Somewhere in between the previous two sketches and the previous three paintings was Phoenix Comic Con. While we were there I had my big sketchpad and a wonderful lady named Dee Astell asked me to draw a picture of an octopus and a penguin wearing fez's and having a beer. Dee and her husband Hal Astell are very active, hard working, selfless contributors to the local science fiction and fantasy scene so I was happy to make this for them. I think they intended to pay me for it, but there's no way I could let them do that.
Here's me talking to Hal at the end of Comic Con. I don't know if I was saying something amusing, but I look amusing saying it. That's Paul Tanton in the back and my wife Stellar to the right.
Years ago I painted in-house advertising for the grocery store business. We called it POS which stands for Point of Sale, except when it stood for the other thing. I started as a sign painter for Albertson's but soon became the go to guy for point of sale advertising art for all the grocery chains in the Southwest division which was mostly Arizona and adjacent parts of New Mexico, California and Nevada. It was an odd sort of business, but it was kind of fun.
Every year in March I painted hundreds of penguins for National Frozen Food Month. They had an annual awards ceremony where they awarded the Golden Penguin Awards for the best Frozen food displays. My artwork was in more winning displays than anyone else in history.
Sound silly? It was. It was also a very big deal. The grocery store business could buy Hollywood and the global gaming market out of petty cash. Multi-million dollar agreements happened largely on the strength of a company's commitment to projects like these displays. I got paid diddly, but it was fun.
Anyways I told you all of that to tell you this: Painting penguins has been a major element of my life, painting octopuses has also been a major element of my life, and painting signs on windows, particularly pizza shop windows, has been a major element of my life. So I decided to put them all together in one painting of a penguin and an octopus having pizza inside a shop with one of my signs painted on the window.
The painting was done on an old white-board. I sanded it down to the raw Masonite, primered it and painted the frame and background black. The rest of it was very much like painting a window splash.
"The Best Things In Life"
36" X 24"
Oil paint on board