Archive for January, 2011

A big hairy man, a blue ox and trees.

Sunday, January 23rd, 2011

Paul Bunyan & Babe at the Trees of Mystery

 When I was little I was a sucker for roadside attractions.  No matter how much I begged my parents they never let me see  The Thing or the Giant Ball of Yarn.  My parents didn’t want to get “tricked” into seeing something, well, silly.   But now I am a adult.  I can do whatever I want to do.  And of course the first on my list of forbidden fun was to see a roadside attraction.

I wasn’t expecting these roadsides attractions to be equal to the Smithsonian or Wild Animal Park, but I feel that they have a kind of naive charm.  They represent a simpler time in America and demonstrate the ability to make something out of nothing.

First I saw The Thing in Arizona.  And no, I will not tell you what the thing is.  This last summer my daughter and I got to see the Trees of Mystery in Klamath, CA.  At first you might think this attraction is nothing more than someone buying some property that has trees on it and adding botanical stories and descriptive signs for each tree.  Well, yah it is, but it is a bit more than that.  My family is into kitsch so just seeing Paul Bunyan and Babe was pretty awesome.  Two things you probably didn’t know about this Paul Bunyan is the black shirt-ish thing under his red shirt is not a fuzzy camisole but his chest hair.  Very sexy.  Second, Paul actually talks to the tourist.  I believe you can shout out questions which he’ll answer.  I saw a small boy searching for something on Babe’s underbelly. At that time Paul asked the boy, “What’cha lookin’for?”.  The embarrassed boy ran out and away from Babe. I can’t blame the kid, I was kind of curious what was under there  too. 

Little trees growing on a big tree

 Like I stated before, the most interesting trees have information about them.  Like the tree above, it has little trees growing on it’s limbs.


There are a bunch of little signs everywhere that where plainly not like the rest of the signs.  My Daughter and I thought maybe they marked graves.  Cool!  But no,  these signs mark weddings that have taken place at the Trees of Mystery.  That’s cool too, but graves would have been much for fun.  I should have known that they where not grave markers by the shear quantity.  I guess I thought a massacre had happen there a long time ago in the days of the wild west.  It was just wishful thinking.   

The tram

 They have a tram there that takes you on a ride up though the trees to a mountain top.

Regret inside the tram

 See the photo of my Daughter?  That is a real live reaction to being enclose in a small, transparent tram car.   All bets where that I would get scared because I tend to get scared rather easily.  But nope, I had no problems.  I’m not quite sure what freaked my Daughter out but  she lived.

View from Top

 Nice mountain top view.

Chainsaw Carving

 On the next part of the tour you get to view a ton of chainsaw sculptures.

What exactly do they mean by pooped?

Chainsaw sculpture

 I thought this squirrel was cute.

Indian baskets

 Lastly when you arrive at the end of the tour you’ll see a gift shop and a Native American Museum.  I loved the museum because I love Indian art. So please, if you visit the Trees of Mystery check out the museum.  Native Americans are the original American crafters.

ExBoyfriend T-Shirts are for Men, Woman and Kids.

Saturday, January 22nd, 2011

There has been a bit of confusion going on.  In my last post I think that I made it sound like the shirts where only for men.  ExBoyfriend t-shirts are for Women, Kids and Men.   Each design comes in a variety of styles, colors and sizes.    They also make book totes and regular totes. 

I posted a few more photo’s to give you an idea of what they carry.  They have even more items than I have shown you here so check them out!


Woman’s Hoodie

Kid’s T-Shirt


And totes.

My work will be up at Filter Cafe in North Park, San Diego.

Wednesday, January 12th, 2011

No, it's not a unicorn whale, it's a Narwhal.

   From January 15th through February 14th, 2011,  I’ll have work on display at Filter Cafe, in North Park, San Diego.  I’ll be showing with two other artist, Nicholas Gecan and Danielle Clark. 

  I’ll be hanging several of my prints  including this Narwhal print (see above).   And yes, this is a real animal.  I didn’t just stick a unicorn horn on a whale.  I was a little surprised by how many people thought that I made this creature up.  Well, I didn’t and here is proof, The Narwhal.

Filter Cafe, 4096 30th St (between Lincoln Ave & Polk Ave)
San Diego, CA 92104
(619) 521-0533

I now have T-Shirts at ExBoyfriend!

Monday, January 10th, 2011

NOTICE:  ExBoyfriend T-Shirts has shirts  for men, women and children!  There seemed to be some confusion.  

  I few weeks ago Matt from ExBoyfriend contacted me about  designing some shirt images for his shop.  Of course I said yes.  I designed two images for him.  The first one is a somewhat irritated squirrel and the second design is a irritated unicorn. 

Someday I will have to find out why the characters I create are so irritated.    I’m sure it’s something deeply seated in my psyche and very irritating.

A Portrait of Two Dogs

Thursday, January 6th, 2011

The Partners in Crime

   Once upon a time, I did quite a few dog portraits.  I’ve created dog portraits in embroidery, watercolor, oil paints and now in giclee print.  My customer wanted the portrait as a Christmas present for a friend.  I wasn’t going to be able to meet the dogs so I had to work from photographs.  This can be difficult because I like to play and interact with my subjects to get an idea of their personalities.  Often, the owners will sit with me as I get acquainted with their furry family member(s) and tell me stories about their pets. My goal is not to make a portrait of a Pomeranian or Poodle  or German Shepard but a portrait of a friend.  More often than not,  the portrait  is a surprise for someone, or even harder, the pet has past away.  So I always do my best to get as many photographs of the subject as I can.  I still like to have the owner(s) talk to me about their dogs.  I really need to understand their pet.

  This client wanted the pups done in the cartoon style of my prints.  In cartooned styled artwork you get to concentrate on the subjects character more than exact likeness.   After a couple days of sketching I scanned in a drawing and colored it in.  I emailed the image to the client and we began a back and forth dialogue to try to find tune the personalities of the pups.    Colors had to be darkened,  the dog on the left needed to look older and the dog on the right needed to look a bit more excited.  After about 5  emails  and making a series of slight changes I got it right.  Even now, a  couple weeks after finishing the piece,  l ‘m very pleased with the portrait.

Wouldn't they make great plushies?

January’s Embroidery Pattern – It’s a polar bear!

Tuesday, January 4th, 2011
It’s a new year.  Wootpy Frigin’ Doo!
I don’t know about you but I ‘m still trying to get the whole Caga Tio thing out of my head. 
For January’s pattern I wanted a winter theme that wasn’t Christmassy.  The first idea that came to mind was a secular Polar Bear.   Okay, I know,  Polar Bears are Baptist, but in general I think we all agree that polar bears give the feeling of being atheist or maybe agnostic.   Anyway, that topic is for another time.

Polar Bear by Andrea Zuill


As always click on the pattern to get the full size image.