Sunday, June 28, 2009

Space Monkey vs Angry Octopus

I'm creating illustrations for my new website that should be going live this week. A menagerie of critters will take turns appearing in the header, depending on which image is randomly plucked from the database.

I often work on assignment. When I do have time to draw for myself, I sometimes feel overwhelmed. What do I draw when I'm free to draw anything?!

I knew I wanted fun, quirky creatures. I found inspiration by watching Animal Planet and looking through my handy book: Copyright-Free Illustrations of Mammals, Birds, Insects, etc. Mostly I chose animals I haven't drawn recently or creatures I loved as a kid. Here are two of the critters I've done so far - stay tuned...

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Happy Father's Day, Dad!

I wish I knew when this goofy card was made. I'd guess I was either in first, second or third grade. Unfortunately, I can't take all the credit for the card - apparently this was a collaborative effort with Robert A. That would explain the dissimilar themes; I had been wondering what a burning snake, a truck and the ocean had in common. And why is there a stack of quarters under the fire snake?

The truck is clearly my drawing; my dad was driving a tractor trailer at the time. I probably drew the ocean, because fishing with my dad was one of my favorite things in the world. Robert A. must have been responsible for the snake - maybe his dad was a snake charmer? I don't recall...

This year, in lieu of a Father's Day card I offer this blog post to my dad. Happy Father's Day, Dad! And that's with a big 10-4, whatever that means. Love, Robert

Saturday, June 13, 2009


Yippee! My 12 dinosaur books are on! It doesn't seem that long ago I submitted the final illustrations, and now the covers have emerged online. The books are not yet available; the publishing date is Aug '09. It's a real thrill to see my books there on Amazon!

Oddly enough, the books are not under my name in the Amazon database. You have to search under the author's name, Susan H. Gray, to find these books. My first three books do come up under my name.

New Site Coming Soon...

Hopefully I'm not jinxing myself by announcing to the blogoshpere that I have a new website in the pipeline. The design is nearly done 'cept the tinkering (and second guessing). Picking the illustrations is the next hurdle, along with writing some content. A programming guru/friend owes me a big favor, so thankfully I won't be slogging through HTML this time around. ETA is within 2 weeks - stay tuned...

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Grease is Still the Word

I live in a great town. Portsmouth is a small city with an extraordinary amount of art and entertainment to enjoy.

Prescott Park is a quaint riverside park that becomes an outdoor theater during the summer. Many musical acts grace the stage, but the cornerstone of the season is a big musical production. Thousands of people flock to the park with their picnic blankets and bug spray to enjoy a show.

This year that show is Grease! The folks at Prescott Park Arts Festival asked me to create a poster for the event and I was happy to oblige.

I hope to see you in the park one night this summer, just don't forget the bug spray.

Monday, June 1, 2009

Four-Legged Figure Drawing

Here's a sketch of our new dog Q (aka The Beast). Generally, he's not a cooperative drawing subject; he's usually prancing around like a kid with ADD on a pogo stick after downing a 6-pack of Red Bull. Well, that's an exaggeration. Q is actually a very even-tempered dog. Sure he gets crazed, but overall he's a cool guy.

I grew up with cats and always assumed I would have feline pets but I married a woman that's allergic to cats. We agreed to get a cat-sized dog someday.

I've been pining for Pugs since I can remember but fate had a different plan. Q, a Puggle (half Pug, half Beagle), came into our lives serendipitously. Friends rescued Q from a shelter in South Carolina fully expecting to keep him. When they brought him home to NH, the family dog didn't take kindly to the new addition. Our friends decided they had to find the Puggle a new home.

And that's where my wife and I come into the picture. We took Q for a night. Then a weekend. Then a week. Two months later, and he's become an integral part of our lives. A dog is a lot of work but well worthwhile.