July 29, 2021

Writing a regular art blog on our site seemed like a very good idea when I started. Then life got in the way. It still is a good idea and I am rededicating myself to it. 

This Spring I decided to try my hand at an international art contest. This one held by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints inspired me to try something bigger than I ever had. The theme of the contest is "All Are Alike unto God". I knew this would mean representing the diversity of the human race, but my interest and strong suit is in drawing animals and not people. How could I represent the theme with animals? Then a scripture found in both the New Testament and the book of Mormon came to mind in the which Christ says that he wants to gather His people as a hen gathers her chicks. Well, there are the animals. However, if all are alike, then the chicks don't have to be chicks. So I thought I would represent God's love for all people even those who are often marginalized or overlooked by drawing the animals that are often disliked by people under the wings of a hen. It is 22 x 34, which is the largest drawing I have ever done. I had some challenges with finishing, but I got it done and entered the contest. It has made it through the first round of jurying and now I need to get the framed work to Utah. We are planning a trip to deliver it ourselves. Fingers crossed. I don't need to win anything. I just want to get accepted into the exhibition. I will know by the end of October. 


April 2, 2019

I have been drawing more and more. I can see that I am improving. I drew this dog a couple of weeks ago. The owner of this dog named Molly purchased a custom pet portrait at the Rotary Club Auction las month. I few months back I drew a black cat for a client and good friend. I was dissatisfied with the black I could create with a graphite pencil so I rendered it with a Polychrome black and a grey. this dog I did entirely with the Polychrome black and I like the values very much. I really enjoy drawing animals. 

April 25, 2018

I have been working on creating cards with a quilting theme. I cut the block pieces out of colorful papers and create a "quilt" in the background. Then I use the name of the block for the inspiration for an animal to be featured on top. I started out with the bear paw quilt at the far left with a friendly bear in the center. Then I created the goose tracks pictured to the right of it. It has been fun and I plan to do several more. I am working on a piece using the fox chase quilt block and another with the cat and mouse block. I have been playing around with different ways to glue down the collage pieces. It has been a real learning process and I still haven't landed on the best way to assemble them. I think they make a great card. 

April 17, 2018

I have been negligent in writing. So much has happened. We were working furiously to get ready for our open studio. There were items to get printed, invitations to give out, pictures to frame, works to be hung. It all came together and it turned out great. We had a wonderful turn-out and it was a lot of fun. The high was short lived when three days later we had to say good-bye to our dog, Quisqui. She had lived a good long life to the age of 16 1/2. Still it was difficult to lose her. She was my first portrait in colored pencil. It was a miniature. I entered it in the Edmonds Art Festival, but it wasn't accepted. I still like it, though. It captures her personality.  She will be missed. 

March 7, 2018

I am feeling pretty good about the dog I am drawing. I hate having to go through the stages that try my confidence in my ability to draw. It seems most everything I draw goes through this stage. I am not sure if it is the fact that I am too critical or if I just am still working through developing my style. I do believe that to become a really exceptional artist I need to stumble and fall. A quote that I relate well to is, "By being willing to be a bad artist, you have a chance to be an artist, and perhaps, one time, a very good one" (Julia Cameron, The Artist's Way) I have trouble giving myself permission to fail. I hate having to start over. Fortunately, I didn't have to start over on this one. I did have to move slowly and try a lot of things out on another piece of illustration board, but I didn't have to start over. I see that as a small victory. I will feel even more victorious when the piece is done, the client is happy and I am happy with what I have created.

February 26, 2018

I have been trying to use social media to promote my artwork. I feel like I am a dinosaur. I understand Facebook. I have been using it for a while. But I am lost when it comes to Instagram. I am told that it is a great way to share art as it is image based. I am having a hard time.  But then, it has been only two days since I began an account. I guess I need to give myself some time, and not be so impatient. I will get it. I will work at it a little at a time.


February 22, 2018
I am working on a commission of a dog. This dog has a challenging fur color. It is really stretching me and teaching me a lot. I think I am pressing past the "ugly stage". It is getting better and better. I am working back and forth between a color reference and one in black and white. I use the color photo reference to check my color (obviously) and values, but I refine those values using the black and white reference. It is proving to be a good strategy. It is beginning to take shape and I am enjoying the process.


February 8, 2018
I am excited to get a commission to draw the beloved dog of a friend of mine. I love to draw animals. I love to interpret their fur and their eyes and get them on paper, but I am always a little hesitant to begin. Each work I do goes through what I call the "ugly stage". This is when I have moved passed the initial contour and composition and am working on developing the feel of the piece. It is much like an adolescent child who has hit an awkward stage. It is just a stage to push through, but I find that I have to work to hold onto my confidence that it will turn out great. It is not fun, but I know that if I keep at it it will hit that stage where I can't wait to work on it.  That makes it all worthwhile.