Saturday, August 25, 2018

John McCain Great American Hero Passes Away

John McCain American Hero August 29, 1936 - August 25, 2018

John McCain Great American Hero Passes Away

Tonight a great American Hero, John McCain passed away. This image was done years ago for a Photoshop contest entry and though first was done in jest, tonight is intended as a tribute to this selfless man. Rest in peace sir. We thank you for your life long service to this nation.

John Sidney McCain III (August 29, 1936 – August 25, 2018) was an American statesman who served as the senior United States Senator from Arizona, a seat to which he was first elected in 1986. He was the Republican nominee for President of the United States in the 2008 election, which he lost to Barack Obama.

McCain graduated from the United States Naval Academy in 1958 and followed his father and grandfather—both four-star admirals—into the U.S. Navy. He became a naval aviator and flew ground-attack aircraft from aircraft carriers. During the Vietnam War, he was almost killed in the 1967 USS Forrestal fire. While McCain was on a bombing mission over Hanoi in October 1967, he was shot down, seriously injured, and captured by the North Vietnamese. He was a prisoner of war until 1973. McCain experienced episodes of torture and refused an out-of-sequence early repatriation offer. The wounds that he sustained during war left him with lifelong physical disabilities.

He retired from the Navy as a captain in 1981 and moved to Arizona, where he entered politics. In 1982, McCain was elected to the United States House of Representatives, where he served two terms. He entered the U.S. Senate in 1987 and easily won reelection five times, the last time in 2016.

While generally adhering to conservative principles, McCain also had a media reputation as a "maverick" for his willingness to disagree with his party on certain issues. After being investigated and largely exonerated in a political influence scandal of the 1980s as a member of the Keating Five, he made campaign finance reform one of his signature concerns, which eventually resulted in passage of the McCain–Feingold Act in 2002. He was also known for his work in the 1990s to restore diplomatic relations with Vietnam, and for his belief that the Iraq War should have been fought to a successful conclusion. McCain chaired the Senate Commerce Committee and opposed pork barrel spending. He was a member of the bipartisan group known as the Gang of 14 which played a key role in alleviating a crisis over judicial nominations.

McCain entered the race for the Republican nomination for President in 2000, but he lost a heated primary season contest to Governor George W. Bush of Texas. He secured the nomination in 2008 after coming back from early reversals, but was defeated by Democratic nominee Barack Obama in the general election, losing by a 365–173 electoral college margin. He subsequently adopted more orthodox conservative stances and attitudes and largely opposed actions of the Obama administration, especially in regard to foreign policy matters.

By 2013, however, he had become a key figure in the Senate for negotiating deals on certain issues in an otherwise partisan environment. In 2015, McCain became Chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee. He was diagnosed with brain cancer in July 2017; following the diagnosis, he took a reduced role in the Senate. McCain's family announced on August 24, 2018, that he would no longer seek further treatment for his cancer to prolong his life; he died the next day at the age of 81, four days before his 82nd birthday.


Thanks for stopping by. Have a great evening!

Wednesday, June 20, 2018

Me Messing around at The Zoo Health Club

Messing Around at The Zoo Health Club

Just a quick video of my progress in the gym since my back surgery (Double Fusion) in November of 2017. Why don't doctors tell us that the one and only treatment for what ever ales us is right in out local gym. Exercise and nutrition will fix all of your life issues.  Working out at the gym as well as my newest hobby addition to my life is Silver Stacking. This video if of me goofing around in the gym, which is pretty typical of my mornings. If you would like to to know more about my brand new offer of a trade deal on portraits with no out of pocket dollar expense, Click here! 




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Friday, June 1, 2018

Caricature Portraits Available For Silver Trade

Custom Caricature Portraits

Caricature Portraits Available For Silver Trade

For those out there who think that I only do commercial work, I wanted to let you know that I am accepting personal portrait commissions. Not only that, but I have to tell you about my new venture / hobby. I'm collecting and stacking silver for my future and my children's future. With the growing uncertainty in our economy, the US dollar and other reasons, I've decide in addition to my normal monetary commissions, I will now accept trade deals in the form of precious metals. For now, I'm mainly concentrating on silver in the form of .999 fine silver bullion whether it be in silver rounds or bars as well as silver coins, (many consider junk silver). From complete collections to just a few silver coins you may have stashed away. It's surprisingly simple and inexpensive. If you don't have the cash but may have a few silver coins passed on to you, It's cheap and easy to get that fun image. Here's how you do it:
caricature for silver trade

I will offer two options:

  • Option one: In exchange for a simple low resolution caricature profile picture which can be used to spice up your social media presence or what ever you desire, all I would ask for is 5 Troy ounces of .999 fine silver bullion or $5.00 face value in 90% silver coinage, dollars, half dollars, quarters or dimes in any combination as long as it equals $5.00 face value in silver dating 1964 or earlier.
  • Option two: In exchange for a 300 DPI - 8" x 10" high resolution caricature portrait with a custom background of your choice, all I would ask for is 10 Troy ounces of .999 fine silver bullion or $10.00 face value in 90% silver coinage, dollars, half dollars, quarters or dimes in any combination as long as it equals $10.00 face value in silver dating 1964 or earlier.
It's as simple as that. I provide a comp for you to approve first. Then you mail me the merchandise and on receipt of it, I will complete the final image and provide you a link to the digital download of your choice.
I would require head shots at high resolution and a good expression, large enough for an 8x10, 300DPI or larger file. You are welcome to email me for more details and / or additional information. I can be reached at RodneyWPike@gmail.com. They make great gifts and are reasonably priced, even more so now. Fill out your request on my contact form here and I'll get right back with you with details of how to get the best shots for the best results.
A great way to spice up your social media profiles or a really cool gift idea. Contact me today!





Thanks for stopping by. Have a great day!

Thursday, May 24, 2018

Speak No Evil

Speak No Evil

Speak No Evil

Today's post is called Speak no Evil. This illustration was originally a Photoshop Contest entry at the current news Photoshop contest web site, Freaking News which has sadly closed down for business. This was one of my earliest photo-manipulations and contest entries way back in 2010. As I've mentioned in previous posts, my favorite contest there was called "The Freak Show". The freakier the better and pretty much an anything goes type of contest. During my early years working in Photoshop, I was particularly influenced by artists such as Max Sauco with his sometimes absurd surrealism and in this case I drew inspiration from one of my favorite artists, Gottfried Helnwein whose paintings depict hyperrealistic surreal and sometimes images that are a bit disturbing. If you would like to see some examples of his work and learn a little more about the artist, I did an artist feature which can be viewed here. I've reworked several images that were done in the early days lately which I think had some potential but needed a little work and I want to make sure I have good quality images in my product line for download. If you're interested in this image, simply click on the image above and you'll be directed to its product page. I still have several of these to complete and make available in my store before I release some new work with a fresh new look. I hope you like them.

Update: I'm finally back behind my computer after a long difficult time physically. I've suffered from back pain most of my life and it all came to a head a couple of years ago. I saw several doctors n the VA system and after about a year and a half of getting put off or offered opioids, I sought medical help outside the VA system. I had to get outside insurance which took a full year. At that point, I was starting over again with all of the possible treatments outside of surgery but it was getting so bad that I wasn't able to sit behind my computer anymore, hence the lack of posts and new work for such a long time. I've literally been out of the game almost completely for the past 3 years. It's been a long painful road but I finally found a brilliant surgeon in Baton Rouge who after exhausting all other possibilities, performed a double fusion on my lower back. L4 - L5 and L5 - S1. I'm now 6 and a half moths out of surgery and doing exceptionally well. I've been in the gym 7 days a week rehabbing myself and strengthening my core. It's going better than I had expected but still have another 6 months or so before I'm 100%.

On top of that, I was totally out for the past 2 months with a kidney stone that was more stubborn than me. I've had them before but this one brought me to my knees. I was scheduled for surgery last week at Tulane Medical Center in New Orleans but fortunately passed the stone only minutes before they were to roll me into the operating room. I'm so glad all of that is finally behind me. I feel like I'm 20 again. Ok, maybe 35 but I'm doing well and ready to get back to work.

Thanks to my friends and all of those in my social network who kept me going through those tough times. Look for some cool new work right around the corner. Lord knows the news headlines are giving me plenty of material.
     


Thanks for stopping by. Hope you enjoyed. Have a great day!

Tuesday, May 22, 2018

Custom Caricature Portraits Now Available

Custom Caricature Portraits
For those out there who think that I only do commercial work, I wanted to let you know that I am accepting personal portrait commissions. I would require head shots at high resolution and a good expression, large enough for an 8x10, 300DPI or larger file. You are welcome to email me for a quote and / or additional information. I can be reached at RodneyWPike@gmail.com. They make great gifts and are reasonably priced. Fill out your request on my contact form here and I'll get right back with you with details of how to get the best shots for the best results.

I also offer custom low resolution caricature portraits for profile pictures. A great way to spice up your social media profiles. Contact me today!




Thanks for stopping by. Have a great day!

Tuesday, December 12, 2017

50 Cent

50 Cent

50 Cent

Tonight I have a manipulated caricature of rapper 50 Cent. The guy gas brutal features, so there were a few different ways I could have taken this one. I came very close to scrapping this one. Nothing seemed to be going right, then I zoomed back to a small thumbnail and I saw what my problem was and was able to correct it. So there's a lesson there. Don't get caught up in the details in the early stages. Take a step back and look at the whole thing. There's plenty of time for details in the end. Not to say this is a flawless caricature. It's far from it and I learned a lot from this one so I'm sure I could do a much better job the second time around. Well, it is what it is. I've posted the original source images below for comparison. I kind of blended the two.
50 Cent
Curtis James Jackson III (born July 6, 1975), known professionally as 50 Cent, is an American rapper, actor, businessman, and investor. Born in the South Jamaica neighborhood of the borough of Queens, Jackson began selling drugs at age twelve during the 1980s crack epidemic. He later began pursuing a musical career and in 2000 he produced Power of the Dollar for Columbia Records, but days before the planned release he was shot nine times and the album was never released. In 2002, after Jackson released the compilation album Guess Who's Back?, he was discovered by Eminem and signed by Shady Records, Aftermath Entertainment and Interscope Records.



I hope you enjoyed. Thanks for stopping by and have a great day!

Monday, December 11, 2017

Truce Already

Truce Already

Truce Already

Here's a silly illustration I finished this weekend after our first snow in a long time. I had lots of time on my hands and had been fooling round this this for a while so I decided I needed to get it finished so I can move on to other things. It's called Truce Already. President Donald Trump and Kim Jong Un have been at it for a while. Maybe I should have called it "Little Rocket Man and Mr Diplomacy". Come on guys... can't we all just get along? Well, I'm off to the gym and I'll be getting started on something more serious when I get back. OK, maybe not so serious but different.





Thanks for stopping by and have a great day!

Wednesday, December 6, 2017

Firoze Shakir - Artist Feature


Firoze Shakir

 Firoze Shakir - Artist Feature

Todays post serves two purposes, one to show you my latest caricature but more importantly I would like to introduce to you a dear friend of mine, Firoze Shakir. We first crossed paths on Google+ and soon after connected on other social media platforms. Firoze first captured my attention with his sometimes humorous and sometimes very thoughtful poetry that he used to comment on my images. The comments were always welcome and entertaining, from simple rhymes to complex pieces of poetry. I soon learned just what kind of man this was commenting on all of my posts. This is one of the most humble men I know. So humble in fact that I couldn't get him to write a bio so I'm taking a jab at it. Firoze is a very talented street photographer, photojournalist and street poet in Mumbai, India. Firoze is a man of peace, promoting all religions and faiths. Though we live worlds apart, he has become a very close friend of mine always cheering me on and complimenting on my work. He sees through all religious, racial and geographic barriers. He is a man of true character and I'm glad to call him my friend

He dedicates his life to shooting street photography but not like you might think. No pretty cityscapes or flowery vacation brochure type images. His subjects are the poor, the hungry, the sick and the lost. It’s his daily ritual to walk around different neighborhoods of Mubai and around India to capture life as it happens. He presents the raw realities of living in the slums of India like no other. You won’t find any touristy pictures on his site, only the forgotten people of India and their everyday struggle to survive. Having overcome many hurdles of his own, he uses his photography and art as medicine for the soul. His camera of choice is Cannon.

Obviously the image above is my friend Firoze Shakir. Below, you'll find the source image and some samples of his work but I want to provide you with links to his work, blog and social media. Be sure and check out these links.

Firoze Shakir Links:

Source Image

Firoze Shakir

The work of Firoze Shakir

Firoze Shakir
Firoze Shakir
Firoze Shakir
Firoze Shakir
Firoze Shakir
Firoze Shakir
Firoze Shakir
Firoze Shakir
Firoze Shakir
Firoze Shakir

Firoze Shakir Links:





 I hope you enjoyed. Thanks for stopping by and have a great day!
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