Friday, December 28, 2012

The Year in Review

No, not the whole year with regards to news, politics, sports, etc., etc. I thought it would be nice to have one last look at the "Artists of the Month" for 2012.  So here is a mini-sampling of  the work featured here and in my Art from the Inkwell Monthly Newsletter.  Click on the links and names to view larger versions of the artwork and visit the respective websites or galleries of all the artists listed.

Forest Jewels

We kicked off the New Year in January with Barbara Keith, one of my FineArtAmerica colleagues. She works in a variety of media, with a wide-ranging array of subjects, although big cats are her favorite.  She draws on just about anything that will give her an interesting effect or texture.  For example, "Forest Jewels" pictured here, was done on sandpaper.  Click on the image to see the full size version.

Dark Eagle

The Artist of the Month for February was Carole Bourdo.  Anyone who knows me, or has followed my development as an artist, knows that on my website, on my "Faces West Gallery" page, there is a dedication to two people who were instrumental in getting me started along this artistic journey. One of those people, I am pleased to say, was Carole Bourdo. She was both friend and mentor to me and a great source of inspiration over 30 years ago, when I lived in Colorado Springs, CO.

Hand drawn portraits by Laurie Morgan

The featured artist for March was Laurie Morgan, a young artist from Risca, South Wales.  She "liked" my Art from the Inkwell Fan Page, and as I was replying to her, I noticed that she had some artwork of her own posted on Facebook.  The link here will take you over to her Facebook Page.


The Artist of the Month for April was Carolyn Valcourt, one of my fellow artists on FineArtAmerica.  Carolyn grew up in New England near a horse farm, and has been drawing horses ever since she was a little girl.  She started out by drawing Saddlebreds and Morgans, but most recently has focused on western horses, such as Quarter Horses and Paints.

2010 Oregon Stamp Entry
 The month of May Artist of the Month was Doug Walpus, one of my fellow artists on Etsy.  The link here will take you over to his Etsy Shop:  DougWalpusArtStudio Doug was born in St. Paul, Minnesota, and spent most of his childhood in Omaha, Nebraska.  Doug is a self-taught artist who first picked up a paint brush in the sixth grade, and has been at it ever since.  Doug donates 10% of duck related art sales to Ducks Unlimited and 10% of all other wildlife related sales to Tennessee Wildlife Resource Agency.

Last of His Pride

 I went "International" about this time by joining, based out of Munich, Germany, and wouldn't you know it, my first selection from that association was someone who hails from California!  Marc G Doutherd was the Artist of the Month for June, and his work is amazing. This image is a little fuzzy, so to truly appreciate the detail of his work you need to click through to the large version, and from there, explore the rest of his portfolio.

"Jiggs" in Graphite

The month of July brought me to an intriguing story, and consequently my Artist of the Month:  Corrina A. Thurston.  Corrina is 21 years old, and has only been drawing for about two years.  She has been fighting a number of illnesses for the past three years, including Post-Viral Fatigue Syndrome, which will take her years to recover from.  Due to her illness, she is no longer able to attend college, or be employed, so she took up drawing (and painting) to occupy her time and act as a therapy.

Ocelot Dreaming
 Isn't Social Media great?  Thanks to people "Liking" my Facebook page, and me "Liking" theirs in return,  I was introduced to Lesley Barrett, Scratchboard Artist.  I immediately knew who was going to be my featured Artist of the Month for August.  I think when you visit her website and see her body of work, you will be blown away, as I was!  Seeing as how Lesley lives in Australia, I doubt our paths would ever have crossed without the World Wide Web and this social media thing called Facebook.

My featured Artist of the Month for September was Scott Woyak, a fellow Pen & Ink artist that I came across at FineArtAmerica.  What I find fascinating is that although Scott discovered that he could draw while in high school, he felt that he was even better at math and science, and that is the road that he traveled. He has a Ph.D. in Mechanical Engineering, and has spent most of his life thinking about numbers, equations and software code, always thinking that he would get back to drawing some day. It took him some 20-odd years to pick up the pen again to start drawing in his spare time, and I'm glad that he did.  He has quite an impressive portfolio.

Pinot Adoration
The spotlight in October was focused on Mark Treick (pronounced "trike", like a tricycle). Mark is another fellow FineArtAmerica contributor, and although Mark works with a wide range of subject matter for his renderings, including pet and people portraits, his lifelike drawings from a wine drinkers perspective caught my eye.  Perhaps that's because Fran & I venture out on a few wine-tasting excursions each year, sampling the fruits of the vine here in Oregon and also in Washington, but I digress. Mark's focus is on the life of wine drinkers, and the wine drinking and wine-making world they work and live in, playing with the images and reflections that creep into his subjects' surfaces.

Water Wheel
My Artist of the Month for November was Sonny Perschbacher, a retired architect; a graduate of Kansas State University School of Architecture in 1967.  Sonny had practiced for some 40 years before retiring in 2008. During that time, he produced numerous residential projects as well as a considerable number of architectural renderings.  Lately, Sonny has been branching out, creating works in pencil, pastels, and watercolors. His pen and ink works have been ongoing for a number of years and he has done several very time-consuming "pointillism" (dots only - no lines) pieces (i.e. trains, clipper ships).

What are you
looking at now?

As I finished out the year, I decided to try something new and different, by delving into the realm of photography for my Artist of the Month:  Mariola Bitner.  Mariola is the new administrator of the Wildlife Group that I participate in at FineArtAmerica, so I have recently become familiar with her work.  I think that her stunning portfolio is a great way for me to expand my horizons, and introduce my readers and fans to a very talented photographer. Photography has always been an inspiration for Mariola, and she strives to capture life's special moments, the happiness, sadness, wonderment, color, detail, simplicity and complexity we see everyday.

Finally, I was not aware of it at the time, but I seemed to focus on my Faces West Gallery throughout 2012.  In fact, I have another Faces West portrait on my drawing board right now, which will be completed shortly, my first piece for 2013. Below are three of my completed portraits of the past year.  I hope you've enjoyed my little artistic walk through the past year and will get a chance to check out some of the artists posted here, and I want to wish everyone a Healthy and Happy New Year!

Buffalo Bill Cody
Andrew Garcia - Frontiersman

Thursday, December 06, 2012

Christmas with the Trail Band

The Trail Band
photo by Keith Buckley
'Tis the Season once again, and few Christmas traditions are as pleasant or easy on the ears as spending a night with The Trail Band.  I've written about them in this space before, and that is another tradition worth carrying on. Friday, November 30, was the date of their annual Christmas Concert at the Historic Elsinore Theatre, in Salem, OR.  Fran & I have been attending these concerts for about 7 or 8 years now, and we are always amazed by the talent exhibited. Founded by Marv & Rindy Ross of Quarterflash fame ("Harden My Heart"), I doubt that you will find a more talented group of musicians/vocalists anywhere.

The Trail Band is an eight-piece ensemble that creates an energetic blend of brass and string arrangements of traditional and original music featuring five great vocalists including Quarterflash’s Rindy Ross. Hundreds of public and private appearances across America and Japan, plus seven successful albums have established The Trail Band as the premiere historic music ensemble from the Northwest. Cornet, tenor horn, tuba, fiddles, hammer dulcimer, guitars, penny whistle, mandolin, piano, saxophone, spoons, bones, drums, bass, and recorders combine with their rich vocal harmonies to create a diverse tapestry of sound.

Formed by Marv Ross in 1991 at the request of the Oregon Trail Council to commemorate the 150th anniversary of the trail, the band initially performed music exclusively from and about the era of the Oregon Trail with costumes, diary readings, traditional folk tunes, marches, hoedowns, and Native American melodies. Titled, Voices From The Oregon Trail, this performance has been the keystone of the band’s repertoire for over 10 years.

The link beneath the photo will take you over to their Facebook Page, where you can  see some of the other comments by their fans, and here is a link to their website:  The Trail Band, where you can meet the members of the band, get a sampling of their 11 CD's, and find out more information about their upcoming performances (if you happen to live in the Pacific Northwest).