Tag: wild

Yellowstone National Park

Buffalo at sunset, Midway Geyser Basin, Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming.For anyone wanting to embrace Nature, Yellowstone National Park has to be one of the most popular destinations.


For me, Yellowstone is the National Park that I long to experience. I see such wonderful photos taken of this magical place. Incredibly beautiful sunsets. Awe-inspiring waterfalls, geysers and rivers. Massive Bison, Majestic Elk and the unknown just around the bend.


It’s no wonder that Yellowstone History has been occupied for over 11,000 years. And it’s certainly not a mystery that in 1872 Yellowstone was nominated as the first National Park.

All Photos Courtesy of Ron Niebrugge ūüôā


Red-Tailed Hawk Graphite Drawing

Red Tailed Hawk - Graphite Drawing
Red Tailed Hawk – Graphite Drawing

In numerous traditions, the hawk has a strong relationship with the world of the gods. Some of this symbolism has persisted in modern mythology and beliefs.

At the same time, hawks can soar and fly high in the sky. This animal has the power to provide support in gaining a higher level perspective on any issue or project you undertake. When the hawk appears in your life, it’s perhaps time to be less distracted by the details and focus on the higher perspective. Relying on the hawk power, you can see what’s ahead clearly and defy any obstacles that may be on your way.

Growing up in a small ranching area, it was quite common to see the Red Tailed Hawk. So much so, that I never thought much about seeing them soar, hunt in the tall wheat grasses, and perched on a telephone pole along the side of the road.

When my husband and I moved to Texas, they were few and far between. Not only is this when I realized how much I had taken their presence for granted – I realized how much beauty they possess. I was thinking of this one day, while working in Downtown Dallas, in one of the taller buildings. I had a window office, overlooking all of Downtown, including Dallas Fair Park and Big Tex. To my astonishment, a Red Tailed Hawk came soaring in between the tall buildings, equivalent to the 25th Floor, and perched on the window sill of my office. For several weeks, he repeated this – and then one day he was gone…

So when I look upon a Hawk today, I do feel like the Red Tailed Hawk is a symbol of good fortune and good health. And that is what inspired several versions of this drawing. 

This drawing was created with graphite pencils, and pastel (for the eye). Finished size is 8 x 10.

Tools of the Trade

A Cowboy has his Lasso.

A Musician has his Guitar.

I have my Pencil.

The humble graphite pencil might seem like the simplest of drawing tools, and so it is Рbut with time and much practice, this creative tool can become a wonder to behold.  The next few posts will unveil the Tools of My Trade. Today Рthe Wood-Cased Pencils.

Usually cased in Cedar, these pencils possess a lightness much different than drafting pencils. Graphite Pencils have cores made from powdered graphite (not lead) fired with clay, varying in hardness. The type of graphite used in pencils is relatively soft and malleable, a little like lead, and was mistakenly thought to be a form of lead when first discovered. The misnomer stuck, and many people think that pencils once had lead cores, though they never did. Graphite leaves a small, smooth particle on the paper that has a slight sheen.

Pencils can vary widely in quality. Irregularities in substandard or poorly processed graphite can lead to unpredictable tonal range, and even worse, scratches in the paper. Uncentered cores tend to break on sharpening. High quality artist’s pencils deliver reliable, even tone at carefully graded hardnesses, and are less prone to breakage.

The familiar ‘graylead’ pencil has a graphite/clay core encased in cedar wood. These range in hardness from around 9b (very soft) up to 9H (very hard indeed) depending on the brand. Most artists starting out will find that a selection of 2H, HB, 2B, 4B and 6B is more than adequate to start with.

While some may argue of the inherent disadvantages of these pencils ‚Äď such as a shortening when continued sharpening, as well as having a tendency to break internally, I prefer wood-cased pencils, because they are consistent, and can be utilized with a sharp point or a smooth edge, useful in shading.

 Turquoise Drafting Pencil

Hard Leads ‚Äď

Prismacolor Turquoise Drawing Pencils are my preferred pencils for the hard leads. They are well fired and consistent, and have much

less wax in the makeup of their pencil than other brands. Harder pencils excel for their ability to hold sharp points, and are used for straight line and detail work. They come in the ranges of 9H ‚Äď 2H.


Graphite Pencils
Graphite Pencils


Soft Leads ‚Äď

Staedtler Pencils used to be my favorite soft lead pencils (they come in dark blue). While I still use these pencils on occasion, I have recently discovered General‚Äôs ‚ÄúKimberly‚ÄĚ Pencils, (the green pencil) and now I am sold on these. These pencils are made of a non-porous Ceylon graphite cores, making them much more dense and durable.

The core is “Carbo-Welded” to withstand four times the normal point pressure, which lends themselves to strength throughout the life of the pencil.

Graphite Pencils
Graphite Pencils

Soft leads consist of 2B-9B.  Soft leads are best suited to sketching and blending, and delivering the darkest of tones.

The Medicine Man

The Shaman and his Magic FeathersI have always been intrigued by the artwork of Howard Terpning.

A legend in oil painting, his artwork embodies the art of storytelling. His subject is predominantly the North American Indian. While many artists dwell on the subject matter, few have been able to put the viewer right in the middle of the action.

“The Shaman and His Magic Feathers” tell a story that fascinate the viewer and the children in the painting. The sky is foreboding… as if all of their hopes lie with the Shaman and his ability to work magic.

The Native Americans believed that the Shaman or Medicine Man had unexplained mystical powers. Their outstanding powers were unexplainable, and so they believed in the Shaman without question, accepting their powers at face value. Some Medicine Men had different areas of expertise, and would bedazzle their audience to create wonder and amazement within the tribe.

¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬† “In¬†¬† this¬†¬† scene,¬†¬† the¬† Shaman ¬†has ¬†invited ¬†a¬† small ¬†group¬† of¬† children ¬†and adults to witness his ability to perform a great feat. They have¬†walked a distance away from camp to an isolated area, and built a small fire. Sage and Juniper are¬†placed on the fire before the approaching storm¬†arrives. The¬†Shaman goes through his ritual, which ultimately cause the feathers to rise from the¬†ground and hover in the air for as long as he wishes. They never float away. Awe and excitement are evident on the¬†faces of all who¬†witness the amazing sight. ”¬†¬†¬†
Excerpt by Howard Terpning

Some Call Him Naughty…

HorseThe best time of year to sit back and have some fun is when the baby horses are out in the pastures.  You could burn hours having a blast just watching the colts and fillies playing with each other, the mamas and anything that moves in the tall grasses.

This is what inspired me to do this drawing. Some called him naughty, ‘cuz he wouldn’t leave everyone alone, but I think he is rather cute!

Somewhere Down the Tracks…

Somewhere Down the TracksSince I can remember, I have loved trains. I love all aspects of the steam trains and how it affected our country. The monumental tasks involved with creating the Transcontinental Railroad was no small feat.

The Chinese that were imported into the United States to work on the Western Section of the Transcontinental Railroad faced huge challenges, and truly accomplished the impossible.
While the Eastern Section of the Transcontinental Railroad faced their own challenges to complete a much larger portion of the railroad, it has been the Western half that always held my interest.

Many historians say the search for gold is the binding force that brought the United States into a country, by settling west of the Sierra Nevada Mountain Range.

While the lure of gold may have spurred the movement for settling into California, Utah, Washington, etc., it was the Transcontinental Railroad that truly united all of our states and made us one country.

A friend of mine posted this picture on her Facebook page, and I am reposting it here. I absolutely love it, because it shows the isolation along the tracks, somewhere across middle America. Moving to an unknown destination somewhere down the tracks, linking one city to another.

Dreaming of the Grand Tetons

Grand Tetons Panorama

Yesterday I woke up in the middle of the night, clearly thinking that I was hiking.

Not just hiking anywhere, but hiking and camping in the Grand Tetons.

Amazing to think, especially when my husband is recovering from a motorcycle accident this past June, so walking without the aids of canes/crutches would be amazing enough, but to be hiking…

I think what did it was browsing the website of a wonderful photographer and friend, Charles St. Charles and his sweet wife, Jennifer. Charles’ photography¬†is incredible! We met last April at an Art Festival in Fort Worth, Texas. The things he can do with a camera are so breathtaking. I truly enjoy the photos incorporating the dew drops as multiple mini-cameras.


To see more, I’ve attached the link to view his website.