Thursday, September 21, 2023



Whenever I start a new journal, I illustrate the front of each one with a pen and ink drawing. This Short-eared Owl was done on an older journal that I filled during the winter of 2002. That one contains mostly notes on birds seen on a day to day basis but I also wrote about the weather, any mammals seen and actually anything else of note. Being by the coast, I witnessed a lot of bird migration - some days noting thousands of birds passing overhead! I soon ran out of space so started a new one.

This barred Owl graces the cover of my second journal completed that winter. This one mostly covers observations during late winter and the beginning of some early spring migration.

Usually I only write up notes and observations in my journals but occasionally do small drawings directly inside - especially if I have a bit of time during birding lulls.

This small drawing was done on the bottom of a page as I sat looking over Guard Shore inlet in the Chesapeake. This was a favorite place to visit and being winter, was usually deserted so it was just us, the amazing landscape and the birds!

Monday, September 11, 2023



As is usual with a lot of my work lately, finishing seems to take quite a bit longer than I had hoped. Eventually I got close to how I expected the completed painting to look but I'm sure that after putting it aside for a while, I'll find something else to do to it. I do think I accomplished what I set out to do though and that was to capture these two jewel-like birds sitting in bright sunlight, and the way the light interacted with their plumage. I really like the reflected blue highlights on the heads of each bird and in the shade, how dark that color becomes. Barn Swallows is done in pure watercolor on Arches paper, size is 15 x 11 inches (38 x 28 cm).