Old and new – animal portraits I have done

The general consensus seems to be that many of you to enjoy the series of small pen and ink/ watercolor animals I have been doing lately. I want to say thank you for all of the encouraging words but it has gotten me to thinking about how my artwork has been changed by time and experience.  I got out of graduate school in 1977, but hadn’t created much artwork in the several years following my disastrous art experiences in college.  With a degree in ethology, it was quite natural for me to go back to animal art when I finally had the inspiration and time to do it.  I did a lot of ink drawings with a nib pen back then.

Another giraffe

A couple of ago years, when I set up my permanent studio and picture wall, I looked over the animal art I had done in the late 70’s and early 80’s and I was surprised at the life and flow in them.  I had moved off of the nib pen when I started doing architectural work because it was a lot easier to use the technical pen for the more elaborate drawings.  No constant need to refill the nib and a much more even flow for the multitude of straight lines.  Periodically, I would do an animal portrait but not very often as I concentrated on the architecturals.  Over time, I think I lost the feel for  the animals that I had had and was generally disappointed with my efforts.  It was distressing if I thought about it so I generally didn’t.  I think this new (to me) technique has allowed me to recapture some of the old feel and I am enjoying the sojourn back with the nib pen and the animals.

Pastel and pen tiger

I accepted a house commission last week so I am off of the animals for a while.  With nothing new to show because of the architectural, I’ve picked a few of my long ago animals to post.  Feel free to compare them with the new ones.  I’d be interested to hear what you think.

Mr. raccoon


Look Mom – two hands

I went to the hand doctor today and the good news is that I don’t have to use the splint anymore. Hooray! It actually started to feel stronger last week and so I tried to do a little bit more of this and that without stressing it too much.  For the next month am I supposed to gently increase the amount of things I do with it, still being careful not to over do it or torque it.  My inner klutz is going to have to be very careful not to become an outer klutz for a while.  There is no scheduled physical therapy so he must have been happy with the range of motion I have at this stage.  I can feel it improving even since my appointment.  And to be able to wash my hand now….  It feels like a minor luxury.


I did manage to do a couple more little watercolors over the weekend.  I rather like the giraffe.  It has a nice sense of movement and color and I don’t think I would change much at this point.  He looks as if he is thinking about something to me.  I may look through my pictures for another one.  He was on the fun side to do.


The turkey, on the other hand, is only okay to my eyes.  He looks a little too much on the buzzardy side with his reddish head.  I am going to keep a lookout this spring for the toms around here and see if I can manage to photograph a male displaying.  I saw them several times shortly after we moved in but of course forgot about my camera.