Sketches and Watercolors From My Trip Back East

Alligators at Harris Neck NWR, Georgia
Alligators at Harris Neck NWR, Georgia

Here’s an album of the art I created while I was traveling last month. I had a lot of fun drawing the alligators at the Okefenokee NWR and Harris Neck NWR. They’re good models because they don’t move much. There really is no substitute for drawing from live animals, although I took a ton of photos, too. Other than the one at the top, they’re in chronological order, starting with New York. All but one pencil sketch was done with a Sakura Micron .02 black pen. I used a Pentalic Nature Sketch 7×5″ sketchbook, a very handy size. Drawings on white paper are difficult to scan or photograph. I lightened them as much as I could.

Central Park View
Central Park View
Calfornia sea lion, Central Park Zoo, New York
Calfornia sea lion, Central Park Zoo, New York
Resting grizzly bear, Central Park Zoo, New York
Resting grizzly bear, Central Park Zoo, New York
Turtles, snow leopard cub, Central Park Zoo, New York
Turtles, snow leopard cub, Central Park Zoo, New York
Pronghorn head mount and hat, Explorers Club, New York
Pronghorn head mount and hat, Explorers Club, New York
Cheetah mount, Explorers Club, New York; White ibis, Okefenokee NWR, Georgia
Cheetah mount, Explorers Club, New York; White ibis, Okefenokee NWR, Georgia
Ibis in tree
White ibis in tree, Okefenokee NWR, Georgia
Water lily, Okefenokee NWR, Georgia; River cooter (turtle), Harris Neck NWR, Georgia
Water lily, Okefenokee NWR, Georgia; River cooter (turtle), Harris Neck NWR, Georgia
Alligator 2
Alligator, Harris Neck NWR, Georgia
Alligator leg 3
Alligator front leg, Harris Neck, NWR. Georgia
Jekyll Island
Jekyll Island, Geogia
Alligator Crazy 4
“Crazy”, 12′ long, 800-900 lb. bull alligator, Okefenokee Swamp Park, Georgia
Farmstead
Farmstead, Okefenokee Swamp Park, Georgia
Alligator details 5
Alligator details, Okefenokee Swamp Park, Georgia
Bald Cypress tree
Bald cypress tree, Okefenokee NWR, Georgia
Cypress roots
Bald cypress roots, Okefenokee NWR, Georgia
Cypress and alligator
Bald cypress, American alligator, Okefenokee NWR, Georgia
Live oak and moss
Live oaks and Spanish moss, Fort Clinch State Park, Amelia Island, Florida
Savannah, egrets
Savannah NWR, South Carolina
Pencil birds
Birds, Hudson River Valley, New York State

When I got back north and was up in the Hudson River Valley, I visited Olana, the home of American artist Frederic Church. The house wasn’t open but the grounds were. It was windy and pretty cold, but I was determined to do at least a couple of watercolors since the view from the house is famous and has been painted by a number of artists over the years.

Hudson River from Olana
Hudson River from Olana, New York State; 8×8″
Catskills from Olana
Catskill Mountains from Olana, New York State; 8×8″

I also spent a couple of days with an artist friend at his home in the Hudson River Valley. We spent one morning on location at this lovely pond.

Pond wc
Pond, Hudson River Valley, New York State; 8×8″

Having A Lovely Time

But first….this is post number 300! Thank you to everyone who has visited, left comments and has otherwise been supportive. I really appreciate it!

Hard to believe that my trip back east is almost over. Wednesday was the Society of Animal Artists board meeting, which was very productive and worthwhile. There were fifty applicants for membership. Eleven were accepted.

The next day, my host, Guy Combes, needed to get some work done, so I got to see one of his paintings in progress and just kick back. Around lunch time he took me over to the headquarters of Greenwich Workshops, who publishes Guy’s giclees and also handles his originals. They’re located in a lovely old brick building in the small town of Seymour. But once you’re inside in the production rooms, it’s state-of-the-art.

The following morning, we drove down to the home of Alison Nicholls, a fellow Flag Expedition grant recipient. Her trip was to study African wild dogs. The three of us starting talking art and animal shop immediately, continuing on into the next day as we took the train into New York to go to the Central Park Zoo. It’s a small facility, owned and operated by the Wildlife Conservation Society, but it plays an important role in introducing city children to wildlife and conservation. The highlight was the tropical bird aviary. Here’s a few images:

Superb Starling (East Africa)
Long-tailed hornbill (East Africa, but not Kenya)
Victoria crowned pigeon (Indonesia and New Guinea)

Back at Allison’s, we went out for a great seafood dinner, still talking shop. It’s been a real treat for me since Allison and Guy have been to many interesting places that are different from where I’ve been.

Today we’re going to drive up to New Haven to hit a couple of museums, probably the British Collection and the Peabody, both based at Yale University.