Thursday, December 25, 2008

Merry Christmas

Here's our family Christmas card for this year. Merry Christmas!

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Jolly Old Santa Claus

This is my Christmas time wallpaper scanned from one of my cherished books, "Jolly Old Santa Claus". The book was published by Ideals in the early sixties. My grandparents gave it to my sister, my brother and me. My youngest sister isn't mentioned in the inscription, so it was given to us sometime before 1966. As the oldest I laid claim to it years ago. The story is credited to "Sparkie" and the illustrations are by George Hinke. The book is laid out with the art filling double page spreads alternating with two pages of text. I may have read the text once or twice but I spent many hours staring at the pictures. Every spread shows a scene of Santa and his "Brownies" getting ready for Christmas. There is an abundance of detail and all the characters are truly individuals. There is an aspect of early "Where's Waldo" in that there are re-occuring characters on each spread. Look for the cat.
I haven't been able to find out much about Mr. Hinke other than that he immigrated from Germany. His only work beyond this book that I'm aware of are two paintings of Christ. The book was republished a few years ago, but the layouts were changed to integrate the text and pictures. It reads better as a book but the pictures were obscured and cut up. So, I'll stick with looking at my old, beat-up book every Christmas season.

Monday, December 8, 2008

Barlow's Banter

My friend, Steven Paul Barlow, has just started his own blog, Barlow's Banter. He is the author of "My Brushes With Death And Other Outdoor Blunders", a book that I illustrated a couple of years ago. I shared some illustrations from the book here, here and here. Steve (no one calls him "Steven Paul", that's his writin' name) will be sharing his thoughts on all things outdoorsy in his usual humorous style. He is considering doing another compilation of his columns from Game & Fish Publications. If he does, I hope to illustrate that one too.

This is the cover art from the first book. I know I said that I wouldn't show anymore art from the book, but hey, it's the cover. And he's got a new blog. I had to show something. You can still get a copy of the first book at Briar Hill Books or through Amazon.

Thursday, December 4, 2008

IF - Balloon

Illustration Fridays topic this week is "balloon". I wasn't going to do a picture. But then I learned that a friend had passed away on Monday after fighting lung cancer and this came into my head. Betty was a good friend of my wife's family. My kids grew up calling her "Grandma Betty". We will miss her, but like the balloon, I know she was going up.