Wednesday, November 25, 2015

New Artwork--Grey Wolf and More

Here it is, the end of November, and I still haven't finished the Alaska blog series. Shame on me! When my schedule gets messed up I fall out of the habit--or just forget about it completely. The search for our lost dog, Mr. Pickles, took up an enormous amount of time this summer, and I did a record 18 shows this year, so I guess I should cut myself some slack.

While I haven't written my blog in months, I have been getting some artwork done, so there's that at least. Seven new pieces since February is pretty good, and I've already sold two of them.  You can order reproductions from my website,, or contact me directly if you're interested in an original: 734-223-8612, or email,

There are so many cool things I haven't been able to write about since I got so bogged down with Alaska. One of them that I will write about down the line is a day I spent at the Corkscrew Swamp Audubon Sanctuary in southern Florida. What a place! Largest stand of old growth cypress in the world. Right outside the visitor center was this gorgeous male Pileated Woodpecker, going to town on a pine in the evening light. I was so excited to finally get some great shots. This piece sold at the first show I had it at.

 Pileated Woodpecker, 8x10. Original SOLD, reproductions available

I have been reluctant to do the same subjects over and over, but I've decided that if that's what sells, that's what I should do. There are iconic subjects that are universally popular, and if I want to make a living at this I need to keep doing those subjects. While I like doing new things, Chestnut-sided Warblers are not a particularly popular subject. So I went back to the Common Loon well, a subject I hadn't done in about seven years. They are difficult birds to get good shots of, and I put this together from several different images. I also like the stippling effect for the water, and will probably carry this over to many other pieces.

"Between Dark and Light"
Common Loon, 20 x 10, framed to 24 x 14, $800.00, reproductions available

I did a number of shows in the Great Plains this spring and early summer, and felt I needed a bison for the prairie. There's another trip I need to write about--Missouri, Oklahoma, Kansas, Iowa. I had never been in those states before and what I expected was nothing like what I found there. Rolling hills, steep cliffs, HUGE sky, spring flowers, and lots of new birds for my list. This bison was one I photographed in North Dakota, at Theodore Roosevelt National Park (another trip I haven't written about!!) in the summer of 2013. He was actually a pretty old guy, so I made him a little more robust in my piece.

"Evening Primrose"
American Bison, 23 x 15, framed to 27 x 19, $1,800.00, reproductions available.

Another denizen of the prairie, this Eastern Meadowlark was photographed in Oklahoma in March. He was perched on a disc golf basket, so I traded that for a wooden post with rusty barbed wire.

"The Troubadour"
Eastern Meadowlark, 8 x 17, framed to 12 x 21, $700.00, reproductions available

Last summer I took a trip up to Tawas Point State Park (I know, I haven't written about that either!) to get images of Piping Plovers. Living in Michigan, I had no excuse for not having seen this bird, one of the most critically endangered birds in the U.S.  The male plover is the one who cares for the young once they hatch--mom literally flies the coop, often starting her journey south.

"Mr. Mom"
Piping Plover, 10 x 8.5, framed to 14 x 12.5, $495.00, reproductions available

I belong to a Michigan birding group on Facebook, and when pictures of cranes with their colts started popping up this spring, Lisa insisted we go to the metro park where they nest so I could get some shots. Sandhill Cranes are one of the few species I've done multiple times, and a crane with her colt was one of the first originals I sold. This piece took quite a while to complete--the bigger, the exponentially longer a piece takes, plus this one has all the stippling in the nest. I just love the fuzzy little guys peering out. The day was cloudy and chilly, and the little darlings shivered when not tucked up against mom.

"Safe Harbor"
Sandhill Cranes, 19 x 13, framed to 23 x 17, $1,500.00, reproductions available

Last but not least--the grey wolf. I have had so many requests for wolves, but they are difficult subjects to find. I've seen several in the wild--most recently in Ely, MN--but the encounter was either so brief, or I didn't have my camera, that I never got shots. So Lori and I drove down to Indiana to spend an afternoon at the Wolf Park. OMG. What a place. They have several small packs, and a small herd of bison, and beautiful enclosures. The wolves are socialized (not to be confused with domesticated). You can sponsor a wolf for a year, which allows you to go into the enclosure with your wolf--supervised of course. I asked my mom for a sponsorship for Christmas. But you can still get quite close, even outside the enclosures, and I got some fantastic images, all behind wire of course.  This is the first of what I'm sure will be many wolves to come.

"The Better To See You With"
Grey Wolf, 16 x 5.5, original SOLD, reproductions available.

My hope is to finish up the Alaska trip in my next post, then start on some of my other adventures. Winter is for artwork and blogging!