Friday, December 18, 2015

Thursday, December 17, 2015

Wednesday, December 16, 2015

Thank You. Thank You Very Mush!

I did the character sketch in this but David Stevenson totally rocked the painting.

Tuesday, December 15, 2015

The Carpenters... I mean Gophenters

You loved the Carpenters.
Don't bother denying it.

Character design by yours truly, painting by Sandie Chun.

More music later.

Monday, December 14, 2015

Beatles - Abbey Fairway

Another one of the album covers parody set. Sandie Chun did the painting. I did the character design.

Monday, November 23, 2015

Charles Schulz Tribute

We did a tribute to one of my artistic influences. I even added a newspaper texture and halftone.

Happy Dance!

Thursday, October 29, 2015

Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Sea Serpents

I did this background as part of a Mythical Creature set. I decided to create an old world map with sea beasts with Burnie as a sea serpent and Sandy and McDivot as a kraken and leviathan thing.

As I worked on it I started adding my name, Marline's maiden name and the names of other artists on the team. I got carried away with it and added the name of every person on the Fairway Solitaire and Fairway Solitaire Blast teams as well as two super-fans of Fairway who often post on Facebook and Twitter.

As it turned out this became one of the most popular backgrounds for the team and the fans.
It pays to have fun with what you're doing!

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Wizard of Oz

We recently created a set of backgrounds in tribute to the 75th anniversary of the movie, "The Wizard of Oz".

I was on vacation when this came up. I ALWAYS think about work... a stressful problem sometimes that I can't always shake... so I lurked in my email inbox like Gollum waiting for a fish.

This movie is in my Top-10 favorite films of all time. I wanted to do it justice. I suggested to my creative coworkers that they design a background using the 4 main characters in a scene from the movie. They said they wanted me to do that. While I was away they had already chosen their pieces and all but insisted I do the group shot. While it sounded like a lot of work it also sounded like fun character design work.

It took me longer than I think it should have but it turned out to be one of my favorite Fairway folio of backgrounds. I chose the scene where they meet the Cowardly Lion. Initially I wanted to make the Lion a kitten but that didn't work so I made him a cuddly fellow. Since I didn't include McDivot or Sandy I made Burnie the Tin Man. I love Burnie.

Here it is. My reference image is below.

Thursday, July 30, 2015

Doctor Who

Any Doctor Who fans out there?

I never grew up with Doctor Who. I had never heard of the series until I was probably in my 30's. Maybe even later but I can't remember.

In order to do a parody of the show I had to do some research and just watch several episodes. We three artists came up with our own interpretations based on different seasons.

Here is my offering.

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Happy Father's Day

From the Fairway Solitaire Facebook page...

"Does life imitate art or art imitate life? Either way, McDivot's creator Jeff Willis looks a lot like McDivot's dad, Raleigh."

A couple of years ago I was asked to help with a design with McDivot as a kid with his Family. It was suggested I draw his dad to look like me.
Can do!
I also decided to name his family after my own. His sister is Teri, Mom is Marjorie and Dad is Raleigh.
Happy Father's Day Pop!

Tuesday, June 9, 2015

Burnie - Hooked!

I was just pleased with the simple way this image turned out.

I like how the brush stokes on Burnie flowed. Being a simple character with fun expressiveness helped.
The giant fish came out all the better thanks to my coworker, Hamzah Kasom's tutorial on fish anatomy. The colors, the expressions, the composition, the simplicity; it all just worked out and made me happy.

Why would Burnie be stuck to a fish hook? You make up the story.

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

BOING! - Podcasts by Todd Dolce

I recently discovered Todd Dolce's "BOING!" podcasts via Tony Benedict's blog (writer for The Jetsons, the Flintstones, Yogi Bear and so many other HB cartoons).

I really have to give Mr. Dolce' credit for conducting these interviews. Todd has been interviewing several artists in the field of cartooning or have a cartoon related association.

For example he interviewed, among others, the wonderful June Foray (voice of Rocky the flying squirrel), the great Al Jaffee (MAD magazine cartoonists and creator of the fold-in back covers) and the amazing Tony Benedict. I am so delighted that he interviewed Lowell Hess (an amazing illustrator from Collier's magazine) and Joe Harris (creator of Underdog and the Trix Rabbit).

Ok. I'll mention one more, Gene Deitch, the creator of Tom Terrific from Captain Kangaroo. There are more that I have yet to listen to and I plan on catching to them all.

These are names that are often forgotten in the history of the multifaceted genres of cartoons. I have to give Todd props for bringing these voices and wonderful creators to light once more. Hearing their stories makes me feel like their lives are just like my own. Their experiences are full of highs and lows and valuable insight. They have all worked so very hard at their craft that I feel a strong connection to them and their creative endeavors.

If you have even the slightest interest in cartooning history you should listen to some of them.
Here's the link.
BOING! - Podcasts

Here is Todd Dolce's associated blog.
behind the lines podcast

Thank you, Todd, for sharing these.

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Ides of March

I simply had fun doing these. Plus I don't think I've posted much with Sandy Mulligan, McDivot's love interest.

Here are McDivot, Burnie and Sandy telling the condensed version of "Beware the Ides of March".

Friday, May 15, 2015


Some of you may have seen these from my old website. Since I'm slowly phasing my website out I thought I'd just make a big transfer dump of images.

I only wish that I had scanned these at a larger size. Wear your spectacles.

Friday, May 8, 2015

Dr. Mark Salema DDS - Gopher Dentist

Donna and Mark Salema. Mark is my dentist and an old and dear friend from my college days. I gave them an autographed copy of one of my McDivot backgrounds. They framed it, put it up in their office and grew buck teeth.
Wonderful people. Great dentist. Excellent friends!

Mark Salema... THE Best Dentist. Kirkland WA

Here's a closer look at the art I created for "National Dental Awareness Month".
Yes, I'm wearing the McDivot costume below.

Thursday, April 30, 2015


Here are a couple of caricatures of our cats, Trixie and Tiger.
I tried to capture their unique personalities.
Trixie was an alpha cat. Mean and standoffish. She had to have things her way.
Tiger was a big chicken boy but loved attention.

Friday, April 17, 2015

Walt Kelly - My Biggest Influence

Walt Kelly was undoubtedly my biggest influence. He started as a Disney animator working on such films as "Dumbo". He eventually wound up in funny animal comic books which lead to his regular comic strip "Pogo".

His Pogo comic strips spoke to me as a kid even before I could understand his humor and writing. His characters had a huge range of facial expressions, emotions and were just plain fantastic. On top of that his backgrounds were stunning.

Here are some examples of his influence on me up to now.

I created Spot the Slug when I was in high school. I developed him further in college in my  comic strip "Bink" which appeared in the UW "The Daily" college newspaper. After college I kept working on Spot to breathe more life into him.

I never got "Bink" syndicated. I tried.

At Big Fish I created McDivot's buddy Burnie the Worm. Spot was sort of resurrected for me. I love Burnie and he and Spot are my favorite characters that I've created. I love Burnie even more than McDivot if for no other reason than he is Spot reborn.

See any similarities?

Now let's see Walt Kelly's influence. Take a look at Churchy La Femme the turtle.

There's a similarity in Churchy's rounded nose that came through with my squishy characters.

I find myself trying to use some of Mr. Kelly's techniques even in my backgrounds. Here is one of my brush and ink pieces of a frog and mouse dancing. Compare the trees from the comic strip below with my drawing. I can't seem to bring the same life in my art as he did but I love trying.

I love Burnie.

Monday, March 30, 2015

Harry Potter Wizard Cards

I posted a few Wizard Cards before during an art challenge. How about a few more? Why not!

This is me on steroids.

This one is modeled after my wife, Marline.

This one is modeled after my dad, Raleigh.

And the rest are just for fun. This is most of the designs I did for this project. It was for the first two Harry Potter PC/Mac video games. I think they later appeared in a PlayStation version. Hope you all like them.