Thursday, December 22, 2011

In the spirit of the season, I am happy to offer the works shown below at a discount from now through the end of January 2012. I am offering these works at a 25% discount from retail and will be happy to quote prices upon inquiry. Shipping to US destinations only, please. I can except Pay Pay payment or personal check, or make arrangements for credit card payment through an artist friend who has that capability. My email address is linked from my web site so if there is a piece you are interested in, click on the link to my web site, shown in the listing to the right, and go to the 'Studio News' page and you can find my email at the bottom of that page. I've included a wide range of sizes and subject matter so have a look!

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Since it was done, I took advantage of this recently completed drawing to use it on this year's Christmas card. They were mailed out last week, but for my blog followers, here is a web version.
Tis the season, so find something to be jolly about and enjoy!

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Just completed, this one measures 8 1/4" x 18 1/4" and it
will head to my Annapolis gallery next month for their winter show.

Monday, December 12, 2011

Productive work time over the weekend and a bit over four hours today have brought the work to this point. I think one more day's worth of work and then it will be ready for a mat and frame. I'm feelin' the chill!

Sunday, December 11, 2011

A rather thought provoking essay on art and beauty, well worth an hour's viewing.

Friday, December 09, 2011

Work continues.

Wednesday, December 07, 2011

A portion of what is happening on the drawing board right now. With a prediction for possible snow/rain mix this evening in these parts, this work, the second on the same theme as the last one, seems rather appropriate. Lots of noodling going on with all the grasses and vegetation/trees; just the sort of textures that I relish having fun with.

Saturday, December 03, 2011

Apropos to upcoming wintery days, this one is the first of several works based on a similar theme.
Image size is 11 1/4" x 10 1/2".

Friday, December 02, 2011

Thursday, December 01, 2011

A quick shot of the drawing board as studio time begins today.

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

I have been working the
last four days on
something new, the first work
of a series with a particular theme.
As I always do, I am
enjoying playing with contrasting
textures in this one.
So, here is a slice of what
is going on.

Saturday, November 26, 2011

The day before Thanksgiving, there was a knock on my door late in the afternoon. It turned out to be my mail carrier with a package that would not fit through the mail slot. It was not a surprise package as I was expecting a large envelope, but the thrill of surprise was there nevertheless.

The package contained a copy of American Coastal Art: The Collection of Charles J. and Irene Hamm by Genetta McLean, Ph. D. The volume, 240 pages in heft, documented this incredible collection of art, amassed over many decades, with the maritime world as its theme. I am humbled to say that it includes three of my works.

As I took a quick scan through the book, page after page filled with striking reproductions of the collected works, I was humbled even more to see that my works rubbed elbows with those of the likes of Fitz Henry Lane, Edward Moran, William Trost Richards, Alfred Bricher, John Henry Twachtman, Guy Wiggins, and a host of contemporary artists including many names known to me and especially my good friend, Cindy House with one of her magnificent pastel works.

Later in the evening, I took time to dig a bit deeper, stopping to read some of the accompanying text but leaving much of it for a fine winter's afternoon yet to come, when I can relax with a glass of wine and indulge, losing myself in the incredible beauty of this book.

To know that ones art has been added to a significant collection such as this, is a big feather in the cap. To know that the collectors saw something within my work that struck a chord similar to that struck by work of those 19th Century masters noted above, is overwhelming. It is the kind of recognition that all creative people seek as a way of validating our daily efforts and I am, indeed, honored and humbled to have my work included in this collection and in this volume that will hold that validation for years to come.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

A drawing done many years ago, it is the only one I have ever done with turkeys as subject matter. I happened to have a couple of good reference shots of some turkeys from a farm in northern Virginia and so made good use of them. I figured this would be an appropriate way of sending thankful wishes out to all.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Holding Pattern

Holding Pattern: a state of inaction with no progress and no change; the state of being inactive.

I guess I've been in a sort of holding pattern this past week since returning from the Waterfowl Festival late last Sunday evening. I've not sat at the drawing board except to do a bit of clean up and to wash down the surface of my table; it tends to get a bit grimy with graphite dust puddling here and there and especially at the points where I tend to lay pencils down.

With the recent push to complete new works for the show over the last couple of months, I've just taken some time this week to relax, refresh, rethink and realize that sometimes a few days of R&R are needed to get the old brain into a new frame of mind.

With the coming of Thanksgiving and the rapid-fire thrust of the Christmas season already upon us through massive retailing efforts and Christmas carols already being heard in stores, it plays up the fast approach of the close of yet another year. I can't say I will be sad to see it go as this one has been a rough one for many. Times are tough, and many of us who fleck little pieces of our inner being off each time we complete a creative work, have struggled to find new homes for those works; works whose ideas and images act as the culmination of inspirations that represent our very souls and how we see the world around us. Kind words of appreciation for what we do, though, continue to be heard and we rejoice in the realization that by brushing paint on canvas or putting pencil point to paper or molding clay into beautiful dimensions, we can elicit such emotional responses in others.

As the days have passed by this week, watching the leaves continue to fall outside my window, feeling the ever increasing approach of winter as the days grow cooler and the sky fills with the unique forms of fall clouds, I have begun to think about my work, to think about what inspires me as an artist, to think about what might be ahead and how allowing myself to be open to new possibilities lurking just around the next corner might surprise and enliven my creative soul.

There are ideas floating around in my head that will need time to gel, time to be visualized as a whole and not just bits and pieces mingling, now, in amoebic form. One thing is certain though, I foresee some new directions in what will come off my drawing board over the next weeks and months. No major shift, but a slow progression of fresh ideas to keep the old creative juices flowing at their strongest. What is an artist if not someone who does not constantly endeavor to push limits, open new doors, test the waters of the untried?

I know that by being in this current holding pattern and taking advantage of this temporary period of inaction, as time passes and formative ideas continue to consolidate, progress and change will again come to the fore and sitting down to the drawing board will, as it always has, let the muse of creativity take over.

Monday, November 14, 2011

Last week, before heading over to the eastern shore of Maryland and this year's edition of the Waterfowl Festival, some out of town artist friends and I spent a warm fall day wandering around Washington DC. We Metro'd downtown and started at the beautiful Library of Congress. I had been in the building maybe forty years ago but had forgotten just how beautiful the interior spaces were. Next, we headed underground to the recently completed National Capital Visitor Center with yet more interesting interior spaces, including a spectacular underground view of the Capital dome. As we headed out of town later in the afternoon, we walked the grounds of Capital Hill and passed the Supreme Court building catching the glow of late afternoon fall warmth.

Another Festival has come and gone and I enjoyed catching up with artist friends and speaking with interested visitors all weekend long. Now, it is time to regroup, consider new ideas and inspiration and flesh out ideas that have been floating around for some time for new works. With my wanderings around DC last week, I have no doubt that some of what caught my eye that day will inspire some interesting possibilities in the near future.

Sunday, November 06, 2011

A portion of the work that will be going to the Waterfowl Festival this coming week. My living room looks like the back room of a gallery! Paperwork is done, briefcase is packed with necessaries, all is in readiness. I now have the luxury of taking a few days off and enjoying some down time from the studio. Looks like the long range forecast for the eastern shore of Maryland is for a beautiful Festival weekend so come on down!

Thursday, November 03, 2011

As I have noted several times over the last few weeks, this year's Waterfowl Festival opens a week from tomorrow in beautiful and historic Easton, Maryland. This will be my 20th year of exhibiting there, time sure has flown! The town will be awash with wonderful things to see and do. All artworks will be located in the Armory building this year, carvings across the street in the Art Academy and sculpture will be on display across the street at the Church as well as on the fourth corner in the big white tent; everything within a short walking distance right in downtown Easton. $10 will cover the cost of a three day ticket so you can come and go as you please. It's well worth a drive from any location surrounding Washington DC/Baltimore/Delaware/northern Virginia. So, plan on spending an afternoon in the beauty of a fall day on the lovely eastern shore of Maryland. Check out the link above for directions and information on all the weekend's activities.

Wednesday, November 02, 2011

I was absolutely stunned, delighted, shocked, knocked off my feet yesterday when my copy of Strokes of Genius 3: The Best of Drawing - Fresh Perspectives arrived and I found one of my works gracing the back cover of the book. I had no idea it had been selected for such an honor and am thrilled to say the least. The book, which I avidly dug through last night, is rich with wonderful works by almost 100 fantastic artists including quite a few of my creative friends. I doff my hat to all who made the final cut for this beautiful volume as I am sure the selection process of winnowing down the finalists from thousands of submitted works was not easy. My grateful thanks to Rachel Rubin Wolf, who edited the book, for honoring my work on its cover.

Monday, October 31, 2011

I thought I had finished with Africa for the upcoming Waterfowl Festival but, apparently, Africa had not quite finished with me. As a result, here is one more small work just off the drawing board. This one, measuring a tad over 4" x 6", is of my favorite big cat subject matter. He's pretty regal and that just might become the title for this work!

Sunday, October 30, 2011

I've recently been informed that the latest installment of North Light Books' ongoing series, Strokes of Genius: The Best of Drawing, has arrived in the warehouse and should be available, shortly, for purchase. Two of my works will be included in this volume and I am anxious to see what works by other artists were selected for publication when my copy arrives. I was delighted to have works included in the 2009 edition of volume 2 of the series and will have several works in next year's publication of the 4th volume. Fresh Perspectives should be on sale in the next several weeks so check around for it.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

The days are spinning by as this year's Waterfowl Festival approaches in just about two weeks time. I'm on the home stretch of getting a last few works done, this being the latest off the board about twenty minutes ago. Image on this one is 5 1/4" square. As the Festival web site states, a real bargain this year as they are selling tickets that cover all three days of the show for only $10, same price as almost twenty years ago! Can you say that about anything else these days?

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Another new, smaller work
scheduled for
the big Waterfowl Festival
next month.
This one was finished up late yesterday.
The image measures about
8" x 3 3/4".

Thursday, October 20, 2011

As the days grow shorter, studio time seems to grow longer. As I continue to prepare for next month's Waterfowl Festival here in Maryland in Easton on the eastern shore, I just finished this small, about 4 1/4" x 4 1/4", work. I've been developing a host of small works knowing that the art market is still rather in flux and that small and inexpensive might be advisable right now. Even though the last dozen or so works off the board have been, in general, 5" x 7" or less, I'm still trying to work out some interesting compositions that I hope will have broad appeal. Three weeks from today will be the teller!

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

This Saturday, October 15, Howard/Mandville Gallery in Washington State will host the reception and Intent to Purchase Draw for their 21st Annual Invitational Small Works Show from 5:30 to 8PM. All the artworks from about 90 of the country's finest artists are now shown on the gallery's web site and I have three works included on page 7, as linked above. Take a look and perhaps there might be something of interest. I am sure the gallery can take phone inquires.

Saturday, October 08, 2011

I received word that the 'Eastern Tour' portion of this year's Society of Animal Artists' members' exhibition will include my work, Up for the Challenge. Upon the close of the premier of the show in Michigan, the 125 piece exhibition is being split into two groups, one half going on tour through several venues in the eastern portion of the country and the other half traveling to venues in the mid and western portion of the country. The two venues for the tour east are, The Peninsula Fine Art Center in Newport News, Virgina from January 21, 2012 through March 25, and then on to The Appleton Museum of Art in Ocala, Florida at the College of Central Florida from April 12 through June 12. The idea to split the entire exhibition into two parts and tour them to different venues across the country is a good one and it will allow a great number of people to see some fine animal art.

The 'Western Tour' will travel as follows -
November 19, 2011 - February 19, 2012: The Wildlife Experience, Parker, CO
March 15 to April 15, 2012: Dunnegan Gallery Of Art, Bolivar, MO
May 26 - September 3, 2012: Milwaukee Public Museum, Milwaukee, WI

Friday, October 07, 2011

Splendor in the Pans

A little divergence this morning from posting what is on or coming off the drawing board. As I was toggling through Facebook postings this morning, I stopped at a very familiar photo image posted by a long time acquaintance of the famous Baines Baobabs in Botswana. Almost immediately memories and images and even smells of a long ago journey came flooding back to me.

It was the summer of 1999 . . . I and a host of other artists and collectors traveled to South Africa and then on to Botswana for a fabulous week and a half of roaming through the Okavango Delta region. Overnighting in very gracious mobile tented camps, we enjoyed a feast of wildlife and landscapes. I had traveled to eastern Africa many times before, but these new landscapes and the beauty of the Delta were new to me and I was busy soaking up everything in sight.

On one very special morning, we were given the opportunity for a long, several hour drive out to the edge of the Nxai Pans, part of the vast Makgadikgadi Pan system of central Botswana, to see the famous group of baobab trees made so by the English nineteenth century painter, Sir Thomas Baines. I'd heard of the trees before this trip but knew nothing about them beyond some minor reading I had done previous. I expect that I never thought I might have the opportunity to see them in person and, of course, was one of the first to raise his hand when asked if I would be willing to rise up very early in the middle of the night for the long drive.

As I recall it now, not everyone of the group opted for the trip but certainly enough for several vehicles full. Now a bit of back story here, we were traveling through Botswana during a cooler season so the evenings were certainly sweat shirt and sweater worthy. So, on the given night, we all prepared for very early 'wake up calls' and bundled out of cozy and warm cots and into very cold and wide open vehicles. As you can see in the picture below, shot at one of our brief stops along the way, we were all bundled up to the ears with blankets and layers of clothing and even some with gloves on! I recall that long, long drive in the dark of night, barreling along the roadway with nothing to protect against the onrushing cold air that blasted us in the face as we sped south away from our overnight camp. We drove and drove and drove and froze and froze and froze! Riding in open vehicles with all that cold air slapping us in our faces was, I guess, sort of like ridding on the wing of an airplane!

At several points along the drive I recall thinking to myself whether this was going to result in something of importance or why on earth had I decided to go! All of us in my particular vehicle were trying to keep up the most positive attitude and expectations and kept joking about it all, meanwhile staying as bundled up as possible and trying to keep the wind off of exposed skin surfaces.

At some point, I think I lost consciousness and took a brief nap, only to wake to the continuing cold. Then, somewhere in the distance, and to the east I assumed since that portion of the sky seemed to be beginning to brighten up and the beauty of the night sky, which in that part of the world always struck me as being so much brighter and more filled with stars than I could have imagined, the dawn seemed imminent. I strained my eyes to see the landscape and it was pretty flat with very low growing shrubs and lots of yellow grasses.

Suddenly, someone up front spoke up and said they thought they saw something up ahead and on the horizon. I lifted up my cold, cold head and thought I detected something too. Now, we had gotten up at that unholy hour and drove through the coldest part of the night because our tour leaders said we could reach the famous trees at sunrise if we did that and that sunrise was a time of magic at Baines. Well, by this time I had just about frozen up and thought I would never make it upright and out of the vehicle!

The landscape around us began to thin out, fewer and fewer shrubs and plants and more of that endless yellow grass and then more sand and flatness. And then . . . up ahead and just to the left of the direction we were traveling, I saw them . . . standing stark still on the flat horizon, seemingly floating across an expanse of water which in actuality was the endless sands of the dry pans which were once a huge lake bed . . . Baines Baobabs.

Their naked branches stretched to the sky which was now brightening very rapidly and the great yellow/orange hot ball of the sun was beginning to peek over the flat line of the distant horizon. The trees vibrated with hot red color and as we got closer the shapes of the individual trees began to expose themselves out of the jumble of twists and turns and bulbous shapes that, seen from a further distance, looked like a big blob of broken toys.

We came to a stop on the endless flat sand that surrounded the little island of grass and trees and all managed to unwrap from layers of blankets to stumble out onto the ground and marvel at the sight before us. I recall, even now, just how quiet it was. I don't even remember hearing any bird songs, just the slight whoosh of a gentle wind blowing across the vastness of the pan and the muffled conversations as we all stood in amazement at this little brood of ancient trees.

I don't know how long it actually took me to pull my camera out of its bag and even begin to think about taking some photos, but eventually I found myself standing off some distance so I could take in the entirety of these beautiful, living things. They stood out in the middle of nowhere it seemed for as I looked around in all directions, there was little but flat sand and endless views off to the distant horizon. I could sense this little island of vegetation once, a long, long time ago, being surrounded by water and the vast ancient lake and began to move around amid the jumble just relishing all the twists and textures and the weather beaten shapes.

As I look through my photos now, prints as this was BD, before digital for me, I easily must have shot two rolls of 36 exposure, maybe more for the ones that got thrown away after first review after development, and the images are every bit as magical today as they were a dozen years ago. It has been many, many years since the last time I really dug into this material and am so thankful for the Facebook prod this morning to once again be able to bring to mind, so fresh and so strong, the memories of that incredible morning in the summer of 1999.

I am a very lucky guy to have traveled to Africa seven different times, let alone once. And, I am even luckier that I had a morning like the one that let me stand at the foot of the Baines Baobabs and think to myself that every moment of cold, rushing wind against my face and every moment of being bundled up and bouncing along dark roads for hours and hours in the middle of the night in Botswana, allowed me to have memories like this.

I have yet to draw these wonderful trees, have not found the right composition to emphasize their uniqueness and majesty, but someday!

Monday, October 03, 2011

I know it is just early October, but it is never too early to begin thinking along these lines. This year, why not consider a fine piece of hand made, creative work by a local artist, sculptor or craftsperson as one or more of your Holiday gifts. You will not only be lending a hand to those of us who rely upon the generosity of others (as Blanch once said!), but you will be giving something that has more than simple intrinsic value; an item that will represent a singular moment in time and the creative endeavor and spirit of the maker, an item that will have long lasting appeal. Or, why not consider commissioning a work that would be something very special for a very special friend or family member? Now is the time to consider this, with a lead time of a couple months, any artist would be pleased to add a commissioned work to their work schedule.

Thursday, September 29, 2011

I did say that I probably would be doing more elephants before mid November. This one, fresh off the drawing board, measures 5 3/4" x 6 3/4" and is one of the smaller works that will accompany me to this year's Waterfowl Festival on Maryland's eastern shore in a bit over a month and a half.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Delivered nine works yesterday to the beautiful Halcyon Farm in northwest Baltimore County for this coming weekend's big Art for Land's Sake art show/fund raiser for the Valleys Planning Council. I am most pleased to have been invited to participate, for the first time this year, in this every-other-year event. Open to the public on Saturday, October 1 and Sunday, October 2 from noon to 4PM, the weekend should be very fall-like out in the countryside and you will see some fine art works by local Maryland and close by artists. It will be well worth a drive out to the country on either day!

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Here, then, are two more smaller scale works off the drawing board in the last couple of days. I have not delved into Africa too much of late but just had to include several elephant works for the big November show. I've not done elephants, my favorite subjects, in quite a long time and found working on these two pieces to be so compelling in pulling up all sorts of memories of time spent in Africa; much needed reminders of just how much I love that place. I have a feeling that these will not be the only two works to include my favorite subjects that shall come off the old drawing board over the next month or so.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

This weekend marks the opening of the 32nd International Marine Art exhibition at the Maritime Art Gallery at Mystic Seaport on the Connecticut coast. My work, Pennies From Heaven, will be one of over 100 works included in the show. The exhibition/sale runs through mid November so there is plenty of time to see some fine maritime oriented works. The reception and jury selection for awards happens this Saturday.

(Addendum Sunday, September 25 - Received a call from the gallery to inform me that Pennies From Heaven was recognized with an Award of Excellence during the judging last evening. I'm delighted, needless to say!)

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

I've been a busy worker bee the last five days preparing for the upcoming mid November Waterfowl Festival here on Maryland's beautiful eastern shore. I've lost track but feel sure this will be my 19th year of doing the show. These three smaller sized works are all under 5 x 7 inches in size and are the first batch of small scale works that will be coming off the drawing board over these next five weeks. Larger works for the show are already inventoried and set aside, but I hope to complete at least a dozen more of these miniature works for the Festival. Long hours ahead in the studio!

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

I was pleased to receive word over the last 24 hours that two of my draft horse works have been warmly received out there in the big, cold world. All Dressed Up, which was a part of this year's Western Visions Show at the National Museum of Wildlife Art in Jackson, WY, was sold during the Intent to Purchase sale on Friday evening. Up for the Challenge, a part of this year's members' exhibition of the Society of Animal Artists which opened in Michigan over the weekend, received an Award of Excellence on Saturday. I'm pleased that my equine efforts have been well received!

Friday, September 16, 2011

Hard to believe that one week ago, I was landing at Central Wisconsin Airport about now, enroute to the opening of Birds in Art! My, how time flies. Well, I've been back at work this week needing to complete the last of three works to head out to the Pacific Northwest shortly for the Howard/Mandville Gallery's 2011 edition of their annual Small Works Show next month. So, here are the three ladies I have had on the board this week. This one is just over 7" square and will be available at the gallery on October 15th during the 'Intent to Purchase' box drawing that evening. If you would like a chance at this work, you can contact the gallery.