Saturday, December 20, 2014

The recent Twelve Days of Christmas special offering of small works on my Facebook art page was a success with works going to many new homes this Holiday Season. My thanks to all who purchased one of the available works and best wishes for the New Year which is just around the corner. 

I'll be back to posting new works and in-progress shots here after the Holidays, so I'll see you in 2015! Thanks, as always, for looking in on what is going on in my studio.

Thursday, December 04, 2014

As a bit of a sneak peek at several of the new, small works that will be offered beginning next Monday, the 8th, through my Facebook offering of the Twelve Days of Christmas specially reduced price works, here is a bit of a first look. The first work will be offered up on my Facebook art page, The Graphite Art of Terry Miller shortly after 12:30 PM Eastern Time and will only be available through that page for purchase by the first person who comments for purchase. I will only be posting the works on Facebook, so if you wish to try for one of these works, you will have to 'Like' my art page so you can access the posts.

Tuesday, December 02, 2014

December already? I am pleased to announce my recent association with Haley Fine Art in Sperryville, Virginia. I am most pleased to have my work hanging alongside that of the other gallery artists. The gallery will host a Holiday Reception on December 13 from 5 to 8 and I will be there to help celebrate.

Monday, November 17, 2014

I am announcing this year's "Twelve Days of Christmas" small work offering on Facebook which will commence with the first work being offered at special reduced pricing on Monday, December 8th. I'll do another announcement closer to that date with the time that first piece will be posted to my Facebook art page. As in the past, the first person who contacts me for purchase will be the winner of the offering and this will only be happening on my Facebook page. My art page is a public page, so no need to fear being swallowed up by all that Facebook offers, but it will be the only way you may try for one of the twelve, or maybe thirteen or maybe even fourteen works that will be offered this last time in 2014. You can access the page through the link in the right hand column here.

Friday, November 07, 2014

The final push is on in the studio to complete the last several works for next week's opening of this year's Waterfowl Festival in the lovely eastern shore town of Easton. I'll be there at the Avalon Theater right in the heart of downtown so stop by and say hello. There is plenty to see and do all weekend and lots of spectacular art, sculpture, carving, crafts and sporting goods throughout the various venues spread around town. Check out the listing of exhibitors to find your favorites in the link above and come and enjoy a wonderful fall weekend on Maryland's eastern shore.

Monday, November 03, 2014

Over in Dorset, Great Britain, the drawings have all been framed and are ready to be hung for this coming weekend's opening of Drawn at Sculpture by the Lakes. I'm quite pleased to have my work hanging along side that of the other fine artists included in the show and if you are in the 'neighborhood' this coming Saturday, stop by the Gallery and see some mighty fine work.

Friday, October 31, 2014

Very pleased with yesterday's mail delivery as it contained the December issue of The Artist's Magazine in which I knew they were to announce the winners of this year's annual art competition. I knew several months ago, that my work, Steam Fitters, had been named as an Honorable Mention work but was delighted to see so many artist friends names listed in the 68 (out of just over 1000 entries in the animal category) Finalists and to share the pages with fellow Honorable Mentions, Suzie and Sue. This is the second year a work of mine has been honored this way. I believe the magazine is out for purchase now, pick yourself up a copy to see all the winners and runners up.

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

November Exhibitions

Lots of events taking place in November other than the Waterfowl Festival on Maryland's beautiful eastern shore, which I am still working on new pieces for. In addition to the November 8th opening of Drawn, which includes five or my works in Dorset, Great Britain at Sculpture by the Lakes on November 7th, the 9th edition of the International Guild of Realism's annual exhibition will open at the Robert Lange Studios in Charleston, South Carolina and include one of my works as well. Later in the month, on the 23rd to be exact, three of my works will be included in this year's art show at the Mountain Oyster Club in Tucson, Arizona. A busy month for art lovers on this side of the Atlantic and the other side as well.

Friday, October 17, 2014

I am pleased to announce the opening of Drawn, an exhibition of works on paper, which will open on November 8th at the tranquil Sculpture by the Lakes in Dorset, Great Britain. My works will join those of a number of other internationally reputed artists for the five week hanging of this show in that most beautiful countryside of southern England. For all my British and European followers, put this on your calendars and plan to see some wonderful work. My thanks to friend and sculptor extraordinaire, Simon Gudgeon, whose marvelous works grace the gardens and grounds, for asking me to be a part of this singular event that will premier the newly developed gallery on the property. For those who may not be able to see the show in person, if you hit the link above, you can download a PDF version of the complete catalog of the show.

Monday, October 13, 2014

Finished this afternoon and ready to head to the framing table to get set aside for the upcoming Waterfowl Festival in a month's short time. This piece measures 9" square. I have lots left to do, so no time to lollygag about. Back to work now . . . 

Sunday, October 12, 2014

The weekend's work . . . 

Friday, October 10, 2014

Today's efforts.

Thursday, October 09, 2014

Something's been taking shape on the drawing board the last couple days.

Tuesday, October 07, 2014

Fresh off the drawing board, this new work will head to McBride Gallery in Annapolis, MD shortly for the October 19th opening of the Autumn Celebration of Art show. Other new works to come off the board during the next month will head to Easton, MD for this year's Waterfowl Festival in that lovely, historic eastern shore town. Busy time in the studio!

Thursday, October 02, 2014

As astute observers may have already noted, by way of the added listing (to the right) of volume 6 in the ongoing series of publications by North Light Books in their Strokes of Genius: The Best of Drawing offerings, the latest edition will be available within the next several weeks for order/purchase. Once again, I am honored to have work included in this marvelous collection of drawings from artists across the globe. With this volume, I have had works included in the last five books of the series and have recently been informed that next year's publication of volume 7 will also contain one of my works as well. You may check out Amazon or the North Light Bookshop or even better, check your local book seller (we all want to support local businesses, don't we?).

Sunday, September 28, 2014

Finished . . . 

Friday, September 26, 2014

Today's progress -

Thursday, September 25, 2014

Installment number two of the current work on the board.

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

After almost a month of being pretty much off the drawing board, I'm now embarking on the push toward mid November's Waterfowl Festival with all new works to be seen during that show on Maryland's eastern shore. So, here is the beginning of one of the works that will head that way in a bit less than two months. Lots yet to come.

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Opening this coming weekend, The 35th Annual International Marine Art Exhibition will fill the galleries with marvelous works of art and sculpture. I have a work included in this year's showing once again and you can see all the wonderful works here so take a look and if you happen to be in the neighborhood of the Mystic Seaport next weekend, stop in and see it in person.

Monday, September 22, 2014

The 2015/2016 Federal Duck Stamp Finalists

As a follow-up to yesterday's posting about my participation in the judging for this year's Federal Duck Stamp competition late last week, I wanted to post the finalists today, First, Second and Third placers. A nail-biting cliff hanger on Saturday morning as these three wonderful images tied for first place with equal vote totals from the five judges. We broke the tie by settling on the Third Place winner with the point count and then had to break yet another tie for the the First/Second Place images with another round of votes. Anxiety for the artists, anxiety for the judges as well. In the end, the three works that took the winning spots were all delightful works of art. Here is a link to a press release from the US Fish and Wildlife Service about the winners and the competition.

Sunday, September 21, 2014

It's been an interesting week, the concluding days of which saw me acting as one of this year's five judges for the Federal Duck Stamp Competition held at the National Conservation Training Center of the US Fish and Wildlife Service just outside of Shepherdstown, West Virginia. Two days of intense scrutiny of some fine original works of art, culminated in the naming of this year's winner on Saturday morning, Jennifer Miller, with her entry of ruddy ducks.

Also, during the days when my focus was upon ducks, I received word that my work, "In the Bleak Midwinter", will join 100 or more other fine examples of drawing in the 2015 publication of North Light Books' next volume of the series, Strokes of Genius: The Best of Drawing - Depth, Dimension and Space. I'm honored to once again have a work of mine spotlighted in this manner after being included in volumes 2 through 6. 

Friday, September 12, 2014

Birds in Art 2014

As I have done the past few years, today I will talk about some of my favorite works from this year's edition of the much anticipated, annual Birds in Art exhibition at the Woodson Art Museum, which opened last weekend. Since the spotlight was off me and upon this year's honored Master Wildlife Artist, Barry Van Dusen, I was able to spend a bit more time admiring the works than last year, when I was otherwise rather occupied! 

In the twenty seven pieces of art that follow, I've featured just some of the superb art works that graced the galleries at the museum. As I've noted many times before, I could easily speak about each and every one of the over 110 works of art selected by this year's jury of three last spring, but I've decided to focus upon these two dozen plus works as some that emphasize and encompass many of the elements and concepts that I have often remarked on as being the kinds of ideas that will separate a work from all the others that the jurors are viewing and allow them to key into a particular work distinct from the one seen before it and the one seen after it when viewing images for consideration. 

I am often asked by young artists, and those who make attempt after attempt to 'make the cut' in a jury process, what can be done to have their work stand out from all the rest. What follows then, are some key points to consider when next submitting for a major jury where the competition is great and the chances are rather tight, and some fine examples of works that obviously caught the juror's eyes as they viewed 900 plus images for inclusion in this year's Birds in Art.


Subtle Strength characterizes the first pair of works, below, that caught my eye as I walked the galleries. Both works were rather small, the oil on the right by Jim Morgan (2008 named Master) being 12" x 18" and the one on left by first timer, Canadian, Michael Dumas, slightly smaller. Yet each commanded attention equal to any of the larger works hanging nearby through their strength of perceived movement, subtle yet attention grabbing light and shadow, and beauty of their soft palette. Dumas' work, as he noted in his remarks in the catalog, recalled a visit to the Louvre and the surprise of finding a gallery-bound sparrow fluttering about amid the marbles and Morgan's swans obviously recall time spent in the field observing and noting the thousands that migrate through his favorite haunts. Both works reminisce in a way and each artist has chosen to offer that reminiscence through paint on canvas. Expression of a personal experience will often show a deeper emotional tie to a work of art and often, as in the case of both of these fine paintings, perhaps make a momentary connection to a juror, one that will last long enough to make the impression needed to set that work aside as something more.

The trio of works, above, speak to a Spare quality, nothing excess to what is needed to make the point. As in the first two works mentioned, these works commanded my attention through their simplicity of line while still fostering a feeling of movement, a moment caught in time. Four time Swedish artist, Gunnar Tryggmo, noted about his wonderful pair of gulls (upper left), "I painted just what was necessary, omitting everything else." Some artists don't know when to stop; I include myself in that category sometimes. It is hard, often, to know when a work is 'done' and when it might need just a touch or two more. Tryggmo is quite the master at knowing when to stop. His spare palette and lack of unneeded adornment to the subjects easily grabbed the attention of many attending the opening and even in the crush of the crowd, many were drawn into the work for many moments of admiration.

Kristine Taylor's bronze parrot trio (upper right), whimsical in character, belied its simplicity with just enough attention to detail to give it strength, interest and anatomical correctness to have caught the juror's eyes and mine as well. Though small, at only a foot in height, it surely commanded every bit as much attention as larger sculptures scattered throughout the galleries due to its very abstract shapes and appealing, unique tail supports. Again, no excess or unnecessary adronment to distract from the intimate, nuanced relationship between the three birds.

Finally, the last of this trio is Bart Walter's charcoal swoosh of a magpie. Walter, known for his iconic sculptures in which one always sees and feels 'the hand of the artist', does the same thing in two dimensions, showing a graceful, simple yet precise depiction of his subject with minimal application to the paper. It could be a field study from a sketch book, but at 16" x 24" we know it is a studio work and yet maintains that 'spur of the moment' capture and flare that field studies often represent. There was no better work included in the exhibition, to my eye, that more fully spoke to the quality of being Spare.

This next trio of works (below) goes 180 degrees from the last grouping by focusing on Cluster. In first timer, Sue Gombus' lovely pastel rendering of a flock of snow geese (upper left), she has beautifully defined her birds with shape and color and texture and shadow and light, but at the same time has produced a marvelous abstract image of . . . shape and color and texture and dark and light as in any Jackson Pollock! You just need to squint your eyes a bit and the birds disappear and their shapes become abstract geometric figures melding into a luscious undulating sea of color. 
Eight-time exhibitor, Mary Cornish, developed her work (upper right) of three hornbills with fewer subjects, but by jamming them up together, reminiscent of Taylor's three parrots, she has also brushed a very abstract assemblage of mass, color, texture, shadow and light that appears at once to be a conjoined unit of some sort which our eye must deconstruct to see its related components. Another smaller work, at just under a foot square, it held its own due to the intensity of the color and attention to detail. 

And the final work of this trio by French first timer, Laurence Saunois, "The Sentinel", very much spoke to me with its energetic composition akin to the sorts of ideas I often tend toward. I found the juxtaposing of all the design elements quite striking and attention grabbing, yet calming in the coolness of her palette, sparked only by the intense reds which added just enough focus to draw my eye into the work. 

 The trio above, exemplify works that I will describe as having Forceful Line. Line, being one of the elements of good design, will often dictate the major direction of a composition and act as a ground upon which all the other elements of the composition rest. These three works, on the left by first timer Melinda Whipplesmith Plank, in the middle by another first timer, Tanya Lock, and on the right by seven time exhibitor Jenny Hyde-Johnson, all derive their interest from linear movement. Plank's woodcut quite naturally echoes the expected linear quality of the artist's process of carving into a hunk of wood while still incorporating enough softness to correctly feel the movement of water and rustle of reeds and grasses. The rather played-down palette also acts as a nice background to the spark of the red wing and I was quite taken with the strong L-shape of the compositional idea.

New Zealander, Lock, has dramatically used the very linear movement of the leaves to weave, in paint, the compositional nest in which her subjects reside. The strength of light and shadow also add great interest by moving the viewer's eye throughout the work till it rests upon the moorhen.

Vermonter, Jenny Hyde-Johnson, no stranger to Birds in Art, focused on a wall painting, colorful, angular, abstract in nature to use as her background for the three babblers that, as in Lock's 'hidden' moorhen, are suddenly observed as the viewer's eye makes the rounds of the intricate South African painted wall decoration. Each of these three works offered a distinctly different approach to the use of line in making an artistic statement, yet at the same time felt very interconnected in compositional structure.

 Vibrance conjures up many synonyms (jauntiness, liveliness, ebullience, verve) not least of which, colorful. The three works just above not only utilized color to the max, but offered lively and inviting entry into each work. Cathy Sheeter's second entry into Birds in Art was beautifully represented by (on left above) her colored scratchboard of a macaw. Another of the smaller works in the exhibition at only 8" x 10", it surely leaped from the wall and demanded my attention with detail and texture and lovely light/shadow development. I generally am not well disposed toward scratchboard works that have added color, but in the hands of one who knows how to appropriately add color to enhance rather than detract from the meticulous workmanship of the scratchboard artist, I doff my cap. The close in crop of the subject, with eye commanding the focus as the circular movement of feathers and body gesture pull the viewer in, certainly must have been what stopped the jurors and added this fine work to their short list.

In the middle stands Don Rambadt's 5 foot tall great horned owl, one of over a dozen works in this year's exhibition with owls as the subject. I'm always drawn to Don's very jaunty view of the world and his ability to form figurative recognition out of abstract shapes. As he noted in his comments in the catalog, once you are able to move around his work, which unfortunately can not be done when viewing a flat photographic image, each different angle and viewpoint changes and shifts the 'meaning' of what is being seen adding yet one more dimension to his welded structures.

The third in this group of colorful works, and perhaps the most vibrant yet, is by first timer, Kris Parins. Her flamingos and white ibis radiated sunshine across the gallery as I approached the large (31" x 39") watercolor. I was lost in the abstract structure of the shapes and intensity of the colors at first and then, slowly, found myself standing amid a sea of legs and feathers. I am sure the overall high level of excitement generated by the bright colors and intermingling shapes is what appealed to the jurors as it sure was what pulled me into the work. I was so taken with the artist's unique approach, I spotted and identified her offering during the museum's Project Postcard and was able to add her little 4" x 6" version of this work to my personal collection.

Unique is often an overused word, but in the case of the next two works from this year's exhibition, I could not come up with a better descriptor. Both encompass the unique use of actual books as a backdrop for their subjects. In the first work, on the left, by British first timer, Kerry Miller (no relation!), a vintage book is used as a base for hand-colored cut out collage pieces that add immense depth to the work. Jonathan Quinn Aumen, another first timer from Virginia, mounted a charred book on a panel and painted over the pages in his very captivating piece.

With a flare for Nostalgia the trio of works, above, drew me into them as I walked the galleries and without doubt, did the same for the jurors. In the middle, second timer Scot Weir of Wyoming, in continuing a series of works he talked about in the catalog based upon the contrasts between manmade and the ''natural evolutionary elegance of birds", devised a wonderfully evocative work with attention to detail, lovely mastery of the oil medium and interesting placement of his avian subject. Another work that really spoke to me personally, due to its very singular compositional approach, I also liked its monochromatic palette and the 'ah ha!' discovery aspect of the bird's placement. 

On the left, Ken Newman's fourth appearance in Birds in Art was represented by an assemblage of elements in his "The Great and Powerful". With great dimensional qualities to the work, I got lost in  the discovery of all the various and interesting 'pieces of the puzzle' and the story that unfolded as I pondered. 

The final watercolor work of the threesome, on the right, by Californian David Milton, certainly had flare in my mind. I enjoyed the search for the almost completely hidden wren and smiled broadly once found. The details in the painting were handled wonderfully and the focus on the sign as opposed to the bird, made the journey to find it that much more humor-filled.

Water always has a tendency to intrigue me and when deftly handled, as in the two paintings above by two artists who know how to handle the subject exceptionally well, I always get stopped dead in my tracks. New Englander, Cindy House (work on left) not only knows how to depict water in all its states, but does it in pastel with such elegance. Cindy is a landscape artist without question. But her land and seascapes would not be the same without the additions of, even though often almost invisible, the birds that populate her works, just as they do in real life . . . sometimes on the edge, sometimes far off, sometimes totally hidden from first view. Part of the joy for me, of looking at one of Cindy's marvelous works is the fun of finding the bird! I think it must have been that way for the jurors as well.

Ralph Grady James, in his fifth inclusion in this annual, highly respected exhibition, painted two sanderlings flying over the breaking waves of the Outer Banks of North Carolina. Light and shadow and spray and sparkle played a big roll in this very evocative work which I was immediately drawn into with the way he developed the nice angular movement of waves and bird's wings. The composition was very simple, straight forward and well observed. What made it stand apart from many of the other works surrounding it was his mastery with light on water and the quality of liquidity that he was able to capture in oil paint on linen.

When is a landscape painting, not just a landscape painting? To me it is when that landscape has Presence. Presence can be defined as something felt or believed to be present, or a noteworthy quality of effectiveness. I sense presence in both of the paintings below and can feel the cold of the snow or the soft wisp of a breeze that barely ripples the water. William Alther, in his ninth offering to Birds in Art (work on left) includes one of those owls that I mentioned before that seemed to become the 'theme' almost of this year's exhibition with so many representations of the subject included. Of course I was taken with his portrayal of the bird but what set this work apart for me was the handling of the snow and the dried grasses. The variation of hues in the snow, with blues and purples and soft bluish grays not only showed me that the artist knew how to paint, but that the artist knew how to make me feel cold and chilled just like the owl in the painting seemed to speak of the chilliness of the day being depicted. I also marveled at the haphazard-looking, yet well placed yellow and gold brush strokes that materialized into dried grasses. As in some of the earlier works mentioned above, simplicity and economy of structure, yet vibrant and strong in feeling.

James Coe, the 2011 Master honoree, depicted a tidal creek with such aplomb, I could almost smell the saltiness of the water. Painterly in technique, soft edges blending into each other with just enough definition between darks and lights to make the land separations known, I always appreciate the candidness of his brush stroke and the attention to his compositional structures. You should also note the position that both artists selected for their birds . . . on that often, here, referred to point that I like to call the sweet spot in the rectangular field of the golden mean.

  Stark, maybe too stark a suggestion for the three works in the group above but nevertheless, my next to last signifier. Two works of sculpture this time, cradling a lovely painting by one of my favorite Birds in Art past exhibitors. First the painting by Kathryn Mapes Turner, her third inclusion in the exhibition since 2010's first appearance. A large, 2 foot square, oil, Mapes Turner, like Coe and House and many others of this year's artists, painted a broad view of the landscape and sky. But where the others might have added just enough definition of grass and ground and earth, she let the imagination of the viewer dictate the place and time; each viewer defining those locations for themselves. Her birds were mere brush strokes that gave focus and entry to the work, while the emotion and intensity of the color and vagaries of the overall composition let imagination fly.

On the left, sculptor Paul Rhymer, in his 6 foot tall pair of ravens, "Rant and Skeptic", made a grand statement of gestural movement in his very identifiable 'hand of the artist' style of sculpting.  The stark quality of the spacial relationship between the two birds made for a very immediate connection with the viewer. 

British sculptor, Simon Gudgeon, has embarked on a series of bronzes of skulls and his "Bald Eagle Skull" is one of the latest. Stark in its portrayal, Gudgeon eliminated the nit picky to focus on the broader, overall representation of the skull, harkening back to where this discussion began with talk  about the Subtle Strength and Spare qualities of some of those first noted works.

A final thought and focus on what was, indeed, my favorite work in this year's exhibition, Calvin Nicholls' magnificent cut paper "Birds of Eden". At 3 feet by 5 feet, I was stunned to see the work in person, once having glanced through the catalog in my hotel room previous to the first visit to the museum and deciding that it was going to be a marvelous work to behold. This two dimensional photographic image does not do the work justice, and even as good a reproduction as is included in the catalog, to stand before the work in person was absolutely breath taking. The intricacy of the cuts, the details pronounced, the depth created through layering and lighting . . . all added up to a masterful work in monochrome that needed no addition of color at all to enhance or expand upon what already was present.

The diversity of the works I have chosen to spotlight here, are a mere representation of the quality of all the works included in this year's edition of The Woodson Art Museum's flagship exhibition that is Birds in Art. I hope that my words and attempt at zeroing in on what I think makes for a fine work of art may inspire you to a better understanding of what makes one work of art more outstanding than the next, or what makes one work of art appeal more than the next. I speak often about how focus on the tried and true, established and time-tested elements of good design can be combined into balanced, pleasing and desirable compositions and hope that by using the above 27 fine examples of what other artists have done to 'make the cut' of the jury process, will enlighten and inspire those who read these words.

Thursday, September 11, 2014

I don't recall now if I had posted this completed work back in the spring but don't believe I had. Anyway, this is my work that is included in this year's edition of Birds in Art at the Woodson Art Museum. I received word today that it will join 59 other works for next year's tour of a bit less than half the originating exhibition works. The first venue, opening in December, will be in Port Arthur, Texas at the Museum of the Gulf Coast. I'm putting together my 'traditional' post opening 'arm chair tour' of some of my favorite works from this year's show and will be posting that sometime in the next day or two.

Monday, September 08, 2014

One of our 'flighty' hosts this past weekend during the opening events of this year's edition of Birds in Art, the Woodson Art Museum's annual treat to bird lovers and bird artists alike. Having 'survived' my being named last year's Master, I enjoyed needling this year's honoree, Barry Van Dusen but he seemed to be in complete control throughout the energetic weekend events. As I have done over the last few years, I shall be posting my (what has become rather annual) list of favorite works from the exhibition shortly, once I have time to recover and breath and get some other business out of the way this week. But, look for it within the next week or so. This beautiful eagle perched and posed for us for quite some time during our 'down time' enjoying and relaxing at Lake Katherine in north central Wisconsin on Saturday afternoon, after the morning's festivities at the museum and Barry's wonderful presentation. The exhibition will hang at the Woodson through early November and I urge anyone in the area to stop in and see some marvelous art and sculpture and some rather unique approaches to visualizing . . . Birds in Art.

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

A week ago today, I was, as they say, winging my way toward Denver and the opening weekend events of this year's Society of Animal Artists members' annual exhibition at the beautiful Wildlife Experience in Parker, just south of Denver. 68 of the over 120 exhibiting artists were in attendance for the two days of receptions, programs, presentations and camaraderie. Before it all began, last Thursday was a day for reference gathering as I spent a full day in Rocky Mountain National Park with several fellow SAA artist members as we headed up and over the Continental Divide from Estes Park to Grand Lake and back. Photos abounded as we were fortunate to see many of the park's resident wildlife, and especially the magpies (which to me were worth the trip alone). I have already foreseen many new drawings that will come from this material and can't wait to dig in. As I also sit on the board of directors of the SAA, we had our second of two yearly meetings this past Sunday and made many important decisions about the direction the SAA will move in over the next few years. I'm quite proud to be a part of that decision making on behalf of the entire membership as I know the Board is definitely moving the Society along exciting new paths. The next new members jury will take place next spring at our April meeting so if you are interested in possibly becoming a member, check out the Society's site for information . . . Society of Animal Artists.

Saturday, August 09, 2014

Closing out the first week in August . . . traditionally the week for the Howard County Fair here in Maryland . . . I spent several days this week attending the various horse shows, ending up this morning at the annual Draft Horse Pulling Contest. What a fine bunch of horses. Got wonderful reference material all week long and expect to see some horse drawings coming off the drawing board over the next eight to ten months. Now, where to start . . . ?

Monday, August 04, 2014

I am, pardon the pun . . . more than just a little bit honored to announce . . . for the second year in a row, a work of mine has been honored by being noted as an Honorable Mention in the animal category of this year's Artist's Magazine Annual Art Competition. I won't post the image of the work selected till the magazine comes out in December announcing all the Winners but am pleased to make this notation today. You can check out all the competitions and other unique and informative offerings at The Artist's Magazine website and see if there is something you can submit to next time around. For now, I'm thrilled to have a work of mine singled out among thousands of entries.

Sunday, August 03, 2014

As hoped, this one finished up a short time ago, headed outside to be photographed and will shortly head to the work table for framing. The Boat House, image size a bit over 9" x a bit over 7". It will be sent out to the Howard/Mandville Gallery for their annual small works show which will take place in mid October.

Saturday, August 02, 2014

Closing in on this one. The hard stuff now . . . those ribs and webbed feet.

Friday, August 01, 2014

I have wanted to do this drawing . . . well, have wanted to work up this idea at any rate . . . for several years, maybe even six or seven. The reference was gathered one year during the opening weekend festivities at Birds in Art . . . at least the boat house material was noted there. The addition of the little web-footed creatures was left to be 'discovered' as time passed and as I kept returning to the great abstract qualities of the angles and light/shadow contrasts of the main idea and waiting for the right bit of movement and animal addition to make the idea into a composition that worked. Count ahead to about a year ago when I was lucky enough to photograph a mallard with her little brood at the National Arboretum in Washington DC and bingo . . . the two situations were made for each other. Sometimes an idea or a spark of an idea will sit and sit for years, as I return to it from time to time and try and figure out a way to use the material to make an interesting and appealing composition that not only will I want to work on, but one that may appeal to others as well as a finished work. That remains to be seen, once of course, the work is finished! I hope that will occur this weekend as I am on deadline for several other needed drawings at the moment and no time to waste.

Thursday, July 31, 2014

Installment number two of the current work . . .

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Something's happening on the drawing board . . .

Monday, July 21, 2014

The jury results for this year's (the 9th) exhibition of the International Guild of Realism have come through and I am pleased to say that my work, Watch Your Step, will be one of the 74 works selected from over 350 international entries. The exhibition will take place this fall, November 7 through the 28th in Charleston, South Carolina at the Robert Lange Studios.

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Over the last couple of days, I've had a wonderful visitor in the back yard. Discovered atop my recently installed arbor out back of the kitchen bay window, while doing something else in the kitchen and noting a movement out back . . . this immature black crowned night heron has been visiting the back yard over the last several days now. I spent a good forty five minutes with it a day or two ago and this morning, while emptying the dish washer, I noticed it outside once again and ran to get the long lens. Another half hour or so and even more wonderful reference. After a bit, I went outside and carefully and quietly was able to get some good shots from ground level, the others all taken from a second floor window. Today, the neighborhood crow family ventured into the yard as well, so for a few minutes I was distracted by the antics of the crows and got some very fine reference of them as well. Moral of the story . . . it pays to look out your windows every once in a while!

Monday, July 14, 2014

After posting yesterday, I realized I only had about another hour's worth of work to go so completed this work and got it outside to photograph before it got too dark. "Braids and Bows" is 7 1/2" x 7 3/4" and is earmarked for a special event to occur later this fall - further details on that as time gets closer.

Sunday, July 13, 2014

A few hours of studio time yesterday and today has brought this work to this point . . .

Friday, July 11, 2014

A tad more work on this one . . .

Wednesday, July 09, 2014

Lots of overlayering today to achieve a soft texture to the coat. Laborious but worth the effort to get that wooly texture. This is the hard stuff and I want to get it out of the way before tackling the 'easier' stuff yet to come.