Saturday, January 30, 2010

Journey to Laos

The journey to Laos was a bit epic , and involved over 16 hours of travel by bus. The first stretch of the journey from Bangkok to Vientiane was not so bad, as I rode a VIP bus with somewhat comfy seats, and was able to get a decent amount of sleep. The last leg of the journey from Vientiane to Vang Vieng was the worst part. I was told it was going to take 3 hours but ended up taking a whole lot longer. The bus was really old and they packed it in as if we were sardines , and was with out  air con. or fans so it was quite hot at times. Along the way the bus broke down several times.The transmission continued to pop in and out of gear as we climbed the hilly terrain  en route to Vang Vieng. This left us parked along side of the road numerous times  while one of the  guys who rode on the bus banged on something below the bus with a wrench hoping that it would pop back into gear. At one point there was a lot of scrapping , clanking , and crunching below the bus and we had to pull over for a while. Something that resembled a radiator or possibly a part of an air conditioning unit fell out from the under carriage  of the bus and we were dragging it along for quite a while. Fortunately the drivers did not seemed very bother by this, and the passengers , despite the long and tiring journey all seemed to remain in very good spirits. Everyone seemed to think that it was all part of the adventure and there was no use in getting frustrated or upset.  The drivers knocked around for a bit below the bus with some tools and once again we were off.

Packed bus en route to Vang Vieng

Our trusty mechanic standing upon the piece of the bus 
that fell out from the undercarriage

Broken down again


The journey was certainly worth it and Vang Vieng is amazing.I have met some really great people and the natural beauty of the area is breath taking. For the last few days I have been climbing limestone in the mountains, flying off rope swings, relaxing by the river and enjoying good food!!! I will be sure to post something about the climbing soon. But for now here are a few shots from in and around Vang Vieng.

Temple in Vang Vieng

The view from my Bungalow
Mountains around Vang Vieng

Monday, January 25, 2010

Jet Lagged

Its 7 a.m here in Bangkok, and I have been awake for the last 2 hours. Even though I have been here for the last 3 days I am still feeling pretty Jet Lagged. From what I was told , it takes one day for every hour for someone to become fully adjusted to a significant time change. This I have found to be fairly accurate , with the first 4 days being totally out of whack. At any rate I figured I would include the Sea Hag Illustration I did a while back. She is part of a series of small paintings in which accompany some silly, simple rhymes that I wrote in my sketch book while visiting South East Asia back in 2008. Here is what I wrote along with the image:

Feeling worn out and tired like an old sea hag! I guess it is a case of serious Jet Lagg!

Sea Hagg
Acrylic on Panel

Below is a map of where I am heading on this journey. Today at 5 p.m I am hopping on a bus to Vientiane, the capital of Laos .

Map for this years trip

Quick sketch I did sitting in JFK:

Airport Sketch

Getting ready to board my plane in Hong Kong:

Hong Kong Airport

Here is a random shot taken in Bkk, of one of many shrines you will find scattered about the city. It is common to see numerous people gathered around, praying, socializing,  and interacting, on any given day.
Bkk Shrine

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Ct. Blocs

Feel like I have not posted anything about climbing in a while.
Guess its because I have not been climbing as much, or at least outdoors anyways. Seems like it is a warm day here if it reaches 35 degrees.Uuuugh!

Either way here is a little video I slapped together featuring a few different climbers on a bunch of boulder problems found in Connecticut.

Monday, January 11, 2010

Escape from America

I know this is random, but............

Image found on the home page of

Just stumbled across this illustration while I was reading an article about Bali.

I do not believe it is an actual printed magazine, but I do believe it is the art for an actual online magazine titled "Escape from America". I guess its a place for Ex Pats to share info and ideas about how they moved someplace else or found paradise overseas, etc...There are heaps of links and other information about how one might go about relocating to another country.
Check out : for more info.

I think the illustration , is amazing. Not sure if it was an existing illo. that they photoshopped the text over or if it was created especially for the magazine.
Pretty cool though!

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Finished poster art

Here is the finished art work for the poster I designed for Prime Climb's Power Struggle 4 bouldering competition. I wanted to keep it pretty flat and as graphic as possible , which is tough for me to do, as I love to over work things. I created the color palette for this from an old Winsor Mc Cay comic strip. If you are interested in seeing the image with text included or to find out about the bouldering competition, visit Prime Climb on Facebook.Look for the event titled Power Struggle 4.

Power Struggle 4 Poster Design
Inspired by the Greek Myth of Sisyphus
11"x17" , Digital

Monday, January 4, 2010


We are putting on another bouldering competition this winter at Prime Climb. It will be the fourth bouldering comp we have hosted , and is something we plan to make an annual event.
As in the past this comp will be known as the Power Struggle. So I am working on making a little poster to promote the event. I decided to use the Greek Myth of Sisyphus as the base idea for the story behind the design, for various reasons. For one obviously Sisyphus was faced with a very difficult power struggle. For two, I often feel that bouldering , even though I love it is a sisyphean( both extremely effortful and futile) activity. Especially when climbing is not going so well.

Of course I made some changes to the myth in my illustration, because why not, thats what I do and I wanted to make the picture tell a bit more of a story. From my understanding Sisyphus was not a very cool guy, he started a lot of trouble with Zuess, and violated laws of hospitality by killing guests and travelers. So I didn't feel that his punishment was enough, and in my version he is constantly harassed by two monkeys. One uses the rolling rock as a tread mill, and the other taunts Sisyphus with a large stick that he could potentially use to prop up the rock and escape. Tough time for Sisyphus. Below is my initial thumbnail.

Power Struggle Comp Poster Design
1.5"x 3"

Below is my rough drawing that I will use to create the final. Most likely some more things will change in the next day or so if time permits. I plan to work on the monkeys a bit and a few other things.

Power Struggle Poster Design

Sunday, January 3, 2010


I have been continuing to mess around with Corel Painter 10, when I have a chance. I had an older acrylic grey scale painting I did of KRS ONE, in which I was going to paint over using oils. For now I went ahead and painted it on the computer instead using the oil bristle brushes. Not sure about his likeness, pretty distorted, which I like.A fun experiment for me either way!

Portrait of KRS ONE

Saturday, January 2, 2010

Piet Mondrian follow up

A while back I created a post with some potential portrait projects. One of them was a gray scale study of the painter Piet Mondrian. I decided to take this one to a finish using Corel Painter 10, a digital painting program. I scanned the gray scale painting( seen below) and painted right over it on another layer on the computer.

Mondrian gray scale painting
Acrylic on board

As I have always been fond of Cezanne's painting , Portrait of Uncle Dominque (seen below), I decided to use it as a color guide/palette for my painting. I began blocking in color using the Oil Bristle brush within painter, and selecting color from Cezanne's painting with the eye dropper tool.

Paul Cezanne
Portrait of Uncle Dominique

What I ended up with is the painting of Mondrian below. I still plan to go ahead and paint over the original grey scale study in oils. As of now I want to learn more about digital painting ,so this made for a good exercise.

Portrait of Piet Mondrian

Friday, January 1, 2010

Iron Mike follow up

Iron Mike
Watercolor on Arches 140lb Hot Press

Lately I have been doing a lot more painting with watercolor. I forgot about how much I enjoyed the spontaneity of the medium, and how much I like the fact that I can finish a painting in a few hours. It seems like the faster I paint something when using watercolors the happier I am with results. Unlike acrylics, where I feel like it takes me ages to build the painting up to a level I am happy with.

Although watercolors have earned a reputation for being a pretty unforgiving medium , I think they allow for certain freedoms that others do not! Having the ability to work fast, on paper, with only a few colors, only requiring water, and little to no cleanup makes it a pretty appealing medium to say the least.

So over the next few weeks I am trying to do a watercolor a day. Here is my follow up of Iron Mike.

Hers is a link below to one of Mike Tyson's interviews: