Friday, August 31, 2007

Finished Product

This pastel
is finished.
I had a
teacher in
college that
used to say
a drawing
was never
finished; that
you could
always go back
and change or
add something.
He was the
drawing instructor
at the University
of Texas in the 70's. He actually did more to teach
me to draw than any other teacher I have ever had.
Of course, it was a life drawing class, and we had
live nude models. We stood at our easels for 3
hours with short model breaks, and the class met
on Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Saturdays. He was
in his 70's then, and he was tough. He would make
us do it over if our drawing did not meet his expectations.
And I am glad now that he made me work so hard (I
wasn't always glad then!) I can always hear his voice
in my head whenever I draw.
Skagway Mountain Stream 16 x 11 original pastel

Thursday, August 30, 2007

A work still in progress

I am still working on this pastel/colored pencil of the
Alaska stream. Those are the pastels on the left,
and the colored pencils on the right. That is also a
tivo remote, and probably one of the reasons I haven't
finished the drawing! I love watching TV, and I am
easily distracted by it. I will just listen to it though, and
concentrate on my artwork. It just depends what is on.
I am a big "Lost" fan, and I am waiting for that to
start again. I love old movies, and they are often on
when I am working. I am a night-owl, and stay up late
drawing and painting.

A lot of artists I know are late night people. I just don't
do real well in the morning. It takes me awhile to get
going everyday. But I come to life after dark, and really
enjoy working late at night.

Keep watching...this should be finished soon!

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

New Half-Century

I turned

50 today.

This is me

behind the

black roses

and balloons

that my

loving employees decorated our cafe with today. It

was great fun. They all dressed in black.

tomorrow I start my second half century!

Mountain Stream

If you remember,
several days
ago, I posted this
great photograph
of a mountain
stream in Alaska.
This is the
start of the pastel
I am doing of the
photo. It is on
brown paper, and
I am using pastel
and colored pencil.
It will take me a
couple of nights to
finish it.
(it's sideways...)

Monday, August 27, 2007

Polar Bear - pastel

The polar
bear is
They are
the world's
largest land
They live
the artic
across the
Sixty percent of the world's population lives in Canada.
Babies are born in the winter in dens under the snow, and
weigh about one pound. If conditions are good, a bear
can live to be 25 years old.

Their fur is not really white. It is actually clear, and
reflects the white of the environment. Their fur is
oily and water repellent and allows them to shake off
water and ice.

When they swim, they paddle with their front paws
and steer with their hind feet. They have been known
to swim 100 miles in a stretch.

I have only seen bears in zoos; Central Park Zoo, San
Antonio Zoo, and the Anchorage Zoo. This drawing is
done with pastel chalk on tinted pastel paper. He is
a very regal fellow, and I enjoyed photographing him,
and now drawing his portrait.

Polar Bear Orig pastel 11 x 14 $150.00

Snowy Owl

I had never seen
one of these owls
before. This
one lives in the
Anchorage zoo.
I love drawing
with pencil. It
is such a simple
medium, and the
first type of art
I ever learned to do.
They make all
different kinds of drawing pencils. The lead is either soft or hard,
and they are numbered according to their hardness. A 6B pencil
is really soft and black, and a 4H is really hard. Those are the two
that I used in this drawing. The 6B pencil is one that is woodless:
it is solid lead with a black plastic coating on the outside. I love
these pencils; they make the most elegant darks. I will be doing
some more pencil drawings in the next few days.
Snowy Owl orig pencil 8 x 10 $40.00

Saturday, August 25, 2007

What a mess

Acrylic paint is very different
from watercolor. You squeeze
some out, and then paint with
it, but it dries very quickly,
and once it is dry, you can no
longer use it. so I use a paper
plate, paint, then throw it away.
this is the finished palette after
the last painting...

Winter Casualties

This is in the Chugach mountains, down in the
valley. These trees didn't survive the harsh
winters there, and their stark carcasses were
etched against the distant mountains. I was
intrigued by the grey and white shapes made
by the trees, but in watercolor, it is very difficult
to paint something white. In most watercolor
paintings, you leave the paper white for any
white areas in the painting. Since watercolor
is transparent, there is no white watercolor
paint. (there is, but it is still transparent). So
I decided to use acrylic to paint the trees over
the top of the watercolor background. This is
the result. It was fun to do something different.

Winter Victims Original Watercolor/Acrylic
9 x 16 $200.00

Tundra Swan

You don't think about swans being in Alaska, but
there are. They are called tundra swans, and
they are white with black beaks and black feet.
I saw some in the distance several times on the
trip, but took this photo at the Anchorage zoo.

I love painting birds, and have done hundreds of
them over the years. There is a very important
art show held every year in Jackson Hole called
"Birds in Art". To be accepted into this show is
a great honor. I have submitted about a dozen
entries over the years, and have never made it
into the show. I do receive the catalog each time,
and pour over the entries, trying to determine
what the judges are looking for, and what constitutes
an acceptable entry. Most of the entries are
inspiring works depicting birds of all kinds; some are
on the abstract side. But one year, after I had sent
what I considered a really great entry, I was rejected
again. As I perused the catalog once more, I noticed
a painting by a very well known artist. As I studied
it, I couldn't find a bird anywhere. It was a painting
of a beach and the ocean, and as I looked, I could see
faint bird footprints in the sand! That was it! All he
painted was some sand, and some water, and he made
it into "Birds in Art"! I haven't entered since!

Tundra Swan original watercolor 22 x 14 $300.00

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

To Ram or not to Ram

When we toured Denali Park, we were all on
a school bus with a guide. Our faces were
pressed to the windows scanning the landscape
for any sign of wildlife. I had waited years to
go to this park with the purpose of seeing
some. Over an hour into the park, all we
had seen were a few ptarmigan (the state
bird), and lots of snowshoe hares. When
we finally stopped to turn around, the
guide had a spotting scope set up, and we
could barely see these Dall sheep perched
up on a mountain ridge in the distance.
It was impossible to see them with the naked
eye, and I don't know how she spotted them.
On the way back, we briefly saw a female
moose in the brush for a fleeting moment.
I really respect the photographers that must
spend hours and days there to capture the
images that you see of Alaska. The only great
photos I got were in the Anchorage Zoo!

Dall sheep orig watercolor 4 x 4 $20.00

Back to the mountains

I believe one on the hardest things I have to do
as an artist, is to focus. I can have a goal, this
Palms to Pines show for example, but it seems
there are always distractions. I may want to
sit and concentrate on these paintings, but I
am not always able to block out other demands.

I finished one of the commission portraits last
night, and I shipped off the Utah paintings. I am
now working on the last portrait. I should be able
to finish it tomorrow night. The surprise trip to
the Bahamas was a welcome distraction!, but now
I need to get back to painting.

When we went up the mountain in Skagway, there
was still snow on top of the mountain. The pines
there were very small, and they told us that they
might be as much as 100 years old, but the harsh
conditions stunt their growth. At the end of the rail
line, is the town of Frasier, Canada. Only 7 people
live there year round. What an existence for the
trees and the people!

Original ink & watercolor Frasier pines 5 x 7 $30.00

Sunday, August 19, 2007

Bahama Joe and me

I am back home from my adventure in

the lost city of Atlantis...what a fabulous

place. This beautiful flying fish sculpture

is part of the landscape at the resort.

I keep a travel journal/sketchbook

whenever I travel. I draw and paint the

faces and places that I encounter along the

journey. That's Bahama Joe, a reggae singer
I met in Nassau. He added a nice soundtrack to
our shopping day.
I plan to do some more Alaska and Key West, and
get them finished up. Stay tuned for more "art of
the day". Thanks for viewing.

Friday, August 17, 2007


I have been out of town for a few days;
I am turning 50 this month, and my
daughter kidnapped me for a surprise
trip to the Atlantis resort in the Bahamas.
It was wonderful. I will be back home and
painting in a couple of days.

Sunday, August 12, 2007

Musher's camp Falls

You're probably saying, "wow, today's painting looks just
like a photograph!" ...that's because it is! I still haven't
had time to paint, so I thought I'd show you something
I want to paint from the Alaska trip.
This little waterfall was in Skagway at the musher's
camp. We had just taken a ride on the dog sled,
pulled by 16 eager, mixed breed dogs. I really wanted
to get this photograph, and only had a few minutes to
do it. I know that this little scene may not seem that
special to people in Alaska, or even those in the West
around scenery like this. But in Louisiana, first of all,
there are very few rocks. And our water doesn't run
downhill, because there are very few hills. And the
water happens to be slightly muddier than this. So I
love this little scene, and I was able to paint it during
our trip. (someone purchased it) I will do another one
as soon as I finish some of my commission pieces.

Saturday, August 11, 2007

Once in a Blue Moose

In Anchorage,
there is a gift
shop called
"Once in
a Blue Moose".
I loved the
and thought
I would
illustrate it.
I am playing
around with
some other little colorful mooses. The shop has a
website if you would like to check out some of
their Alaskan goodies.
Blue Moose sqiggle 9 x 5

Thursday, August 9, 2007

Puffin Power

I did this fun little painting
while I was on my trip to
Alaska. I was hoping to get
to see some of these neat
little birds, (but I never did).
I love the graphic elements;
the red, yellow, black color
scheme, the nice shapes...
I am working on some
commission pieces, so I won't
be posting any new pieces for
a few days. One of my fellow
travelers to Alaska was interested in me doing some watercolors of his
city, Salt Lake, and I am currently working on them. I also have some portraits
to do: one is a grandmother who is very ill, and they want the drawing soon;
another is a set of photos of a mom in her yellow dancing costume when she was
about 7 years old, and her daughter, at the age of 7 in the same costume...too
cute. I am waiting to hear from a customer in Arkansas about doing some
children's portraits for her, too. So, I will be tied up for awhile. But commissions
are wonderful, and they help pay the bills! If you would like to see some of
my portrait work, there is some on the website:
Puffin Power original ink & watercolor 5 x 7 $30.00

Wednesday, August 8, 2007

More sea shell...

Haven't had time to paint, but I
had this shell sketch.
More facts on Key West: in the
40's, they were the sponge capital
of the world. Today, more than
2 million divers and snorkelers
come to the reef each year.
Lighthouses were built in the
late 1800's to help prevent so
many shipwrecks, and the St. Paul's
Church is named for Paul, because
he was a shipwreck survivor!
shell sketch ink & colored pencil 3 x 4 $15.00

Monday, August 6, 2007

Conch Fritters

Before I left for Key West,
I was told to be sure and
eat some conch fritters.
Open to all new experiences,
we ordered some as an
appetizer at lunch. They were
like a seafood hush puppy...
kinda chewy. I am glad that
I tried them, but I won't be
rushing back to the island to
eat them again!

another shell....

original mixed media drawing
5 x 7 $25.00

Sunday, August 5, 2007

More Key West

There is a beautiful harbor in Key West.

Lots of expensive boats. And this giant

pink hotel...very colorful.
Here's another shell, too. I am working on
several more.
Harbor 11 x 7 $45.00

Saturday, August 4, 2007

Sea Shells

My friend, Aimee, was in the gallery looking for
sea shells, and I told her I would do some.
These are mixed media drawings on blue
handmade paper. There are four separate
ones that I drew from shells I have
collected over the years.

I love sea shells. They are so fascinating.
The fact that a creature makes them, and
that there are so many varieties is amazing.
They are just one small part of God's
wonderful creation.

Did you know that there is a Conchologists of
America group? They hold an annual convention.
There are also all kinds of sea shell shows (say
that fast 3 times?!) , some in Florida, New Zealand,
Paris, and Belgium. Might be a good thing to go

Set of Four Shells original mixed media
5 x 7 each $20.00 SOLD

Friday, August 3, 2007

Birch trees

I photographed some birch trees in Denali
Park. Their crisp white bark was in such
contrast to the dark green and blue woods
behind them. And the black knots formed
such interesting patterns on the trunks.

I have seen the aspens in the West in the
fall; they have similar white trunks, and
their golden leaves are quite stunning.

I did several paintings of these trees,
and I am still not very satisfied. I will
probably do several more.

Original Watercolor Birch Trees 8 x 15 $50

Thursday, August 2, 2007

Chocolate Moose - final drawing

"Chocolate Moose" completed. I will do some things with this drawing.
I am going to print it on some t-shirts or nightshirts. And I found a
candy company that can print my art on a piece of chocolate, and then
they package it. I would like just the moose printed on the chocolate
bar, and then it would be a "chocolate moose"?! All of these will be
for sale at the opening of the "Palms to Pines" show in the fall.

original colored pencil 11 x 9 NFS

Wednesday, August 1, 2007


One of the stops on the Alaska cruise is Skagway. I think all the cruise ships
stop there. It is a tiny little town, and very frontier-like. It has wooden sidewalks
and rustic storefronts. It is in a valley at the edge of the ocean, and its' name
means, "the place of the wind". It lived up to its' name the day we were there.
A guide told us that there are times in the winter when the wind is hurricane
force for days at a time, and they stay inside until the wind subsides.

This town has one small medical clinic with a physician's assistant. Their biggest
crime is bicycle theft. And they have only one grocery store that receives goods
once a week on Tuesday. They really frown on tourists shopping in their grocery
store. And the closest Walmart is 110 miles away.

We took the White Pass & Yukon Railroad through the mountains and the scenery
was beautiful.

Skagway Original watercolor 7 x 10 $45.00