Monday, December 30, 2013

Into the Light.....

....and into the upcoming new year, the Year of the Horse at that.  This did not end up as I envisioned, sometimes (often) that happens.  I came close to giving up several times and finally decided it was worth the lessons learned.  Onward.

Saturday, December 28, 2013

More about illustration

Before I leave the topic of illustration, I have to say how much fun it is to work with Christine Hamilton at the American Quarter Horse Journal.  I learned a lot in our valiant attempt to come up with the "perfect" anatomical specimen of a quarter horse.  (alas, "Bruce" was not perfect despite our efforts, but he was close enough to make a good demo model and the series won an award from the Livestock Publications Council.)  The best Illustration is always a collaboration which is what makes the work fun and interesting.

In 2013 my illustration for The Horse on the development of osteoarthritis was honored by American Horse Publications, an organization that recognizes excellence in horse oriented media.  Describing it as "a very good example of a medical illustration.”  

The horse world is my primary focus for illustration because of my veterinary specialty, but yes, I can also draw a dog, cat or cow!  and I do work with other animal, medical and natural science subjects.  It's a great job and never boring!

Friday, December 27, 2013

What I do

I know you think I just play all the time (accurate assumption by the way) but sometimes I play for others.  I like it and it feeds the dog (he likes it too).  The Horse magazine, a mainstay of equine health publications, has been a steady client since I began illustrating in, whoa, the early 1990's.  I was still practicing veterinary medicine then, but moved back north and gradually ditched the pager (we used those instead of cell phones you know).  Sleeping at night was a welcome perk.

I love the challenge of bringing a concept to life, of visually showing the incredible design of the master machine, a mammalian organism.  I am forever amazed.   I'm thinking pretty much nobody wouldn't like my job, so I'm sharing a little recap of 2013 with you.  Hope you enjoy it.

Thursday, December 26, 2013

back to reality

Short lived peace, now back to the kitten.... just looking around for a little chaos to cause.... and we wouldn't have it any other way.  Would you, cat lovers?

Wednesday, December 25, 2013


...... on Earth!

Friday, December 20, 2013

Horse - Reindeer - Elf

Actually, I call it "Horse Torture" to go with the dog a few posts ago.  A particularly tolerant horse, this one.... and who knows, maybe she does turn into a reindeer - elf late on solstice evenings when no one is looking??

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Who, Moi?

original acrylic painting 6x6"
On a roll with the kitten... little devils that they are :)  Although allergies preclude me from being much of a "cat person" I have to say that I admire their feisty nature and graceful athleticism.... those that aren't couch potatoes anyway.  I have way more scars from working with cats in vet school than I ever got from either dogs or horses.

Monday, December 16, 2013

Coolest thing in the woods today

A back lit leaf with the solstice sunlight glowing through.  Every day there's something to discover in my ferny woods!  And here's my best walking companion.... the dog with a leaf on his head.  Did I mention he is very tolerant?   As long as I don't make him wait too long before getting down to the most important business of stick chasing anyway!

Sunday, December 15, 2013

Paws In The Action

Sorry about the title, couldn't help it.  Not much pause for this one!  Nothing says "chaos about to happen" better than a kitten about to pounce.  Anyone know what breed of feline this is?

Saturday, December 14, 2013


6x6 acrylic painting

On the edge of the abyss in the mist of rush and thunder there's a calm, quiet place.... have you been there?  It's right next to the place where you feel like you could spread your wings, step off the edge and fly....  It's a wonderful place to visit, but unless you plan an early next lifetime as a bird, you probably shouldn't stay too long.  When I have wings I'll go back and float on that sound!

Sunday, December 8, 2013

Dog Torture!

small painting available through DailyPaintWorks

It is, but somehow we just can't resist dressing up the dog!  "Bite Me!" comes to mind, but then dogs are so much more tolerant than people.  That said, he does have a slightly demented look and may flip out at any moment.

Best Gift Ever?

contact me about small painting gift certificates

What gift is thoughtful, personal, affordable, comes as a surprise, is unique to the gift-ee and involves no effort (on your part)?  I've been told it might be this gift certificate for an original commissioned painting :)  

"I just opened the package and I’m so THANKFUL for your artistic skills, your unique interpretation, and willing collaboration.  I think that the portraits are perfect!!  I LOVE these little paintings!"

"Wow, this painting is absolutely fabulous.  I find myself wanting to use exclamation marks after every sentence, I'm that impressed.  "Making Introductions" will have a place of honor in my home, somewhere everyone who comes in will see it.  Need I say, "I love it" or "well done"?  YES!  

Thanks happy collectors!  Check out my website, fernwoodstudio for more examples.

Friday, December 6, 2013

Winter Color

small original acrylic painting, see DPW for purchase information

There may not be flowers but some winter foliage can be very colorful.  Red always stands out in a grey-green landscape and it absorbs more light and heat from the feeble winter sun.  Oregon grape leaves range in color from green, burgundy, rust to iridescent red.

Monday, December 2, 2013


Coolest thing in the woods today.....
An earthstar mushroom, Geastrum saccatum, the rounded earthstar, puffball family.

A beautiful land bound star that brightened up our morning walk today.  Apparently edibility is not one of it's virtues.  It is commonly found in singles or clusters on leaf litter and rotting wood in North America & Europe.

The spectacular mushroom year continues, until the upcoming big freeze anyway.  Hope you can spend some time outside today.

Sunday, December 1, 2013

Barrel Racer Cowboy Chaser

Lauren rockin' the work boots!  I remember in vet school one of my more mischievous (some say diabolical) friends put a "Barrel Racer Cowboy Chaser" bumper sticker on the back bumper of Dr. Wagner's truck.  It took her quite awhile to figure out why all the Pullman cowboys... or any and all boys for that matter, kept honking and winking at her :)