Friday, December 2, 2016

Apples for June Wins Honorable Mention

My work depicting a Gray Catbird won Honorable Mention at the 61st Arrowhead Regional Biennial. Approximately 180 artists submitted work, around 30 were accepted, 8 won awards. For a full description of winners published on, click here. The show runs through Feb. 9, 2017.

Wednesday, November 9, 2016

Arrowhead Regional Biennial Opens Nov. 10, 2016 - Feb. 9, 2017

Showing "Apples for June"
Nov. 10, 2016 - Feb. 9, 2017
The 61st Arrowhead Regional Biennial
Duluth Art Institute
506 W Michigan St., Duluth, MN
Opening Reception: Nov. 10th, 5-7 pm
Gallery Hours: Monday - Saturday 10 am - 5 pm
Sunday 1 - 5 pm
Free admission

The following announcement is paraphrased from

The 61st Arrowhead Regional Biennial features juried art work from the Upper Midwest. It's a tradition established in 1919, and the longest running biennial in the Midwest, featuring some of the best artwork coming out of the region, judged each year by a distinguished guest. This year's juror is Dyani White Hawk. Thirty-three works will be on display and will include an audio installation, prints, paintings, photographs, mixed media installations, a moleskin book, video, weaving, a tunic, colored pencil, and pastel. 

I hope you can make the show. :-)

In addition to the above announcement, below is a photo I'd taken last night at dusk just outside of my kitchen window. I had been watching a mouse, or possible shrew, burrow underneath a small area of raked pine needles next to my spirea plants. As the needles bulged up and down, out popped this bottle-cap-sized wood frog onto my patio. It was so tiny, I thought it was a large spider at first. Anyway, it's probably the case that this amphibian didn't appreciate being pushed out of its cozy little spot by a wandering rodent. With our record-setting warm weather continuing well into November, it shouldn't be too hard for this frog to find another dwelling before cold weather really sets in.

Tuesday, November 8, 2016

Brown Creeper

Oil, 4 x 4 inches

Brown Creepers are one of my favorite birds, and one doesn’t need to live in the woods to see these trunk climbers. When I first moved to Duluth and lived in the residential area known as Lakeside, I noticed a Brown Creeper edging up my neighbor’s large spruce tree in early May. Spring had sprung, and I welcomed the new arrival. Inconspicuous because of their camouflaged backs, these birds commonly fly from trunk to trunk and always creep from the bottom up in search of bugs hiding within the bark’s dark crevices.

Monday, October 31, 2016

Oceanfront Western Willet

Oil, 24 x 36 inches

This is a painting of a Western Willet, from the shores of Sanibel Island, FL. These sandpipers love our coastlines, and so do I. What looks like a big surf to a bird, full of bits of food with every roll, only tickles our ankles.

Next are some thoughts about summer, now that it’s come to a close. The trees have been planted, the garden’s been tidied, and thoughts about planting garlic must either be acted upon, or go to the graveyard where thoughts go to die. The black-eyed susans were beautiful again this September, and the jack pines are growing proudly. What happened to my nannyberries? Will they make a decent showing next spring? Ditch plants, how much can one expect? A lot. But that’s me. Which trees shall I plant next year, berries for the thrushes? Evergreens for the owls? Maybe both. How about a maple, or two? Another honeysuckle vine for the hummingbirds is a must, after witnessing my first hummingbird courtship display in front of this plant a few months back. Some days I feel quite old when I think of all the things I’m just learning now. The birch grove out back is sparse where evil, sun-loving Common Tansy takes root. Everybody has their villain.

Small areas of buckthorn were removed this weekend and last. Working in mid-40 degree temperatures almost made me go back inside for warmer socks. Colder days are coming. I’ve heard the English have nice work coats, lined with plaid. Bending, stretching, pulling, digging, hatcheting, snipping, snapping, piling, hauling, and cursing might be all the the more justifiable in a proper English chore coat, don’t you think? Maybe not. How many years of tatters has mine seen? Too many or not enough? Maybe the latter, the zipper still works. The forest. …dee, dee, dee. Those chickadees make everything alright.

Tuesday, October 25, 2016


Oil - 4 x 4 inches

Chipping Sparrows are present throughout the entire United States, and I see them regularly throughout summer. Just before migrating south, I notice them hopping about, eating birch seeds that fall on my garage rooftop.

Friday, October 21, 2016

Little Edmund

Oil, 4 x 4 inches

Here we have Little Edmund, a small wren who was jolted out of bed by a family of migrating American Redstarts. Based on what humans know about bird behavior, Edmund was probably defending his territory, wanting nothing to do with visitors, even if they were just passing through. But until bird notes don't get lost in translation, we'll never really know what the conversation was all about. For those of you that know wrens, you know they can really chatter up a storm.



I hesitate to tell this story because of its content, but I must remember what inspires me. Knowledge. We all must continue to learn as much as we can, no matter what. And as I have said, we are all richer when experiences are shared. A few days ago, a person told me of another who recently killed a crow nearby, on purpose. Afterwards, this person strung it up in a tree where it hung for all of the other crows to see. And learn. I had many thoughts about this, but the one that rang the loudest in my head was the following. If I had committed this horrendous act, I’d be worried. I imagined a scenario in which I was in dire straits, alone, hurt, in need of help, physically unable to defend myself, with a murder of crows encroaching upon my helplessness. I’d be wishing that I’d never killed that crow. Why? Because it’s been proven that crows have facial recognition, and perhaps, although I don’t know for sure, an appetite for eyeballs.

High Wire Wren

Oil 4 x 4 inches

This House Wren surprised me because it perched close to me on a wire attached to my house this August. From my observations, House Wrens typically hang out closer to the wood's edge around my home, and I don't have a birdhouse nearby to draw them in.

Garden Phoebe

Oil - 4 x 4 inches

This is my oil painting of an Eastern Phoebe who was eyeing a patch of oregano in my garden because it was swarming with bees and other insects. Oregano is a fantastic herb to plant if you like attracting insects and birds, even hummingbirds!

Tuesday, August 9, 2016

Eau Claire's Confluence of Art Biennial Opens this Friday!

2016 Confluence of Art Biennial
Janet Carson Gallery
316 Eau Claire Street, Eau Claire, WI 54701
Exhibition Dates:
August 12 - September 23, 2016
Hours: M-F 9am - 4:30 pm | Th 9am - 7pm
Free admission.

Opening this Friday is the 2016 Confluence of Art Biennial in Eau Claire, WI, showcasing the work from artists from across the upper Midwest. "Nashville Warbler in Lion's Den Gorge" will be showing, and if you haven't seen this work yet, here is your chance. Come see the show!

Wednesday, August 3, 2016

MacRostie's 24th Annual Juried Exhibition Opens Friday!

24th Annual Juried Show
MacRostie Art Center, Grand Rapids, MN
Opening Reception:
Friday, August 5th, 2016
4 - 7 p.m.
Show runs through August, 2016.

Now showing "Blackbird on Washington Island" (closeup- top right) at MacRostie Art Center in Grand Rapids, MN! If you haven't seen this work yet, come check it out! This work premiered at the MN State Fair last year, but if you didn't see it there, here's another opportunity. Show opens this Friday and will be on display through August. Free Admission. Regular Gallery Hours: Mon-Sat. 9-5. Closed Sundays. In addition, look for more of my artwork in the gallery throughout spring/summer.

Wednesday, June 15, 2016

Dellora's Way

Oil - 10 x 20 inches

In February, I spent a little time birding on Florida's gulf coast. When I go birding far away, I like to frequent places I haven't visited before. Part of the fun is in the adventure. Without much planning and using a good, old-fashioned, paper map, one of the places I picked was Delnor-Wiggins Pass State Park due to its state park status, its proximity, and unfamiliarity. The park is a popular beach area in Naples and came to be, in part, thanks to the generosity of Dellora Norris. At age 15, she became an heiress to the Texaco family fortune and quietly gave much of her money away to charity before passing away in 1979. 

One of my fondest memories of my visit to this park was this lovely Black-bellied Plover, the inspiration for this painting. She seemed so peaceful and content, even in front of my camera's lens. I took note of her unassuming nature, her beauty, and the items around her. The shells, pebbles, and beach plants seemed as much a part of her as did her own feathers. This is when life makes sense to me and feels so right. The other nice memory I have from this park's visit is watching two boys cast for bait alongside a patient Pelican and an eager Snowy Egret. The boys giggled and marveled at the birds' success, all the while exasperated with their own inadequacies. Both birds proved better fishers than the boys.