So Which Will It Bee?

Honey bee, bee, watercolor, watercolour

Here’s one I pulled from the archives of forgotten favorites.

I finally pulled the trigger. I’ve been thinking for some time about marketing prints of my art work, as many of you do. I checked out what was available and checked in with some of you, special thanks to Russel Ray, an excellent photographer in San Diego. After examining many of the sites available I went with Fine Art America. Their business model seems to be a good fit for me.

Click here to see the gallery!


I’ve been slowly posting pieces, about two a day. I can already see how difficult it is to stand out on the site, but you can’t sell it if you don’t put it out there. Clearly, promotion is the key. There is so much great art, I am curious to see how this works out. Any advice, comments or experiences are welcome.

Test Driving My New Brush Pen


brush pen, pen and ink, deer, drawing, black tail deer

This black tail deer was done as a bit of practice with a new brush pen. This drawing is not my usual style, but I wanted to use it by itself. I typically use the brush pen in concert with my other pens.

My birthday was this month and Mary got me a new pen. I pick out the Kuretake No. 50 brush pen. I went with this one because it has natural bristles and is refillable. I’ve been trying out a number of different single use pens and have really enjoyed them, but I wanted something better. This pen is a hot rod!

Kuretake No. 50 Fountain Hair Brush Pen - Sable Hair - Black Body + Gold Accents + Refill - KURETAKE DW141-50

The pen comes with in a nice wooden box with three ink cartridges. I haven’t tried these cartridges yet. Instead I purchased the Platinum Converter, a refillable cartridge, and a bottle of Platinum Carbon Ink. I pick this ink because it is very water-resistant and can be used with watercolor.

I’ve been enjoying this pen a lot, but I need to get more practice with it. I find using a brush pen is a lot different from a watercolor brush, very unforgiving. I suppose it’s made more difficult more by the ink and not the pen.

Black Tail Redo

deer, black tail deer, buck, Columbia black tail deer

This is the tweaked version.

It was bugging me.  Have you ever posted something and when you look at it later, it looks wrong? Something was missing. The deer looked a little chopped off at the feet so I added a bit more foreground.

deer, black tail deer, buck, Columbia black tail deer

As it appeared in last weeks post Black Tail In Velvet. What do you think, did it help?

I usually use one of the tricks to get a different view such as looking at it in the mirror, upside down, from across the room, or setting it aside for several days. I guess I have a new one…post it!

Black Tail In Velvet

deer, black tail deer, buck, Columbia black tail deer

A Spring black tail buck with horns still in velvet in pen and ink.

This is always busy time of year around here, which is the reason I haven’t posted for awhile. When Fall comes, we disappear into the mountains. It’s our time to put some miles under our boots, over the mountains and through the woods.  This is when we go out to procure some fresh organic protein to get us through the year.

I photographed this buck last Spring.  He was feeding under a blue oak tree. His antlers were still growing and in velvet.

Sgt Livingston

Lloyd Livingston

Marine Sgt Lloyd Livingston in pen and ink. I used a portrait taken of my dad during WWII.

Today is my dad’s birthday, unfortunately, we lost him several years ago. It seemed like a good time to post his portrait. He served as a Marine in the Pacific during WWII, something I’m very proud of. Happy birthday dad.

I’ve been working on my pen and ink portraits and I have found them to be particularly challenging. They are much more difficult than a squirrel or pine cone. After doing a number of fails, I finally completed one that I thought was suitable for posting. No Forestry Friday post today, but it will be back next week.

Teka and Ruby


Ruby’s Coarsegold Running Rebel SH, “Teka”

Teka went home to her family about a year ago. I did this drawing before she left. She stayed with us while training. During her time here she completed her AKC Junior and Senior Hunter titles.

Redtails Coarsgold Serrano Sizzle JH, "Ruby"

Redtail’s Coarsgold Serrano Sizzle JH, “Ruby”

Her mother “Ruby” also stayed with us years ago. This is the drawing I did of Ruby when she was here.

This gallery is from Teka’s time with us. Click on the image to enlarge.

Very soon Kinta will be going home to Japan. It has been a wonderful year with him, as was our time with Teka and Ruby.



Forestry Friday … Lodgepole Pine – En Plein Air

One advantage to having a truck for an office, is to take a few minutes in the woods during lunch to engage in a bit of en plein air sketching. En plein air is a french term meaning “in the open air.” It refers to painting or sketching in the outdoors.

logepole pine, cone, pine cone, pen and ink, drawing, sketch, plein air

En plein air pen and ink of a lodgepole pine cone.

Here is some of our local lodgepole pine.

Click on the images to enlarge them.

The Blackberry Foxes

Along the road to our home are blackberry brambles. In one bramble patch is the den of a family of gray foxes. Some mornings I glimpse the foxes hanging out on the road. The foxes have lived in the area for years. They’re attracted to the area for the cottontail rabbits that also live in the blackberries. They appeared in my earlier post The Fox and The Song

pen and ink, drawing, fox, gray fox

“The Vixen”    pen and ink.

The other morning, I was on my way to work. I came around the corner and surprised the fox family. There were four kits and the vixen playing in the road. When they saw me coming they scattered. Foxes were darting here and there diving into the blackberry bushes. I grabbed my camera to get a picture of the group, but they had scampered away. When I stopped in front of their blackberry patch, two of the little kits were peeking out. Before I could focus my camera they disappeared.

This brave little fox graciously pose for me.

The gray fox kit.

However, a couple of days later, I was fortunate to have one brave fox kit sitting out in front of their thicket. This little one posed graciously while I snapped a few pictures. It is always a treat to see the fox family. I just hope they stay far away from our chicken house.


Forestry Friday … When Is A Pine Cone Not A Pine Cone?

When is a pine cone not a pine cone? The answer,… when it’s not! Folks often see a conifer cone and call it a pine cone, but in reality it may not be a pine cone. There are many types of conifers that aren’t pines, such as spruce, true fir, hemlock and Douglas-fir to name a few.

Pondersosa pine, pine cone, pen and ink, ink, drawing

Ponderosa pine cone in pen and ink.

So why do so many folks refer to all conifer cones as pine cones? Apparently, the pines won the branding contest. In the UK many people call refer to vacuum cleaners as Hoovers, in the USA many people call all colas Cokes and conifer cones are pine cones.
Pine cones have thick scales with a little point called an umbo. These images are some of our local pines.

cones, pine cones, Ponerosa pine, forestry

Ponderosa pine cones are the classic western pine cones.

cones, pine cones, sugar pine, forestry

Sugar pine cones are the longest pine cones and reach 24 inches long. Sugar pine are a member of the white pine family.

cones, pine cones, gray pine, digger pine,, forestry

Gray pine cones are large heavy cones that are very common in the foothills of California.

cones, pine cones, knobcone pine, forestry

Knobcone pine cones are serotinous cones. Serotinous cones can remain attached to the tree for years and open after fire. These trees are referred to as fire pines.

cones, pine cones, Lodgepole pine, forestry

Lodgepole pine are another fire pine. The cones are usually less than 2 inches wide.

cones, pine cones, big cone pine , Coulter pine, forestry

Several years ago my youngest son climbed a Coulter pine tree to collect these beauties. Coulter pine is also called “big cone pine”, because they have the biggest cones of all, up to 10 pounds. These cones resemble a medieval mace.

Many of the non-pine species have thin scales with no point. These are some images of our local non-pine conifers.

Cones, true fir, white fir, fir cones

White fir cones disintegrate when they’re ripe. White fir is a true fir. True fir cones stand upright on the limb.

Cones, true fir, white fir, fir cones

It is rare to find intact true fir cones on the ground. This one was cut out of the tree by a squirrel.

cones, mountain hemlock, hemlock, hemlock cones

Mountain hemlock have a thin scaled small cone.

Douglas-fir, cones, Douglas-fir cones, forestry

Douglas-fir cones have extended bracts that stick out between the scales.

spruce, Sitka spruce, spruce cones

Sitka spruce cones also have thin scales. These spruce grow on the west coast from California to Alaska.

incense cedar, cedar cones, forestry, wooden pencils

Incense cedar have tiny cones. Incense cedar is used for making wooden pencils.

This is a small sample of some of our local conifers. Next time someone calls a non-pine cone a pine cone, you’ll be ready to give them a forestry lesson.

golden retriever

It just seems right to end this post with a picture of Blitz. She’s still here in spirit.