To my wife Lezley, on her birthday…
I’ve been drawing you for 13 years. But when EXACTLY did it start?I have records, I can figure that out.
Yesterday I dug through dozens of sketchbooks (and some other living things) to find the precise page in the precise sketchbook when I committed you to my life for the first time.
And by life, I mean my sketchbook.
The page itself isn’t dated, but the sketchbook was started in March 2007. Doing a bit of math and seeing how far into the book it was, I’d estimate that this sketch was done toward the end of the summer, probably late August. Also because you’re sporting a lighter colored purse and are wearing capri pants, short sleeves and flip flops. I may be off by a few days or so… but most likely not.
I must’ve really liked you. Wasn’t too sure if you OR Lauren liked me… but I liked you. I remember making a copy of this and your mom put it up on her refrigerator. That’s the Lourvè to dudes like me… and the quickest way to know that I’m doing something right.
Heh… must’ve liked you… that’s insane. Anyone who spends more than ten minutes with you will fall in love with you. You have that power to make people open up and be at ease. It’s gotta be the warmth of your smile. Or that laugh. You have the best laugh in the world… period. If I could ever figure out how to accurately draw your laugh it’d be the last thing I ever draw… because everything out of my pen after that is downhill.
I drew you happy. I couldn’t read you well yet, but you were always smiling when I saw you. If you notice, I also had you wearing the necklace I bought you for your first birthday we were an “US”. Nice little detail there.
13 years later, I’ve lost count at how many times I’ve draw, painted, sculpted, inked, colored, watercolored and carved you. But I think I’ve gotten better… still hoping I manage to get that one perfect image… but then again, the journey to get there is what it’s about.
I’ve said to you 2,284,635 times: I wish you could see yourself the way that I (or anyone who knows you) sees you.
But you don’t like this, you don’t like that about yourself. Too big, too small, too this, too that… whatever.
It’s all you… and you are beautiful, both inside and out. You are amazing both inside and out. I’m never going to stop telling you that.
From the first drawing to the last… you’re an amazing and beautiful pain in the ass, but I’m lucky to have you as a model to draw.
Happy Birthday Sweetheart. Love you.
The Coronavirus has touched (figuratively and literally) virtually every aspect of life. Not just a certain section of life or area, ALL LIFE. When was the last time everyone in the world had the same thing in common?
If you have an example, please let me know.
I’m scared. Terrified actually. I’m not ashamed to admit it. This is scary. This is disruptive. And… it’s taking a lot of effort telling myself it will pass. Life will be weird for a few weeks, but it will pass.
That being said, I’m afraid to touch anything. I hear a cough and I seek shelter. We have toilet paper but I STILL don’t understand why that was (and is) the number one panic buy of 2020.
I, like millions of others, have a lot to lose. I suppose my anxiety (I’ve always been a bit high strung) is in overdrive simply because I’m older and I do have so much to lose. THat’s not to say someone young couldn’t feel as I do… but it’s just… real. Really real. So much of my time is spent with the “less” real which makes the REAL real all the more real.
I’m just being honest. Being real. the few hours a day I get to make art, specifically these family portraits, are the best part of the day. I can turn my thoughts and brain off and let muscle memory do what I was trained to do. Today’s Alan Bean piece is one I’ve had in mind for a while. Great artist and great guy. If you didn’t know who he was, you would’ve never known he was one of only 12 humans to walk on the moon. Hell, he was just as shocked to get that gig as anyone.
Alan Bean was real. If I can get to even the outskirts of his real in my life, well, that’ll be an accomplishment.
I suppose today is a milestone comic strip.
Today, March 4, 2020 marks the appearance of the 6,000th Bob the Squirrel comic strip. No bells or whistles… in fact I only started really keeping track of the number after I hit 5,000 a few years back.
But, using modern technology (and my obsessive compulsive nature of keeping good dated backup files) I’ve dug up every previous milestone comic strip.
Strip #5,000 – June 8, 2017
Not much to say about this one… I did put together a giant GREATEST Hits show for this one. Took a lot of tape and Funtac to put that show together.
Strip #4,000 – September 12, 2014
Strip #3,000 – December 11, 2011
I was closing in on ten years of Bob the Squirrel at this point… and I questioned if I should continue doing the strip. I had a small, loyal fan base, but the likelihood of the strip being my only job was looking like a longer and longer long-shot. Should I quit and try something else that maybe would benefit me financially? Or did the squirrel talk me out of it?
Strip #2,000 – March 22, 2009
We were in our new house just under a year when I drew this. This was also when I was really into the Ben and Jerry’s ice cream pints. Lucy’s favorite was Pistachio Pistachio … I would get a spoon and feed it to her right out of the container. I tell Lez that she should have known what type of guy I was by witnessing that act. She had every opportunity to grab Lauren and run… 🙂
Strip #1,000 – June 20, 2006
I wasn’t sure if I should include this one… despite it being the 1,000th strip. This may sound horrible… well, it DOES sound horrible. I sometimes forget that I was married once before… and that I had a whole other life in a whole other city. But, I did… and I have the strips to prove it. And really, aside from a few bits of clothes and my drawing board, the strips are the ONLY things I kept from that life.
So, that’s the strip… thousand by thousand. Hope we’re all around for the 7,000th – which, barring any life complications, should be appearing November 29, 2022.