Tuesday, December 22, 2009

The New Year approaches as does the latest Soap Scum presentation. Here is the poster with time, date and price. Please check out their blog at www.scumsoap.blogspot.com

I hope everybody has a very happy holidays and encroyable New Year.


Tuesday, December 15, 2009

FolkFest Fella

folk fest fella
I keep seeing this guy at FolkFest every year. He is pretty much the quintessential FolkFest guy. We snapped a shot of him a couple of years back and I just did a painting of him. the background and white outline are done in gouache and the main figure is done in oils. This sparks the need to do an entirely FolkFest enspired group of paintings, the next up is a painting of Beth pregnant at FolkFest. I'm aiming to do about 10 or 12 all together. This one and the C.R. Avery are already spoken for.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Vintage Olympic Hockey Jersey's

Here are some desktop images of vintage olympic hockey jerseys. I was asked to do the illustrations for a poster that The Beaver was going to produce but it was cut for financial reasons. Same thing with the beer coasters we were going to put these on. Finally the idea of free online desktops was put on the table. Not quite as satisfying as a physical product to hold. But it is pretty cool to think people all over the country may have my desktop on their computer during the Winter Olympics.
The jersey's were produced in Adobe Illustrator, I then imported them into Photoshop to blend them with the background and then back into Illustrator to work with the type.


If you are interested in the desktops you can download them from thebeaver.ca look for them under the heading More of a good thing...

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Climate Change

Great post on climate change from E. Sawyer financial today. It gives you all the links you need to start moving towards an informed decision. There are links to extremist climate change supporters and extremist ostriches with their heads in the sand. You can probably tell whom I support. I'll let you know it's not the fellas and gals pumping shit into the atmosphere and fucking with my cross country skiing season.

All kidding aside Please read the post it is very balanced and well written.

If you are too busy checking your emails on your blackberry or iphone here is

video scary "truth",

here is video "rich industrialist telling you not to worry",

here is a petition,

and here is David Suzuki's solution to getting the government to listen.

Peace out

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Where The Wild Thing Is

Hey everyone!

Been a while, but as all of you parent know having babies is time consuming. This is a little doodle I did months ago and I just scanned it in and painted it in photoshop.
Work and being a father has taken priority over many other things in life right now. My apologies to anyone who has noticed my absence. Nothing personal I just have a ton of stuff to sort out. I still have stuff to scan and post I will try to get on that and I will try to post a little more regularly. Broken record you say? Well maybe but I'm going to try extra hard this time.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Mail Me Art 2: Received!

Picture 1

Picture 3
Here an accurate shot of the art piece I did for Mail Me Art 2. As you can see the colours are far more vibrant. My artwork was received and is up on the MMA2 website. I will not know for some time whether I will be included in the next book. It was a great pleasure to be in the first one. I actually came across a copy the other day in McNally Robinson's, it has sold since. I will endeavor to get some more work up soon. it is hard to get drawing and painting done with a 4 week old. Well until next time, fight the good fight everybody.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Teaching Canada's History

This is the first project I completed for Canada's History society. I worked with the Editor Joel Ralph and the Editor of The Beaver: Canada's History Magazine Mark Reid.
It was a lot of hard work but we produced Teaching Canada's History in English and French. Not only did we produce it bilingually but we made an interactive version to be viewed on the web. Please click on the image to launch the web reader. Inside you will find many articles how to effectively teach history, and how to use up-to-date technology do it.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

The Crown Royals Poster Elements

Here are some of the inked sketches of the elements for The Crown Royals poster. each one was scanned in and traced in Adobe Illustrator. They were then placed in Photoshop rasterized and coloured. I will be snapping a few shots of the conceptual work I did prior to choosing these specific elements.

Monday, October 5, 2009

The Crown Royals

This is a poster I did for the upcoming Soap Scum Presents improv show. I had a lot of fun making it. This has to be one of the most detailed peices I've done it has a lot to it and I'm proud to say I have tons of process material to scan in and show to you all.

I would like to give a big shout out to everybody in Germany who checks my stuff out. I'm very appreciative of your attention.

More to come.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

My Masterpiece

I won't go into the details of how I created this piece of art, it took me and my wife 9 months and we finished last Friday at 4:00 am. If you can think of it as finishing it seems more like the beginning. She is beautiful and perfect and her name is Lily.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Finally C.R. Avery

C.R. Avery
Finally the actual painting based on the Folkfest sketch of C.R. Avery. Sorry for the long wait things just come up and a painting gets finished and put beside the drawing table and then hung on the wall by your wife and you forget about it. Then one day you come home from work you have your camera on hand and you go out and snap some shots.

This piece was done on wood, don't ask what kind my friend Blair could tell you but I can't. I'll say pine for the sake of whatever. I put an initial layer of of gouache down and used heavy water to get the paint to blend then I did the figure in oil and outline it using india ink and a sumi brush. I had a great time with this one I look forward to doing more paintings of any kind.

I'd like to give a big shout out to any people who read my blog in Brazil, I used to coach a guy in rugby named Guiggo he was super cool, I'll bet you are too.


Friday, September 4, 2009


Who loves owls?

I ended up randomly sketching this owl the other day and I happened to have some scrap paper and oil paints on hand, so I drawed it up real good.

Hope you all enjoy.

That C.R. Avery painting is still on it's way. Stay Tuned.

Saturday, August 29, 2009

Mail Me Art 2

As many of you know a couple of years ago I sent a painted envelope away to England to participate in an international art experiment. It went so well that a book was published of the best work sent and I was one of around 200 artists who were chosen to be in the book. I have just completed my second submission and have sent it to England again. We will see what happens this time. Unfortunately I used poor judgment for the white balance of the photo of my painting so the colour is off. You get the Idea of what it looks like. I will be posting my C.R. Avery painting soon. If I set my white balance right I should get pretty accurate colour.


Monday, August 17, 2009

Folk Fest Sketch "Beatnick"

This is a gentleman who did spoken word mixed with Harmonica and Beatboxing. He was totally hip "Daddy-O". I have just finished a painting of this sketch I will be posting it soon.

Friday, August 14, 2009

Only one more sketch to post from this years Folkfest. Coming soon …

Friday, August 7, 2009

FolkFest Sketch 3

Some more sketches from Folkfest, I'm doing a painting of one. I have not posted the image yet but I will shortly. I have also just completed my second submission to Mail Me Art, HURRAY! I've been almost done for months now and only just the other night found the hour I needed to finish the painting up. Sadly I've had to post pone a secret project I've been working on with some of my cohorts. Sigh... I'm looking to pick back up on it at some point but with a baby on the way and a new job I'm swamped.
I have also had dismal attendance to Karate this summer, it makes me a bit sad to watch aspects of my life slip away but I also have many great things to look forward to. Fatherhood for one, I really like my job. Although I was hired to do Web Design I have taken on the mantle of Art Director for a special edition magazine my work is putting out. I like what I have been doing I have done some of my own illustration and photography and been able to hire another illustrator to do some work as well. His name is Jeope Wolfe and he does great work you can check him out a Jeopopolis.

The usual clutter of life aside. It has been a pretty good summer, I'm making the effort to be outside as much as possible for the next month as it becomes more apparent that the days are getting shorter and autumn is closing in.

I hope this post finds you all well and enjoying your summers or whatever season it is wherever you are.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Folk Fest Sketches 2

Here is anther sketch of a girl in front of me soaking up some music and sun at the same time.

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Folk Fest Sketches

I went to folk fest recently and had an absolutely wonderful time. Storms, sun, bluegrass and rainbows. Beth managed to make it 5 days camping while 7 months pregnant and our friends Becca and Ezra brought their 8 month old Leif. I discovered many bands that are great and whom I never would have com across unless I went to this festival. I will be posting several Sketches that I did during the festival over the next couple of days.


Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Cree Man

this is a sketch I did of a Joe Fafard sculpture I saw this weekend at the Joe Fafard exhibit at the WAG. It is truly a great exhibit. I liked it so much, that after seeing it I took my Dad to see it the very next day. I tried sketching the day before but I was just not feeling any connection between my hand and what my eyes were seeing. I tried again when I went the second time and this sketch resulted. I scanned the sketch in and used Photoshop to colour it.

Joe Fafard is a fabulous artist, if any of you in Winnipeg get a chance please go and see his exhibit. It is full of life size farm animal sculpture and caricature-like sculptures of people. There are displays and video's explaining how he produces his bronze sculpture work and lots of charcoal studies of his subject matter.
This Cree man is one of four aboriginal people he sculpted. Actually I believe one was Metis, but the point is the work he did of these people are fabulous. As happy as I am with my drawing it really does the actual sculpture not justice. The character of the faces and the exaggerated hands and veins are really fantastic to see live.

I am planning to go back many more times. I suppose I should tell you why I like Joe Fafards work so much. It has to do with the honesty the man conveys through his work. To me he has captured the essence of the life he sees around him. what you see is exactly what you get. There is no sense that he is trying to make the art itself anything else, any grander than it needs to be. I like that. It speaks to me.

I first came aware of Joe's work about 5 years ago at the Mayberry Gallery on McDermot. I would stop there after school and check out the talent. One day as I was looking around I became aware of a 2–3 ft horse, I think it was a Clydesdale... regardless I notices this horse and it was just amazing it looked thick and powerful and alive. After that I started to notice a lot of his work in the gallery, I would take a lot of pleasure just looking at the characters he sculpted. Their overly large eyes and the personality that each seemed to contain. I can always tell a great artist when I see one because I'm immediately inspired to create myself.

So what I guess I'm trying to say is, "Thanks Joe. Keep up all the great work."

Again go and check out the exhibit it is up until September.

Saturday, June 27, 2009

Shihan Beltran Caricature

Hey Everybody!

Hey Dr. James!

This is a caricature I did for my Shihan. I drew it, refined it and colored it entirely in Adobe Illustrator. It is something I have been working on to save time. Usually I work from a sketch I scanned in. I like my pencil sketches a lot and they do not suffer from the disconnect of using a tablet. Someday when tablet/screen technology is more affordable I think that will be less of a problem.

The only problem with working in a digital medium for something like this is I'm on the computer for 8-9 hours a day at work. So I don't feel like staring at a computer any longer after that for my personal work.

What the guys at Wacom need to do is develop a screen that is only very slightly back lit and gives you a sense of what a printed product would look like. It would also be much easier on the eyes.

I actually have lots of stuff to post I just have been so involved with my projects at my new job I have neglected my blog. I can only state I will do my best to post some more random stuff here for you in the future.

Thursday, June 11, 2009


OK I am all talk.

Oh... I am going to post this. Oh... I am going to post that, look at all this great art I'm producing...

Damn I try, but life just keeps picking up steam.

I started my new job a couple of weeks ago and I'm quite happy there. It is keeping me very busy however, and between Beth and Karate I'm just not getting as much time as I would like for my artwork. I finished one painting the other day and it felt really good. I'm a water colour fan for the sake of time and clean up. I'm really hungry to try another oil but it is so messy and time consuming to clean up.

Screw it, I'm going for it anyway. Yukon Ho! (A knowing nod to anyone who gets that reference.)

Here is another triumphant return to posting.

This is a sketch I did of a robot armed boy trying to open a pickle jar. I named him Evan after my old bosses son. I think he kind of looks like the character I drew... minus the Robot arms of course. Funny thing about the picture is I make no statement that the jar Evan is trying to open is pickle jar. It could be pickled herring or sour kraut, dare I say peanut butter. But everybody who sees it says pickle jar.

That's it from me for now. I beg your patience, I will try my best to get back to posting on a regular basis.

Friday, May 15, 2009

Where the hell have I been?

Where the hell have you been?

Best response to a query or an insult is to repeat it as a question and then re-repeat it as a question/statement.

ex 1:

Person One: "You stink."

Person Two: "I stink? You stink!"

Simple as that

ex 2:

Person One: "Where the hell have you been?"

Person Two: "Where the hell have I been? Where the hell have you been?!


I have some stuff to post but I have been a bit wrapped up in other stuff lately. I will post very soon. I have not forgotten about you special people who check my stuff out. I love you all. Yes I do... Oh yes I do. Who loves you? I do. (I suggest that you re-read the last bit in the style of voice people reserve for talking to a new born in, or their precious little toy dogs named fifi or popo.)

Have a great long weekend. Party hard and always remember...

It's better to burn out, than to fade away.

-The Kurgan (Highlander)

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Procrastination Evisceration

I have lived in the same area near Corydon for about three years now. This piece of graffiti has been on this bus stop for almost all that time. Every morning as I walk to work. Yes I am one of the fortunate few who can walk to work, as I was saying... Every morning as I walk to work I walk by this bus stop and look at this smiling face and I say to myself "God I really need to snap a shot of that." Well usually I forget and go on with life and then winter hits and there is not enough light at 8:30 in the morning to get the shot. So a couple of days ago I got the old Pentax out and went on a sunny morning and snapped some shots. That is another thing to remove from the list of things to do in life.

-Make Baby. CHECK

-Take snap shot of bus stop graffiti. CHECK

I hope everyone who lives in a brutal winter wasteland is enjoying and taking advantage of this great spring weather. It will be gone before you know it.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

My Mail Me Art Odyssey

Man what a trip. T think the very first blog post I ever did has been published in a book. Not only that but it has been displayed in a Gallery in London England and may or may not have sold. I'm not too concerned with that though. The recognition of my work is my real satisfaction. Drawing is a very personal thing. When I need to shut off and expel the bizarre ideas and thought from inside my cranium it is one of the most therapeutic things I can do. I would be a complete liar if I said that peoples response to my work did not effect me. The truth is I do not have much exposure at the moment which is a blessing and a curse. But I am always curious to know what people think of my work. I spend so much time doing it with little to no feedback, with the exception of friends and family. So it is nice to know that people of artistic inclination on the other side of the ocean see my work fit to be placed among some very talented artist.

You can view the Mail Me Art gallery in London here:

Since my piece was double sided I believe it is hanging from the ceiling so you can't really see it but the other pieces are superb, so I encourage you to check out the photos.

My Good friend Adrian Shum did find and image of my piece here:

If my piece has not sold yet, it will soon be put up for auction on the web I will let you guys/gals know in case you are interested in purchasing a piece of original art.

If you are interested in purchasing the book you can find it here:

It was compiled by a man named Darren Di Lieto. He runs an illustration web portal called the Little Chimp Society. I'm totally biased but it's a sweet site check it out.


If you are interested in participating you can check out the Mail Me Art website here:

I have started my second submission I will post it as soon as it is done.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

I have been uber busy the last little while. So I found this sketch I scanned in of my Grandfather and I. He was a fun guy and really good at carpentry. He wanted so bad that I like carpentry as well. To this very day I still can't remember the formula for concrete. I feel bad because he tried to teach me all about practical skills like building things... all sorts of things. I on the other hand just wanted to read Dragonlance books at the time. I know some of you feel my pain, and others are thinking "What the hell is Dragonlance?"

Dragonlance is lame but it got me into reading, I had no love for books prior to reading Dragonlance and have transitioned into reading about all sorts of subjects not just fantasy. But I do owe the Dragonlance novels a big thank you for being my gateway series into many more interesting things.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Chuck Porter

This is a sketch I did the other night at a SoapScum show. The character's name is Chuck Porter and bounty hunter. He also talks like Elmer Fudd. It is a great show this Season called Scum City and it is a Crime Soap Opera. I would encourage anyone in Winnipeg to check this out it is Monday's at 8:00pm at the Park Theatre on South Osbourne. Tickets are 5 dollars. The sketch was done in my moleskin with a Tul Pen. It was scanned in and colored in photoshop.

Tuesday, March 31, 2009


These are two African style masks I drew on the front and back of my idea book at work.
I recently bought a book on African masks, I started researching them for a design project when I was in first year design and I have always liked them so recently I have found myself sketching them and trying to develop new masks out of the bits and pieces of the real ones.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Vulture Lady

I love having a sketchbook on me.

Last Sunday Beth and I were out for breakfast. This breakfast joint that we frequent had quite the line up and while we were waiting Beth pointed this lady out to me. The lady was wearing a checkered black and gray shirt with a huge puffy collar, she had a bucket hat on and had certain birdlike mannerisms. Really and truly, the more you looked at her the more birdlike she seamed, because of her collar she looked like a specific kind of bird. So when we finally got to sit down I whipped out my sketchbook and put pen to paper. I added some of the surrounding environment but I could not remember what the painting looked like behind her so I gave a shout out to Across the Universe.

I think I might do a larger version of this sketch.

It was done in my Moleskin with my Tul pen and watercoloured later at home.

I will be making an exciting post soon so check back in the next couple of weeks for BIG NEWS.

Not as big as the pregnancy thing but pretty big.

Sunday, March 22, 2009

The Valiant James Returns with a Sketch of Old Tweety

Wowwy wow wow wow... Has it been a long time or what?

So much has happened in the past couple of months and I have neglected my blogging something fierce.

Why do you ask?

I'm a gonna tell you.

Where to start...

Firstly I have recently tried to re-capture my ability to communicate in French. I graduated almost a decade ago with a French diploma from Silver Heights Collegiate (No longer in existence). Since that time I have used my french never. My wife and I had plans of moving to Montreal in the next year so we thought "Let's update our French." So that is exactly what we did. We went to a institute called Alliance Francais and started to learn french again. It has been a very rewarding experience not only because my early schooling has allowed me to pick up the language quite fast, but also because my teacher turned to be from the Congo. As it turns out he is the chairman for an anti-war organization called Hand in Hand for Peace. He needed help organizing and producing an updated video to play after he finished giving speeches about the problems the Congo is experiencing. I have done what I can and in the last couple of weeks I have helped him produce a 13 minute long photo-montage/documentary.

While doing this the wound on the side of my head has closed up and left me with a healthy scar. I will have the rest of the nevus sebaceous removed in another 7 months.

Speaking of 7 months, Beth and I are putting our plans for Montreal on hold. We still have intentions of going but we have to postpone due to pregnancy.

Yeah you heard me right. Beth and I are having a Baby! So I hope you can forgive the radio silence for the last while but I have needed some time to gather myself and come to terms with the fact that I have some serious responsibility coming my way.

I'd like to thank all the friends and family to this date who have been amazingly supportive of Beth and I. It all seems less daunting thanks to you all.

In closing, I would like to thank everyone who has checked back here and silently cursed me for not updating. I will do my best to keep fresh sketches and art pieces a flowing through this blog... site... thing...

Friday, February 20, 2009

Kazu Caricature

Kazu Kibuishi is a great man.

I came across his work about two years ago through the Flight Anthology books, from there I found his blog and have bought and read his Graphic Novels. I like his style of drawing, it is simple and to the point, it communicates quickly and easily. A lot of detail and atmosphere is added through the colouring coupled with subtle texturing his work is second to none right now. Just as important as his graphic style is his story. He tells very engaging and exciting stories that do not dissapoint. He has just wrapped up the sequel to his first colour Graphic Novel Amulet. I am pumped. I went to the Schoolastic site the other day and I watched and interview with him on my lunch break at work. While doing that I did a quick caricature sketch of him. It is not accurate enough to do the man justice but I liked something about it so I gave it some colour and here it is. Enjoy.

Thursday, February 5, 2009

HellBoy II

Here is the oil painting I have been mentioning. I had a lot of fun painting this. It was a great learning experience. Only problem is oils are messy and hard to clean up. I would suggest using a paper palette.

Is it me or is life just crazy? and not just crazy but CRAZY!

Just me?

I thought so.

Monday, February 2, 2009

Angelina est tres Jolie

I have been working on doing caricatures lately. I chose to try Angelina Jolie this time because it is harder for me to draw women and I needed somebody with prominent features and she fit the bill. I must say caricatures are fun until you find somebody who is without character. And some people are they have no features that stand out, it can be painful to work with but I'm getting better and better with every drawing. This is another quick sketch from my moleskin coloured in photoshop.

Friday, January 30, 2009

Brain Goiter

I just had some surgery to remove a growth from the side of my head. It is called Nevus Sebaceous and had some health risks. So I had it removed. You can see me above with some civil war style head bandaging. I sketched out an artists rendering of what the growth might have become in time.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009


This is a painting I did for my mother over the holidays. It is based on a sketch she liked that I posted last year. I am not the hugest fan of acrylics. I have already finished another painting which I did in oil and had a much better time with. I think I'm going to keep up with oils for a bit. They are fun and forgiving. I will post my oil painting as soon as I have photographed it and I have some Soap Scum photos to put up as well. Stay tuned.

Friday, January 16, 2009


[Update] I found out the name of the guy. It is John Krasinski. Here is a photo for comparison.

I may be doing some caricature work in the future so I've been practicing a little bit. I can't remember who this was supposed to be I should really start writing down who these people are but I'm pretty happy with the end result I just have to work on my speed.

The sketch is out of my moleskin and the colouring was done in photoshop.