Saturday, August 31, 2013

Back from the Beach

    Just got back from a healthy break away from computers, to do lists, and stressful work.  It's my first time to the beach for a vacation since 2008, which is really insane when I think about it.  I only live ten minutes from the coast.  And just as last time I took way too many drawing pads and pencils, which sat alone and neatly packaged most of the time as I enjoyed the view and went swimming.  This picture, however, had to be done!

    I woke up the third morning at the condo and stepped out on the balcony just in time for my sleepy eyes to focus on a fox running through the dunes below.  He was a terribly scrawny little fox, and he scampered along like he knew where he was going.  It didn't take him long to find a rat that was hiding safely in the sea oats directly below me.  The rodent darted to one dune, and then doubled back running about seventy yards to the east, escaping the scruffy red hunter.  It was fun over the next few days glancing down at the tracks in the sand which told the whole story, and also seeing old ones that seemed to indicate the fox was a regular to that spot.

    I did think too, that this would make a better drawing than the spinner sharks that were swimming in waist deep water around a beachgoer from Minnesota, later the same day.  It's a wild world.  Just ask a fox.

Sunday, August 25, 2013

Oil Portrait of Father Coyle

This portrait of Father James E. Coyle was commissioned by the Archbishop of Mobile, Thomas J. Rodi, as a gift from the Archdiocese to McGill-Toolen High School, where Father Coyle was first rector.  Father Coyle was shot and killed in 1921 by Klansmen Edwin Stephenson.

I had only black and white photos for reference, so research had to be done to determine certain details, particularly Father Coyle's eye color.  It was discovered that his great-niece had eyes similar to his, a bright clear blue, and it is apparent in photos of Father Coyle that his eyes were particularly bright.

You can read more in this article at, or at the website dedicated to Father Coyle.

Thursday, August 22, 2013


I remember working on this drawing, adding some additional touches to the garrison cap, leaving for a steakhouse with family, and never finding it in me to fit this one back into the schedule.  That was a few months ago, and Abandoned seems like a fitting title - at least for now.

Things like this happen to me a lot.  I'll work on something for awhile, get pulled away, and when I have the opportunity to pick it up again, I have an idea for something else I like better.  I may forget about it entirely.  Not much unlike my teenage self (there were triple the number of unfinished paintings to finished).

Anyway, I'm putting in a little more time to complete a few project before going away for a week.  I hope all goes well.  It's been too long!

Sunday, August 4, 2013

Back Again to the 18th Century

    Many of my free-time sketches have been of a historical nature - if not a colonial period sketch for Men of Bounty, than usually a medieval one.  It has been an escape of sorts to think of times gone by as I work on other things, and so it comes out in my drawings on the side.