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Updated Nov. 10, 2021 I'm an American scrap artist and kidlit author. I use found objects to create folk art.

My second 32-page picture book, "Tag and the Magic Squeaker," will be released Feb. 1, 2022. It's about an athletic hound, a skeptical cat and a very diabolical mouse. Check out the Tag page for updates.

"Gifts of the Magpie" was released March 1, 2021. Find out more on the Magpie page. Kirkus Reviews awarded it a star and called it "A unique celebration of playful creativity." Read their review here.

Our Blog

An ongoing series of informational entries

New scrap art iBook available!

May 15, 2018

My first ebook, "Scrap Art Alphabet," is now available for download from iBooks. It's a quirky look at the alphabet with 46 illustrations made with found objects. Fun for all ages! See pages from the book and download it HERE.

Hackers destroyed my old site

May 16, 2018

Unfortunately, the site I've had for 8 years was destroyed by hackers to the point that my Web host refused entry. "Forbidden," it said. Thankfully, my wonderful daughter and her friend helped me recover the info while I hurriedly cobbled this together. It will take me a while to get everything back up to speed, but I hope it will be an improvement. Let me know what you think.

Scrap Art Alphabet posters | Shop

May 17, 2018

NEW! If you've downloaded my ebook, "Scrap Art Alphabet," you know that the typeface and images lend themselves to a poster treatment. Any of these six versions would look awesome in a kid's room, den or bomb shelter.

16x20" – $20 each.

Not seeing a poster that you'd like? Lemme know and I'll design one.

20 Scrap Doodles Shop

May 22, 2018

During my last year as a newspaper features designer, I was very frustrated with the heavy production schedule and whenever I felt stressed out, I'd duck into a little room designated "Design Think Tank" and move these found objects around until a little story developed... they took under 15 minutes to assemble, they were totally disposable, they saved my sanity.

Parking lot scrap doodles

July 2, 2018

Recently, my computer hard drive shit the bed and while waiting for the repair shop to open, I found this handful of scraps in the parking lot. It always amazes me, the wonderful things at our feet, waiting to be discovered.

Video: On the hunt for cool stuff

July 3, 2018

George Arbogust, a local ecologist who promotes the creative recycling of found and discarded objects, made a short video back in May of my friend, Stephen Katz, and me looking for objects to turn into art at a Norfolk scrap yard. Check it out here.

Bix Beiderbecke poster & t-shirt | Store

Aug. 3, 2018

He only lived to be 28, but the legendary cornet player made a lasting impact on the jazz art form, especially in the way soloists improvise and create their own separate statements within the band. This scrap doodle is 6.5 x 8" and made of dug relics donated by my friends, Roy Bahls, Vicky Friedrichs.

Meat Puppets "Dusty Notes" | Order here

Dec. 11, 2018

I'm super thrilled to have my artwork adorn the new Meat Puppets album, "Dusty Notes," to be released March 8, 2019. My brother, Mark, and I grew up with Curt and Cris Kirkwood in Phoenix and we've followed the band's success. We've always been proud of them. We kept in touch. As luck would have it, drummer Derrick Bostrom found my artwork online through Curt, liked it and the next thing I knew, Curt was asking me to do some artwork for their new album. It's a dream come true for me. I remember conspiring with young Curt and working on art projects with him in the 4th grade. Amazing how life circles back around eventually. Order the new album. It's really terrific – soulful, poetic, universal, American music! Check out the "Meat Puppets" page to see the vinyl packaging.

Clearance sale

March 17, 2019

My home studio is complete and I need to make room for future projects, which means everything in my collection is for sale at reduced prices. Please check out the Shop page and let me know if anything interests you. I will be adding items in the coming weeks. Thank you!


June 9, 2019

As the 50th anniversary of the moon landing approaches, I wanted to pay tribute to that incredible photo of Buzz Aldrin, taken by Neil Armstrong, with a few artistic liberties, of course. 3' x 4.5' - made of an old plastic TV frame, silver flute, military control panel, little blue marble and other found objects.


June 11, 2019


June 11, 2019


June 11, 2019


June 11, 2019


June 11, 2019


June 11, 2019

Characters for a children's book

June 11, 2019

Here's a fun project I've been working on - a little fable about making mistakes, populated by creatures made out of dug relics and found objects. Here, the magpie, and below, her co-stars ...

Indian Chief

June 25, 2019

21x30" - Scrap art assemblage made of a roof turbine thingy, painted plywood sign fragment and a spoon. I had put this together facing the opposite direction - the plywood was blank - then, I turned it over and discovered what I missed! Always turn it over!

George Washington

July 4, 2019

Happy 4th! This was a commission several years ago, made of an old tennis racket, chair back, metal sign fragment and other unidentifiable found objects.

School Pageant

July 23, 2019

I've had this little child's Croc for a while and when I dumped out a large bin of plastic stuff onto my studio floor (I was searching for something in particular) inspiration hit me to put this doodle together.


July 24, 2019

Scrap art sculpture made of toothbrush, hay loft pulley, sling blade mounts, child's ironing board and other found objects. I carved the small, wooden hand with a Dremel. Oh, and it rolls...

Soap Carving

July 13, 2019

This sculpture, made of six pieces of found wood, was inspired by a soap carving my father made as a child of 8 or 9 back in the late 1930s.


July 28, 2019

18"-tall freestanding assemblage made of flattened aerosol can, whiffle ball, softball core, sling blade, brass ice tongs, drift wood and other stuff. When I saw the aerosol can and the sling blade in perpendicular proximity, it reminded me of the wall-eyed alien.

Colin Kaepernick

July 30, 2019

22x34" – The ironing board fit perfectly inside the municipal trash can lid. The Little Tikes plastic bat is an exact replica of his nose. These portraits present themselves while I'm tinkering around and moving things together. 

Kitchen Witch

Aug. 6, 2019

This is my most recent commission – I create these hags to hang in your kitchen and protect you from mishap and injury. Each one is unique. This one is in the middle of her own "special" recipe, an incantation summoning up the souls of the damned.  See more examples here.

Step 4

Aug. 14, 2019

I traced the outline of the tin silhouette onto 3/8" plywood and cut it out with an electric saw. Next, I painted the hat area blue, added a green marble eye, pottery shard collar and toothpick teeth and glued-and-screwed the tin to the plywood and the plywood to the hitch.

Step 3

Aug. 14, 2019

Once the tin sheet cured overnight, I used metal snips to cut out this retro witch silhouette . . .

Step 2

Aug. 14, 2019

I treated a large sheet of ceiling tin to arrest the rust and strengthen the metal. It's a product sold at most marine supply stores. It turns the brown rust color to a purple-black, which is fine for the silhouette I had in mind . . .

5 steps to make a witch: Step 1

Aug. 14, 2019

I found this beautiful, oak 19th-Century wagon hitch at a great salvage/antique store in Norfolk called, "Wood Fellas." This triggered an idea . . .

Rube Foster

Aug. 14, 2019

"Rube Foster, Father of Black Baseball," 34x34" – scrap art assemblage made of ceiling tin, wheel barrow handle, rubber ball, weathered plywood, license plate letters and a 1950s leather baseball glove. This started out as a generic old timer, but he looked like somebody. Sure enough, Rube Foster, who was a great pitcher, manager and entrepreneur of the Negro Leagues, presented himself as a dead ringer. I never know ahead of time how these things work out.

Lincoln, 1901

Sept. 18, 2019

34x27" – Scrap art assemblage of a post-mortem Lincoln inspired by the true account of the last living person to see Abraham Lincoln's face. Linwood Lindley was 13 years old on Sept. 26, 1901 when Lincoln's coffin was opened for the last time . . . read the story here.

Nice Doggy

Oct. 14, 2019

16x32" – This assemblage made of an ironing board, rakes and other found objects was accepted in the "Unconventional" exhibit at D'Art Center in Norfolk, featuring the work of scrap artists from over 30 states.


Oct. 14, 2019

24x24" – This parody of Michaelangelo's fresco, a self portrait, shows the artist and his source of inspiration - the natural beauty flitting all around us. This was entered in the juried exhibit at Dragonfly studios in Norfolk.

Cowboy and His Colt

Oct. 14, 2019

18x24" – Recently, a dear friend donated a bunch of old tools and other wonderments from a departed grandfather's work shed, including this very unusual hand saw. 


Oct. 14, 2019

33x44" – This large assemblage is made completely of objects found on the Chesapeake Bay beach near Ft. Monroe and will be donated and auctioned at Hampton University Museum. The Seize the Bay Trash To Art Show, sponsored by the Hampton Waterways Restoration Project (HWRP) will raise money for Hampton University's Oyster Restoration program, supported by the Chesapeake Bay Foundation. Details to come soon.


Oct. 14, 2019

16x27" – Halloween is upon us and I'm celebrating as I do every year - by making home decorations. Inspired by the weirdly painted driftwood, a redheaded vampire began to appear, which seems somehow very appropriate. I used a dustpan, goat mandible, paintbrush handle and decayed rubber ball.

Doughboy With Flamethrower

Oct. 17, 2019

33" tall assemblage made of Singer sewing machine treadle, old caulk gun, hinge, lightbulb cage, bread pan, auto clock, soap dish and other miscellaneous found objects. Inspired by the incredible documentary, "They Shall Not Grow Old." Check it out. Also, the 101st anniversary of the Armistice coming up on Nov. 11.


Oct. 22, 2019

This assemblage is composed of a leather shoe upper found in a Suffolk creek, paintbrush, coat hook, wrench and other magical, found objects.

Don't give up

Oct. 28, 2019

During a recent visit to Athens, GA, I was given a beautiful wooden 5" square with the assignment to illustrate the idea of "Resilience" for a wonderful local art project. Here is my entry. Find out more at


Nov. 10, 2019

This freestanding assemblage is made of a 1936 Arizona license plate, various metal things, wooden tool handles and a typewriter key arm.

Television Indian

Dec. 9, 2019

3'x5'9" – Scrap art assemblage made of a television frame, roof fan, sign fragment and other found objects.

Am I not a man and a brother?

Dec. 16, 2019

24x41" – Scrap art assemblage inspired by the 1787 engraving by Josiah Wedgewood for The Society for the Abolition of the Slave Trade, which remains one of the most powerful political images of all time and which undoubtedly moved hearts and minds in Great Britain and America and helped bring about emancipation in 1863. Made of piano fragment, hand forged barn door hinges, chain relic and other found objects.

Bart Simpson

Dec. 31, 2019

Recently, an old newspaper colleague of mine donated a bunch of antique tools and stuff from a deceased relative and I created this for their young son as a thank-you. Happy New Year!

Year of the Metal Rat

Jan. 1, 2020

I'm ringing in the new year with unbounded optimism and excitement. Capstone Publishing is busy preparing my first children's book, "Gifts of the Magpie," for publication in early 2021 and I'm thrilled to be working with the talented people there. You can see the characters, below, in a blog post from June 11, 2019.

To exhibit or not to exhibit

Jan. 15, 2020

I was planning on organizing a show of recent work because it all seemed connected thematically and that's what artists are supposed to do, right? Well, maybe not. If an artist can reach patrons through other means, without putting on exhibits, then maybe exhibits aren't that crucial. So, I've added prices to the portfolio items and put exhibiting on hold. Please let me know if anything interests you.

Photo by Hyunsoo Leo Kim, Peninsula Fine Arts Center, 2016.

Creating the characters in "Gifts of the Magpie"

Jan. 24, 2020

An editor of the Society of Children's Book Authors and Illustrators regional newsletter asked me to produce a simple photo step-by-step of my production process and luckily, my friend, Luis, showed up the day I was wrapping up the artwork for my 32-page picture book coming out early next year. Here are 4 simple steps.

Photos by Luis Vilches.

"Tag and the Magic Squeaker"

Feb. 7, 2020

I'm wrapping up a story I've been thinking about for a couple years, about a beagle and his brush with the unexplained. I can't disclose the plot, but the motto is "When magic happens, just go with it."

When this is over. . .

April 2, 2020

. . . I'll get my tetanus shot.

The Hangry Pizzly Bear

April 15, 2020

During this current Coronavirus quarantine, I've been working on my third children's book, inhabited by a cast of scrap-art characters who try to save their village from this famished bear.

The Hangry Pizzly Bear

April 23, 2020

My latest picture book is finished - the tale is told with the help of 33 portmanteaus - blended words - which are so much fun to consider because anyone – even a kid – can invent a new word!

Gifts of the Magpie in final edit process

May 22, 2020

The talented team of editors, designers and marketing wizards at Capstone Publishing are making the final fixes to my first children's book, set to be released in early 2021. I'm very excited to see the final fixes within the next month.

New poster available 

July 12, 2020

I was finally getting around to gluing this piece together and I thought it would make a nice poster with Dolly Parton's great line, "If you want the rainbow, you gotta put up with the rain." On the Shop page.

Tag and the Magic Squeaker 

July 17, 2020

Today I signed a contract with Capstone to publish my second picture book – about an athletic beagle, a diabolical mouse and an intelligent, skeptical cat. This is a poster I designed recently that shows Tag's amazing skills with the squeaker ball.

Tribute to R. Crumb 

July 23, 2020

44x22" – This assemblage was made using a banister fragment, plastic drain thing, shop brush and other found objects. Poster available on the store page.

Q+A in Distinction magazine 

Aug. 9, 2020

I had so much fun sitting down with editor and friend Clay Barbour for this interview a few weeks ago – and was mighty impressed with the photographer he sent out, Corey Miller, who spent quite a bit of time with me in the studio, getting everything as close to perfect as possible. Check it out here. 


Sept. 23, 2020

30x38" – Assemblage made of several found objects, including a funny, emoticon-ish metal fragment that I'd found many years ago at Chenman's Scrap Yard. It never looked like anything in particular until I placed in within the frame and started moving it around – then it magically became Franklin.

2020 Art Crawl, Oct. 10-11

Sept. 23, 2020

Come on over! I will be one of over 75 area artists participating in the 2020 Art Crawl sponsored by the Chesapeake Bay Art Association. My studio at 1701 E. Ocean View Ave. Norfolk, VA 23503 will be open to visitors from 10am to 5pm on Sat. Oct. 10. Please check out the Artist Index and Google map here.


Oct. 1, 2020

18x26" – Made of old metal toy plane (Thank you, Glen McClure), dashboard clock (Thank you, Vicki Cronis) and other found objects. Sold – wired and ready to hang. Come and visit me! I will be one of over 75 area artists participating in the 2020 Art Crawl sponsored by the Chesapeake Bay Art Association. My studio at 1701 E. Ocean View Ave. Norfolk, VA 23503 will be open to visitors from 10am to 5pm on Sat. Oct. 10. Please check out the Artist Index and Google map here.

Children's book characters

Nov. 13, 2020

It's so much fun creating the characters that inhabit my children's books, but I also enjoy designing things with them – like this new poster available now. It shows the cast of "Gifts of the Magpie" and "Tag and the Magic Squeaker," along with several other books that are in the works. Perfect for a child's room! Go to the Shop page.

Is it 2021 yet?

Jan. 11, 2021

Block print made from thin wood strips with watercolor added.

I've been making my own holiday cards for 40 years. When I was young, it was primarily a promotional device and a way for me to declare to the world that I am an artist. Nowadays it's a way for me to tell people how much I love them by giving them something handmade, from the heart. T-shirt and poster available at the shop.

3/3 Triptych delivered to MOCA

Jan. 12, 2021

. . . On the right, "More Smoke!" 42x42x2" features Jerry and Jane Carter with their granddaughter, Chloe, 10. She is in charge of the smoke during routine hive maintenance and is very brave around the buzzing hoard. If you look closely, there's a honeycomb pattern in the yellow pedestrian sign that forms the background of this piece.

2/3 Triptych delivered to MOCA

Jan. 12, 2021

. . . The center of the triad, "Queen Bee," 38x55x14" is dripping honey made of amber beach glass I've collected over the years. Also made of a tractor seat, fire pit screen, traffic hazard sign, hand scythe and other found objects that were within eyeshot . . .

1/3 Triptych delivered to MOCA

Jan. 12, 2021

Last week I delivered three new pieces commissioned by the Virginia Museum of Contemporary Art for their upcoming exhibit about all the things we eat, "Nourish," Feb. 6 to June 6. I was one of 12 local artists invited to participate and was assigned to collaborate with a family of beekeepers. The first piece of art, "Busy Bees," is 35x34x8" and made of a coil of barb wire (found at a farm auction in Suffolk) and lots of other found objects . . .

G​reetings from Ocean View

Jan. 16, 2021

As the release date of "Gifts of the Magpie" (March 1) approaches, I'll be posting more often here at my Web site than on other platforms. You can also follow me on Instagram (hundleysam). Meanwhile, I'll be trying to figure out how to promote a children's book without going out to bookstores and libraries, meeting people, doing readings and demonstrations. It's a weird, new world.

Photo by Randall Greenwell

New scrap stencils

Jan. 24, 2021

Here are 2 scrap stencil prints, 22x30" made of found objects and cut paper. I am experimenting with placing objects on Rives BFK paper and spray painting. at left: "Trophy Weed," and right, "Army Man." I sprinkled plastic letters and toy army men on the paper first and sprayed it with silver paint. Then placed the objects down and used black, yellow and blue paint.

Author copies of "Magpie" arrive

Jan. 25, 2021

Yesterday, a congregation of "Magpies" arrived and I couldn't be happier with the way they came out. The images are sharp and bright and the paper is satiny – they used a varnish on the cover. The binding is made to endure a lifetime of readings. These will be inscribed and sent out to family and close friends who helped make this day possible.

Short story My it was a Grand Canyon

Jan. 27, 2021

The last conversation I had with my father was in early 2002. He loved hearing about my artist job at the local newspaper and whatever art projects I was working on in my spare time, including a children’s book. “Don’t let that book idea sit too long,” he said. “You need to jump on that while it’s fresh.” He died of a sudden heart attack a few months later.

The book idea sat. When I thought about it, which was seldom, I heard my father’s admonition. I listened; he was right.

The book idea sat up every couple of years, passed gas and yawned but it never got up off the La-Z-Boy. Not until 2018, shortly after I was laid off from the paper. A lot had changed in 16 years. I had evolved from a conventional pastel/mixed media illustrator to a scrap artist using found objects to make personal folk art. Dad would’ve appreciated the improvisational aspects of the medium. I woke up that spring morning with nothing to do. It was raining softly. I felt at once impatient and exhilarated. I grabbed a small reporter’s notepad and wrote the story in about an hour while lying down. The book idea, however, was finally up.

The idea became a real book (for pre-sale, at least) in fall of 2020. I was laying down in the same bed, searching for “Gifts of the Magpie” but nothing came up. After over a year of production and gearing up to a March, 2021 release, I figured it would be available soon online, though I had no idea when. I kept hitting Enter for several moments until it popped up as if I had willed it. I thought of Dad and told him, “I listened. You were right.”

Weeks later, while organizing my studio, I found an old cache of Dad’s sketches from the early 1960s when we lived in Phoenix, during happy times. I hadn’t looked at them since long before he died. He was a stock broker back then, but he always loved to doodle and create family art - mostly Halloween decorations of black cats and owls made of construction paper. These 23 sketches were more serious than his doodles, though – they focused on a theme – a child cowboy on horseback, near a canyon, chopping wood, shooting a rifle. Cougars, bears, squirrels and other woodland creatures romp across the pages. Energetically drawn in pencil or black ink on brown sketch paper, they are loose, exploratory and confident. This was his book idea. He jotted down a possible opening: “(1. Once there was a cowboy who had a very special home (2. He lived in a cabin high on the so rim of a canyon (3. and My it was a Grand Canyon”

Okay, so this is mindblowing: My father had an idea for a book that never came to fruition, which he regretted. And forty years later, in order to spare me that same regret, urged me to follow through on my book. Seriously, his advice echoed for many years and did eventually prod me to - finally - finish my book. Therefore, “Gifts of the Magpie” WOULD NOT EXIST without these forgotten 23 sketches made by my father in the 60s while I was a toddler, and he was a stock broker. And which, for some reason, I have in my posession, when so many other things have been lost to time. I wish I could tell him all this. He’d laugh his ass off.


Feb. 1, 2021

This 8x9" scrap doodle is made of 13 dug relics - my amateur archeologist friends donated a ton of wonderful finds, including pottery shards, bullets, flatware, pocket watches and other unidentifiable fragments of another time. They inspire me and fill me with a sense of wonder.

"Magpie" has arrived!

March 1, 2021

At long last, the official release date of "Gifts of the Magpie" has arrived! What does that mean? I have no idea. Copies have been shipped from Amazon for weeks. I'm hoping today will bring the book to local bookstore shelves. Thanks to everyone who has purchased a copy - please leave a review at if you have time. Also today, a dear friend and former newspaper colleague – now popular blogger and radio personality – Kerry Dougherty, has penned the greatest endorsement of "Magpie" so far: "It passes the 5-year-old test!" Check it out here.

A lovely review of "Magpie"

March 14, 2021

Erica Smith, the books editor at The Virginian-Pilot (my local newspaper) wrote a charming review of "Gifts of the Magpie" here.

" 'Gifts of the Magpie' draws on his offbeat eye and his delight in found objects to present a joyful, deceptively simple kids’ story: that of a generous magpie and her friends, and creativity and resilience."

"Magpie" at Prince Books

April 16, 2021

Thank you, Sarah Pishko, owner of Prince Books & Coffeehouse in downtown Norfolk, for carrying "Gifts of the Magpie" and for always supporting local authors and artists. She even had "Autographed Copy" stickers that she placed on the covers. Get 'em while they're hot.

First draft of "Magpie"

April 17, 2021

Three years ago this month, I jotted down a fable that had been floating around in my head – one that I thought had potential to be a children's book. See the complete first draft, with revisions, on the Magpie page.

Visit me! Art Crawl, May 29-30

April 17, 2021

I design the newsletter for the Chesapeake Bay Art Association, an organization of artists in Hampton Roads which does a lot of good work for the community, including awarding over $3,000 each year to the best high school artists. Download this issue (CBAA pdf) for links to artists and a corresponding map for our Art Crawl on May 29-30. Over 60 artists at 21 locations open their doors to visitors both days from 10 am to 5 pm. Come and see me at my messy studio – and consider joining CBAA if you're an artist in Hampton Roads. Also, there's a Q+A with me on Page 4.

A time of boredom

Aug. 6, 2021

Forgive my laziness. I'm really feeling like this summer has been so wonderfully void of things to post here ... wonderful because I'm recharging my power cell, I guess. Boredom, I have discovered, is a necessary part of the creative process. Throughout my career, I come up with my best ideas when I'm bored out of my mind ... and I'm getting there! This scrap doodle of a Beetlebug may lead somewhere ...

Tag and the Magic Squeaker

Aug. 6, 2021

Great news. My second children's book is edited, designed and scheduled for release in Feb. 2022. It's a story about a talented Hound, a diabolical Mouse and a very skeptical Cat. Here's the copy on the back cover, which I love: "Tag the dog can do all kinds of things with his squeaker ball – chew it, toss it and especially squeak it. Then one day, the squeaker comes to life! Tag is delighted but the resident cat is suspicious. Where the cat sees a mystery, Tag sees only magic. Which one is right?"

Calling Dr. Fauci

Nov. 10, 2021

So much going on. Working on a couple of picture books, making a lot of scrap art, organized with 2 of my friends a print co-op with 6 other local artists, and we produced 20 lovely portfolios containing 9 signed and numbered prints. I'll post photos soon. Happy Thanksgiving to you, with health, happiness and love.