Monday, December 19, 2011

Valley Pheasants

Valley Pheasants  5" x 7"  acrylic
A pair of ringneck pheasants erupts from the safety of their cover. In the Willamette Valley there are a lot of blackberries and the pheasant feel safe hiding within their thorny confines. It takes a good dog to get these pheasant up.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Pintail Flush 8" x 10" acrylic

This painting was inspired by two places. While in Maryland, I got several great photographs of pintails in various positions which were laid out in a sketch. The original plan was to use the Maryland background but after hunting at a friend's place this past weekend, I decided to use his pond as the backdrop. What inspired the change was a group of mallard that took off from this spot in the same manner as the pintail in my idea.

Friday, December 9, 2011

Ruby-Crowned Kinglet 5" x 7" acrylic $295

Ruby-crowned kinglets are known for the red spot on the top of their head that shows when they are alarmed. This bird is not alarmed as he flits through the fall foliage. Kinglets have unusually loud calls to establish their territories and can be recognized at a distance by their size and constantly flicking wings.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Reflection 12" x 9" acrylic

Standing silently in the glow of early morning, a great egret keeps an eye out for unsuspecting prey. This painting and several other new ones (to be posted throughout the next two weeks) will be available at Wildlife Wonders, a two-man exhibition with George Lockwood at the Orland Art Center January 6-29. A reception will be held the evening of January 6th.

Saturday, December 3, 2011

Christmas Card 7 1/4" x 5 1/8"

My painting, Riverside Retreat, was selected by Ducks Unlimited to become one of their annual Holiday Greeting Cards. The inside greeting says "Best wishes for a wonderful holiday and a Happy New Year". You have the option of peronalizing your cards for free when you order 3 or more boxes, which cost $26 apiece. Proceeds from the sale of the cards will benefit wetland habitat throughout North America. Ducks Unlimited is the leading wetland conservation group in the world and is responsible for setting aside and enhancing millions of critical wetland acres.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Fall Flight 7" x 5" acrylic

Fall Flight  7" x 5"  acrylic 
The first light of the morning lights up the fall foliage as a low flying flock of Canada geese angles toward the viewer. The moon helps add to the high clear sky and helps to show how low the geese are flying. Fall is my favorite time of year and I feel this painting captures the essence of the season.
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Monday, November 28, 2011

Wild Parrot and Palm 5" x 5" acrylic


A wild parrot clings to the side of a palm tree. The rough texture of trunk took some time as I had never painted this before. All of the nooks and crannies were fascinating and challenging at the same time and I would find myself getting lost in them a bit as they began to take shape. This is #5 and the final painting in the tropical series.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Autumn Interlude 18" x 36" acrylic


Today, I received a printer's proof of this painting from Idaho Ducks Unlimited and it looked great! They are producing a limited edition to be used to raise funds for wetland habitat, not only in the state of Idaho, but throughout the country. Ducks Unlimited is one of the leading conservation groups in the country and is responsible for millions of acres of restored and enhanced wetlands. Artist Proof prints of Autumn Interlude will be available on my website around the 1st of the year and more information will be posted then.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Cardinal and Hibiscus 5"x5" acrylic


This is the fourth painting in the tropical set of 5 paintings. Unfortunately, the camera did not capture the rich colors in the hibiscus flowers at all. There is more purple in them in the original painting.

Monday, November 21, 2011

Red-Bellied Woodpecker and Palm 5" x 5" acrylic

A handsome male red-bellied woodpecker scales the side of a palm tree. His belly has a slight red tinge to it during the mating season which gives the bird his name.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Foggy Arrival 8"x10" acrylic $950

Hundreds of Canada geese swarm into a foggy, open and slightly flooded, grass seed field. This is a common sight during fall and winter in the Willamette Valley in Oregon. These geese are primarily cacklers as they are small and have darker bodies than most of the other subspecies. In hand, they are almost the size of a large mallard. There distinct cackling call (as opposed to the deeper honk of the larger subspecies) is what gives them their name. This painting will also be available at the Waterfowl Festival this weekend. If you get a chance come by and visit me in the armory in downtown Easton, MD. It is a fantastic event that celebrates fall and waterfowl that the whole town participates in!!

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Resting Gambel's

These quail are at home in the hot climate of the desert Southwest. Here one rests on a rock in the cool shadows the early morning. Although their plumages are similar, Gambel's quail are slightly bigger than the more common valley quail that everyone is familiar with.
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Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Autumn Passage 5" x 7" acrylic

The sound of geese in the sky marks a seasonal transition in most parts of the country each year. This particular group is from Maryland last fall...
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Monday, October 31, 2011

Valley Quail 7"x 5" acrylic

Available through Collector's Covey, Dallas, TX
Quail are one of the most animated birds with the way they scurry along the ground in their ornate plumage. Standing on a rustic post this male takes a regal pose.
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Friday, October 28, 2011

Dove and Oleander 5" x 5" acrylic


The second painting in a commissioned series -
A handsome dove sits among the tropical setting of oleander and philodendron. The structure of the feathers was particularly fun to depict as this bird had just finished fluffing them.
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Thursday, October 27, 2011

Blue Jay and Bougainvillea 5" x 5" acrylic


In the Eastern United States, blue jays occur as far south as Florida and here one rests among a tropical setting creating a beautiful display of color.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Tiger Swallowtail 8" x 10" acrylic

This painting was originally completed in 2008 as a mountain meadow. F0r a couple of years I looked at it knowing that it needed something else and finally decided on a tiger swallowtail butterfly. This painting will also be available at the upcoming Waterfowl Festival.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Blackwater Reflections 8" x 10" acrylic

This is Blackwater National Wildlife Refuge just outside of Easton, MD in all of it's reflective glory! This painting will also be available in at the Waterfowl Festival in November.

Monday, October 24, 2011

Pintail Solitude 12" x 16" acrylic $1900

I saw an image in church on Sunday morning that reminded me of a place I grew up duck hunting as a kid. It sparked a feverish inspiration that resulted in a painting marathon lasting until 2:30am last night and this is the end result. As I painted, I was continually reminded of some the classic etchings by Roland Clark that I used to ogle at as a kid. I kept the composition as simple as possible to make the scene lonely and quiet (as marshes can often be) creating a classic feel.

Friday, October 14, 2011

Evening Shores 5" x 7" acrylic

When storms begin to break up and the sun emerges through the clouds unique patterns emerge. Times like these seem to last for but a moment.
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Thursday, October 13, 2011

Reflections of Pine 8" x 10" acrylic $640

For some reason painting water is one of my favorite things to do. Whether it is a small bit in the distance or the subject of the painting, it is almost always present in most of my paintings. Here the calmness of the water creates an almost mirror like reflection in this wetland pond and the strong vertical presence of the pine trees are what inspired this painting.

Monday, October 10, 2011

Wigeon Reflections 5" x 7" acrylic

An American Wigeon calmly swims through first ringlets of raindrops from a coming storm. The feathers of ducks are better than Goretex because they preen themselves with an oil produced by a gland near their rump. This causes water to bead up and roll off. Combined with the downy feathers underneath, ducks are perfectly warm in inclement weather as well.
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Thursday, October 6, 2011

Brant and Teal 5" x 5" acrylic $245

This particular spot in Newport Bay, Oregon has a viewing blind that is a wooden framed, three-sided shack. The day I was out photographing these Brant the wind became so strong it was picking the side of the shack off of it's foundation! Because of the wind, many types of waterfowl flew close including greenwing teal. Bald eagles even swooped over the geese to look for sick or injured birds to prey upon.
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Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Blackwater Morning 8" x 10" acrylic

Blackwater National Wildlife Refuge is a special place - particularly in the fall when migrating ducks and geese stop over. I spent a lot of time in this spot when I traveled to the Waterfowl Festival last year and have done several paintings. What struck me about this composition is the depth created by the wispy seed heads of the phragmites, a cattail-like reed common to wetland environments. For me, predawn is the most exciting time in a refuge as the wildlife is the most active and although there are not any birds in this painting, they certainly were present on this morning. I am looking forward to going back to the show again this November!

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Afternoon Surf 9" x 12" acrylic

Churning surf stirs up the sand and a plethora of food for this flock of Marbled Godwits. These migrating shorebirds are filling up for their long journey south on the bounty left behind by the sea. The depth created by the different stages of the waves as well as the striking reflections of the birds are what inspired this painting.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

White-Crowned Winter 5" x 5" acrylic $245

White-crowned sparrows love open ground next to shrubs and here a male forages through a recent snowfall looking for a meal. The stark contrasting head makes these sparrow easy to identify as they are found throughout the country. They will frequent flat-bottomed feeders and can also be seen in groups of golden-crowned sparrows.
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Friday, September 16, 2011

Calm Waters - Pintail 4" x 4" acrylic $130

A graceful drake pintail enjoys the calm water. The serenity of this scene as well as the solitude of the duck inspired this painting. And, pintails are one of my favorite subjects.
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Thursday, September 15, 2011

Refuge 24" x 36" acrylic (in progress)

A mixed group of ducks and geese rest comfortably within the confines of William Finley National Wildlife Refuge. This haven sees spectacular displays of winged visitors each fall and winter. In this larger painting, which is nearly finished, there are two subspecies of Canada goose, several mallard, a greenwing teal, and a pintail.

Monday, September 12, 2011

Silence 16" x 20" acrylic $2500

It's early autumn and the chill of morning creates a mist over the still lake. A lone Canada goose relaxes in a moment of solitude as the sun begins to lift above the fog. Soon the day will bring it's many events, but for now, all is at peace.

Friday, August 26, 2011

Cutthroat Trout 12" x 12" acrylic on canvas

This is the third in the series of 4 rustic trout paintings. Each feature a series of popular trout flies used to catch beautiful fish. The 1/2" deep sides of the canvas are painted a rich coffee color to nicely offset the artwork on a wall. No frames are necessary to hang these.
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Tuesday, August 23, 2011

A Story from Elk Country (painting in progress)

Before I tell this story, I need to let you know that I had no idea that bugling for elk was illegal in Yellowstone National Park until after this incident when I read it in their park newspaper!

I went to Yellowstone National Park to find and photograph elk for future paintings only to discover they were harder to find than in years past - perhaps due to the wolf population. One of the predawn mornings found me in an area outside the Hoodoos. I could hear numerous bugles, one of the hauntingly beautiful sounds in nature, and was catching glimpses of the cow elk as the sun started to rise but I couldn't see the bulls. After leaving the rental car parked onthe side of the road I headed up over a small ridge into a bowl towards the bugling elk. I positioned myself up against a lodgepole pine and let out a small bugle of my own through my Primos call. The entire area lit up with bugles close and far! There were three bulls in the immediate area and I was caught in the middle. One came into sight - a very healthy 6x6 bull. The whites of his eyes were blood red, he was drooling and he was angry! I was only able to snap a couple photos before freezing up against the tree, knowing I was in trouble. The two other bulls had moved in closer on the other side of the tree and I was in the middle. The one thing that stood out to me was how powerful these animals looked and how quickly they could move

I hoped they were only paying attention to each other as they bugled back and forth. My thoughts were:

1. The car would be parked on the side of the road for days before somebody might notice. This was Yellowtone and people leave cars all the time to go for hikes.

2. Rachelle wouldn't worry for a while because I wasn't expected home for days and had poor cell reception - not a good situation!

Fortunately, they were only paying attention to each other as I stayed as rigid as the tree. When they moved off to my side, I slowly backed out of the situation and when I got back over the ridge I felt relief as the bugles started to sound distant.

With a bow or a rifle, I would have felt completely different, but armed only with a camera changed the entire situation. Regardless, it was still exhilerating and this painting is what is coming from the experience. It is not exactly what I experienced- the cows weren't in front of the bull, but he was there.

This painting has been in the works for a while and should be completed sometime this fall. Right now, I am working on some waterfowl paintings for Ducks Unlimited so the daily paintings have slowed to a snail's pace, but they will be back soon!
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Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Whitewater #2 pastel on board 5" x 7" $275

Rushing water is mesmerizing and exciting to watch. The sheer power behind thousands of cubic feet of moving water changes landscapes. In this image the water dives over submerged boulders to create a backflow that curls constantly. Kayakers can find places like this and ride the wave like a surfer in the ocean. Personally, I can sit and watch and listen to the force of nature and let time slip by.

Of note for the those collectors who enjoy acquiring firsts: this is the first pastel drawing that I have done. I enjoyed the way the chalky medium blended so easily to create certain effcts. So, there will surely be more pastels in the near future!
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Thursday, August 4, 2011

Warning for Artists!

This post is a fraud warning for the artists who read this blog. Today, I received an email from somebody named Charles Phey from Hawaii. He inquired about two of my paintings in very broken English and wanted to send a certified cashiers check and a shipper to pick up the work. So, he wanted my address and phone number as well. I have had this happen before so my internal alarm went off.

The first time it happened was from a famous English soccer player (Wayne Rooney) who also wrote with broken English. Obviously something seemed off. Wayne Rooney speaks perfect English. I didn't answer the email, but the check showed up anyway FedEx Saturday Ovenight delivery. I took it to see if it was ok thinking 'Hey, what if?' and stood there while the teller and manager both looked at me like I was a criminal. I explained that I wanted to make sure it was cashable and somebody was using it to purchase my artwork. Needless to say, it was a learning experience.

I am not sure why people are targeting artists, but here is a link to the blog of another artist whom this recently happened to - Mark Johnson. You'll see on his blog there are a couple of other artists that have heard from the alleged Charles Phey today as well. I wonder if we'll all receive checks via Fed Ex tomorrow?
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Sunday, July 31, 2011

Evening Feed - Pintail 4" x 4" acrylic $225

This is an older painting that has been touched up a bit. It used to be more pink in tone and I felt it needed more of the oranges of sunset. This scene drake pintail feeds alone on shallow sheetwater to store energy for breeding activity and migration. This scene was observed in autumn so perhaps he got up and flew further south during the night.

Saturday, July 30, 2011

Summer Sun 5" x 5" acrylic $245

A pair of turtles warm themselves in the warm summer sun. Although they spend much of their time in the water, turtles do need oxygen and the warmth of the this rock must feel good to these cold-blooded reptiles.
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Friday, July 22, 2011

Vancouver Roller 5" x 7" acrylic $295

After looking at this painting for a couple of weeks, the background started to look a bit empty to me. My wife pointed out the same thing so I kicked around a couple of ideas and decided to add some bald eagles circling and a single gull on the higher rock. Eagle are very common in this part of the world and can even outnumber gulls in places. Another touch up is more 'splash and crash' given to the wave. All of these effects help to add life to this painting.
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Thursday, July 21, 2011

Winter Flurry 5" x 7" acrylic


Available through Collector's Covey, Dallas, TX

There are many exciting things one can come across in the outdoors and suprising a group of wild mallards is one of them. The loud quacks from the females along with their flurry of wings is enough to startle anybody if they didn't see the ducks first.

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