Bliss and the Destroying Angel

Bliss was close to death. Dr. Bob called to tell us that we had better come to see her now. We knew what he meant by what he didn’t say.

Bliss, golden retriever, dog, puppy, poison, amanita ocreata, Destroying Angel

Inspired by a near tragedy, watercolor, and pen and ink.

This was last June. Mary has posted the entire story on her blog at Sneaking Bliss. I encourage you to read it, especially if you are a dog owner.

Forestry Friday … Spotted Pine Sawyer

Pine Sawyer Beetle, pen and ink, pen, drawing

The Spotted Pine Sawyer in pen and ink.


The spotted pine sawyer beetle is in the longhorn beetle genus. If you hang out around enough log landings you’re bound to see them. This one flew into my truck.


Be careful how you pick them up. They have strong mandibles and are happy to bite you.

They reproduce in dead and dying trees. Their larvae will bore into the log, thus reducing its value.

Pine Sawyer Grub, larva, larval

The larval form is a borer that damages the wood.


A log deck in the wood is a natural attractant for the beetles. If the logs sit in the woods too long the beetles will get into them.


Spotted Pine Sawyer, Monochamus galloprovicialis.

Wild Wednesday … Curious Young Bear

Black Bear, bear, pen and ink, pen & ink, ink drawing, drawing

Curious Young Bear in pen and ink.

As we rounded the corner, we spooked this young bear. He ran up the hill a short distance and hid behind a large Douglas-fir tree. His curiosity got the best of him as he peeked around one side of the tree and his behind stuck out the other. I stopped the rig so we could watch him. He didn’t run away. We got out and started taking pictures.

California Black Bear, Ursus americanus

His curiosity got the best of him. He had to get a better look at us.

He watched us for a while and we watched him. An older bear would never have stayed for a look. Soon his curiosity was satisfied and we went our separate ways.

California Black Bear, Ursus americanus

California Black Bear, Ursus americanus

Monica was our pole plant/log clerk for many years and is a dear friend. She lives near Shasta Lake and has told me countless stories of her encounters with bears around her home. Of course she had to listen to my countless bear stories too. She just retired, so I gave her a signed and mounted print of this pen and ink. I think of her every time I look at it.

Wild Wednesday … Wiley Coyote?

Wild as in wildlife. Naturally, the coyote comes after the roadrunner.

coyote, watercolor, watercolour, pen and ink, ink drawing, wildlife

Coyote in mixed media. Done with pen and ink, and watercolor.

I enjoy seeing wild coyotes and I see them often. As a dog lover, I’m sympathetic toward them. On the flip side I have no illusions about their predator nature and I keep an eye out for our pets and livestock.


This coyote was just west of the house. She came cruising through and posed very politely.

Ranchers have to protect their livestock because it’s their livelihood. Coyotes have to hunt because it’s their livelihood. It’s a tough reality for coyotes and ranchers alike. All part of the harsh balance of nature.


It’s tough being a coyote.

Old Dogs, New Dogs

golden retriever, Blitz, pen and ink, drawing, pen, ink

It’s been almost a year since Blitz passed. Soon after, I did this portrait of her as a bit of art therapy.

Our new girl golden retriever puppy was born on the 6th. She will be coming home in about six weeks. I can’t wait.

puppies, golden retriever, puppy, dogs

Our new baby is in there somewhere. She’s the cute one. Photo courtesy of Susan Liptak.

It just so happens her Grandmother, Gracie, is staying with us for awhile. In fact, at this moment she is putting a stuffed toy wolverine in my lap and asking for me to throw it for her. She’s staying with us while I’m running her in the Junior Hunt Tests for her owner and personal friend, Sally. Blitz was Gracie’s cousin.

golden retriever

Gracie is schmoozing for a retrieve with a stuffed wolverine. I think the wolverine is well loved.

This weekend we attended the Marin Retriever Club Hunt Test in Corning, California. It was a double header and we ran dogs on Saturday and Sunday. Mary ran her Sailor, Sally ran her Bella and I ran Sally’s Gracie. Great fun was had by all, especially the dogs. Everybody qualified in both events.

hunt test, AKC Hunt Test, marking, duck, golden retriever

The gunner shoots the live flyer. Gracie and I are at the line watching her second bird go down. Photo courtesy of MaryA Livingston.

Prints available at Fine Art America.

Road Work Art Work

I’m an opportunistic artist. Time for making art is precious, so I find it where I can.

Click on the gallery if you want to get stuck at the road construction with me. Who wouldn’t, right?

The Art Challenge, Day Five … Story Books


It’s day five! I was tagged to do the 3 pieces of art a day for 5 days, Art Challenge, by Mark Mitchell. This is the last post. The theme for today is “Story Books”, that I’ve illustrated  I put up illustrations from three different books.

I would love to give everyone a break, so I’m not tagging anybody for the Art Challenge. If you want to do it, then tell me and I’ll tag you!

The books:

Buddy, The Wayward Wolverine

Firestorm in the Forest

Buddy and the Magic Chicken Tree

The Art Challenge, Day 4 … Fur, Fins and Feathers

It’s day four! I was tagged to do the 3 pieces of art a day for 5 days, Art Challenge, by Mark Mitchell. Hey Mark, this is starting to feel like homework. The theme for today is “Fur, Fins and Feathers.”  I put up something old and something new.

I would love to see Ruth of Ruth’s Artwork do the Art Challenge. I picked Ruth because of her amazing pen and ink/watercolor, mixed media, architectural illustrations. She also does wonderful animals. She does lots of fantastic commissions. I recommend you check out her site.

Prints are available at Fine Art America.