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Jeffco Sick Outs

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I was actually working on this cartoon before the fallout from all of the staged protests that have occurred the past week or so. This cartoon was triggered by a video of the teachers union, during a recent conference here in Colorado. In the presentation, the speaker encourages out of state union members to come in and be “boots” on the ground to protest the lawfully elected board members of Jefferson County. This kind of intentional rabble rousing infuriates me. If the conservative right was to protest every single election we don’t agree with, we’d never get any other work done. And certainly when we do finally protest, when things swing too far left, we immediately get tarred and feathered as racist, sexist, pick your own epithet.

But what’s more infuriating is the complete distortion and lies being fed to these high school students about this issue. These kids have no clue about the source of their protests. In order to hide the fact that it’s about disgruntled election results, the unions have convinced the teachers that it’s somehow about pay or the latest, it’s somehow about taking away American history.

I’ve had conservative friends who mistakenly spoke out saying that they support teachers and that if the teachers are protesting then they must have a legitimate beef against the school board. All the school board did, their only pinnable crime, is that they said, “let’s talk about creating an advisory board to review the history curriculum.” And with that, the distortion begins. Kids on streets claiming that the school board wants to take slavery out of the curriculum?! Obviously, these ignorant children have been fed this poison from somewhere, perhaps from the very teachers that we are bending over backwards to protect?

Look, I’m not against the teachers. Some are probably just as hoodwinked by the unions as the kids they indoctrinate. All the board is suggesting is creating a system of accountability over what is being taught to our impressionable youth (and the student protests demonstrate just how impressionable they really are!!!). It is as if you worked in an office and one day the boss says, you know what, I’m going to form an advisory committee that will review employee performance to make sure it is in line with the objectives of the company. Should the employees suddenly protest such a move, what does that telegraph about their performance?

Not that I’m equating the content of the curriculum with the performance of the teachers. No doubt they are doing their very best instructing the kids, but if the material is incorrect or irrelevant, or perhaps too biased one direction, then all of their best efforts cannot overcome this. The fact that these kids believe that the board wants to remove slavery from the curriculum demonstrates just how little they even really know about the subject. If American history was properly taught, they would have learned that the Republican Party was formed as the Abolitionist party!

Seriously, though, I was in high school once. I remember exactly how it was. Any chance to get on TV and get out of class, we would take. We probably couldn’t even care less about what we were protesting. That wasn’t important. What was important is that it was 80 degrees and sunshine on a September day. Hello! Give me some cardboard, I’ll write down something stupid, and then I’m out of here. The real issue is that the media is turning ordinary teenage angst into some sort of deep meaningful, heartfealt protest movement, when in reality, it isn’t.

About Hobby Lobby

Apparently FB has exploded today, so I felt compelled to respond. Since I need to maintain a reputation on social media, I think I’ll use my blog as a forum to respond. In reality, it’s a bit dangerous to interject, for many of the voices out there are sounding like fools and to respond to a fool, one becomes one himself. It’s a risk I’m willing to take, I guess.

Several are now making the argument that if Hobby Lobby can force their religion on their employees (again, not happening, a complete straw man) then what next, forcing a Jehovah Witness to drink blood? This doesn’t even make sense. And actually that argument works in favor of Hobby Lobby, the failure to see so is almost comical. What next? How about forcing Christians to pay for abortion pills? Isn’t that what is at stake here?

Another argument is that Hobby Lobby won the right to deny women health care. Wow. Really? Do you really believe that’s what happened, or you just posting this complete lie to trump up your cause? Anybody working at HL can get whatever treatment they want. I have not heard of a case where the CEO of HL follows his employees to Walgreens to make sure she doesn’t acquire certain pills. All this is about is the money. The issue is whether HL should be forced to pay for it. They are not denying anybody anything. Remember, the employees work FOR HL, not the other way around. A person works at a job in an agreement to do labor in exchange for compensation and benefits, but even the benefits should be determined by the company, should it not? It is the owners who make the decisions that either make or break the business. They need the employee to help make it happen. By agreeing to help HL run its stores, does that suddenly give the employee the right to demand that their employer suddenly pay for a bunch of controversial birth control pills? By forcing HL to pay for the controversial pills is it not that the employee, via the government, is forcing ITS worldview (religion) on HL? If we are talking about Constitution liberties, should not HL be afforded theirs?

In the end, those who are screaming foul at the Supreme Court decision, when you break it down to its simplest point, are upset that the government does not have the right to tell a company what it should pay its employees.

I find it rather curious how outraged some are over the idea that Hobby Lobby won protection against being forced to pay for something that violates their religion. Somehow, this is a grand crime against humanity, meanwhile real hate crime is being perpetrated all over the Middle East… teenagers in Israel are being murdered in cold blood for being Jewish, Sudanese woman sentenced to death for marrying a Christian, Iraq being taken over by force, girls being kidnapped and sold into sex slavery in Nigeria. Shouldn’t we be collectively focusing our venom on these real human violations?

 

Day Two at the Colorado House

This was a repeat invitation to come to the floor of the Colorado House and to sketch the proceedings. The first time I was invited, all heck broke loose, as the two sides fought bitterly over a certain partisan issue. Unfortunately, I was also sicker than a dog that day and my productive output was minimum.

On this occasion, I was in much better health. It is a pure distinct privilege and honor to be a part of this revered process. I do not take it lightly. I am so grateful for the Representative from the Colorado Springs who has had me as his guest twice now. There was a time when I was in college that I contemplated the idea of being a courtroom sketch artist. I even took a one day seminar on the subject. Life leads other directions, obviously, but it is still fun to revisit this tucked away passion of mine.

I don’t get paid to be there, but I do get to be witness to things most people will never even see in their lives. I’m actually on the floor itself, along the sides, where the guests and the policy advisors sit. I can hi-five legislatures as they come down the sides if I wanted, that’s how close I am to the action. It would be great to one day rise to the point where I’m paid to be there (oh, the swan song of every artist), but regardless, I enjoy my time thoroughly and it’s a great way to practice drawing from life.

It was pretty much a fairly boring and straight forward session. Most of what occurred was the acceptance of Senate modified bills and so the proceedings moved fairly rapidly. Even still, I managed a few decent sketches. I worked from 9am to 11:30am and the following was my output. Comments are on the sketches.

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Tolerance

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This cartoon is in response to the recent banning for life of Donald Sterling from the NBA. I want to start by making two things clear. Sterling is a buffoon and said some stupid things. And two, I respect the NBA commissioner Adam Silver’s decision to do whatever he feels is best.

That said, I’m a bit troubled by how far Silver went with this punishment. While what Sterling said was offensive, they were mere words. Adam Silver came out and said that he will not have intolerance in the NBA, which makes me wonder, which was more intolerant, Silver banishing for life a guy who said racial remarks or the remarks themselves?

Again, don’t misconstrue where I’m coming. I do not support anything of what Sterling said, and to be frank, I think Sterling is a spoiled idiot, but is that enough to warrant this kind of punishment? Sure, something should have probably been done, but banned for life, with the final objective to force him to sell his property? This may seem all fine and great to most of the public, but do they realize what kind of slippery slope that puts us on? Silver went on to say that this serves as an example and the NBA will not tolerate speech that is in any way racist or homophobic.

In today’s hypersensitive society, one could easily twist and take out of context anything any enemy of theirs says in order to enact a bitter revenge. I cannot believe some of the things that are being labeled as “racist.” If you disagree with a minority on stuff like policy economics, it’s labeled as racist, and according to Silver’s rhetoric, that’s possible grounds for banishment. And what about the Christian NBA player who holds a particular belief about homosexuality? Will they now be told to change this belief or be banned from life?

And then there’s the hypocrisy. There are basketball players who have impregnated several women, some accused of rape, who obviously see woman as nothing more than objects, yet they continue to play, despite the obvious sexism. Likewise, what if what Sterling said was anti-Semetic instead? Or made horrific slurs against Christians? Would these same people be as up in arms?

“Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me.” Unless, of course, those words are your own.

A final PS. People took to the streets and cheered after the punishment came down, without realizing what exactly they were rooting for. They were cheering for less freedom. Perhaps it had something to do with the fact that they saw Sterling as the old rich white guy and they just wanted to stick it to him. In that case, they were celebrating the politics of revenge. If racial harmony is the objective, revenge is the device that will destroy it. Societies that operate on revenge eventually plunge into chaos, distrust and sometimes even civil war. While Sterling should be properly reprimanded, (with a punishment that actually fits the infraction), as a society, we need to be willing to forgive his actions and move on. The failure to do so only fosters a deeper racial divide. That’s not what I want for this country.

What a load of !

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The Colorado Legislature just banned the future sale of so-called wasteful, inefficient, high volume (in other words, effective) toilets and other plumbing fixtures. Really? Was that really necessary? While that might sound good to some people (yay, we’re saving the planet), what it is not is FREEDOM.

The truth is, the so-called “high-efficiency” toilets don’t always save water. While that may be true for some people in some communities that have high pressure water systems, for the many rural and mountain communities on well water, these toilets are a disaster. They require several flushings in order to properly and sanitarily dispose of the waste. How is this efficient? The rural home owner should have the FREEDOM to purchase whatever toilet they feel best suits their needs and their worldview. You don’t see the mountain man trying to stop an earth lover from purchasing a high-efficiency toilet. To each man his own choice of toilet.

This is a case of “mind your own business” in a huge way. The constant drumbeat by those on the left is “stay out of our bedrooms,” when conservatives try to push sexual morality. Well I say to this, stay out of our bathrooms!

I have a horrific and aggressive auto-immune disorder in which I suffer from major… ahem, let’s call it lower intestinal duress… in other words, poopy problems. I feel as if I can speak with authority about this subject matter. [um… this next paragraph is going to get graphic and personal in a hurry… you had your warning, so like, yeah, move on to the next toon if this is too much for you] The way my malfunctioning gut often works is that it stops for a few days and then in one big movement, unloads drastically. We’re talking it would make an elephant proud. I have been on those high-efficiency pots and it has required the use of coat hangers and several flushings in order for the material to finally be done away with. In my case, the “inefficient” toilet would actually be more effective in the long run! Fortunately, I have one of those at my current residence and am thankful. I should be allowed to choose whatever throne best fits my derrière, as I know my buttom best!

Phew! That said, this legislation stinks like the anti-freedom load of crap that it is.

Justin Bieber

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I’m not one to really follow much of the celebrity gossip. The furthest my gossip train goes is my local polititan and that’s about it. However, I realize that in order to expand my appeal in the marketplace as an editorial illustrator, I should start doing more apolitical individuals and I should try and have my pen on the pulse of the American tabloids, so to speak.

Thus, I’ve been putting together some ideas that would be a little more mainstream.

This first one was actually a class demo. I had been thinking about doing a caricature of Justin Bieber for some time, actually. His notorious brawls has been giving him a black eye, and I’m speaking figuratively, here. Perhaps he thinks this out-of-control tough-boy thing is attractive and helps his image, but to me, and my guess is that I’m not the only one, I’m starting to find it disgusting. Honestly, I feel sorry for the kid. He’s a product of the internet generation, sensationalized and thrown into this world of unreality in which he was able to hit fame with a meteoric rise. Virtues like responsibility and self-control have not been taught to him as they may have to someone else who may have to struggle harder for their daily survival.

Generally, my class demos are hit and miss. On this one, I think I hit it out of the ball park. Doesn’t always happen, but when it does, it makes me smile.

I plan on doing a few more in the more mainstream series coming up. Stay tooned!

Defending the First Amendment

The Supreme Court is hearing oral arguments about whether or not Hobby Lobby should be forced to pay for their employees’ contraceptives and abortions, despite religious objections, as a part of Obamacare. Four justices have already voiced that they will side with the government. I find this to be mind bogglingly shocking. These people were put there to DEFEND the Constitution, with the very first Bill of Rights being to protect religious freedom. It should be a slam dunk case, with Hobby Lobby winning easily. That fact that FOUR of the justices think otherwise is frightening. What on earth is their justification?

Their argument is that Hobby Lobby is a corporation and that the First Amendment does not apply to corporations. Say what!? First off, that makes zero sense. Corporations are nothing more than collections of people and it is my understanding that the First Amendment applies to ALL people. Corporations are owned by people, staffed by people, managed by people. Corporations are people and in that respect they are no different than government. They reflect the values and integrity of the individuals that make them up.

But even if corporations are some strange separate artificial intelligence entity, what good is the First Amendment if it doesn’t apply to EVERYBODY?? When the government can start to pick and choose who gets protected by the First Amendment and who doesn’t, you have entered into dangerous territory, and the fact that four justices think that it’s their job to decide who doesn’t get protected by the First Amendment means that we are already there!

I brought this point up to a liberal friend and his response was, “Well, I don’t like Hobby Lobby pushing their religion on their employees.” What does that have to do with the issue? Hobby Lobby is not forcing the employees to do or not do anything. The government IS forcing Hobby Lobby to do something it finds objectionable. If Sue Employee wants to have an abortion while under the employ of Hobby Lobby, Hobby Lobby will not stop her from doing so and frankly, I don’t think Hobby Lobby cares what Sue Employee decides to do with her life outside of Hobby Lobby. But why should Hobby Lobby be FORCED to pay for that abortion? It’s Sue’s abortion, not Hobby Lobby’s. She should pay for it herself, if that’s what she wants, or find somebody who does want to pay for her abortion.

Even though Hobby Lobby does not get involved in Sue Employee’s personal life, if Hobby Lobby, or any company for that matter, wishes to establish for themselves a code of ethics on how they feel their employees should conduct themselves outside of employment, I would defend their right to do so. Sound extreme? Well then, work for another company. We do not have forced employment in this country. Nobody is forcing anybody to work for any company. Why is it that so hard to understand? If Sue Employee wants her employer to pay for her abortion, she can get a job with one who will.

What does the First Amendment specifically say? It says “Congress shall make no law regarding the establishment of religion or the free exercise thereof.” The Obamacare mandate violates this on both accounts. First, it denies Hobby Lobby their free exercise of their religion. I bring this up and I hear liberals say the First Amendment is supposed to keep people from forcing their religion on others. No, it doesn’t. Considering the fact that a lot of the signers of the Constitution were ordained pastors or ministers, I doubt that this is what they had in mind when they signed it. No, the First Amendment ALLOWS people to proselytize, Bible bash, witness, share, whatever you want to call it, to one another. Don’t like it, tough, it’s their freedom. What it DOESN’T allow is for government to force ITS religion and yes, secularism IS a type of religion. By forcing Hobby Lobby and anybody else to pay for contraceptives, the government is establishing that this is their worldview (religion) and this is their way of forcing you to acknowledge it. The failure to understand this is a failure to understand the First Amendment.

John Andrews caricature

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This is the final caricature of the series. I couldn’t not do one of the man so instrumental in getting the Western Conservative Summit up a rolling and keeping it an entertaining and smashing success year after year. It’s also a tribute to someone I am blessed to call friend. Knowing John’s affinity for climbing 14ers, I put him on top, submitting, if you will, the Colorado Mountains. Which peak depicted is not important, what’s important is that John’s efforts are herculean, much like climbing a 14er. (which I’ve done three times, so I know). Never giving up, slowly but surely we hope to influence our culture, our generation, our politics for the good.

Jenny Beth Martin caricature

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The caricature of Jenny Beth Martin, affectionately known as the Tea Party lady. Didn’t know her before the Western Conservative Summit, but I had a chance to meet her and we chatted a bit. Again, I didn’t mention that I was the one who did her caricature (I’m not one to toot my own horn when it comes to my art, I guess). It was fun just hearing from her and learning about her struggles and the goals she has for this country.

This is another one that I feel I just simply hit a home run on. The likeness is spot on, and speaking of spots, I couldn’t help but have her hold a spot of tea. I also loved the color scheme on this (of course, green happens to be my favorite color…)

James Golden caricature

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It seemed, as I was trying to find ANY photo reference that I could of James Golden, that he is a very private individual. Because of this, I won’t call him by his pen name, but he is much more popularly known as somebody else. I’ve known who he is for a long time, but because of the business he is in, I had never seen his face before. It’s tough to paint a guy when you don’t know what he looks like. I finally found two very low resolution photos of him online, and that’s all I had to work with. I ended up making the caricature a bit more generic due to the lack of any strong photo reference.

Golden works for one of the biggest media personalities in the world. If you can catch their attention, you’re sure to make it, but both are very private and are flooded with unsolicited queries that go unnoticed. I hope, I just hope, that Mr. Golden puts this in his office and that one day, the big guy he works for will look at it and go, you know? I think I might need to hire this illustrator for my next publication.

Finally, as James Golden spoke, I couldn’t help but try and redraw him from life, so that I would have something with a little more clarity to start from the next time I wanted to do his portrait. Now that he’s right in front of me, I saw exactly what he looked like, so I quickly jotted down the following from life.

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Guy Benson caricature

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I don’t don’t have cable, so I wasn’t aware of who Guy Benson was before starting this caricature. There was plenty of reference on the web and that made a world of difference.

This was like the 13th out of the 16 caricatures I did for the Summit, so by the time I got to Mr. Benson, I was a pro. I nailed it on this one. I love the way the brush work of the underpainting becomes the pattern in his blazer. I had a great time painting the plaid, and I attempted to push the distortion and stylization of the face as far as I could and I did so while maintaining likeness. Epic score!

Guy Benson seems like a very cool guy and I like the fact that he’s young. Perhaps one day Guy will know me on a first name basis and the next time he’s on Fox News he’ll say, “oh, that reminds me of a funny cartoon my friend Benjamin once did…”

Ted Cruz caricature

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There are few people I admire more than Ted Cruz. Knowing he is from Texas, I decided to render him as a Texas Ranger, here to restore law and order back to the Senate.

I had a fun time with this caricature. But more than that, I had the distinct and priveleged honor to meet him in person. Like the other 100 or so people, I was shuffled in line and given only a few seconds to speak with him, get my picture taken, and move on. What do you say to a guy you really admire in just a few seconds worth of time? I was scared I might choke on my words and say something really stupid, or perhaps spit in his face accidently. As you know, the constant long term use of the prednizone has wreaked havoc on my vocal chords, so I was certain I was probably just going to end up squawking in the end.

But Ted Cruz, besides being shockingly short in size, was one of the most gentle men I’ve ever met, with a firm, but reassuring handshake. He did not know that I was the one who did the caricature of him, nor did I venture to volunteer that information. Instead, I simply said, “Thank you for your courage. Never give up. We’re praying for you.” As I walked away, he called me back, “Sir!” I turned and looked. “Thank you. That means so much to me.” “Have a good day,” I called out. “You too!” he cried out in his trademark Texas drawl.

Months later, in a seemingly liberal classroom, I was giving a presentation on the art of caricature. I showed classic examples from some of the greatest caricature artists both of the past and working today. I couldn’t resist throwing this into the slide show, as I was quite pleased with how it turned out and I wanted to show how you can add other story telling elements to your piece in order to compliment the caricature. After explaining all of this to my students, I mentioned I was the artist of this particular piece. I then mentioned that sometimes as artists, our talents can sometimes give us some great opportunities we might otherwise not have, such as the chance to meet someone like Ted Cruz. I then quickly showed this slide for a few seconds before moving on, one, because it’s not a really flattering photo of me, but two, because I know how certain people feel about Ted Cruz and I didn’t want to start any trouble.

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But to my shock, they begged me to go back, so I did, at which point the who class erupted in “how cool!” and “that’s sweet.” Find out, Ted Cruz is admired by a lot of people for his courage, including the young generation.

Point of View

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Do I need to say more about this toon? Perhaps not, but I will.

For some, this toon may come across as outrageous. It’s not my attempt, this toon is merely an observation.

There are a few things I can’t stand… Arrogance and false accusations. And it seems to me that both are on a rapid crescendo. It’s funny how the side that claims there are no absolutes are the first to judge someone for the food they eat, for the religion they practice, for believing in certain economic theories. It’s not enough that we have differences of opinions. No, now it’s that what we believe is immoral. We’re haters for having these opinions. And because of this, the debate comes to a screeching halt. And if they can continue to promulgate this myth with false reports, items taken out of context, Democrat plants at Tea Party rallies, Facebook memes, then they don’t ever have to deal with the issues, because why bother, conservatives are simply that immoral. It’s gotten so bad, that every time I offer support to some conservative or Republican publicly on Facebook, I shed friends like a dog sheds hair at springtime. (to channel Dan Rather)

The left has made racism the most immoral thing anybody can ever do (more immoral, it seems, than even killing an unborn child), second, only to political incorrectness. So in order to shut up conservatives, all you have to do is label them whatever the most immoral thing on the planet happens to be at the time. Why is this dangerous? It’s because people can justify engaging in all sorts of retribution against those they consider immoral. Their leaders can work them up into a frenzied fury to the point that they don’t even care if they do violate their opposition’s basic constitutional rights, all the way down to the right to life, in some cases. Hitler’s Germany is a great case study. Why did the German people turn against the Jews? It’s because they were brainwashed over the years into believing that the Jews were IMMORAL.

It seems when I was younger I could disagree with my liberal friends and we would spend hours discussing policy and economic theory. And we both agreed we weren’t crazy about any politician, regardless of party. At the end of the day, we respected each other and knew that we both wanted essentially the same thing, just had different thoughts about how to get there. What happened to those days? Perhaps it was because we were teenagers and we hadn’t learned how to hate yet? Now I have liberal friends who will go behind my back and completely trash with distortions, lies and vitriol the very beliefs I hold dear in the anonymous forum of Facebook, yet refuse to engage in discussion in person. What happened to civility? Is it too much to ask to take a few steps back and realize that conservatives are not villains, not demons, not racists or any of the epithets normally leveled our way. I challenge you to consider that just maybe, just maybe they might want the same things as you: life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. Once that happens, then we might actually learn things from each other.

God’s Party

In honor of the CHRISTmas season, I thought it would be fun to put this out there:

This notion that the God who created the universe somehow has a party affiliation is a comical one. I remember when Jon Stewart came out with the argument that Jesus was a Democrat, Facebook lit up with everybody debating one side or the other which way Jesus would cast his vote, should he step in the booth on election day.

Some discussions from both sides got fairly heated and I wanted to just jump in and say, “you silly people, He’s neither. Duh, He’s American Constitutionalist!” But I was afraid the joke would have been lost on them, so I refrained.

The truth is, God is sovereign and ALL authority has been given by Him, whether recognized or not. The idea that God belongs to a certain political party is presumptuous on our part. God doesn’t belong to a party, we belong to Him. Instead of saying, God is Republican, we should be saying, as a Republican, we belong to Him. And that’s the big distinction.

We’ve all seen the bumper sticker that says “God is not a Republican.” That’s true. But God is going to favor the party or candidate that conducts his or her life according to Biblical principles. Right now, within the very platform of the Democrat Party are violations of certain Biblical principles, such as the right to life for the unborn. And regarding the redefinition of marriage, while Christ’s blood has made it possible for all of us to find favor in His eyes, including gays, marriage is a sacred institution and one party is working to change that definition (to be fair, both parties have long desecrated it with massive divorce rates, infidelity and the like). It’s the Democrat party that has an active coalition that is working hard to remove any mention of Christ in the public arena.

And finally, it’s only one party that is built on the idea that stealing from the rich to give to the poor is somehow compassion, when all it really does is foment covetedness, a violation of one of the ten commandments.

During the 1970s, the Democrat Party owned the evangelical vote. But for some reason, during the 1980s, they slowly started removing evangelical principles from their platform. Now I’m starting to hear Republicans complain about the evangelical wing of their base. Do Republicans also want to lose favor as well? God doesn’t hold political allegiances. If you abandon Him, don’t expect Him to take your side.

I’ve known decent evangelicals who vote Democrat as much as I’ve known those who vote Republican. In the end, this earthly realm is a mere shadow of the Kingdom that is to come, in which there will only be one party, the party of Jesus Christ.

Mike Huckabee Caricature

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This is the first caricature I attempted in this new style. When we came up with the idea to do paintings for the dignitaries of Western Conservative Summit, there was only a week and a half until the event, and I still had days in which I taught. I realized that I needed to come up with a new style, and quickly.

I reflected on the painted animations I did for our church the previous Easter. I ended up hand painting close to 60 paintings in order for the animation to work, and as a result, I stumbled upon a painting technique and ultimately a new style for my artwork that would allow me to work in a very timely manner. For Easter, I was mostly painting backdrops and landscapes and very stylized cartoon characters. I hadn’t attempted to apply this technique to an actual person. I decided to start with Mr. Huckabee.

Using the limited and (as I now know) outdated photos of him from the internet, I pieced this together. I added the narrative element of him in front of a pulpit, something I admire deeply about him is his faith and his willingness to defend it.

I stumbled through this one, learning a lot along the way, stuff that would set me up for the other 15 caricatures. I wish I would have pushed the caricature more, but I was a bit unsure about where I was going with this, so I approached it cautiously. I took an entire day to paint Mr. Huckabee, but by the time I was wrapping up, I was cranking out four caricatures a day.

Huckabee’s schedule on the day of the summit was crazy. If I remember correctly, he flew in from New York as soon as he finished his show on Fox, his flight got delayed, he finally arrived late in Denver, drove through Denver traffic to get to the Summit, gave his presentation and then had to rush back to the airport for another engagement in Arkansas. Blech, I get airsick just thinking about it.

Hold That Thought

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A pictorial depiction of how fleeting our thoughts can sometimes be.

Jonny Gomes, caricature

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A caricature of Jonny Gomes (Gnomes) of the Boston Red Sox. When I first saw Jonny Gomes hit that home run in game 5(?) I was inspired to create this caricature. As I looked at him, I thought to myself, man, he sure looks a lot like a gnome with that beard. Considering the close name relationship, I decided to create a visual play on words. This is just another in my series of caricatures. And if you are a regular reader of my blog, you’ll know that I love baseball as much as politics, so this is my tribute to another great year in Major League Baseball.

Dick Morris Caricature

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I love Dick Morris. I don’t always agree with him, but that’s okay, I love that he is so animated by the power of his convictions, and right or wrong, he is willing to make bold predictions. But the one thing that separates him from so many others is that he takes ownership over the things he says, which takes real guts.

He ruffled a few feathers at the Summit when he stategized differently than Ted Cruz on a key issue. That’s okay, it’s the debate and discussion that’s important. Something conservatives welcome wholeheartedly.

 

Scott Walker Caricature

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Whether you agree with him or not, you have to admire the tremendous courage of Scott Walker. Most politicians would have caved after the vicious attacks he endured, all because he wanted to do the best for his state and bring in a little fiscal responsibility. Of course, that means putting some reins on the money train, but apparently that was enough to get out of state special interests to try and get him recalled… twice.

me and scott walker

I actually got to meet him. And I made him laugh. (always makes my day when I can get people to laugh, especially high ranking politicians.) I’m not all that crazy about the photo, however. The lighting’s weird and that glare in my glasses makes me look devious. I was having a bad hair day and my exhaustion is showing.

Because Walker wanted to avoid the appearance of all evil, he declined to take home the portrait, signing it instead (see the silver sharpee halfway down the image?), and putting it into the permanent collection of the Centennial Institute’s growing art museum collection.

Jonah Goldberg Caricature

jonah goldberg

 

My portrait of Jonah Goldberg. I didn’t really know much about him before the Summit, but he ended up being one of the most entertaining presenters. Combined with Bill Whittle, the two of them provided comic relief that had the whole room in stitches. His latest book’s cover is pure red, so I decided I would use that as a starting point. I also love the way I chose not to show any definition in the jacket, instead let the sleeve and hand come out of the solid shape. I really should push for that more often in my work.

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