Showing posts from December, 2012

Portrait of Bill Snyder - Colored Pencil Drawing

"A Coaching Moment" Colored Pencil Kansas State head coach Bill Snyder barks the game plan to his quarterback before the next series of plays. It's a road game for the Wildcats, at night, in a hostile environment. Colorful words are sometimes exchanged in the heat of battle. It's a coaching moment. The silver helmet gleams from the stadium lights creating interesting shadows across the player's face. A violet and yellow color scheme is complimented by sharp contrasts of dark and light. The focus of this simplified drawing is on the unmistakable man in charge. Bill Snyder has silver hair and wire rimmed glasses but don't let his understated appearance fool you. In reality, this guy is a cold-blooded competitor dishing out defeats, one after the other, to some of the nations best college football teams. Snyder arrived at Manhattan, Kansas in 1989 and took control of college football's losingest program. The meticulous, workaholic demanded consistency

Colorado Christmas

Snowy Elk Meadow "The closest thing to Heaven on this planet anywhere is a quiet Christmas morning in the Colorado snow." ~ Nitty Gritty Dirt Band We finally got our snow just in the nick of time. It has been so dry we thought it was going to be a brown Christmas. The severe drought means less rain during the summer and not as much snow in the winter. Sure, it's been nice to walk around in short sleeves  and not have to shovel the driveway but something just doesn't seem right. Lakes are drying up, trees are dying and the animals are getting edgy. We needed the snow. Winter in Evergreen lasts about six months and it can be a struggle. Heavy snow, high winds and bitter cold make life difficult but that's how it's supposed to be this time of year. There is something special about the mountains after a big storm. The peaks appear higher, the air seems cleaner and the sky looks bluer. The hearty inhabitants love a white Christmas and are delighted to celeb

Karma - A Natural Law

Buddha reinterpreted the theory of karma The kids on my soccer team have asked me if I believe in karma. They always use the word as a synonym for luck. They think good karma means good luck. Sometimes after a loss they blame it on "bad karma" and resign themselves to the belief that karma is something beyond their control. They believe the outcome of their game had already been determined. A fatalistic point of view that couldn't be farther from the truth. The Buddhist states that the present is influenced by the past and the future will be based on choices you make now. Your choices are made of your own volition, so you control your own destiny. You have free will. The theory of karma originated in ancient India and is central to Hinduism. Buddha later reinterpreted and explained the doctrine. He taught that karma is a complex, non-linear, unseen natural law that flows freely through the universe. The Buddhist version was exported to the United States where its tr

Rocky Mountain Goat - Colored Pencil Drawing

"Rocky Mountain Goat" Colored Pencil A Rocky Mountain goat is backlit by the early, morning sun. His white wool contrasts sharply against the dark, blue sky. It's springtime in the Rockies and the solitary goat has returned to his familiar position high above timberline. These hearty animals are built to live in the harsh environment at the top of the world. Warm temperatures and high winds have cleared the rocky summits of most of the snow so the goats move easily across perilous ledges. The resilient creatures somehow manage to survive through the winter enduring bitter temperatures below 50 degrees and wind gusts up to 100 miles per hour. Mountain goats are found only in North America but the herd that inhabits Mount Evans is not native to Colorado. Their natural range extends from Northern Wyoming to Central Alaska. In the late 1950's about 14 goats were released on Mount Evans. In the perfect alpine setting, the population has thrived and multiplied. There

Mount Evans Winter - Colored Pencil Drawing

"Mount Evans Winter" Colored Pencil It's a cold, windy day on Upper Bear Creek. Mount Evans is buried under a blanket of fresh snow. The sturdy evergreens are built to withstand winter storms like this. Heavy snow clings to the blue spruce creating an interesting pattern of dark and light. The landscape is expressed with mostly cool blues and greens but there are some pinks and yellows woven into the foreground. Being outside on a morning like this can be uncomfortable, although the mountain scenery is a beautiful reward. We've trampled all over the Mount Evans Wilderness Area exploring places like Chicago Lakes, Gray Wolf Mountain and the Sawtooth Ridge. The diversity of wildlife above tree line is amazing. We've seen coyotes, elk, bighorn sheep, marmots, pikas and my favorite, the white-tailed ptarmigan. The herd of Rocky Mountain goats that inhabit the summit are fascinating to watch. The goats tolerate human presence and seem to be curious and intellige