"A sketchbook is a secret thing, a collection of unfinished and often times abandoned ideas never intended for public consumption—at least not in their current state. It’s a private space for honing one’s craft and workshopping, separating good ideas from those best left unexplored." -Brian Heater at The Daily Cross Hatch.

26 February 2010

Liberty Cuffs

Recently someone requested I do an illustration of "Liberty Cuffs", an old school Navy tradition where sailors had handmade patches sewn inside the cuffs of their jumpers. SCPO Daniel D. Smith's article on "Liberty Cuffs" can give you a full rundown on the history of this sartorial practice. Navy uniform threads on Military.Com and the US Militaria Forum have some personal photos of Liberty Cuffs and anecdotes about getting and wearing them by real, gen-u-ine sailors.

For these cuffs I decided to illustrate the submarine warfare badge (because it's so cool) and a mermaid (how could I not)...I also tried to paint in red and green stitching on the wearer's port and starboard sleeves to mimic running lights. Didn't work out so well, but I know what I'd do different next time.

(And for those of you visiting for around the country and around the world, don't be shy and leave a comment! Thanks for stopping by.)

EDIT 050411: Signed giclee prints of this image are available! Drop me a line at coldisthesea09@yahoo.com to inquire!
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From the Vaults: More from the Surf Craze of Aught-Seven


I've been working like a dog all week so I can have time to draw and paint on Sunday...We'll see...here's another oldie.
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25 February 2010

From the Vaults: The Adventures of Bud Dry


You know, all of this working for a living crap, sucks.
I'd really like to do some art again...However, in lieu of such an opportunity (and until I win the lottery) I present you with a vaguely maritime themed comic I did some years ago for a friend. It would take too long to explain as I have to run off to work. It's not meant to make sense outside of it's context- so don't worry if you don't get it. There are surfboards in the next scene...if I could only find it...
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23 February 2010

From the Vaults: Surfing is sort of Maritime, no?


Work has been kicking my ass, and I really haven't had enough juice to get into any drawing in the last few days. BUT, I did just drop some major coinage on some oil paints, so LOOK OUT, maybe in about 6 months maybe you'll see a real painting. Maybe.

This one is an oldie. I was really into drawing from surfing magazines there for a while there. Maybe tomorrow I'll post some of my short lived, comic-book-femme-fatale-surfing-spy "Swedish Kay". Good stuff.
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16 February 2010



Often when I drift off into a Walter Mitty-like reverie about putting to sea, holystoning is not something I fantasize about. That gig must've SUCKED. Seriously. When looking for holystoning pictures, I found some as recent as 1965. Far out man. For some strange reason (maybe "sloth"), I left the pencils in on this one.
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14 February 2010

Bosun's Mate: Pitching In


I think my art hiatus is over. Ater that last painting I just felt drained- and, my responsibilities at work have cranked up a little so there's no time to draw during the day (aw, boo-hoo, I know. I hear tiny violins playing, etc.) and when I get home I'm just bushed.

This was a sketch I did during the US Navy's humanitarian aid operation to Haiti. I know the Carl Vinson has left the area, but I don't know who's left on station, or what shape American aid is currently taking in a situation that by all accounts is worsening. Here's an interesting article on why foreign development aid to Haiti fails to do what it's supposed to. It was written well before the earthquake. It's from the the Nitze international affairs school at Johns Hopkins, so I consider it to be quality thinking on the matter.

This is an Aviation Bosun's Mate, clearing debris somewhere in Haiti. I tried to get a little more abstract with the figure this time. The crinkling on the paper was an unfortunate accident I caused while erasing...
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07 February 2010

Cold is the Sea Ship's Chandlery

Due to popular demand, I've opened up a store at Cafe Press. I'm also trying to open one up on Zazzle because I really like those t-shirts- but it's hard manipulating an image for use on their products. I'm going to keep working at it though. (I'm a fan of Zazzle products). But in the meantime, here's my Cafe Press store: http://www.cafepress.com/coldisthesea. Don't forget to order a beer stein and undies with your order. (The beer stein's are very cool- I have one from another project and use it regularly...) Here's the original image, by the way.

Please take some time to stroll through my site and give me your two cents about what images you'd like to see offered on apparel, better venues than Cafe Press, etc. This is a work in progress.

Here's the Zazzle Store- http://bit.ly/JollyJackTarTeeOpaque needs some tweaking. I'm having a hard time with the contrast here...Not a very user-friendly interface. But you get more options with Zazzle including American Apparel tees. I'm guessing the contrast is off in the image because they manipulate it to fit on the contours of the model's shirt. (This is getting way too "Rene Magritte" for me to process...)