Saturday, March 31, 2012

Bee Collecting Pollen at Cherry Tree

Bee in flight collecting pollen at a cherry tree in Clark County, Indiana (March 2012).

Friday, March 30, 2012

Cherry Blossoms 2012

Cherry blossoms photographed in Clark County, Indiana March 2012.

Good morning Bay Area

I know this one comes a little late in the day and is pretty rough....but it's because I actually left the studio I was at in beautiful San Francisco to move to a different location.
This is a memory sketch of the city in the morning, when the light comes through the fog and hits the bay .
I love this city.

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Cafe Sale

I am working on a new book with Cafe Sale right now..and I am including some very old images.
I found a bunch that were really this one from a few years back.
It's interesting to see that , at the time, I was using ONLY photoshop.

Because of that, I was paying more attention to colors and their vibrancy from the get go rather than what I do now which is refining them later, in photoshop.
I am not saying that the images then were better than now, but that they have changed quite a bit over time. I think that technically, I could do this again, but I am not sure I'd have the mind set for it right now.

I feel that as an artist, we have to let ourselves evolve and not be afraid of letting go of the things we know in order to discover and learn new ones.

Friday, March 23, 2012

Alice aux pays des Singes

My friend Nicolas Keramidas asked me a little while ago to do a piece based on his new and fantastic graphic novel, Alice in the land of Monkeys.
It is the first sketch I ten days and I feel very rusty. I'll probably have to do a new one.
Anyhow... HI everybody.
WOndercon was fantastic. Thank you to everybody that came by.

Thursday, March 15, 2012

What Do Ducks Eat and WONDERCON 2012

Hello everyone! Off to Wondercon 2012 in Anaheim in the rain. Good thing I'll be driving down with Erin Leong, who will be doing her first showing at Wondercon. Do not miss her! As for me, I'll be in the Small Press Area Table #SP55. I worked really hard this year to bring lots of unique originals from the last 4 years, as well as recent favorites. Looking forward to seeing you there!

Monday, March 12, 2012

How to make a Touchdown

I have been asked a few times HOW I go about doing my daily images.
here is a new sketch for today PLUS a little movie showing a step by step process.
let me know what you think

The process

The image

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Replacing Starter in Nissan NX-1600

The 1992 Nissan NX-1600 is in its 20th year of existence which is like 50 in human years. As such, parts of it are starting to wear out or malfunction. In 2011, the front struts were replaced and now the car will sometimes not start. When the ignition key is turned, a clicking sound is heard. After poring over the schematics and ruling out that the inhibitor relay was the problem, it came down to the solenoid (magnetic switch) or starter or both.

This procedure is not for the faint at heart plus it helps to have good hand and wrist strength. The starter on the Nissan NX-1600 automatic transmission is located about in the middle of engine facing the firewall. The Nissan technical guide does not really provide good method for removing it. I needed another person to help me remove and put the starter back, in this case it was my dad.

The Nissan service manual says to remove the battery, air cleaner, intake air duct, EFI harness, vacuum hoses, and speedometer cable. In addition remove rear buffer rod, buffer rod bracket, and intake manifold supports. Next remove starter from transaxle side from engine compartment upper side.

My plan was to move components out of the way on the top driver side of the engine area so starter could be unbolted. Next, the starter needed to be freed from its compartment from under the car. My method was to remove the oil filter and then unbolt a Y shaped intake manifold support allowing the starter to drop down and then be removed through the top of the engine compartment. So I would suggest changing the oil since you are under the car anyway to remove the starter and have to get the oil filter out of the way.

To remove, one must first disconnect the battery. I completely removed it to provide more area to work.  After that undo the four clamps on the air filter housing and lift the top up. Next, unfasten the o-ring clamp on the large air hose (I think this is called the intercooler) going into the manifold.  There is also a smaller hose that needs to be disconnected. With those items moved out of the way, one of the mounting bolts should be exposed that was hidden by the air filter casing. Next picture shows the bolt holding one side of the starter.  The other bolt is out of sight (see next picture) and needs to be felt for if accessing from top of engine. I used a racket with either a 12 or 14 mm socket to loosen and remove.

These next two pictures show the bolt locations of the Y shaped support for the intake manifold. It is held in place by 3 bolts. The two top ones bolt to the manifold and the last bolt to the engine block(?). The bottom bolt is in a tight space so you will need a smaller racket profile.

I had some issues with the cable that goes to sensor(?), it might have something to do with the oil as it is right next to the oil filter. The cable went through the manifold support and I tried to disconnect the cable but did not want break it as I already had enough to do getting the starter working again. It would have been nice to take this cable on a different path as it caused some troubles when I put the manifold support back on later.

Once the starter was removed, the solenoid (Nissan calls this the magnetic switch) seemed okay but the starter seemed seized up. I then had to decide buy a used starter on eBay that was untested $40, a rebuilt one from AutoZone or Pep Boys or Oreily's for $70-120, or take it to a local shop near my home to be rebuilt for $90-100.  I decided to give the local machinist a try at P & D Auto Electric Service, 3523 Chenoweth Run Road, Louisville, Kentucky and telephone number 502-267-7144.

I visited the shop that is next to the owner's home. He got the starter and put it on his test machine. It did not start after several attempts until he hit it.  Intrigued by it starting, he took the starter to the work bench and started to take it apart. It was somewhat dirty inside but the problem was not obvious until he got to section that was in a diamond shape part called the brush holder with 4 metal brushes(?) located every 90 degrees. One of the metal pieces appeared worn down which was making intermittent contact. He said the starter needed to be cleaned and this part replaced and all should be well. It seemed like a good diagnosis so told him to fix it and hopefully it would be ready in 3-4 days.

He called be several days ready and the starter was ready. The price was below estimate and I was happy to get the part back so the car could get to running again. The starter was placed near the cables to be connected and the S terminal on the solenoid and the battery cable. Then move the starter back out of sight and fit back into its slot. The two bolts should be started into their threads and once in tightened down. The intake manifold support needs to be put back in place and the oil filter replaced. Next picture shows behind the engine where the starter is mounted (absent the starter).

The air filter housing is then put back in place and the intake hose is reattached along with a hose that attaches on its left. The clamps and rings are tightened back down or put in place. The air filter is put back and the case clamped down. A hose that clips in over top all of this is put back in its holders. The battery is put back and the terminals reattached and tightened down.

Last picture showing engine area reassembled. Hopefully, at this point the key will be turned in the ignition and the starter will start right up. Mine did and starts much faster now.  Need to drive more and see how does over time but so far so good.

Saturday, March 10, 2012

Tour of Huber's Winery - Starlight, Indiana

Today, I got to go on a tour of Huber's Winery in Starlight, Indiana. It is an interesting place to visit to see where they create so much wine, port and brandy.  I found the place to very clean and organized. It was interesting to see the only still at an Indiana winery. Learn more at their web site:

I forgot to ask if they ever make any grape juice or jellies.

Friday, March 9, 2012

Time for the weekend

It's time for the weekend..also..
Next week I'll be going to WONDERCON in Anaheim, from Thursday till the following week.
I'll be at table SP 055.
If you are in the area, come by and say HI!

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Morning Ride...from a few years ago

Yesterday's image made me think of this one I did a few years ago....which looked better in my memory of it.
At the time, this image was , to me, the best I had ever done in that vein. It feels dated , clumsy and not especially well thought out.
I am posting it here today because I think it's interesting to see the evolution from just a few years ago.
The more you practice your art, the better you get at it, and no matter how old you are, you can always grow.
It's nice to be reminded sometimes

Sunday, March 4, 2012

First Daffodils 2012

The mild winter in the Louisville, Kentucky area has brought daffodils appearing in the early March. Here are some early bloomers.

Saturday, March 3, 2012

Winter's Afternoon at the Louisville Waterfront

A partly cloudy winter's afternoon looking at the Louisville, Kentucky waterfront. A brisk wind but sunny atmosphere makes for a nice walk along the Ohio River.

Friday, March 2, 2012

Rainbow After the Storm

Rainbow after the storms that passed through today. The tornadoes in southern Indiana were quite destructive. Flights at the airport were delayed in arriving due to this powerful storm.

Tattoo Artist