Friday, March 10, 2006

On Your Mark, Get Set, Go!

July will be here before we know it.

It's March, and in the past few days I've managed to feed off some unseen fountain of creativity, and inspiration, and pick up a pen. Setting down with the old bristol pad with the mentallity of actually finnishing artwork is something I haven't really done in awhile. However, I'm feeling so great lately about all the opening doors, that I can barely stop drawing these days.

A deadline approaches, though months away for my art exhibition, and there are also some pretty nifty competitions I hope to enter this year. With the rate at which I am putting out tightly drawn ink works, there should be no reason why I can't simply do it all.

On your mark, get set, GO!

As per request, I've opted to show you some of the smaller pieces that are soon to be finnished, matted, and framed for exhibition:

Ruddy Duck

The above piece is of a small, stiff-tailed duck species known as the Ruddy Duck.

Ruddy Ducks are known for thick bills (the males bill is a bright baby blue), and for elaborate courtship displays in which the mail pitter patters the water with his bill, and arches his neck. I've considered entering this is one of the duck stamp competitions, but it doesn't fit the sizing criteria (it's supposed to have a border for the Federal Duck Stamp, and needs to be much LARGER for the PA Duck Stamp) of any waterfowl competitions that I'm aware of.

Also holding this piece back from competition, is a very, very, slight, dent in the bristol which you really can hardly see. It's perfect as a display piece however, and I know that most people will never notice the dent. I may redo (with proper dimensions) for one of the duck stamp competitions.


Next on the list is the Monarch Butterfly.

It's a bit of a step away from anything I've really ever done, in the sense that it's a bug! I've never drawn insects, and while I've had quite a few requests, this is the first realistic butterfly I've drawn in my life!

My mother loves it, and like the others you will see, it's not yet finnished. It'll look cute in a mat and frame me thinks.

I'm not sure what species of flower that was, but I got it out of some nature magazine. It was pretty, red in color, with light yellow tips.


Ah, the good ol' wild turkey.

My father is a turkey call craftsman, making beautiful wooden "turkey calls" which are used by hunters across the country. It's a hobby he hopes to turn into a full-time career. (Kind of like my illustration, eh?)

In any case, I'm also a turkey hunter, and I've long been convinced that it is one of our most magestic birds. People think of it as a goofy looking stupid bird, but the wild turkey is a far cry from it's unwary farm cousin.

Quite capable of flight, males generally only puff up and fan their tails (as seen) in the spring months when displaying to females. (Thanksgiving posters would have you believe otherwise.)

Chase a turkey and you will quickly find that these BEAUTIFUL birds are quite capable of powerful flight.


Bobcats, and felines in general have always been a challenge for me.

Typically when I draw them, they end up looking too cartoony for me to like, and so, with hopes of making a new bobcat illustration for my exhibit, I've sat down and tried to master the eyes, nose, mouth, and ears of this magnificent creature.

I'm particularly fond of my eyes in this case, because they ALWAYS end up looking cartoony -- until now. The side view eye is pretty nifty I think.

Here's hoping for a great bobcat drawing in the near future. Cats are always a big seller.


And lastly, but certainly far from least is one of my personal favorites, the "Timberdoodle" or, American Woodcock.

These birds are basically a misplaced shorebird.

With their long bills, and big eyes set far back on their skull, the Woodcock is adapted to hunt for earthworms in the warm moist mud around springs and water in Pennsylvanian forests.

Far from sand, and ocean waves, this little guy is actually arriving here in Pennsylvania as we speak, ever campoflauged on the leaf littered forest floor, they are among my favorite birds species to see.

In the evenings and early mornings you can often hear them twitter and "peeeeent!" in the darkness as they court each other in the low light.

A beautiful bird, and I'm SO excited to wrap this one up just because it'll be great for the newspapers. Their migration is on, and I'm sure the outdoor writer I occassionally draw for will love to write about them in April.


So there you have it, a bit of a peek into what I've been doing, where I am going, and what my goals are.

I hope you enjoyed seeing some of my work. My apologies if the artwork seems to small, but the thumbnail feature would've only worked if you were a flickr member, and well, I don't think most of you are. I tried to make it large without distorting my whole blog page.

It's hard to believe that I can get paid to do something this fun someday!

I love it.

Now, to wash this ink off my fingers!

Love'n'smiles to all you folks!