Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Dark Heart In Blue

My latest painting is called "Dark Heart In Blue".  In many ways, I feel that I do have a bit of a "dark heart". I've been hurt, like many people have, and that affects me. It would be easy to just give in the depression and negativity and pain, but I try to hold on to hope. I work at being a better person, even if I do not always succeed. The shades of blue, the stars, and the silver represent better things or hope. 

Here's the painting in progress....

I started off with a 5"x7" canvas board. I had already laid some paint on it, probably going for something different, but decided that this would make a good basis. A little of this layer shows through in the finished piece.

So, I laid down my main blue colour, which was a light blue. I mixed in a darker shade to add some interest.  

After the blue layer had dried, I added the silver. I used some silver paint (which tried it's best to squirt all over me!) and added it, using stippling. The brush I used was not meant for stippling, but I liked the effect.

Once the silver had dried, I painted on the heart. I meant it to be off-center, but I guess my hand had other ideas. Still, it's not perfect, and was not meant to be. After the paint had dried, I used ink markers and paint markers to embellish the piece. Here's the final product...

If you like this painting, and would like to purchase it, it's available at:

I hope you enjoyed this look at how I build a painting. Take care!

#painting #heart #abstractart #Etsy

Electric Bunny's Revenge!

That's right. The Electric Bunny is back! In this new drawing, he's not really after revenge. He's just using his electrical powers to cook a carrot for lunch! 

I did something new when I was colouring this piece. Like most of my work, I pencil it, then ink it, often inking with a brush. I scan it in, and colour it digitally. (I colour sketch cards by hand with various markers however.) So, I had started the colouring process, and I decided... why not outline areas in a darker shade of the colour I'm using? I was already using my pad attachment to colour, so... I went for it. I can't remember if this is my first time doing this, or if I've tried this technique before. I'm pleased with the results.

Electric Bunny t-shirts & prints can be found here:
I'll work on a new drawing of Electric Bunny... and maybe even give him a name! 

Saturday, July 25, 2015

Comic Book Connection

Today, my nephew and I attended the Comic Book Connection show. It was great, as always! LOTS of 50-cents boxes to look through! I found a bunch of Archie's from the late 60's / early 70's, some golden age reprint editions (Doll Man, Ibis), and volume 2 of Electric Girl. 

Never heard of Electric Girl? Then go hunt down a copy! I read volume 1 years ago, and found it to be charming and a LOT of fun! Look for them at

I'm a huge comics nerd, and I love going to the CBC shows. I always get a lot of comics to read, and at a good price. I even get to chat with like-minded people (comic nerds) as well paw through the boxes! The CBC Gang does shows all over Florida, so check them out if you get the chance. 

There were a couple of artists at this show as well. The super-talented Savy Lim, who can be found at  The guys from were there as well! Both of them had a LOT of cool art and prints available! 

In all, a fun afternoon! Now, it's time to read some comics...

I'm also serving some early 1980's AC Comics realness with this find - Starmasters #1. A duplicate copy for me, but I couldn't leave it orphaned in the boxes. The Men Of Mystery Comics above is one of AC's recent editions. Check out their line of comics at

Friday, July 24, 2015


Yesterday, a friend posted on Facebook about his frustration with making a living as an artist. I think this is a common theme for many of us, artists, writers, and other individuals who work from home. Let's face it, no matter how much we love what we do, it can be depressing to work alone. Some of us (like me) also face depression issues naturally, and they can be made worse by working alone.

Like many artists, I struggle with the business side of it. I do okay, but it's constant work. And I'm always looking for new ways to sell art. Part of the advice I gave my friend was to broaden things, and try to sell in different venues. When you create a piece of art, sometimes you have to try to make that art work for you in several venues. That painting that you're going to list on Etsy might also make a cool t-shirt design, and look good on other products offered by sites such as RedBubble and Society6. (See my links, hint hint.) That fan art sketch card or pin-up might make a cool shirt on TeePublic, or be submission fodder for the various shirt-a-day/week sites. 

I also suggested that when he's frustrated, he should change up his routine a bit. Take a break. Read a book. Go see a movie. Walk around the block. Whatever. There are days where I cannot look at what I'm working on any longer, so I take a break and go read a bit. Of course, I often have multiple projects running, so I might just switch gears and work on something else. My project queue often looks like:

*scan photos for eBay (my biggest sales come from eBay, and they are of my beefcake photos)
*ink and/or colour the current batch of sketch cards
*finish the current painting
*write more on my novel
*write some comic scripts
*letter comic pages
*ink or draw comic stories
*create new digital art

I feel like I'm leaving stuff off, and I probably am. The gist of it is that I'm usually juggling a lot. Sometimes this works in my favor. Other times, not so much. (I've been dragging my feet with comic-related work, for example, and I've gotten stuck with writing that novel.) Sometimes this list makes me feel overwhelmed. Add to it projects like a return to beading and a desire to create custom Mego-esque action figures. "Oy! With the poodles already!" (bonus points if you know where that's from!)

I will say this... walking helps. I started walking again recently, in an attempt to lose weight. But it also helps with the depression issues that often walk with me. Depression is not easy to deal with. It's not the "something bad happened, so he's depressed" thing that's normal. It's the "oh, it's a day ending in Y so I'm depressed" thing. I've learned to manage... Sometimes I switch gears, sometimes I give in to it, and other times I distract myself. I have trained myself to work no matter how I feel. But, walking does help to keep that depression in check, so I'm glad I'm walking again... even if the outdoors feels like an oven every time I step out.

Below is one of my favourite songs, by a favourite band... Madison Park. It's called "Another Yesterday", and I feel that this is about depression... but it's someone viewing a loved one going through depression. Excellent song, but an excellent band! 

I hope there has been some help here... If you work by yourself, or even if you deal with depression, I hope you can take away an idea from what I've just babbled on about. Keep your head up and keep going a day, an hour, or even a minute at a time! Don't be afraid to reach out for help if depression is really bad, and vent to your friends, or even on your Facebook page. 

Take care!

#depression #art #MadisonPark #self-employed

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

new sketch cards

I've completed two new sketch cards this week...
Hunk with Pink Hair, up at


Starfire (DC's latest look for her)
I've got a couple more sketch cards to ink up and colour, as well as some other art to work on, so I'm back to it.
Remember: There are more sketch cards available on eBay. That said, my beefcake photos are up there too, and it might not be to everyone's taste. Click and hit "Seller's Other Items" at your own risk. 
I'm also available for commission work. Sketch cards start at $13.95. Just contact me to set something up. 


Monday, July 20, 2015

Art Cards on Etsy!

Years ago, I created a bunch of art cards. They were quick collaged pieces. When I started painting again this past year, I started by working on these old pieces of mine. They needed some help, so I added paint and made new cards. Some were total over-hauls. Some were just enhancements, like the card pictured.

Working on these cards got me started with painting again. I had missed working with paint, and didn't even realize it. I worked on abstract expressionist pieces, which really connected with something deep inside of me. After working on the cards, I moved on to small canvases. The link above is for that particular card, but if you view my Etsy shop, you will see the paintings I have been working on. Or, you can follow this link:

I'm glad I'm painting again, and I'm hoping I can find some space to do some larger pieces. Right now, I'm working on an 8x10 piece, and will share that when it's complete.

Now, it's back to work I go...

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Pink Crack Cake!

So, I found this interesting new recipe the other day. Check it out here: It's for Crack Cake. The cake has vanilla pudding mix, cinnamon, and white wine in it. It is amazingly delicious! I can see why they called it Crack Cake!

Well, I don't always follow directions. Since this recipe called for a cake mix, I thought... why not try one of Duff Goldman's colourful cake mixes? Woo hoo! In terms of flavor, it's awesome! In terms of the colour... well, I screwed that up. 

So, I got all my ingredients for the cake together (check the link above for the recipe!) and mixed them as directed. I separated the batter, which was much looser than what the cake mix intended. I also did not separate them evenly. The small batch of pink wound up being too close to the large batch of pink.

I put the coloured batter into the cake pan, and raced it to the oven, but between my lack of mixing the colour correctly, and the loose batter, I got a pink  cake with some bits of white. It still looks cool though! And it tastes awesome!

All this means is: I'll have to try Duff's cake mix when I have something else in mind! Still, I had fun working with this product, and look forward to using it again!

Folks, don't be afraid to try stuff... Sometimes it works out, sometimes it doesn't. This didn't quite turn out as I hoped, but I still have a super yummy cake to eat! In fact, I think it's time to go get another piece...

Monday, July 13, 2015

Meeting President Lyndon B. Johnson...

So, while my grandfather, Haydon Burns, was Mayor of Jacksonville, he met President Lyndon Johnson. Mom said that this was down in Miami, while Papa was still campaigning for Governor. Anyway, the photos were taken in 1964. The first photo also includes Governor Bryant. In the second photo, I could not read all the names - the handwriting was not a family member's, and difficult to read. (Sorry about that!) I just thought I'd share this little tidbit of history.

Governor Bryant, Mayor Burns, President Johnson

Sunday, July 12, 2015

Spicy Blueberry Pie

When I was at the store the other day, I picked up some blueberries. They looked yummy, and were on sale. Yay! So, I decided this morning to make a pie. Specifically, a Spicy Blueberry Pie. The recipe came from the June 1996 issue of Southern Living magazine. I've made it several times, and it's yummy! However - I did a variation this time. I didn't have dough to top the pie with, so I just made a simple crumble for the topping. It was awesome! 

About the photos: First of all, the photos I take are done in my kitchen of the actual food I make, (If I use something from someone's web-site, it'll likely have their logo and I'll likely credit it.) I'm pretty straight-forward as a photographer... this is what it is! I did forget to take making-of photos, and I apologize for that. I was going to take a photo of a slice, but the pie turned out a little loose, and every slice came out messy! I've made this other times where every slice is perfect, so... I think it's hit or miss.

I was drawn to this recipe by it's use of cinnamon and allspice. I had never thought to use those spices in a blueberry pie. Most fillings seem to be blueberries with some sugar and flour or corn starch, and maybe a splash of lemon juice. This was interesting, and ever since I first made it, it has become my favourite blueberry pie to make. The flavor is just incredicble! The pie is juicy, and rich, and you get those hints of the spices as you eat. Serve a warm slice with a scoop of vanilla ice cream and that is just heavenly!

So, here's the recipe...


3/4 cup sugar
1/2 cup firmly packed brown sugar
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground allspice
5 cups fresh blueberries
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 tablespoon butter or margarine, melted
1 (15-ounce) package refrigerated piecrusts
1 tablespoon milk
1 teaspoon sugar

*Combine the first 8 ingredients, tossing gently.

*Fit 1 piecrust into a 9-inch pieplate according to package directions. Spoon blueberry mixture into pastry shell.

*Roll remaining piecrust to 1/8-inch thichness; cut into 6 (2 1/2 inch wide) strips. Arrange strips in a lattice design over filling; fold edges under and crimp. Brush pastry with milk; sprinkle with 1 teaspoon sugar.

*Bake at 400-degrees for 40-45 minutes or until golden, shielding edges with strips of aluminum foil to prevent excess browning during last 20 minutes of baking.

NOTE: If you would like to make the crumb topping instead of a pastry topping, it's easy. Take a half stick of butter (or margarine), 1 cup of flour and 1 cup of brown sugar and mix them in a bowl with a fork or hand-held mixer until the texture is coarse and crumbly. I used half of this mixture on my pie, but top yours with as much as you like. The pie is awesome with either topping! 

I hope you all try this recipe and enjoy it!

Friday, July 10, 2015

Beefcake photos on eBay...

A quick update...

Those who have been following me for a while know that part of my artistic expression lies with "beefcake" photos. I draw a lot of inspiration from the beefcake photos of the 1950's and 1960's. I also have the aesthetic that all kinds of men can be sexy and/or interesting to look at. So, even though you see muscle hunk Constantine up there, I have worked with all kinds of guys. 

Anyway, eBay has given away free listings this week, so I've been occupied with posting photos. If I don't post 'em, I can't sell 'em. 

If you are interested in checking them out, here's the link: That takes you to my eBay profile, which has my listings as well. Warning: not everything is safe to view at work. (I don't want anyone to be offended.) It's also not everyone's cup of tea. If it's not yours, fear not... I should have a recipe or some other type of art up here in a couple of days time.

Take care. Have a groovy weekend everyone!

Monday, July 6, 2015

Blasts From The Past!

I've been working on scanning in old family photos... Mom gives me a small batch, and I work on scanning them in. We have LOTS and LOTS to scan in. From today's batch...

Mom's Aunt Ida Lois. Not sure when this portrait was taken, but it looks like a 1920's photo. [Correction: Mom says that this was taken in the early 1930's.]

This second photo is of my grandparents, Haydon and Mildred Burns. This was the first dance at the Tallahassee Ball, 1960-something (when Papa was Governor). The tickets sold went to raise funds for the Burns Scholarship Fund.

Now, I'm not a search-the-family-tree-back-to-the-cavemen kind of guy, but I do find the old photos and family history interesting. Mom is interested in the research, and has shared her finds with the family.  In the meantime, I'm having fun scanning and looking at the old photos.

Society6 Promotion

Get free shipping and $5 off all-over tees on Society6! Now is a good time to pick up some cool items that have my art on them!

Promotion expires July 12, 2015 at Midnight Pacific Time. *Free Shipping offer excludes Framed Art Prints, Stretched Canvases, Wall Clocks and Rugs

Saturday, July 4, 2015

Happy 4th!

I hope everyone has a Happy and Safe 4th of July!

If you're setting  off fireworks at home, please be mindful that some veterans have post-traumatic stress disorder. Make sure the fireworks are not only safe for you and your family, but for your neighbors as well.

The sketch cards were drawn by me. Featured are Captain America, Star-Spangled Kid & Stripesy, and Miss Victory.