Archive for the ‘Sketchbook’ Category

Ken Thorne, Composer • 1924-2014

Thursday, July 10th, 2014

Yesterday word started fluttering about Facebook amongst film music fans that Ken Thorne passed away. Ken’s name may not be well known outside of film score aficionados or die hard film buffs, but his contribution is no less important, and he couldn’t have been a nicer guy.

I only had the opportunity to meet Ken once. He attended the Fans of Film Music event back in 2011 where he sat on a panel of great composers such as Brad Fiedel, David Newman, Brian Tyler, Nicholas Pike, Christopher Young, and Lee Holdridge. At 87, the elder statesman of the group not only charmed the audience with his gentlemanly ways, but he also charmed his fellow panelists.


Ken Thorne

Ken Thorne, taken during the 2011 Fans of Film Music event at Dark Delicacies in Burbank, CA.


Since you were wondering, Ken’s contribution to film began in 1948 with British fare that later included Help! starring 4 lads from Liverpool which later led to his work on Head, a movie starring the Beatles influenced band The Monkees (a film co-written by Jack Nicholson no less). He could do comedy like Alan Arkin’s Inspector Clouseau, he was a master at adaptation taking John Williams’ themes to build new scores for Christopher Reeve’s Superman II and Superman III, and he could do action with Tom Selleck’s 1980s film Lassiter. Somewhere along the line (1967) he managed to win an Oscar for his work on A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum.

That day I met Ken, I sat in the audience caricaturing each of the panelists. This drawing of Ken was posted back then along with the other panelists (which you can revisit by clicking here), and I thought I’d share it once again here today.

Seek out Ken’s work. You’ll find a treat waiting for you!


Ken Thorne

At 87, Ken Thorne was the eldest of the composers on the panel, and also was the only one with an Oscar which he won in 1967 for his work on the movie "A Funny Thing Happened On the Way to the Forum."


IMF Birds

Wednesday, July 2nd, 2014

Last night I was watching the classic Mission: Impossible television show when I reached over for my sketchbook and started doodling…..birds. Yeah, I don’t know why either. Cold War dramas don’t usually bring birds out of me, even though the Impossible Mission Force does seem to keep the pecking order in check. Although, now that I look at the sketches the next day, that strong eagle on the right does bear a slight unconscious resemblance to Peter Graves. Hmmm.


Mission: Impossible

Birds of the Cold War. The biggest impossible mission is keeping them from soiling my car.

Boy’s Best Friend

Monday, March 10th, 2014

Sometimes owning a big dog is just a bad idea.


Large Dog

Those teeth marks are going to be hard to buff out.

2013 Eastern European Vacation 4 – Croatian Band

Monday, January 27th, 2014

It has been awhile since I last shared with you a drawing from my travels through Eastern Europe last November. How about a little music from the locals?

While traveling aboard the river boat, once in awhile after dinner they would bring folks on board from wherever we were docked to entertain or enlighten us in the local traditions and customs. I believe it was when we were in Croatia that they invited a local band who performed some traditional tunes, as well as some more modern songs with their old school methods. The guys were a lot of fun interjecting a lot of personality into their performance. I took a few photos this being the best one:


Croatian music

Three of the five singers who joined us on board our ship. While they knew people were taking pictures, they probably didn't realize that I was drawing pictures, too.


I also created a few sketches of the band while they performed, this being the best one:


Croatian musical sketch

I try to always make my subjects look as dignified as possible.

Sick Sketches

Wednesday, January 15th, 2014

Yeah, I can draw really sick stuff sometimes. Take last week for instance – I was sick as a dog for much of the week with a temperature. I was sneezing, wheezing, hacking, yacking, shivering, sweating and sleeping for days on end. In a rare moment of lucidity, I picked up my sketchbook to draw the most brilliant thoughts my hazy mind could come up with in that moment. All that came out was a tamed down version of what I was physically feeling. It’s just sick stuff. Look if you dare.


Flu Art

Make an appointment NOW to see your doctor. You will probably come down with the flu in a few days since you've just seen this sketch.

Happy New Year 2014!

Tuesday, December 31st, 2013

Welcome to 2014! Out with the old, in with the new! I had a pretty good 2013, though from all the comments I’ve seen on Facebook over the last few days of the year, many others do not share in my sentiments. With all that is going on in the world and personally good or bad, the words that serve as my guiding light in life come from Proverbs 3, verses 5 and 6: “Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths.”

Happy new year!


New Year Baby

Remember, the new baby in the family is cute and all until you have to change that first diaper.

2013 Eastern European Vacation 3 – Church Lady

Wednesday, December 4th, 2013

On the second day of my trip to Eastern Europe a couple of weeks ago, I was able to tour the ancient town of Constanța (for you Seinfeld fans, it’s pronounced Costanza). Back in the time of Jesus Christ, it was known as Tomis where the Roman poet Ovid was exiled. (You all remember good ol’ Ovid, right?) Located on The Black Sea, Constanța is the fourth largest port in Europe, and it also is where the canal that leads to the Danube is located.

The town seemed fairly crammed together. While most everything looked pretty old, now and then you’d see something built in the 1950s squeezed between things built in the 1700s or earlier. Then you walk into a building, look down and see a mosaic street built by the ancient Romans (discovered when they built some apartments in the ’50s).

A large part of the charm of the area was seeing some of the people who live there. We stopped on the steps of Constanța’s local cathedral listening to our tour guide, when a couple of local ladies walked up and were just as curious about us as we were of them. Through our guide who knew the local language, we were able to ask questions about life there.

This one lady who was in her 80s really caught my eye. She had so much personality about her, that I did a few sketches based on the photos I took that day. I did one that was a bit more serious than I usually work, and the other is a more cartoony version of her. Enjoy!


Church Lady

The church lady. Isn't she special!


The Church Lady

The Romanian church lady should she ever star in her own animated show.

2013 Eastern European Vacation 2 – Boat People

Friday, November 29th, 2013

My recent trip to Eastern Europe was a river cruise tour with the Grand Circle company. (Do I get a discount on my next trip for mentioning you GC?) These tours make international travel easy because when you book your trip, they make all the arrangements: flight, meals, accommodations, and guided tours at stops along the way.

This type of travel results in being a very social experience. You are on board a ship with 150 or so other people for two weeks. In my case, it was with 150 people who were mostly 30 or more years older than I. You get to meet many single ladies, all of whom are widowed octogenarians. One woman asked me how old I was. I replied, “Young enough that I had to take time off from work to come on this trip.”

In all seriousness, I do enjoy talking with folks older than I. They have so many stories to tell filled with wisdom, humor, and life experience. When you are trapped on a ship, you have the time to hear EVERY. SINGLE. ONE. of those stories.

You also have time to draw those around you. During travel time on the Danube, I would often sit in the ship’s lounge with a hot cup of coffee and pick out interesting people to sketch. Once word got around the ship that I was a cartoonist, folks wanted to look at my sketchbook. One lady saw my sketches of the other guests and said, “Please don’t draw me.”

So, below are a few of the 150 I travelled with. More travel drawings to come in the days ahead!


Senior Citizen travelers

The lady in the lower right I nicknamed "Cruella de Vil" because not only did her look remind me of the dalmatian diva, but her behavior on the boat was pretty atrocious. It's a good thing pets were not allowed.