The deeds were done and done again as my life is done in Watermelon Sugar

My life in Watermelon Sugar

My life in Watermelon Sugar


I took a short (week long) break from the warbler/raptors project to make a tribute of sorts to one of my favorite books. This landscape is inspired by Richard Brautigan’s “In Watermelon Sugar”. A short story that paints a tragedy with the greatest beauty.

I’ve developed a little habit of only writing the date on an illustration when its finished. I’ll sign my initials when the pen work is done but never date it until its finished. I started this landscape in 2013, but finished the color tonight. So we’ll call it my first of 2014.

My favorite part of 2013 being over is that I don’t have to write the number 13 anymore as it always looks like a “B”.

Happy 2014 and thank you for stopping through to look at my art, and I wish you all the very best.

I think I’ll draw you some birds this year.

The Watermelon Sugar process.

The Watermelon Sugar process.


All I know she sang a little while and then flew on

All I know she sang a little while and then flew on

Though a raptor book isn’t a bad idea either. I’ve got this great spot I’ve been going to with my bike to ride some little jumps. There’s usually a large hawk around, its a perfect meadow for mice and that sort so there’s plenty of food to go around. No hawk today but a small bunch of finches where hanging around.

Birding and bikes have gone hand in hand with me since i can recall. I don’t go out my front door with a list in hand of birds to see. Rather I just open my eyes to whichever show up. There are birds all around us that frequently get over looked. Today at the jumps it was finches, yesterday a hawk. Some nights on my way to get groceries I see the neighborhood Barn Owl.

I have no expectations of the natural world to “show me something”. It just happens when it does, and it makes me grateful. that’s how seeing a Red-tail on a high tension line can be the same as hearing a song I love to hear, or a poem I love to read.

The choice for documenting with illustrations comes from my love of the books. A bird book feels a poetry book. Like a book of poetry that Richard Brautigan would have written. Inside the photographs take me places and illustrations show me light.

My connection to birds goes back farther than I can remember. My Mother tells me I had an imaginary friend bird named Gus as a little kid. My Grandfather always had bird feeders in his yard and a bird guide on the inside table. My father keeps binoculars hanging on the lamp by the window and dozens of feeders kept full. My Uncle was a carver and illustrator who loved the natural world and carved many birds, and animals.

No doubt there’s a big nest of birds in my family tree.

Maybe when I see a hawk or song bird it seems all my relations come to be right there in my presence and the gratitude I feel makes me smile. Or maybe I’m just glad to play a roll in this ecosystem we call our solar system. vast and great.

All I know is as long as I’m able to, Ill draw them for you.

Laugh in the sunshine,
cry in the dark,
fly through the night.