Goats, Boats, and Other Notes


Spent several hours this week sketching rough drafts for another illustration commission, Do You Have a Pebble in Your Pocket?, a book to teach small children counting through representation. The premise: A farm boy keeps a pebble for every goat he has in his pocket; then, when each goat returns to the barn, he places a pebble in a pouch. At the end of the day, he still has one pebble in his pocket and sets out to find the missing goat.

Here are clickable splendid scribbles of the present cover and title page designs:

GP-rd_cover  GP-rd_titlepg


Started work on the next tugboat commission. The Alice Moran is taking shape on the sketchpad. After working out a few more details and drafting a background of New York Harbor, I’ll do at least one more clean draft, then transfer to sturdier paper and bring out the paints.

If you haven’t seen the final, framed M. Moran painting (or images of the earlier stages), you are welcome skim through prior posts in the Captain’s Log (click and scroll down).

Other Notes:

At this point, Terry Treble Music Adventures I & II are still just for sale through me or MusicLearningCommunity.com staff directly. (No online order form just yet.)

I plunged into yet another revision (the fifth major one) of my opera libretto, an adaptation of The Antiquary by Sir Walter Scott. Good things are happening: crisping up some dialogue, incorporating more rhymes and wordplay, and reworking some arias. It’s nearly finished!

Among other projects started and standing, fleshing out and finalizing, I began reviewing two stories I’ll intertwine for a film script. But mum’s the word for now and awhile since it’s just getting underway–that gives you incentive to come back!

Tugboat Painting to Home Port

Two Fridays ago, my painting of the M. Moran docked at its home port — the walls of my great-uncle’s house — in its new-old frame (new for the painting, old in that the frame was built several years ago). It really brightens the room and ties in to the other colors and woodwork.


What’s more, my great-uncle was so pleased that he asked me to do another painting of one of his boats! This time around, it’ll be the Alice L. Moran, another “most powerful” tug.

While visiting, I found the “Marine News” pamphlet containing the picture I worked from. I opened the first page, and, surprise, surprise, — there was a small black and white image of the original painting, complete with the stern of the ship. Although it would have been nice to know what the back of the boat looked like, it was still fun to figure out how everything that was missing might look and to reinterpret the image to fit my great-uncle’s home & frame.

The original is 23.5″ x 16″ by marine artist Charles G. Evers, whereas mine is 22″ x 30″. The background is Diamond Head, HI.

To learn a little more about the specs of this tug and the history of the M. Moran line, click here to read an excerpt from the “Marine News” article. And here to see a photo of its initial tow to Korea.

On the way there (to my great-uncle’s house, not Korea), I passed through Savannah, Georgia, and went down to the river, where, lo and behold, were two Moran tugs! One was docked, the other pushing a steamer. A lovely coincidence.

Now that school is out and I’m back in town, I’ll update this here captain’s log more frequently with bits about the myriad projects I have queued this summer.

So long!

Tug o’ War

Indeed, the painting of this tugboat, active around wartime, is finished.

Then arises the question of whether an artist’s work is ever finished. But essentially it is finished. I may tweak a little after looking at it tomorrow. (Admittedly, I made a few changes since taking the photo you see below!) Comparing this image to the prior photographs, again we may observe the exquisite variation of dormitory lighting. Click to see a larger image.

A No-Nonsense April 1st

We’ve marched out of March and into April — it may be May before we know it.

Despite gaining a second job at school for the remainder of the term, I’ve continued (albeit sometimes disjointedly) to work on art projects. At this point, it’s almost exclusively the M. Moran tugboat painting, which is coming along.

Click the thumbnail to see a bigger version. Click here to see the post featuring photos of an earlier stage in the process (“Tugging Along”).


Also, I learned that it was in fact Korea, not Japan, to which the tugboat traveled from the Continental US, stopping only in Hawaii.

On a musical note, today in my carillon lesson, my teacher showed me the summer program for Centralia Carillon — and what should appear on the cover but my drawing? Or what looks like my drawing. I say that because the program designer colorized it to make it “pop.” The trees in the drawing were tinted bright green, which is perhaps a few touches too bright, but there’s a goldish sort of yellow that makes the radiating light around the top of the tower stand out nicely. (I don’t have a picture, but if you visit Centralia, IL, on certain Friday evenings this summer, maybe you’ll get to take your own copy home. No fooling!)