Monday, May 31, 2021

John Day Fossil Beds National Monmument and Update on New Wildlife Colored Pencil Artwork

John Day Fossil Beds National Monument

This past week, we had the privilege of visiting the John Day Fossil Beds National Monument in Eastern Oregon.  

My Family 

The park has three units: the Painted Hills Unit, The Blue Basin Unit, and the Clarno Unit. There is also the Thomas Condon Paleontology Center that has an amazing fossil gallery exhibit and a gift store. In addition, there is the Cant Ranch House which is presently closed due to Covid. It use to be the main visitor center until the Paleontology Center was built in 2003. 

The National Park was discovered by Captain John M. Drake, who had collected items and sent them to Congregationalist minister and self-trained scientist Thomas Condon. He had an avid interest in geology and paleontology, and he was the first to proclaim the importance of the fossil beds and conducted many expeditions in the area. The National Park Service states that "Thomas Condon believed that religion and modern science went hand in hand - that science was a means to understand the spectacular nature of God’s creation and that science and religion were not in conflict with one another."

And this area, I must say, is one of God's fantastic creations. The rolling painted hills, the variety of wildlife, and the fossil beds telling a tale of a time long ago. 

Painted Hills Unit

Painted Hills Unit

Painted Hills Unit

Painted Hills Unit

Painted Hills Unit

Blue Basin Unit

Old Logging Road

Blue Basin Unit

Painted Hills Unit

Old Logging Road

Painted Hills Unit


Oregon Sunshine

Purple Prairie Clover

Work-In-Progress Update

I am continuing on layering the Terracotta Prismacolor Verithin on the new work-in-progress piece. I didn't get much time to work on it this past week as we were on a mini-vacation. I hope to get more time this week to work on it and to begin the next step of adding other layers of colors. 

Keep on Creating!

Have a blessed week!

Sunday, May 16, 2021

New Wildlife Colored Pencil Work-In-Progress of Mountain Goat


A bit further along on my work-in-progress. The surface paper is 9"x12" 400 series assorted tints Strathmore Artagain paper. I am using the tinted paper - Ivory. 

Also, I am using Terracotta Prismacolor Verithin for the grisaille or under drawing of this part of the work-in-progress. I chose the color terracotta to bring out the cooler colors and complementary colors I will be applying in the rocks, sheep and sky. Once I get more of the fur done and the sky, I will begin layering colors on top of the grisaille. 

Most under drawings or grisaille is done with a monochromatic color such as sienna, terracotta, grays or indigo blue. It is a great way to form details and shadows, very much similar to achieving a black and white photo. 

Garden Flowers

God has blessed us with some beautiful weather and I had to share some recent photos from the garden. This is my favorite time of the year as flowers are just starting to bloom.


Part of the Columbine Family



Carlton, Oregon

Keep on Creating!

Have a blessed week!

Saturday, May 8, 2021

Fern Hill and New Colored Pencil Wildlife Work In Progress Portrait

 A glorious morning out around Fern Hill this morning. It's a short hike, but I love all the wildflowers, native plants, birds, and wildlife that are at this little sanctuary.

The flowers are starting to bloom. Wild Rose, Valerian, Chokecherry, Pacific Ninebark, Dogwood, Wild Rhododendron, Bluebonnet, and Western Wallflower are just to name a few.

It was awesome watching these two mallards. It was almost like they were putting on a show for me.

Swallows hanging out at home.

A multi-family of  Canadian Geese.

Canadian Goose posing.

My site is down temporarily. I have moved it from the Arvixe hosting to I hope to have it up soon. So, I will be sharing my current work-in-progress on my blog.  It has been nearly 2 years since I have picked up colored pencils. I hope I can remember how to use this very versatile medium. I just started working on this commission of a Mountain Goat this week. Stock photo reference is by Pixabay.
The piece is in colored pencil on Strathmore Artagain paper. I am starting off first with a complementary grisaille technique using a terracotta  Prismacolor Verithin. I got this idea from artist Carrie Lewis' article on  How to Draw a Complementary Grisaille

Hope you all have a blessed week!

Happy Creating!