Bull Elk

Bull Elk
Aspen Standing

Sunday, April 24, 2016

A New Post

Considering that this is my first post since January, you may have thought that I had died. I may be mostly dead but there are many reasons that I have not posted. Everything from health issues, a job loss due to those health issues, computer problems,(it died), and a new move to a better place.
I also have not lifted a paint brush yet this year nor pulled my camera out of the closet until last Monday. These photos were all taken by Bart Quimby. The photo above is Bart's wife Sandy in Archangel Valley above Palmer. Yes, it's still Winter up in the mountains.
Do you see what Sandy is looking at?
These are Willow Ptarmigans.
If they don't move you are likely to pass them by without ever noticing them.
They are delightful birds and often very tame around humans.
They can produce very pleasant soft clucking noises and also a demented cackle that sounds to me like they are saying, "go away".
They are good eating although I have never eaten one.
Sometimes they burrow deep into the snow to keep warmer.
This male is showing the first hint of the changeover to breeding plumage. They retain a lot of white all year.
They have black tails although they are often covered by white feathers.
Bart also got some nice shots of Mt. Denali, (formerly McKinley).
The mountain is seldom visible because of the unstable weather that the mountain creates..

Saturday, January 16, 2016

End of an Era

It was with great sadness that I learned the news that my oldest art gallery has closed down. I have sold my paintings there for more than 30 years. It is called  the 'Treasure Art Gallery, located in Sedona, AZ. The gallery's owner Mary Juharos has been having some health setbacks and had to retire.
These paintings are just a few examples of work that is, or was in the gallery. I do not remember which have sold and which have not. I know that I sold the top painting and that I made a lot of money from this black Bear. It got reproduced as a plaque and sold many copies. It was called, 'Welcome to Our Den'.
A Sea of Grass.
Cat Walk.
A Tired Old Bear.
In the Fox Hole.
Spectacled Eider.
Golden Dog.

Christmas Sunrise. Sitka Black-tailed Deer.
A cool Drink.
Lark Sparrow.
Along the Ridge.
There are more old paintings that will eventually be sent back. I look forward to seeing rhose that I have forgotten about but do not know what to do with them.

Saturday, January 9, 2016

Random Winter Phoros

Okay, most of the time winter totally sucks. It is however, very picturesque. This photo was shot in the field next to my place. I have posted many photos of this Orthodox church across the field.
A view of the church from a different direction.
I have posted some of these photos before. This is alpenglow on the mountainside in Wasilla.
One of the many glaciers in Prince William Sound. This photo was taken by Dan.
Scott Christy shot this photo near Prince William Sound.
Another view.
Harbor Seals near the same area.
Next month is our annual Audubon field trip to Seward. The rest of these photos are from past trips to Seward. That is me holding the umbrella. It rained all day last year.
The Kenai race of the Song Sparrow.
A few years ago there were two Eurasian strays present at the same time. The bird on the left is the Siberian Accentor. The bird at the back is a resident Varied Thrush. That makes the front bird the stray Brambling.
A Yellow-billed Loon. We don't see them in Anchorage.
A Horned Grebe in winter garb.

Saturday, January 2, 2016

Two Almost Complete Paintings

First is this Short-tailed Weasel. I actually finished it weeks ago But I hate it as it is.  So I decided to set it aside to fiddle with it some more when I can look at it with fresh eyes. It is 8x10".
This is my mostly complete painting as of yesterday. It is 16x20" and will be titled, The Vertical World. I still have a lot of refinements to make on it.
To flesh this post out a little I will show a few more Mountain Goat paintings that I have done in the past. I forget the name of this one but I believe that it was 11x14".
Fluffy Goats, 16x20".
Death Defying, 12x9". Notice the similarities between the goats on the right side of the last three paintings. They were all inspired by the same goat.

Saturday, December 26, 2015

Post Christmas Meanderings

This random post will start with some photos that Bart shot along the cliffs south of Anchorage. There is a place where Dall Sheep often come down from their lofty realm to browse close to the Seward Highway. I have seen them in that area many times but I never had a camera handy when I saw them.
Bart got a great family shot of a ram, ewe, and lamb recently. The wind often blows away the snow on these exposed cliffs. That is what probably attracts the sheep.
A ewe and a nearly grown lamb. Right now Bart is exploring the Everglades in Florida. I hope he gets some great photos.
Although I have not posted any artwork in months that does not mean that I have been doing nothing. I was contacted by an author to illustrate a book geared toward young people. The author Barbara has published several previous books about Alaskan wildlife. The next book will be about Alaska birds. I think it may be a coloring book of some sort.
Barbara asked me to draw a Spruce Grouse to show her a sample of my work. Now she wants to meet me to work out the particulars for illustrating the book. I have been working on two other paintings as well but I am not ready to post photos yet.
For some reason I have been reminiscing about African grasslands. I got this photo of a male, Long-tailed Whydah in Marievale Wildlife Refuge in South Africa some years ago. 
Such a long tail does not make for efficient flying but it does impress the lady whydahs.
A close relative, Pin-tailed Widow. Both species are nest parasites that lay their eggs in the nests of other birds.
A Blacksmith Plover in the rain.
Another grassland inhabitant, Swainson's Frankolin.
Black-bellied Bustards are common in protected grasslands in much of sub-saharan Africa. They often do some odd dancing rituals in the hopes of impressing their fellow bustards. It does not seem to matter whether there is another bustard present or not.
The grasslands contain lots of fat grasshoppers to attract Southern Yellow-billed Hornbills.
That's it for this week.