Monday, June 30, 2008

Artshow and Camping

Zdepski's photo of a small bass on a rock
The boy and I had a bonding session this past weekend by heading down the Blue Ridge to Appomattox VA. My cousin hosts a small music fest on their farm in on a bluff above the James River. I've done a few drawings at past events, but this time I brought some work to hang on in the art show area. It was a nice gathering, as usual. Oldies, Bluegrass, Blues and Folk were rolling off the stage. My son and I camped out beneath a walnut tree within earshot of the rooster, goats and pigs. I was able to photograph a huge number of reference photos of goats, pigs, trees and a very interesting wrought iron fence. The town of Buena Vista offered up the fence, and some taste hamburgers one of groadiest restaurants I've ever sat in... we had to use their bathroom, too. The boy had his first fishing trip. We caught a two foot water snake. Here's the video.

We only saw one bass... he was dead and only an inch long.
Zdepski's photo of an Assassin Bug in a Tiger Lily
We took some great shots on top of the Blue Ridge, and I saw that Assassin Bug inside of a lily. He had nabbed a sweat bee and was sucking the life out of it. It's a pretty good spot for grabbing bees.

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Trickster in Indian Country Today


Puapualenalena is part of a larger book project called "Trickster" being put together by Matt Dembicki. Here's a recent article from one of the largest Native American papers out there, Indian Country Today

I still haven't heard about the time frame for publication, but it's getting press... Keep an eye opened for it.

D is for Daniel

D is for Daniel, destroying doormats - sketch by Paul Zdepski
D is for Daniel, Destroying Doormats.

Early pencil/digital sketch for an ABCs book that's in the works...

Having a pile of fun with it. Looking forward to getting it pushed into a real book.

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Wrapping up my writing

Zdepski's Daisy in the Tornado from an upcoming book
I just put the final words-to-keyboard with children's story I've been working on since 1998. I had a dream one summer's night and saw the whole thing. I went up to my Kintnersville PA studio and knocked out the initial illustration that would set the story in my mind, as well as haunt me to finish it. I've dropped the project, then picked it up off and on for the last decade, but the master's thesis has made me focus upon this as a viable project. Where there hasn't been an incentive to finish before... family, work and video games bumped it until now...

My friend Farida Karimi has taken the editing job. She had edited a HUGE book project I had on my desk a few years back, dealing with carriage driving in the late 19th C and early 20th C by some crotchety old German. Farida was able to whip it all into shape with a comprehensive and exhaustive index and glossary... and deliver on time... making me look good.

I've loaded her plate with a second book, which she has on the schedule.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

dogbabies is live

Popper Mows Her Grass - Pop-pop-pop
my new site, dogbabies.com is live, if not barely. i bought the domain name from a company in Australia with a 10 year purchase of the name. I currently have it hosted with the Artists' Cartel, Atomic Knits and a couple of demo sites. I plan on making it a clearing house and springboard for my dogBaby branded items. I have quite a few Flash based games I've been developing, including a spin the bottle game I had made with N'Sync back in the early 00s... it's really goofy. I have a card flipping Husker Du game, which is currently demo'ed on at zillustration.com. The dogBaby items will make their slow trek across the web from their place on zillustration, to the new site in the next couple of months. I haven't broadcast this to any search engines, since I haven't launched any of the internal pages, but if you're reading this blog, you want to know what's happening... so that's what's up.

Monday, June 23, 2008


Well – I bought my camera. It’s a Fuji Finepix S8100 - basically a baby SLR digital. I was advised by my professional photo buddies to try to get a Nikon and work my way up with new lenses. However, this was half the price of a used Nikon. The one big bummer is that the firmware isn't OSX friendly, and you can't USB directly into the Mac. I had to buy a card reader, pop the card in and download the images... Just a stupid software issue. I hope they figure that one out with a software patch, but I doubt they'll do it. I did some experimenting with the settings, and shot a pile of stuff I'll never use, but the Japanese Beetle on my weeping cherry tree really blew me away! I had the lens right on the leaf as I shot the picture. With 10 mega pixels, there is plenty of detail for using as reference photography. I have also been shooting photos of neighborhood yards and yard items to build my reference files for a book I'm working on. I find you have to get up early (5:30 - 7am) to get the good light. The shadows are much more interesting than mid-day. I also have begun shooting more horse carriage supporting photos for another project... so many projects... soooo many projects.

Monday, June 9, 2008

Richmond Illustrators Club Opening



Officer Rabbit's New Bike
, seen here in his antique oval frame, gets a few weeks away from my studio. The Richmond Illustrators Club had their opening of the 2nd annual juried show this on June 6, during the city-wide First Friday event. The place was hopping. I was amazed at the number of folks packed into the streets, and EVERY gallery up and down Main. I had a very hard time driving from my work in Winchester to Richmond after work, with a bunch of weekenders trying to get to the OBX. Stop,start,stop,start... over an hour added to my drive time. THEN.. like an idiot, I thought I would drive home via Charlottesville, over the Blue Ridge to the Shenandoah Valley... another extra hour to my drive time. I spent some time on the phone with my Illustration buddy Oronde Kairi from Philadelphia. He and I compare strategies on marketing and new market exposure. The man is always thinking... always looking for new venues. I believe his work is at the point where he only needs to be seen by the right backer, and he will take off. A great guy. I got home by 11 pm to find my family sweltering in the house with no AC. As of Monday, still no AC and 100 degrees forecast.