Saturday, November 27, 2010

Christmas Show 2010

There's only one week left before my 2010 Christmas Show. If you're in the area, please stop in and say hello.

Friday, November 26, 2010


I've been doing a lot of drawing the last few days. From time to time, I just need to go back to my sketch books and start filling some pages. I should draw every day, but in reality, I'm happy to get the 2B in action a couple of times a week. It's good practice and keeps me honest about interpreting the information my eyes are giving me. I'm never quite as happy as I am wearing down the point on a pencil.
This drawing was done from a series of photos I shot a couple of summers ago. The plan was to execute an oil portrait, but after browsing the images, decided they were not exactly what I was looking for. I may need to reconsider.
I really don't like the texture of the paper I used for this, so I need to find something with a finer tooth. Other than that, I'm pleased with this effort.

"Buffs on the Deck" 5x7 acrylic

The day I shot the reference photos for the background of this painting, the fall colors were so brilliant, they almost didn't look real. I knew right away there would be buffleheads in the painting. The high contrast of their beautiful black and white markings pop against the kaleidoscope of autumn foliage.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

"Autumn Sentinels" 10x12 acrylic

White-tailed deer and fall colors... does it get any better? Being a bow hunter, I get to see a lot of deer and study their habits and tendencies... sometimes at very close range. In the edge of a slash of late afternoon sunlight, two skittish does have spotted a likely intruder and are on verge of bolting. Back in the shadows, a buck is alerted by the does, but holds tight hoping not to be discovered. The does serve as a kind of alarm system and their nervous nature keeps them highly alert. The old buck hasn't lived this long by making dumb mistakes. This tactic has worked for him before. Like a rabbit in a brush pile, someone would practically have to step on him to make him run.
The buck represents an element of "secondary discovery." I like using this concept on occasion, but only if it's something that occurs naturally. As in the real world, our eyes are drawn immediately to the exposed does and their upward stretched necks. To the casual observer, the buck may go unnoticed... even though he's in plain site.

Monday, November 15, 2010

My New Book, "The Long Way Home"

It is with great pleasure that with my 100th post, I am announcing my first book. This has really been a long time coming. I've been threatening to publish a book for years and now it's done. With a forward written by my good friend, Debby Kaspari, this small edition features more than recent 40 paintings and drawings. To see a preview of several pages and to order, visit the Blurb link on the right of this page. Enjoy!

Thursday, November 4, 2010

The Wilds of Kentucky

My road trip this fall has taken me once again to the farm country of western Kentucky. The tremendous expanse of cultivated fields has pushed the woodland creatures into a relatively small patchwork of scattered woodlots. Yet the abundance and diversity of wildlife is astounding! Of course my purpose for the trip is bow hunting a large white-tail buck, but that doesn't mean I'm so single-minded as not to appreciate my surroundings. Each evening, coyotes serenade the sunset as they venture out for nighttime hunting of their own. Barred owls often join in the chorus for a gloriously eerie auditory treat. Northern harrier hawks scour the grasslands for a dinner of mourning dove (and there are plenty of those!). Clouds of red-winged blackbirds fill the skies over picked bean fields filling the air with an almost deafening racket. And a dozen or more great blue herons stand silently in the middle of a mile-wide stretch of cultivated Ohio River flood plain. I can only guess they are searching for crayfish, as their holes in the mud seem to be everywhere.
After taking a morning off, I'll be back in the deer stand later today. It's hard to imagine just what those countless hours have in store.