Rob's Blog

Archive for August, 2014

August 29th, 2014 – On the Drawing Board: Gators, Whale Sharks and Swampy!

by on Aug.30, 2014, under Cartooning


A brief hour and a half stop at a local coffee spot found me getting the above artwork done plus more. Rough sketches of baby gators, a sketch for a mural and a cartoon illustration for Swampy’s Florida. I also penciled and inked three editorial cartoons.


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August 27th, 2014 – Book: ‘Last Seen Wearing’ by Colin Dexter.

by on Aug.27, 2014, under Books

Last Seen Wearing (Inspector Morse, #2)Last Seen Wearing by Colin Dexter

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

‘Last Seen Wearing’ by Colin Dexter is a very good book of Inspector Morse that unravels the efforts it can actually take to get to the conclusion of a mystery. For that matter, the trouble to get to answers in life. False and hopeful conclusions. Deadends. Confusion. One of the most realistic in plotting of a fictional mystery I’ve read.

This book is not for those looking for a straightforward mystery with w twist or two. It will greatly frustrate those. It could be said Dexter went too far with the many bad leads to then present it to the readers out there. With that thought, I trimmed the star level. A writer should have that more in consideration when constructing a tale.

The real fun here is following Morse as he tries to figure it all out. Dexter does a tremendous job of building the character.

A note about other comments about the book I read on Goodreads and the televised version: The original book is from the 1970s without the typical censorship you find in today’s books about how people really are and think. The real contrast to time periods comes in the teleplay of the tv episode in which characters are spun into stereotypes of mean, powerful developers, sexual confusion and the like. The sensationalism of the episode is disturbing. I guess Dexter accepted it all.

Bottom line: I recommend the book – not the televised version.

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August 24th, 2014 – On the drawing board: Pages of artwork done!

by on Aug.24, 2014, under Cartooning


Camped out in a coffee spot this evening and knocked out all this in two and a half hours. Have to wonder why I don’t do this more often. Since January when I blacklisted the coffee spot I had been going to, I’ve rarely stopped anywhere to chug-a-lug artwork out. Pressing needs are likely to get me back to coffee spots, or something like it. Sure to post more of the above and upcoming soon. Check out Swampy’s Florida each day in the next few weeks to see color versions of the bulk of the art above.

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August 19th, 2014 – Book: ‘The Neon Flamingo’ by W.R. Philbrick

by on Aug.24, 2014, under Books

The Neon FlamingoThe Neon Flamingo by W.R. Philbrick

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

The biggest plus to this book by Philbrick is his ability to capture the feel and look of the Keys with words. This is the second of the Stash series I’ve read and I’d say he captured the location better than other books set in the area, including James Hall’s Thorn series.

Otherwise the story is pretty straightforward with a mystery lingering of the main character, Stash, in search of a kid. Lots of layabouts in the story. Everyone was portrayed as having no ambition to do much of anything. Even a couple rich central characters were stripped of any future. It all gets a bit depressing and the story stumbles from layabout to layabout. Soon, it’s hard to care about what happened to the kid as even the Stash character seems to lose interest.

Again it’s the narrative of the location that is the highlight. Philbrick accurately describes natural areas, fishing docks, boats, seedy areas of the Keys, etc.

The story is of little energy, but the setting is great. Therefore…

Bottom line: i recommend the book.

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August 14th, 2014 – Book: ‘The Garner Files’ by James Garner.

by on Aug.14, 2014, under Books

The Garner Files: A MemoirThe Garner Files: A Memoir by James Garner

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

You can hear James Garner’s voice as you read this book. As he relates stories of film and TV it’s clear that the stories are coming from him.

The book is well written obviously thanks to the co-writer. Parts of Garner’s life as broken into bits that have a logical order. Maybe a bit too organized. Though I like the last few pages where Garner comments through a specific list of his film career, it does also feel a bit micro-manages, too. I am glad the golfing and racing parts are delineated. That way, i can write here, if you don’t care for racing and golf, avoid these chapter. Garner gets into a lot of detail about each. Especially in the racing section about cars and tracks and all. I would alert any racing fan you know to pick up the book for just that chapter, in that it has a lot of trivia they are bound to enjoy.

There are quite a number of admissions in the book. These days such confessions don’t mean much in a coarse world, but would’ve made headlines twenty years ago.

Any movie buff will love many details revealed here. Unlike some more recent celebrity volumes, this one has only short trivial mentions as compared to lengthy stories.

Leaving the book, you will have a very complete view of Garner’s life. i knew it so well going into the book, that it’s a bit hard what to write and not write about parts of this book.

Bottom line: I recommend this book.

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August 12th, 2014 – On the #drawing board: Patriotic Caricatures!

by on Aug.13, 2014, under Caricatures


This couple is very patriotic and that was amongst the list of individual likes provided. After pencils and prep for ink, I watercolored the artwork before it was mailed to them.

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August 11th, 2014 – Book: ‘Last Train to Woodstock’ by Colin Dexter.

by on Aug.11, 2014, under Books

Last Bus to Woodstock (Inspector Morse, #1)Last Bus to Woodstock by Colin Dexter

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This is what a mystery should be. Baffling throughout. I should go back and drop star for other mysteries I’ve logged into here.

If only the rambling messes being published today could be so smart. Police/detective work is nearly entirely research and hypothesis. So many dead ends. This does a terrific job of relating the job. The main characters have their service jobs and making the most of them. The writing of the police procedure is excellent.

This is my first Colin Dexter book and I really like his pacing of the story. There’s so much going on. Dexter has laid out so many leads for the characters and the readers. Some go places and some do not. Wonderful handling of all that!

Bottom line: I recommend this book!

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August 7th, 2014 – On the #drawing board: Fundraising for children in Ocala!

by on Aug.08, 2014, under Caricatures


Kimberly’s Center for Child Protection teamed up with The Ivy House in Ocala to raise funds for children in threatening environments. I was there drawing a bit to help add to the funds. The photo is of Daniel who is mighty bright 27 year old. Had a great conversation about the philosophical ideas of mathematics. With him is his mother who runs Kimberly’s and was coordinating the event.

While visiting Ocala, I highly recommend a stop at The Ivy House. outstanding food at moderate prices in the ambiance of and outstanding 1890 house.

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On the #Drawing Board: Illustrating Springs Experts at our event Tuesday night, ‘Sacred Springs’.

by on Aug.06, 2014, under Caricatures, Cartooning, Illusration


I was part of the symposium about our Florida springs Tuesday night, named ‘Sacred Springs’. I was setup in the front of the auditorium and illustrated each speaker as they did their presentations to the audience. There were nine speakers this time and I couldn’t finish them all at the event. In the next couple weeks I’ll share some of the watercolor paintings I worked on. I didn’t get to finish as many as in other symposiums due to the limited time and the amount of speakers. I’ll be going back to finish the paintings.

‘Sacred Springs’ was a gathering of experts of our Florida springs. Speakers included Johm Moran, Dr. Robert Knight, of the Springs Institute; Guy Warwick, the Felburn Foundation; Jim Stevenson, Wakulla Springs Alliance; Doug Ray, Ocala Star-Banner & Gainesville Sun; Ryan Smart, Florida Conservation Coalition; Karen Ahlers, Florida Defenders of the Environment and Whitey Markle, Suwanee-St. Johns Sierra Club & Florida troubadour.

A surprise audience member was former Governor Buddy MacKay.

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August 4th, 2014 – On the #Drawing Board: Swampy Days!

by on Aug.04, 2014, under Cartooning, What's New?


In the past week I’ve been illustrating the celebratory days of the week. For example Tuesday is ‘Work Like a Dog Day’. My art for that is on the upper left. Click here to learn what that is about.

Swing over to the Swampy’s Florida website and watch the rest of the artwork turn into color. Return each day so you can know what to celebrate each day on the Swampy’s Florida website or the Swampy’s Florida Facebook page.


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August 3rd, 2014 – On the Drawing board – Swampy Characters.

by on Aug.04, 2014, under Cartooning, Swampy's Florida


Time for me to get back to “On the Drawing Board”. Sure motivated me to get more artwork done. This is for the Swampy website to help explain the characters. Been meaning to do this for a long time and a conversation with friend Cheryl Otero and listening in on motivator Bob “The Teacher” got me to set some other art aside and get this done. First met Bob over five years ago during the great Ken MacArthur’s motivating conference.

Clcik here to see where I used this artwork on the Swampy’s Florida website.

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