Thursday, December 1, 2011

"Rusty Rooster"

9 x 12, oil on panel

"Golden Rooster"

9 x 12, oil on canvas panel
This painting will be included in my art show, "Rusty Bumpers" (naturally), opening Friday, Dec. 2 at Brazier Gallery at 1616 W. Main Street, Richmond, Virginia.

Monday, November 21, 2011

"Movie Star"


A few days ago, I finished my sixth and final day as a "background actor" (extra) on the film "Office Seekers" (working title), being shot here in Richmond and in Petersburg, Virginia. Produced and directed by Steven Spielberg, it is based on the Bestseller "Team of Rivals" by Doris Kearns Goodwin, about the Lincoln presidency. My character is an "anti-war" Democrat in the U. S. House of Representatives. I was in scenes with Tommy Lee Jones, James Spader ("The Office") and Sally Field (still cute as a bug, playing Mary Todd Lincoln). The hours were very long (13+ hours each day) but it was an incredible experience! And the real frosting on the cake was being directed by Spielberg! . . . Not only is he a movie-making genius, but a real gentleman, as well!  Anyhow, I think I'll go out on top of my game and retire from show-biz. Now, it's back to painting. 

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

'51 Ford F-6

Graphite, 5" x 7"

Pencil drawing of a big, rusty truck at Field Day of the Past in Goochland County, Virginia.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

"Time to Get Back to Work"

Labor Day has passed and all the kids (well, nearly all) are back in school. August is just a memory, but a vivid one that will not soon be forgotten here in Central Virginia. The Great Dismal Swamp had a fire that burned for weeks, eventually consuming over 6,000 acres. When the wind shifted, here in Richmond some 80 miles to the west of the swamp, the air would grow hazy with a strong smell of smoke. Air quality advisories would come from the weather guys at Channel 12, and folks would wonder what hath nature wrought.  Then, on Tuesday, August 23, Janet and I went to the movie theater at Short Pump, Virginia,  to catch the final installment of the "Harry Potter" series. About 20 minutes into the movie, we heard that low, deep deep rumbling sound that movies love to put in to add suspense and impending doom. "How odd!" I thought, that they would choose to put it in at at time when Harry, Ron and Hermione were just talking. But then my seat began to vibrate, then shake. And then the floor began to roll a bit, and up on the screen, Harry and the gang were shaking up and down so violently, I thought the young wizard's spectacles were going to fly off his face. At which point, the theater ceiling and walls began to creak louder and louder. "WOW!" This movie was in 4D! . . . Anyhow, after a half minute or so, it was all over. Cell phones began going off (good thing we didn't pay attention to that admonishment on the screen prior to the movie) as worried family and friends called to check on loved ones. We were okay, of course, and enjoyed the remainder of the movie (which was pretty darn good, I must say)! For those unfamiliar with Short Pump, it is about ten miles northwest of Richmond, and only 25 miles or so from Mineral, the epicenter of the quake. Aftershocks came for several days, and seemed to end just in time for us to turn our attention to the arrival of Hurricane Irene. Lots of damage in our area, with thousands of trees and power lines down. We lost our power for four and a half days, but thankfully, a generator kept the refrigerators humming, as well as lights burning, a fan turning, and my coffeemaker brewing.  Meanwhile, even though the swamp got over ten inches of rain, the fires are still smoldering deep down below the surface. It's like some kind of evil, dark magic from "He who must not be named." I think I'm ready for a really big snow!

Monday, August 15, 2011

"Pluggers" . . . old habits.


Today's panel, August 15, 2011. This idea came from Reed Hoover of Dallas. Reed is one of my most prolific suppliers of great "pluggerisms." I think he has probably had well over 200 ideas published since I began working on Pluggers in 1997.

Friday, June 24, 2011

"Grin"

30" x 40"


I started this painting last week and just finished it this afternoon. I love the rounded styling of the old cars! . . . And the chrome . . . LOTS of chrome! . . . And chrome with rust is just wonderfully fun to paint! This old DeSoto, probably a 1954 model, is up near Bowling Green, Virginia. It will be one of the paintings in a two-man show I will be in with my friend Ed Hatch, a fantastic landscape painter (www.edhatchart.com) this November at Brazier Studio and Gallery in Richmond.

Friday, May 6, 2011

"Pluggers"

I spent ten days in central Texas recently, and found many old cars and trucks to paint. I brought home lots of reference material home with me, and plan to start some new paintings next week. Meanwhile, I'll be adding some Rusty Bumpers Pluggers cartoons here.

Friday, April 22, 2011

No rusty bumpers on this truck!

Okay, this is not a painting, but while we are on the subject of trucks-- Last year this one was next to me at a traffic light. I'm not sure exactly what it was . . . maybe an F-750? . . . F-950?! . . . And SIX doors?!?! I was only able to grab my phone and snap one photo before the light changed and he roared off.

Sunday, April 10, 2011

"Pluggers" . . . Burma Shave signs

Going back aways for this one . . . Great personal memories when, as a youngster back in the '50s, traveling through Northwest Florida, Alabama and Georgia, my ol' dad would get so excited when Burma Shave verses were on the side of the road. He would read them aloud and we would all laugh. Such a simpler time.

Sunday, April 3, 2011

"On the Rocks"


22" x 28"
For three decades, I drew editorial cartoons five days a week, more or less, for the Richmond Times-Dispatch and King Features Syndicate. Imagery was the backbone of the opinions I tried to convey, and I searched constantly for objects that would best make an impact on our readers. Sometimes, a drawing of easy to recognize objects, such as a pig, or a hot air balloon or a great big pot of stew that was labeled "Congress" or "Foreign Policy" or "Inflation" would do the trick. At other times, the cartoon may need something more specific, such as an F-18 fighter jet, a Holstein cow or the Great Wall of China. At these times (prior to "Google"), I would go to what in the past few years was referred to as the newspaper "library", but in the old days was simply the "morgue." There, literally hundreds of thousands of photos were alphabetically filed in dozens of five-foot tall gray metal filing cabinets. From "aardvark" to "zebra" and thousands of topics in between. The morgue was just a thirty second walk from my office, so I would often wander over and browse through files, looking for interesting images to spark cartoon ideas. At times, I would come across old photos that really intrigued me, and  I would check them out, take them to my office and set them out to ponder them at my leisure. One of those was an old photo from 1947 of an old U.S. Army ship that apparently broke its moorings and ran aground on some rocks during a storm in Maine. The old photo was, or course, in black and white. But it was an intriguing image, so I, ahem, "borrowed" it from the morgue for possible use. Anyhow, although I never used the image for an editorial cartoon, I did a small watercolor of it a couple of years ago. As a challenge, I used only two colors, burnt sienna and cobalt blue. It was an interesting painting, so I recently decided to do it again, this time with my oil color palette of ultramarine blue, napthol red, cadmium yellow and burnt sienna.

Thursday, March 31, 2011

"Pluggers"

During the past 14 years, I've drawn many, many "Pluggers" cartoons about old cars and trucks. Some of the vehicles are actual old Fords or Chevys, but most are just "hybrids" that I draw from remembering basically how they looked, more or less.  I will be posting some of these old cartoons on this blog from time to time, and this one was from December 19, 2001. To see current "Pluggers" cartoons online, go to:  gocomics.com/pluggers

Monday, March 21, 2011

Gary with "A Coat of Many Colors"

Me at the opening of "Each One Invites One" at McBride Gallery in Annapolis on Sunday, March 20. Cynthia McBride had five gallery artists each invite a guest artist they admire. My friend Ed Hatch, a wonderful landscape painter from Prince George County, asked me to exhibit in the show. There was an introduction of the guest painters by the gallery artists and a discussion of "what makes a great painting." I think Ed summed up my work pretty well . . . he said I was an old rust bucket and if art was music, I would be Hank Williams (Sr.) . . . I loved that! It was nice to meet the other artists and patrons (an excellent turnout)  . . . and an added bonus was the sale of one of my paintings, "Geezers of the Sea!"

"A Coat of Many Colors" (Disputanta, Virginia)

24" x 30" (Detail)

"How Green Was My Chevy" (Dinwiddie County, Virginia)

9" x 12"