My Pumpkin Gallery By Category

I have created this virtual gallery as a way to show my work as an exhibition. You can still review my work (and progress) year by year at the bottom of the menu. In here I will tell you a little about the image, my thoughts and any other bit of trivia that strikes my fancy.

Have fun and return often!

Christmas/Religious

The Nativity (2007)

Christmas and Hallowe'en are my two favourite days of the year. They are a chance to step out of the everyday and indulge in that seldom indulged passtime: fun!

I'm Christian and not ashamed to admit it. We should all be proud of what we believe and celebrate it. If you are not, perhaps you should reconsider what you believe.

For me, the ultimate image of the religious aspect of the Christmas season is captured by this image of the nativity which I carved in 2007. This is not one of my patterns but was created by Jay Ball (www.pumpkinglow.com). Please pay a visit to his site. His designs, while superficially simpler than mine, engage your mind to fill in the details in a way that I envy.

I chose to carve his template using sculpting or scraping techniques to give a three dimensional effect. This particular image was also carved in a watermelon.


The Nativity (Christmas 2009)

Here is a recarving of this pattern I did for Christmas 2009 because I wanted a permanent copy. This time I used a Michaels white foam pumpkin and lit it using two regular artificial tea lights and one red tea light I found at Dollarama in their Christmas seasonal aisle. I'm not as happy with the results as I was with the original carving. I'm beginning to think we need foam watermelons for carving.

A Visit From Saint Nick (2007)

Of course for most people, the Christmas season is typified by Santa Claus and it was "A Visit From Saint Nick" by Clement Moore that really made him famous.

This pattern started its life as a colouring page of Santa, his sleigh and all eight of his reindeer that I found on line. I added the moon and the author in his stocking cap to complete the effect.

This is easily the most complex pattern I undertook for 2007 and the details on the house and the reindeer are incredible. This particular carving was done on a watermelon and, frankly, was never completed. It was done for a Christmas party and I was still carving it at the party (did I mention the complexity...).


A Visit From Saint Nick (2009)

Okay, I had to do this one again too. To this day, this and the Nativity remain both mine and my wife's all time favourite pumpkin images...and they're for Christmas.

This one got my last orange foam pumpkin for 2009. However I found it to be one of those pumpkins that shows beautifully but takes a lousy picture. I've tried repeatedly to get a better shot, but it is stubborn.


The Last Supper (2007)

Another Jay Ball creation, I carved it for Thanksgiving 2007 (I couldn't wait for Halloween to get carving) at my church. I carved the clothing and hair by not cutting all the way through (scraping) and somehow produced a 3D effect and the disciples looked like they were shifting around to get a better look at Jesus.

I'm assuming the flickering candle created the movement effect and a combination of Jay's amazing template and the scraping produced the 3D. In any case, the great pity was that I did not work out how to take pictures in the dark soon enough to capture this piece better than this.

I recarved this at Easter 2010 in a white foam pumpkin but the effect wasn't the same.

Cartoons and Comic Books

The Hulk

For the first template to carve on a foam pumpkin, I chose the Hulk because it was my simplest pattern. I did this one for my friend Gary Burton at Burdin's comics (on Main St E in Hamilton, visit while you are here) based on his new (at the time in 2008) store logo. It is a simple pattern and easy to do making it a perfect choice to build up my confidence with carving the foam pumpkins.

This is also an interesting pattern that demonstrates one of the more interesting elements of complex pumpkin patterns. In the pictures from Halloween 2008, you will see the Hulk and next to it a carved pumpkin with an odd indecipherable pattern on its face. This is the same pumpkin. Not all patterns work like this, but some do.


The Hulk in Green

Alright, this is the foam pumpkin from 2009 with an artificial green tealight in it from Christmas. I saw the tealights in the store and immediately thought of the Hulk instead of all the merry Christmas thoughts I should have been. These lights, new for Christmas 2009, add a new potential element to carving: colour!

The Hulk for Burdin's Comics

The final phase of this pattern was to turn the Hulk into a viable pumpkin-based logo. I combined the store name in the letters Gary uses (bless him that they are the letters that are carvable on pumpkin!) with his Hulk image to produce something he can stare at in his darkened store for hours. Oh and I gave him a green light for added enjoyment.

The Scooby Gang

Back in 2005, as my confidence in creating my own patterns was starting up, I carved my first Scooby Doo pumpkin. I have always liked Scooby and have fond memories of the original Scooby Doo Where Are You show, so for not only was it natural to see Scooby at Halloween, it was natural for me to carve him in a pumpkin. A lot of trick and treaters, and their parents, agreed and it was a huge hit.

In 2006 I followed up with Shaggy and Scooby together and again it was a hit.

In 2007 I moved on and everybody missed the great dane. I've learned my lesson and as an apology I carved this pattern of the entire Scooby gang in 2008. It was one of the most difficult carvings I had tackled to date.

Shaggy and Scooby

In 2009 I recreated my 2006 Shaggy and Scooby carving using the techniques I had learned in the intervening 3 years and produced this carving.

Scooby Doo, Where Are You?

Also in 2009 I really challenged myself. I took a picture from the opening credits of Scooby Doo, Where Are You and converted it into a pattern. Let me tell you it wasn't easy to carve. I had to glue parts back on three times and I almost lost one of those parts. However I am very pleased by the result despite the trouble it gave me.

Fred Flintstone and Homer Simpson

What can I say about this one? There seems to be a trend among prime time cartoon families to have a loud mouthed overweight husband/father married to an attractive slim red-headed woman from a wealthy family who dislike the husband/father. Anyhow these two had so much in common and drew so many comparisons, even among the creator of The Simpsons that they had to appear together on a pumpkin, so in 2007 I put them on one!

Kill Shakespeare

Issue Number 1

I had the good fortune to meet the creators (writers and artists) of the 2010 comic book "Kill Shakespeare" during a visit to the Toronto Fan Expo convention in August of 2010. I happened to have pictures of some of my recently carvings on my camera and shared them with the guys. Well one thing led to another and the end result was a reproduction of the cover of the first issue of their comic book on a pumpkin. The pumpkin now resides with Conor McCreery, one of the writers, and went to a Hallowe'en convention with him much to the delight of the attendees.

This carving presented many challenges for me, not the least of which was the recreation of a feather. The first challenge was the reproduction of the cover as a pattern, maintaining the integrity of the picture while creating something carvable. I showed the resulting mockup to Conor, then dealt with the second challenge: actually carving the pattern. One day I will bite off more than I can chew. Fortunately this wasn't that time.

I demonstrate the carving of this pattern on my Complex Patterns page.


Miscellaneous Halloween

Haunted House

This is a pattern I have from the Pumpkin Wizard. Unfortunately I didn't properly account for the curvature of the pumpkin and lost the porch on the house. Live and learn.

The Mona Lisa

The Mona Lisa carving is my answer to the question, "Do you really think that what you do is art?" What do you think?

Buffy The Vampire Slayer

BTVS Logo

This is the opening credit logo for Buffy the Vampire Slayer. This was actually quite a complex image to render as a pattern. The image of the moon had many varying shades many of them light in shade. "Buffy" however had to be even lighter than the moon, plus the letter B created several opportunities for parts that would fall into the pumpkin. To resolve these issues I framed the letters in black and changed many of the thinner parts of the letter B to brown instead of the yellow flame colour. The result I believe to be quite satisfying.

Buffy is a television show that my wife and I share. If you haven't ever seen it, please do yourself a favour and watch it. You can enjoy it on a superficial level or explore it symbolically and metaphorically. It is drama, action, comedy, horror and science fiction. Enjoy!


Actor: Sarah Michelle Gellar

Buffy Anne Summers

This was taken from an early promotional picture for the series.

Actors: James Marsters and Juliet Landau

Spike And Drusilla

These two are every Buffy fan's favourite evil couple. James and Juliet worked so well together in the show's second season I had to picture them together.

The Gentlemen

The Gentlemen are the villains from the Buffy the Vampire Slayer episode "Hush." The Gentlemen come to a town and steal the voices of all the citizens so they cannot scream when they come to take seven hearts. The episode was a challenge to creator Joss Whedon who read that Buffy was a good television show because of its dialogue, so he wrote an episode which, for half the time, there was no dialogue.

I came to the realization one day that despite Hallowe'en being my holiday, I didn't have any permanent carvings that were truly scary. The Gentlemen were among the most truly disturbing foes Joss Whedon created for Buffy and "Hush" one of the most genuinely frightening episodes of the series.


Doctor Who

Title Card Introduced For the 11th Doctor

At the time of carving, this was the latest title card for the BBC television program Doctor Who. Most people assume Doctor Who to be a relatively new show as it was revived in 2005, but its origin traces back to 1963, making it 50 years old in 2013. I first caught onto it in the early 70's at about the time the fourth actor (Tom Baker) to play the title role of The Doctor began his long run on the series. The show was pulled by the BBC in 1989, almost revived by Fox Networks in the United States in 1996 (the pilot movie didn't have the ratings they'd hoped for) and finally returned to television in 2005.

As for the carving of this title logo, when I was designing it, I thought that at first look, the logo was uniformly bright. Upon closer inspection, I noticed that there were bands of lighter and darker colours. It wasn't difficult to manage the bands to make sure that nothing "floated". I loved how the designer of the logo used the letters D and W to form the sides of the Doctor's TARDIS.


William Hartnell as The Doctor

This is where it all began back in 1963. William Hartnell was a mysterious old man known only as "The Doctor". The Doctor was a traveller in space and time who took those who travelled with him (commonly referred to as companions) to all manner of exotic destinations where they meet all manner of exotic enemies. Over time Doctor Who became known for its monsters, and many people remember watching it from behind their couch as children.

This carving had the same problem that many photographic carvings do: marginally attached floating parts. Like many, the eyes are a problem, but not as much of a problem as the long piece that separates Hartnell's face from his hair. It is very thin, very long and tenuously attached in a couple of places. Pieces like this are difficult not only in terms of maintenance, but they are terribly difficult to carve without cutting off.


David Tennant as the Tenth Doctor

If you're not familiar with Doctor Who, this must seem pretty strange. The problem with any long-running series is how to handle the replacement of principle actors when they leave the show for any reason. Doctor Who came up with a simple, but elegant solution: the Doctor is an alien and is able to completely cellularly regenerate his body when he is fatally afflicted. As of 2013 there have been 11 actors to "officially" play the Doctor. My personal favourite is the fourth who was my first Doctor. My wife's favourite is the tenth. He is the Doctor that made her like the show. Kudos!

I loved the picture this was based on. Posing David Tennant in front of his TARDIS gave me an interesting challenge: the inclusion of a background object. Usually my focus in a pattern is the pictured face and I paint out anything else in the picture. I just couldn't, in good conscience, paint out the TARDIS. And I'm glad I didn't, because I think it looks great.


Matt Smith as the Eleventh Doctor

As of this writing, not only is Matt Smith the current Doctor, be he has announced that he will be stepping down from the part as of Christmas 2013. Speculation is rife concerning who will be cast as the twelfth Doctor. There is huge interest in the Doctor not being a white male. Those who run the show state that neither race, nor sex are a consideration in their casting choices. In the end, they will pick the person they feel is right.

After the pattern I created for David Tennant, my mind immediately turned to how I would top the work I did for that pattern. Eventually, I decided not to try to outdo myself and went with a "less is more" approach. I felt that with Matt's face being in shadow, it reflects the increasingly mysterious nature of the Doctor as has grown during his run on the show.


The TARDIS

TARDIS: Time And Relative Dimensions In Space. Members of the Doctor's now extinct race refer to their vehicles as time capsules. It was the Doctor's granddaughter Susan who first coined the name TARDIS for the Doctor's capsule, although other Time Lord's have been heard referring to capsules using the same name. Perhaps it caught on.

The TARDIS possesses huge mass either containing a star on the brink of collapsing into a black hole or is linked to a large black hole (the Eye of Rassilon) trapped by the Time Lords, the show has conflicting information in this regard. The majority of the mass is contained in its own dimension with only a small piece extending into our dimension. This is one of the central principles of the show: it's bigger on the inside than it is on the outside. An additional point is that each capsule is equipped with what is referred to as a chameleon circuit to allow it to change its shape and blend into its surroundings. This circuit on the TARDIS broke early on trapping it in the form of a blue London police box. At one point the Doctor fixed the circuit. It is not clear whether the circuit broke again or whether the Doctor has just grown fond of this appearance.

The TARDIS was not a difficult pattern to carve. The most complex things about it are the light on top and the letters. My wife questioned why I should want to carve this. It's just a box and it appears in the 10th Doctor's pattern. The answer: how could I not carve it. It's the TARDIS!