Archive for January, 2023

Winter Escape

Late last year (2022) I began sketching some ideas down for a Whitetail Deer painting. The plan was to work on a number of thoughts and being finalized by early January. The plan fell in place on the time schedule. Laurie was scheduled to have a food surgery on January 17th. I imagined I would work on the art while being near to help as needed. However, since I quit hunting with the flintlock early, I began the painting process for the above completed painting.

I made a number of “thumbnail” sketches. The thumbnail is an artist term used to make small sketches or thoughts. These thumbnails are studied until a direction is finalized within the thoughts. I made around six or seven of those thumbnails,

The thumbnail I decided to work the plan on. This sketch is around 4 by 6 or so.

After the thumbnail idea is decided on, I then think about what size the finished art is to be. The original size was 16 by 20. However, once I sketched the rough to that size and deemed my concept was “crushed” mush too much and elected to the size of 16 by 24. What that term of crush means here is that the drawing was too busy within the space. the 16 by 24 allowed to put my desires in the painting and not having the details to be lost with the elements of the painting. BUT… I happened to have a frame of 16 by 23 on hand so I shortened the length by an inch and adjusted the sketch as needed.

Notice some changes here with some rough ideas of farm buildings.

I began actually painting earlier this month of January and finished it rather quickly.

Another rough sketch drawn to size. Notice the varying ideas being adjusted on the two.

It is up to viewer to decide what the deer are escaping from. Was it a human? Was it a coyote? was it a much bigger buck challenging this buck? It is up to you!

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I was unsuccessful during the flintlock season. However, I should not have been unsuccessful. Something has happened to me as I aged. Readers of my blog know of the sighting issues I have had in recent years, and I had taken steps to try to curtail those problems. I am going to take the long barreled flinter to the range under extremely controlled conditions to rule things out in regard to the sights. I have lost confidence in my abilities, and I am thinking the loss of confidence has affected my psyche. I am believing my issue is in my head telling me I am going to fail, and I do. Whatever, three misses that should not have been misses caused to quit hunting this year. Also, dealing with health issues with my mother and stepfather has me feeling down.

With all of this being said I did have some interesting events unfold while hunting. I will include a few here for my personal journal remembrance. First of all, I saw a lot of deer! I saw a flock of turkeys, a couple of rabbits, fisher tracks, lots of squirrels and various other small wildlife.

One day behind my homestead, I saw five bucks running together. They were out of range, but I went at an angled and circled around and crept upon them to about forty-five yards. I was bringing up the rifle on one I deemed legal because I could easily count the legal points, as per Pennsylvania law, when the buck spotted me. I froze, but he and the others walked off and crossed a township road into posted properly. I would have missed anyway, no doubt.

One day, I stalked a feeding doe. I was closing the gap when she began walking towards me. I eased Old Jacob out from behind the tree and shot only to see the doe standing. She walked off turned and returned. I had reloaded behind the tree and missed again. I was frustrated.

I crept into a wooded area and sat down to watch one morning. Shortly I could see a doe feeding towards me. She bedded down. Too far for me to shoot, but close enough I could see her chewing her cud. The doe eventually put her head on the ground to sleep. Isat for almost three hours and I was shivering at times and cramping up. I decided to crawl while her head was down to close the gap. I hadn’t moved far when her head came up again. I froze. After a bit she arose from her bed and began to walk towards me again, but gradually moved away at an angle. Interesting to be part of, to say the least.

The day I quit hunting found me watching four deer, one being a six-point buck. The buck was nice but illegal, so I eased my camera out of my shoulder bag to attempt a photo if he allowed for it. Meanwhile, a doe that had walked at an angle out of site returned and walked close to me at about forty yards or so. I missed. I spent an hour and a half searching to make sure. The decision to abort the became reality.

The future of my flintlock hunting has many opened-ended questions and concerns for me to resolve. I really do enjoy the flintlock season and hope with some range work and possibly some soul searching, I can resume next season as a new and confident hunter.

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A Friend Receives a Painting!

The man in the above photo has been a friend for a number of years. I believe we first met some years ago after the formation of the Kit-Han-Ne Local Chapter of the Pennsylvania Wild Turkey Federation. With time I became less active in the organization, but Bill still stayed on fulfilling various positions and committees. We worked together a long time with local chapter banquets, too.

Late last year I received a message of Bill’s son, Greg about the painting, “LAUREL FLUSH.” Greg wanted to surprise his father with the original painting for his birthday. Discussion followed and Greg recently picked up the painting.

Laurel Flush has found a home and I am pleased to see the painting was received by Bill. The son said Bill was surprised and a few tears of emotion were viewed. As the artist, I can’t ask for much more than such reactions. Thank you, Greg and happy birthday, Bill.

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