May 142015

The first trip that Julia and I ever took together was to see the Seahorse exhibit at the Monterey Aquarium back in 2009. There have been many dramatic changes in our lives in the interim (leaving me quite the worse for wear) but happily, Julia and I are still together, Monterey is as pleasant a destination as ever, and our recent trip there was just what we both needed.


The first time we ever went to Monterey, we stayed in a very nice B&B but this time, after driving down from the Bay Area, we checked into the Portola Hotel, a place Julia stayed in for a painting conference a while back. We slept late our first day, and had lunch at a crepe restaurant on Monterey's Old Fisherman’s Wharf, very near our hotel. We decided to draw the view from the wharf, then went for a walk along the pleasant path along the waterfront that connects old Fisherman's Wharf with the Aquarium area, where we ate dinner at VIVOLO's, a restaurant that we'd had a memorable meal at 6 years earlier. While our meal this time was fine, it was nowhere near the flavour explosion we'd remembered from our first visit. Julia took out her frustrations by drawing some tasty sketches of me on the paper table cloth. The evening powerwalk back to our hotel was made more entertaining when we sat down by an outdoor fire pit near a posh hotel to warm ourselves, and made the acquaintance of some rather tipsy but very pleasant Brit honeymooners from Lancaster, who it turned out were staying in the same hotel as us.


The next day was bright and sunny, and we decided to draw the view along the waterfront, once again not far from Old Fisherman's Wharf. Julia had recently bought me some proper watercolour paper, rather than the flimsy drawing paper that I usually use, and I set up my drawing rig; folding chair and easel, and sketched a sunny view of boats moored in the marina. Drawing an intricate view such as this is extra challenging for me with my left hand, but I gave it a good try, blocking in some of the colour on site with aquarelle pencils, to be embellished later at our hotel.


We were both taken with the charming sight of a bright red boat that clearly stood out from all the generic white and blue boats moored around it. I'm the least nautical person you'll ever meet, but it appeared to me that it was a miniature Chinese Junk (it reminded me of boats I'd seen in Hong Kong, anyway). The characterful little boat was only tethered at one end and swung around from side to side in the afternoon breeze, which made it very difficult to draw on site, so most of this drawing was drawn and colored back in our hotel room using a photograph as reference.


That night we ate at a place called OLD FISHERMAN'S GROTTO and – you guessed it – it was on Old Fisherman’s Wharf. The next day, we finally woke up early enough to cash in our passes to the MONTEREY AQUARIUM. I will have the sketches I drew there in my NEXT post.


 Posted by on April 13, 2015  Illustration, Lefties
Apr 132015

+-*I've been pretty excited about my first paid professional art assignment as a left-handed artist. A few months ago, my good friend of many years, Carol Hughes, commissioned me to draw the cover for her latest book, OPERATION SNOWBALL, a fun adventure story based on the fictitious (or perhaps TRUE) adventures of her family dogs, PICKLE AND PEARL. It has been over two years since I've [..READ MORE..]

TV SKETCHING: 2013/2014

 Posted by on March 15, 2015  Film/TV, Lefties, TV sketching
Mar 152015
TV SKETCHING: 2013/2014

+-*Here’s a roundup of TV sketching done in 2013/2014 that I’ve not yet posted here in this blog. These sketches of PRIS from BLADE RUNNER, were among the earliest drawings I ever did with my left hand that I actually began to like. I’d avoided drawing for the better part of 2013, because my crude left-handed efforts would rock [..READ MORE..]

February Sketches

 Posted by on February 28, 2015  Drawings, Lefties, Location Sketching
Feb 282015
February Sketches

+-*Here are some watercolor sketches done on location around San Francisco in this past month. The first was done in Union Square while Julia and I sat prior to our dinner reservation on Valentines day. It was gloriously warm and sunny, with many people out enjoying themselves, and I managed to get a scribbly sketch down, before the [..READ MORE..]

Teenage Camelot

 Posted by on February 22, 2015  Lefties, Thoughts
Feb 222015
Teenage Camelot

+-*At around the age of 15, I met a group of older teenagers who’d already finished with high school, shared a house and lived on the dole. I thought they were the height of teen cool because they could do whatever they wanted; woah. I was still obliged to wear my school uniform and kow-tow to ‘the man’ [..READ MORE..]

Phil Robinson

 Posted by on January 28, 2015  Colleagues, Friends
Jan 282015
Phil Robinson

+-*A beloved longtime member of the Bay Area animation community, has finally succumbed to pancreatic cancer after battling it bravely for over 3 years. Phil Robinson will be greatly missed by his loving wife Jennifer, and his many friends from around the world, me amongst them. Phil came to the Bay Area in the early 1980s but I [..READ MORE..]

Jan 022015

+-*As a follow up to some Star Trek TV sketching we did months ago, Julia and I did more sketch nights of Star Trek: The Next Generation, a favourite of Julia’s that I wasn’t so familiar with. When Star Trek: TNG was first broadcast, in the late 1980s, I was working in Asia and Europe; countries where I couldn't understand television anyway and [..READ MORE..]

Happy CHRISTMAS 2014!

 Posted by on December 25, 2014  Pencil-Jockey, Updates
Dec 252014
Happy CHRISTMAS 2014!

+-*Happy Christmas to you all (please insert whatever holiday you prefer, religious, or secular) and I hope you gather with your loved ones today. Speaking of good company; two years ago, before I got sick, I was surrounded by dear friends as we worked together on a TV Christmas special; "The Toy Story that Time forgot." It's most [..READ MORE..]

Space FLiK

 Posted by on December 5, 2014  Childhood art, Drawings, Thoughts
Dec 052014
Space FLiK

+-*Recently, I found a small cardboard box that contains all the artwork, and the super-8 film spool of a movie I made when I was 15/16, for my final high school HSC art exam. This celluloid masterpiece was called SPACE FLiK, and was a hopelessly crude parody of Star Wars in the style of Mad magazine (two things [..READ MORE..]