Art school watercolors...

I have a website for my fine art from over the years. I do not update it primarily because I am thinking about overhauling the site entirely after I finish some personal illustration projects, but that will not be for some time. (hopefully next fall...) So, I thought I might add a few things to this site. I have some watercolors I'd love to show that are really the best of anything I did in art school. I was pretty young, 19 or 20, and heavily under the influence of my fantastic teacher Irving Shapiro, an incredible watercolorist who took the craft to a whole new level. Anyway, here are my paintings from about 1991-92.

I won a fancy Society of Illustrators award for the above painting...it's in a book somewhere. Also, the art school I went to, The American Academy of Art in Chicago, bought the painting and framed it for their walls. To me that was the most incredible honor and still is when I consider the school's walls are decorated with the likes of Richard Schmid, Haddon Sundblom, Gil Elvgren, Howard Terpning and a host of other incredible painters. My heart skips a beat when I think about it!

I gave the painting of the oranges and lemons to my sister.

Jody Kirberger, owner of the Talisman Gallery in Bartlesville, OK bought the lilly painting for her house.

Several thoughts come up when I look back at these paintings. First, this is the work that led me to work as a background painter at Calabash Animation in Chicago, a job that introduced me to animation and caused me to learn sooooo much about painting from memory and developing my imagination.

The other thoughts I have are more esoteric; I can see how I was on my way to a washy brushy look, which with some time and development could have been far more confident and interesting to look at. These paintings are stiff; I was so concerned with drawing things correctly I can see now that it caused me to freak out and tighten up. I am hoping with the new personal projects I am working on (in secret...hehe) to get back to this approach with a more experienced, older eye and looseness of brushstrokes. I can see it so clearly in my head...now if only I could do it in real life. We shall see...

Happy Thanksgiving!


(click on art for larger version)
At one point, Pogo was playing with the idea of creating a Pogo Kids website, complete with kids games and an avatar system, all created in Flash/Illustrator. This was (and still is, I believe) to honor a deal that Electronic Arts has with Hasbro, who they have partnered with in the online gaming community. Although these initial concepts never came to fruition, I enjoyed designing some interesting characters that would be vector based. I really loved the graphic look we had in mind for the concept. As with many Pogo projects, this was a collaborative effort. The team consisted of myself, and two other artists - I worked on the avatar, avatar selector, and wardrobe.

(click on art to see larger version)
I also illustrated many mix and match badges for Pogo.com. The users collected the badges as rewards for achieving a certain number of games won. The badge program at Pogo has been very successful for our users, who like to collect as many as they can!

Pogo Mini Costume Designs

For the past few years, I have been working at Electronic Arts online casual gaming company, Pogo.com, as a staff artist. I have been primarily designing game art, costumes, backgrounds, and badges. On Monday I was laid off due to overseas outsourcing. I feel sad about this, especially since every single day I came into work feeling excited and happy about the work I was doing. I always took every single project seriously, no matter how 'small' or how 'big' the assignment was. I've always held that if an artist is a good artist, no matter what he or she touches, it should be of the highest quality and taken seriously.

I began working for Pogo/Electronic Arts as a contractor in 2003. At that time I designed some games, Canasta, Pinochle and a few others, while also providing lots and lots of artwork for various other games, like Mahjong, TriPeaks, etc. Eventually Pogo began a program called the Pogo Mini's, avatars for the users that can be customized with faces, skin color, facial expressions, hair, clothing, costumes, backgrounds, accessories, and even pets. I enjoyed this work SO much and always tried to bring interesting and fun items to our users.


It's always really cool seeing your own work framed. I sent these three paintings to my mom and sister for their birthdays. I hope they like them!


I found this little watercolor I did for an illustration job several years ago. It's a little cheesy.


a couple of small watercolors from my sketchbook. The tree was in the Presidio and the tower is part of a highschool (the name of which I don't know) across from Dolores Park.