How to trap a hawk with a #2 pencil.

I cut and sanded the plywood over the tailgate of my truck out in the parking lot today after work.
There’s still sawdust on the asphalt at 1am. The wind will take it soon enough I resolved.
I used two Dixon #2 pencils to bring to focus the Hawk I was seeing in the wood grain.
It’s a Zone-Tailed Hawk, native to southern California, Arizona, and Mexico.
But another of many birds I’ve only seen in books, and my pencil work.
Gliding between wing beats, that’s how it will stay on this page.
Until I set it loose in paint sometime not long from now.

Turn the page, a dream in time-lapse.


Messing around with a new-to-me technology. Over the coming weeks I’ll be assembling a series of time lapse recordings of several different drawing projects.

I spend a large amount of my free time behind this sheet of plywood drawing out what dreams or visions I can catch in my head.

The time I spend here brings me peace when I’m at unrest.

Here my roots come up through the asphalt of California.

I’m always interested in a way to further share my perspective on the important beauty of our natural world.

This shows promise.


Many worlds I’ve come since I first left home

Chestnut-Sided Warbler

Chestnut-Sided Warbler

Tonight I finished the pen work for my collection of 30 different Warbler species. I’ll color them in this week and in a perfect world I’ll share them with you here in full color by next weekend.

This project has helped me learn  a lot about observation, patience, drawing techniques, and myself.

The Bay-Breasted warbler was the last one I finished tonight, making it the most recent bird I’ve drawn.

Sparrow on plywood in acrylic.

Sparrow on plywood in acrylic.

This acrylic painting is one I’ve been carrying around with me from Illinois. I painted it 8 years ago in my parents basement on scrap wood from my Dad’s wood shop.

My birds have changed over the years, gaining some kind of clarity. At the very least they’re not hunchbacked and worried looking.


Thanks for tuning in folks, more on birds when we come back…



Oh it makes me wild, With twenty-eight years upon my head to have you call me child.

Red-shoulder hawk in flight.

Red-shoulder hawk in flight.

Wildlife and how it connects to many of my adventures,

My favorite bike rides were had either with great friends or wildlife. The best ones had both.

When I’d push my downhill bike up the Rock Garden alone any day of the week,

I interacted with every bush and every shrub, every turkey vulture on high, every hawk riding the thermals.

Whether the run was clean or not never mattered as much as the wildlife and the experience on the trail.

One afternoon on a ride through the canyon with my good friend, Jason, we spotted a bobcat and got as

close as fifteen feet. It looked at us with the greatest eyes a wildcat could have.

Illustrating wildlife brings old adventures back to mind. From playing rock and roll music in basements in the Midwest and spotting Bald Eagles,

to driving down back roads in Alger County, Michigan with my Dad and seeing seven broad-wing hawks in one clearing,

or laying awake and hearing the whippoorwill call in the dead of night.

The image of any hawk in flight inspires visions of adventure in my mind.

I chose the Red-Shoulder hawk for this drawing because I see them frequently here in California’s central coast.

When I started this drawing of a Red-Shoulder hawk in flight I wanted to capture the adventures as they unfold in my mind time and time again.

This was my first attempt at drawing a hawk in flight. I spent around 20 hours on it over the last two weeks. Time well spent in my mind.

If what I tell myself is true, that times flies on the wings of my perched birds, then I should probably send them flying.