OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

The Raven from Leadville, CO

  • 14” x 34” diptych, unframed
  • Charcoal on paper
  • $800, unframed

Ravens, scientific name Corvus corax, “raven croaker”, live 15-20 years in the wild, 20 – 40 years in captivity. Somewhere in my posts, I’ve written this story, but as Grandpa would say when reminded that he’d told that story, “I like telling it.”

Years ago I started asking random strangers if they had a bird story. The grocery checkout clerk said “No” but a young man behind me in line said “I have one”. He had recently returned from living in a small Alaskan village where he had observed ravens huddled for warmth around the village street light during the day. A solar eye only allowed the light to come on at night. But the ravens, understanding this, took turns covering the solar eye with a wing. He said a “raven shift” would last a few minutes, then another raven would take his/her place keeping the warming light on for others.

Naturally I wanted to draw a raven, but I had no access to specimens. The University of Kansas Natural History Museum contact could not have been nicer when I asked if I could draw a raven from their collection. I expected a posed, life-like bird, but instead I was led down a narrow corridor with floor to ceiling flat storage drawers filled with tagged raven specimens. I chose this one from Leadville, CO.

Turkeys in the Flint Hills

January 17, 2018

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Turkeys in the Flint Hills

  • 20” x 25”
  • Pastels on paper
  • $400 unframed, $550 framed

A magnificent bird in the wild. I can hear them nested high in trees when walking through a forest at night. Domestically raised turkeys have given rise to the moniker “turkey”. A friend raised genetically modified chickens meant to gain finish weight in 9 weeks. She said they would drown in a rainstorm. Domestic turkeys seem to have similar mental capacity. A film called “My Life as a Turkey” tells the story of Joe Hutto raising a group of wild hatchlings to adult turkeys. It’s a must see.

Dashiell

January 17, 2018

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Dashiell

  • 18” x 18”, approximate
  • Conte on paper
  • Private Collection

Dashiell’s namesake may or may not be the mystery writer, Mr. Hammett, but that’s what inspired Dash’s portrait. This noir drawing shows the subject dressed as a detective, the Sandia Mountains backlit by the rising moon which also lights the Rio Grande River as it flows past the playset. There’s a story in this somewhere. Maybe Dashiell will write it in a few years.

Seeking inspiration

January 14, 2017

Seeking inspiration for a drawing

  • 11″ x 8.5″ approx
  • Pencil and Colored Pencil
  • Was auctioned in Baldwin City, KS Lumberyard Art Center

Art auctions are hard on galleries and artists’ incomes. When you can buy a work of art at below market value, folks often wait for the next auction. But exceptions are made, and here’s one. This drawing was available for purchase at the Lumberyard Art Center’s 2017 Chocolate Auction in Baldwin City, KS.
Pictured is the artist’s hand working on sketch ideas for the Lumberyard Auction as the inspiring chocolate donut and coffee sit nearby. The coffee mug features a mug of abolitionist John Brown (the pre-Civil War Battle of Black Jack was waged nearby) as the yellow brick road rolls off over the hills.

Aesa

December 5, 2016

aesa-web

  • Chalk pastel on pastel paper
  • 10” x 8” approximately

I like Aesa’s spunk, inherited from the rest of her family.

What’s Time to a Pig?

December 5, 2016

whats-time-to-a-pig-web-501x600

  • 12′ X 9” approximately
  • Mixed media including watercolor and colored pencil

A small drawing with meaning for the pictured couple. They raise livestock on their farm and this story is a family favorite.

A farmer stood up in an apple tree holding her pig. A man, passing by, asked what she was doing. “Feeding my pig” she replied holding the pig up so the pig could snag another apple off the branch. The man said, “Doesn’t it take a long time to feed a pig that way? The farmer’s response, “What’s time to a pig?”

Whispers

July 13, 2016

Whispers_med

  • Watercolor plus mixed media
  • 14” x 34”
  • $1250
  • Giclée Print, 10.5” x 25.5” $395

Whispers is a painting of Eighth Street storefronts in Baldwin City, Kansas. Maple leaves float through the air, freshened after a passing storm. The contemporary street scene shows folks going about their business, enjoying life. Then there are images of the past. Vaguely visible are fossils, Native Americans, activity on the Santa Fe Trail, John Brown as depicted by J.S. Curry, Black Jack Battlefield in 1856, women’s bridge, historic Baker University building, Bibles, bison, log cabin, quilters and the open prairie.

Grands 2016

July 13, 2016

Grands, colored pencilGrandchildren – 2016

  • Colored Pencil on Illustration Board
  • 16″ x 20″
  • NFS

A snapshot in time using a Josef Albers color exercise. Albers’ teaches us to step out of the comfortable and allow for insight. This piece plays with gravity, space and perception.

Reflecting balls

April 7, 2016

  • Hand w ballsColored pencil, pencil on bristol board
  • 11″ x 14″
  • $495

My portrait is in this drawing 3x, once with sunglasses, one with glasses and one so small it would be hard to tell. My 4 year old granddaughter found all 3 images in a snap. In my paintings “Vessel with Oriole” and “Champs” you will also find portraits on a reflective surface.

Six years old

April 7, 2016

Clara, 6 years

Clara, 6 years

  • Pencil on bristol board
  • 11″ x 5″
  • Private Collection

There is not a more charming subject than a child, and no child is more charming than this one. Her headband shows 6, the number of years she has graced the world with her presence.