Traditional Ways

A couple pages from my sketch book the last time I visited the Bearing Sea (Norton Sound). I saw this diagram on a bulletin board in the Koyuk, AK Post Office. Whaling still occurs within the indigenous communities of this region. I was offered some “muktuk” while I was there. The muktuk I saw was frozen until thawed and eaten raw or in various degrees of fermentation. Fermenting to preserve food seemed to be a common practice at or above the arctic circle. Drying meat was also common. I ate lots of dried salmon and moose.


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Filed under Sketch Book

Musk Ox

I’ve been fortunate to see this beauty in the wild near Prudhoe Bay. As I state above I think the Musk Ox and Dahl Sheep are the only Alaskan game animals I haven’t eaten. Pretty goof for a non hunter. My wife has told me multiple times (hubbies can’t hear or comprehend) never to buy her another project she had to make. She forgave me just this once when I brought home a stocking cap pattern and a skein of Qiviut from the Qiviut Co-op in Anchorage. This has become her go to head cover for cold weather.

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Filed under Iditarod, Sketch Book


Inktober is among us and today’s prompt is roasted. Never participated before and some of these my forth coming puns will be a stretch.

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Field Journal

I started a field journal a few weeks ago to record my interactions with the natural world. I try to record the date, time and weather. My sketches are meant to be more informative than artistic. Above is a sketch of some turkeys that frequent our yard. Yes I know turkeys is spelled wrong and something I didn’t catch until I made this post. I have since fixed it. That’s the beauty of it being your journal you can constantly change it, fix it and add to it.

I have Purple Martin gourds in my back yard and today was a sad day when the last of the nestlings fledged.


Above is an entry from a recent butterfly  outing looking for Black Swallow Tails, which we never saw. BUT we did see these Mourning Cloaks, Fritillaries and Common Wood Nymphs.

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Seasonal Scratch Board

I was cleaning out my studio and found this scratch board I did a few years ago. Found just in time as America’s favorite pastime takes an all star break.

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[Wilderness] is good for us when we are young, because of the incomparable sanity it can bring briefly, as vacation and rest, into our insane lives. It is important to us when we are old simply because it is there—important, that is, simply as an idea.

— From “Wilderness Letter,” Wallace Stegner, 1960

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Filed under Bandlands, Photography, Wilderness

Traditional Illustration

In my last post I scanned my pencil drawing of a purebred cattleman with his prize herd sire. I enhanced it with Photoshop. Since then I took a mix of cadmium orange and burnt amber and did a wash over the drawing to create a monochromatic painting (above). I’m still a traditionalist. I like the wash better than the digital color. The wash does a better job of creating a look and feel and maintaining subtle tones and detail. However, putting a wet brush to a completed drawing is not for the faint of heart. I understand why many artist are finishing their art with Photoshop, because you can’t undo (cmd + Z) a bad paint job.

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Filed under Painting