Inktober 2018- “Kangaroo”

Inktober 18- "Kangaroo" (1)

Inktober 18 “Kangaroo” Today’s piece is, like the gorilla, doubling as a study for a painting. Photographing the kangaroos at the San Francisco Zoo some years ago inadvertently ended up with this cropping, which I really, really liked. Tried out a looser outline and line work just for fun. Strathmore 400 vellum bristol, Esterbrook Radio 956 nib and Diamine Jet Black Ink.

Available Next Week on EBay- Small, Affordable, Original Oil Paintings!

Like many artists, I’m trying to figure out what my sales options are given the current economic climate. I’m also interested in seeing if I can sell art directly on the internet. And, a few months ago, I was showing some friends some of the small studies I do to work on various aspects of painting and one encouraged me to try selling them. Taking this all together, I have decided to offer a “new line” of small oils that I am calling “Studio Studies”, because, well, that’s what they are.

As anyone who paints most days a week knows, they do stack up after awhile and I have a few dozen that I’ve decided I’m willing to find new homes for.

I plan to start offering them a few at a time on EBay, starting next week. Here’s a small preview, starting with one that I photographed in progress, so it’s a short step-by-step demo of how I do these mostly 6″x8″ studies that usually take less than two hours. The idea is to quickly capture a light effect, so detail isn’t relevant. This should look familiar to anyone who has taken Scott Christensen’s Ten Day Plein Air Intensive, because that’s who I learned this approach from and I really like it.

STEP-BY-STEP 8″X 6″ STUDY (from last Friday’s post)-

An image I shot up on Dunraven Pass in Yellowstone National Park at first light. What I was working on the was the color temperature shifts from shadow to light.

Photo reference
Photo reference
Initial lay-in
Initial lay-in
Starting with darkest darks
Starting with darkest darks and basic shapes
Adding light and medium tones
Adding light and medium tones; notice brushwork to create trees
Dawn on Dunraven Pass; 8"x 6"
Dawn on Dunraven Pass; 8"x 6"

Here’s a couple more. First a demo that I did in about an hour at the Marin Art Festival of a small kangaroo which I photographed at a zoo.

Little Kangaroo- 8"x10"
Little Kangaroo- 8"x10"

And a landscape a few minutes from our house looking east from Clam Beach to the bluff. It was summer and the foxgloves were blooming. They’re not a native, but they look like they belong here in Humboldt County.

Clam Beach Bluff; 6"x8"
Clam Beach Bluff; 6"x8"

Finally, since I strongly believe that artists should help and support each other, here, from Alison Stanfield, who runs ArtBizCoach, is some solid advice on “Community”. Thanks, Alison! (Hope it’s readable. Let me know if it’s not.)



The artistic mind is one that takes years to develop. Painting never gets easier. Struggle is not something that one goes looking for. It will find you. Just give it time.

Scott Christensen, The Nature of Light

Back from the Marin Art Festival

Although sales weren’t what I’d hoped for, things were about as I’d expected given gas prices, the real estate implosion and the upcoming election. Made back gas and food money. I sold a lot of cards and a small original. But I got a lot more out of this event than sales. My fellow neighbor artists were equally talented and welcoming. And I feel like I laid a good groundwork for next year.

The people who came by my booth in a steady stream both days were interested and interesting, as one might expect in Marin County. There was the petite older woman who, it turns out, is an doctor of internal medicine who got her medical degree from Stanford in the 1940’s. Her father supported her, but her mother didn’t, saying that she would never go to a female doctor. Oh, well, with luck we’ve largely moved on from that sort of thing.

As always, got some great stories about other people’s world travels to places like Botswana and inner travels by a woman who does shaman work. Did I say I was in Marin County?

Many people were interested in my paintings of the takhi and most of them have seen the movie “The Story of the Weeping Camel”.

Out of around 300 artists at the festival, I was just around the corner from Jeff Morales (, a fantastic ceramic artist who lives less than 15 minutes from me on the south end of McKinleyville. Small world #253.

One of the great things about the festival were the stilt walkers in absolutely amazing costumes. They really took the event to another level and drew a crowd wherever they went. Here’s two of them:

And, of course, being a wildlife artist, the universe conspired to allow me to do a little fieldwork in the comfort of my booth. Here’s the booth:

And here’s the little pocket gopher who came up for breakfast around 9am right next to the base of my easel in the middle of my space. Wildlife watching doesn’t get any easier.

I had fun doing painting demos during the weekend. Here’s the one I did on Saturday in about two hours, counting interruptions. It’s a kangaroo I saw in a zoo. Don’t know the species:

And this is the one I did on Sunday, on and off for most of the day. Considering the working conditions, I’m pretty darned please. It’s the best cape buffalo I’ve done yet. And I’m keeping him.