I’ve always loved raptors. Happily for me, I live in a region where they are plentiful. In less than 30 minutes, I can drive to Hawk Mountain Sanctuary, a 2,600-acre Sanctuary which offers the chance to see large numbers of hawks, eagles and falcons. There is also a local zoo where a previously injured red-tailed hawk, who cannot be returned to the wild, teaches visitors about these magnificent birds of prey. I painted this watercolor for the zoo’s fall fund-raiser.
Day 36 of my one a day resolution: Goats are sweet, funny creatures. Best of all, they have square pupils! That’s just too fun not to love! This is one of the goats that hangs out in the petting area of my local zoo. These goats pretty much act like pets. They love to be hand fed and brushed. They pose for photos and beg for treats.
Day 28 of my one a day resolution: “What big eyes you have, Grandma!” Those famous words uttered by Little Red Riding Hood would make you think that a wolf’s eyes are somehow absurdly large. I think the truth is that they are unusually enticing. Or is the word haunting? Nothing communicates the essence of the wolf as concisely as the eyes. They can be gentle and docile, sharp and penetrating, curious and playful, or intense and calculating. The eyes are where you can see the wolf’s intelligence and get a small glimpse into his soul. When I paint or draw a wolf, I try to capture the flame that flickers within the eyes. Sometimes it takes only a splash of color and sometimes, acute attention to detail. But always, it’s all in the eyes.
Day 27 of my one a day resolution: My daughter and I had an unforgettable experience today. As we were driving home from selling Girl Scout cookies, we spotted a large (as in thousands) flock of snow geese circling the cornfield at the edge of the road. We worked our way around to a parking lot near the place where they were landing and set out on foot to try to photograph them. Snow geese literally hid the sky, and the earth was a sea of white. They were everywhere. We got to within about 30 feet of them when a large chunk of the flock took off! Their wings sounded like a train. Once again, wings obscured the sky! Eventually, they settled back down and we retreated to the warmth of the car, still giddy from our adventure. What an experience!
Day five of my one a day resolution: We set up our bird feeders the other day. The word must have gotten out because this morning we had quite a few visitors. Here’s the list so far:
- Black-capped chickadee
- Tufted titmouse
- Male and female cardinal
- Red-breasted nuthatch
- Slate junco
- A couple of sparrows
- And the beginnings of a squirrel war!
My daughter has started naming the squirrels. They are Brooke, Rachel, Ruby, Fluffy and Nicki.
One a day resolution day 3: I did a quick sketch of a wolf. It feels a little stiff. I’m not sure all of the proportions are quite right. I was experimenting with gesturing in detail without getting tight. For the most part I think if I cropped it differently, eliminating some of the back, I would be happier with the overall composition. I do like the softness of the mouth and chest.
I just listed an original painting on e-bay to help raise funds for MaPaw Siberian Husky Rescue. I am on the board of this 501-c3 organization, which rescues and re-homes neglected, abandoned and abused dogs. We just completed construction on new kennels and will be able to welcome more huskies into our care. We do, however, have a large vet bill to pay and with more dogs come more expenses. Please help spread the word! Thank you!
I haven’t painted in a while. For some reason, the inspiration hasn’t been there. I’ve been tired and even though I’ve had a bunch of ideas dancing around in my head, I just haven’t had the energy to get out the paints…until last night. I’ve been rolling this image around for some time. I did a pretty detailed sketch, but when it came time to paint, I wanted it wild!
This isn’t a great photo of it, but you can get the idea. I love the image of the wolf as defender. The fierceness and the power combine with the beauty of the animal to create something quite primal…
I wasn’t feeling very well yesterday, so I left work early and took it easy at home. I spent the first couple hours on the couch and then decided to sit outside in the beautiful sunshine and do a little painting. I was quite productive!
I worked on paper because it is easy to carry outside and because I feel more free to be experimental. So here is experiment number one. In this one, I was working on figures again, but with more energy and an abstract background.
Experiment number two: This is another painting from my photo trip to Lakota Wolf Preserve. In this one, I started with an abstract background and then added a wolf looking in from the side. I enjoy experimenting with balance and unique compositions.
My final experiment was a landscape. I’ve been thinking about this for some time and I finally conjured up the courage to give it a try. I have to admit, I’m surprised by how much I like the finished painting. I may work on a few more!
All in all, a pretty good sick day!
Another acrylic on wood inspired by my photographs from the Lakota Wolf Preserve.