Saturday, December 30, 2017

An old...


...pencil in an 11x8.5" sketchbook. Late 80s.

I never much liked this one 'til today. I've been looking through some plein air magazines and you see finished works in all degree of refinement. So I look at this again today, I realize it has all the right values in the right places, it just lacks detail. Still reads like a drawing.

Does a pencil drawing done on location count as "plein air?"


Friday, December 15, 2017



Fourth version of a scan from my "Goobertown Sketchbook." Cropped about an inch at the bottom, pencil in 11"x8.5" sketchbook.
 This was my view out the front door, across the highway. Best I remember, someone was burning trash or leaves or something, smoke obscuring the background trees, that being what drew my eye...


Tuesday, December 12, 2017

Conte Aggie 1980


8.5"x11" brown Conte crayon in sketchbook, done on location. This old storage building was across the street from the, I think it was a shoe factory, on Aggie Road in Jonesboro AR, 1980.

While I was working a young Asian fellow walking by stopped to watch, complimented my progress, and very carefully pointed with his thumb to the front just under the eave and said, "Needs more shadow here." Then he wished me luck and walked on. I, since he was right, put more shadow there.


Monday, December 11, 2017

Friday, December 8, 2017

Stonehenge 1980


I wasn't there. It's from a photo in a book or magazine I saw at the library. Drawing pencils in 11x8.5" sketchbook. Edited for contrast and whatnot...

Saturday, December 2, 2017

Stop 'n' Sketch


Pencil in 8.5"x11" sketchbook, 1983. Between Goobertown and Brookland, on my way to pick up a paycheck at Riceland one Friday. Later translated it into the best pastel painting I've ever done, but don't have a picture of that yet...


Monday, November 6, 2017



Actually Christmas 1973, pencil on drawing paper, about 9"x12" without the calendar part, 17"x12" altogether. Last minute gift for Mamaw.
The old homeplace I grew up in, currently holed up in again. If you look close you can see ice sickles on the small tree to the right, and that's why the limbs on the big ivy covered oak are white--ice storm that winter.
That barrel on a frame used to hold kerosene ("coal oil" Papaw called it) and that fed the heat stoves in the kitchen and front room.

Here's the whole thing still in the frame. It's been hanging on the wall in the living room ever since...well, 1974.

These are a couple of attempts to edit the photo in the frame, under glass, to get a clearer image of just the drawing...

Not satisfactory so I switched to the scanner...

...on which it wouldn't fit... I went to cropping and editing...

Finally came up with this, same as the one at the top. (This version makes it more like 7"x12") The top one is sized to fit this page, but the others are larger and can be clicked for more detail.


Saturday, November 4, 2017

Rarity from '83


Not too many of these ever existed, self-portraits by me. I been going through some old sketchbooks lately. Drawing pencils on 11x8.5" sketchpad, two days before I turned 31.
In Goobertown. If you're not from around here, you read it right. If you are from here, I lived in that little white house just before you hit the curve going toward J'boro, catty-cornered across the hiway from the namesake store and gas. And sign. The damn sign's not even left now.

Anyhow, here's a few more sketches I did while living there.
Left, a conte crayon drawing of the boots I was wearing to work at Riceland in J'boro. The last shift they served me, it was with duct tape holding the sole on one of 'em.
Right, out the kitchen window.

And lastly, yes we had dragons out there. It ain't called Goobertown because of peanuts, y'know.


Friday, November 3, 2017

Dec. 10, 1976


I was in Belleville, Michigan. I think that was the time I took a bus up there to help Aunt Dinker (Reba, actually, and the reason we called her Dinker was a family secret older than I) drive back down here in her car.
The sketch is of the view from--across, I guess, really--her second story deck, overlooking frozen Lake Belleville.
Pencil in 11x8.5" sketchbook, cropped to 11x5.25"



Sunday, October 29, 2017

After Moebius


An oil on canvas I did back in the 80s. It's on a 14x18" canvas but the image is only about 9.5"x15.75", the rest of the canvas covered in burnt umber. I don't recall why I did it that way.

It's taken from a panel in a comic strip drawn by Jean Giraud aka Moebius, in Heavy Metal Magazine. A sample of his work, I believe from the same story I used, is below.

If anybody recognizes the image I used above, and has access to sharing, I'd love to have a copy of the comic book image to compare. Google images didn't have it, just this one. The guys in the top pic are hunting these flying humanoids. For some "reason," probably sport. I remember how their luck went but I won't say. No spoilers here.


Sunday, October 22, 2017

The Big Electron


Is this real?
Or is this just a ride?

The world is like a ride
You think it's real - it's just a ride 
And we can change it any time we want
It's only a choice - between fear and love

The ride goes up and down and round and round
It has thrills and chills and it's very brightly colored
Up and down and round and round
And it's very loud

Don't worry, don't be afraid
It's just a ride
And we can change it any time we want
It's only a choice between fear and love

Why are we here?
I think we're part of a bigger wisdom
That we won't ever understand
A higher order - call it what you want -
Know what I call it?  ~ *


* "The Big Electron" by John Boswell 

Thursday, September 21, 2017

5 floors up


Cropped and (more) edited version of a painting that I originally posted (on this blog) way back HERE.


Friday, August 18, 2017

Therapy Bridge


Pigma Micron in 5x3.5" sketchbook. So titled in reference to an exchange Nicola and I had last time acknowledging the therapeutic effect of artwork. The conversation sorta stuck with me so I thought I might oughta get me some this morning. It worked.
That's actually not a "bridge," per se, but the walk over the ditch in front of Mom's house. And no, I didn't squat down in the ditch to do this; it's from a photo I took about this time last year, and it's a lot easier on my old joints to hunker down for a snap than it would have been for the 40 minutes or so I worked on this. 😉


Sunday, July 30, 2017



Pigma Micron in 3.5x5.0 sketch book. "Departed" just came to me as something to call it in the files, I guess since the building depicted is all that's left of the old mall. That's the remains of the old Sears store, and where I'm sitting is probably about where the food court was. I was drawn to the science-fictiony post apocalyptic look, which may be just in my imagination due to the absence of what I know used to be there, 'cause I don't see it in the sketch.
I also don't see proper perspective on the building; I let my hand drift up toward the right when it should have been angling slightly down; a beginner's mistake that creeps back in when you haven't drawn at all in almost a year...due to 'difficult' situations...that I'm looking into...
A bitter irony is that drawing and painting shore me up, help me cope in the face of 'difficult situations', better than anything else(almost?) yet that's often the first thing, the first activity I tend to drop when these kind of situations arise. Perhaps I need to strategize...


PS: Just in case there might still be someone out there who doesn't know, you can see a larger version of the sketch by clicking on it. I just like it better smaller.

(Hey Google, you need to update your spellcheck. It thinks "strategize" is not a word.)

Thursday, January 12, 2017

"Hidey Hole" step by step, sort of...

I think I'm not going to put much more of my older paintings up on this blog, since most of what that would consist is already up on Facebook, HERE.
Meanwhile here's a 'step-bystep' of one I like from 2008, the most thoroughly documented "procedural" I've got.

First off the finished product, "Hidey Hole," 10x8" oil on canvas, 2008. From an old photo.

Step 1, sketch in with charcoal.

Then a monotone value study, with mostly just a wash of burnt sienna.

Next, block in the darks. Sorry, it's been too long, I don't remember the exact colors used.

The sky must be next, to help set the tone, you might say, of all that's to come.

I work...

...and work...

...and work on the sky. 'Til I get that "just right" feeling of it. Thin, semi-transparent layers makes it look more...airy, or something. Deep like a sky is what I'm after.

Starting on the background...

Establishing color in the background.

A little more detail...

...but the color's wrong. Start over

That's more like it. More muted, more like I actually see it.

Then a lot of fun drawing leaves and limbs in the deep shadow color.

A little bit of detail in the tree leaves, and the brush below.

A kind of neutral base color on the left tree, where the light hits...

...and the 'bark-y' textures pop out.

Hidey Hole is the first in a three-part series, the other two on which I've made a start, yet to finish. I call it, in my mind at least, the "Unconscious Perinatal Projection Series." A triptych, I guess. Sort of. More on that later...