Monday, April 27, 2009

Curriculum Comics #3: Classroom Discipline

I've just completed issue #3 of Curriculum Comics! This issue is on the subject of discipline. This series of comics have all been made as part of my pursuit to get my PhD in Curriculum and Teaching. This is how I make them. I choose a topic for a final project for each course. Then I research that topic. I read everything I can find on the subject. While I'm reading, ideas come to mind. I make some sketches here and there. Then I put it all together in a way that presents what I've learned and reflected on.

So there's a lot of truth and facts in each one, but they're presented (hopefully) in a humorous way.

Friday, April 24, 2009

ABC Challenge: The Harper

Our challenge this month for the Art by Committee sketch game is to illustrate this quote:
“The harper began to sing. His deep voice was fine and sweet, eloquently expressing his intent. He sang of the bitterness of defeat and the gut-wrenching carnage of war. He sang of boys…”
The comic strip below is my interpretation of that line.

For this comic, I used ink washes, which I don't usually do. It seemed important to use them to get the feeling of being in a dark concert hall.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Other Artists named Wales

A search from Google reveals some other artist's named Wales. I'm not sure if they are any relation or not. My family is descended from Nathaniel Wales, a ship's carpenter who sailed from England to the new world in the late 1600's. We have a family tree notebook, and there's at least one Nathaniel or Nathan in every generation. I'll have to look into it more to see if they're related. They might be shirt-tail relations!

This 1806 naive portrait is attributed to an artist named Nathaniel Wales. The title of the painting is Portrait of Captain Nathan Sage, as are the paintings below.

I think it's interesting that there was a marine artist named George Canning Wales (1868-1940). This is what I was able to find out about him online, along with some of his etchings:
George Canning Wales' passion was for ships and the sea. As a youth, he was around the wharves in Boston before the steam ships replaced the romantic sailing vessels. In his own words, he sketched obsessively the ships that arrived in the Boston area, recording the ships and their riggings. He spent the mid-part of his life as a professional architect before turning to printmaking around his fiftieth birthday. His early love of ships and the sea is present in his etchings and lithographs.

George C. Wales was born in Boston in 1868. He studied architecture at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology from 1885-88. His first job was with the architects, Peabody & Stearns; founded his own architectural firm in Boston 1893-1924; studied etching in 1917 with William M. Paxton; and produced his first etchings that year. He studied and mastered lithography in 1923. His first exhibition was held at Goodspeed's Book Shop in 1921. The venerable, but now closed, Boston gallery and book store published a catalogue raisonne of the artist's prints in 1927. His prints are in the permanent collections of many museums and institutions including The Boston Public Library, Library of Congress, New York Public Library, Peabody Museum, Old Dartmouth Historical Society, The British Museum, Victoria and Albert Museum, and the U. S. Naval Academy.

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Shall these Bones Live?

Sketched during church today. The Message was about Ezekiel in The Valley of Dry Bones.

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Bar Room Blitz

“Behind the bar, polishing four glasses at the same time with his blue tentacles, was the Tookah. Two of his three eyes didn’t bother to look up, but it was the third one, the upper eye, the sleepy one that appears bored by everything but never misses anything. That one sleepily looked over at me and then blinked and opened wide.”
This was the quote we were assigned to illustrate for the latest challenge at Art by Committee.
I chose to put the scene within the context of a story I'm doing. In case you came in late, The Mighty Andar has been deprived of his powers, beaten and abused and locked up in an alien prison. Now he's got his powers back and has a score to settle with some prison guards.

Monday, April 6, 2009


Sketched at church on Sunday.

Friday, April 3, 2009

Front Page News

There was an article in today's Morning Times about our special program at school yesterday.

Thursday, April 2, 2009

An Evening with the Gurneys

Last night we had the privilege of having James and Jeannette Gurney for a visit. James is a world renowned artist most famous for creating Dinotopia.

Kristan made an awesome meal and our families enjoyed an evening of talking all things art, painting, comics, manga, anime, robotics, etc. He was scheduled to present at the school where I teach the following day.
After dinner, I sat for a quick sketch. James Gurney painted this quick portrait of me in a small (5x7) sketchbook in about ten minutes. He uses water soluble pencils and ink. He incorporated this image in his slide show to demonstrate to the kids that he has a sketchbook with him at all times and uses everyone around him as models. The kids were very excited to see a familiar face!
Before he arrived, I had prepared the drawing below as my gift to him. I wanted to express my appreciation for the instruction and inspiration I get from his website, The Gurney Journey -- especially the Art by Committee (or, ABC) Challenges. Who knows if my character will survive many more of them?!

Last fall, when we had asked the kids what they wanted for Christmas, the first words out of my son Daniel's mouth was The Road to Chandara, the latest Dinotopia book. He knew this visit was coming and he wanted to get the book signed.
It was an honor to meet one of my favorite artists, and work together on a program that would promote learning and the visual arts in my school. There are artists who inspire admiration for their work and then there are artists who inspire everyone around them to create -- that's the kind of artist James Gurney is.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

The Making of the 2009 Fluke Anthology

Here's a video showing how they put together the hand-made books. You will see in the video that they come with an "extra surprise" you will not want to live without. This is a limited edition, hand-made book, and there will be a few available for sale. As soon as I know anything about how you can get your hands on one of these, I'll announce it.