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San Antonio Riverwalk - A Historic Oasis

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San Antonio Riverwalk Summer in south Texas is sweltering but if your looking for respite from the brutal heat, the Riverwalk in San Antonio is a historic oasis. The vibrant town center is a melting pot of diverse history, culture and cuisine. Man-made canals branch off from the main stream creating a labyrinth of narrow passageways that circulate through the district. Picturesque bridges built in creative shapes and sizes span the water at convenient intervals. Situated below street level, the tributary flows past shops, restaurants and galleries, offering something for everyone. Statues stand above gardens of exotic flora, filling alcoves that appear at every bend. Steamy mornings on the path are bathed in hazy light and the creek, reflecting the surrounding foliage, is colored green. As the day warms up, the search for shade begins so the buildings’ shadows become comfortable breezeways. The architecture encompassing the area is a curious blend of old and new as glittering s

Desert Gateway - Colored Pencil Drawing

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"Desert Gateway" Colored Pencil Offering sanctuary from the furnace of sweltering heat, a chain of blue mountains streaks across the background of a fiery landscape. The desolate environment is stark, harsh and lonely. Despite its beauty, the desert is a brutal place that can bring your demise at any moment. Not only is the severe climate and rugged terrain a problem but a sudden snake bite can be deadly. The wide open space is broken by terraces of escarpment that appear more red as they recede. Applied with precision, smooth gradations mask the rugged nature of this rocky netherworld. The bleached shelf in the foreground is bathed in a bright yellow made even more vibrant by the violet shadows. Yet, the most shocking aspect is the shimmering sulphur sky that results from a mid-summer sun. This non-naturalistic expression is not designed to display superficial accuracy. The arid plateau is too straightforward to tether with complicated details so a more symbolic appr

Summer Snowstorm - A Startling Rebellion

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Summer Snowstorm After about a week of warmer weather, summer’s first glimmer was promptly extinguished by winter’s last gasp. The cold front swirled into the area disrupting the local inhabitants’ annual activities. It was just days before the unofficial start to summer when an intransigent snowstorm pummeled the foothills into a deep freeze. The startling weather rebellion was a dramatic turn of events that shocked the unsuspecting ecosystem. The sturdy pine trees were cemented with a plaster of heavy, wet snow, bending limbs almost to their breaking point. The greening meadows were buried under immense drifts that swelled like waves in a great, white sea. Down at the recently thawed lake, the black water contrasted sharply with the frosted marshland. The fresh inkwell captured faithful reflections of the entombed valley’s stark beauty. Low hanging clouds skimmed across the summits of background peaks creating an imposing atmosphere. The intimidating effect conjured by the su

Early Spring Evergreen -A Great Blue Evening

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Early Spring Evergreen Erected along the grassy shoreline, a statuesque heron hunts discreetly in the evening light. The virtuous, great blue displays extraordinary patience while stalking prey in the muddy shallows. It’s barely spring at Evergreen Lake so there’s not much activity except for an occasional ruckus raised by the red-wings. While I was in the vicinity, I never witnessed the great blue take a stab at anything edible so I hope she wasn’t overly famished. Crumpled under heavy snow for most of the winter, the dusky marshland is slowly creeping back to life. Most of the barren trees are just now starting to sprout buds at the tips of their limber branches. The surrounding mountains are impressive as ever after shedding their white blanket. The ring of high hills creates a sequestered valley enclosing an Edenic landscape bursting with both flora and fauna. Because of the dramatic cloud cover, fading rays of sunshine strike the slopes at unusual angles. The peaks appear

As Above, So Below - Colored Pencil Drawing

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"As Above, So Below" Colored Pencil During winter’s dusk, an infinite field of celestial blue domes the serene landscape. A silky cloud sweeps over the snow-covered summit, conjuring an atmosphere of timeless peace. As above, so below, where the sky’s serenity is reflected by the vast expanse of violet pastureland. A few horses graze on the short-grass stubble, evoking a feeling of pure contentment. Looming over the transcendent valley, jagged peaks engrave a rugged profile out of the gloaming sky. Some last beams of fading light streak across the southern slopes, blending the realm of heaven with earth. Soon, the constellations will fill the sky with a web of sparkling stars that blaze through the long night. Quilted into the high plain, endless patches of crusted snow melt into the mountain scenery. The mountains at dusk are a foreboding barrier so sacrificing detail for clarity creates a more ethereal effect. The softer edges ease the tension and enhance the alread

The Vernal Equinox - More Heavy Snow

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The vernal equinox Heralding the supposed start of spring, the vernal equinox is marked by more heavy snow. The struggle continues as southern storms wheel into the foothills leaving huge drifts and bitter cold in their wakes. As the wet flakes finally stop falling, the pine forest interior is a perfect place to experience the frosty aftermath. Somehow, these defiant trees manage to survive in the difficult climate that defines this area. Smothered under oppressive clouds, the forest is more silver than gray with hints of color that flicker in rebellious light. The trees are cloaked in an encrusted web of thick snow that binds to the needles like cement. Limber trunks and branches bow under the immense pressure of excessive weight but they never break. The dark, frozen woodland always seems to bounce back after the elusive blue skies return. The storm’s dispersal is certain to compose spectacular scenery as the mountain peaks start to jut out of a veil of smoky mist. The warmer