friends

Owls of the World: Spotted Wood Owl.

Strix seloputo.

The Spotted Wood Owl is a medium sized owl. Averaging 18 inches tall. They are found across Southeast Asia. Its diet consists of rats, mice, small birds, and large insects. They roost by day, often close to the trunks of trees in dense foliage to avoid detection from other birds. They nest high up in trees, and lay up to three eggs at a time. They prefer nesting in partially clear forests and hunt in open areas. They can be found in populated areas, as well  as remote regions and areas not easily accessed like swamp forests and mangroves.

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spotted-wood-owl-two
My plan was to hold off on painting more in this series until I was settled in Chicago. But I found this old panel while packing and cleaned it up and went for what could best be described as an encore. It was such a privilege to get to paint all these here in Oakland, and I’m very excited for the projects to come in Chicago. Another huge thank you to all my friends and family for all the support. My goal with all this is simple; Share the birds of the world with you all. Now my easel is packed and my brushes too. Stay tuned for a Bateleur Eagle, found in Zimbabwe, Africa. Coming to you from the city by the lake.

And once more for good measure, thank you for looking at birds with me.

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Falco peregrinus. (Again probably).

I cracked open a can of cola and laid out the paints I would need. As well as several books opened to pages with peregrines on them. To double check the colors I imagined.
I always start these with some idea but a lot of it I figure out on my way through it. Still learning how to best translate from pencil to paint.
f1
When I got to the wings I looked for blue….I found some in my paint box.
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The body through me for a loop, and I sat staring at it for a good bit. In the background I could hear the soundtrack of a movie I was half watching. Somebody was laughing.
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A glance to the window and I knew where to go. Like driving in the night and checking the map under a streetlight. (I guess now everybody looks at their phone).
I brought back the smallest brush and approached like it was my micron pen. With the precision of a drunk surgeon with a rusty scalpel.
I like paper maps.
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Got it sorted well enough.
No simple highway.

Elbow room

With out a doubt, my favorite part of mountain biking is the access it grants me to the areas around. In this case California’s central coast.

I do my best thinking with my feet off the pavement. These day trips help me put together thoughts and drawings on the page as well as sort a plan to be the best person I can.

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Getting by with a little help from my friends.

I’d been keeping all these in a big plastic box because I was too lazy to make mounts for them. I’d usually get as far as calling the piece done, snap a picture and add it to the pile. A good friend stopped by the other day to see some of my works. She suggested the plastic box might not be the best place for these birds. She recommended some good wall mounting options. Thus lighting the fire under me to get them truly finished.

Now that they’re up, I can’t imagine why I didn’t finish the wall mounts for them sooner. It was a great excuse to go to the hardware store.

I am very grateful to have the inspiring and supportive friends and family that I do….and a hardware store down the tracks from my house.

And a Thank You to whomever has squandered a perfectly good minute reading my words and looking at my birds.

Been here so long he’s got to calling it home

I’ve mentioned before my early fond memories of the night sky of Michigan’s upper peninsula. It captured my imagination early in my life. And throughout I’ve looked for ways to trap part of that beauty onto a page. While I held some successes and failures at that form. A good friend of mine has managed, with a wonderful success. He has repeatedly captured in his preferred medium that exact emotion that overcomes me when I tilt my head back on the right night.
 
 I first became friends with the human that is Mark Gvazdinskas, before I became friends with the artist that is Mark. Though it easily could have been the opposite, as they are both two sides to a righteous and honest coin of a man.
When I write that my friends and family do a great deal to inspire my work. One look through his portfolio will do justice to my words, and I’m confident inspire you as well.
 
Do explore his wonderful corner of the internet.