Slim Harpo

Singer/musician Slim Harpo was a successful blues musician of the late 1950s and 60s, with a laid back singing style and a mastery of the blues harmonica, known in the industry as a “harp.” Evidently his hit song of 1957 “I’m a King Bee” was recently used in the series The Man in the High Castle.

I was thrilled a year ago when the British record label company Not Now Music asked to lease an illustration I’d created previously for the sleeve of a re-release of the music of Slim Harpo. And I just recently found out the label was re-issued this past August, and I’m pleased with the clean, punchy design using my art –

My Scout Cards for all Occasions

Springtime is coming, when a lot of scout activities and events start up, so I’d like to just remind everyone that I have drawn cards to fit many scout occasions. And with the good works they do in our community and the values that scouting teaches our young men, Scouts are an organization to be celebrated.

February is often the Crossing Over ceremony for Cubs to Boy Scouts. For this card I used my a whimsical style to draw a friendly adult eagle, in scout troop leader uniform, waving 3 happy little eagles across a footbridge in the great outdoors, with an appropriately encouraging message inside. Info for purchasing this card is HERE.

I drew these cheery scouts, below, alongside the goals of the Scout Law – to be Trustworthy, Loyal, Helpful, Friendly, Courteous, Kind, Obedient, Cheerful, Thrifty, Brave, Clean and Reverent – to create a notecard that can be used for any occasion. This could be given to celebrate a rank advancement or merit badge, offer words of encouragement or to thank a mentor, scoutmaster or fellow scout. These invitation-size cards make a great gift for a Scout leader too. They are blank inside and come in a box of 8 notecards and envelopes – ordering info is HERE.

My son is an Eagle Scout and he had such a great experience with the Boy Scouts – learning great practical skills and making good friends, while reinforcing the responsibility and morals that we tried to instill as he grew up. I drew the whimsical Eagle Salute Congratulations card below for a friend of my son’s who achieved the rank a few years before him. When my son made Eagle and had his Court of Honor alongside his best friend, I painted the Eagle Scout on a hilltop scene. To see the inside message and ordering info for them, see my Etsy shop HERE and HERE.

And for special mentors in a Scout’s journey, several customers have asked me to produce smaller thank-you notecards for Eagles themselves to send, and I now list them in my Etsy shop too. My Eagle thank-you notecards come 20 to a pack and have my “Eagle Scout on a Hilltop” illustration on the front. To see my Etsy shop for further ordering details, click HERE.

New Year’s Card for a Business

I draw a New Years card every year for Kohlhepp Investment Advisors, and we try to make it relevant to what’s going on in the news, whether economic or otherwise. Well, this year the prevailing feeling was that everyone wanted to be done with the year 2020, so that was the theme of this year’s card.

I thought of a mountain-climbing expedition where the staff members were happy to see 2021 in the distance, because I’d been told they wanted the characters to appear ‘socially distanced.’ That idea was approved, so I started with a pencil sketch –

We talked over a few changes, and I went on to tighten the characters in the sketch –

I had thought perhaps I could show full faces so I left the mouths in for the sketch, but was later asked to draw masks on everyone.

I did a rough color sketch with colored pencils, and tried making the mountain in the background a volcano – do you see the 2020? – because that idea was considered. But in the end we stuck with just distant mountains in back.

and finally did the finished art in acrylic paint washes, below. Inside the card the message read: “WE MADE IT! Looking forward to a bright new year ahead!” and some kind wishes to their clients. Kohhepp Investment sends several hundred of these cards out to clients and colleagues, and they get some really nice responses indicating that people appreciate them and enjoy the funny antics in which we often portray the staff. They also use it on their Facebook page and other social media – it’s an effective way to personalize a business to their customers.

Thanksgiving E-card Cartoon for a Business

Every year I draw a Thanksgiving-themed cartoon for Pro-Active Performance, a business that helps companies develop and train outstanding sales forces. They’ve picked the season of Thanksgiving over Christmas to send their greetings because it ties in so well with thanking their clients and colleagues for their business in the past year. This year to conserve paper Pro-Active decided to send an e-card instead of printing and mailing a physical card.

I was given some ideas to work with and started with rough pencil sketches –

My client liked sketch 3 the best, showing a turkey on a zoom call with 6 other holiday characters – so I tightened it up –

and painted a color version –

I designed the e-card as if you were seeing the front and inside of the card all together, so the final version was sent out like this –

And because Pro-Active clients in the US and in Canada, we designed a version that used Canada’s maple leaf mascot instead of Uncle Sam – they sent this out just before Canada’s Thanksgiving Day, which was October 12.

My Drawing in the Cartoon-A-Day New Yorker Desk Calendar

For a year of ups & downs, this was a surprising Up to close the year with: a friend called to tell me he sees my first-ever published New Yorker cartoon is now part of the 2021 New Yorker Day-to-Day desk calendar!

(This isn’t my cartoon above, just a promo shot.)

I ordered a couple thru our delightful local Doylestown Bookshop and I think it’ll be fun to start every calendar day with a chuckle right through the year. My drawing’s chosen day is uncannily close to the birthday of my Dad, who got me started on the whole NYer kick . . . pulling strings again, Dad?

Holiday Cards and Gifts from my Shop

I have some of my cartoon holiday cards and some printed tees for girls available on my Etsy shop – and remember, if you are near the central Bucks County, PA, area and want to avoid the shipping charges Etsy places on packages, email me in case we can arrange for you to pick up your items and avoid the shipping fee!

This holiday I once again have my Rockefeller tree card for sale, done in my classic New Yorker-style ink wash drawing . . .

Click on the photo to go to this card on my Etsy shop!

I’m also re-printing an Elf Card from some time ago, because it seems to fit with 2020 . . .

Click on the photo to go to this card on my Etsy shop!

And I’ve added one more animal musician to my notecard line – a bear playing a French Horn – such beautiful instruments –

Click on the photo to go to this card in my Etsy shop!

I have a number of other cards and notecards in my shop for animal lovers and music lovers and Scout families – please browse through them as you think about holiday gifts for friends, teachers, and business colleagues!

Click the photo to go to my Etsy shop!

Years ago I created cute drawings of angels, dressed in various national costumes, and printed them on long sleeved tee shirts for my girls.

I now have these girls’ tees on my Etsy shop, and they make a lovely Christmas gift for girls interested in their family heritage. I have limited numbers of sizes, with quantities described in detail on the Etsy listing. While the tees are printed in one color, the purchaser may want to use fabric markers to color in the art for a beautiful full-color look – or allow the girls to color them in themselves!

The sample shirts below have been colored with fabric markers, which are not included in the purchase. I have a limited number of colored-in shirts like these, please email me for details.

Thanks for shopping from a small business this holiday season!

My Cartoon in this Week’s New Yorker

It’s always a kick when I see my cartoon in the magazine my Dad & I loved paging through together. This one will be on page 69 of this week’s issue, Nov. 23, 2020.

To see my other cartoons published either in the New Yorker or for their online daily cartoon, go to https://condenaststore.com/art/pat+achilles .

Mascot Sketch

I was asked to do a little cricket character for Maria’s House Montessori school in Doylestown, because in their variety of great learning experiences for children the school is introducing – cricket! (the sport, that is)

I sketched a pencil cricket with some of the appropriate playing gear, bat, helmet, shin guards –

and after tightening up the sketch I added digital color using the school’s logo and colors to tie it all in.