Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Pete's Upcoming Show at Snow City: Tecno-Primitive, Digital art of Peter Dunlap-Shohl

 Heads up, friends, Suddenly I'm having another show of my artwork. The venue will be Snow City Cafe, under the auspices of blue.hollomon gallery. Opening will be First Friday, Jan. 2 from 5:30 -  8:00 p.m. Here is my Artist's Statement

" I entered the world of digital art with a chip on my shoulder. The usual look for digital work is one of chilly perfection, as if untouched by human hands. My mission became creating work that hid neither its cyber nor human elements. Along the way I discovered the liberating aspects of the computer, the ability to take risks, experiment with color and to work with type and other design elements to create new ways to tell stories. The results are like the series "Posters from Cancelled Performances at the Brazen Husky", a fictitious Spenard Bar plagued by a series of cancellations of shows by everyone from Madam Pavlova's Canine Acrobats to Charlie Cactus, alcoholic Country Music legend who was simply "too good" to play Spenard. Together the nine posters tell a story of a struggling tavern, those who run it, and the performers that (almost) pass across its stage. The images are created on my iPad and my desk-top computer with Sketchbook Pro and Photoshop,  sometimes a combination of the two.  All the works are printed with Archival materials on acid-free paper. I hope viewers will find them fun and thought provoking." I hope you'll come down and see! Attendance will be taken :~)

Sunday, November 2, 2014

Hell's Soundtrack revisited

A friend sugggested I make this image available as a t-Shirt. Who am I to argue with a friend? This has been redrawn from the original with bolder lines and somewhat simplified to reproduce better as a Tee. You can order it here.

Friday, October 24, 2014

Poison Pen Pals

This is a drawing of my friend Tomás Serrano. He lives in Salamanca, Spain. We have never met in person, only corresponded through the internet. Tomás loves Alaska and was here three or four years ago. In the course of his visit, he ran across the ever-alert Steve Aufrecht. Steve put us in touch, and we struck up an acquaintanceship. Tomás is not merely talented, but versatile as well. He works in several distinct styles when cartooning, has published two books for children, has animated for music videos, and practices as an architect. Recently he surprised me with a beautiful caricature portrait, based on a photo he found on my FB page. It is sharply observed, and drawn with panache in what looks like non-repro blue ink. I was delighted and humbled at the same time. 

It finally dawned on me that I should return the favor, but I hesitated, unsure if I could do him justice. Plus, I hadn't a clue what he looks like. So this morning I googled "Tomás Serrano  Salamanca". As soon as I saw his face I knew everything was going to be all right. The setting is a reference to a brilliant cartoon for which he won Premio Mingote a well-known European cartooning prize in 1995. You can see the cartoon here . Tomas has a spiffy website here and a blog here . It's a strange world we live in, where Anchorage borders Salamanca, but it does have its compensations. 

The drawing Tomás made of me

Thursday, July 31, 2014


This started off in an entirely different direction.

Thursday, July 10, 2014

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Anvils, a Collaboration With John Straley (Cross-post from my other blog, Off& ON)

Way back in the last century, the early 1990s, I think, I spent an enjoyable evening in Juneau with Sitka novelist, poet and criminal investigator John Straley. It was the final night of the legislative session and the usual intrigue was ripping through the building like the Taku Winds. The two houses of the legislature were tussling with each other and the Hickel administration. Deals were being concocted and demands were being made. It was a wild ride as usual, and we had a fine time watching it all fall together, or apart. After the session ended, John generously sent me a copy of his book "The Woman Who married a Bear". Then we lost touch.

Then, half a year ago, I ran across John on Twitter, Followed him, and we struck up an electronic acquaintanceship. In the course of our tweets John learned that I have Parkinson's Disease, which also afflicts his wife. 

A couple months ago he was in Anchorage on a book tour for "Cold Storage, Alaska" (which is a terrific read.) I went to his presentation, and we had a nice chat. John suggested we do some sort of collaboration. I said "Sure". These spur-of-the-moment ideas usually fizzle when the time to do the actual work arrives. So I was a bit surprised that John called my bluff with a poem, "Anvils", which appears below for your reading and viewing . I believe as you read it you will come to understand that it's not about anvils.

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Art Magic

A nephew asked me what had become of some old art that I made into a t-shirt back in the 1980s.  Why did he care? It was more than nostalgia. He credits the shirt, rightly or wrongly, for conferring on him a special protective aura of "cool" that kept the predatory types in high school from victimizing him and his younger brother.

I've made many drawings over the years, and a few had dramatic consequences. But what could be better than creating a magical shirt that gave the wearer protection from high school knuckledraggers? Now THAT is the power of art.

Thursday, February 6, 2014

Book Cover for "Plague Babies" an Uncompleted Novel

We all know about writer's block, but what happens to all those books that are never written? They are stored in the Bibliotheque Ectoplasmique near the Catacombs under Paris. There they will moulder forever unless their would-be authors make a breakthrough. Thousands of unpublished manuscripts from children's lit to the trendy new section of unfinished graphic novels sit silently alongside unwritten masterpieces like "Plague Babies" which was started by several respected authors but never finished by any of them. Hours of operation are from 1:00 until 4:00 in the morning. If you go, don't look for your old unfinished novel, it's there and will break your heart.

Thursday, January 23, 2014

Overlooked Alaska History: Collision with Western Canada

The land mass that forms the Alaska we know today used to lie just off the central coast of California. Dude! There, the balmy trade winds caressed the sun-kissed beaches and sparkling waters of the Great Land. Then, during the late Subcutaneous era, the entire shebang was wafted gently North by the Japanese Current, until it collided with the western edge of what we now realize is Canada, but at the time was thought to be Finland, or possibly one of the chillier regions of Spain. Fortunately, humanity had not evolved at that time, so nobody was hurt. We have been here ever since, but strangely, some maps insist we still float like Alcatraz off the California coast, forever superimposed on what should be a big blank spot.

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Overlooked Alaska History: Ponce de Leon

Overlooked Alaska History: 1514, a terribly lost Ponce de Leon discovers that while Kenai Lake is no fountain of youth, it does have certain stimulating qualities.

Sunday, January 19, 2014

Overlooked Alaska History: The Flattop Spaceport

Overlooked Alaska History: Archaeologists and geologists have long marveled at the nearly perfectly level summit of Flattop Mountain. Its startling contrast to the pointy peaks of the rest of the Chugach Range has led many to wonder "WTF, Flattop?" Now an interdisciplinary team of crack academics from UAA thinks it has found the explanation. After an exhaustive study of the area they have concluded it was leveled in 1300 A.D. by a technology so advanced that it could only have been extra-terrestrial. Furthermore, artifacts recovered in an extensive dig reveal evidence of many different technologically advanced cultures mingled in the ruins of what appears to have been an active space port and trading center. Interestingly, there are many items from across the Arctic as well, indicating trade with Northern peoples was part of the attraction to our off-planet visitors. Mysteriously all activity seems to have halted abruptly in 1390, according to carbon dating of the site, which quickly deteriorated in the harsh environment. Such an distinct and drastic halt points to either a great cultural upheaval or a tragically short attention span, according to the team.

Thursday, January 16, 2014

Overlooked Alaska History: The Wreck of the Handsome Molly

Even after disasters like the Franklin expedition,  the idea of the Northwest Passage from the Atlantic to the Pacific Ocean remained a potent dream.  Like many before them, the Captain and crew of the Handsome Molly came to grief in the cruel North. Why have you never heard of them? So many good souls and true were lost in this fool's errand that the British Navy grew deeply embarrassed by the whole thing and hushed up the fact that they continued to send ships to their doom in the vain search for the shortcut to the Pacific up until the Norwegian Roald Amundsen finally succeeded in 1906. Was it blind obedience that led these men to undertake what by then was clearly a suicide mission? Ignorance? Hubris? Or was it simply that, as men, it was against their principles to stop and ask the locals for directions? 

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Overlooked Alaska History: Teddy Roosevelt Poses With Trophy Mammoth

It's all but forgotten now, but a small population of Wooly Mammoths persisted past the Ice-Age on the Southern slopes of the Brooks Range. Sadly they were viewed as a "pest species" because they competed with moose for browse and were hunted to extinction, with the blessing of federal, and later, state game managers. (The last one was shot with a bow by Ted Nugent in 1978) Naturally as times changed, and people felt guilty about losing this most charismatic of megafauna, pictures such as this one were suppressed. But this photo escaped, proof of our tragic short-sightedness. Knowing what we do today, we are certain that TR himself would agree.