Images of Wild Creatures.

I have travelled too little to see any real wildlife aside from the critters who inhabit my suburban garden, so I work from pictorial resources such as magazines and calendars. Nonetheless, after being accustomed to seeing domesticated animals in the relative comfort of my home and neighborhood, it is almost a shock to see an animal which has never known a human and cares nothing for human companionship. Studying a wild animal in its natural habitat is a reminder that the world does not revolve around us, that these creatures get along just fine (and probably better) without us, that we are really only one more species carrying out our lives on Earth. And while, for me, the inspiration to put an image on paper is always primarily a visual inspiration, wild animals carry the same emotional inspiration as domestic pets--animals are so un-selfconscious. Add to that the beauty of a natural landscape and you've got a perfect recipe for visual pleasure.

My backyard is a "Registered Backyard Wildlife Habitat", and even though small and in a regular old neighborhood near Main Street, it is host to plenty of native species of all sorts, especially songbirds, hence the quantity of bird art.

The images at the top of this page are the more detailed and scenic works, while the smaller and more whimsical pieces are at the bottom.

For information on the Animal Artwork Display program, visit "Animal Artwork Display".

Click on any image to see an enlarged version.

Wolf Howl

MEDIUM: Pastel; SIZE: 22" x 16"; 1997, sold, prints and other items available

It's easy to personify what animals do, but when I saw this picture I really wondered what made these wolves stop at that point and howl while the rest of the group moved on. The range of dusky earth tones and the textures inspired me to render it in a looser and more sketchy manner than usual, letting the texture of the paper add to the image.

Bison Shadow

MEDIUM: Pastel; SIZE: 32" x 22"; 2001, $2,000.00 matted and framed, prints and other items available

This was after a photo from a magazine, and at the time I had been reading novels about the settlement of the Great Plains. This looks like a lot of bison, but considering how many populated this country just 200 years ago, this herd is just a shadow of what it once was, and in this orange twilight even their shapes are reduced to shadows..

Honorable Mention Winner in Pastel category Butler Art Center's 2007 Nature and Wildlife Show.

Taking Flight

MEDIUM: Pastel; SIZE: 23" x 15"; 2001, $750.00 matted and framed

I love marshes and wetlands, and even though there are no whooping cranes near me, we do have resident Great Blue Herons in our watershed. This image reminded me of their takeoff, but noticing the subtle coloring of natural things, the pure blue-white edged with yellow, then the brown wing tips were enchanting.


MEDIUM: Pastel; SIZE: 21" x 15"; 2001, sold, prints available

If you've read through other areas of this site, you'll know I'm a "cat person". Big cat, small cat, in many ways they act the same, and this cougar, obviously practicing a stalk and pounce is doing what all cats do in their spare time, when they aren't sleeping.

The Blue Tuna

MEDIUM: Pastel; SIZE: 18" x 12"; 2001, $500, prints available

This was an experiment on a "velour" style of pastel drawing paper. I wanted to get both the smooth transitions of light and dark in water, and the clarity of the reflections without really hard edges. Because the tuna are in fairly deep water, the ripple reflections are a little soft on the edges, and the velour helped to carry that.

First Place Winner in pastel category Butler Art Center's 2007 Nature and Wildlife Show.

A World Overhead

MEDIUM: Pastel; SIZE: 12" x 12"; 2002, $300, prints and other items available

This was inspired by driving down an interstate and looking right up at a hawk, not a wise thing to do at that speed, but I lived through it and it inspired this piece, plus perhaps a few others viewed into the sky.

The Gray Wolf

MEDIUM: Pastel; SIZE: 12" x 16"; 1994, $100, prints and other items available

Now there’s a look that will put us mere humans in our places. This wolf was on the cover of National Wildlife some time in the early 90s, and it must have been a popular image because I've since seen it on plenty of gift items.


MEDIUM: Watercolor; SIZE: 8" x 8"; 1996, $75 matted and framed, prints and other items available

We know that snow and polar bears are both white, right? I can assure you there's not one speck of white anywhere in this piece.

Asleep in the Snow

MEDIUM: Pastel; SIZE: 22" x 16"; 1998, $500 matted and framed, prints and other items available

The composition in this photograph is almost an abstract, with mounds of snow and ice bearing the same shapes as the polar bears, only a different shade of white.

First Place Winner in pastel category South Hills Art League's 1999 Annual Juried Show.

In His Element

MEDIUM: Pastel; SIZE: 15" x 12"; 1996, sold, small items available

It's another polar bear in the snow, and this time he appears to be pretty pleased with himself.

Birds in Snow

MEDIUM: Pastel; SIZE: 7" x 10"; 2001, sold, prints and other items available

These birds were actually pecking around in the snow under a bird feeder, but their random order and little shadows were intriguing. This was done en plein air--but not outside so I wouldn't cause the birds to fly off.

Biding Time

MEDIUM: Pencil with watercolor; SIZE: 22" x 16"; 2002, $750 matted and framed, prints and other items available

What do doves do all day? Just kind of hang out waiting for something to happen. These doves are hanging out in the maple tree outside my bedroon window. The drawing is done in pencil with very slight watercolor washes to show the bird's breast tarnish and the slight gather of moss on the tree branch.


MEDIUM: Pastel; SIZE: 6" x 6"; 2001, sold, prints and other items available

These mallards are floating along on Chartiers Creek, which flows through the town I live in and which forms our local watershed. The sky is reflecting on the water's surface giving it that solid appearance.

Snow Bird

MEDIUM: Pastel; SIZE: 6" x 6"; 2004, $100 matted and framed, prints and other items available

There's a bird, and there's snow, and this also happens to be a "snowbird", or a dark-eyed junco, clinging to a forsythia branch in my backyard.

Jammin' Jay Blues

MEDIUM: Pastel; SIZE: 6" x 6"; 2003, sold, prints and other items available

When a bunch of blue jays get together, you know it. This one particular section of a tree in my backyard is a favorite place for jam sessions.

The Sparrows in the Spruce

MEDIUM: Charcoal; SIZE: 5" x 7"; 2001, sold, prints and other items available

A bare spot in the side of a spruce in my front yard provides cover and safety for sparrows in the winter. I took a break from working one afternoon and sketched them.

Busy Chickadees

MEDIUM: Linoleum Block Print; SIZE: 12" x 4"; 2003, prints and other items available

Chickadees are very busy out there in the trees in any season. Sometimes I wonder how they get any nourishment at all when they have to hop around and talk about everything.

I like snow, too. For more of the art of winter, see "Winter White".