Friday, December 10, 2010


10 x 14 charcoal on Strathmore | sold

This adorable short-haired border collie, JoJo, was the last commission for the holidays.

What a great pose! There was natural light from behind and reflected light from the right. I was grateful that her dad provided the photo because during our introduction, she wasn't as relaxed...rather very focused on her ball...loves her orange ball so I had to venture out of my black and white comfort zone.

pure joy.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Bundle of Joy!

10.5" x 10.5" x 2.25" |  latex on wood

"The universe is full of magical things, patiently waiting for our wits to grow stronger."      - Eden Philpotts                           

This construct celebrates lifes simple pleasures and little miracles happening all around us. I believe that our quest in acknowledging them is determined by which frequency we choose to tune in.
: )
Last month our basset hound, Kirby, ruptured a disk which resulted in paralysis of her hindquarters. Thanks to Dr. Gower and to the love, support and prayers of family and friends, she is recovering amazingly well. Here she is pictured below during one of her exercise sessions:

Saturday, October 23, 2010

River Flowing Through Us

24" x 24", blended wood panel

Checking-in on one of my favorite art blogs, Barbara Muir Paints, has become a daily ritual. Her writings are as positive and uplifting as her beautifully expressive drawings and paintings. Barbara is acutely aware and thankful of the many gifts surrounding her…and that mindset is wonderfully potent and contagious.

We’re all blessed. The ordinary, in reality, is extraordinary. The simple, yet priceless moments with family and friends are what I cherish most…like when my Pearce, creative and rowing buds were there for me at my opening last Friday night, so incredible.

This weekend we’ll be supporting our friends via live webcast at the Head of the Charles…the rock star all regattas in my book. Austin Rowing Club has 34 rowers competing in Boston today and tomorrow. so awesome.

This work-in-progress was inspired by my crewmates, who are about to cash in on months of dedicated training. Bright and talented women all connected by the river.

: )

Friday, October 15, 2010

Our Marley is going to the show!

Happy Friday Everyone!

If you happen to be in the Austin area this evening, you are welcome to attend our opening at the new Austin Details Art+Photo Gallery, 6-8p, located at 106 East 8th Street (just east of Congress Avenue...look for the red doors). I feel honored to be exhibiting with the featured portrait artists in this show:

Here's the recommended parking for this event:

A portion of the proceeds of the framed charcoal drawing of Marley will benefit the PAWS Shelter and Humane Society.

Hope to see you tonight!

Thursday, September 23, 2010

happy birthday to me!

charcoal on Strathmore paper

Jack will be 13 tomorrow. He's thrilled as you can see here! We're celebrating with walks and treats and a almost every other day.

: )

I'm painting a series of skyscapes and charcoal sketches really get me limbered-up for the range of values needed. Artist Laurel Daniel is exceptional in capturing the subtleties and contrasts in her landscapes.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010


9" x 9" charcoal sketch on paper

Completed sketch of Wiseguy. What a difference with a darker background. Seeing the shuffling back and forth of foreground to background when altering the values never ceases to amaze and amuse me.

Will be doing more.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010


Pruning my flowers again...they all seem so innocent, don't they?

6" x 9" charcoal sketch

Either I will go back into this sketch of Wiseguy or start another tomorrow as I wanted to reveil as much of his features with as little light as possible. Handsome soul.

Friday, September 17, 2010

I hear you

22" x 30" charcoal on Rives BFK he's not so small.

This is the drawing I was referring to in a previous post. I've been sketching for days now trying to get Diamond's expression and the lighting just right. It was a bit tricky as he was blasted with sunlight from above but also bathed by the light reflecting up from the concrete pad.

You can set your clocks by this sweet ol' soul...stopping by the studio doorway for his afternoon snack. He takes a look inside, turns his head with ears tracking where you might be, then winnies.
Who has who trained here?
: )

Friday, September 10, 2010


11" x 14" charcoal drawing on Strathmore | sold

props swirling above
escaping the summer heat
in the afternoon
: )

Sunday, August 29, 2010

three carrots

10" x 8" charcoal sketch on Strathmore paper

Diamond coming by for his mid-afternoon treat, he loves carrots. He's being featured for an upcoming show...stay tuned.
: )

Thursday, August 19, 2010

ripple effect

"Those who bring sunshine into the lives of others cannot keep it from themselves."

- James. M. Barrie

I had a few pieces of spalted pecan left over from a previous project. One in particular caught my eye as the wood grain resembled the ripples left on the water by a rower paddling the river.

Yesterday, a young lady from our crew left Austin for grad school in upstate New York. Beautiful, talented and witty...a true pleasure to be around. She quietly influenced many in a wonderful way. As happy as I am for those moving on to their next big adventure, I selfishly don't like good-byes.

So Miss Amy I will say...Later, Cupcake! We'll see you on the water.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Diamond in the studio

11" x 14" charcoal on Strathmore paper

Diamond checks-in throughout the day, poking his head in the studio doorway flaring his nostrils, sniffing out treats. This afternoon with the sun at his back he looked so angelic.

Monday, August 2, 2010

just before zzz

11" x 11" charcoal on Strathmore paper

It was a lazy, hot Sunday morning and Tru was ready for another nap.
Triple digits are the forecast for the entire week. Welcome to August in Texas!

Thursday, July 29, 2010


11" x 14" pastel on Strathmore paper | sold

She was the first canine model I drew solely from photographs...I hadn't met her. I know to draw what I see - not what I think I see, but realized that I really missed that part of the process, the introduction.

Cali was quite fun to draw...after hours of studying this face how could you not be happy?

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

sketches of Cali

Tru wanted to play Sunday morning, but I wanted to get going in the studio. While working on some sketches for a commission, he surfaced in the drawing shown above. May I have another serving of guilt please?

: )

Focus...better measurements for the next few sketches...there she is! More tomorrow.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010


14" x 17" charcoal on paper | sold

At long last. Muscle memory is a wonderful thing.
Companion to Irene in the garden and in the gallery, sweet Sugar pulls it off with style and grace.

Sugar in MaMa's Garden 1

9" x 11" pastel on bristol

One shouldn't use bristol with pastels...and I was reminded of this while drawing Sugar. Though the paper has a matte surface, there's not enough tooth to hold the powdery pigment. Similar to how a chalkboard receives the chalk yet, just as easily, allows you to smear the powder about. yeah.
Given all that, I felt compelled to finish. Even though this isn't the final pose, it was fun to draw her in the garden. More soon.

Monday, July 26, 2010


She's a rescue with a wise, gentle spirit.
I've been sketching to finalize Sugar's pose and to capture her signature expression...which is not the sad one you see here. More tomorrow.

Monday, June 28, 2010

Happy trails to you Stephanie!

3" x 9.5" x 1.25" blended wood | nfs

"Become who you are." - Friedrich Nietzsche

Every now and then, we cross paths with someone who, for whatever reason, affects us in a manner that is curiously familiar and refreshing.

24-year-old and wise-beyond-her-years Stephanie, will soon be leaving Austin to attend grad school in Seattle. Her crewmates, friends and family threw a farewell bash in her honor this past weekend, hosted by the fabulous Barksdales. The highlight of the evening was Gaming by Paisley, a hilarious collection of silly human tricks. Video destined for You Tube in the near future? TBD!

: )

We're all connected. The piece shown above celebrates the ongoing tapestry that is our lives, in all it's warp'd and weft'd splendar. Wishing you love, joy and adventure Stephanie.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

summer sky

detail of 12" x 29" oil and acrylic on blended wood panel

Here's the sister painting to the previous posting of morning sky #3 in celebration the first day of summer.

A better shot, but again, another detail as I am having troubles adjusting the magnified focus to auto focus. What you see is the last quarter of the painting, positioned left to right.
The constructed sides I had envisioned for these pieces unfortunately did not work out for this larger size, but it will be revealed in smaller works soon.
The wood in this panel was originally headed for the burn pit. Some see old and weathered, while others see blue sky.
: )

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

detail of morning sky #3

acrylic on blended wood panel

The skies have been beautifully rich with teaser clouds, yielding just a few sprinkles.
This is a work in progress, 13" x 29" - I'll get a better photo when completed. Tomorrow I'm finishing the sides and thought I'd try something new after being inspired by a re-constructed lifeguard tower, post Hurricane Wilma.
: )
Tune in and see what you think.

Monday, June 7, 2010

study of hoover

9" x 12" pastel on bristol

So good to be back. I truly have missed you.
This is Hoover, our gentle giant and guardian of our three-year-old granddaughter.
I know, finally branching out to color once again. But how could I not? He's graced with a myriad of lush chestnut hues.
My Hoover, my muse.

Friday, April 30, 2010

the current

10.5" x 14" x 5" spalted pecan with vintage Hamilton printer cabinet pulls sold

My friends, Judy and Molly of Float Press, are proud owners of a letterpress, Esther, and are quite talented at designing and printing broadsides (a poem with a graphic, usually 8" x 10").
They asked if I would design and build a box for their broadsides for the upcoming Poetry at Round Top festival. Of course, how could I refuse, right? Oh, the possibilities! The design was pretty straight forward, but soon into the process I realized I was in way over my head as my shop (or my skill set) is not equipped with the precisioned tools necessary for this build.
Had it not been for the help and encourgement from the very talented Rob Eberle of Wildwood in Henly and the extraordinary Woodcraft team in Austin at Burnet and 183, this box would have been throttled out to pasture.
: )

Thursday, April 8, 2010

another chase

11" x 14" charcoal on Strathmore paper | nfs

I've received a few emails requesting that I post the photograph, if not drawn from life, and an in-process shot of my next drawing. My pleasure!

First I do a quick sketch, then place the features. Darkening select areas with charcoal, my drawing and palette become one as I spread the dry medium onto the lighter areas.

Here's Chase's softer side, the darling I spoke of yesterday.

: )

Tuesday, April 6, 2010


8" x 8" charcoal on bristol

Chase is a 90lb+ catahoula. He can appear quite intimidating, but he's really a teddy bear.

I had an interesting time with this drawing. He has a beautiful black and white dappled coat and it was a challenge to keep him from flattening out. A wonderful exercise, but I still see the afterimage dancing around.

: )

He looks sad because he's not with his mom on her special day. Happy Birthday Angela!

Thursday, March 25, 2010

grazing in the sun

9" x 12" pastel on toned paper

A quick study for an upcoming commission.
My sketchbook is full of drawings that are more reminiscent of gesture scribbles than quick tonal studies, but I'm getting better at editing faster. Conte stick charcoal and pastels have proven to be more helpful than the pencils. And I get longer poses if I turn the horses out after breakfast as opposed to before dinner.
: )

Monday, March 1, 2010


11" x 14" charcoal

Wiseguy after his breakfast, before his nap.


After reading a few of your comments I thought it suitable to elaborate.

This sweet old boy was a rescue. One of his previous owners had neglected to remove an undersized halter when he was younger which left a permanent indentation on his nose...which I chose to edit out. He has a residual look of fear or mistrust in his eye that surfaces from time to time that this drawing conveys.

Of the three, Wiseguy is the one who most enjoys his daily grooming and watering down in the summer heat. If we haven't brushed down or hosed off the right spot, he kindly reminds us by backing up or turning around in circles. An incredible soul.

Monday, February 15, 2010

g-pop's valentine, take 2

8" x 8" charcoal on Strathmore paper | nfs 
This square version works better for me than the previous post...yes, I'm a tweaker!
I typically complete a larger drawing so that I have more wiggle room when it comes to cropping or more room on the page to correct the layout. I know, my college profs would not be impressed! My focus with the recent charcoal drawings has been value and light, but mostly composition.

Sunday, February 14, 2010

g-pop's valentine

8" x 10" charcoal

Ava takes her grandfather for another walk.

Friday, February 12, 2010

hail to queen malca

9" x 12" charcoal & soft pastel on Strathmore paper | nfs

Happy Birthday Jessica!
- Pearce, Angela and Marilyn
: )

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Sonny day

9" x 12" charcoal and pastel

I needed a little sunshine today.
In this shot, if I remember correctly, Sonny was patiently tracking his Papa to make sure he went with him to run a few errands in the truck. Whether it's Tractor Supply, Home Depot or the bank, they've got treats for Sonny.
Have you ever seen a dog smile? Sonny smiles.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010


9" x 12" charcoal

This is Marley, Baby Blue's sister. Part healer, part australian shepherd. This pose says it all...personality plus and too smart for our own good.
: )

heavenly blue

9" x 11" pastel on paper

Saturday was a beautiful, sunny day. I was outside using the garden hose and thought of Baby Blue, our dear neighbor's dog. She passed on a few years back, just a year old, and we miss her. I drew her portrait from a photograph shortly thereafter.
How she loved playing in the water.

Friday, February 5, 2010

jack nesting

9" x 12" charcoal
Jack was my first pup.
I found him in my Christmas stocking, given to me by my friend Shannon and a few coworkers. He's got the body of a lab with doberman markings - only with floppy ears and a wagging tail.
On 24 September he'll be thirteen years young - 91 for you and me - slowing down, but loyal as can be.

Thursday, February 4, 2010

after breakfast

6" x 8" china marker and pastel on paper
Hoover is Kirby's brother and about twice her size.
Due to the weather I didn't row this morning and instead sketched Hoover sporting this pose after breakfast. He can sleep in the most curious positions anytime...anywhere...because he can.
: )

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

princess and the pea

8" x 8" china marker on paper
I don't know if it's because basset hounds have short legs, but Kirby prefers the highest perch...the back of the sofa, and pillows...lots of pillows.
I missed yesterday, so two posts today!

lady kirby

8" x 8" china marker on paper
Delicate like a flower...our smallest basset with the biggest attitude.

Monday, February 1, 2010

three cherries

5.5" x 6" oil on wood panel

Whenever I have difficulty capturing the color I see as opposed to the color I think I see, I get recalibrated with a series of tonal studies in burnt umber.

I'm currently searching for an archival clear sealer to prep the panel that is compatible with oils. More often than not, I like the wood grain to show through rather than gesso over it. Any suggestions?

Sunday, January 31, 2010

step x step, take 2

7.5" x 25.5" acrylic on blended wood | nfs

As mentioned in an earlier post, this piece was inspired by my friend's 43rd birthday, 09/09/09. A special day or what?! Today I was reminded that I hadn't shown the finished work.
I was given a bag of painted white pieces of wood that Birthday Girl never wanted to see again, we've all had those DIY projects, yes? In the spirit of 'never say never' they were repurposed, repainted and intended to be regifted to BG - 43 bits composed in nine rows - as shown in the second photo. I liked the concept, but it wasn't what I had imagined. The inlaid turquoise aesthetic I had pictured in my head turned out more like cold, awkward cobblestone.
How could I expect my friend to enjoy the piece, if I wasn't happy with it? So I sanded it down and started over which was a little scary, may sound crazy to some but there was really no other option. It's common for painters to now and again wipe off unsuccessful in-process works on canvas. I was much happier with the finished piece as shown in the first photo.
There is a freedom on the other side of the fear of making mistakes. Though the second attempt doesn't always turn out more pleasing, there are no mistakes as far as I am concerned...only opportunities for learning...and I've learned a lot.
: )

Tuesday, January 26, 2010


11" x 14" acrylic on paper

A question for my artist and designer buds. Have you ever created a more inspired study or preliminary mock-up than the final deliverable?

Yes it is just a tonal study and it isn't as detailed as the commissioned piece, but her eyes are dancing more so here. And even though it wasn't included in our agreement, my client deserves this one as well. I've been holding her hostage long enough.

: )

I have a call to make...

Sunday, January 24, 2010

black sand beaches of panama

6.5" x 10.5" acrylic and oil on blended wood panel | sold

When I was in the military (seems like a lifetime ago) our squadron had a training exercise at Howard AB in Panama. My cohorts and I had a free afternoon one weekend and ventured off base to a secluded beach with black sand...yes, black sand. Seemed another-worldly, more coarse than what I had seen on our shores, like polished micro river pebbles. Truly phenominal.

A couple of you were curious about the blended wood panels. I've shown a side detail in an earlier post, but decided to take a shot of this one as well. Choosing to repurpose as opposed to adding to the landfill, my color studies are composed of spare wood pieces that are bulit up, glued and biscuit joined.