Friday, December 28, 2012


mixed media
Clouds, like seals, swooped through the sodden sky, throwing careless sprays of water that were only tempered by the protective masses of leaves on the dark trees. Not that the bird minded the extra soaking, he was wet to the bone and it wasn't very cold anyway. So, once one got used to it, the rain, in its various manifestations, became a companion to his solitude. But this was an "in-between time" wasn't it? The sun would come out wouldn't it? His spirits had a weight on top of them as if they were shut into a box whose top is ajar but still won't come free. Waiting it out seemed better than to struggle. Indeed, by struggling he had opened the box and put himself inside!

Monday, December 17, 2012

A Smoky Sortie

These intrepid birds are facing a very dangerous situation. To cope, they have built a peculiar device for lowering one brave soul into the maw of the erupting volcano. Did he volunteer? I think he did actually. "All for One and One for All!" …I wonder what they are hoping to find out?
Here's a salute then to our adventurous days and silly sallys! Into the unknown: morning by morning, hour by hour… making progress in some strange way.
"…For thee and myself no quiet find"






Wednesday, November 28, 2012

2013 Calendar

This year's calendar features Owl, Tern and The Bear busy planting seeds on the shore of a rocky island.
Write to me if you'd like one. There is no cost.

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Weary Souls

"A Weary Soul"
10-28-12 (finished 11-21-12)
mixed media, collage

Two solitary souls rest their tired feet at the base of a fir tree. They have been walking all day and now realize that they are on an island, surrounded by water …and they don't have a boat. The pillow-like moss softens the depressing realization that they are stranded. However, it's not too cold and all is calm. Sleep calls to the man and his four-legged companion. There is nothing to eat and they are too tired to even care. It will be a long night of sleeping and waiting and perhaps, all the catnaps (the dog's also) will amount to a good night's sleep.  Perhaps in their dreams a solution will present itself.

Sunday, November 18, 2012

What Happened?

"Did anything happen? Did anything change?"
Post election wonderings. When Obama was first elected, there was great fanfare and euphoria among his supporters. There was fear too: would he be assassinated before January or be somehow cheated from assuming office? It was weird and scary. A tender time for all concerned.

This year's election was quite different. The change is slowly revealing itself in the post-election posturing of those who care to exercise power. But my feeling in the immediate aftermath was that very little seemed to have changed. So this doodle appears to be about this state of bemusement or befuddlement: what happened? Here we see Mrs. Owl and Mr. Tern joined by a stork shambling along kicking the Autumn leaves trying to take in the disparity between actual events and the current stalled situation. Did anything happen? Yes… but?

"Yes!" Mr Tern says! "Yes!"


detail, Mrs. Owl

detail: stork and Mr. Tern

detail (frottage, watercolor)

Monday, November 12, 2012

Babes In The Woods

untitled painting, 11-05-12b
collage, mixed media

tree trunks and ducks are collaged

the scout…

detail of leaves

detail of tree trunks: collage, watercolor, ink, litho crayon & tusche
Often when I work in my sketchbook, a scene takes shape before any sort of narrative content is added. In this case, you can imagine, the forest was created first and the ducks were added last. I started out with these long rectangles of bond paper with ink blotted on them. Once glued down, I started adding the brown and other neutral tones that formed the indeterminate depths of the forested space. For a while, as the cheap sketchbook paper buckled, it was unclear whether the collage paper would be the tree trunks or the other way around. The buckled paper bulged out like 3-d trunk-like forms. I was tempted. I decided to go with my original idea and started drawing in the detail of the tree bark and the layers of vegetation and the leaf-littered ground plane. This set the atmosphere.  And then I knew why I had been drawing real ducks all summer!

One, two, three little white ducks, lost or adventurous carefully finding their way through the dangerous forest!
What will become of them? Will they meet other fowl or ferocious fanged foxes or aloof rabbits? Where are they going to?

I don't know. Do you??

Thursday, November 1, 2012


I study the faces of Nature and look for my ancestors
As the leaves fall, birds' nests are revealed
Beckoning scratchy bowls 

ink, watercolor, colored pencil, crayon

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Each Painting is a Journey

mixed media
I painted this the other morning. It started out one way and ended another way. The bear was the last thing I added (well, actually the oars were the last things. Or maybe it was the bear's toenails; I can't remember).

The important, take-home message is to never give up on something. Eventually a solution will be whispered in your ear and a bear might appear. Now, it's true that I have a number of images of bears in boats… I guess I'm just not through with that basic idea. But that's my prerogative isn't it?

The boat in this image and the sentiment it conjured (that we may not know the way but just having faith that our tools or methods have merit gets us through the rough patches) confirmed a steady belief of mine. It's nice also to have these ideas bubble up through the process. And making good Art is rarely a top-down process. And it's nice to end with a confirmation rather than begin with one. Although, having both isn't so bad either.

Blah blah blah! Bonne journée dear readers!

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Port Out, Starboard Home

In December 2008, I'd been drawing these kind of things a lot. Lots of things like these experimental doodles. I was having having fun experimenting and letting my mixed-mediums lead the way. I maintained a loose and natural focus and was prolific. I draw for myself whenever the chance arises.



2008 ended with these innocuous doodles where I used wax crayons and ink wash. I liked the resist and how the ink bled through the reverse side of the sketchbook pages.:


And then all hell broke loose in early 2009:

And I started making things that really looked like they could maybe be children's book illustrations (for me it was a form of therapy or self expression).

Owl and Tern (and a Bear) a story that remains unfinished…
And now, the very twisty - and sometimes painful - path has led to children's book illustration (an old goal of mine). I hope I do a good job. I'm still finding my way.

one of the characters is a small bird

the story takes place in a meadow

Once the book is published, I will be able to talk more freely about it.

I'd better get back to work.


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