Every Work of Art has a Story.

Every Story is an Inspiration.


Art for Peace, a Yoga Goodness Art Show

  • To celebrate their first anniversary, the studio where I study yoga, Yoga Goodness, is having an artshow on the subject of peace. Several members of our sangha have been invited to display artwork inspired by yoga. In addition, there will be an installation community project of 1000 paper cranes folded by our community in rememberance of those who have lost their lives to gun violence. I will have several paintings in this show, including my latest Animanity oxpecker and giraffe painting, titled, Animanity: Symbiosis. A protion of the proceeds from  the sale of my own work from this show will be donated to the families of those who have lost their lives on the "Anti-Poaching Teams" in Africa. The illegal trade of ivory has caused areas of Africa to become literal war zones, and it's not just the elephants that are losing their lives to poachers. So, I have chosen to donate money from the works in this coming show to help the devestated families who have been left behind. I hope you will come out this First Friday, April 1st, 2016, and join us  at Yoga Goodness Studio, on the second floor of Riverviews Artspace in downtown Lynchburg from 5:30 PM -8:00 PM for beautiful art and beautiful friends. You can even learn how to fold and string origami paper cranes. You can also see several of my other pieces on display in the Riverviews Co-op Galllery on the ground floor while you are in the building. Hope to see you all there. 



Masai Mara Project

A bit of a bird nerd, I have long been working on a series of bird paintings that attempt to capture the animality and intelligence of birds. I was fascinated by a series of photographs my friend Angela Yang, who lives in a tent in the Masai Mara, took of this oxpecker grooming and eating the pest insects off the backs of Masai giraffes. After asking permission to use her photography as sketches, Angela saw my website and showed my work to her board. I was honored to be invited by the board of the Mara Conservancy to partner with them, and I began to paint and draw a series of giraffes for giraffes. These works will be used entirely to raise awareness and promote conservation for one of Africa's rapidly declining and most iconic species.

This first work, titled the Oxpecker sold to Cyndi Lee and 100% of the proceeds went to funding the anti-poaching teams who work to keep the Mara Triangle giraffes, elephants, and other animals safe from the rampant poaching taking place throughout this area. Because Masai Mara is not only a highway for massive animals migrations every year, but it also sits on the borders joining three separate nations with differing government policies on poaching and border patrols, it has become a very vulnerable and dangerous area for all the species who live there, including the humans.

The populations of giraffes have declined by over 30% in the last five years to say nothing of the critically endangered elephants, rhinos, and large predators of the area. The Masai giraffe subspecies, in particular, is critically endangered as well, meaning at the current rate of decline, it could be extinct within the next decade.

The second work in this series, titled Here Comes the Sun, is a pastel that was inspired by my friend John Ireland’s photography. The photo is of two of my personal giraffe buddies who live at the North Carolina Zoo, where I used to work as a zookeeper. I wanted to include some of the giraffes I have known and loved into this project as a way to feel more connected to their wild relatives I am trying to help protect. This work sold before its completion to Debbie Spanich, and a portion of the proceeds will also go to Mara Triangle.

The third work in the series, another oxpecker painting done in oil is currently in progress and is slated to be shown at the Riverviews Artspace Co-op Gallery in Lynchburg, Virginia this coming March. Come on down for First Friday the evening of March, 4th, 2016 to see it. 

Special thanks to Cyndi Lee and Debbie Spanich, both for their support of my art and the giraffes. For more information on how to help the endangered animals of the Masai Mara, please visit maratriangle.org.




Roughing it with Puffins

Today I dropped this puffin painting off at it's new forever home with Miss Chelsea. She was so excited to know it was coming that she met me at the door before I had even knocked. Before I had driven the fifteen minute drive back to my house, she was already posting pictures of hanging it on her wall in a prominant spot over her bed. This made my entire week, that something I painted could already bring such joy to a friend who also happens to suffer from a dibilitating disease. So for the next story behind the painting, I thought it fitting that I tell the story of Chelsea's puffins. I hope you enjoy it as much as she did.


 Life at Sea

Puffins spend the majority of their lives at sea, only coming to land with their bond mate to dig a burrow into sheer rock cliffs, and breed. They lay and incubate their eggs on the cold rocks, and rear one to two voracious chicks. Even on land, they return to the sea continually, diving to depths of more than one hundred feet, in search of fish to feed themselves and their young.  When the chicks fledge the nest, they do so by literally jumping off a cliff and plunging into the sea. In fact, they spend the first five years of their lives at sea while they learn to dive and hunt the dark waters for themselves. When I think my life is tough, I think of the puffins and take comfort. 

This painting was commissioned by Chelsea Larigey, who suffers from a horribly debilitating disease known as ME or myalgic encephalomyelitis. 100% of the proceeds went to fund research for finding a cure and defining better treatments for ME. For more information on how to help those who suffer from ME/CFS visit solvecfs.org.

If you are interested in more about puffins, or you just want to spy on live ones for a bit, check out Audobon's new spy cam and their alerts from the Atlantic Puffins breeding grounds.



Animanity in Art

Come explore the state of being animal, what I call Animanity, at the latest showing of my art work. This Tuesday night, June 16th, at the Common Grounds Cafe, on Boonsboro Road in Lynchburg, Virginia, there will be an artist's reception and a viewing of my latest collection of Animanity paintings. Each painting is displayed along with the stories that have inspired and informed my work, stories that I hope will help others consider the world from a different perspective. As an example, I'm posting the story behind the painting that first brought this series together in my mind.

The A'la la.

Hawaiian Crows are extinct in the wild. This particular young male, named Nalu, lives at the Keauhou Bird Conservation Center on the Big Island of Hawaii, where I worked as an intern. He is part of a partially successful captive breed and release program that has, so far, saved the species from total extinction. Though the program has successfully bred and raised captive A'lalas, they have been unable to reduce enough of the introduced diseases, and species on the islands, and have yet to clean up enough environmental toxins for the released birds to survive. 100% of those released either died quickly of illness, or predation, or were recaptured and placed back into captivity.

Of the twenty six intelligent, gregarious and amazing A'lalas I met at Keauhou, Nalu was my favorite, largely because this painting captures exactly what he did the moment we met. He came right over and stuck his face in mine, giving me a thorough inspection. And once he decided he liked the look of me, he proceeded to follow me everywhere attempting to "help" me do my job. Nalu deserves a home free from a cage, where he can hunt and explore the O'hia forests as he would have before the human species was introduced to his home.

















Books, Books, and More Books. Summer Reading is Here!

Hey ya'll. I'm thrilled to announce that three more books from The Ravens Crossing are now available over at Amazon.










The Ravens Crossing Book Five is an the anthology of all three current Season Five stories written by myself, Andi Lea, and West Thornhill over at The Ravens Crossing. To catch up on Season Five, go here.

There is also a brand new story, for all of those following Darien and Lani. Don't miss the first book in the Wildwood Tides series, a prequal to the current TRC storyline. This story has never appeared on the TRC website. Find out how Darien and Lani met in Hawaii. It's a big adventure which might explain quite a bit about their current relationship. To purchase a copy, click here. 

In addition, for all those following West Thornhill's Wildwood Dreams, the prequal to that story is also available here. Find out how Keenan and Sera met.

And just because it's summer break over at TRC, don't think for a minute there's nothing to read. We have tons of fun summer posts planned, so check back on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays to find out what's happening in Wildwood. Have a fantastic summer, and as always thanks for reading!!