Hot Rods by Dave

My old friend Dave Philhower owns a hot rod garage in Simi Valley, CA.  Back when Dave and I were working together in Pasadena, he was building race car chassis and setting up cars for a variety of  customers.  Most weekends when he wasn’t fabricating props for the movie industry where we worked, he had some car in the driveway.  We are now collaborating on some marketing materials for his business, starting with t-shirt designs and some other unique projects to be announced.  Dave’s shop truck is a ’66 Chevy Suburban that he is currently painting.  We chose to immortalize the ’66 and some other vehicles Dave either owns or has worked on.  Fun stuff!  I am creating them with vector illustrations from photo reference.  I like the process of reducing color photos to a very minimalist black and white illustration.  They will look great on t-shirts!


Dave’s site is


Farmers’ Market poster complete!

After 4 visits to Farmers’ Markets and one local fruit/veggie stand (thanks Mark’s NW Fresh Produce!), I got enough images to satisfy my client.  My original concept for a clean, simple look was overwritten after I posted my entire photo collection from 3 different Farmers’ Markets.  The client liked all of them, so we shuffled things around until we had a nice composition with room for some text in the middle and a place for attaching a map to the closest Farmers’ Market.  A fun project!  It’s currently at the printer.  Looking forward to seeing the image at full 48×72 size!

Did you get your 5 a day?

Farmers’ Market Poster

Today’s task is a quick turnaround poster for Farmers’ Markets in So Cal.  I clicked through all of the images I have on hand to see if anything ignited a spark.  My neighbor has a fruit stand nearby, so I ran over and picked up a good representation of things I know will grow in southern California.  Then I grabbed a small basket from the kitchen shelf and threw it all together on the railing of our deck.  The weather is not southern California-like right now, but the grey sky makes better lighting.  The rain water on the railing + the uber-green grass and foliage behind may have to go.  This one is still in process.  I’ll post the finished product after some further direction from my client.

Did you get your Five today?

The lure of cast iron

dutch oven goodness

The weather in Oregon cleared just enough to warrant a camping trip.  We hedged our bets and fled to north central Oregon, where Mt. Hood kindly parted the clouds enough that we all got some color.  Camping junkie that I am, I had enough tents, mattress pads and cooking equipment to outfit our hardy band of pioneers.  We know enough to plan our trip around our stomachs.  The food was spectacular.  I got to show off with two dutch oven desserts.  Friday night was “Death by Chocolate” a dump cake derivative that is still not perfected.  Saturday was Cherry Cobbler.  It was sublime.  We brought whipped cream to top it.  The cobbler lasted about 15 minutes.  Here are the details:

That’s it.  2 ingredients.  Start by heating coals.  I use 16 on the top of my 8 qt. dutch oven and 9 on the bottom.  I start the coals in a charcoal chimney.  Preheat the dutch oven by setting it on top of the chimney.  Pour the cherry pie filling into the dutch oven (still sitting on the chimney).   The recipes I saw online suggested that the topping won’t bake completely if the pie filling isn’t warm when you start.  Just keep an eye on it because it will get hot on that chimney and scorch the cherries.  Remove if it starts bubbling.
While the coals were heating, I opened both packages of biscuit mix and emptied them into a 1 gal ziploc bag, along with 1 cup of water.  I sealed the bag and kneaded until the mix was dough.  Open the bag and spoon out the dough onto the cherry pie filling, leaving a little room between dumplings for the filling to peak through.  Place the lid on your dutch oven and divide the coals as described above.  If your coal count is the same as mine, your cobbler will be perfectly browned in 20 minutes if you leave the lid on and don’t check it.  Serve with whipped cream if you have it.

Giving birth

I have a good excuse for not posting anything since April.  The need to connect this blog to my website and portfolio meant some changes to the website design.  I was getting tired of the blacked out look of the old design.  In the spirit of the Weeping Ticonderoga, I have placed the Dixon Ticonderoga #2 in a prominent place in the header of my site design.  I also weeded through the artwork and updated with some more recent projects, leaving my perennial favorites intact.  The redesign went well until upload time where Dreamweaver did not want to cooperate with the ftp blah blah blah…  But it all worked out in the end and it’s up and live.  So, if for some reason you stumbled across this blog without accessing it through my website, here is the link to a good cache of my artwork:

The Scary Tree

Would you wear this forever?

My friend Mark has been asking for a tattoo design for several years now.  He wants a scary tree.  Since the original request, he has asked to include some other things including the names of his family to be included in the design.  While I don’t mind drawing trees, scary trees with childrens’ names kinda threw me.

I put it off for a long time, claiming to be busy.  This went on until he recently caught me goofing off.  Mark’s brother, Dave called with a frantic story about a guy hauling a load of scrap metal that reportedly included a vintage Chevy truck.  Dave and I are both real suckers for old trucks (as is evidenced by the amount of rusted vehicles that occupy both our places).  The thought that one would be going to scrap was too much to bear, so I ran out the door and drove to the highway, positioning my truck at the top of an onramp waiting for the junk to drive by.  While I’m sitting there, I’m composing in my mind what I’ll tell the cop that for sure is going to stop, never mind what I’m going to do to flag down some toothless scrapper and convince him to let me have his old truck, before I face certain divorce and public ridicule for bringing another junky truck home.  Luckily the scrapper must have broken down or turned off the highway before he got to where I was. When I got home, the accusatory e-mail was waiting, and I had to draw the tree.  This may not be the final version of the scary tree tattoo, but it’s the first draft with all the components Mark asked for.  Except the Swiss flag and some other weird stuff.

Only about 5 years late

Hello blogworld!  Does everyone write an inaugural post like this?  Forgive me while I get up to speed with blogging.  This blog will evolve as I explore.  Thanks for dropping by.  I hope I eventually have something to say or show that provokes thought.  Good or bad!  Comments welcome.