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Medium Pastel And Colored Pencil, 20 x 14 Cows are my new favorite animal to draw. I was in Oklahoma in 2017 and passed by a field of them in assorted colors. What is there to say about cows or any other domestic animal that we see every day. They are so commonplace it is easy to pass them by without noticing how special they are. When the surrounding countryside is eliminated and they are shown with a simple, graded background a drawing takes on the appearance of a portrait.
"Madison Dome" was awarded an Honorable Mention in the 2011 Artist's Magazine's All-Media Competition. This image and the other award winners were in competition with over 40,000 other entries that year. The colored pencil and pastel drawing was done from a photograph I took looking up at the dome of the capital building in Madison, WI. The sun was illuminating the interior of the building.
Glowing marble, undulating figures clad in gold. The interior of the Palais Garnier in Paris is ablaze with light from the electric torchIere lamps, lit even when it is daylight outside. This is an illustration of the Grand Staircase, a dramatic ascent of two flights of white marble with a balustrade of red and green marble, which leads up to the Grand Foyer. I wanted to recreate on paper what I saw in Paris, namely light reflected off of sumptuous Baroque surfaces.
Anyone who has lived in Texas for any period of time knows the story of the Chicken Ranch, the tolerated brothel that existed just outside the city limits of La Grange, Texas from 1907 until the late Marvin Zindler shut it down in 1973. Local ranchers and freshman in the Corps of Cadets at Texas A&M University were sorry to see it go. Several years ago I was in La Grange and noticed this building with a sign painted on the side and did this drawing from a photograph I took.
The Moore House in Richmond, Texas is a large frame Colonial style house with Corinthian columns. It is shaded by tall Magnolia trees, and it is the kind of place people go to view the artifacts of an older, simpler period of time. I was drawn to this shady rear entrance because it reminded me of memories of the informal hospitality of the South where the back porch is the point of entry for friends, for people to whom the front door is never used.
The Old Meeting House is a building on the grounds of one of the Painted Churches of Schulenburg, Texas. It looks like many other weathered buildings of the area. The country is a place of simple folk where the charm of the past has not been lost, where people gather together after church for a pot-luck supper. On the far end of the yard children might be tossing horseshoes where the older people are sitting in the shade of an ancient Live Oak, sipping sweet iced tea with lots of ice.
In 2011 I was awarded the EXPY Best of Show Award and the Prismacolor Award by the Colored Pencil Society of America for my colored pencil drawing THE OPEN DOOR. I was near Nashville, Tennessee and was visiting The Hermitage, the former home of Andrew Jackson, the seventh President of the United States. Near the main house was an old outbuilding and the door was open, light streaming into the dark interior.
My colored Pencil Drawing "Tandem Ponies" was awarded 7th place in 2011 Ex Arte Equinus, an International Juried competition featuring artists who specialize in the Equine form. The image was published in a book called Ex Arte Equis
NEW! The work of farriers has always fascinated me. A person who shoes horses for a living can lame an animal if the job is not done precisely. I took the photograph that led to this colored pencil painting while a friend and I were on a daytrip, just looking for interesting things to take pictures of. The original of this drawing called "The Farrier" has gone to live in Arizona.
This rider wore her ribbon just acquired in a jumping competition at the Great Southwest Equestrian Center in Katy, Texas as she and her horse walked back to the barn area. She would no doubt add it to the many more she had collected that day. I liked the juxtaposition of the dark space on right side of the image, contrasted with the bright red of her chestnut horse. The horse's coat shone in the bright sunlight; are sure sign of a healthy animal. The original hangs in my home.
I saw and photographed this beautiful horse in harness at a Fourth of July Rodeo Parade in Vale, Oregon in 2009. He was part of a team of two matched bays and the pair of them were coming down main street and I was able to capture the image that became this Pastel and Colored Pencil drawing. The original called "In Harness" hangs in my home.
This image might also be called "Coats of Many Colors" for the assortment of Bays and Chestnut horses, with one Palomino and one Appaloosa on the fringe. This picture records the same event as in "Rodeo Riders" and is of a group of Junior riders who rode from Houston to Schulenberg, Texas to deliver an invitation to the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo. I liked the graphic quality of the image and the colors, the bright blue on the horse's legs and the same color contrasted with the black ves
I still have the first drawing I ever did; it was a purple horse with five legs, drawn at the age of five to be published in my mother's scrapbook. So began at an early age my fascination with both drawing and horses. I saw this beautiful dappled gray horse being led by its owner after they competed in a jumping competition at the Great Southwest Equestrian Center on a bright, sunlit Sunday afternoon. They were both perfectly framed against the white wooden boards of the arena.
Before I moved away from Katy, Texas I used to spend a lot of time at the Great Southwest Equestrian Center. I never rode my own horse there or participate in shows but I did like to go there and watch other people ride. Adjacent to the show arena was a paddock area and this buckskin and his companion were tied up and waiting. I took their picture and the resulting colored pencil drawing is called "Bucky and Friend". The original is hanging in my house.
Horses are very social animals. I've known pairs of horses that were virtually inseparable. They are kind of like people in that respect in that it's comforting to have someone to go through life with. When I saw this bay and chestnut standing together under the shade of an oak tree, I took their picture and used the photograph to do this colored pencil drawing called "Best Friends".
This tandem pair of mules were yoked together and were pulling a wagon in a parade in Vale, Oregon.
What could be more the idea of contentment than a black and white cow resting in high clover? The Holstein dairy cow is originally a product of the Netherlands but by the late 1800's there was enough interest among Holstein breeders to form associations for the breeding of the cows in America. Holsteins are easily recognizable for their distinctive markings and are valuable in the cattle industry for their outstanding milk production.
The motto of Bluebell Ice Cream used to be "the cows think Brenham is Heaven", or something along that line. The photograph that led to this colored pencil drawing was of a small group of milk cows standing in a field of green grass and flowers near Brenham, Texas and it was taken several years ago. The grass looked so lush and well-watered and the cows were very happy to be in it, I thought if there was any place on earth that satisfied the conditions for cow heaven, that was the place.
Animals continue to both inspire and fascinate me. Whether it's the fact that I can always get some amusement in watching the antics of the common housecat or am sometimes fortunate enough to be able to get close enough to a wild animal to take a photograph of it, I'm always impressed by the singular majesty that each creature possesses. Squirrels are like little comedians in fur coats and they always seem to me to be a little paranoid and startled when you stop to watch them.
This animal is an immature Bighorn Sheep and it was with another of its kind one day when I was visiting Yellowstone. The animals of the park always have the right of way, and a long line of cars is a sure sign there is something to look at near the side of the road. In this particular instance I was able to capture the behavior of the sheep without other people around.
When the animal jumped up on this old, fallen tree I took a picture and did this drawing called "The Old and the New" to represent the natural progression from death to life that takes place all the time in Yellowstone. The colors are muted and earthy, as they were on that day when Winter had not quite yet been vanquished for the year.
A friend and I were out driving around on a nice, Spring day several years ago and we noticed this little groups of goats merrily munching away on their pile of hay. They were so intent on their lunch they were all wagging their tails in unison. I got out of the car, ran across the road and got the photograph that became this colored pencil drawing. I gave the original drawing to the friend I was with and hence the name "Alice's Little Goats".
I took the photograph that became this colored pencil drawing at the Graham Amazon Gallery at the Vancouver Aquarium in Vancouver, British Columbia. The Aquarium isn't just home to fish and aquatic species. They have a diversity of life for the public to admire and learn about. These beautiful blue birds are called Hyacinth Macaw and they are native to central and eastern South America. They are the largest macaw and their numbers are threatened by habitat loss and trapping for the pet trade
This Swan was on a canal in Strasbourg in Germany.
This decorated car was parked outside of a store near Round Top, Texas. I thought it must be an Art Car or that it was decked out as some sort of advertisement. The original was purchased by an attorney in Houston who had it, the last time I saw it, hanging in his office along with several other of my drawings. He liked pictures of old cars and bought another one of my originals entitled "Faded Fifty Nine".
The Hill Country of Texas is an area of gently rolling hills where you can stand on a precipice and view an unobstructed horizon, far off into a blue distance. Some might call it the most beautiful part of the state, especially when the bluebonnets are in bloom in the Springtime. I like to explore the area that occupies the triangle between Houston, San Antonio and Austin and also the stretch between Fredericksburg and Austin that includes Johnson City.
There was a sculpture outside of the Guggenheim in Bilbao, Spain and this image is a study in the complex reflections of the many brightly colored surfaces. The building was designed by the architect Frank Gehry.
I love the depth of color that is reflected in water. This drawing was inspired by a photograph I took on a bright afternoon in Butchart Gardens in British Columbia. It's a rich overflow of the senses to be surrounded by flowers, all blooming at the same time and well-tended. I took my direction from the paintings of Monet in that I tried to capture multiple dimensions of reflection in blocks of color, without adding too much detail. One pink water lily blossom provides the center of focus.
This elegantly dressed lady was looking at window displays one morning in Strasbourg, France. The shop was located in the same area as the Cathedral and it was only around 7 in the morning. If I'm trying to portray figures and gestures, I try and minimize the detail of the faces at least to the point where the person cannot be easily identified. As I was doing the drawing I realized the lady's reflection was also captured in the storefront window.
I saw this group sitting in front of a store in Barcelona, Spain and their unspoken gestures inspired this drawing that I call "The Sunday Club". I don't really remember what day of the week it was, but what better way to spend a lazy morning than in leisurely talking with friends or even with people you've just met and are in the process of getting to know. I can think of no better pastime.
I was charmed by this little girl and her daddy, who were on an outing to the beach in Spain on a bright, sunny day. This pair was just about to go up the steps towards their fun day in the water when she turned. I wonder what they were carrying in their backpacks, and if she, who is now a grown woman has memories of that sun-kissed day with her father when she was just a little girl.