Drawings from live animals and new painting

From the stats it looks like the post of my pet sketches was one of my most popular so far, so here’s more. These are done the way I usually work, with a fine tip gel pen. They’re done fast. Under five minutes, sometimes under two.

Niki, our tri-color rough collie

From the San Francisco Zoo. He really did hold still long enough for this head study.

These were ultra-quick, a minute or less, but I caught the gesture. Also San Francisco Zoo.

And, looking through my old sketchbooks, I came across the studies I did at Julie Chapman’s workshop in 2005. These are of Daisy, the badger, who alas, is no longer with us. Notice that I didn’t worry about eyes. I was trying to capture “badgerness”.

If you decide to try this, and I hope you do, keep in mind that every animal is an individual and look for what makes them them. If you like what I do, I think that’s a big part of it.

I’ll end with the bobcat painting, now called “Stepping Lightly”. I’m thinking of punching up the highlights on grass and maybe futzing (that’s the technical term, of course) with the logs some more, but that’s about it.


This one’s easy. Start to become aware of how you use energy. You can save money and help slow down climate change by using less and using it more wisely. Just little stuff to start- turn lights off when you leave a room, don’t leave the tv on if no one is watching, turn your thermostat down a couple of degrees or up, depending on the temperature where you are.

Now, you must know that this kind of thing, while necessary and desirable, is the “low hanging fruit”. It requires simple changes of habit, not real sacrifice. If you’re already doing the above and are ready and able to take the next steps, consider updating your older appliances to new, energy-efficient models. Change your incandescent light bulbs to compact flourescents or LEDs.

For more information and actions you can take, check out www.motherearthnews.com and www.builditsolar.com

What ideas would you like to pass on to me and my readers? We’re all in this together, after all.

It’s Just Not Fair

So, inches of snow in Atlanta, Georgia and it’s supposed to be around -13F in Green Bay tomorrow for the Packer/Giants game. In most of the country, it’s time for gardeners to kick back with a cup of tea or cocoa, peruse seed and plant catalogs and dream about the gardening season to come. Me? I spent the afternoon weeding. Weeding! In January! It’s like winter has never come, even though it’s been alternately cold and rainy. The grass and weeds invading my flower beds just don’t get that they are supposed to give it a rest already. Sheesh. Where’s the off button?

Many people are interested in how artists do their work. For me, it usually starts with drawings. It’s how I like to familiarize myself with a species that I haven’t painted before and, anyway, I just like to draw. Currently on the home page of my website is my first painting of a badger. Before I started it, I did a number of drawings to learn what a badger looks like. Here are two of them-

Daisy drawings

Her name was Daisy and she belonged to the Triple D Game Ranch in Montana. I “met” her at a animal drawing workshop taught by dynamite wildlife artist Julie Chapman. She was about 20 years old, with loads of badger attitude. She died a couple of years ago, although I didn’t know that when I did the painting or these drawings.

Pond Pictures

Got these pics just in time. A real winter storm is heading in, so bye-bye sunshine for awhile. The pond is still literally rough around the edges and the plantings are new, but great afternoon light covers a multitude of sins. Photo 1 is looking east, with the house in the background. Photo 2 is looking north and includes the greenhouse.

Pond and house 400

Pond and greenhouse

On the art front, here’s my latest giclee from an original oil painting. It’s called “Don’t Badger Me”. Go to my website at http://www.foxstudio.biz for more information and how to order.

Don’t Badger Me