Approximately 7 5/8 ” x 10″, ballpoint pen, from 2003. A loose rendering of a photo in a magazine. Ballpoint pens can surprise you with how much range you can get out of them. The issue is the light-fastness of their inks, how quickly they fade. But with scanning and printing more affordable now, it’s a bit less of an issue. $12 per signed, digital print on white, acid-free cardstock. Limited edition run of 50.
Was walking by an old apartment building with grass so high the lot looked abandoned, and saw a bachelor’s button flower in the middle of the weeds. So I cell phoned it up, then chose it out of several other pics, even though I initially thought having a single flower in the middle wasn’t enough for a whole drawing. But the flower was off-center and the weeds fit in nicely with the flower branch. Did the pencil version in a few weeks, then inked it in in about three hours. 8 1/4 x 11 inches, pen and ink on paper, from 2018. $14 per print in a limited edition run of 50.
Took the picture in June, then did the pencil drawing over a few weeks’ time in June and July 2018, listening to the Beatles’ Esher demos over and over (although given the style of the drawing, I suppose Revolver would have been a more appropriate choice). Inked it in July, not thinking it was finished until I thickened the contour lines of the flowers. One of several recent drawings where I tried to show just how amazing plant shapes and lines look close-up; even a bed of the same flowers has endless variation, and I hope that comes across here. Now the zinnias are over five feet high (they were about half that high when I took the picture), the fiftieth anniversary edition of The Bealtes will be released soon (plenty of Esher demos on that), and I’m drawing close-ups of unmown lawns in an effort not to be too freaked out by the news (vote green in November!). Time marches on. 8 1/4 x 11 inches, pen and ink on paper, from 2018. $14 per print.
Another layering of two semi-abstract contour drawings, clarified a bit by using different drawing tools. Tried to have the attention-getting effect of a big mountain range picture and a abstract line drawing with enough contrast and variety to keep your eye moving in a satisfying way. But I remember wondering after I’d finished it whether or not I should put something else in, and so set it aside for a long while. But eventually I realized that if you do something even partially abstract, you’re probably not going to win over as big an audience no matter what you do, so I decided to leave it as is so that the interplay of the lines comes through. As Toni Morrison once said, “All art is knowing when to stop.” Hopefully I picked the right time here. 9 x 11 inches, ballpoint pen, marker and colored pencil on paper, from 2004. $12 per print.
Drawn over three days from a spring 2001 photo I took of an inlet on Lake Cumberland, Kentucky. I did several drawings of Lake Cumberland shorelines, and this one really shows how forested the whole area is, at least on the Federally-owned part (from the lake to several dozen yards from the shoreline). I was caffeine-free when I did this, by the look it, possibly even listening to classical music. 7 5/8 x 6 1/2 inches, pencil on paper, from 2002. $10 per print.
I sketched some clover years ago, thought it looked rich in an art nouveau sort of way, wondered what a full drawing would look like, and put it off because of the time it would take. Since getting limited by chronic illness it seems now’s the time, so I’ve been accumulating photos. Took a picture of these periwinkles and grass during a walk in early April, then did a study of part of it in June for a larger work. Liked the study enough to complete it, so over three days I did this and also an ink version, settling on this as the keeper. 2B pencil on paper, 5 1/2 x 8 inches, from 2018. $12 per print, in a limited edition run of 50.
In spring 2003 I did a pencil drawing from life of a pavilion in Washington Park in Springfield, IL. Overly eager, I finished and then immediately sprayed it with fixative, making erasing impossible. Once I came to my senses, I realized that I had messed up one of the columns. But this summer I transferred and inked it again, correcting the column mistake and filling in a bit more background and grass. Hope there’s still enough spontaneity in it for y’all. 8 x 10 inches, pen and ink on paper, from 2018. $12 per print, of a limited edition run of 50.
This was a hard one to do; there was repetition of leaf shape, but broken up by a lot of overlapping. I took this aphid-view picture in early June (about ten days before the Zinnia Flowers picture), and drew the pencil original in the better part of a month, stopping to do a few studies on the side to keep from erasing holes in the master drawing. Inked in in about an hour an a half. 8 1/4 x 11 inches, pen and ink on paper, from 2018. $14 per print, in a limited edition run of 50.
A bouquet done from life in about two hours with a fountain pen then applied with watercolor and topped off with yellow acrylic background. This was one of those pieces that really amped me up; I remember happily being up all night with this, with every change seeming to be for the better. Flowers in the bouquet are lavender, roses, zinnias, butterfly bush, and some purply things with yellow middles. 10 x 13.12 inches, dipping pen, watercolor pencils and acrylic paint; from 2018; limited edition run of fifty (Note: prints will have slightly less than one inch borders along the top and bottom); $16 per print.