raptor study 1

It’s been a long while since I’ve posted here. Several things have happened since my last entry…

The hand surgery I had nearly a year ago was successful; I have fairly good use/control of my dominant hand. Recovery took about 4 months, and I returned to my full-time job. Then, unfortunately, I had to leave that job before I could have my other hand done, and well… COVID 19 put a stop to all elective surgeries anyway. After a month or so of physical therapy for the on-going back issue that forced my departure from said job, I’m finally feeling up to working on art again.

So, I’m back in my studio. Boy have I missed it!

This is really the first serious drawing I’ve attempted since the draft horses. My hand is holding up pretty well for the cross-hatching technique I’m using for this study. I actually began it a couple years ago, and decided to finally see it through.

raptor study 1

It’s done on Strathmore 500 bristol with 003 and 005 Microns. Thankfully, these nifty pens are quite forgiving in that unlike dip pens, fine pressure control is not as crucial for nice uniform lines. (I’m practicing with pens nibs, but the results I’m getting aren’t quite up to snuff yet.)

I’m not sure where the reference photo I’m using came from, so until I do, I’ll refrain from posting without proper attribution.

Next time, I’ll include some close-ups. 🙂

Thanks for stopping by!

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so sorry

I’m sorry this space has been blank for so long; Life has a way of taking over and  ‘hanging on for the ride’ becomes daily reality.  So, not much besides the Essential happens… and that’s where I’ve been for a long while now.  But, that’s the way it goes, and I’m grateful for the lessons learned whilst hanging on!

Hopefully, I will be able to get back to some creative work within the next couple of months. I finally decided I’d had enough of the pain in my thumbs due to arthritis, and had reconstructive surgery on my dominant hand 2 weeks ago. It’s a slow recovery process (several more weeks in a cast and then therapy), but everything seems to be going well so far.  My plan is to have the same procedure on other hand yet this year.  We’ll see!

Anyway, I wanted to check in with those of you who follow this blog and thank you for your loyalty and patience. And to wish you all a wonderful rest of the season!

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draft horses update

I know it’s been forever, and I apologize for my absence.  I hope your new year is going well, and your resolutions are still intact!

I am still working full time, so have minimal time/energy to create art, unfortunately.

However, I have decided to make the draft horses drawing available on selected products in my Zazzle storePosters, greeting cards, and tote bags.   I hope you’ll enjoy them!

If you’d like to see the horses available on other specific products, please let me know via the comments.

Thanks for stopping by!

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an update

Sorry for my absence… I’m now working full time (plus overtime), so I simply don’t have time (or energy) to do any drawing at present.

I hope you will all have a wonderful summer!

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draft horses 5

For now, they are finished… a few days away from them, then I’ll decide what (if any) background to add.  At this point, I’m really just ready to be done. 🙂

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draft horses 4

Still working on the drafts… they are coming along slowly but surely.

The manes are very light colored, so I will be adding a background of some sort… probably a stone or barn wall or something similar for contrast, which should make the light hair more visible.  Additionally, without some context, it’s just a study, not a story. 🙂

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draft horses 3

Some more work on the harness… it’s rather slow going (many interruptions this week!)  and the hardware bits are a more than a little fiddly, but it’s coming along steadily.  I’m certainly learning to observe closely!  It’s great that the photo is so very clear… makes things easier.

more harness…

I’m also posting the progress of this drawing to the Pen and Ink forum on WetCanvas.com

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draft horses 2

Decided to number the posts for this work in progress.

A bit more accomplished on the harness… it’s easy to get lost in rendering all that detail.  It requires more contrast, but it’s getting there.

some serious work on the harness…

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New art – draft horses 1

Finally!  This winter has been a very long one.

And, it’s been well over a year since I’ve posted anything here: my apologies.  Time has a way of slipping past.  Wish I could say I’ve been producing lots and lots of art, but alas… that would be a lie.  But!… no dwelling on the past and its difficulties.  Onward.

I found an intriguing photo on Pixabay.com that I just couldn’t resist:

Photo from Pixabay. Thank you to WildOne for sharing this beautiful image!

Just a bit about Pixabay: it’s an incredible resource for professional-quality images, which are free to use: (the following is taken from the site’s terms of Service):

“Images and Videos on Pixabay are released under Creative Commons CC0. To the extent possible under law, uploaders of Pixabay have waived their copyright and related or neighboring rights to these Images and Videos. You are free to adapt and use them for commercial purposes without attributing the original author or source.”

Like I said: a truly incredible resource.  I am so grateful to the artists who upload their work to share in this way:  Thank you!!

Just a short time ago, my old laptop died, and I’m in the process of upgrading peripherals to work with my new(er) machine.  Unfortunately, my scanner has not yet arrived, so please bear with me as I use my trusty little digital camera for image capture… sorry it’s washed out… I tried to adjust things in Photoshop, but it just wasn’t cooperating!

So far:

working title: “Chained to the World”

Why I chose such a complicated subject, I don’t know. I’ve always loved horses, and the image just seemed so perfect. The photographer chose to use black and white, which is a magnet for me!  And the dramatic lighting didn’t hurt either. 🙂 Technique of choice for this piece is mainly cross-hatching.  The finished size will be rather on the large side: 10.5″ X 16″.  I’m using Micron pens in various sizes on Strathmore 500 Bristol.

I’m not even going to attempt to predict a finish date…




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it’s February already

My seasonal job at a local orchard has officially ended (nearly 2 months earlier than last year).  Last season’s apple crop was extremely heavy for our region, but this year’s was lighter.  Added to that, this season, many growers north of our location experienced late freezes which severely limited harvest for them.  This summer, higher-than-normal temperatures and too little rainfall lowered yields overall.  Every year is different; each has its own challenges.  I have to say: my hat’s off to those folks who grow our food; it’s hard for me to imagine being so at the mercy of the vagaries of the weather for a chosen livelihood!  I know I don’t begin to have the nerve for it.

But I digress.

After taking a few days off to try to change gears and catch up on a few things, I’m once again back at the drawing table…and, slowly but surely, getting back into a creative mindset.  I’m not sure why I’ve never been able to continue to work on my art while being employed.  For some reason, my art and my job have always  seemed mutually exclusive: two totally opposite head-spaces for me.   Probably just a case of not enough energy to go around. 😉

Ah well!  Hopefully, I’ll have something new art-wise to share before too long.

In the meantime, happy February!

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