Saturday, December 29, 2007

Cat scratch Christmas

I started a new tradition this year. Friends wanted something to mark the entrance to their newly designed, and self-described, excretorium - the small space built into the wall behind the flap in their hallway where the litter box for their four pampered cats is secreted.

It's a very special excretorium complete with motion sensing lights and extractor fan, but it wasn't a very elevating request. So I added my spin and took it as the inspiration for a series of 'portraits' that would also be Christmas gifts for friends.

We'll see how it goes. One series and one year does not a tradition make, but it's a start.

Friday, November 16, 2007

Okay, I'm Out


I've tended to keep my skepticism about supreme beings quiet because I think in the United States untheism is considered to be a bit like having herpes.

When I got tired of being on my mother-in-law's email prayer chain, I was reluctantly forced into the open, telling her I was an atheist who didn't like to proselytize - which seemed to do the trick.

I always mean to be ready with a glib reply when I inevitably get the famous accusation "Well what do you believe in then?" (This is usually delivered like it's the denouement in a Perry Mason trial tinged with melodramatic pity.)

"Everything but god" generally doesn't work too well as a response.

How about this fantastic earth? How about the intricacies and scale of its natural systems. How about its spectacular geography, its mindbending beauty. The incredible diversity of animals and plants. How about its history, its geology. How about its trees alone? Literature? How about a sunrise, seasons, growth, travel, architecture, science, theater, art, people, cats - anniversaries & inventions. Galaxies, time and space travel, new worlds, quantum mechanics, nostalgia, love and families. My wife. My dog. Curiosity, wonder, excitement, ingenuity, professional baseball.

Not enough?

Well, the big advantage of being an untheist is you can get on with all religions and sects because they all put you in the same box. Untheists share 99.9% of their genes with human beings as well as chimpanzees.

Some creationist rascals try to blame us for keeping prayers and dotty intelligent design out of schools, and copies of the ten commandments out of post bellum civic buildings. This is not the case, but I'd willingly take the kudos.

Also we don't worry about whether god or man accelerated global warming, so it's been easier to accept.

When we are forced to give our full attention to an environmental evolution that we've kicked into overdrive, humans may revitalize their links to the natural world and take a greater emotional stake in it. We will need to work with those intricate and huge natural systems and prove ourselves adaptable to them.

If we don't, and it turns out to be Armageddon, you can all say I told you so . . .

. . . as I evolve into cosmic rays on their way to Alpha Centauri.

Tuesday, October 2, 2007

Everyone gets lunch


The Green Matrix is a book about growing food - at home or on the farm - using naturally occurring systems. “Everyone gets lunch” is one of the few rules. Feed the natural system and it will feed you.
Feed everything - the soil, the rocks, the bacteria, the nematodes, worms, bees, birds, weeds etc. etc. You will be rewarded with plants that fully express their genetic potential - to give you great food taste and who knows what else.

Inspiration for the book comes from people like Bob Cannard, who generates the best natural systems around. In partnership with Fred Cline, he grows “Greenstring” produce. Check out the website. It’s kind of out there, but the produce is out of this world.

Go to where Adobe meets Stage Gulch. Get some Greenstring produce. Eat it, get inspired, build your business. When you need graphic design, I get lunch.

Tom Whitworth, Whitworth & I Creative Services.

Tuesday, September 4, 2007

Wednesday, August 1, 2007


For a tour of the new exhibit in the Yosemite Valley visitor's center, click here: Yosemite

Coyotes in Golden Park: article 1 article 2

And finally, some great photos of coyotes and other animals: photos

To reach me, you can send an email to tomwhitworth [at] comcast [dot] net or call 707 939 3760. More of our work is posted on the main web site at

Thursday, April 5, 2007

Wednesday, March 21, 2007


Walldogs painted the sides of buildings with giant advertisements way back a hundred years ago when advertising on the sides of buildings was big.

I’ll bet they never ran out of space.

Which is what I keep doing in my sketchbook.

Maybe it’s a comment on life itself – you know – like never having enough time to finish the story. That sounds like a good thing. I can’t imagine ever scratching out a few lines and titling it “last drawing.”

It’s a message of sorts. When you fit it on the page perfectly it’s commercial art. When you don’t, it’s just art.

Saturday, February 3, 2007

Where the fish are

Art directors in ad agencies think fly fishermen are higher up on the socio economic totem pole than bait fishermen. So if they want to flog anything pricey or lofty, they show guys fly fishing in TV ads. Trouble is, the green art directors think fly fishing is fishing for flies, so they show Orvis-festooned models waving their arms and fishing lines in the air, rather than dropping the fly in the water where the fish are.

The point about fly fishing is it gets you into the water. Water is the best exchange medium between us and the rest of the natural world - with which we have such an on-again off-again relationship. In the water you can feel the moist collision of intellect and instinct. And just as the fish takes the fly you feel a liquid pull and it's the tug of your evolutionary umbilical cord. What a moment. Fly fishermen will beat the water with their lines until sky and river become the same in the dark, just on the off chance of a repeat.

I would buy anything the art directors were flogging if they could capture that.