Saturday, June 22, 2013

Compare and Contrast

I've been having a hard time getting things down on paper lately, been difficult to sort through it all.  It was so beautiful out last weekend that I had to move outside and paint.

My safari adventure has been on my mind.  Maybe because it is so different from what I'm experiencing now.  Every second of my time in Tanzania was magical. When I compare that to Michigan, it seems painfully ordinary.  It has been hard to find magic in everyday things.

So painting one of my Tanzanian memories in the sun was a kind of therapy, a way of sorting through it all.

A storm came through, as if some sort of symbolism or something.  Or maybe it was just Michigan weather, but I had to move inside.

I noticed my gazelle looked a lot like that goat in my sketchbook.  Whatever, I like that goat!

It turned out ok.  I enjoyed the process, and look forward to doing it again soon.  My take away form this........plan another adventure....soon!

Saturday, June 8, 2013


This was my space in Germany.  I loved it. 

This is my space in Michigan.  I nothing it.

Been struggling with being back in this space in Michigan.  I've been back now for about 6mos, everything has been unpacked for awhile now, just doesn't feel right.  The size of this world has been making me restless.  Nothing fits, or feels right.

It's the same table and tools that I've always had, but something is different.  Not an easy thing to get out on paper. Maybe it's my head and not the space.

Sunday, April 7, 2013

owl puppy

Last year I was fortunate enough to travel to Tanzania with a really great group of folks.  That's me at the entrance to the Serengeti.  It was a dream come true for me.  The colors, the smells, the air felt different, the light looked different and the number of critters that I got to see was unreal.  I still can't believe I was there and I ache to go back.

While there, I saw a young owl on the ground.  It's eyes were inky black and it was still fuzzy in areas so I don't think it was able to fly yet.  Imagine if it couldn't fly that it soon became an ex-owl.

Some owl sketches.

This blog stuff is harder than I thought it would be.  I admire the folks who keep it up regularly.  I will try to do better.  No promises.

Tuesday, October 9, 2012


If I had Clooney money I'd live there too.  There is something magical about being by least for me.

 Not a bad view eh?

Was very easy to get inspired here.  I sat in this same spot for hours!

Odo approved.

 It was awesome at night too.

 What's going on here?!  Very happy I didn't run across one of these in person.

Ok, now for some sketches........

In the distance I could hear the bikes roaring across the mountains - and my hand.

I've had this antler / horn / branch thing in my head for awhile.....hope I get something out of it soon.

Here are some birds.   Bet you didn't see that coming from me. I picked up a ballpoint pen for this.  I used to sketch only in ballpoint pen.  Not sure why I left it, but this was fun, will have to put in back in my arsenal.  

I like gulls, pigeons, any of those birds that aren't known for their beauty.

Dorking around here......

Haven't done these guys in awhile.  Used to draw them all the time.  Like the ballpoint pen, not real sure why I have been neglecting them.  There were some fantastic dragons in Como.

I was so happy to find a lizard in my bathroom.  Odo had been hunting them (unsuccessfully - whew) outside for days.  I love the way they move.  Fun shapes to draw too.

More gull shapes.

And last but not least - some head birds.  I like the way the blue and orange work in this one.  I may have gone too far with the green on the end - not sure.  I think the blue and green dudes look disgusted the the orange dude for being so cutesy.

I'd post more, but I'm sick of scanning for now.

Saturday, October 6, 2012

The unheard of!!!!!!

I did something unheard-of..........I took a 3 week vacation (and I didn't take my work laptop!!!!).  I'll admit that the first few days were a little scary - not being able to check emails.  But I really think it was the best thing I could have ever done - EVER!  The last few years have been very challenging.  Rewarding, I have no regrets, but challenging.  I would take a foreign assignment anytime anywhere.  The knowledge you gain about yourself and the world in priceless.

My next few posts will show the doodles I did along the way.  First stop - Freiberg, Germany......

 Freiberg is right on the border of France and Switzerland.  It's a neat location and a beautiful part of Germany.  There's a cathedral (shocking, i know) in the town of Freiberg that has all these cool critters hanging off of it.  I can't get enough of these guys!

Yes, the sky was that blue :)

No idea what this guy is....but I like it!  Goat - dog?

First time I'd seen a fish grotesque - least I think it's a fish.  Neat shape.  Or maybe this one is a gargoyle - dunno, spout wasn't clear.

There was also no shortage of views like this.  I'm a sucker for old fences, paths, rows of trees, etc.  

Triberg was near by.  Located in the black forest, one of Germany's largest waterfalls is there.  I can see why so many stories originated from the black forest area.  It's a pretty magical place, easy for your mind to wander.

I took a small moleskine sketchbook and a small watercolor moleskine.  This one was Cathedral inspired.....duh.  

I put together a watercolor travel kit for this trip.  It had a bunch of colors I'd never touched before, so I was just trying to get in the groove with these first two entries in my watercolor moly.

Loads of ravens in the black forest.  My scanner really let me down with this one.  There is actually a really nice light blue wash that wanders onto the other page - stupid scanner (grrrrrr).

Next stop - Lake Como Italy..........

Sunday, August 26, 2012


Starting the second in my ocean / autobahn series.

This was the first one - Birds, the Autobahn and the Ocean.  This was my attempt to paint sound that I hear from my table.  Birds = birds, autobahn = ocean, hornets = mopeds and lions = bikes.

I have never second guessed a composition so much in my life!  After pro-kraska-nating for most the day, I started to scribble in the big book of Kraska krap. I have these hornets in my head, but they're not making it to the paper just right........yet.

more krap......

This one kind of looks like an Imperial probe droid.....that's not a bad thing ;)

That intimidating piece of blank paper in the upper right will eventually be a painting.

I even did a little test run of the hornet.  Need to control those colors a bit better.  After posting this, I'm gonna dive into the real thing!  Otherwise I'll be second guessing this for days.

Sunday, August 12, 2012

Let it go....

So I put off working on this thing because I thought the colors were too fruity and sweet.

I liked my original idea, so I went back in and tried to tone down all that pink stuff...

I'm liking the lost and found lines around it's head and wings.....think I'll play that up some more......

I like him flying into all that dark spooky stuff.  At this point I finally gained confidence with this painting and decided that I would push myself to finish it this weekend. 

I'm calling it done!  I could probably noodle away at it for hours, but I'm  not convinced it would make it any better.  Sometimes you just have to let go......sometimes you have to lose a few feathers in order to move on.