My studio is located in Aptos, California in the hills above the beautiful Monterey Bay and is opened periodically to the public. I try to participate in Open Studios every year. Open Studios is a self-guided tour of nearly 300 artists and their art studios. This event is sponsored and juried by the Cultural Council of Santa Cruz County, and always takes place the last three weekends of October.

I will also start having some private shows, probably a spring show and a pre-Christmas events. If you would like to receive an invitation to any of these shows please contact me.

My studio can also be visited by appointment, so if you see something on my site which you would like to see in person, or would like to tour my studio, please feel free to contact me to schedule a time.

In looking at my work, people often ask how I create it. The following is my attempt at explaining how my creative process works.

Step 1 - The Subject

Birds inspire most of my pictures, but I also enjoy drawing other animals and plants. The idea for each picture usually begins with observing the animal in nature. I also collect foliage, bark, and rocks I might want to use in the finished picture.

If I have the animal before me, I can just begin sketching from it. My preference is to work with the actual animals, either live, taxidermied, or frozen specimens, whenever possible. When I do not have the live animal to work from, I can use a series of my own photographs, or go to a museum and use taxidermied animals.

Step 2 - The Sketch

Once I have chosen a pose for the animal, I am ready to sketch. I need to be relatively detailed with the pencil in order to show each individual feather, so I know where to lay the ink.

While making the sketch, I try to maintain the proportions of the plants and animals, that is, I like to draw them life size. I sometimes make things larger than they really are so as to be able to create a greater amount of detail.

Step 3 - The Ink

Upon completing the sketch I add the ink using a Pigma Micron pen with a .005mm nib. I use the pencil lines as a guide, and add detail as I go along. The pigment usually covers the pencil completely, so there is no need to erase it. I use line work for things such as feathers and wood, and I use stippling (dots) for foliage, eyes, beaks, etc.

Step 4 - The Color

Whether to add color is always a difficult decision for me. Some of my pictures have so much detail in ink, that to add color would cover most, if not all of the work. When I do decide to add color it is Windsor Newton translucent watercolors with lots of water. I try to lay down just enough paint to give color, but not cover the ink.

When I feel I have finished a picture, I set it aside and work on something else for a few days. After which, I can come back with fresh eyes and see if I need to retouch any areas. Each picture is a learning process for me, and I hope to always continue improving.

Step 5 - The Frame

Once the picture is finished, I try to select a mat and frame that enhances the properties of the picture, without distracting from the main subject. I like to use wood frames for the colored pictures to maintain a natural feel, but I feel the unpainted work is more suited to black. I suspect it is a matter of preference.

Commissions

If a piece in which you are interested has already been sold, or if you are interested in a specific bird, insect, reptile, etc., or composition, you should consider commissioning a piece. Commissioned pieces are no different than my other originals, except that you get to describe approximately what you would like to see in the finished work. Since all my pieces are one of a kind originals, even if you wish something to look just like another piece, I retain artistic license in creating a unique piece for you. Before committing to a commission I would discuss with you what your expectations are, and explain what I will be able to accomplish.

In commissioning an original piece, you agree to purchase that original when it is finished, if it meets the criteria agreed upon. However, as is with all my work, I retain all copyrights and licenses. Prices of commissioned pieces are comparable to those of similar originals. Feel free to ask if you have any questions.