Tuesday, July 12, 2011


I am moving to this amazing city called Sarasota in 3 weeks...

...to teach art at this amazing school called Ringling College of Art & Design:

AWESOME. Unbelievable! I am SO excited and ready for a new chapter of life.
Ringling is a high profile private art college with a great reputation here on the West coast. They have an awesome computer animation program, and illustration is their most popular major. They have also been voted leaders in incorporating digital technology into the curriculum.  I'll be joining the Illustration department, which will be collaborating with Computer Animation and Game Art faculty to present a new intensive first-year curriculum for students.

I visited the RCAD campus over the weekend for an interview and was able to explore the city a bit. Florida looks like a tropical jungle. The vegetation and landscaping is so different from California, even though we both have palm trees. It reminded me of a combination of The Netherlands and Morocco, because it was ALL flat and the plants look like an oasis. The weather is especially different; In Florida, its rainy and humid ( I like to call it "balmy" :) When I arrived it was raining (apparently this is normal during the summer months), and I had to navigate my little rental car (which was this awesome Suzuki that zipped around) from Tampa airport down to Sarasota in pouring rain. I'm so used to "rain" being just sprinkles. These rain drops were like pellets hitting the windshield. My rapid-fire windshield wipers could barely wipe fast enough. Pure adventure!

I had some time to cruise around while in town, so I checked out Siesta Key (pictured above) and the Ringling Museum. Here are a few pics that I snapped during my visit:

View of the SRQ airport from my hotel window.

I grew quite fond of my rental car. It was fun to drive!

The Ringling Museum. John Ringling had an amazing collection of artwork!

John & Mable Ringling found these quirky little dwarves in Italy.

They had them shipped to Florida and created a "Dwarf Garden".

There were about 20 in total.
The Dwarf thrones. I want to create a story out of this...

The Peter Paul Rubens room inside the Ringling Museum!

The Ringling Museum courtyard.
Original carts from the Ringling Circus

They launched people out of this thing...

Reminds me of the Animal Cracker box...

Tiger carved out of wood.

Wish I could have seen a live circus performance back then...

Ca d'Zan or The House of John.

Inside the Ringling mansion.

John Ringling

Mable Ringling

Their backyard.

Cool statue, probably famous.

Ringling College of Art & Design!!!

I had my interview on the top (5th) floor of this new state-of-the-art building.

The scenery was so beautiful, I took random pictures from the side of the road.

Interstate 75.  No billboards!! No traffic!! Green jungles on both sides!!! I'm going to like it here. :)

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Summer Indoor Sketching

When it's super hot outside, drawing an air-conditioned living room is a good way to pass time.

Monday, July 4, 2011

Mouse & Muffin

This morning I drew my cup of coffee, and that little sketch led to a brain tangent which ultimately led to this sequence of sketches. Fun doodles!

4th & Freedom

It's already July 4th...2011 is going by fast! And, it's 95 degrees and only 9:30 in the morning! I'll happily be staying inside my air-conditioned studio ALL day, except for this evening when it's time to light the BBQ and watch fireworks. Until then, I'll be sketching out ideas for a new painting related to my Guardians of the Heart series. I'm going to develop this concept sketch a bit further:

I want to create a tug-of-war between the Musicorns and the Devourlings, so I'll be adding several more characters. For inspiration, the choir angels in the Ghent Altarpiece came to mind. I had the privilege of standing before this beautiful masterpiece when I was in Belgium, at the Saint Bavo cathedral.
(I love Gothic architecture!!! So impressive and beautiful!!!)

The Ghent altarpiece is exquisite, enormous, and guarded by glass. Peering through at it, one of the most curious scenes I noticed was the faces of the angels:

They all look alike and their facial expressions are really weird. Some look like they're in pain due to slight facial contortions. Yet, they are supposed to be praising God. Perhaps they are just singing with feeling! Or, they are in agony over the lamb's impending sacrificial death. Strange, but I like it for some reason. Oftentimes blessings come through tears and pain, and these angels are empathizing with the whole situation.

Anyway, I'll be using this angelic choir cluster as inspiration for my tug-of-war. Sketches to be posted soon!