Friday, December 30, 2011

Happy Holidays!

Working through the holidays is kind of like orbiting around the backside of the moon in the command module and loosing all radio contact with mission control. I know I’ll be re-entering the normal business day schedule soon enough - but for now, my studio is quiet and peaceful and my paintings are turning out fantastic. They're my best work to date! Life is good.

Sunday, October 2, 2011

All Part of the Process...

I spent most of yesterday trying to make one of the major elements in my cover painting work like I had envisioned it, and, it, spent most of the day showing me how it wouldn't work. What we had there is a failure to cooperate — A gap between my creative vision and the canvas. Funny how even a sight gap might as well be the Grand Canyon. If it doesn't work, it doesn't work. It's OK now though, I won in the end.

Today I'm on to an inside spread.

Friday, September 30, 2011


Pausing, for a little air guitar on "Long Cool Woman" by the Hollies while I work. If all the world's a stage, my studio is a concert hall. ( I'm thinking of expanding). I'm thoroughly caught up in painting the picture book cover of all covers, it's a great day — Oops, gotta go "Ah! Leah!" by Donnie Iris is on now... Later.

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Nice Things Happen...

I recently had the opportunity to be interviewed by Author, Karin Cameron. Karin is a writer. Karin has a blog. And Karin Just Won't Stop Talking... Thank goodness.

Please check out the really great interview Karin Cameron did of me on her blog.

It was a very nice thing.

Monday, June 13, 2011

OK, so I've got this idea...

Where does inspiration really come from? For me, it's basically... Hey!, that would make a great painting!

I painted this piece for a magazine article about competition. The only direction I received from the creative director, was: the image had to focus on a dartboard, the word “Vie” must be worked in somewhere, and, that I should have fun with it. The first two directives were easy; the last one was a blast. Is it even possible to be creative without having fun? I'm going to say no. Having fun drawing and painting is to creativity as the force is to Luke Skywalker. Now that sounded silly. I had episodes 4, 5, and 6 playing in my studio this past weekend while I worked, so you'll have to excuse the Star Wars analogies.

Friday, April 1, 2011

All Systems Go...

"Build a better mouse trap and the world will beat a path to your door." Ralph Waldo Emerson. Yes, but you have to show them where the door is! 

Time to send out postcards.

Best case scenario? An art director, art buyer, or book editor (in the beginning phases of a book project), will see my amazing post card appear on their desk at the most opportune time. It happens. Lightening does strike. I'm always amazed how a series of random events can unfold and connect to become a great opportunity. The perfect storm. I've gotten some incredible book projects due to the most unlikely circumstances. One of which, was a project I originally turned down.

 A good percentage of the recipients of my post card will like the artwork enough to take a few moments to log onto my new web site and click through my portfolio. Perfect! Some will even take a few extra minutes to give me a little feedback. "Hey thanks, love the work, I'll keep you in mind for something." Now I'm golden — now I can sleep at night — and now, I'll keep them up-to-date with new work. 

Life is good...

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Just For Show...

I am in a state of euphoria, (which is, of course, just west of Arizona.) A huge weight has been lifted now that I've finished re-designing and uploading my web page. There is nothing harder for an artist to do than let one piece of art speak for him or herself, let alone design a whole web page. You know that old saying "A lawyer who represents himself has a fool for a client?" Well, in a way, it's the same thing here. I end up tweaking the minutest details as if they could make or break the whole piece. I tie myself into knots over something nobody will even notice. And I see it coming a mile away, yet I can't do anything about it. It's like trying to stop a train.

I put together a quick flyer announcing my new web page. This was much easier to do now that I'm pooped, creatively that is. I didn't care too much about the perfect design in this instance, save, that everything is spelled correctly. But a funny thing happened. After toying around with a couple of design ideas, I found one that I kind of liked and threw it together. When I sat back to get a fresh eye, I realized that my design looked a lot like something my dad would have hand painted and called a "showcard." My dad became a sign painter as a second career when I was still in art school. In fact, our buildings were less than a block away from each other on State Street in Chicago. We would meet for lunch once and a while. He still paints. Well, long story short, I decided to leave my design as is because it reminds me of my dads work. 

Thursday, March 24, 2011

New Web Site...

I finally finished and uploaded my new web page, . This design will be much easier to maintain and change as I add new content. Stay tuned...

Feeling Festive...

Always a great day at the Tucson Festival of Books. I had a lot of fun talking about writing and illustrating books with my friends and colleagues, Jennifer J. Stewart, Lynne Avril, and Gwen Harvey.

That's illustrator Lynne Avril to the right of me getting the paints ready for her demo. Jennifer Stewart is to my left. Jennifer Stewart writes seriously funny books... Seriously!

Gwen Harvey wrote Esperanza Means Hope. Gwen did an incredible job researching Tucson's history during the 1870s.

Don't quite know what the significance of this is but it made my good friend and writer Angela L. Fox very happy. That's Angela on the right with the camera, cell phone.

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Speaking of illustrating...

As it turns out I  have more to say on the subject of illustrating books. And this time I'm gonna say it in front of a live audience. The Tucson Festival of Books is lending me a microphone in hopes that I can wax eloquent on the subject of "Exploring Arizona Places and History in Books for Kids." (How much time do they have?) I, along with author Gwen Harvey will feature our book "Esperanza means Hope," a wonderful story set in Tucson during the 1870s. If this goes well I'm taking it on the road.

The cover painting and several interior black & white pieces.

My Blurb in the Tucson Festival of Books Author's line up.

Guy Porfirio

Porfirio is an illustrator for many well-known children’s book publishers as well as advertising and marketing companies. Books he’s illustrated include “Junk Man’s Daughter,” “Grandpa’s Little One” and “Happy Birthday, America!”

Exploring Arizona Places and History in Books for Kids
Two author-illustrator teams explore the rich cultural and natural heritage of Arizona. Author Gwen Harvey and Illustrator Guy Porfirio discuss how Tucson's unique history and sense of place is reflected in Esperanza Means Hope, set in 1876. Author Jennifer J. Stewart and Illustrator Lynne Avril take you on a behind-the-scenes tour of The 12 Days of Christmas in Arizona by sharing their process of sketches, edits, and fact checking, along with finding maps, history, and fun.

Workshop / Sun 2:30 PM - 03:30 PM
Education Building - Room 333

So, if you're looking for something to do this Sunday, stop on by and check it out.

Saturday, February 19, 2011


Here's a first for me. Yesterday I did 4 illustrator presentations at a local school and they gave me a cake. I never got a cake from a school before. And the thing is, I was having so much fun, I could have done another 4 presentations. The venue was great, the librarian was extremely helpful and accommodating, and, the students were polite and attentive. It was a good day. So, last night after dinner, my family and I enjoyed a delicious cake for dessert from one of the finest bakeries in Tucson.

I wonder if I'll get cake from the Tucson Festival of Books next month...