Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Irvin & Leslie: R.I.P.

We lost two Hollywood legends this week, Irvin Kirschner and Leslie Nielsen.

Irvin Kirschner was a film-maker who, among many films, was best known for directing The Empire Strikes Back, which arguably is the best Star Wars film. Some have even called it one of the greatest films of all time. He was 87.

Leslie Nielsen was an actor who started out doing "serious" roles, but is known best for his comedic work in movies like Airplane and the Naked Gun series. He was 84.

Both men left a huge impact on my life, Irvin for his massive contribution to the Star Wars universe and Leslie for his constant skill in making people laugh. They will both be missed.

Monday, November 29, 2010

Coloring page

A while back, I told you I had a lot of projects I've been working on, but none that were able to be shown yet. Well, most of them still can't be shown, but here's one that can. It's just a little quickie coloring page project I did for Scotia Bank.

Not exactly the kind of thing that I would have fun coloring if I was a kid, but banks will be banks...

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Dragon Fever

I'm not feeling well. I've been in bed for the past few days with a fever and a nasty cold. But as long as I'm drawing breath, I'm going to draw pictures, so it's an extended hot shower for me and then, off to work!

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Stephen Silver's sketchbook vol. 2 Available NOW

When I arrived at my house after my trip to Wisconsin, among the mail waiting for me was Steve Silver's Sketchbook 2.
 I love Steve's books and own them all. I look at them often because they are so inspiring to me, and his newest addition is no exception. The majority of the sketches in his latest book were drawn on his lunch breaks, or while he was at a restaurant and are primarily candid drawings of his fellow patrons. Among the drawings are Steve's notes to himself reminding him to remember the fundamentals and pushing himself further. If you're any kind of artist, I highly recommend picking up Stephen Silver's Sketchbook 2 and Steve's previous books here. Check out the promo video.

Isn't he cute?
By the way, Steve designed the art bag that he sports in this video and sells it. That's at the tippy top of my Christmas list (hint hint).

Friday, November 26, 2010

Back to Florida

Well we just returned to Florida from a vacation in Wisconsin. Seeing family and friends again really helped my "homesickness blues"

My family is the best.

I don't think Orlando has ever looked more bleak and uninviting. But I gotta do what I gotta do, at least for now...

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Thursday, November 25, 2010

Happy Thanksgiving!

Turkey, ham, corn, potatoes, stuffing, gravy and roll get in my belly!

Happy Thanksgiving everyone!

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Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Planes, Trains and Automobiles: El Rancho

Planes, Trains and Automobiles is one of my favorite comedies, and has become standard viewing for during the Thanksgiving season.

For those who have seen it, you may remember the scene where Steve Martin and John Candy check in to the El Rancho Motel after they destroy their car. The scene was filmed at the corner of Hwy 41 and Washington in Illinois, just south of the Wisconsin/Illinois border. It's a real hotel, about 20 minutes south of my parent's house.

And the bull's head is still there!

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Tuesday, November 23, 2010


Alex strikes a pose.

"Stop goofing around Alex, we're trying to take a nice picture!"

"There, that's better."

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Monday, November 22, 2010

Milwaukee Wisconsin: West Side Yo!

Having fun in Milwaukee. We went to a couple of my favorite west side places. First was Kopp's Frozen Custard. Kopp's offers traditional chocolate and vanilla flavors as well as a special flavor of the day. Today was mint chocolate chip (Alex's favorite) and Bunch O' Crunch: Milk chocolate custard and caramel custard heaped with chocolate Whoppers, English toffee, Almond Roca, butter brickle and pecan crunch deluxe. Absolutely insane!

The next stop was Half Price Books, a Texas-based book, movie and music resale shop with locations in Wisconsin. Got some great books for Jett, and a cool Indiana Jones book for Alex and I.

Finally we went to American Science and Surplus. Founded in 1937 with locations in Chicago, Geneva IL and Milwaukee, American Science and Surplus is a seller of obscure and odd scientific and educational equipment. It has to be seen to be believed.

I got out of there with some cool art supplies, a nose-shaped pencil sharpener, a napkin sketchbook (made from real napkins) and a 3-D drawing pad.

I do love my toys...

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Sunday, November 21, 2010

Wisconsin: odds and ends

It's been a whirlwind of activity so far up here in Wisconsin. I'm just getting caught up today on some of the things I've meant to post.

This banner greeted us at my parents house where we are staying. It was made by my niece Gabby.

Thanks Gabby, looks awesome!

After our seminar in Madison, we went out to eat at an amazing restaurant called The Old Fashioned. This shot was taken from our table out the front window. You can see the reflection of the place in the bus stop and the amazing capital building just across the street.

At The Old Fashioned, I had what could possibly have been the greatest hamburger I've ever eaten. It was the house burger (the number 30), described as "a half pound patty of local grass-fed beef, grilled over a live fire and topped with fried onions, Bavaria's hickory-smoked bacon, aged cheddar, garlic sauce, and a soft-cooked egg on a buttered and toasted roll" It comes with fries, however you do have the option of deep-fried beer battered cheese curds instead. I opted out of the cheese curds as well as the more than 150 locally brewed beers, the latter of which I will definitely sample next time!

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Saturday, November 20, 2010

Changing Minds

At the Changing Minds Foundation seminar in Madison WI. I can't move. Jett's asleep and so is my butt!

But were learning a LOT. Time well spent.

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Friday, November 19, 2010

Leaving on a Jett plane

Currently at the airport, waiting to board our flight to Wisconsin.

We can't wait!!

Thursday, November 18, 2010


Ya hey dere!  I'm flyin' up to 'scansin tomorrow, you betcha! Might do fish fry and some brats and cheese curds, with some soda or water from a bubbler.  Criminy, I have to drive to Mad-town Saturday. Hope there aint too many stop-and-go lights, gosh darn it dontcha know...

Translation: Tomorrow I will be flying up to Wisconsin for a week. I can't wait to get out of here!

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

New Norman Phartephant review.

Check out the latest review of the Norman Phartephant plush toy and the Norman book I illustrated at:

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

AK self-portrait

Decided to draw myself today. I need a nap.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Jett wanders off script.

After what seemed to be hours of Jett constantly babbling, blowing raspberries and otherwise performing, I decided to capture his fine acting work on video. Immediately when the camera began to roll, Jett decided he would rather be the cameraman and demanded I turn the camera over to him.
Oh well, maybe next time.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Festival of the Masters is today.

We made it! Alex, Kathy and I are currently at the Festival of the Masters at Downtown Disney.

There's always tons to see and do at the festival. There are activities for the kids.

Alex, don't eat the fake ice cream!

Kathy tries to stay in the lines.

There are sidewalk chalk artists.

Alex gives it a shot.

His contribution.

I couldn't resist.

Hey, Legos can be art too!

The artist booths are set up on the West Side. We're skipping past the pottery and jewelry artists and going straight to the folk artists.

Some of my favorite artwork was the sculptures made from found objects.

They ranged from the elegant...

...to the whimsical.

Looks like the floor in Alex's room.

This artist created sculptures completely out of cardboard.

I really like the idea of re-purposing old things.

Of course, I loved these photos.

No Durkin outing is complete without a significant amount of goofing off.

We had an awesome time. Can't wait until next year!

Friday, November 12, 2010

Festival of the Masters 2010

Today marks the beginning of the annual Festival of the Masters at Downtown Disney. Every year, the kids and I attend. We are going tomorrow, and will report live from the event.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Links Spotlight: Kelly Gannon

From time to time, I get requests to swap blog links with other artists. Yesterday I was delighted to get a request from Kelly Gannon.
Kelly Gannon is a buddy of mine I met through the International Society of Caricature artists.  Kelly a full time party caricaturist and cartoonist in Calgary, as well as a musician. He was also a contributor to Mike Duron and my brief but awesome blog, the Toony Bin. You can check out Kelly's blog here and at the links to the right.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Iron Man 1 and 2 (not the movies)

Here's a caricature I drew the other night of a couple of Aussies who were competing in the Iron Man competition in Clearwater FL. I have to practice drawing bicycles!

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Tuesday, November 09, 2010

AK coworker: Jazilla

With a purposeful grimace and a terrible scowl
He pulls those steady high tension wires down

Helpless people on a subway train
Screaming bug-eyed as he looks in on them

He picks up a bus and he throws it back down
As he wades through the buildings toward the center of town

Oh no, they say he's got to go
Go go Jazilla, yeah
Oh no, there goes Tokyo
Go go Jazilla, yeah

History shows again and again
How nature points up the folly of men

Jason High, ladies and gentlemen...

Monday, November 08, 2010

Who's hungry?

Lunch is pretty entertaining with Jett around.

See what I mean?

Sunday, November 07, 2010

ISCA Convention 2010

Today marks the beginning of the annual International Society of Caricature Artists convention, this year being held in Las Vegas.
 Although I've been to many ISCA conventions in the past, sadly I will not be able to attend this year. I'm really going to miss the friendship and inspiration. However, I wish everyone the best of luck especially my dear friend Steve Hearn, who is now the ISCA president! Congratulations Steve! Have fun everyone, and I'll see you all next year!

Saturday, November 06, 2010

Alex Durkin JROTC

 Alex is in the Bolts Battalion Delta Company-Third Platoon Second Squad at the Junior Reserve Officer's Training Corps at his school.

 Today he marched for the first time at the Veteran's Day Parade in Lakeland FL
I even got some video.

I'm so proud of you son!