Monday, February 28, 2011

To boldly go...

This is the last dragon for the updated Durkin's Dragons: Parodies and Tributes book. It's Captain Kirk from Star Trek.
I'm not a big Star Trek fan, but I have so much Star Wars representation, I figured I have to balance it out a bit. Color coming soon!

Sunday, February 27, 2011

Durkin's Dragons: Parodies and Tributes-Updated with new cover!

The Durkin's Dragons: Parodies and Tributes book I did last year has been updated. 16 new dragons have been added to the book, more than doubling the amount in the previous edition. I've revised the cover art as well, making it a parody of a certain famous album cover.
 Over 40 Photoshop layers at one point. Whew!
I'll be adding this book to the IndyPlanet website and you'll be able to order it online soon. I'll also be selling it at Megacon this year. See you then!

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Alex Durkin: Master Thespian

  Last night I attended the Ridge High School production of Pygmalion.
Alex made his acting debut as Coloniel Pickering.

House rules insisted that no pictures or video were to be taken during the performance, and I dutifully complied. I did get some shots of him afterward however.

The production was great, and Alex did a terrific job. He was in nearly every scene! He looked like he was having fun acting, and even did some funny improvisational physical comedy with his prop pipe. He wore "old man" makeup and had his hair colored gray for the role.
Congratulations to you, Alex. I hope this is the first of many acting roles in your career!

Friday, February 25, 2011

Happy Birthday Jett!

I can't believe it. It's Jett's first birthday today! He's had lots of fun with mommy and daddy today and just finished doing one of his favorite things, take a bath. Here's some shots of the birthday boy in his birthday suit.
 "Look! I'm swimming!"

"I'm king of the tub!"
"This is so much fun. I'm staying in all day!" 
"I'm not coming out. You can't make me."

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Ryan in space

One of my faves from last night. Simple, cute...

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Wednesday, February 23, 2011


It must be so much fun to be able to eat like this.

I mean, seriously...

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Two (make that three) more animaltures

Taking a break at work, thought I'd post up a few animaltures I did earlier today. A squirrel...

..and an octopus!

Aw heck... I'll throw in one more. An animal family with a monkey, cheetah and two dragons!

Monday, February 21, 2011

Elvis Dragon: In color

A while back, I posted the line work for an Elvis tribute dragon I was working on. Then I forgot about him. But in assembling the updated Durkin's Dragons: Parodies and Tributes book I realized I hadn't colored him yet, so here he is.

I am now one dragon away from more than DOUBLING the amount of dragons that appeared in the first version of the book. Hmmm...who's it gonna be?

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Jett's Amazing Oral Motor Development/Language

It takes a village to be sure!

We took Jett  to his first speech evaluation with Renee Hill of Talk Tools last Wednesday (through a scholarship from ). She was amazed! She said that she had to evaluate him using the typical scale, not the one for children with DS. She said he was on par and above the typical child. He has no tongue protrusion, great lip closure, strong jaw muscles, etc. He is on his way to clear speech! She said it was the easiest evaluation she'd ever done and had the least amount of suggestions.

A brief history of Jett's language success:

-He's been "babbling paragraphs" for many months. See/hear Jett at 3 months:
-Randomly said clear words off and on starting with "Daddy" at six months. (okay, alright, go' boy, oh boy, hey)
-He said his first word of intention at 8 months old: "Water"
-Jett said his first two-word sentence last Sunday: "Poopy good-bye!" (I'll spare you the details!)

This progress didn't happen by accident, of course.

First, breast feeding helped to build his jaw muscles and help with tongue thrust, among many other things. (It was so difficult for the first month or so but he finally got the hang of it!)

Second, we've used James D. MacDonald's ( communication methods since he was born. You can see Alex mirroring Jett when he was 3 months old here:

Third, we read the article: The Oral-Motor Myths of Down Syndrome By Sara Rosenfeld-Johnson, M.S.,CCC/SLP (founder of Talk Tools) when Jett was 3 months old and followed all her advice. You can find the article in Qadoshyah Fish's book, Down Syndrome, What You CAN Do. ( )

Fourth, Kay Ness gave an eye-opening/life changing speech to our DS group that guided us in many ways including emphasizing the importance of keeping our children's nasal and ear canals clear in order to develop proper speech. ( Which eventually led to cranial sacral work, AIR tea and Dr. Block's methods to open his nasal passages & ear canal.

Fifth, through following Kay's ND program since 8 months, Jett has been developing his oral sensory skills (mesh feeding bag, massages, etc.) and increasing his vocabulary (flash cards, songs, etc.).

Sixth, Qadoshyah's blog entry about how to feed our children correctly helped prevent bad habits and showed how to use feeding as oral motor therapy:

So, to Camille Gardiner (friend & DSFF), Kay Ness, Sara Rosenfeld-Johnson, Qadoshyah Fish, James D. MacDonald, Dr. Franz, Dr. Loi (TCM), Dr. Marquart, Dr. Block, Vicki Booher (cranial sacral) the lactation specialist Kristin L.Worishcheck who cheered mommy on, our families and of course Alex & Kathy Durkin....


You can see more pictures/entries of Jett at

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Updated Durkinworks logo: Final

I think I'm finished with the updated Durkinworks logo. I just punched up the color a little bit, and gave myself a maroon shirt per everyone's suggestions. I kept all the fonts the same and added a dragon and Kit "Blue-Eye" Baxter, the main character from my story Black Cat Bone. This will be my new blog header when I revamp the blog and get my website going, and it's being prepared for printing on a banner. Thanks to everyone for the input!

Friday, February 18, 2011

Scraps 45: Putting the "crap" in scraps.

Currently assembling the Scraps book for Megacon. Keep coming back for updates including cover design. Coming soon!

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Work in progress: Updated Durkinworks Logo

I'm updating my logo a bit. Just getting rid of the self-effacing tomatoes being thrown at it and trying to incorporate some artwork in it.
I'm keeping the font because I like it so much. I'm still tweaking it a little, but eventually this will replace the logo you see on this blog and I'm going to have it printed on a banner to display when I'm and attending artist at conventions.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Mister Artsy Fartsy

This is the line art to a small section of a much larger piece I'm working on.

It's a self-promotional bit of artwork that I will debuting very soon. Stay tuned!

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Don't Fear The Reaper

Every once on a while, I get a request I'd never had before. When young Noah walked up in his skull-emblazoned shirt, it wasn't too surprising to me that he wanted to be drawn as The Grim Reaper.

Monday, February 14, 2011

DSFF Bowl-A-Thon Wrapup

 Yesterday, Team Durkin's Dragons had an awesome time at the Down's Syndrome Foundation of Central Florida's Bowl-A-Thon. 
Thanks to our generous sponsors, we surpassed our goal of $1000. 
The team, Alex, Kathy, Jett and myself arrived at the location and were immediately met with our first award of the day, a gift certificate for Outback Steakhouse.
Then, we won a Sea World Discovery Cove: Swim With The Dolphins Experience for raising the amount of money that we did.

But the biggest news is that Jett was awarded the
 Special Needs Trust!!
(donated by Dean, Mead, Egerton, Bloodworth, Capouano & Bozarth, P.A.)

We are so grateful to the DSFF and our amazing sponsors who graciously donated to our cause.

We had a great time. I hadn't bowled in over 15 years, so I was a bit rusty. Not that I'm using that at an excuse, I'm a horrible bowler to begin with. But I did get one strike! 

I believe all 18 teams were there. It was a great turnout!
 The folks in the light green shirts were volunteers. They were there to help the families when needed.
Jett was irresistible to them, and at one point I had FIVE volunteers "helping" me with Jett.
Here's Kathy and the "Valentine's Day Bowling Ball of Destruction"
 Alex and "Goldie the Demolisher"
 Me and "Kermit the Annihilator". (by the way, it's a 87 pound ball, I'm quite mighty)
 Free pizza? We're there!
Go on Kathy, pick up the spare.

The DSFF is a great organization. I can't wait for their next event. 

And finally, from the bowling-themed movie "The Big Lebowski" a few lines of dialogue about Jett, my little Dude. Somehow, they seem to fit.

"...sometimes, there's a man – and I'm talkin' about the Dude here – sometimes, there's a man, well, he's the man for his time and place. He fits right in there. And that's the Dude..."
"...The Dude abides. I don't know about you, but I take comfort in that. It's good knowin' he's out there, the Dude..."

Sunday, February 13, 2011

We did it!!

Because you all were so generous and sponsored our team, Durkin's Dragons for the Down's Syndrome Foundation of Florida Tour of Champions Valentine's Day Bowl-A-Thon, we have exceeded our goal and raised $1015!

We are now eligible to be placed in the grand prize drawing -- a FREE special needs trust for Jett!
The Bowl-A-Thon starts in a few hours. I'll be taking a lot of pictures, and I'll be posting them here tomorrow. Thank you again for your support!

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Favorite caricature of the night

Just did caricatures at a wedding reception. This bridesmaid tends to argue a lot with her brother and his friend. I drew her winning this one by a long shot.

Friday, February 11, 2011

Bowling Dragon: Color

The other day, I posted the line art for a bowling dragon. Here is the final piece in color.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Norman Phartephant: the APP!

This is great news from Angela Larson at Fierce Fun Toys. I illustrated the Norman Phartephant books and now they are part of an app for the iPad and the iPhone. You can even get the first book for FREE!
The following information is from the Fierce Fun Toys website.

In collaboration with iVerse Media, Norman PhartEphant's stories are available for your iApp device (either iPad or iPhone).
If you visit iVerse's Comics+ store in the Apple Apps store and search for either Fierce Fun Toys or Norman PhartEphant, you'll find our stories.

The iPad format looks like our published books, the iPhone versions are more playful in that once you turn the phone sideways you will get a dialog box which is actually sized to be read by those of us over 40!
The Comics+ app is free, as is Norman PhartEphant, A New Zoo (or volume 1). The rest of the library is at minimal cost ($0.99/each) and will be growing over time! Let us know which stories you want next, more Norman or to add Harry and Ben.

The stories are true to words, meaning they are meant to be read and encourage reading. No animation, no extra sounds. Hey, kids love reading!
P.S. Need the Comics+ app address in long hand? Here you go;

So there you go. I downloaded the app and played around with it, and found it to be a lot of fun, especially tilting the iPhone to the side and seeing the different "version" of the story. Once you get the books be sure to rate them highly. The more popular the stories are, the better chance that more Norman stories will be added in the future.

Wednesday, February 09, 2011

A couple of couples

These are a few of my favorites I drew tonight:

A basketball player and a singer...

A nurse and a police officer.

(Whew! Just made it before midnight! That was too close!)

Tuesday, February 08, 2011

Animaltures: Not just for kids

I don't get to draw as many adults as I'd like. When I do, they rarely get drawn as animals. But today I got to draw a husband and wife as a giraffe and lion.

Mom liked it so much, she wanted one too!

Monday, February 07, 2011

The Green Bay Packers: Superbowl Champions!

My team, America's team, the Green Bay Packers won the Superbowl last night. I was sure I would be watching the game alone, but Jett got into the act:

My wife, who doesn't care for sports surprised me with a great snack spread of shrimp cocktail, herring, cheese, crackers, salami, more cheese, and strawberries with Graham crackers and chocolate dip.

I also communicated with all of my friends and family via text messages, Twitter and Facebook live as the game happened. It was like everyone was in the living room with me. What a blast. I say we do it again next year!

Sunday, February 06, 2011

Bowling Dragon: Line

With all of my bowling talk lately, it's become obvious to me that I simply HAVE to make a bowling dragon. Here is the line drawing so far, color is next.
I regret that I was unable to do a football dragon in time for the Superbowl today. Perhaps in a celebratory frenzy, I'll draw one after the Packers clobber the Steelers tonight! Good luck gentlemen!

Saturday, February 05, 2011

DSFF Bowl-A-Thon and Jett update.

Hey Everyone!
Durkin's Dragons has raised $575 for the DS foundation! Yeah! Thanks!! We have one more week before the event. If we raise $1000, we are eligible to be placed in the grand prize drawing -- a FREE special needs trust for Jett. All of the money we raise will be used for scholarships for families: oral motor scholarships, education/IEP scholarships, community scholarships, scholarships to help with special needs trusts, swimming scholarships, etc. You can donate by clicking the image above or go right HERE.

In other news, Jett just got awarded a scholarship for his music class. The teacher is awesome (waaay overqualified to be teaching babies--but, hey--our gain!). They play music, "sing", & dance to help with all sorts of motor skills, social skills and general stimulation. Jett's a great ambassador for DS, loves the class and is already making friends. (He very gently pulled a big pink bow out of a little girl's hair but didn't make a fuss when mommy gave it back to her. Then she took one of his egg shakers [his are smaller to fit his little hands and are different colors than the others] and they've been best buds ever since.)

Jett's neurodevelopmentalist evaluated him Thursday and said that he's gained a whole year in the three months that she saw him last! The first time she saw him was just a couple of months after his surgery. He is only behind in two minor ways (over-expressed startle reflex and some fancy word for "fear of falling backwards"). He's not crawling up on hands and knees but she said that the army crawl is fine--his brain is still getting the proper stimulation necessary. She gave us lots of fun assignments to do with him including listening to Mozart in headphones, wearing dark glasses with little pin holes cut out in it (to aid with seeing details in pictures), crawling on an obsticle course, and blowing a hair dryer on his head (to help with sensory regulation and tactile reception).
Only a few weeks to go, and Jett will already be one year old!

Friday, February 04, 2011

Favorite caricature from last night.

Tristin is into something called "aggressive skating",

...and aggressive personality, and aggressive hair, and aggressive wardrobe...

Cool kid though.

Thursday, February 03, 2011

Snowmageddon 2011

 My Midwest friends and family are still digging out from an absolutely insane snowstorm that attacked the area a few days ago. There were reports of over two feet of snowfall and 5-7 foot drifts. My parent's live in Wisconsin and took some great pics of the aftermath. Here are a few of my favorites. 
This is a partial view of the front of the house. Note how the snow has drifted halfway up the front door. But don't the trees look pretty?
This is the view down the driveway, which is supposed to be to the left of the mailbox. It's under there somewhere.
THIS is my favorite picture of all. That's the garage door opened up, and an impression of the door in the snow that has drifted up against it. Amazing!
And to think, yesterday here in Florida, I had the air conditioning on in the car...