Rob's Blog

Rough pencil art for one of my upcoming Swamp books! – September 16tgh, 2016

by on Sep.16, 2016, under Cartooning

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Navigating a year of all sorts of difficulties, I caught up on a bunch of projects in August so i could concentrate on 4 Swampy books in September. Two got delayed after my father’s death. I’ll post various stages of the various pages of the various books here. Here are two roughed pages for a book of the Fisher House (A place to stay for military service families) at Eglin Air Force Base near Pensacola.

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Rough sketches of coloring pages I’m working on! – September 15th, 2016

by on Sep.15, 2016, under Cartooning

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I’m working on a very varied lot of projects right now. This is one of those. Rough pencils involvingĀ  fishing and caring for the fishing areas. These coloring pages are for a larger project I’m working on.

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New Doggie Cartoons by me! – September 13th, 2016

by on Sep.12, 2016, under Cartooning

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During a long meeting i was a part of i got a bunch of doggie drawings done of Bunji Glover for Two Hens and a Hound in Lakeland.

 

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My newest illustration: Fun with Dick van Dyke! – September 9th, 2016

by on Sep.09, 2016, under Caricatures, Cartooning, Celebrity Illustrations

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Here’s my painted watercolor version of the little boy and Dick van Dyke and a penguin.

This is for the family of the little boy they have adopted. The couple was fostering the child due to the actual parent’s drug issues. The child became available for adoption and the two 57 year olds decided to start a new life with a young one. This is for a celebration party for the adoption.

This was done with watercolor on board. Had a lot of trouble with the stripes and wish I’d used color pencil to mark them.

 

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My Illustration of Little Boy & Dick van Dyke! – September 8th, 2016

by on Sep.08, 2016, under Caricatures, Cartooning, Celebrity Illustrations

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Just finished meeting of the Friends of Silver Springs State Park & got some work done!

The little boy I drew, I am told, starts laughing & getting extremely excited anytime dick van Dyke appears on a TV screen. It started while he watched, the film, ‘Mary Poppins’. The parents have shown him other videos of van Dyke and the reaction is the same. The boy is all of a year and a half old.

Penciled and prepped during the meeting this illustration of a young child person who has a fascination with the perpetual energetic Dick van Dyke. This is the prep before I add watercolor. I’ll post the finished painting tomorrow.

Also pencilled and inked a brilliant political cartoon, too. Ken Culotta called me before the meeting with the gag. Finish of that can be seen in the areas I post those. šŸ˜€

 

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Happy Birthday, Amber Thomas!!! – September 7th, 2016

by on Sep.07, 2016, under Cartooning

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Hope you had a Happy Birthday!
Was hoping to post this earlier, but Wednesday did not go as planned.

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My new AllerBuddies Art ! New AllerBuddies bracelets coming soon! – September 6th, 2016

by on Sep.06, 2016, under Cartooning

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I’ve just finished new Allerbuddies artwork for new cute wombat bracelets for little ones to make sure all know what they are allergic to. These are the inked versions before I colored them.

Click here to get your own Allerbuddies medical bracelets: https://www.allerbuddies.com.au

 

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Book: ‘Heiress: The Rich Life Of Marjorie Merriweather Post’ by William Wright

by on Sep.05, 2016, under Books

Heiress: The Rich Life Of Marjorie Merriweather PostHeiress: The Rich Life Of Marjorie Merriweather Post by William Wright
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

One of the best biographies I’ve ever read. The author, Wright, has done a magnificent job of objectively portraying Post’s life with a flare of imagination and insight. The writing is crisp, clear and thorough.

The first part of the book does a terrific job of telling the reader just who and what C.W. Post was. From there it whisks off to lay out the rest of Marjorie Post’s life. What an attentive reader will pick up is the drive of C.W. to create and be a genius. The same was all there for Marjorie to continue genius creations. Instead, as Wright tells us, Marjorie took all of her ingenuity to create massive parties and monster sized materialism. It saddened me to realize what a waste Marjorie made of her life. There is so much she could have done.

After the ’29 crash, Post’s life becomes mundane as her parties and structures move along. The writer does a great job here and later as she ages and the parties continue. Wright intersperses the party tales with detailed descriptions of the grand rooms involved and including pages written by daughter, Dina, and granddaughter, Mawee.

Later in the ’30s the story gets very interesting as Marjorie & husband Davies find themselves in Russia during one of the worst times in history to be there. The writer does a yeoman’s job of negotiating the narrow shoals of illustrating Marjorie’s party frenzy and Stalin’s political party executions.

There are plenty of photos and even a breakdown of Post’s staff in her later years which really helps in understanding who is who and where they belonged. I also like the little image that introduces each chapter. Each thumbnail is part of a larger photo in the gallery provided that is easy to check and understand what period of time the chapter is about. The book also clearly keeps you apprised of where you are in time throughout.

Involving Florida: The Mar-A-lago story is all here. Very interesting from construction to its fate at the time of publication in 1978. You’ll have to go elsewhere for the story of the later exchanges of the property involving the Federal government, others and, eventually, to saving the structure & full restoration by Donald Trump.

Also included are the times at the mansion with Marjorie, daughter Dina Merrill, etc. and the society stars of Palm Beach. Along with the issues of the lock & bolted closed Palm Beach society. Better handled in short prose by Wright than the extended non-objective writing by Ron Kessler later.

Bottom line: I Highly recommend this book. 10 of 10 points.

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Book: ‘The First Mountain Man: Blood on the Divide’ by William W. Johnstone

by on Sep.04, 2016, under Books

Blood on the Divide (The First Mountain Man, #2)Blood on the Divide by William W. Johnstone
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

This second book of the “Preacher” series was roaring along to a top rating, until it became obvious someone forgot to put on the brakes. This book spans years and as the book lingers the reader has to wonder why. There were fine opportunities to draw the book to a close, but each time the dreaded Winter comes and the book is prolonged another 50 odd pages. Was this a request by the publisher for more pages? Did Johnstone (or whoever) not know when to stop? Was this just a missed opportunity for a good story? Or, more likely, was this an attempt to parry Michener with a sprawling story of the west?

It mostly works, if a lot can be looked past.

My larger suspicion is that this was a book with too many hands in it. It seems to me that it was, at of the time of the publication of this book, that Johnstone started pulling ghost writers in. This is based upon the amount of books with the Johnstone moniker on it and the uneven writing trend that is evident in the early 9os.

In this case, the book is well written throughout. Especially the sprinkling of flowery wording of settings that seem tacked into the places it appears. Other places the wording of travels have a certain feel and others a different approach.

One thing I love about the book are the few sprinkled bits of history of places and persons. Again, the writing of these are different from the whole, but the context is wonderful. This is the only Johnstone of the 50 or so I’ve read that has so much history in it. So who added it? I wonder just how many worked on this one book.

Then, there is the inexcusable. At one point a bad guy is shot in the head. I read it and re-read it and re-re-re-read it. Yep, a “giant hole” was placed in his head. The next page this character is talking and talking again. This happens when there are too many cooks in the kitchen.

The characters are, as always, the best part of the book. Though one bad guy travels from afar in the fray which makes no sense at all. Except to make it easier for the writer(s) to wrap up the story. It’s an unfortunate move and another problem with the book.

As much as I otherwise like this book I have to…

Bottom line: I don’t recommend this book. 4 out of ten.

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My New Artwork: Christmas Jingle Elf! – September 4th, 2016

by on Sep.04, 2016, under Cartooning

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A part of a project I’m working on: Artwork for a Christmas themed run. Here’s the easy part for me. Now to put together the rest. I’ll post when done.

There’s artwork of mine for another run in November for a different organization and I’m trying to make sure the artwork for that looks different. An alligator involved. I’ll post that very soon! Does the elf look different enough from the Critter Run artwork, Kathy Bailey?

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Working Project Meeting! – September 1st, 2016

by on Sep.01, 2016, under What's New?

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Working with Tim Reynolds and JJ on JJ’s Boozie Bucket advertising here at Wild Manta in Palm Bay, Florida, today! Despite the constant storms & tornado warnings, involving the massive hurricane Hermine, work must go on!

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