pen

Buteo Hawks of North America

 

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Here’s five of the more common Buteo hawks found in Canada, Mexico, and The United States. All feed primarily on small mammals such as: Rabbits, voles, mice, squirrels, and prairie dogs. Insects, birds, and reptiles are also on their menu. All are frequently found in open areas. Grasslands, desert, and sparsely forested areas. Many have adapted to human habitation impacts and can be found hunting from a perch upon a utility pole along an urban roadside.

For more information about these birds definitely check out www.allaboutbirds.org

It’s one of my favorite online resources for raptors and other birds of North America.

I’d like to credit Floyd Scholz’s book “Birds of Prey” (Stackpole Books 1993.) as an indispensable resource in raptor illustration.

These illustrations are done in Micron pen and watercolor.

Thanks so much for looking at birds with me.

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Again (again).

“Begging your indulgence, We’re going to do yet another song in the key of G”

-Bob Weir, The Grateful Dead

And so begging your indulgence I’m going to do yet another drawing in the key of Owl.

Thanks for bearing with me yet again while I move around the lines on the page.

And sometimes you have to sit on a chair miles away from a rainstorm and hope to see lightning strike the same place twice. With that stubborn persistence, it will. Tonight my personal case-in-point. I put pen to plywood again and got another Great Horned Owl that gave me chills like the one I met in Tahoe some years back.

The one is a map to the other.

The one is a map to the other.

Flight path.

A pose I had sketched a lot in October. Here it finally came to life in pen this evening with the help of a visit from a Red-Tailed Hawk on my way home tonight. Inspiration move me brightly…

Penciled in like an appointment I never planned to keep.

Penciled in like an appointment I never planned to keep.

Turns to splintered sunlight on my page.

Turns to splintered sunlight on my page.

Hawks help me get lost in the meadow of my imagination.

Hawks help me get lost in the meadow of my imagination.

Pandion haliaetus. (Osprey to you and me).

The Osprey is an incredible hunter. Sometimes called “River Hawks” or “Fish Eagles”. Their primary food is fish, which they spot underwater from hundreds of feet above.  Diving feet first into the water. Their curved talons and rough textured feet help them grip the fish. And in just a few wing beats it’s out of the water and heading home for supper.
It was over the course of last week I put this together. However it's been on my mind for the last two and a half years.

It was over the course of last week I put this together. However it’s been on my mind for the last two and a half years.

They are surrounded in history with legend.  I too have a few good tales to tell that has an Osprey drawn into it.

One summer not long ago. In a cluster of Jack-pine not more than a mile from the shores of Lake Superior…

Evening hour special.

Scribing make-believe Warblers on scraps of wood from a larger project. It’s 1am and I probably had too much caffeine again. Not even a yawn yet so the pen stays close by and I navigate the late night with cartoons, music, and laughing at my own jokes.
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Another sleepless California winter night all dressed up with the perfect place to go.

Keep myself guessing

Trying to decide where to start on this one reminded me of cleaning my room as a youngster.

It was going to be just an antelope skull but it turned into something I’m still not sure I recognize. It’s a skull for sure but that’s all I can decipher.

I finally chose a corner and let it follow it self through.

The pencil work unfolded last week when I had just finished a large hawk portrait.

The pencil work unfolded last week when I had just finished a large hawk portrait.

I did the pen work tonight. Working with the grain made some of the lines difficult to darken but several passes with the pen brought it around.

I did the pen work tonight. Working with the grain made some of the lines difficult to darken but several passes with the pen brought it around.

The details emerged from their hiding places like they do.

The details emerged from their hiding places like they do.

How to build a crow while sitting on a chair.

I penciled this together last night after sketching crows and ravens over the last few nights.

Today after work I sat down before it with a pen and headphones.

It went like this.

Pencil work while watching cartoon reruns.

Pencil work while watching cartoon reruns.

The pen over the top of pencil has a nuance I'm not sure I can explain.  But erasing the pencil after the pen work is outlined is something I really enjoy a lot in the process.

The pen over the top of pencil has a nuance I’m not sure I can explain. But erasing the pencil after the pen work is outlined is something I really enjoy a lot in the process.

I watch the wood grain and it helps me sort out where to draw the lines.

I watch the wood grain and it helps me sort out where to draw the lines.

An abstract crow/raven of sorts. I see crows all over town every day and enjoy them. They're fun to put to page as well.

An abstract crow/raven of sorts. I see crows all over town every day and enjoy them. They’re fun to put to page as well.

It was her again, but it was all right.

She promised me poetry on my grave.
Or at the very least, to try and behave.
 
And as she stood there in the rain she made good.
I write my own poetry on a piece of wood.
 
Time yet not for a bed of dirt.
her words only echo they do not hurt.
 
Sifting through these ashes I found the words,
Bringing to page the largest of birds.
 
In my noblest of efforts to think ahead of my pen.
My thoughts drift back to her again.

When the last bolt of sunshine hits the mountain…

The other night while I was climbing around under my bed. I found an old cassette tape and against my better judgment I listened to the song that was going through her head, while she tossed and turned and lay awake in bed. The next day we said our goodbyes.
 
I am halfway through my 6th plywood raptor in flight drawing. Adding clear coats to the others to keep them safe from the elements and protect the drawings from when I inevitably drop them all somewhere foolish. If I was a bank robber my nickname would be “Clown-Shoes”
 
I forgot to write the words down when I woke up so they became forgotten.
His always seem to work for me though.
 
“And there’s nothing left to do but count the years
When the strings of my heart start to sever
And stones fall from my eyes instead of tears” -Robert Hunter

Warbler reprise.

Trying out a paper thin wood veneer that has an adhesive backing. Supplied to me from my local art supply store to try out.  I adhered it to a piece of cold press art board. Gave it the warbler go, and I enjoy the results. It put up with the eraser plenty well. I’m a big fan of cherry lumber’s color and grain.