Archive for the ‘My Art’ Category

Screech owl and Chickadees

Very recently I received a copy of the Conservation Lantern. I was very surprised to see an acrylic painting of mine called, “Screech Owl and Chickadees”. The Conservation Lantern is a seasonal publication from the Pennsylvania Federation of Sportsmen Clubs and Pennsylvania Wildlife Federation. The website is: http://www.pfsc.org.

Earlier this year they used a Bald Eagle painting on their cover.

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The Lost Arrow- Black Bear

The Lost Arrow- Black Bear

I have not been inspired to paint much as of late. there is a lot of issues I am dealing with, however recently I saw some birch trees while hunting bear with the muzzleloader. I took some notes and began sketching down an idea.

I found a panel I had prepared to paint on and decided that would be the size of the painting. The size is thirteen by eighteen.

My first drawing shown here found a liking for the composition. I used tracing paper and refined the sketch some. Once I was satisfied, I transferred the image to the pre-pared panel and the “slapping stage” began. People are amazed how the slapped-on paint evolves to the finished piece.

The original composition

I then start to refine the painting process. Detail work slows down the art, of course.

The original concept for this painting had Jack-In-The-Pulpit seed pods and ferns, but as the painting moved along, I chose an arrow and eliminated the other thoughts. the arrow is from an Eastern Indian bow and was lost while shooting at something in the days before the bear walked past. the bear gives the arrow a look with curiosity. The entire story behind the painting is up to the viewer. However, my original intent was the piece to be of a historical nature.

I have included some photos of the process for those who enjoy observing. I hope you enjoy.

The tracing paper transfer to refine.

Detailing begins

Black and white verson

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Autumn Gold-Bald eagle

I completed the painting, AUTUMN GOLD-BALD EAGLE in 2019. Earlier this year I learned the painting would be appearing on the Fall 2021 cover of the quarterly magazine called The CONSERVATION LANTERN. This magazine comes out through the Pennsylvania Federation of Sportsmen and Conservationists and the Pennsylvania Wildlife Federation.

I am honored to see my art of their cover.

The original has a new home.

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Having a dog around the house again sure changes our lives. Trixie was owned by an elderly couple from the church we attended. They have had this Dachshund for around five years. They estimate the dog may be around eight years old.

Laurie with her good heart told the couple we would take care of the dog if ever the need would come upon them. She said we would take the dog before seeing it handed over to a dog orphanage place or such.

The couple earlier this year due to health reasons have ended up in a home. We obtained Trixie in early summer. We have had issues. Her legs gave her some trouble and we had to put her on steroids. Unfortunately, that causes the needs for nature calls frequently. Often times she didn’t get outside in time if you know what I mean. Also, we have been trying to train her to give us a communication of some sort so we know when she needs to go out. Sometimes this works sometimes it doesn’t, but things are improving with her.

Trixie loves to play and she has a lot of toys she continually drags out into the room. Another enjoyment for her is to bark at squirrels and chipmunks on the back deck, She’ll spend much time watching the steps and landings for these little pests to her. She barks at them until they are out of site.

Watching for critters on the deck.

Overall she is becoming a very good dog. She is a loving dog now wanting to be petted as her tail wags back and forth. She is a vocal dog when guests first arrive but she has proven to be a friendly dog with company.

The one negative we face now is we can not not go far and for any great time. We have no family who can take care of her anytime we might need to take a mini-trip. But that is alright with us especially with a world going off the deep end more daily. We three will be OK. We will give her the best life we can while she is here with us.

Trixie under her blanket.

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Latest Painting

Recently I completed a painting of eight various dogs showing them at the base of a golden path to “doggy heaven”. Of course, the comments I received from social media were abundant. I always enjoy seeing the reactions of those who enjoy the art and concept. I placed different photos of the painting’s progress until the finished art was placed to show. About midway in the process I was contacted to do a painting of some pets.

The painting above shows the final painting prior to the varnishing.

Original layout minus the cat drawing.

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A Couple of Art Ventures

I never know what I will be asked to paint or where an inspiration may push me towards. The above painting was a request from my wife, Laurie. She asked if I would do a painting of dogs for her. She has always loved dogs.

I told her to make a list of species she would like for me to paint. The list featured eight species of dogs. Shown on the painting are the eight dogs she wanted on the art. They are: Doberman; Poodle; Pomerium; Great Dane; Goldendoodle; Cocker Spaniel; Springer Spaniel and the Beagle.

The thought process began and the final layout depicts the idea on the treated Masonite panel. The painting is an eighteen by twenty-four sized art and done with acrylic paint. The art is for her Valentine’s Day.

The second art is a pen, ink and pencil buck called “The Side of the Mountain”. I have been going through my file cabinets and I found a small sketch I did many years ago of a buck walking alongside the hill. I sketched the art originally while I was still at work. I often walked around at lunch time and sketched down ideas. Some were kept apparently, but most were discarded upon study.

I immediately decided I was going to do the idea in ink. A handful of hours later over several days the piece was completed. However, this finished art is not the same as the original sketch. Only the idea was used.

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The Side of the Mountain

The Side of the Mountain

The pen and ink art, “SIDE OF THE MOUNTAIN” was done recently. I was going through old files and notes and found an image I had sketched many years ago while at work. The sketch was only about two by four, but for some reason I filed it.

The above art doesn’t resemble that sketch at all except the fact of a deer coming round the side of the mountain. After viewing the sketch I decided to use that inspiration and quickly penciled in an image followed by pen and ink details. Hope you enjoy the art.

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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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The Pines

I am not sure how most artists are, but I have always felt a little sadness upon the time when a painting becomes the owner to another. However, I am not a young person anymore and I have to let things go.

The painting called, THE PINES, was inspired by an actual deer hunting event that happened awhile back. Three shots were heard up and over the hill. Approximately a half an hour later I heard a snap only to see a buck to my left at about thirty, or so, yards.  This buck was not legal due to the four-points to one side law in Pennsylvania at that time. I watched the deer cut diagonally to my left and stop at times. This buck was looking around when I heard another disturbance to my left. I eased my eyes strongly in that direction and I could see antlers  sticking out from behind a tree.

I knew this buck had a really nice rack although, at this time, I could only see partial antlers. Now, I was in a bad way. How do I get the flintlock rifle up and in place without buck number 1 seeing the movement. However, I slowly brought the rifle up. I still wasn’t positive of the point count.

Why do deer do unpredictable movements? Normally, the last deer will follow the first deer, but this buck turned and began slowly moving upslope. Unfortunately, I was turned sharp to my left and in an uncomfortable position. The shot would have to be soon or the deer would be in a position where I would be unable to get a shot.

Now, I could see the whole rack and was, almost, ready to squeeze when some limbs stopped my attempt. In seconds the buck was up and over the ridgeline.

The buck in the painting was never this visible for a shot, although I came very close on squeezing the trigger. Fate is like that when hunting is involved. Little things can make or break the shot.

Interestingly, I saw this same buck on the last day of the season close to quitting time. The range was farther than I wished to shoot with my flintlock. I tried to move and waylay him, but he must have went in a different direction.  Moments later the season was over.

The owner of the painting was the hunter who had fired the three shots prior to the buck coming to me. I think that is a nice closure to this painting.


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