Images of Wild Creatures.
I have travelled too little to see any real wildlife aside from the critters who inhabit my suburban garden, so I work from pictorial resources such as magazines and calendars. Nonetheless, after being accustomed to seeing domesticated animals in the relative comfort of my home and neighborhood, it is almost a shock to see an animal which has never known a human and cares nothing for human companionship. Studying a wild animal in its natural habitat is a reminder that the world does not revolve around us, that these creatures get along just fine (and probably better) without us, that we are really only one more species carrying out our lives on Earth. And while, for me, the inspiration to put an image on paper is always primarily a visual inspiration, wild animals carry the same emotional inspiration as domestic pets--animals are so un-selfconscious. Add to that the beauty of a natural landscape and you've got a perfect recipe for visual pleasure.
My backyard is a "Registered Backyard Wildlife Habitat", and even though small and in a regular old neighborhood near Main Street, it is host to plenty of native species of all sorts, especially songbirds, hence the quantity of bird art.
The images at the top of this page are the more detailed and scenic works, while the smaller and more whimsical pieces are at the bottom.
For information on the Animal Artwork Display program, visit "Animal Artwork Display".
Click on any image to see an enlarged version.
MEDIUM: Pastel; SIZE: 22" x 16"; 1997, sold, prints and other items available
It's easy to personify what animals do, but when I saw this picture I really wondered what made these wolves stop at that point and howl while the rest of the group moved on. The range of dusky earth tones and the textures inspired me to render it in a looser and more sketchy manner than usual, letting the texture of the paper add to the image.
MEDIUM: Pastel; SIZE: 32" x 22"; 2001, $2,000.00 matted and framed, prints and other items available
This was after a photo from a magazine, and at the time I had been reading novels about the settlement of the Great Plains. This looks like a lot of bison, but considering how many populated this country just 200 years ago, this herd is just a shadow of what it once was, and in this orange twilight even their shapes are reduced to shadows..
Honorable Mention Winner in Pastel category Butler Art Center's 2007 Nature and Wildlife Show.
MEDIUM: Pastel; SIZE: 23" x 15"; 2001, $750.00 matted and framed
I love marshes and wetlands, and even though there are no whooping cranes near me, we do have resident Great Blue Herons in our watershed. This image reminded me of their takeoff, but noticing the subtle coloring of natural things, the pure blue-white edged with yellow, then the brown wing tips were enchanting.
MEDIUM: Pastel; SIZE: 21" x 15"; 2001, sold, prints available
If you've read through other areas of this site, you'll know I'm a "cat person". Big cat, small cat, in many ways they act the same, and this cougar, obviously practicing a stalk and pounce is doing what all cats do in their spare time, when they aren't sleeping.
The Blue Tuna
MEDIUM: Pastel; SIZE: 18" x 12"; 2001, $500, prints available
This was an experiment on a "velour" style of pastel drawing paper. I wanted to get both the smooth transitions of light and dark in water, and the clarity of the reflections without really hard edges. Because the tuna are in fairly deep water, the ripple reflections are a little soft on the edges, and the velour helped to carry that.
First Place Winner in pastel category Butler Art Center's 2007 Nature and Wildlife Show.
A World Overhead
MEDIUM: Pastel; SIZE: 12" x 12"; 2002, $300, prints and other items available
This was inspired by driving down an interstate and looking right up at a hawk, not a wise thing to do at that speed, but I lived through it and it inspired this piece, plus perhaps a few others viewed into the sky.
The Gray Wolf
MEDIUM: Pastel; SIZE: 12" x 16"; 1994, $100, prints and other items available
Now there’s a look that will put us mere humans in our places. This wolf was on the cover of National Wildlife some time in the early 90s, and it must have been a popular image because I've since seen it on plenty of gift items.
MEDIUM: Watercolor; SIZE: 8" x 8"; 1996, $75 matted and framed, prints and other items available
Asleep in the Snow
MEDIUM: Pastel; SIZE: 22" x 16"; 1998, $500 matted and framed, prints and other items available
First Place Winner in pastel category South Hills Art League's 1999 Annual Juried Show.
In His Element
MEDIUM: Pastel; SIZE: 15" x 12"; 1996, sold, small items available
Birds in Snow
MEDIUM: Pastel; SIZE: 7" x 10"; 2001, sold, prints and other items available
These birds were actually pecking around in the snow under a bird feeder, but their random order and little shadows were intriguing. This was done en plein air--but not outside so I wouldn't cause the birds to fly off.
MEDIUM: Pencil with watercolor; SIZE: 22" x 16"; 2002, $750 matted and framed, prints and other items available
What do doves do all day? Just kind of hang out waiting for something to happen. These doves are hanging out in the maple tree outside my bedroon window. The drawing is done in pencil with very slight watercolor washes to show the bird's breast tarnish and the slight gather of moss on the tree branch.
MEDIUM: Pastel; SIZE: 6" x 6"; 2001, sold, prints and other items available
These mallards are floating along on Chartiers Creek, which flows through the town I live in and which forms our local watershed. The sky is reflecting on the water's surface giving it that solid appearance.
MEDIUM: Pastel; SIZE: 6" x 6"; 2004, $100 matted and framed, prints and other items available
Jammin' Jay Blues
MEDIUM: Pastel; SIZE: 6" x 6"; 2003, sold, prints and other items available
The Sparrows in the Spruce
MEDIUM: Charcoal; SIZE: 5" x 7"; 2001, sold, prints and other items available
MEDIUM: Linoleum Block Print; SIZE: 12" x 4"; 2003, prints and other items available
I like snow, too. For more of the art of winter, see "Winter White".