Thursday, September 24, 2009

Life is what happens when...

... when you're busy making other plans. John Lennon summed it up perfectly. I find myself focusing all my attention on my work, my business and the 101 other things that demand my time. As this goes on my young son, Kane gets bigger and bigger. He truly is my world, not the drawings that I think are my life.

This weekend he and I will embark on an overnight canoe trip into the Adirondack Mountains where we'll camp on an island and enjoy pure father and son time. We plan to explore, goof off and have great fun just being together.

Last weekend I took my wife on a trip to Boston for a concert and some alone time with her. I get so caught up in what's on the drawing board next or what business challenge we are facing that I loose sight of what's really important.

There will not be any updates here until I feel I've spent enough quality time with the most important people in my life. Then when I do sit back down at the drawing board I'll do so with a full and happy heart. Those plans can wait while I'm busy living life.

Saturday, September 5, 2009


Several years ago I made the above drawing based on reference photos I shot in Yellowstone National Park. This is actually a study, though very refined compared to what would be called a sketch. I enjoyed some success with it having been selected into the top 200 artworks in the 2003 Arts for the Parks competition.

I've long had intentions of creating a large charcoal version based on the initial drawing. After the results I achieved with "Sovereignty" I'm ready to approach it. The plan is to make it the exact same size as sort of a companion piece.

Comparing the two images will show the subtle adjustments I made in the composition that I felt would improve the overall impact of the work. Cutting the image scan into pieces I moved things around slightly and changed sizes. The size changes added more depth I think and now the bison fill more of the frame. Even though these changes are small I feel that they make an important difference to the design.

You can see in this image how I'm able to chop up the elements in order to move them around. This technique of making alterations was learned from a great book written by Paul Calle named "The Pencil". Paul is without question a master and I've learned more from his book than from any other source. He used to make photocopies from his sketches, reduced and enlarged, then cut them up and paste them in various combinations until he got what he was looking for. A digital scan is my photocopy. I use some form of this process in every drawing I plan.

This drawing will show up on this blog over the course of the next few months.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Wolf Refinements

I spent an hour or so on the wolf's face with some critical details. That is actually the bulk of the work. The balance requires some delineation of the dead elk and that's about it. Pretty quick overall. Maybe 6hrs when finished?

I created the first printers proof from "Sovereignty" and can finally say I feel good about the finished drawing. I was just too close emotionally to it to make a proper judgement when it was newly completed. Seeing it reduced down to print size made me realise I had achieved just what I was looking for. Working on such large originals does make it hard to get back far enough to analyze the progress. I framed up the proof and that set if off beautifully. I'm glad that drama is over!

Added the recent drawing to my newly redesigned website... check it out and let me know what you think of the new look. Thanks.