A collection of doodles with a bit of commentary by RICK GREEN - your cartooning friend

Sunday, November 30, 2008

Black Friday Memories

Well, they had us. The wife and I looked at the ads in the local paper and we were caught in the dark net called Black Friday!

Yes, the alarm went off at 4 in the AM so that we could make our consumerism trek to the temples of commercialization. I'm a bit embarrassed to tell you that not only did we go shopping at 5 Am, but we went to the black heart of Black Friday. Yes, that's right, we were heading towards... Waaaaal-Mart!

The closest Waaaaal-Mart is in the next town, 30 minutes south of here. You must forgive me for my naiveté. Because heading there I imagined a small conglomerate of people waiting for the man in blue vestment to open the door to Waaaaal-Mart—to let a small, but happy group of holiday shoppers to walk quickly, and freely through the isle while we filled our list of Christmas Ho Ho Ho. After all, how many crazy people like us are out there that would make it to a 5 AM opening of Waaaal-Mart?

Wrooong!! Imagine our surprise to learn that there are HUNDREDS of dummies just like us who would venture out in the ungodly hour of 5 AM. No lie. Imagine a parking lot, maybe 150 yards long, with a line of people, about 4 or 5 wide, standing there in the dark, waiting for the temple priests and priestess to open the doors of the price-reduction temple. Hundreds of people, all there to lay our offerings of the cash and credit cards on the registers altars of debt.

On top of all that, imagine the eerie sound that greeted us when, after one finally does find a parking space, we hear the sound of the rattle hundreds of shopping cart rattling in from all directions while people lay claim to their own little plastic mesh mules—beast of Christmas burdens they were to become.

Surprisingly, the line moved quickly. Apparently Waaaal-Mart was prepared to swallow the entire crowd whole. I'm guessing that the Fire Marshall didn't get a sales flier. Because, if he had, he surely would have been there too. And surely (stop calling me "Shirley") would have shut down the entire operation—having witnessed the massive holiday migration.

Before we even got to the doors there were several people carting out huge television sets. Unbelievable!! Obviously we were in competition with some real operators here. Slick shoppers that lot was.

Into the darkest part of the belly of the beast we went. Yes, right again... We headed straight for the electronics department! May God bless the two souls who piloted the riot that was happening there. We were shoulder to shoulder, cart to cart with dozens of others—each of us hoping, almost praying, that perhaps a remnant of our targeted Christmas cheer had somehow survived the onslaught.

The spirit of Sam Walton smiled upon us because each and every item was located and secured. Thank you Sam. Another bit of fortune that smiled upon us was the fact that the wife and I carried less than 10 items to the checkout, because the the Express Check Out line was significantly shorter than the rest. Our wait there was totally non-insane. Thank you again Sam.

We loaded up our booty and off into the dark towards home we went. At that point my wife pulled up another sales flier and said... "There's a six hour sale at Fred Meyers."

The above doodle is a Copy & Share If You Dare—an inspiration from my holiday shopping experience.

Merry Christmas to all!!

In other news: Previously I shared my appreciation for a young British artist Andrea Joseph. Recently she set up an Esty Shop to sell prints of one of her works for the first time. I like her work so much that for the first time I made a purchase of some else's art.

With her permission I am posting a copy of her art here. Andrea's main medium of choice is the common ballpoint pen. I'm always amazed at what she is able to accomplish with pen in hand. One of the unique aspects of this print is that the pen in the middle is actually drawn in, not printed, on the paper.

Thanks Andrea. I love it.

Sometime I must try and set up an Esty Shop for myself. Be sure to check my blog around the first part of January. I'll be giving away a few prints plus some unfortunate blogger will be chosen to have me lampoon their face with a their own personal caricature.

Friday, November 28, 2008

Cave Art

Shannon contacted me about creating a caricature of her husband, Josh, for his birthday. She said that he is a marathoner, plays poker, is an avid 49er and, Iowa Hawkeye fan.

On top of that she kept saying that this illustration was going to be hung in his "man cave." With that in mind I suggested that I doodle him in a Flintstone-like setting and put him in some kind of skin with a rough 49er's print on it.

She wrote, "In talking about this with a friend, they said they can totally see Josh sitting there like a caveman... (I like her friend) We just cannot forget the frothing beer!"

So... that's what she got—a caveman in his man-cave, with man-cave furnishings, AND with frothing beer in man-mug and all.

I had a bunch of fun with this one. I haven't heard what Josh's reaction was, but I put in a lot of little details to keep his cave-mind occupied.

What do you think?

I posted two previous caveman doodles here, and here. Actually, I hadn't realized that I had such a growing collection of cave art.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Thanksgiving Traditions

A little doodle history lesson for you today. Some holiday traditions go way back—probably farther back than one might think.

God bless you my blogging friends. Have a happy holiday and save a piece of pumpkin pie for me.

Copy & Share If You Dare
Be sure to click on the image for the larger view.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Mo On the T'

This is just a quick doodle I did for the nice lady that is in charge of the Children's Bible Quizzing team at our church. She wanted something for the team's t-shirts.

I'm pretty much the resident doodler at our church. I don't mind. For me, it's a way of giving back something that I consider to be a gift from the Lord to me—my doodle-ability.

The children are studying Exodus this year and, as you Bible scholars out there already know, contains the story of Moses.

Haven't read it? Go ahead. It's a great read. I love the part about the frogs.

Copy & Share If You Dare. You might find a reason to use Mo on a t-shirt of your own.

In other news: I got another caricature done last night. Now I'm working on another t-shirt design that shouldn't take me too long. Then it's back to the request list and heading towards Christmas.

Be sure to check things out at the beginning of January. I'll be giving away another caricature and some prints to celebrate two years of blogging.

So stay "tooned!"

Saturday, November 22, 2008

I Know This Face

In terms of doing caricatures, Tonya's face has got to be the one that I've illustrated the most. She's a very busy blogging young lady, and this is the forth time that I've recreated her face with pen & color pencil. Not that I've minded (Tonya) it's just a matter of fact. I KNOW this face!!

In addition to her personal and crafting blogs, Tonya has a party organizing blog as well. She also has some very specific taste when it comes to doodles. Which, I must add, I don't mind, because I want to please my customers very much.

So, with some general instructions from her, I went to task on creating a(nother) Tonya doodle. This was what I sent to her first.

Tonya's response was kind, but there were some things about it that didn't quite meet her expectations. She liked the concept, but the colors were a bit too bright for one thing. She said that she was wanting it to look a bit more "classy"—her word. So, that evening I went to "classifying" her doodle up a bit. That's hard for me, because I'm kind of an un-classy guy.

Now, here's the funny part - hee, hee. I spent the evening working on the doodle, and then I get an e-mail from Tonya around mid-night telling me that she had changed her mind and that she liked the one that I had already sent her.

(I'm not complaining Tonya. I just saying...)

By then it was too late. I had "classified" all over her doodle. This then is what I sent her next...
Can you see the differences?

1. I muted the colors a bit.
2. I added greenery to the flowers - always a classy touch.
3. I put a shadow effect behind the lettering.
4. I put a gray swooshie thing behind the entire header.

VERY classy! Wouldn't you say?

It turns out that Tonya liked it. I think she was just trying to be nice about my first try. I was glad that she was happy. Another satisfied customer, only this was the fourth time for her.

Go and check out her blog and make note of the one attempt she did to "classify" the doodle herself. Tell her that you like it—regardless! It's only nice.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

With Apologies to Aesop

I went to the bank the other day and the teller had an assortment of toy turtles sitting around on the counter. I asked her the same question that probably a thousand other customers asked her... "So, you like turtles?" The apparent answer was "yes." She even had one that when you pushed it's tail down, it lites up. Like a lot of people I know.

(Some how that last line sounded a bit salacious.)

I thought, "I should doodle her a turtle." So that got me started. The story of the Tortoise and the Hare came to mind. One thing lead to another, and this is what I came up with.

With apologies to Aesop, my version of the story is not that the Tortoise wins because the Hare was lazy, but because he, the Tortoise, "upgraded!"

It's been a while since I've done some doodling like this just for fun. Most of my earliest post were examples of some of pieces that I created mostly for that reason. I've tried to sell copies—with not much success.

Even though I have a ton of Christmas gifts to get out (one on my drawing table at the moment) I just had to get this one out of my system.

What do you think?

Sorry, but this is NOT a copy and share doodle. But, if you'd like a signed colored copy, very reasonable priced, you can contact me through the e-mail address to the right.

P.S. For my kind readers that enjoy... um... reading... the rest of the bank teller story is that I went back today and told her that she had inspired me to draw a turtle (a.k.a. tortoise). She said, "Really, I use to do some drawing too." I told her that I would give her a copy of my drawing (which she had not seen yet) if she drew something for me.

"Alright, but I can't promise that it will be any good." I told her that I couldn't promise the same.

Then I went next door to the pharmacy, where I get all my copes made. I showed it off to the ladies there, and then I took the copy back to the bank and gave it, signed, to the teller. She seemed impressed. Then said something about the possibility of hers not looking so good. I said that I didn't care, but she owed me! The whole point is to try and get her back to doodling.

Now that I've got that one out of my system I can get back to the "ho, ho, oh."

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Hovering Hogs

Here's a quick doodle I scratched down yesterday. You've heard the expression, "That will happen when pigs fly." Well, here's another attempt at illustrating it. (I discovered that there are several versions of it out there.)

A friend thought that the pig should be happy because he's flying—most of the illustrations I saw on the internet did have happy pigs. But my point was that a flying pig represents something, or an event, that would not likely happen. So... this pig is begrudgingly taking flight.

Copy & Share If You Dare when the sow has had lift off in your world.

I just e-mailed this doodle out to several friends. My message there said...

Hey! I just heard that the government is going to offer you a bailout too.

And that will happen when................... (doodle inserted)

Try it. It will make you feel all warm and toasty inside.

I posted an earlier doodle of an animal taking flight here...


In other news: The Old Testament collage project continues. (Check my previous post) The original is 11x14. In order to scan the illustration I have to put it on a photocopier and reduce it. The quality of the copy is not that great. There are streaks in this image that the copier creates—I don't know why.

I'll continue to post this pencil creation so that you can check it's progress. The goal is to auction off the piece to raise money for the youth group at the church I attend.

Monday, November 17, 2008

She Hearts NYC

Andi (second from the left) contacted me about creating a doodle to commemorate a trip she took to NYC with friends. If I understood correctly, some or all of the friends are from Europe.

When I looked at her blog I saw that there were a number of sights that they visited in the city while they were there. So, instead of simply recreating the provided photo, I suggested that I doodle a collage of various New Yorkie kind of sights placed behind them. This is the result.

In the process, Andi has become clued in on the addition of our little "friend" to each of the drawings. She asked for a "clue" and I provided her one. That was all it took, and suddenly Andi had a broad new world opened up to her.

She wrote me and said...

"My baby Arielle and I are spending the morning looking through archives and finding Eggy. Fun times with my kid.....since we are both fighting colds and not going to church today. Arielle is having fun. She wants to find them before I do. Sometimes...she does. Thanks for the fun game."

You're welcome Andi and Arielle. My artwork is almost as good as Mom's chicken soup when it comes to treating a cold.

Check out her blog and tell her what your best homemade remedy is for the not so common cold.

In other news: The youth pastor at our church is a fairly good doodler himself. The other day we decided to collaborate on a project together. We're taking turns drawing a collage of illustrations depicting various scenes from the Old Testament. The idea is to auction off the piece when we're finished to raise money for the church's youth group.

This is an 11x14 pencil sketch. I plan to post various copies to show our progress. If you're interested in making a bid you can e-mail me at my address provided in the right column.

Can you tell which parts I drew?

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Even Us Wimps Can Be Strong

It is a reoccurring theme of the Bible that when we are weak, then we can be strong.

The challenge for me on this particular passage was to figure out how to illustrate God's power making a weakling strong. How would you do that?

Fire is often used to represent God's power and His presence. So, I decided to doodle a 90lb weakling surrounded by a body of fire on steroids. (Not that God would ever need to use steroids.)

I promise you that the truth of this verse has become real to me many times in my life.

Zechariah 4:6 “'Not by might nor by power, but by My Spirit,’ says the LORD Almighty."

Copy & Share If You Dare

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Super Turkey

You'd better purchase your turkey early this year. With Super Turkey on the job, I understand that the traditional Thanksgiving bird is going to be a lot more difficult to find.

I'm not kidding here!!

Perhaps you should Copy & Share If You Dare the doodle to get the word out to the unsuspecting public out there. I'd hate to see their holidays ruined.

There are certain responsibilities that come with having important information like that.

So, get on it!

Check here for last year's Thanksgiving illustration.

Also: Laura, my peachy friend, told me about this photo she posted on her blog. It's a door in her home that is "decorated" with some of my doodles that she and her daughter colored. (Hi Martha!)

It just seems bizarre to me to see a photo of a door in Georgia that is covered with my artwork.

You can also see the doodle I did of the both of them for Christmas last year. I think that was the final Christmas doodle I did last year. What a relief to get that in the mail. More strangeness to see my art hanging there as well.

Nice coloring there ladies!

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

A Classic

There's an interesting story that goes with this one, but first I'll just say that this is Karen's husband Danny. They have three pets that apparently Danny is fond of. She also said that he liked to play pool. So, I suggested doing a new take on a classic theme: Dogs Playing Pool. Karen liked the idea and so I went for it.

After a quick internet search I came to realize that a number of artists have tackled this vital topic. Apparently people in general are quite fascinated with the idea of dogs playing pool, or poker, or any number of human type games.

I worked very hard to get this one just right. Believe it or not, one of the things I'm proud of is the texturing of the walls in the background. I was trying to set a "manly", "earthy" tone (does that make sense?). I kind of like how it turned out. I also like the look of the felt on the table. I think that it turned out well also.

There are a lot of little details in the illustration, including the appearance of you know who—who I hope to have hidden in a spot where he's not so easy to find for some of you world class egg hunters.

Now for those of you interested in reading more, here's the rest of the story...

Karen works at the pharmacy where I get my copies made of my doodles. Before I mail out every caricature I get a color copy made. I have become quite familiar with the ladies that work there and they always want to see what caricature I've done next.

I felt a little pressure to get this one done right. I wanted all the ladies to be pleased with my work. Since Karen is a local I was able to bring in the pencil sketch for her pre-approval. She liked what she saw. Having her face on the poster was my idea that I told her was at no extra charge.

I finished this last Sunday and I took it to the Pharmacy yesterday. Lo and behold, when I walked in the store who do you think I saw standing at the counter? Danny! What are the chances that I would show up, with his surprise gift, while he was there?

It turned out that it was Karen's day off, so I figured that Danny wasn't going to leave until she did. There was no chance of giving her the doodle then. BUT, I wasn't sure what the color of his eyes were. So, with the drawing tucked under a sack, I went over to look deeply into his eyes. Karen, I think, was afraid I wouldn't recognize him and quickly came out from behind the counter to introduce me. In other words: "This is my husband Rick, so don't blow it." But, I had been staring at the gentleman's face for quite some time. I would have recognized him anywhere.

I acted my part. But!... one of the other ladies saw me and figuring that I was there to just copy an illustration said, "What have you got there Rick?" Fortunately I had another unfinished illustration in my hand as well and showed that to them while Danny was standing there.

Today, I went back in to the pharmacy and showed the finished product to her. Now, this is the advantage of drawing for local people. Instead of getting the nice e-mail that I normally get as a response, Karen gave me a great big hug when she saw it. That out ranks a three exclamation marks any day. She LOVED it and began right away showing it off to all the other ladies.

Mission accomplished!!! What do you think?

Stay "tooned" folks. I'm heavy into the holiday illustrating. There will be many more doodles to come.

Monday, November 10, 2008

Family Practice - You Don't Send Me Flowers

It's been a while since I published one of my Family Practice cartoon strips. For those newer guests to my blog, this was an attempt a few years ago to get a strip into syndication. But that was not to be. In order to submit an idea to the cartoon syndicates you must show them at least a month's worth of concepts. I drew more than that, but now I'm running low of examples to post here.

Younger readers probably won't get the punch line. The line "You don't send me flowers" won't resonate with them. But you older bloggers...

If you want, you can see my earlier Family Practice posts by typing that into the search bar above.

Be sure to click on the image to get a larger view.

Friday, November 7, 2008

Christy In Living Color

Christy wanted a blog header that illustrated her life of living with a chronic illness and everything that comes with it. Unfortunately, her health issues are many. She wrote me and said, "I have Cystic Fibrosis, have had a double lung transplant, and am getting ready to have a kidney transplant. So, my life is all about medications, doctor's appointments, surgeries, and balancing that with trying to be a wife and mom to my daughter (13)."

Working off some ideas that she had, I suggested that I doodle an image of her taking a ballet-like leap, from a gray, unhealthy world, to a healthy, colorful one. Christy leapt at the idea.

This carica- ture went fairly easy for me. I had a lot of fun creating it, and I really like the way it turned out. Coloring the letters in a quilt pattern leapt into my mind out of nowhere.

When Christy saw it she said, "I absolutely love it!!!"
(I like getting responses that include three exclamation marks.)

She also said that she liked the quilt pattern because it gave her a lot of latitude when it came to choosing a color scheme for her blog.

I'm glad you liked the doodle Christy. My prayers are for you and with you. Thank you for choosing me to illustrate your choice for health. Hang in there girl!!!

(Note the three exclamation marks. That's a good thing.)

Why don't the rest of you take a flying leap over to Color Me Healthy and read the story about a wife and mother that is dealing with a life-long disease and choosing a healthy colorful world. Be sure tell Christy that you're praying for her.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Fighting Fire

The other day I had someone ask about the possi- bility of me creating a doodle for her husband who is a fire fighter. That reminded me of this caricature that I did a few years ago of a friend's son.

I'm a little reluctant to post this because I've never been too happy with how it turned out. I don't like the way I positioned the guys legs - they're too cramped up underneath him. I think I should have made the fire-bug smaller. That would have made the absurdity of the situation a bit more humorous. And now, I could do a much better job on the face. I've had a bit more experience with this drawing thing since then.

The Christmas requests are flowing in. I think I'll be doodling from here until December late. That's the way it was last year. Ho, Ho, Oh!!!

Also: This is a photo of my friend John and I. His mother took it during the church's Harvest Party last Friday. It's a classic. I just had to share it with you.

Some people at the party didn't recognize me in my full Harley get-up. One dear saint told me she was backing away from me until she figured out who I was.

We're a couple of tough looking characters. So, watch out! We be baaaaaad!!

Sunday, November 2, 2008

It's Your Duty

I'm not too proud of this doodle. I threw it together rather quickly. I was ready to post another caricature that I did last week, but decided to delay that a bit. Then I realized that I should post something to commemorate the national elections on Tuesday.

This piece speaks to the idea that I think we've all been chewed up by the abundance of "info-mercialization" of it all. I'm sure that we will all breath a sigh of relief when it's all over - no matter who wins.

It's been years since I've voted in the classic voting booth with the pull curtain and everything. In Oregon we get our ballots in the mail and get to mail them back in, or place in a drop box. The wife and I have already voted. So, you can't call us one of the undecided. We've done been decided for several days nows.

Happy voting! Copy & Share If You Dare. Click on the image for the larger size.