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Frequently Asked Questions

WHAT IS THE MEANING BEHIND YOUR ART?

I get asked this all the time, and quite honestly…I don’t really know.  When I create a piece I don’t usually have any story I would like to tell, or complex vision I wish to illustrate.  Usually I simply have a desire to paint a specific subject (like a wolf, a bear, a lion, an Amur leopard, a chicken, etc) and I see where my imagination takes me from there.  Other times I have a purpose of creating something big and showy for an art show, or a symbolic piece for someone, or I have been commissioned by another to do a custom piece of art for them (a lot of my art nowadays is commissions) and I see what shows up in my head for that.  My art does imply that there is a definite story going on, but that is just how it comes out of me.  I think perhaps something higher than myself is trying to speak in this way, and I think the story is left up to the viewer.  My art speaks to each person individually, so while I do not have a background story in mind for the piece, perhaps there -is- a story and you, the viewer, are meant to discover it.

WHAT IS THE MEANING BEHIND THE SYMBOLS/SYMBOLISM IN YOUR ART?

Once again, I honestly don’t know.  I make up symbols out of my head, what I think would look neat with what’s going on with the character or their surroundings.  I like to imply that perhaps the symbols have deep meaning in their culture, or for themselves personally, but I don’t have a story about that, or meanings for the symbols.  But in this world, I couldn’t say.  They just come to me and look neat in the piece.

WHY DO YOU PUT A © ON YOUR PICTURES? WHY AREN’T THEY BIGGER?

I do so to protect my artwork. Since I make my living off of selling my artwork as prints, I keep the size of the digital image small and put a © on there so that when someone prints it off on their printer, the quality is poor and my copyright is on the image. This should prompt you to instead buy prints from me that are high quality (you can see every detail) and that do not have words or a huge © on them. If you would like to use my artwork as a background or wallpaper, or on a project, see my terms of use.

WHEN DID YOU START DRAWING / DOING ART?

I “started” drawing as soon as I was able to hold a crayon. I have always loved creating, and I remember growing up that it was always remarked upon that I was “good for my age” but I didn’t really start seeing that in myself until I was in Jr. High.  Art classes were more readily available in Jr. High, and being inspired by the Fantasy and Science Fiction novels I had started to read I began drawing (and writing) in earnest.  I took all the art classes I could, and I really began to see major improvement in my own art by the time I was in High School.  My teachers and artistic influences also kept me going, hoping to reach their level someday.  My progression from there has been gradual but steady.

HOW DO YOU DRAW LIKE THAT?

I didn’t just wake up one day and decide “Oh, I think I will be an artist”. No, my ability to draw has been from many years of teaching myself how to see. How to -really- see. To look at a subject and see past what my mind sees to what is really there. A muzzle isn’t just a number 3 on it’s back. A muzzle has a form and shape all it’s own, made up of bones and muscles, skin and teeth. A tail just isn’t a stuffed sock, it has bones and sinew, limitations to it’s movement, depth of fur, etc. A paw isn’t just an arch with a claw stuck to it. A paw has form all it’s own made up of bone structure and padding, depth of fur, stretch of skin, and length of sinew. All these things I have had to train myself to really, truly see, to study. I study ALL of my subjects through photographs and real life. If there is something about a subject I don’t understand, I research it, study it, and sketch it until I have the subject down pat. And even then I still use reference when I draw.

HOW DO YOU COLOR LIKE THAT?

Adding color to a piece is a whole other world of art. To me, it is only secondary to being able to draw well. If you can color well, but cannot draw well, then the final product, while visually stunning, is still incorrect because the drawing itself is poor. You have to walk before you can run. Once you know how to draw, you can then work on coloring your art. Learning to color can be quite a task as you then have to understand how to develop textures, color theory (which is balancing colors, saturation, hues, tints and shades, etc), learn how to achieve effects, and most importantly light and shadow. After I have completed the under drawing of a piece, I then have to decide what kind of lighting I want. Strong light, soft light, diffused light, shadow, etc. Once I decide on my light, I have to decide where the light is coming from (from what direction). After that I start coloring by starting on the under layer. With my usual technique I start with a watercolor wash that suggests the main color as well as the form. After that, I work up the details with colored pencil, making sure to make the shadow areas nice and dark, and finally strengthen the highlights with white ink or paint. There is so much to be said about coloring a piece that I just can’t go into it more than that. It takes years and years of experience to be able to figure out color, and I’m still not there yet. I imagine I won’t be until I am well into my late adulthood, if ever.

WHAT MATERIALS DO YOU USE ?

Click here for a complete list of the materials I use.

CAN YOU SHOW/TELL ME HOW TO DRAW/DO ART ?

Learning to do art is a long, long process with many factors involved. To be able to teach anyone how I do what I do, I would have to teach classes. Lots of classes on everything from how to draw a circle, all the way up to composition, anatomy, and using layers to get effects. I simply do not have the time for this. If you honestly want to learn how to do art, and do it well, seek courses at your school or university. Or, you can always check out Art Instruction Schools (as seen on TV!). I was a student of theirs for a little while when I was 13. They are a reasonably priced institution that really does teach you some awesome stuff. I recommend them highly.

HOW DO YOU GET YOUR IDEAS/INSPIRATION?

Inspiration is a fickle mistress as any artist knows. Sometimes inspiration comes in a flood, driving you mad with the need to create, and create a lot, all at once. And then there are the times where inspiration is as elusive as a ghost, taunting you with the need to draw while chaining your hands. For me, often times inspiration is fleeting at best. But sometimes I will look at a piece of art, or a photograph, or I will be looking at the land around me and be reminded of something, and instantly an image forms in my mind. I can see it like I have already created the piece, and then it begs to be set free onto paper. I never know when this is going to happen, and it happens to varying degrees. Sometimes it’s like lightning, and sometimes it’s like a whisper on the wind. But inspiration, whatever form it takes, is always a blessing to me, like it was heaven sent.

WHAT ARE YOUR INFLUENCES?

I am influenced by a lot of people, and things. Wolves influence me because I am obsessed with them, with every part of them and about them. No other subject makes me as happy as when I am drawing a wolf. Other animals influence me with their secret beauty, and grace, or personality. I can also be influenced by something on TV, or in a movie, or music. Music is very inspiring to any artist as it brings scenes and scenarios to mind while listening. I am greatly influenced by books as well, whether they are reference books or a romance novel. Reading is a great treasure, and it can inspire as much as music can. I think the thing I am most influenced by, however, are my fellow artists. The artists I am most influenced by are: Michael Whelan, Carl Brenders, Bev Doolittle, Susan Seddon Boulet, Alphonse Mucha, Ron Spencer, JC Amberlyn, Therese Larsson, Dark Natasha, Stephanie Lostimolo, Kyoht, Jaime Sidor, Jennifer Miller, Tracy Butler, Robert Bateman, Larry Fanning, and a few others. I also find influence in art magazines such as Wildlife Art, and Southwest Art.

DO YOU TAKE ART REQUESTS?

While I appreciate your ideas and enjoy spawning creativity, I find that other people’s ideas simply do not appeal to me, so no I do not take requests. Suggestions on subject matter, though (such as what sort of animals I should draw) are always helpfull.

WILL YOU DO AN ART TRADE WITH ME?:

Sorry, but I do not usually do art trades as I do not have the time for them. If I am feeling in the mood, I will usually approach someone I wish to do an art trade with and ask them if they are willing. I do not do this often.

WILL YOU DO SOME ART FOR ME?

Please see my commissions page to see if I am open for commissions. Due to my time schedule and the amount of demand for my work, I usually cannot do art trades or “free” art.

CAN YOU GIVE ME A CRITIQUE ON MY ART?

I feel as though I am still a student myself in many ways, so I do not feel worthy enough to give critiques when I know so little myself. Plus I am a real softy and hate hurting feelings, so even if I think the art is trash I will say it’s wonderfull anyway. Basicly, I suck at critiques, so I will not give them.

CAN I LINK TO YOU?  WILL YOU LINK TO MY PAGE?

Feel free to link to me anywhere on your website or elsewhere. I have a banner you can use on my links page (at the bottom). As far as me linking to you, I will not do so unless there is something on your site that I really, really like, and then I MAY link back to you. I have a limited amount of space for links, so I am very choosy.

Upcoming Shows – 2017

Upcoming shows I will be attending:

Colorado Country Christmas
Nov 3- 4 | Denver, CO

Rio Grande Arts & Crafts Festival
Nov 24 – 26 | Albuquerque, NM

La Casa Holiday Bazaar
Dec 1 – 3 | Las Cruces, NM

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Shows I will not be attending, but where my artwork will be available:

Commission Queue:

(updated 5/2/18)

Drawing Commissions

ACEO Commissions

Nicholas W– 11 X 14 Two char, simple bg – Drawn

Draphilius– 11 X 14 WCCP two character, full bg – Not started

Grym– 9 X 12 WCCP two character, simple bg – Drawn

Smokepaw– 10 X 20 acrylic painting, – Not started

Jack K.– 9 X 12 two character, pencil shaded drawing– Not started

Stephania– 9 X 12 WCCP single character, simple bg – Not Started

Raechel Boddie– 9 X 12 Single char, simple bg – PLEASE CONTACT ME!

Valerie Powelson– 9 X 12 Drawing – PLEASE CONTACT ME!

Greg Ridgeway– 9 X 12 Single char, simple bg – PLEASE CONTACT ME!