Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Sketchbook Project Page34


This is a sketch of the lobby of the Chateaux Laurier in Ottawa. I was there for the Governor General's Awards for Excellence in Teaching Canadian History. It was a good time, I drew this sketch while sitting in a room full of Yousuf Karsh photos. He apparently used to live in the hotel itself. If any of you ever get the Chance to visit Canada's capital city, do so, it is a lovely place.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Sketchbook Project Page33

You may recognize this kid he has been on the web quite a bit lip synching to popular music. I get a real kick out of him and have done many drawings of him in varying states of intense emotion. I have to scan them in but I will show them to you all when I get the chance to do so. This is the very first doodle I did of him and it is taped into my sketchbook for the sketchbook project. It is the only sketch done with blue ink.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Sketchbook Project Page32

I call this one TECHNOLOVE these two were sitting at a local cafe bumping Iphones '"if you know what I mean?" so I drawred them, drawred them real good. That's right! nobody is safe, I could be drawring you right now...

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Not the most successful sketch of a bunny I have ever done but what are you going to do. Sometimes your hand and brain don't sync up. At least I got to draw some Giant Carrots.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

What Kalamafraz is?

I just got a comment from a woman who follows my blog named Sophia.

OK, now I absoLUTELY love this one. Totally rock on, James! SwweeEETT! I again, love your detail, but your creative mind functions in a entirely different world....and I SO love it! :D

Now, nothing is more of an ego boost than someone you don't personally know, and I mean that in the "we have not come within physical contact distance of each other for 6 months to umpteen years" sense complements my work. Be it a sketch or a finished piece. This comment really caught my eye because it made specific reference towards an "entirely different world". This is relevant because... I invented the word Kalamafraz about 5 years ago, but I have not really had a decent definition of what Kalamafraz is.

Stated plainly it is an entirely different world. Kalamafraz is my world, it is where I go when people talk too long an I can't concentrate anymore, It's where I dream and daydream. I don't think it would be fair to call it an escape even though I could escape there if I wanted to. It would be more accurate to say I'm drawn into Kalamafraz and let me tell you it is quite the place to be. I'm afraid that I can't take any of you with me there. Only I can go to Kalamafraz, however I can take down what I see while I'm there. As an explorer it is my duty to document the strange landscapes, the unusual creatures and the usual creatures, the uncanny and the absolutely mundane. That is Kalamafraz in a nutshell (pause for inevitable Austin Powers quote).

My entirely different world is entirely mine and mine alone, my own... my prrrecious. I am quite happy to share what I see in Kalamafraz with everyone though, so thanks to everyone for coming by and checking out my wild and weird ways, and thank you Sophia for instigating this random burst of writing from yours truly.

The End... but not really.

OK, game time. weirdest combination of movies you have ever watched back to back. (Can't be at home must have done this in a movie Theatre/Drive-In.)



Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon followed by Oh Brother Where Art Thou?

Sketchbook Project Page29

I realized I forgot to post my second steampunk sketch here. Well here it is enjoy. Pretty girl with a laser gun riding a zeppelin. That is just boat loads of awesome to me. I hope everybody is making the extra effort to keep it real this winter, or Summer if you are on the other side of the Planet. I spent a year in New Zealand a long time ago and I celebrated Christmas in +25 °C on a lake (unfrozen) with a keg of beer, seafood BBQ and a basket full of puppies. It was fun but there is nothing like thigh-deep snow, -50 °C, cross country skiing and some eggnog.

Monday, December 13, 2010

Sketchbook Project Page30

This is the last of my Steampunk drawings from my sketchbook for The Sketchbook Project. Took a while to add the environment. But alas here it is and more drawings to come.

I like to acknowledge people from towns, cities or countries I am relatively unfamiliar with who log on to check my stuff out. So here is a random thanks that goes out to the town of Outremont who is among the top towns/cities in Canada that consistently check out my shtuff. You're a gem. Thanks also to Google analytics which let's me know where people are viewing my stuff from.

Monday, December 6, 2010

SoapScum: The Western

This is the poster I did for SoapScum's newest Opus "The Western"

It opens January 24th and with continue every Monday night. Only $8 per ticket with multi-passes available. Come out and participate in Winnipeg's vibrant improv community.
If you see me at a show and tell me how much you love my poster I'll give you a free kiss.

Taking a Break? Hell No!

Well I'd like to say the lull in my blog was planned, but I got wrapped up in tons of work and life related events and as usual have neglected my blog. My unwavering portal to nowhere and everywhere. To no one and everyone. I can't believe how guilty I feel when I don't keep this up. By all levels of thought it really shouldn't matter whether I do or not but for some strange reason it does, to me at least. I have completed some projects but some I can not post as they are Christmas presents or there are just too many damn drawings to scan. But I will eventually scan everything and get it posted.

The World Must See What I Do!

We'll I have a sketch to finish in my Sketchbook Project sketchbook... Man I really lost momentum on that one. I have about 14 pages left and only just over a Month to finish and get the thing sent...

My wife is being really silly right now and I love it. She is the very best of people, I'm quite lucky.

Well as I said I'm off, keep an eye out for more stuff, I'll try and get it posted as soon as possible. Oh, I have started working as Art Director For Kayak: Canada's History Magazine for Kids. My first issue as Art Director arrives in mailboxes and on newsstands in February so keep an eye out for it.

Hugs and Kisses and Merry Quanza.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Sketchbook Project Page28


Here is an Air Pirate. He's so Steampunk.

I just watched Porco Rosso the yesterday at the suggestion of my friend Justin Currie. Great film especially if you like Air Pirates. So here is my sketch of what an Air Pirate might look like. I particularly like his pencil mustache very Rhett Butler.

I'll be back to posting more again. I had to go on a business trip for Canada's History. A west coast swing if you will. It was good fun but a lot of stuff was packed into a few days. I saw some seriously giant coy fish, but the people who owned them didn't warm to the idea of me catching one with my bare hands and eating it. I did ride on a double decker bus which is something I can cross off my bucket list. Close to finishing The Western poster for the upcoming SoapScum show I'll post it after a few tweeks.

Monday, October 18, 2010

The Western: 6 Episode Pass

My sisters new improv show is coming up and I am working on some new posters and promotional material. Here are the 6 episode punch card one side the sherif [edit: Sheriff] star the other side a gun cylinder that can be punched for every show you attend. Quite clever I must say I wish it was my idea. The owner of The Park Theatre came up with it but I think the execution is quite nice in this case. Thanks to my lovely wife for coming up with the colour scheme.

Friday, October 15, 2010


Here is a drawing of a tweed wearing gent plummeting down a hill on a steam powered velocipede.


(Latin for "fast foot") is an umbrella term for any human-powered land vehicle with one or more wheels. The most common type of velocipede today is the bicycle.

I've been reading and watching a lot of Steampunk material lately. I have even taken to calling things that I think are neat "steampunk" even if by definition they are not. It drives my wife crazy. Which in turn makes it more enjoyable for me. It's so steampunk.

As with many of my sketches I have intentions of working this up into a larger finished piece so keep and eye out for it.

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Sketchbook Project Page26-27

This is a page I did of a bunch of monkey's. I don't think this will surprise most people as I draw monkey's and their bits quite a lot. I have to start digging into my sketchbook for the sketchbook project I accidentally left it in my bag at my in-laws and have not put anything in it for a while. I want to get it done I'm getting to that point where I want to start doing other projects and that is dangerous for me. Good thing is I know what I want to sketch in it next... but you will all have to wait.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

A Conversation with Scott Chantler about Two Generals

Listen to the podcast here:

This is the second part of my interview with acclaimed graphic novelist and illustrator Scott Chantler. Here we discuss Scott's newest graphic novel Two Generals a non fiction account of his grandfathers experiences in WWII. I had great time talking with Scott my first interview was my very first podcast and in my opinion I was a bit stiff. I relax in this interview and Scott opens up and gives some very interesting information about his new book.

Hope you enjoy.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Wolverine Monkey!

Drew this at art club the other day. Took it home and lined it and coloured it in Illustrator. I think I need to work the colour a lot more but it will do for now.

Sketchbook Project Page25


This is a dramatization of the transgenic goat I saw in Ottawa. No word of a lie the scientists out east have spliced spider genes into goat genes so that the goat will produce silk in its milk. They then milk the goat and extract the silk from its milk and use this very powerful silk to produce aerospace parts and to help improve things like kevlar body armor. The Future is Now!

Friday, September 24, 2010

A Conversation with Scott Chantler About The Northwest Passage and Two Generals

Listen to the podcast here on the Canada's History website.

I Just Posted My first ever podcast interview with Comic Artist Scott Chantler. I have done a two part interview with him about The Annotated Northwest Passage, a novel he produce in 2007. It is about the adventures of explorer Charles Lord in Rupert's Land in 1755. Scott took the time to speak to me about the process that went into having this book produced in the states and the research he had to do to make the story believable.

I was really nervous to talk to him as I am quite a big fan but as the conversation went on I relax a fare amount and get about as fan boy as you can get. I edited out the worst parts for all our sakes.

The Second part of the Interview concerns his newest graphic novel Two Generals. This is a non fiction graphic novel based on Scott's grandfathers war time diary. The diary deals with the D-Day invasion and the subsequent months afterward. This is the better part of the interview as I was way more relaxed but will not be released for another couple of weeks. Scott's book comes out on the 12th of October, 2010. The second podcast will come out about a week prior.

I don't know that you will be hearing much from me podcast-wise as there are not that many history based comics out there but if more come along you will be hearing my awkward voice more and more.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Sketchbook Project Page24


This is a very happy moment for me one of the last days I stayed at my sisters in Ottawa I drank a beer and sat and sketched a section of her backyard. I had such a great time out there it was one of the most relaxing times of my summer.

Friday, September 17, 2010

Sketchbook Project Page23


This squirrel is NUTZ!!

Have a great weekend everybody, I drew this while flying to Ottawa to visit my sister. Just so you know.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Sketchbook Project Page22


I really enjoy drawing frog in knights helmets. Go figure. No real reason exists no child hood memories it just makes me smile. "You lift that sword, you beautiful warty bastard!"

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Doodle Monkey in Technicolor!


Here is a digital colour sketch of one of the doodle monkeys I did. I like how it turned out thought I do need to work on some ways to make things look a bit smoother. In defense of this piece I did bust it out pretty quick. Hope you likes.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Sketchbook Project Page21


This is a perspective drawing of people living in a giant tree. Or tiny, tiny people in regular tree. The one thing it isn't is really, really tiny people in a small tree.

Friday, September 10, 2010

Sketchbook Project Page20


This is an alien creature I drew it is an exercise in trying to create something with an interesting shape. I think this creature looks really neat and warrants some further explorations. My sketchbook is really coming along I expect to be finished in about 2 months. Which will give me enough time to work on the cover and send it into the Brooklyn Art Library.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Rocket Pack Jack


This is a character that I'm becoming very fond of. his name is Rocket Pack Jack. I love when you draw a character at random and a clever and catchy name just assumes the character. Sometimes it is hard and sometimes it is just effortless. This character now looks very little like this drawing in my head I will have to work him up but that is what sketches are for. They are these starting points of reference for bigger and better ideas.

I would like to give a huge shout out to Thornhill Ontario. My analytics program only tells me what city is viewing my blog but Thornhill is way up there right now. Winnipeg is my hometown and is undefeated in the amount of people who come to my blog and check it out. Thornhill is getting up there and is definitely closing on Calgary which is the second largest number of people who check out my stuff. So Again person or people from Thornhill Ontario. Thankyou for spending time on my blog and checking out what I do.

Tuesday, August 31, 2010


This is the halfway point in my sketchbook for the Sketchbook Project. It is turning out quite well and I think I'll be able to wrap it up in the next month or so.

Thanks to everybody who checks my stuff out and a special shout out to Brazilian people who seem to dig my stuff. You Rock.

Monday, August 23, 2010

Doodle Monkey


So I got involved in the collaboration project called "Doodle Swap" at the same time I also got involved in the Sketchbook Project. As you all know I've been very gung ho about the SB project so much so I forgot to participate in the doodle swap. Well I kind of screwed things up for 9 other people who were expecting doodles from me. I didn't even remember until I got an email from the project coordinator asking me where my doodles were, and that they were 25 days late.

I feel like an ass.

In the case of non business related projects I'm a firm believer in better late than never. So here are 9 doodles of a monkey and a banana. These puppies will soon be in the mail with an apology from myself for not keeping track of what projects I have on the go.

Friday, August 20, 2010

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Sketchbook Project Page16


Sketches of Lily doing a variety of activities that 11 month olds are prone to do.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Sketchbook Project Page15


This is a gathering of things I was eating and looking at at Sushi Gen, a sushi joint across the street from where I work. It has since come under new management and was originally called Sushi 101. I don't often have the cash to go there but when I do I enjoy it very much.

I just got back from a great trip to Ottawa to visit my sister. She and her family of which there are many showed Beth, Lily and I a great time. There was running in the morning, museums and parks in the afternoon and great food and beer in the evenings. A great time was had by all. Now it is back to sketching, working and renovating.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Sketchbook Project Page14


A take on the line from Ridley Scott's "Robin Hood". The line goes something like this, "Rise and Rise again until lambs become lions." I thought this was a funny visual and it worked with the altered phrase. I'll try and post something in colour soon it's getting a little black and white up in here.

I'm off to Ottawa for ten days to visit my Sister. We have not seen much of each other for about 10 years other than conversing via video chat. I should be thankful for that, 100 years ago we would only have letters. It's strange watching your family specifically your nieces and nephew grow up through the internet, I'm very excited to see them all, especially the twins who I have never met.

I'll try and post while I'm on Vaca. That's what we hipsters call it... Vaca.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

It's a boy!

My two most consistent comment writers have decided the duck is a boy! Hazzah! Thank you both for your comments.

Friday, July 30, 2010

Sketchbook Project Page13


Bah Bah Bah Buuuuhhhmmmm!

Number 13, This is a dragon fly that landed on my leg while I was sketching my drawing number 12. I really like dragonflies and that is about that. the duck character was a sketch I doodled on a post it note. This post it note I taped into my sketchbook and swiftly drew a profile of my original. I'm thinking about grabbing some clay or something and making a little model of this duck character. I've grown quite fond of him or her.

Let's put it up to a vote is the duck character a boy or a girl? Most Votes in the comments section decides. Only one vote per person people.

Have a great august long weekend.


Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Sketchbook Project Page12


Tree out in front of where I work. It is a beautiful old tree and provides a good deal of shade for those who sit under it eating their lunches.

Monday, July 26, 2010

Sketchbook Project Page11


I would love to have a house on the back of a giant slug. I guess it would be a slug? I don't think it could be a snail since it is somebody else's home on its back. Any thoughts?

Friday, July 23, 2010

Jolly Roger Desktop Finished


I have finished it and it is up on the Canada's History website you can download it at 3 different screen sizes. Please drop by and download it, while your there feel free to browse around and learn more about our nation vibrant history.

Sketchbook Project Page10


Numero 10. I love airships I think my love affair with them started when I saw The Adventures of Baron Munchausen. You know, when he escaped from that town in Austria by sewing the undergarments of all the ladies in the city together to create a giant balloon, then attaching them to a ship and using hot air to fill the balloon so they could fly away. Genius! I also like the lightning pirated in the movie Stardust. This is my interpretation.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Sketchbook Project Page9


Drawing number 9. This one is a bit weird but if it stays in my head life gets a bit strange for me.

Right... Before you start asking why Hitler would think about Unicorns when he poops, I'd ask you to question "Why wouldn't he?". Then I would tell you this gent is in-fact not Hitler but J. Jonah Jameson for Spiderman and J. J. can do whatever he bloody well likes.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Sketchbook Project Page8


This is my parents dog Jack he likes to attack people with love and affection. He get confused sometimes when people don't realize how charming he is when he sticks his face in their crotches and then jumps up and licks their faces. We have much in common. Two peas in a pod we are, comrades, amigos, brother in arms (snouts in Jacks case). As you can tell I do not have much to say today, so I will bid you all adieu until next I post.

Friday, July 16, 2010

Ramnocerous Final


Final painting for Deviant Art: Winnipeg Art Group project. Sketched on paper scanned in and painted over the span of a week on my off time.

I'm happy with my digital painting progress and I'm thankful for projects like this that give me a reason to do paintings like this.

I absolutely love the digital medium it really opens the boundaries of traditional mediums, in both mess and time. On the flip side I can't wait to get my oil paints back out and continue on my Folkfest series.

I hope the summer is going well for everyone. Mine has sped by with renovations to my new home my wife and child and work. I'm still trying to get out into the sun on the occasion and slow down every now and then, it is important for my health and my sanity.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Sketchbook Project Page6


This is a sketch of my baby girl Lily. She had just learned to pull herself up onto things. She is very close to standing on her own and she loves to play on her little toy piano. We are getting ever closer to being able to move into our house. I hope you can all come and visit when it is done.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Sketchbook Project Page5


This line is from a song I listened to once and I like the way it sounded. I've become a fan of Tea over the last couple of years, I have my wife to thank for that. If you can believe it I spent an entire year in New Zealand refusing tea. I think in hind sight that was a mistake. Tea is a great social activity. And by refusing it I think it puts up a slight barrier even if you don't mean it to. And you can make tea out of almost anything. I want to try stinging nettle tea. Sounds awful but it might be good. I'll try anything once.

Friday, July 9, 2010

Ramnocerous Sketch

This is a Sketch for a collaborative art piece I have been working on I will post the final shortly.

Have a great weekend everybody, I'm going to FolkFest this Sunday, it's not the whole week but it's still going to be righteous.

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Sketchbook Project Page4


Page number four from my sketchbook project. I'm having a blast with this project. Here's an update on the art front, I have not had any time to do traditional painting. This is stalling my FolkFest series which saddens me because I really like the progress I was making. I do have access to digital media and sketchbooks though so I am still staying sharp in some respects. I have just taken part in a collaborative project started by Justin Currie that involves a bunch of local winnipeg artists drawing creatures of various sizes them placing them in order of who eats who. I think it is a great idea and have just completed my creature and sent it off. I'll post it here soon for you to view. Well I have a few more happy thoughts to sketch up so I'll talk to you all real soon.

Oh! also, my artwork for my second submission to Mail Me Art will be going up for auction July 30th. Thanks to Tim Curley who purchased my work last time. Only negative to that was Mail Me Art sent the work to him prior to the auction. so this time my work will go up in the Gallery in London, England. Very exciting. I'll keep you all posted as to whether or not the painting makes it into the second book they are going to publish.

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

How Hamburger Patties are Made

Hamburger Patty

Well why not?

This isn't any less grotesque than how our food is actually prepared for us anyway. And this way we get giant robots.

Cows scare me anyway, so stomp the yard giant robot, stomp the yard.

Monday, July 5, 2010

Sketchbook Project Page3


Here is the third drawing. Notice a pattern? well it does not extend throughout the entire sketchbook. I thought about doing that but the truth is I draw on both sides of the page in my sketchbooks. so that is about 100 pages being restricted to a theme inside of a theme. Now it would be challenging to do that but I'm more interested in having fun and it has been fun so far. I did about a million renovations on mine and my sisters house this weekend so I did not get a chance to get any sketching done this week so I'm going to try and pick up the slack this week.

I hope everybody had a wonderful Canada Day. I know I did.

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Sketchbook Project Page2


Here is the second drawing from my sketchbook for the Sketchbook Project I'm very happy with it and how a good portion of these drawing are turning out. Hope to post more shortly.

My house renovations are coming along nicely my wife is working like a dog and I am trying to help out as much as I can but I hope she lets herself get some rest soon.

Friday, June 25, 2010

Sketchbook Project Page1

Sketchbook Project Page1

Whoa! It has been a while. Well between work, marriage, a baby, collisions with automobiles and new houses; it has proven difficult to keep my blog updated. Here is the first page of my Sketchbook for the Sketchbook Project. It is a wonderful project run by the Brooklyn Art Library. When I have completed the book before January 15th. I must post it to the library and they will keep it on permanent display for ever! It will also go on tour around the states. I have 23 pages sketched out so far so I will be scanning and posting these to help keep the old blog updated. I would only encourage people to take part in this it is a wonderful project with thousands of people participating.

Monday, June 7, 2010


General-Amazo-flat, originally uploaded by James Gillespie.

This is a lined version of General Amazo with flat colours placed. I can now go over and lay in the shadows and highlights and textures to give him some more depth. I have sketched and lined and coloured this character entirely in photoshop. I like it for sketching and colouring but I have to admit using and intuos to do the line work is challenging. I think I would prefer a cintiq for that work. Please Lord let tablet based technology come down in price. Amen.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

General Amazo

General-Amazo, originally uploaded by James Gillespie.

This is a Sketch I am doing of a character invented by my friend Joel. I really liked the Name General Amazo which was what Joel had come up with. I asked him what he would look like and he said "Prussian" so I made him so but without pants. Which is pure comedy as far as I am concerned. I'll keep you posted with the progress.

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Jolly Roger

Jolly Roger

This is a digital painting of the Jolly Roger flag done by myself to help promote the up coming Canada's History Issue about Pirates. You can see how it is used on our website here you will have to scroll through the main image slide to find it. I am going to refine it over the next couple of days and turn it into a desktop so stay tuned to Canada's History so you can download it.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Folkfest Storm Trooper

folkfest storm trooper, originally uploaded by James Gillespie.

Storm Trooper painting I am finishing up. I love this cause it really happened some dude was in full Storm Trooper regalia in 2007 and Beth snapped shot. How very fortunate for me.

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Folkfest Hula Painting

folkfest hula painting, originally uploaded by James Gillespie.

Progress shot of a painting I am working on the background is done in gouache and the base layers have been laid down in oil, still a ways to go with this one. the skin tones need to be added and a stronger sense of light and dark in the main character needs to be established. I have another in the works as well that I will post shortly.

Hope everybody is enjoying their long weekend.

I am healing nicely from hitting a car that cut me off on Wednesday. Lesson for everybody. Wear a helmet it will save your life.