Archive for July, 2020



I left here from the house prior to sunrise to fish along the Allegheny River. I had set the minnow trap late last night and had kept approximately fifteen to fish with and turned the others back for another time.

The very first cast set the stage for my morning.  Snagged! I was snagged on something and ended up losing a lot of line. Almost every cast found the same scenario. The current seemed different. I kind of have a policy that if I lose three riggings in a short time, I tend to quit. That policy is not set in stone. I fished almost two hours and only had one hit, but numerous snags. I decided to explore.

I was blessed to watch a Beaver near the shoreline. That feller seemed curious about me and allowed a closer approach. I managed some photos of the hungry rodent. A pair of gulls would fly over squawking and circling. I think they were wanting me to give them food. I took some photos of them as well. I did see a high-altitude Bald Eagle, some Mallards and a small flock of Canada Geese.             








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The Boys Of Summer

The Boys Of Summer

I began thinking about a painting featuring White-tailed Deer in velvet sometime in May.  As always, the thoughts became some quick thumbnail sketches working on a composition. These roughs may be only about three by five inches. Eventually, I came up with a composition I liked and began doing a rough layout to size, in this case, an eighteen by twenty-four inch painting.  Using tracing paper, I traced that rough making further changes and refining as I believed would be best.

Rough sketch

Once I was fairly content with the rough composition I began refining the drawing once again. The next step for me was preparation of an 18 X 24 inch Masonite board. I applied three coats of gesso while sanding some in between each coat. I transferred the drawing onto this prepared board. Even at this stage I may refine the drawing or make changes. Notice on the layout on the left I had distant mountains, but I changed that concept to a field with fence posts.

The next step was to paint the sky. Once complete I began what I call the, “slapping stage” where I hastily block in color to keep the drawing close to what my intent was. I am not concerned much with color at this time, only applying paint to get the form of the image to my plans. Any person looking at the board  would think what is this guy trying to do. Now, I begin slapping the paints but in a more controlled method further getting the forms to where I want them to be.

The painting begins to slow down as I do stages with more detail. I worked the field in and background trees followed by more rough work with the tree and closer grasses. From this point on it is a matter of jumping around the panel placing more paint here and there all over the art. Detail gradually slows down even more and the painting begins to come to life. more.

I generally try to complete most of the background before detailing the deer in this case. The percentage of completion might be something like 65%. I continually look the art over and refine the details as needed. I slapped on more paint but  in a more

Into the “slapping paint” stage

controlled way until finally I began to detail.  The detailed deer began to take hold quickly. Sometimes it all happens faster than I would have thought. I keep adding paint as needed until I look at the art and deem it complete.


I like to set the art back for a day or two to see it all fresh light. Sometimes even then I will adjust things.

Finally, at some point, I look at the art and say I think I better stop painting. The next step is to varnish the art. I used acrylic paints on this painting, and like oil paints, once complete and dry the artist varnishes the painting.

Hope you enjoy the stages of this painting.





A little more defined.


Color from photography is off.


Starting to detail the deer.

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More Bear Art

A few days ago, I stopped painting on a summer buck painting and switched to doing some bear art. I have done other art similar to these on deer and elk shoulder bones. These two examples were done on Black Bear shoulder bones.

I usually don’t put the amount of detail on shoulder bone art as I would on a painting. However, they do make an interesting conversation starter at a home. I make sure the bones set up on a level surface. Some require a little removal of bone, many set perfectly without any additional bone sculpting.

The worst part of doing  bone art is the cleaning of all residue from the bone. If the bone has been in the elements for a long period of time the bones will be perfect for painting. Otherwise I have to scrape and pull all tissue from them. The second step is submerging them in bleach to whiten and further remove any thing I may have missed.

I find taking photos of irregularly shaped bones difficult. The contours on the bone allow for shiny sheens from the varnish. You will see some of those sheens with these photos.

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Summer Wildflowers


Button Bush










I have left the house early the last two days to do some hiking. I walk around early to beat the heat. For example, the temperature  is forecasted to reach in the ninty-degree range this day.

I awakened close to three-thirty in the morning for a nature call. My original intent was to go to the creek and set a minnow trap and go after some river fish. I didn’t act on that idea, but checked the long-range weather only to see rather warm nights for a long time. This morning was cool and fall-like with a temperature in the mid-fifty-degree range.  I made an executive decision and decided to go walking while it is cool. I will fish another morning. I needed some walking time anyway.

Yesterday evening a walked a mile long walk to pay the taxes and, of course, the place was locked up. I left the check in a lock-box supplied, but I was

Black-eyed Susans

angry. I am sick of all this BS happening over this very dangerous virus with a survival rate of over 99%! The political deception is running amuck. People are living i fear. I have not used a mask yet, but I don’t go many places anymore because I do not appreciate the looks and businesses bringing it to my attention. I have asthma and have an excuse, but in a free society I shouldn’t need an excuse. Sorry for the vent!

Back to the walk. The morning was cool and I had on a flannel shirt and was quite comfortable until the sun rose higher in the sky. I could feel the heat beginning to soar.

Birdlife was abundant. I did see some deer and fawns on occasion. I saw around six adult turkeys in a field and I couldn’t see any poults at all. Hmm, I hope that isn’t an omen in declining numbers this year.

I located one bear track in dry dirt and saw some ripped wood on a couple of utility poles.

I drove home on some old back roads I hadn’t been on for many years.


Even the spiders are messed up in the 2020 year!


Common Mullein









Wild Bergamot



Butterfly Flower


Canada Thistle


Downy Skullcap




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