Warblers in April finished.

I completed the last work tonight on my 20 warblers on 8×10 wooden pages. I left the 10th page in pencil for “artistic reasons”. I suppose I want whoever looks at these to be able to better see where they come from. People always ask my “why birds?” The best answer I can come up with is that if you walked my mile, I imagine you’d paint a lot of birds too. Maybe the pencil work will help.

Who’s next? Finches? Birds for Atticus….

bandwandprairie commonyellowthroatandredstart goldcheeckandhooded hermitandyellow kentandmag kirtlandsandyellowrump redfacedandmourning warblerstnandnash warblerswoodfinal.jpg yellowandbtblue


Between the pencil sketched branches and obscure references.

My warblers for Walt project progresses with the finishing of the pencil work for the last 8 species. The names of the species are tucked under the feathers I’m certain you can decipher my encrypted handwriting by now if you choose. Hell, I’ll help you out, my handwriting gives me a damn headache…

Red-faced and Mourning Warblers.

Red-faced and Mourning Warblers.

Yellow and Hermit Warblers.

Yellow and Hermit Warblers.

Kirtland's and Yellow-rumped Warblers.

Kirtland’s and Yellow-rumped Warblers.

Common Yellow-throat and American Redstart.

Common Yellow-throat and American Redstart.

His job is to shed light, not to master….



Sometimes I write a letter before I know who I’m writing it to.
Sometimes I sit at a desk with a pencil in my hand and just stare at the wall for an hour, then I put the pencil down and walk out of the room while asking myself “what was I doing…?”
Sometimes I write poems about row boats and ponds in northern Illinois
Sometimes I say normal words wrong like bagel and milk.
Sometimes I untie my shoes wrong and they get all knotted up
Sometimes I untie my mind wrong and it gets knotted up too.
Every time though I get them unknotted up.
No direction home.

No direction home.


Warblers for Walt.

I like going to concerts for so many reasons. One of them is that I find ideas for art projects between the notes. At a concert in SF last week I got the idea of 10, 8×10 pieces of wood with two warblers on each. In acrylic this time versus my watercolors before. The watercolor warblers taught me so much about the medium, It is my hope this project will yield the same with my work in acrylic. I chose 20 of my favorites to paint and paired them up by color contrast and in the case of one (I’m sure you can guess which) by name. This project is dedicated to my little nephew Walt.





Birds and Sisters.

I don’t think there’s anyone who’s rabidly staring at their screen waiting for news of what I’m drawing next. Honestly anybody who follows this corner of the internet can make a safe bet, it’ll be some birds. That’s good.

And when I mention music more often (9 times out of 10) it’s a Grateful Dead note of some sort. While I still intend to deliver your next warbler painting I’d also like to much more directly mention a music group who I think is worth singing from the roof top, or in my case writing by way of the internet tubes while sitting on a bird drawing chair in California.

The T Sisters are a group from Oakland, CA. I saw/heard  them for the first time a month ago at the Fillmore in San Francisco. I don’t like labeling music (warblers are hard enough), but they take me to a place like a modern Carter Family, that pulls from a deep well of Mo-town soul. That being said they certainly have their own very unique approach that stands on it’s own top shelf. Three very strong voices on their own come together to weave a delightful story of music from yesteryears and tomorrow. And do not let me forget the strong instrumental accompaniment found on their records. Really just top notch through and through.

I think what I like most is the roots of family sew into the songs. It’s hard for me to explain to somebody how I can be so close with my family but live thousands of miles away. Their songs come closer than I ever could.

I could ramble on for another good while but i’ll do us all a favor and just tell you what you need to know http://tsisters.com/

A wise man once told me that the beauty of art is the only thing left that can save the world. Whether or not the world needs saving, do your ears and heart a solid one and check them out.



Thoughts on May in March.

I remember the first time I saw a Bluebird I was with my Father at a prairie plot in Northern Illinois. It was ages ago, But I can still recall his delight in spotting that bird on a fence line one afternoon in May. He pointed it out and fast forward some 20 years and that delight is shared quite regularly. Thanks Dad.
Painting Bluebirds while sitting on a chair in Oakland, CA.
Penciled last night while watching cartoons and eating junk food.

Penciled last night on 1/8 inch birch plywood.

My Dad once told me "Home is where you are."

My Dad once told me “Home is where you are.”


Winds welcomed me to the East Bay

Learning the whole big city thing. I enjoy it more than I expected I would.
Slowly unpacking boxes and hanging posters in the new room. I’ve done a few watercolors since I’ve been here, but I felt it was time for a big sheet of 1/8″ plywood and a large scale project. Sort of my own personal housewarming gift/activity.
I’ve been keeping my truck one town over where there’s better parking options so I walked the mile and a half to the lumber yard. I got a great piece of Mahogany 1/8″ plywood for $10.
It turns out 7X3 foot sheets are easier to carry in my mind than real life. While I walked the blocks back home through Oakland the wind would catch me like a sail and try and throw me into traffic.
I found the whole thing with laughter in my eyes. To walk home with a page so large I almost flew away.
I cut a section off, 3X2 feet for this first Hawk. The remaining larger piece I will start the pencil work for this week.