Barn Owl - 18x24 - 2019
Barn Owls are a favorite subject for me to paint. This is my most recent rendering of this ethereal creature. They always seem to hang in between here and there. caught in the crepuscular light.
Bewick’s Wren - 10x20 - 2018
I hope you get to hear a Bewick’s Wren belting out its spring song from the top of a gnarled branch. It buoys one’s spirit to hear such joyous singing.
Desert Raven - 24x36 - 2019
I encountered this Raven in Death Valley National Park in 2018. It flew down into a slot canyon I was hiking and eyed me from a distance of little more than fifteen feet. A moment later it was hoping towards me, it’s gaze sliding from my eyes to the water bottle at my hip. I got the message. Carefully I poured out a cup full into a rock crevice and stepped back. Immediately, one eye cautiously trained on me, the bird sauntered foreword and began to drink. Its a wonder to me that these large birds can survive in such an arid landscape.
The desert has always put me slightly off balance when I visit. I lack the familiarity, the ability to read the land that I am used to in my home bio region. I liken it to trying to find the silverware drawer at a stranger’s house. I have been lucky enough to live in Southern Oregon for my whole life. I know the land intimately in all seasons, on many scales, and can tease out what it is trying to tell me. Death Valley and other desert landscapes leave me feeling exposed, naïve, and like I am somehow missing the narrative. An Interaction with something I know well, Ravens, opened a brief window into a foreign world.
Black Phoebe - 12x24 - 2019
Black Phoebes are in the flycatcher family. I can happily watch them feeding for hours. They coast out from a perch, turn gracefully on the wing to snatch a insect in flight, and glide back; often returning to the same perch again and again.
Belted King Fisher - 16x20 - 2016
I enjoy designing the backgrounds of my pieces to incorporate hints to the behavior or the habitat in which you would naturally see the bird. Often I have said that the number one reason I enjoy fly fishing is the offchance I might encounter a Kingfisher. I love hearing their strident call as they fly up or down stream. The splash, a flash of scales, and a perch above the water - these things are all integral to what makes up a Kingfisher. I wanted to include these aspects in the piece as well as the bird itself to give the whole picture as to how I experience these wonderful birds.
Barn Owl Beginnings - 11x14 - 2013
This piece was my very first on recycled tea bags. I had long loved the natural stains and textures in tea bags and had attempted to incorporate them into various art forms over the years. Not until the winter of 2013 did I finally find a purpose they were well suited for. I did this piece after numerous smaller test pieces to see how a larger piece would work. I had not yet come up with my proprietary method for pH treating the tea bags prior to use. This original is therefor not archival or stable by any means. It took another calendar year to sort out just how to neutralizes the acids left in the tea bags without bleaching them back to a bright white. You can read more about this process on the “About” section of this site.
This piece currently hangs in the home of my parents, John and Nancy, who over the years have supported all of my creative notions and the wildlife rehabilitation work that I do. I am forever grateful for my fathers strategic placement of relevant books within my reach, his love of fly fishing and the feathers that go with it, and most importantly our trips to the Lower Klamath National Wildlife Refuge and surrounding wetlands which fostered my love for birds and all things wild. I am also grateful for my mother, who when I found a baby robin at age eleven convinced the local rehabber to let me raise it to adulthood. And her enduring grace, love, and compassion with which she put up with very purple robin poops on her white lamp shades, woodpecker holes in the molding, gophers in the toy bin, hatching chickens in the closet, and every other wounded wild thing I brought home during my youth. I can think of no better home in which to have grown up in and for my very first painting in this style to hang in.
Lazuli Bunting - 18x24 - 2018
A First year male Lazuli Bunting. This bird was brought to my attention by a former student, and one of my favorite people. She was calling from Ohio to tell me her fiend back home had found a tiny featherless bird in the middle of the road. Driving out to the location I began to ponder what type of bird it may be. Baby birds have very different feeding requirements, both in frequency and nutrition. Judging by where the bird was found ( the middle of the road ) it is likely that it was dropped there by a predator. In this case most likely a crow, raven, or jay. Baby birds without feathers are a bit tricky to identify and this one threw me for a loop. Western Bluebird was my first guess, a bunting did not cross my mind for the first two weeks. Eventually the bird recovered from its minor injuries, mostly soft tissue, ate its fill and was deemed releasable.
Say’s Phoebes - 12x36 - 2019
Say’s Phoebes are an elegant flycatcher. Their plumage is subtle and refined. Pink Dogwoods are showy, but still one of my favorites. Getting to place them together on a canvas was great fun. Each of the dogwood petals are hand cut from individual teabags I painted in shades of pink. I then shape them into petals and adhered them to the canvas. This process is very time consuming but rewarding.