Utenbach Charcoal Horse

“I have learned that what I have not drawn I have not really seen, and that when I start drawing an ordinary thing, I realize how extraordinary it is, sheer miracle.”

-Fredrick Franck

There is such beauty in the things of this world, and when I take the time to slow down and really look at them I am amazed at the intricacies.  I think when I draw, I am actually making more mental connections to the things my brain sees.  Fun!

Utenbach Horse22×30 Charcoal Horse – Utenbach, Germany

There is something freeing about doing a larger scale drawing, especially with charcoal. For me it feels like all the senses are being awakened as life’s worries and tensions begin to melt away.

Recently I came across art paper rolls (over sized paper); I could go even bigger.  I wonder if my family would mind a wall taken over by paper and charcoal.  It could be custom wall paper. Hmm, who knows what the future holds?

Charcoal, Graphite

Portrait Time

“The best and most beautiful things in the world cannot be seen or even touched – they must be felt with the heart.”   – Helen Keller

The Volunteer

One of the things I enjoy about portraits is that it gives me the chance to get to know people’s stories.   I did this portrait for an amazing lady whose love and adoration for her husband was so beautiful.  I could feel her love for her husband when she spoke about him.  This drawing was an honor to do.  🙂

Once again the challenge for this drawing was photographing it after.  Getting better though.



Life Song

Life Song

Charcoal 17 X 14


The Cowboy’s Life



                                                           The bawl of a steer,

                                                           To  a cowboy’s ear,

                                                           Is music of sweetest strain;

                                                           And the yelping notes

                                                           Of the wild coyotes

                                                           To him are a glad refrain.

                                                                                  -James Barton Adams



“The purpose of art is not the release of a momentary ejection of adrenaline but rather the lifelong construction of a state of wonder and serenity.”                                                                                                       -Glenn Gould


15 x 19 Charcoal

This week has been a week of reflection for me.  Reflecting on art, family, friends, and many things too numerous to mention.  Why is art important?  How has my art changed since I started my blog? Do I see the physical world around me differently?  Has engrossing myself in art changed my view of people?  How has it changed my view and why?  Has life become so cataloged and mechanical to allow me to create and think freely?

I won’t bore you with the details of my answers, that would take a while and some are still unanswered.  I will say, that the last question helps me answer the first question – why is art important?


In the Art Room

It is always exciting to start a new sketch. Taking a white piece of paper and making it something more.  Allowing myself time to escape into a world where all the busyness of the week slips away…

Drawing Room

19 x 24 graphite

It all starts with drawing out shapes and lines. Sounds simple, and it is – really, it is.  Sometimes I will draw with my paper sideways or upside down, until all the pieces fit together like a jigsaw puzzle.  Once I am happy with proportion and layout I start adding the details (again looking for shapes as I shade).

This method of drawing, know as right-brain drawing, allows access to the appropriate  system in the brain – the visual mode of the brain. Known for being subjective, relational, intuitive, and free of time constraints it allows for creativity.  The left-brain mode is objective, verbal, numerical, rational, linear, and symbolic.  It is said that half a brain in better than none, but I think a whole brain would be even better.  Why not utilize both sides. 🙂


Renaissance Château

Cervená Lhota, or red village, is a beautiful renaissance château located in Czech Republic.  Normally the castle or château would appear a vibrant red color, but since I wanted to play with reflection and charcoal it is just black and white.  Since doing this drawing  I thought it would be fun to do a similar sketch using the rich clay, terracotta colors of contè crayons.

Cervena Lhota (2)

19 x 24 Charcoal

 To see what the château really looks like check out Château Cervená Lhota.



Paper Probe

Is there a right or wrong paper to use for a graphite or charcoal sketch?  Lately I have come across charcoal art pieces done on a variety of surfaces (newspaper, paper bag, MDF, canvas…)  Each has a unique look and I am sure, and new set of challenges. Time for me to try!  Thought I would start small – see where it goes.


12×18 Charcoal Sketch

I did this sketch on textured, colored paper.  The challenge was the deep tooth of the paper.

I had to include this quote this week.

“Art washes away from the soul the dust of everyday life. ”
Pablo Picasso

There was a lot of “dust” this week – the sketch was a great escape!