Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Artwork in March - 03

Rounding out my artistic endeavors through March with these two pieces. Nothing major, one a sketch in my backyard with odd negative space and another of a sleeping fox. Both in ink and paint pens on toned grey paper.

Backyard sketching.

Sleeping fox

I'm also happy to announce the arrival of "Moscow mule by the fire pit" season. Also called spring. Luckily there are two of these seasons a year.

Moscow mule by the fire pit season has begun!

Thursday, March 24, 2016


I am a big fan of Welsh, Scottish and Irish fairy tales. The selkie myths probably being some of my favorites. A simple description is that selkies are seals, that for a short time, can shed their skins and take human form. The myths often involve a fisherman finding or stealing the skin of a selkie while she is human and then marrying her. But, eventually she finds her skin and her nature draws her back to the sea. I've given my daughter several books on the myth over the years. They are are some of her favorite stories, still.

Last summer, I was messing around with my GoPro camera and taking shots of my daughter jumping off of the diving board and into the pool. This illustration combines a pic I took of her with the selkie myth. I've had it bouncing around in my head for a couple of weeks and finally put it to paper last night.

As a side note on selkies, they can be found in two movies that I know of. One, The Secret of Roan Inish and two, Song of the Sea, an incredibly well animated film by the same people that did The Secret of Kells (also a great film).

My daughter as a selkie.

Monday, March 21, 2016

Artwork in March - 02

Over the past week, I've taken to using a white paint pen on my toned paper ink works. It's similar to some color pencil artwork I've done in the past, only I can sketch much quicker and it gives a more expressive look to a piece.

First up, my 17' Grumman canoe leaning against the fence in my backyard. Bringing this blog back to boats just for a second.

The old 17' Grumman canoe in my backyard.

This was sketched from a dark pic of an old dock worker smoking a cigarette. I found the image years ago, but finally got around to making him a sketch.

sit'n, smoke'n

Yesterday, I drove out to Red Oak II, close to Carthage, Missouri and froze my butt off sketching in 40-42 degree weather and 10-15 MPH winds. It gets tough to hold a brush pen in that. This first one is of the Elmire Schoolhouse.

Elmira Schoolhouse, Red Oak II, Missouri

The boathouse and johnboat at Red Oak II

Boathouse, Red Oak II, Missouri

And lastly, an early eighth century T'ang Dynasty lion, sketched from a pic I took at Nelson-Atkins Museum in Kansas City, last year.

8th century T'ang Dynasty lion, sketched from a pic I took last year at the Nelson-Atkins Museum, Kansas City, Missouri

I really like working on toned paper. It's fun assessing the darks and lights and only putting them to the page.

Monday, March 14, 2016

Artwork in March - 01

Having kicked small pencil sketches to the curb with the ending of last month's project, I've been exploring other mediums. Here's a bunch of random things I've drawn or painted in the past two weeks.

Indigo Bunting - sketched from a pic I took while cycling last summer. We came across the downed bird out by Willard, Missouri. It had been hit by a car and was too beautiful not to eventually honor it in artwork form.

Dead indigo bunting. I found him while cycling outside Willard, Missouri last summer. He hadn't been there long. He was too pretty not to honor him with a painting.

An accordion busker in Eureka Springs, Arkansas.

Sketch of an accordion busker in Eureka Springs, Arkansas. From a pic I took a couple of years ago.

Squid in color pencil.


Puddles the Clown (Puddles Pity Party), look him up on Youtube. His work with Postmodern Jukebox is awesome and weird.

Puddles the Clown


An over sketched pig.

Star Lanes Bowling Alley in Carthage, Missouri

Star Lanes bowling alley, Carthage, Missouri

Using a wooden artist model to model robots.

In color

Last month I picked up some rivercane bamboo along the Buffalo River, taking care to only take pieces that had already been broken off and dead. I don't want to contribute to erosion issues by taking live plants. It's probably not legal, anyway. I fashioned some rough dip India ink pens and made the following art with them.

I decided to play with India ink and made a few pens from river cane bamboo. The first test sketch. Haven't messed with the medium since '93 or so.

Ghost crab, India ink and watercolor wash. Ghost crabs are native to where I grew up in SW Florida and their burrows dot the beaches.

Ghost crab

Welsh poet, Dylan Thomas

Welsh poet, Dylan Thomas.

Architectural flourishes in India ink, sketched from pics I took at the City Museum in St. Louis last year.

Architectural flourish in India ink.

Architectural flourish in India ink.

Architectural flourish in India ink.

Architectural flourish in India ink.

Architectural flourish in India ink.

Architectural flourish in India ink.

I like the look of the dip pens, but it takes some preparation to use the ink wisely and without mess, so I bought a standard brush pen and decided to take in my field carry sketch bag. Here are some done with it.

Masks from the Nelson-Atkins Museum in Kansas City, Missouri


Steer cattle, SW of town.


Nathanael Greene Park

Nathanael Greene Park, just before the rain

And lastly, another architectural flourish from the City Museum

Architectural flourish