Sunday, January 25, 2009

First Woodcut of 2009

6" X 8" woodcut

Everyone seems to like pigs, so I've started my woodcarving year with this cheerful face. My carving skills have gotten rusty! It takes a while to wrap my pen-and-ink mind around woodblock carving. Instead of penning in the dark places, I'm carving them out. I will persevere!

I actually have quite a few little pigs in my piggery--both woodcuts and pen-and-ink drawings. Here's the whole cast of characters:

Harley Davidson

5" X 7" pen and ink


Arnold Schwarzenegger
10" X 13" woodcut


4" X 4" woodcut


What's for Supper?
7" X 5" pen and ink

Puddle Piglets

5" X 7" pen and ink


Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Winter Kill

Dead Nuthatch
5" X 7" pen & ink

No weak winter sun,
slinking toward the horizon,
will warm this nuthatch,
one frozen wing unfurled,
spectacled against the snow.

It's winter in Maine and the temperatures are plummeting. It could be 10 below here by tomorrow. I found this poor Red-breasted Nuthatch under the bird feeders and decided that he deserved a portrait and a poem, another Tanka, of course.

I thought I'd lighten up my grim subject matter with a new background this year. I also plan to redesign my website and open a PenPets Etsy shop. Just wish I had a high-speed connection to the internet! This may take time.

Stay warm!

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Senatorial Pooches

Sunny & Splash
Portuguese Water Dogs
8" X 10" pen and ink

Pardon me for dropping a few names, but my last commissioned portrait of the year 2008 went to Senator Edward Kennedy and his wife, Vicki. Sunny and Splash are familiar faces around the Capitol, because they go to work with the Senator. In fact, Splash has written a book about his job as a Senatorial Pooch -- My Senator and Me: A Dog's Eye View of Washington, D.C. -- with a little help from the Senator, of course.

An anonymous source tells me that Sunny is a free spirited girl -- high-maintenance, head-strong, and independent, while Splash is "the love of the Senator's life." They look like they're sharing a good joke in this portrait--Sunny smiling so coyly and Splash laughing out loud!

I hope my next commission will be of the new First Puppy!