Saturday, February 28, 2015

Golden Eagle - Colored Pencil Drawing

"Golden Eagle" Colored Pencil

Perfectly integrated into its environment, the golden eagle is a highly evolved bird of prey. The regal dignitary is a versatile hunter armed with an array of deadly cutlery. This keen-eyed, king of the birds may be the most impressive monarch in the animal kingdom.

The imperial eagle has been an everlasting symbol of strength and power. An icon of religious adoration, the golden eagle was revered in ancient Rome as the god Jupiter's personal messenger. Speeding across the heavens with astonishing speed and maneuverability, it was thought to have thunderbolts in its talons.

A world away, Native Americans also worshiped the Thunderbird. They believed this sacred deity was a link between mortals and the Great Spirit. When falconry flourished in Europe, the esteemed eagle was flown by kings only.

Gliding between cliffs from the Rocky Mountains to the Great Plains, the golden eagle is one of the most fierce predators on the planet. If it gets hungry, watch out because almost any species on earth is fair game.

Our early ancestors may have been hunted by gigantic birds of prey. A swooping sneak-attack would have come from above. So, who can blame you for being innately afraid while in the shadow of a ravenous raptor.

Those restless nights of tossing and turning are difficult, I know. Just be careful if you're searching for sleep by counting sheep because a massive, brown bird may soar into the subconscious and transform your sweet dreams into your worst nightmare.

Saturday, February 21, 2015

Evergreen Lake Spring - Colored Pencil Drawing

"Evergreen Lake Spring"

After a tiresome winter, it's finally spring at Evergreen Lake where everything appears back in perfect order. The trout are jumping, ducks are quacking and dippers are dipping. Rushing out of the rugged Front Range, Bear Creek becomes a lazy river as it enters the wide reservoir.

The foreground features sparkling highlights that flicker across the icy inlet. On land, the variety of fresh vegetation displays a rich diversity of size, shape and color. Known as Elephant, the big, gray butte concludes the background while wispy, white clouds sweep across a cerulean sky.

An arched footbridge transports the ambler to a winding boardwalk through a marsh of soggy cattails. The yellow reeds are a place where red-wings make a ruckus over food, relationships and intrusion. Despite the blackbirds' disruption, most creatures consider the warmer weather a Godsend.

Pressed beneath an arctic crush, we welcome spring as an uplifting transition to a short, summer season. At this point, the fate of our fleeting bliss is determined by the courage of a hairy, little whistle-pig. Once again, not surprisingly, we're looking at eight more weeks of winter.

Saturday, February 14, 2015

Sneffels Range Spring - Colored Pencil Drawing

"Sneffels Range Spring" Colored Pencil

Tucked discretely below the Dallas Divide, the Sneffels is a scenic sub-range of the San Juan Mountains. The confusion of untidy crags is a rugged remnant of an ancient volcano. It's late spring but bare rock is beginning to emerge from a shroud of heavy, winter snow.

A row of crooked cottonwoods is an elaborate gateway into the Colorado wild. Patches of delicate dandelions are scattered throughout the lush meadow while an assembly of blazing brush complicates an already busy foreground.

As a gray sky drizzles the landscape with cold rain, receding into the distance, colors cool from violet to blue-green. A series of spectacular buttes is a scenic prelude to an awesome alpine environment where a single, cautious stroke defines the ragged peaks.

Composed from equal parts image, experience and memory, this drawing was not meant to hang on a wall. It's more of a sketch than a showpiece. A little bit looser and fabricated with less concern, sometimes a simple study is more satisfactory than the final, finished work.

Saturday, February 7, 2015

Maroon Bells Spring - Colored Pencil Drawing

"Maroon Bells" Colored Pencil

Years ago after a heartbreaking winter, all hope was lost. The apathetic winds and embittered cold were just more salt in the wound. Unable to recover, an excursion to the medicinal Maroon Bells offered rebirth. The mountain refuge promised restfulness, remedy and reinvigoration.

Springtime in the Rockies is so pretty. Nothing in nature can match its perfection. After a dreary dark-season, the longer luminance sparks a renaissance of optimism, light and life. Decorated with patterns of pure green, the entire landscape is laid out with unabashed affection.

The muddy path to Maroon Lake is an uplifting pilgrimage to Colorado's scenic paragon. The regenerative powers of such an enchanting place is simply undeniable. It's outlet blocked by broken branches, the deep-blue lagoon is bordered by grassy banks and bushes.

Commanding the composition, the rugged, purple peaks are serrated with wedges of white snow. Yellow wildflowers dot the foreground while rock-solid clouds are structured in the sky above. Across the way, a dark, pine fortress stands over a slide of pink rubble.

Often criticized for its naive draughtsmanship and unnatural color blending, this piece was not manufactured as a window into reality. This drawing is an honest expression that's meant to convey true feelings conceived in the heart.