were slightly reduced and moved away from the door area.

This mural is about her and her arrival and i wasnt going to let a door change that! 

This musician was inspired by a little gent from an old Hawaiian shirt.

He provides a tune for the rowers and Flora

as they approach the First Street Bridge to enter Napa...

Here is the initial sketching awaiting the underpainting....
And below with the sister panels and raw umber underpainting


The Rowers

I wanted them to be a Unit  a team working together

Their rowing provided a natural visual "trick" 

Rhythm /Repetition in a painting can be used to "propel" a cart,a figure,etc.

Each one is going to have little smile or different attitude

as they row towards their destination....

Flora at the helm of the outrigger as she approaches her new home

the grapes  and her pose echo the Flora Springs Winery logo



The Tiki Winepress  suggested by John Komes

i went ahead and refined it from the simpler version in the original concept sketch.


Next step is figuring out the paints and amounts

and then the REAL FUN PART....Painting!


This concludes the PREPARATION segment of this 14 x 40 foot mural....

Will start a whole new blog entry for the PAINTING part! 

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....