Archive for March, 2022

Autumn Dilemma


Recently while looking through an old folder of painting ideas, I found a rough sketch of a colonial era man and son hiding in a deadfall behind big trees while some turkeys were coming up and over the side of the hill. The art was to be a springtime painting. I debated about painting this idea when I thought of doing art with elk instead. I quickly roughed out an idea only to rework it shortly afterwards. (See below.)

Rough idea

The rough, as you can see, was different from the finalized painting. One distinct change was the elk positioning. Originally, I planned on having slope variations as often found in the mountains of Pennsylvania.

The rough using felt pen to emphasis the idea.

It wasn’t until after I had painted for a time that I decided the elk and the varied slopes wasn’t working for me. the changes began to happen!

Early “slappin’ of the paint” time to get the feel of the image.

As you can see from the completed work above, I did eliminate the slope variations to show the entire bodies of the elk.

Elk painting detail.

The original painting was done in acrylics and was painted on a twenty by thirty-inch gesso-prepared panel.

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Upon wakening up on the morning of March 12 I quickly observed the snow-covered landscape. Yesterday, the temperatures reached into the fifty-degree range and this morning six to seven inches of snow could be viewed on the picnic table on the deck. Also, very windy gusts were the norm throughout the day. I would see many snow tornadoes throughout the walk.

i worked on a painting over the morning hours but felt the urge to dress accordingly and go for a walk. The urge overcame the warmth of the house and off I went for a trek.

White-throated Sparrow

The walk would prove to be productive one as far as seeing wildlife. I saw a flock of about seven gobblers scratching on a southern slope. I tried to get closer for some photos, but the birds would not have it. Later, I would see three “jakes” and take a few quick shots. These birds were not part od the gobbler flock.

In a secluded hollow seven or eight deer busted from the cover.

Water flowing under shallow ice.

I glanced up to see my first Turkey Vulture of the year. The bird circled me a few times hoping the old coot would drop. Finding food under snow isn’t easy for buzzards. Another bird observed was the male, Rufous-sided Towhee. He was thinking, no doubt, he should have stayed over a few nights farther south during the migration. I heard a few killdeers flying high. This specie has been around for a few weeks.

I would see many robins throughout the venture. The snow made searching for food on the ground difficulty. I dragged my foot along at times to open up the ground.

Hungry Robin

Typical of March were the quick changes in weather. One moment the sun would be shining with abundant blue skies and in seconds cloud cover would occur followed by brief snow squalls.

I was chilled at times. especially while in the windier areas, but overall, I was comfortable and enjoyed the time afield.

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Frank “Muskie” Maus and I conducted our annual late winter hike on this morning. We have been doing this event for a number of years and look forward to the time together to “catch-up” on things and retell many old “work-related” stories.

This particular morning was in the upper twenties with heavy fog, however, that fog seemed to disappear amazingly fast as we trekked along our journey of the day. This was new country for both of us as far as hiking, but still within areas we have known about for years.

Sun filtering through the fog onto the water.

On one side would be the mighty Allegheny River and on the other side was rocks, and big ones, and steep hills. We were amazed at the sizes of the rock formations not realizing there were rocks in this area.

The exploration time afield yielded various wildlife. We saw two Bald eagles and one on the nest. Other wildlife included: Killdeer; lots of Canada Geese; Common and Hooded Mergansers; Bufflehead Ducks; two deer; Fox and Grey Squirrels and various hawks.

Bufflehead Duck

Our conversations have taken a new turn in recent years and that is our aging ailments. HaHa. Yes, we are growing old having known each other since the mid-seventies. Always a joy for our time together to laugh and remember.


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