Saturday, December 11, 2010

Been kinda Busy

  We start off with some new Hakos.  These are the Automatons of Professor Tinkerbot.  I'm calling them Tinkerbots in the tradition of mass media calling Doctor Frankenstein creature "Frankenstein".  Later on, we'll get a glimpse of Professor Tinkerbot's world.

Next up is "42 and the Suntriffids".  I could have called the walking sunflowers something else, but I'm not ashamed or afraid to acknowledge my inspirations and influences.  I remember watching the 'Day of the Triffids' on channel 40 (in Sacramento) way back in the Creature Features era, though I don't think it was actually on Bob's show.  It didn't scare me so much as got my head working out the idea that plants may be silent, but they're far from static creatures and could very well have a society of their own with history, language and even art.

 And now for something silly, "Alien Panda Attack"  was started as a layered piece.  Just an experiment in combining chalk pastel and paint.  Next thing I know, I start seeing this flying saucer shape, so I decide to add a Panda to it and a bunch of explosions.  The colors are not neon, they just kinda came out that way.  Pastels have such vibrant pigments.
 "Astronomy" also began as an experiment...honestly, I think all my work is an experiment.  I took two 8 x 10s, scraped the remains of my pallet; all the pools of paint, and slathered it on one of the canvases.  I then pressed the two together and gave it some time to bond a bit.  When I began to pull them apart, they kinda slid against each other. I saw the hill and what looked like an elephant sitting on it, so I painted it. 

A guy I know, Ben Poulsen, posts up these hilarious videos. One of them is an animated ad for a comic called Zblucops Turbo Justice, that's how come the Cinderbot has stars on his hands and while I haven't read the comic, I've got the feeling that the over the top feel of the story fits with "Awesome Robo - Cinderbot" and his exploits.  Eh, it's a start...
 It's called "My Own Way" mostly because the Duran Duran song was playing when I finished the piece.  You could also say it's all about my way of art.  Sure, I could go for photo realism, surrealist or 'fuzzy fun happy little glowing windows' but i like my style the way it is for now.  There's still some accuracy and even some sentimentality, but it's my way.

And then there's "Water Breather" titled thus because it's better than just calling it "Untitled". Maybe it's just a character development thing.  I sometimes make pieces that had no clear start but will eventually take root in a story and maybe there will be more of this squid-thing.

"Take the Wheel" comes from a dream I had about the pink trees I paint and classic cars.  In the dream, there were all these  ruined and rusting cars with shrubs and trees growing out of them. There was also this sense of weightlessness. 
"The Island of Professor Tinkerbot" exists in the Titania story.  Some would say I got influenced by Avatar...actually no.  I've been putting floating islands and mountains into my work since the 70's when I played a lot of Dungeons and Dragons.  The concept of floating islands has been around for centuries and even has a place in mythology.  I could burn a few pages listing all the stories, but I'll encourage you to do so instead.  In summary, Titania is populated mainly by machines.  There are some humans, but they're rare.  The current story moves around a fantasy-steam puck kind of world.  I've been working the story out for some time now, but mostly it's been source material for paintings and models.

And that's pretty much what I've been tinkering with these past few weeks.  The Tinkerbots seem to be taking the lead in my efforts and I feel I may have a publishable book soon.  Not sure if it will be an illustrated novel or a full on graphic novel.  I may just go ahead with an earlier concept of telling the story in verse and accompanying it with paintings and models.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

More Pandas!!!

In this posting:


"That Makes Me A Mad Panda"


Check back to this post to see more as I finish them!

Sunday, November 7, 2010

A New Theme in my Work

Pandas, for me, represent that steady calm that comes with fully understanding who you are, what you want and what you're all about.  I know most people are drawn to them because they're "cute and cuddly" and so there's that "popular opinion" that just begs to be questioned, challenged and maybe even openly attacked (as can be seen when I depict Pandas as a bit less than "cuddly").  Furthermore, pandas have become an international symbol, like the polar bear, of global climate issues and environmental awareness. Just as I don't go around pushing my religious beliefs as the "one true way" neither do I beat the brow of the environmentally unconscious, but I do feel there could be some real interest applied to the concerns and real time issues that have been developing.  So, are my Panda Paintings environmentally charged as well as "cute and cuddly"?  Perhaps so, but only in the sense that when all the Pandas are gone, who'll be here to miss them?

Monday, November 1, 2010

Día de los Muertos Catrinas and Calacas

Día de los Muertos Catrinas and Calacas at United Coffee House for a very limited time.

Saturday, October 2, 2010




I've posted the paintings and their prices on Craig's List...just click the link/Subject




Wednesday, August 11, 2010


"Theory of the Daisies", 16 x 20 
"Eye Catchers" 16x20
Pac Man Hako Board Game
With Summer Break finally official for me, I've unloaded on a bunch of canvases and card and have produced new paintings and Hakos!  They're up at United Coffee House. Above are just a couple of samples.  Don't forget the Hakos.  This season, I'm building homages to early arcade games and even making a few customized board games like the Pac Man Hako Board Game (pictured at right). I hope you can make it down to see Tiffany and all the great art that covers the walls at United Coffee House.

Saturday, July 31, 2010

Because I am an Arcade Kid

So, an art buddy of mine, John Hageman, posted up this cutout of Bomberman he did.  Really Cool!!  A few years back, I had done some Pac Man cutouts that now grace the walls of an other art friend, Nicolas Ceasar.  It got me to thinking that I should revisit that project but in a different perspective.  So I started making Hakos of some of my favorite Arcade games.  Here's the first batch from Dig Dug.

They are Hakos, so they're put together and hand painted rather than being just another papercraft you print and fold, though, I plan to release a book which will feature some of my all time favorites and some new ones that you can cut out and assemble and even a few Hakomorphs to customize.  There will also be some environments for the Arcadians (temporary project name) like the underground for Dig Dug or a maze for Pac Man.

Friday, July 2, 2010

New Hakos sent to United Coffee House

So, I'm trying out a few different ideas, most notable is the last Hako with an actual scene painted around it.  Just to note: there are 42 butterflies on it.  The other idea was the dragon looking fellow.  I called it Drake.  I was trying out the pattern I use to make the fins on my Hako Rockets as spines.  I don't have a photo of the back, but I'm very pleased with the results.  Another experiment is the yellow bunny with all squared off elements.  The balance of the design is fairly stable and I like the way the character captures that 16 bit video game feel.  The Hako Bunnies, the one pictured to the left of the yellow chap, are fun to make and quite versatile.  They do take a bit longer than the average Hako due to added much more cutting and all of it done by hand.  I've forgone the old aesthetic of 1.25x1.25x2 and have gone in favor of letting the material determine size and proportions, though, the cube or HAKO is still a stable and consistent proportion, the sizes really fluctuate a lot now.  I feel it gives the Hakos more variety.

I've started another batch a few days ago and they should all be ready to photograph by this evening.  There's been this idea flitting around in my head lately for a new, fanciful HakoElement.  I hope you all like it...


Tuesday, June 8, 2010


This is Dinobot Malibu 715.  Okay, weird name but I'll explain.  Dino here is yet another "Let's grab a bunch of elements and see what happens" creation.  I just started assembling boxes and joining them until a shape occurred.  When I saw that it looked a lot like a dinosaur, I went with the idea and added spines and little arms.  The Jaw and eyes were a final touch to give it that Cinder Hakobot feel.  Next was to figure out color and texture.  Since he's a bot, I figure I'd go with a rusted metal effect and that blue would be the color.  As for the title: Dinobot because he's a Robot Dinosaur, Malibu because...well...that was the word on the radio when I asked myself what to call it.  715 is the time at which he was truly completed.  So there you have it. 


Monday, June 7, 2010


So, it's been a while since I've done up one of these and I figured I'd just go stream of consciousness with the whole process and see what happens.  It started off as a Mighty Mug Smurf.  Not any particular character either.  I found it in a toy store sitting on the shelf with its mates and just thought, "Hey, that might be kinda fun to mess with."  Be glad you didn't know me when I was eight: "Hey look!  There's a snake in that bush...might be kinda fun to mess with."  and "I found my dad's soldering kit and some bits...might be kinda fun to mess with."

Anyway.  I bought as many as I could afford and took them home to the studio.  Now, I have some blank Mighty Mugs...had them for a couple years actually and really don't get too inspired with them.  But the Smurf shape was just so funky, I knew that if I put one on the desk for a while, I'd come up with something.  Sure enough, I did.  A lot of different ideas, actually.  I began sketch ideas, write out names and doodle on the little guy until he was pretty much a jumble of scribbles, what I call a "scrumble".  Then it hit me: LOBOTOMY! So off went the top of his head.  I'll confess, staring at a partially headless Smurf can get unsettling.  I tinkered around with the idea of putting a Hako in the some of those urban artists do to Munny's and other vinyl toys. Kinda liked the idea of a!! hit me again.  A week passes and I get the idea to put a spray can cap on the head to cover up the hole.  I have more than a few of these laying about for whatever odd reason (wink wink nudge nudge wink).  Hey! LOBOTOMY!! my twisted imagination says and I sculpt a brain to go on top of the spray cap.  What does a brain need?  Brain Cap!  So into the bit bin I go. After a few minutes of swimming about the seemingly random collection of bits, I come up with the clear half of a toy capsule.  Pretty cool!  I also brought up two smaller versions of the toy capsule as well.  Then, one grossly late evening, whilst the rest of the family was asleep, I make my monster:


Kinda reminds me of the Mars Attacks alien...that's why I called it "the INVADER!".

Be seeing you...


Saturday, May 15, 2010


Yes, they're back.  I've been dreaming all kinds of shorted circuits and now the Hakos have returned with a foce.  Not only are there the classic like Telebot, the Masters and Alpha One, but the Ninjarillas, Brainliens, and Hakozillas have brought along Hakophibians and Rustaceans and the Tinkerbots are busy building Rockets, Blimps and Speeders for the Hakos to race along in.

Spots you can spot the Hakos:

United Coffee House
2114 Sutterville Road
Sacramento, CA 95822
Open Mon-Thu 6am-6pm; Fri 6am-4pm; Weekends 7am-2pm

Side Show Studios Custom Tattoo and Fine Art
5635 Freeport Boulevard
Sacramento, CA 95822-3527
(916) 391-6400
Open Daily 10am-10pm

Toy Fusion (On going exhibit 'cause Andrew adopted a few)
1908 El Camino Avenue
Sacramento, CA 95815
(916) 565-2546
Open Thu-Fri 12pm-6pm; Weekends 12pm-5pm

Dragatomi (As part of their Not Vinyl Show this May)
2317 J Street
Sacramento, CA 95816
(916) 706-0535

Psycho Donuts
2006 Winchester Boulevard
Campbell, CA 95008-3400
(408) 378-4540

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Monday, April 12, 2010

C!nder at United Coffee House in Sacramento

The show is up now and there will be a reception this Saturday, 17 April 2010.  Here's the details:

Reception starts at 6pm.

"be seeing you..."

Monday, March 22, 2010

My First Solo Show This April at United Coffee House

This is very exciting for me!  This April, United Coffee House will be hosting my first solo show!  I'm planning on having at least 40 paintings and a score or more of Hakos on walls and counters for sale.  A lot of the paintings will be new works featuring my characters and story worlds.  This show will also debut my first Art Game: Rocket Racers.
Be seeing you...

Monday, February 1, 2010

Finally getting started on "The Project"....


A few years back...actually, many years ago when I and my brother were just in grade school, I had this idea of making my own paper models that I could sell as either fully assemble toys or semi assembled kits.  The concept had followed me all throughout my art and hobby filled life until 'a few years back' I started making the Hakobots.  Originally, the Hakos were just a DIY toy similar to the vinyl toy movement.  I'd make a random batch for art shows with a select few to be placed serendipitously about Sacramento or handed off to individuals.  Eventually, the idea to make a game for them came about.  Hobby gaming is a big part of my recreational, family and creative life and I'm just fascinated with games in general.  "I'm most happiest when I'm playing games." was an answer I gave in a class once where they do that whole self evaluation project.  It's true: I am happiest when I'm playing games...more importantly, when I'm playing games with people I care about and enjoy being around.  To an extent, I see the way I create as a game.  There is a strategy you select, which is your subject matter, theme, materials and composition.  Then, once you get into the process, you have your tactics which is how you put it all together.  There's also a metagame with the creative process, but that could be a whole book by the time I'm finished with the topic (hint, hint...wink, wink, nudge nudge). 

So a game for the Hakos was developed, playtested and distributed amongst interested friends.  It didn't really pick up after that. I had designed the game where you would take a collection of Hakos and battle it out on a table top, floor or whatever against another guy/gals collection or even a singl Hako.  The cool part was that you could choose either a predesigned set of stats for you Hako or make up your own.  Well, "cool" doesn't always move the idea.  So I rethought the idea and came to this conclusion: People like the Hakos for themselves; having a game isn't all that important and if I wanted to get people interested in playing with the Hakos, I should keep the game quick and fun.  The "Strategy Table Top" game is fine, just a bit more than what most people have time to get into.  The next consideration was "How do I make this fun for me to make as well?" That was easy, develope several styles of play that could be applied to varrying formats and themes.  

One such theme is the resource race.  A fun concept that could take as long or short a time as the players wanted.  Enter "Asteroid Racers".  It's a board game with a start, a finish and a dynamic board where you can move your pieces in a semi random route.  The above photo shows a rough layout of the board which is actually the top of an IKEA end table I had in the studio for about two years.  Of course, there will be a small set of Hakos to go with it along with a pair of game dice and means to store the playing pieces when not in use.  The technical aspect of the playing board will be that it can still serve as an end table as I plan to lay down several coats of clear spray to seal it well.  I'm experimenting with Mimwax and if by the time the table is ready, I'm comfortable enough with Mimwax, I may use that as well as it will resist wear a bit better...or so I'm told.



Now that I've finished the paint, I'll let it set for an evening before clear coating.  Designing and building the Hakos to go with it will be the next step.  There's also the consideration of game dice and a means to store the pieces when not in use.  I think a simple, classic bag with draw string will do nicely.  There's a crux under the table where the three legs come together and it would be just the size for a bag of two dice and two Hakos.  I tested a few different predesigned dice and found that the rebound on the table is such that the dice bounced off a few times too many for my liking.  So, I'll also be building a Hako dice cup to help control that.  Another idea I used in a different game was to place the dice in one of those capsules found in coin-op toy machines.  You'd only need to roll one die; with the die in it's own container/enclosed die cup, you'd simply shake the capsule then place it on the table.  Die rolled, number generated and no "Quick!  Catch it before the cat does!"   The thing is:  I've used up nearly all my capsules in other I'll hunt around for a ready alternative or engineer a Hako to be a Dice Capsule.  Possibilties...I could design the Hako to look like a rocket ship with the view port large enough to see the die inside.  Check back for updates!


Sunday, January 31, 2010

In further news of Titania...


Titania Beach Holiday
16 x 22.25

While Titania is void of any such things as beaches, in the normal sense, it is not beyond the capacity of the Tinkerers to create one. Titania Beach is one such locale and is typically well guarded.


The Lost Palace of Alhambra
13 x 10

Legends abound in Titania.  One such story is of a magnificent palace where thousands would gather to be entertained and even whisked away to distant lands and times if only for the briefest of moments.  It was said that the palace suffered a dire fate and had vanished from the land until a Skyprobe discovered it hidden cleverly amongst the pure clouds high above.


Attack of the Kadian Horrors
13 x 10

There is danger in invasion has begun!  Wretches of vile insipidity prowl the skyways in search of prey.  Only the Rocketbots have raised arms against these monstrosities ...we can only hope they succeed or inspire others!

Friday, January 22, 2010

Art Show Comming Up!

Just click on the above and see a higher res version for all the information.
Here's a sample of what I'll be bringing:

Donated to the Sweet Relief  benefit raffle will be "A Daisy For the Invaders"  16" x 16" acrylic.

Hope to see you there!!


Wednesday, January 13, 2010

I got some really great art up at a really great spot

UNITED COFFEE HOUSE, on Suttervile road just across from City College, will be hosting Char Hall, Matt Marsango and yours truly this month on their magnificent walls. 

Many thanks to Tiffany and Harjinder for having me!  You can find United Coffee House at

and here's a sample of the work I'll have up this month:

Arrival by Lighthouse No. 6  
36 X 18

The Lighthouses are an enigma in Titania and well avoided as none who has entered one ever returned.  Despite their well kept appearance they are ancient beyond lore. Some assert that they are gates to other planes or worlds and others claim that they are phantoms of an age long since age of oceans and green trees.

Teddyloons and Blimps
14 x 11

Did I mention that there are many an eccentric in the lands of Titania?  Professor Wilfred Copperbutton is one such tinkerer who delights in launching teddy bear shaped air mines to deter unwanted visitors to his fortress.

Rocket Launching Albino Lemmings
20 x 16
A recent development of Prof. Copperbutton, the RLAL have only a rudimentary state of sentience and intellegence such that they maintain an attention span just barely long enough to remember the target they were set against.  What frustrates the Prof. most is their uneering habbit of releasing the lift baloon once their projectile has been launched.


"Battleheart Descendant". 

In the world of Titania, there be a few eccentric captains for sure. Obviously, function fails against aesthetics here. 

Return of the Kraken
14 x 11

Pirate, scoundrel, hooligan, thief and vandal.  All these are fine names, but Thadeus Powell prefers Captain most of all.  The Kraken is a brazen display of lawlessness amongst the open skies.  A blight to be harried and stamped out...were it not for its arcane void shields!

And in case you happen to stop by, my work is in the space near the patio...

...I think that bird likes one of the paintings...