Auction Results!

steam donkey, pen and ink, drawing, art, watercolor, watercolour

A Ghost in the Forest, mixed media watercolor with pen and ink.

Prints of this painting are available here at Fine Art America.

Forestry Education, Forestry Education Auction, Sierra Cascade Logging Conference

A view from our table during the auction. The auctioneer is the guy in the back with the microphone.

The Forestry Education Auction at the Sierra Cascade Logging Conference was a huge success. They raised a total of $86,500 Friday night for their educational activities. My painting, A Ghost in the Forest, contributed $900 to the fund. It was a successful night.


steam donkey, Willamette steam donkey, steam yarder, pen and ink, pen, ink, drawing.

The Willamette Steam Donkey

I decided to make prints available of the pen and ink portion of the steam donkey painting. It’s available on Fine Art America.

“A Ghost in the Forest”


A Ghost In The Forest, steam donkey, steam yarder, willamette steam donkey

“A Ghost in the Forest” is auction ready! Thank you to Mary for the excellent matting and framing.

Usually, I don’t donate original art. However, this cause is near and dear to my heart. So this is the original going on the block. If I did my job right, the bidders will come ready to bid!  This is one item among many being auctioned to raise money for forestry education. The auction is Friday, February 6.

This auction is a fund-raiser for the Education Fund of the Sierra Cascade Logging Conference. The money goes for forestry education for local students. It supports Education Day for hundreds of local 4th graders to tour the conference. Mary, of Sneaking Bliss, gives a presentation to them each year. This was her post from last year’s tour, Sierra Cascade Logging Conference Education Day. The money also supports the local college logging sports team, scholarships and a Spring woods tour for students, among other things.

Sierra Cascade Logging Conference, Education Day

Mary delivers her presentation to my nephew’s 4th grade class, from a couple years ago. My nephew was volunteered to help out.

I’ve include a progression of the painting in the gallery shown below. Click on the images to enlarge.

These images are included in my previous posts with more information about the real steam donkey and the art process.

Forestry Friday … A Trip To The Woods and More Steam Donkey WIP

Steam donkey, wip, watercolor, watercolour, mixed media, pen and ink

The color is going on and the background is developing. Time to grow a forest. I’m well into the awkward phase and the quality of the photo isn’t very good.

It was a perfect day in the woods. I was visiting a more modern logging crew.

log truck, loader, logging, processor

Loading the truck and filling out the load receipt.

What do you think the steam donkey crew would have said about this equipment.


A dozer skidding in a log turn.

I get to go to places like this when I’m at work.

Lassen Park

Looking north toward Lassen Park.

Nothing like a little inspiration on the way home to prepare for painting.

Sunset over the Sacramento River.

Sunset over the Sacramento River.

Steam Donkey WIP …Update

The inking is complete!

steam donkey, steam yarder, Willette Steam donkey, Willamette Iron Works, pen and ink, pen, drawing, watercolor, WIP

Steam Donkey

My progression since my last post is shown in the gallery below. I’ve included how I mount my paper for watercolor painting. Click on the images to enlarge.

This old donkey wasn’t alone. Very nearby was a second steam donkey. It was another Willamette. These two machines worked together on the same logging site.

Willamette steam donkey, steam yarder

The second steam donkey. It’s had parts removed by collectors.

Mark, the photographer, commented on my last post:

“The historians on our Steam Donkey expedition had a schematic of this Donkey. The manufacturer (Portland Iron Works) listed the Capistan (an option used to guide the cables in and out) as weighing 2,200 lbs. This donkey and another smaller unit were used until the Depression when they were parked on the side of a hill. By the time the Depression was over, other methods to yard logs were discovered, so they sit in the same resting place today. The original steam donkey was invented by John Dolbeer in 1881 in Eureka, California.”

steam donkey, steam yarder

Look how steep the hill is. It appears, they stopped in the middle of moving this donkey. Things must have been bad for them to abandon this equipment in the woods.

Now it is time for me to start slinging a little paint. Stay tuned for the next installment.

Forestry Friday … Steam Donkey WIP

This huge steam engine has waited silently for years. Seasons passed, leaves turned, and its only visitors were the wild creatures paying it no attention.

steam donkey, Willamette steam donkey,Willamette Iron Works, logging, logging history

The Willamette Steam Donkey. Photo courtesy of Mark Lathrop.

Steam donkeys were the cutting edge technology for powering logging operations a hundred years ago. Serving as yarders, they brought logs to the landing. They were the loaders, too. These huge machines provided any heavy lifting that needed to be done. Steam donkeys replaced horses and oxen for moving logs.

Steam Donkey, pen and ink, drawing, pen, pen & ink, watercolor, watercolour, logging

Steam Donkey work in progress.

I’m doing a mixed media watercolor painting of this steam donkey for a forestry education fund-raising auction. The auction will be held at the Sierra Cascade Logging Conference coming up in February. You can follow the progress on this piece in my future blog posts. I’m using a Canson Bright White 90 lb hot press cotton paper. I sketched out my pencil guide and am inking. I’m inking with a brand new Lamy All-Star extra fine point pen.

steam donkey, Willamette steam donkey,Willamette Iron Works, logging, logging history

Mark at the historic site.

The pictures were taken by my friend, Mark, who has graciously given me permission to use them for this project. He had the awesome duty of leading a team of historians to the donkeys to record the site. Keep following for more on the story behind this steam donkey.