Friday, April 24, 2009


I'm taking a quick recess from my self-imposed blog exile to contribute something to this week's Illustration Friday. Two nights ago #2 son (the one in the middle) was second lead (Johnny) in his school's production of The Outsiders, so I thought it would be fun to take one of my photos and doctor it into a poster-type illustration for the play. The un-shopped photo is to the right. Below are two more photos, one that I desaturated and played with a bit and one in its original, unaltered form. I used Greg's Canon PowerShot for these, giving my precious Nikon D70 a day off.

Sunday, April 19, 2009

spring in the 'burbs

I have been neglecting my blog lately. Actually, It's not that I don't have lots to say, it's just that spring is an insanely busy time of year for us and Facebook has been giving me the kind of quick-fix instant gratification that I need. Yes, FB's a cheap whore, while my faithful, long-suffering blog sits and waits. But if Facebook is a call girl, then Twitter is a street hooker and I won't go there. I know my limits.

Here are a few recent photos to give the illusion that I just posted something of substance. Tomorrow I ship these drawings (there will be nine in total once the gallery finishes updating the page) for this exhibition.

Next move: spring cleaning. A couple of days of that and I'll be back blogging in no time, so don't give up on me yet!

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

stepping out

Black-Billed Magpie ~ coloured pencil and other drawing media on Legion Rising Stonehenge paper

You know that last drawing of the loon? It was one of those 'unconscious drawings' where you sort of check out when you're in the zone. (I even did it in front of the TV.) Maybe it was a momentary lolcat abduction? "I iz inhabitin' ur body bein' clever with ur pencils." As such, it came off without a hitch.

Can you believe that the above drawing, a much simpler one in concept, took about three times as long in actual execution? The strutting magpie wasn't the problem ~ everything else was! Oh well. It's done and now they all need to be framed, packed and shipped, the real gruntwork part of the whole process.

Rudy has put me onto Slate magazine and these two articles, one about Vimeo (YouTube for artists) and one an article/photo essay about semi-detached houses, one of which has been abandoned, are really worth reading.

powerlinerflyers from wes johnson on Vimeo

Wednesday, April 08, 2009

going to the birds

Common Loon ~ coloured pencil and other drawing media on Legion Rising Stonehenge paper

So far, for this series, I've stuck with birds that have shown up in my yard. But I caved in with this one because I love loons so much (and I'm not just talkin' the dollar coins) and though I rarely have a chance to see them,
when I do I lubs them even more. This one is also larger and will be framed to 21" x 21". One more large one and I'm done with the bird series. I've used 245gsm Legion Rising Stonehenge for the last two drawings and have discovered that it's not quite as black as the Strathmore, but is softer and heavier. I like it a lot.

Meanwhile, the Eagle Eye Cam is back. This one is here in Delta at O.W.L. There's another angle here. I hope I'm online when the eggs hatch.

Friday, April 03, 2009


Northern Flicker ~ coloured pencil and other drawing media on Legion Rising Stonehenge paper

This is my first stab at a larger bird drawing. It's similar enough to the small ones, except you can see that there's a greater level of detail. I wanted to bridge the gap between the style of art I like to make and the detail/realism that is attractive to the naturalist.

A few reasons why I'm addicted to

Wednesday, April 01, 2009

varied thrush and purple finch

These are the last two in the series of mini drawings. Next: bigger drawings of bigger birds. Gulp. All these birds (see the set of six here) visit our feeders on occasion. Actually, the species in the top drawing (Varied Thrush) was immortalized on my blog here.