Gary L. Simmons  rev 01/20/06  http://webwonks.org/Hobbies/Art/Contemporary.html
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Contemporary
Art Portfolio


Art Portfolio | Adolescent Art | High School Art | College Art | Contemporary Art

This section is my contemporary art. As you can well imagine I have matured significantly since my silly immature days as a goofy callow boy. The years have greatly improved my mind and have appreciably sophisticated my approbation of fine art. Now we see the full ponderous weight of 53 years on a person, the change of venue imposed upon a person's psyche by the trenches and ruts that the shear number of marching years have impressed upon him. Now that I have gray in my hair, and hair in my ears and nose, and hair in my sink and cat hair all over my lap and my   gosh there's cat hair on my shirt and teeth and mouse pad and ceiling fan and desk chair and keyboard... CRIMINY there's cat hair ALL over the rug too!!! ............ Say, what was I lying about? OH! Art. Here is what I have been doing lately.

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Letter To Camp
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When my niece was just a punk grade school kid she went to summer camp. I sent her this wacky letter using early Apple font graphics in the place of many of the words. Oddly enough she never replied, even though I must have asked a thousand questions. Why is this in the Art Portfolio? I drew the border around the letter.
Ken's Startup
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Way back when, my Brother-in-Law used to have a Mac just like mine. Back then when a Mac user started up his computer he saw a welcome screen while the machine booted up. I made him a special startup screen which I installed on a visit to his house one year. I created the artwork and even if I do say so myself, it is a stunning example of my craft. Fair warning, it has a mature theme and if you are a young person I would advise you not to click on the link. As a mature and sophisticated patron of the arts however, I have the polish and the approbation of classical art and view these things not as titillating, but as representative of our rich and diverse culture.
Marty's Coupon
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I used to play paintball games at a place called Sat Cong Village back in the 80's. A guy I worked with named Marty introduced me to the place. We had a lot of fun, and I spent a lot of time running around there like a fool and bringing home half dollar sized bruises from the higher powered paintball rifles. When Marty's birthday rolled around I drew up a paintball coupon for him in MacPaint. This actually looked a lot like him, enough so that if you saw him on the field with some others you could pick him out from this picture.
Open House
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Back when we bought our house we were so proud of our accomplishment (it was a first house for the both of us) that we wanted to share it with all our friends. Especially the ones that still lived in an apartment. We decided on having an open house, as opposed to a house warming where one was expected to bring gifts for the home. We decided this not so much because we didn't want to burden our friends, it was more because of the worthless detritus our poor friends would have bought us. Stupid friends. Stupid, poor friends. Stupid, poor, envious friends who buy crap. Gee I sure miss them, I wonder where they all went and why they don't come over anymore? So ANYWAY, I created a masterpiece of high art to use in the invitations. Behold my mad MacPaint skilz.
No Noogies
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My first paid job as a computer programmer had me working in a savings and loan IT department. My boss was an OK guy but he had the bad habit of walking up behind me and giving me a noogie, you know an indian burn. I tried everything to stop him: putting up barbwire around my desk, ensconcing razor blades in my hair, shaving my head and tatooing dog poop on my pate, and finally digging a mote around my office filled with rabid zombie lawyers on motor scooters. What finally stopped him was something so simple it never occurred to me other than as an act of desperation, I drew a pic in MacPaint and printed it on a little piece of paper and hung it in my cubicle. View the graphic that somehow saved me from getting my hair rubbed through my skull into my brain. My guess as to how it worked was that at one time his wife paper trained him.
Cootie
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Ever get sick and blow your brains out your nose into a Kleenex? Ever get sick and bazooka barf your anklebones up? You my friend had cooties. Ever wonder what those raba frackin cooties look like? Me too, so I used MacPaint to expand the image size of a microscopic graphic of a cootie that I took off of my wife. Now hers may look different than yours, in fact I pretty much guarantee it, but it gives you an idea of what you are up against when your significant other heats up your chicken soup in a pan sitting on your forehead.
Get Well Card
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Back in the 80's I worked in a bank as a computer programmer, a member of our department, Myrtle worked as a computer operator. It came to pass that Myrtle needed a hernia operation. For most folks this would be a case of, "Rats, I need a hernia operation". To Myrtle it was, "OMG!! OH HELL, THEY'RE GONNA CUT ME!!!" and if you needed to put a face on horror, you could have gone to her office and asked her to come out from under her desk. Well we were real nice and supportive about it. We went out of our way to make sure she heard all the medical mistake stories we could remember or invent. I made a card for her and we all signed it. Here is the card in it's unfolded unprinted digital form.
Retirement Coupon
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Once upon a time I worked in a bank and had cow-orkers and bosses just like normal people. However, far from being normal, I would antagonize my boss at every opportunity. In this instance we were giving her an over the hill party, her big Four Oh, and we had black balloons and over the hill posters and banners and stuffed buzzards and all of that sort of junk. I created a retirement home coupon for her that was supposed to be our group gift that we all chipped in on as her big birthday present. I was like all smirky and giggly and handed it to her on a silver platter. That was 20 years ago and to this day my right butt cheek is still 3 inches higher than my left butt cheek and the foot print is still plainly visible.
Marathon 2
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Marathon is my favorite computer game from way back. When I first got my old HP Deskjet 560 I created a Marathon graphic for it using the tools for it that I had at the time, namely the paint program from ClarisWorks 2.1. I framed the graphic and hung it on my wall. Cut to 7 years later where I have just gotten an Epson CX6400 3-in-1 printer/scanner that prints with near photographic results. Time to upgrade my Marathon graphic! This time I am working in Fireworks MX and know enough to produce a high resolution graphic for printing. Gone are the jaggies, banded gradients, weird take on the logo and faulty shadows! Of course what you see here is a small JPEG of the original which is now hanging on the wall in all it's glory replacing the original er ... original ... um ... Marathon Forever! (You can view the original original in GIF format on the Hell Hole V1.5 page for comparison.)
Bucher Chart
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This pathetic thingy is from a computer game mod named "The Classified 19" that I worked on with a group of pretty cool guys several years ago. There was no real meaning to the graphic, it was just a bit of silliness in a sea of pain that was our version of Bungie Software's "Vidmaster's Challenge" from the Marathon series of computer games. See "Infected Pfhor" below for the full sized version of it and the details of it's construction.
Ebola Micccpy
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This is fusion art. I sketched the outline on paper with pencil, scanned it into Photoshop, added colors and gradients in AppleWorks, brought it into Fireworks for conversion to JPEG. Just what sick little brain cell barfed this mental image you ask? Well I was corresponding with a friend from Finland, Erkki, I called him a "sick little monkey". He replied with, "Monkeys is conspiracy Scullduggery" (see the X-crement files) so with my usual lack of anything intelligent to respond with I said, "Ebola. A little monkey sick with ebola. A stinky ugly deathly sick little monkey with a thermometer sticking out it's butt, with little flames shooting out the end of the thermometer... Agent Mulger... are you on to something? Could this possibly tie in with the X-crement files?" And gosh darn it if the rest ain't history. I kept that mental image intact and carefully reproduced it electronically to share my vision with the world. Who is Micccpy? Micccpy is a cartoon character Erkki draws, Micccpy won the role of the monkey because none of MY cartoon characters would volunteer.
Flying Butt Monkey
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Pencil sketch scanned into Photoshop and printed. Printed sketch was tinted with colored pencils then rescanned into PhotoShop, where a title and background were added. Again this will take some explaining. Erkki out of the blue mentioned "Flying Butt Monkeys" and I was so impressed with the depth and breadth of the cosmic scope of his profound yet simple statement that I had to draw a picture of it.
FBM's True Love
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Same technique as above but as you Marathon game fans will recognize, there is a flying tick that I scarfed out of the game using Bungie's Anvil. When Erkki saw the above flying butt monkey, he wrote that it looked sort of like a Marathon tick. Who says I'm not romantic?? The second I read that, the sounds of romantic violins started swelling in my mind and my mental camera started doing rotations around and around the star crossed couple who had found one another against all odds and across the vast reaches of interstellar space. This lovingly embracing twosome who braved unseen perils and galactic cataclysms in their quest to find one another FINALLY meet and as they gaze with eternally dedicated passion into one another's... eyes?? Hey, do these guys have eyes?? Hmmm... Let's do an alien autopsy on them!!!!

For those of you who are nature lovers and watch all of those nature shows, I have included here for your education a recording of the Mating Call of the Flying Butt Monkey.
Infected Pfhor
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This is a scan of a black and white concept sketch of the infected Pfhor from The Marathon Scrapbook. I enlarged it, printed it out, then colored it in with colored pencil. Once color and detail was added I canned it back in and shrunk it back down. Here it is at 25% actual size. I did this coloring for terminal art for a Marathon scenario that never saw the light of day so I am showing it some light on my web page. The original sketch is possibly the work of Rob McLees.

Net Players
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Another enlarged scan of a black and white sketch from page 22 of my Marathon One user manual. I used some color pencil to color it in. This was also used as terminal art for a marathon scenario that never saw the light of day. There is just something about that sketch that sums up the feeling of what it would be like hanging out with a group of futuristic thrill seekers out to have a bit of fun on the halodeck. To this day, when anybody creates artwork that shows the Marathon Marine, I compare it to the concept here in this simple yet wonderful sketch. I have no idea who drew the original sketch as it is not signed but it looks like the work of Reginald Dujour.

Concept Cyborg
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Let me know when you get sick of these scanned Bungie sketches that I have scanned and colorized. Once again this is a work originally done by Rob McLees and it is scanned from page 24 of the Marathon Scrapbook. It is a concept sketch of the Marathon Cyborg. The early prototype is pretty close to the final product if you don't take into account my custom coloring job. This, as the above two graphics, was for terminal art for a 3rd party Marathon scenario. The graphic that made it into the terminal was much small and had a fancy background and some Marathon objects. You have to download the scenario to see the finish product.
Cock Walk
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Not what you think. Actually this is more like how the supermarket tabloids created "Batboy" and the "3 Legged Lady" who gives dance lessons. My Brother-in-law has peacocks on his horse ranch. My wife found a booze ad on the back of a magazine showing a man walking a peacock (upper right). She wanted me to replace the man in the ad with her brother (lower right) to show him walking the peacock instead. So with a scanner and Photoshop I went to work to create an 8X10 (left) suitable for framing that showed the combined scans. We took the file to Kinkos and got a great glossy photograph looking print, framed it, and sent it to her brother Ken. He got a big kick out of it, you just can't tell I monkeyed with the photo. It ain't exactly art but it is what passes for contemporary art for me these days.

Brownie Ladder
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This one is much older than the previous Contemporary Art offerings. This was last messed with in 1994 with Claris Paint although the black and white version was done in about 86 or 87 in MacPaint. If you have already looked at it you may wonder what the heck it is. It is a stationary border for a really sweet old lady I knew, Miss Boller, who was very fond of brownies. I made her stationary that consisted of brownies climbing up on ladders who were busy placing the letters that a line of ants were carrying up to them. Once these were printed out, I would put them back through the printer to print my correspondence to Miss Boller. I printed up a mess of these and sent them to her as a present for her own use. Feel free to use it yourself for your own personal use, but please remember where you got it.
Holly Border
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This is a little newer than the Brownie Ladder and it is pretty much the same thing, a stationary border for letters. This one has a seasonal flair to it with holly, red berries and snow flakes. My wife still uses this each year to send Christmas letters. Once this graphic is printed out, you can put them back through the printer to print your correspondence on. Feel free to use it yourself for your own personal use, but please remember where you got it.
Greeting Card
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This is older than the Brownie Ladder. This is one of the earlier works I did in the old black and white MacPaint. This is, as the title says, a greeting card. Fold it in half on the horizontal axis and then fold it in half on the vertical axis leaving the message "Kitty and Gary are coming" folded in half on the inside of the card. This is all original art except for the MacPaint patterns. I have created the upper case and lower case alphabet in MacPaint in a way that will let you copy and paste letters into lines of script. It was my own font when fonts were RARE animals. You see an example of it here. If I find the calligraphy files, I will post them here as it is still useful and I like to share stuff.

Calligraphy
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Well I found the file I mentioned above with the lower case calligraphy and I cleaned it up for public consumption and web publication. I could not find the upper case calligraphy but it has been so long I think I may have just created the occasionally needed capital letter ad hoc. I'll keep my eyes open for them. Anyway, here are the lower case letters and you can do what I did, copy and paste them into meaningful order then make any special effects you care to with them. I used to use these a lot when there were almost no fonts available for personal computers. Back in the old days before there were hardly any fonts available, we had to create them ourselves, pound the binary into concrete blocks with our bare knuckles. You punks these days got it easy. I think there is still a use for them, so feel free to scarf the characters for your own use.

Worthinghamski
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Back when we were first married I used to tease my wife about my imaginary mistress, Cat Woman. My wife retaliated by inventing a romantic figure called Ashley Worthingham the 3rd. Ashley, she desperately lied, was a classy, cruelly handsome, and heroic passenger liner captain who was rich beyond belief (that last part is right). I hopped into the only existing computer art program at the time, MacPaint, and brought her imaginary lover to life. It is just so sad that in reality he did not live up to his obviously exaggerated description of himself. All this BEFORE the Internet!! Photos don't lie and this picture of Ashley, whom it turns out is actually Ashley WorthinghamSKI, is a derelict alcoholic bum who pilots a garbage barge for the city dump. As far as rich... he can't even afford a real parrot for his shoulder and had to settle for a dump rat. Also it is obvious that the "ham" portion of his name refers to his pig nose. Check it out, this is the guy she was trying to make me jealous with!

Interesting Historical Note: Notice the pants he's wearing. I drew the stupidest looking pants I could imagine on a primate and 15 years later... they are now the pants that are the height of fashion with kids today! HAHAHAHA... HA HA ha aha ha ahah haaa... heh heh... eh... um... EEEWWWW!

Ghost Border
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I drew this one to be used as a Halloween stationary border for ground mail correspondence. Just print it out and write between the borders or size your word processor document to fit within the borders. Print once to create the border then load it back into the printer tray and print your letter on it. This was created by me way back when, in ClarisWorks 3... or was it 4?
Xmas Party
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I like to rip myself off. Many times when I needed a graphic for something like this Christmas party I would take elements from preexisting work and blend them together. It works great and I've yet to sue myself for plagiarism although I'm tempted cause I could use the money to buy a lawyer cause I'm alla time trying to sue myself. I snagged the brownies from the Brownie Ladder graphic above and the snowflakes and holly from the Holly Border graphic above and created some cupcakes and cookies. Piece of cake!!
Brownie Border
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Here is another one I did for Miss Boller. This is a picture of a brownie sitting in an ink bottle holding up her initial on a postal stamp. She was a big fan of brownies and I did a number of drawings for her. I included a bunch of snow flakes and other designs as a border. These designs were done with a mirror tool, you drew in one direction and it filled out the lines in lines at a tangent angle. If you were careful, you could make some very ornate designs. MacPaint rules! This is another border meant to be printed out on a sheet of stationary paper. You could either write directly on it or you could write your letter into a word processor with the correct margins and re-print it onto the graphic. Try it out.
Marathon Comic
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Time for a change of pace. I spent some time the other day creating a comic strip for a comic web site called Grunty Comics (sadly it no longer exists) that a friend and I host at Forerunners.org. Grunty Comics is a collection of comics and graphics based on or from different Bungie Studios games. My favorite Bungie game is Marathon. To help you understand the game it is a first person shooter where you, as the security officer, run around shooting alien slavers who have boarded your ship. This entails puzzles such as finding circuit chips and plugging them in, fighting your way through the game. The "SPNKR" mentioned and seen in the comic is the name of the most powerful weapon, the rocket launcher. The aliens, the walls the floors, the special effects and the door are all graphics borrowed from Marathon, enlarged and enhanced and pieced together in Fireworks MX
Marathon Comic2
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Here is effort two for Grunty Comics. More of the same. This one got torn down by the guys because there was too much readin' and not enough boobs to stare slack jawed at. I gotta pay attention to who my audience is!
No Junk
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And now for something completely different. I was asked by a friend to make a graphic for a birthday present for this 88 year old black guy who is dying of cancer. The guy is a Muslim so that explains the twist on the caption, "God don't make no junk". Apparently this guy saw a sketch of something like this hanging on the wall of my friends work place and really really liked it. Because it is pretty hard to tell if you don't know what it is supposed to be, it is a sad little boy. pouting, kneeling, with his hands clasped. It's a good thing I didn't give up my day job to be an artist and make this crap for a living because I HATE standing in bread lines. By the way, this thing is huge, 11 by 17 inches. The idea was to send it to Kinko's to be printed out as a small poster.
Walk
America

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Hey speaking of "88", back in 1988 the bank I worked at had a contest to design a graphic for the company T-shirt that was to be worn during the March of Dimes Walk America charity event that the bank helped sponsor each year. The T-Shirt was to be worn by company employees as they hiked the 20 mile course. What is not obvious by looking at the graphic I submitted is that... I WON! Boy they must have been desperate! Another graphic I did showing the bank president beating up a little crippled girl and stealing her ragged doll didn't even make the first cut. I suspect corrupt company politics in THAT decision! Anyway, this was done in MacPaint in black and white but was printed on the T-shirts in the company colors... which I forget... blue and white? Something like that.
Stereoscope
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Hey did you ever want to do something that was lots of fun but was one of those things that make you go blind? Who is snickering? Little Johnny, perhaps you would like to come to the front of the class and tell us all what is so funny? No? OK, then be quiet. Today we will learn about stereoscopes. This is a device that uses two slightly different photos of the same scene to give the illusion of a 3D image. This graphic has a pair of stereoscope images on it that I drew, one at the top and one at the bottom. You can print this graphic onto heavy paper and cut them out along the outlines for insertion into a standard stereoscope or you can rough it like I do and image it right off the computer screen. Cover either the top image or the bottom image so it will not distract you from these instructions. Put your nose on the screen at the base of a graphic on the center line dividing the two similar images. Bottom center. Cross your eyes hard. Move your head back about 3-6 inches and attempt to force your vision to make the 4 images merge so that the rather than seeing 4 objects with crossed eyes, you superimpose the two innermost objects into a single center object. The center object will be in 3 dimensions! It is very cool when you manage to lock in on it. Once you are there it will be easier to hold than to originally focus. This will tire your eyes very rapidly however. If you're not getting the 3D, rest and try again later.

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