Mixtape: New Works on Paper

Mixtape: New Works on Paper is my latest solo show at the Cafe 1923 in Hamtramck. I can’t believe I never before had a show solely of works on paper. I mean, as an artist you usually carry a sketchbook everywhere you go, so working on paper seems like the most natural thing in the world–and it is.

The show is a combination of works on paper that use traditional materials like markers and paint, and mixed-media pieces usually with tape of some kind: gaffer, duck or washi. Tape can be tricky to work with since markers and paint do not always react well to the surface of the tape. After many experiments, my go-to black marker for drawing on tape became the Pilot BeGreen permanent marker. Posca paint markers also work well, and came in second.

Rhino Portrait

Tape is similar to collage, and is a fun way to create patterns for clothes as you can see in this fashion portrait. Some tape can be unforgiving, and once you put it in place you must leave it there or risk tearing the paper.


Happy accidents are always welcome, and the most interesting one happened when I was revisiting one of my koi fish paintings with tape on an old canvas and decided to peel off the tape–the result was a  cut-up” koi fish. I hope to do more of these cut-up pieces in the future.


The closing reception is on Friday, August 5th, from 5–7 pm. So grab the kids and the grandparents and come on down to the Cafe 1923 Coffeehouse located at 2287 Holbrook Ave, Hamtramck, MI. Hope to see you!


Hatch/Sketch Event: Doodle in the “D”

For the past few months Maria Bologna from AIGA Detroit and I have been trying to find a space to hold a drawing event. The original plan was to “draw on everything” meaning the walls of the space. Well I am happy to announce that Hatch Detroit is letting us use their walls (covered with drawing paper) for an event we are calling Hatch/Sketch on December 1st, 6–9 pm at Hatch Gallery in Hamtramck.
Over the last few years I have been inspired by the doodle night jams in the UK, and have wished that I could participate in something like that near me. At long last there will a public draw-sketch-doodle jam in my own backyard!

Consider yourself personally invited to Hatch/Sketch on Tuesday, December 1, 6–9 pm at Hatch Gallery and unleash your inner child and doodle with us on the gallery walls! I will be providing drawing prompts and demonstrating various materials to draw with along with designer/illustrator Jessica Krcmarik who will provide a lettering demo.

Now the who/what/when/where:

What: Hatch/Sketch (click to see Facebook event)
When: Tuesday, December 1, 6–9 pm
Where: Hatch Gallery, 3456 Evaline St., Hamtramck, MI 48212

Black paint and brushes will be provided. All you need to do is bring your creativity!

All skill levels are welcome. For those of you who need a little inspiration we will provide a list of fun and interesting ideas to inspire you.

Light refreshments will be provided.

Many thanks to sponsors by Hatch Art, Team Detroit, and Du-All Art and Drafting Supply.

“Syncopated” Opening

“Syncopated,” my latest solo show opened on Friday, March 6th, 2015 at SocraTea. The show includes recent paintings, doodlebombs, and posca drawings on paper grocery bags from Whole Foods Market, Trader Joes and Papa Joe’s Marketplace.

Tigers and Bears on grocery bags Oh My!

Tigers and Bears on grocery bags Oh My!

Wishing Bling Painting

“Wishing” mixed media painting on sintra board.

In early February I had a flood of sorts in my apartment and sadly two doodlebombs (Niel Tyson/Cosmic Badass on Mental Floss and Skrillex on Rolling Stone) were destroyed by the water. I lieu of those, I added two doodlebombs I have never shown before one of which is “Kimono.”.

Kimono Doodlebomb

Kimono Doodlebomb

The show will be up until March 30th so there is still time to catch it while you have a spot of tea.



“Syncopated” Solo Show at SocraTea


My solo show “Syncopated” opens tonight: March 6th, 6 to 9 pm  at SocraTea in Detroit. The show includes paintings, doodlebombs and my latest thing drawing and painting on paper grocery bags. Come on in an Arty Hard!


Interview with ARA Newspaper

Within the last month I was approached via email by a freelance Spanish journalist for an article she was writing about doodlebombs. I agreed to be interviewed and responded to her questions  and sent her several high res images of some of the magazine covers I have drawn over. The article appeared in Ara, a daily Catalan newspaper, and also featured Ana Strumpf and Lucas Levitan. The questions ranged from: “when and why did you start remaking magazine covers?”; “is it for fun or is it for professional reasons?”; “what is a doodle-bomb?”; “name some favorite artists” and “is there a message behind your doodlebombs?” Two of my images were used as thumbnails in the article and my quotes were sprinkled about with the other artists. It was a big thrill to be interviewed by Laura Sangrá for Ara.

Two page spread from ARA-CAT

Two page spread from ARA-CAT

In a nutshell for those who do not read Catalan; I doodlebomb for fun and creative expression, but would welcome the opportunity to bomb a cover professionally. I love so many artists; Andy Warhol has always been my favorite and probably always will be. My doodlebombs are a longing to see fun and fab illustration in a sea of photography on the magazine stand. Everyone should find a magazine, pick up a marker and start drawing–it’s alot of fun!

Pamela Anderson Doodlebomb NoTofu magazine.

My Pamela Anderson Doodlebomb on NoTofu.

Ya-Yeah it’s Showtime!

After a short hiatus it’s time to return to the blog. I’ve been getting work ready to show at Melt Detroit, a local cafe with the best coffee (because it’s infused with gelato!)

Ya-Yeah Donettes

Ya-Yeah Donettes, 16 x 20 inches, mixed media on board.

Here is a sneak peak of a new work I call “Ya-Yeah Donettes.” I’ve been hand lettering for decades, but for whatever reasons have rarely incorporated lettering into my paintings. Some of my new paintings are based on sketches and I wanted the work to keep that spontaneity as much as possible.

If you are in the Detroit area stop by Melt Detroit located at 4150 Cass Avenue have a cup of gelato infused coffee and enjoy some art.

More Fun with Smash H2O Markers

Just a quick post to round out the month of September. I’m still agog over Smash H2O drip markers as you can see in these three works in progress. Hi Ho Hum is my version of color field painting done with Smash markers. With Jazz Hands and Bink Eyed I’ve been experimenting with gel medium transfers (more on gel medium transfers in a later post) and layering different kinds of paint including spray paint and Krink mops with the transfers and Smash H2Os.

Hi Ho Hum.

Hi Ho Hum.

Jazz Hands

Jazz Hands.

Bink Eyed

Bink Eyed.

Doodle Bomb: The Creative Process

The Tiger Girl doodle bomb, or “bombette” as my friend Megan calls it, is done!  While other doodle bombs, or re-covers, have been done tongue-in-cheek or as an homage to the covers’s subject, this one is more of a transformation of demure cover model Elle Fanning into a Bridgitte Bardot inspired Tiger Girl. Let’s take a look at the before and after and in-between photos.

Elle Fanning Interview Magazine

Interview Magazine original cover.

First step was to give her the “kattsy” treatment: stripes, eyes, ears and a mouth shaped like a heart.

Tiger stripes--the transformation begins!

Tiger stripes–the transformation begins!

Sometimes I like to draw on clear film overlays or color copies to work out basic ideas for my doodles. The orange one was a Josie and the Pussycats inspired look.

Orange Tiger Girl.

Orange Tiger Girl.

The blue one was inspired by one of my own paintings. The cheetah print and blue background idea stuck and I used it for the final image. The use of cheetah print reminds me of the Interview Magazine covers of my youth as illustrated by Richard Bernstein.

Blue Tiger Girl.

Blue Tiger Girl.

In the end I decided I would not draw over the open chest area and instead let it contrast the busy cheetah background. Most of the work was completed using Posca markers, excepting the hair which I wanted to have a hand tinted look so I used a marker that was not opaque. I really liked the blue outline around the stripes idea, but decided to go with the black stripes on skin for the final.

Elle Fanning Tiger Girl.

Elle Fanning Tiger Girl.

Week 2: Draw 21 Days Challenge

Week 2 of illustrative designer Von Glitschka’s  21 day drawing challenge was full of variety.  Day 6 was to complete a drawing in a Picasso-esue abstract style. As usual we could pick from a few subjects to draw–I decided to draw a snake in a tree.

Day 6: Abstract drawing.

Day 6: Abstract drawing.

Day 7 was my favorite “draw what you like.” Yeah! So I drew a kooky face with some Smash H2O paint markers. The more I use the Smash H2O the more I like them. I even had to place an order for more because I got carried away after the day 7 exercise.

Day 7: Smash Face

Day 7: Smash Face

Days 8 and 9 were a bit more textbook art class. On day 8 we did a light and shadow exercise with a reference sheet of faces and light sources to fill in. I decided to have some fun with this one and use some of the light directions to make Fred Flinstone’s five o’clock shadow and a flashlight to illuminate Pete Lorre’s face.

Day 8: Light and Shadow

Day 8: Light and shadow.

Day 9 we received another reference sheet of possible subject matter and were asked to render two of the objects in a mechanical way or whatever is “mechanical” to us. I took the opportunity to combine the headphones and coffee machine with my character Jazz Katt, he’s usually the tea drinking sort, but after that trip to France he caught to espresso bug.

Day 9: Mechanical drawing.

Day 9: Mechanical drawing.

Day 10 was a full page doodle. This one was fun and very challenging. I really admire the people who can do those full page doodles that flow very easily from one drawing to another. I didn’t mean for flying saucers to attack my Ya-Ya cat, but I wanted to give a nod to that ultimate graffiti artist/doodler Keith Haring. It’s not too late to get in on the drawing action just go to lynda.com and join the fun!

Day 10: Full page doodle.

Day 10: Full page doodle.

Simply Smashing!

Day 7 of the 21-Day Drawing Challenge was my favorite so far. The theme was “draw what you like” so I drew a kooky face with some Smash H2O mops and a little Posca marker for detail. After I scanned and uploaded my day 7 drawing I kept sketching with the Smash mops till around midnight! This morning some of the mops are sounding kind of empty–time to re-order. I hope Smash is listening and adds some new colors (metallics would be sweet) and a smaller felt nib for a sketch mop. The more I use the mops, the more I like them. Looking forward to another frenzied sketching session with my Smash mops.

Day 7: Smash Face

Day 7: Smash Face