Friday, November 29, 2013

Happy Hanukkah!

  I hope everyone enjoyed a relaxing a Happy Thanksgiving yesterday. I did so much celebrating that I didn’t have an opportunity to write anything new. But I did come across a set of holiday illustrations I painted for a greeting card company and I’ll be sharing the other one next month.
This picture is in honor of my Jewish friends who are celebrating Hanukkah, even though I mistakenly made the yarmulkes too big. Click (here) to see the entire painting.


Thursday, November 28, 2013

Happy Thanksgiving

This was one of my first illustrations. I can no longer remember who the client was but I recall he wanted a black and white picture that resembled the work of Norman Rockwell. Unlike much of my work, this is painted on canvas.

Check (here) to see the entire painting. 

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Macho Butterball

Something new is happening this year on the Butterball Turkey Hotline.  If you didn't hear about it on the news, check it out (here).

Monday, November 25, 2013

A Flushable Pet: Conclusion


Standing as tall as I could, I told my mother that if my pet Yama had to go, then so would I. There might have been a twitch of amusement on her face; she often referred to me as Mr. Softie yet here I was standing up to her. Was I permitted to keep my beloved pet? Check it out (here).

Sunday, November 24, 2013

A Flushable Pet

 I’ve decided to get a jump on my New Year’s resolution to be more proactive about submitting stories and seeing one published next year. To that end, I’m reworking and submitting this tale to a publication looking for stories about pets. I first posted “A Flushable Pet” in 2011 and some of you might have missed it. 

Check it out (here). 

Friday, November 22, 2013

Killing Camelot


It’s hard to believe fifty years have passed since President Kennedy was murdered in Dallas. I had just turned eleven and like everyone who lived through those traumatic days I know exactly where I was when I heard the news—sixth grade social studies.

Read (here) about my thoughts on that terrible day.

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Thanks, Dad

Late in life I'm still learning things about my dad, and how courage often shows itself in unexpected ways. Read about it (here.)

Monday, November 18, 2013


This impressionistic oil painting could have been titled Fall, but it’s actually a portrait of my son CJ when he was six or seven years old. As I recall, he wasn’t all that interested in football, and he was even less interested in standing still while I painted him. It’s hard to believe that over twenty-five years have passed since I created this portrait. I remember being irritated when people told me to enjoy our son’s youth because kids grow up so fast; of course this proved to be true. At least I have a dozen paintings of CJ that preserve his childhood. Check (here) to see the entire painting.

Sunday, November 17, 2013

Cake Fight: Conclusion

Miss Part One of the story? You can find it (here).

 At first I thought I could repair the cake. I tried feverishly to return the top layer to its original spot, but it crumbled in my hands. Before long, the bottom layer also slid to the floor. There was nothing left to do but clean up the mess. Since I’ve always turned to food during times of stress, I ate as much of the damaged cake as I threw away. I was in deep trouble if I couldn't find a way out of this pickle. Fortunately, an idea popped into my head. Read about it (here).

Friday, November 15, 2013

Cake Fight

I’m often asked if my childhood stories are factual and I always maintain they are. But I’ve withheld this tale until now because part of it is made up, a small but significant part. For those of you who can’t figure out where I let my imagination wander, I’ll reveal the fictional element at the conclusion. Read (here) about my mother's entry into a 1963 Harvest Bake Sale.

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Stand All Ye Faithful


First posted 9/30/11

Not long ago I realized a bitter truth; I’d been turning a blind eye to our environmental problems. I did very little recycling and took my gas guzzling car to places I could have, and should have, walked. My studio was downtown and I decided to take the bus to work. Leaving my car in the garage made me feel like part of the solution instead of part of the problem. But riding on the bus presented another problem. My solution might surprise you. Read about it (here).

Monday, November 11, 2013

Veterans Day


Today we salute all who have worn a uniform and served our country. Having never served, I’m not included in this distinguished group of heroes. I’ve heard phrases like “Band of Brothers” and “Comrades in Arms” and wondered how different my life might have been had I heeded the call. When this season of thanksgiving rolls by, I listen to stories of heroism and sacrifice. Like many who stood on the sidelines, I shed tears when seeing pictures of unbelievable sacrifice, men and women with broken bodies trying to rebuild their lives. It isn’t difficult to support patriots with mangled bodies. Their wounds are often easy to see and deserving of respect, but too many soldiers carry less obvious scars of war. 

A good friend told me a war story I'll never forget. Read it (here).

Sunday, November 10, 2013

Peculiar Picture #32

When I was given an assignment to create sixty illustrations for a CD to be called Business Fundamentals, it seemed like a good idea to include a conceptual illustration depicting a bean counter. Check (here) to see the entire illustration. 


Friday, November 8, 2013

Near Death in Chartres

     In 1999 Mrs. Chatterbox and I celebrated our twenty-fifth wedding anniversary, and nearly died. Read about it (here).

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

What the F**K?

I have good cause to place my wife on a pedestal; she’s a great wife and mother, a marvelous listener and a kinder person you’ll never meet. In the two and a half years since I started this blog I’ve extolled Mrs. Chatterbox’s virtues, but I think it’s time to throw a bucket of reality on the woman I’ve shared my life with for forty years. Believe me, she ain’t perfect. She has a serious flaw, a disability of considerable proportions. My lovely wife can’t curse to save her soul. Read about it (here). 

Monday, November 4, 2013

Bottoms Up!


I’ve tried on numerous occasions to drink beer, especially when frequenting British pubs and Bavarian beer halls, but ales and beers just aren’t for me. I’ve had to come up with more creative ways to maintain my beer belly. I enjoy the hard stuff, and my appreciation for powerful spirits goes way back. The vagueness of my memory will soon become understandable and the dialogue is imaginary, but I’ve heard enough relatives repeat this incident to accept it as true. Read about it (here).

Sunday, November 3, 2013

What Would You Do?

 I work out of the house and don’t have as much contact with people as I’d like, so I enjoy it when Mrs. Chatterbox comes home from working at our local police department with stories about co-workers. The other day she came home with an interesting tidbit that made me think. Check (here) and let me know what you think.

Friday, November 1, 2013

Peculiar Picture #31

Many of my new followers might not be aware of the fact that for many years I was a professional illustrator. While my work sold on five continents, I have a file cabinet of pictures that never sold. I use these images for a feature I call Peculiar Pictures. Many people don’t like discussing art for fear of being made to look foolish but that isn’t possible here. You can’t be expected to know what these pictures mean if the artist who created them doesn’t know. 

Check (here) for the entire picture.