Showing posts from May, 2020

Elk Meadow Mornings - Phenomenal Light

Phenomenal Light A long time ago at the outbreak of a confusing contagion, the foothills were pummeled by a big, spring snow. The morning after, Elk Meadow was interred in an arctic valley of ice. Dawn had broken clear and cold as the storm quickly dissipated, revealing the faint contour of Bergen Peak. Frosted pine decorated the hillside, windswept drifts choked the gulch and strong sunlight resulted in an effect of phenomenal light. The moody, gray sky was stubborn and it would not submit to the comfort of clarity for long. Foretelling desperate times ahead, the temperamental weather sullied the already dark mood. The restless clouds were constantly shifting shapes, creating an unsettled panoramic vignette that tempered any sense of optimism. They converged and closed back in, crushing a hopeful spirit while erasing the skyline from view. A second wave steam-rolled over the pass and we suffered the foreboding atmosphere in silence. Blue skies had made a brief appearance

Potomac River - Colored Pencil Drawing

"Potomac River" Colored Pencil It is a sultry, summer evening in the Blue Ridge Mountains and the Potomac River drifts wearily through the West Virginia wilderness. Situated here, at the confluence with the Shenandoah, Harper’s Ferry is a historical village associated with Southern succession and the Civil War. Squeezed into a spectacular gorge, the patriotic waterway encourages a slower pace notwithstanding its proximity to the bustle of big city life. The jungle environment is bursting with flowers and foliage that seem to be thriving despite the searing heat and tremendous thunderstorms. An old railroad bridge, lush green hills and a purple sky are reflected faithfully across the surface of shallow water. The sharpest contrast occurs below the train trestle where the drawing’s darkest shadows are juxtaposed next to the sunniest highlights, creating some drama in the otherwise serene setting. Patches of color close in value are paired with soft gradients that do

Simplicity - The Greatest Adornment of Art

Simplicity “As I grew older, I realized that it was much better to insist on the genuine forms of nature, for simplicity is the greatest adornment of art.” ~ Albrecht Durer Evergreen, Colorado is that magical place situated over the rainbow. Upon arriving 22 years ago, we discovered a land of silvery aspen where bluebirds fly, red foxes hide and each morning begins with a golden sunrise. Away from the confusion of suburbia, I found more time to simplify my work. The true essence of nature became obvious. To simplify is difficult. I like to choose a motif and use all of my senses in a thorough examination. Observe the subject intensely and memorize the attractive, essential features. My camera is an indispensible tool in the process. It’s a digital eye that freezes a fleeting moment in time. I have steep reverence for nature so when I wander alone into a remote wilderness, it’s a spiritual experience transporting me closer to heaven. In order to create an honest representatio

Animas Forks - Colored Pencil Drawing

"Animas Forks" Colored Pencil It’s a warm, summer evening in the San Juan Mountains near Silverton, Colorado where the Animas Forks River is born above the tree line. The turquoise torrent cascades down through a rock-hewn canyon of purple cliffs and into a spectacular basin entombed by towering peaks. A few rows of dark trees are scattered diagonally across the wide open tundra. A sulphur sun streams golden rays through a verdant sky, bathing the surreal scene in ethereal light. The color choice is influenced by the high altitude where the blazing orb sears through thin air, tinging the atmosphere with sulphur which gives the sky its green cast. Notice how swirls of this emerald color are reflected in the river current below. Flush with the optimism that comes from fine weather, the bright highlights sparkle with intensity. Notice how the same colors are being used in different areas of the drawing. Carrying common pigment into multiple places across the surface i

Golden Hawk - Colored Pencil Drawing

"Golden Hawk" Colored Pencil Perched on a high throne decorated with a wreath of autumn leaves, a golden hawk gazes over a vast empire. The royal color scheme of blue and gold is applied in patches of similar value, resulting in a posterized portrait. Highlights and shadows are downplayed as the abstract contours exaggerate the drawing’s obvious two-dimensionality. The resplendent creature is static and solid suggesting a timeless permanence that symbolizes confidence, power and freedom. This piece does not portray a specific individual but it is more of a generic representation of a dazzling species that is so often overlooked. The monarch’s feathers are barely insinuated and the tail stripes are reduced to a simple pattern. The long, dark wing is devoid of detail, the ochre bib promotes a sand-colored chest and the yellow feet, equipped with sharp talons, melt into the mosaic of foliage. Cut out of a powder-blue sky, the noble profile of a bronze head is adorned