Sunday, June 28, 2015

Gathering Storm: Sonoran Pronghorn

Sonoran pronghorn are a desert-dwelling subspecies of the grasslands pronghorn we're more familiar with. At this time, they are found only in the southern-most regions of Arizona and south into Mexico. They are highly endangered, although their numbers are increasing thanks to cooperation between US and Mexican wildlife biologists and the captive breeding program in Arizona's Cabeza Prieta National Wildlife Refuge.

Sonoran pronghorn,endangered,desert wildlife,cactus,clouds,Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument,animal
Gathering Storm: Sonoran Pronghorn    11" x 14"    acrylic/panel
These critters are smaller, lighter-colored and skinnier than the ones you find on the prairie. They're quite shy and can see people approaching from over a mile away -- and the pronghorn disappear long before you would ever know they were there.

A storm is coming, and hopefully these guys are looking for some shelter -- not easy in the desert. The scene is in Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument; in the distance loom the Sonoyta Mountains of Mexico.

I hope Sonoran pronghorn will return from the brink of extinction.

The painting is presently on my website. At this writing, all it needs is a coat of varnish, and it'll be ready to hang in someone's home or office!


Sunday, June 21, 2015

How to Pursue This Art Business

I'm still struggling with how to make a living, at least a part-time living, at art. I need to. Social Security isn't enough, and my IRA will be drained sometime early next year. The Wiffee is working toward launching a business, but again -- who knows how long, or if, it will take off.

Galleries are out of the question. It's all consignment, they take 40% - 50% (sometimes more), and it can be a hassle getting them to pay you when the work does sell. I even know of one gallery owner who decided to pull up stakes and take off -- with the remaining inventory of artwork that he never paid for. Thankfully, I wasn't in his gallery.

Outdoor art shows, and the travel associated with them, got too expensive and too iffy if nothing sold. Many of the western art shows keep inviting the same artists to show -- as long as they are selling and if they want to be in the shows, there's rarely any room for unknowns like me. And when you come right down to it, I don't really like traveling anymore. I'm a totally cocooned artist!

Showing at banks, restaurants, whatever -- I just haven't heard enough success stories (in fact, I've heard none!) to chase that idea.

That leaves the Internet. I'm hoping I can depend on website sales and maybe from other sites, if I can find some good ones. (EBay and seem to have gone downhill for art sales).

That's why I'm painting smaller these days -- the art will be more affordable, and it'll be easier to ship, especially if I continue with my policy of selling the works unframed.

And I'm hoping I can reach parts of the country where people still appreciate traditional/classical painting styles. Most collectors in southern California sure don't!

So -- I guess I'll need to pour my marketing efforts into Internet sales -- period. Frankly, I don't know what else to do. (By the way, my website URL is or

Wish me luck!

Sunday, June 7, 2015

Continuing the Continuation (Some More)

I'm in the habit of scouring Google Images looking for artwork .. sometimes paintings made in the past, and occasionally art being made today.

In fact, I stumble across works from the 19th century onward that are stunning in their beauty. I wish I could reproduce some of the modern-day masterpieces, but I don't want to violate anyone's copyright and get myself in a legal bind. Check out the piece entitled "Buttermere," the first painting that appears on this page. I LOVE this painting!! And it's quite inspiring to me and shows a direction I want to work toward.

Suffice to say, I've seen landscape paintings with breathtaking lighting and shadow effects that seem to give the land a spiritual sense and make it come alive. That's what I want in my own landscapes. Little by little, I'm getting there.

Funny -- sometimes I mean to create works with those qualities, and somehow it doesn't always happen. I keep returning to what I've done before ... the tried and true ... the comfortable and familiar. But I have slowly been breaking out of that mold, and I think I'm finally ready to portray the sheer drama of nature and what she has to show us ... and dish out to us, sometimes!

"Pretty" landscapes are still fun and, well, they're pretty. But drama can be pretty, too, and sometimes dramatic scenes can move us in ways mere prettiness can't.

Continuing the continuation. Here I come!