"The seasons and the changing of seasons must surely be among life’s greatest treasures. It’s difficult for me to pin down my favorite of seasons but fall, with it’s mosaic array of color, certainly holds strong in my heart. Sassafras, ash, sugar maple and that impossible yellow glow of a late October mockernut hickory. A world of color on fire immersed in melancholy. But it’s shagbark hickory that pulls at my heartstrings. Late to color with golden yellow green, a seasonal finale and the season of the grey squirrel. Moving with the flow of liquid silver amid an autumn drop of leaves, amassing as many nuts as possible, both devouring and burying, it’s the hickory nut that’s most prized by the greys. And those legs, those steel spring legs can catapult him off that hickory trunk or send him as a ghostly wisp to the upper reaches of the branches".
"Hickory" has received the Society of Animal Artiists "Award of Excellence" in the SAA 63rd annual exhibition, the highest honor awarded an artwork by the SAA.
The exhibition is currently on view at The Stifel Fine Art Center in Wheeling WV and will be on display until Oct 28th 2023. "Hickory" has been chosen for the ensuing national tour. Dates and locations are;
The Hiram Blauvelt Art Museum
November 18, 2023 - February 10, 2024
Oradell, New Jersey
Dane G Hansen Memorial Museum
March 1 - May 27, 2024
The Chicago Academy of Sciences
Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum
June 15 - September 2, 2024
"Hickory" has also been featured in the May/June 2023 copy of Gray's Sporting Journal and a special thanks goes out to Gray's for featuring "Hickory" in that issue.
“Egrets, sudden and breathtaking, spiritual tones of white, so pristine and so hallowed. If there is a purity of line and form and elegance in nature Great Egrets most certainly have attained it. I’m always quite taken by the inexhaustible visual poetry of these great birds. Whether in their languid aerial flight or coursing the water lilies and duckweed, they are the embodiment of grace and fluid line. And that duck weed, indeed the great historian. Ever recording the travels of geese, of wigeon and teal, of turtles and skittering frogs in their broken trails across the water’s living surface. Beaver and muskrats carving out the bigger channels liberating swimming rafts of mosses and lilies spilling across the shallows in a free flowing dance. Channels of opportunistic openings in the aquatic canopy for fishing egrets, unwavering and statuesque in their cast iron patience yet somehow liquid as the very waters they hunt”.
"Hunting The Shallows" was exhibited in the 2023 Leigh Yawkey Woodson Art Museum's "Birds in Art" exhibition in Wausau, Wisconsin from September 9 through November 26, 2023.
This is Gracie Mayhem my Llewllin Setter and she earned that name not ten minutes after I brought her home. I won't get into that but she lived up to that name on a daily basis for many years to come. Seen here she is taking a break in an unharvested soybean field amid Autumn's splendor. This image was taken two years ago and now at 15.5 years she can no longer make the trip into the woods. Short walks around the yard are all she can muster these days. A happier dog would be difficult to find though, she slumbers away the hours now but knows just when to wake up for lunch and dinner. Life is good!
This was her 'swimming pool' in a near by stream. She would race ahead at a certain point in our walk and plunge into the cooling waters. Definitely the highlight of the walk!
And this was Gracie in late 2010 with my English Setter Ruger. They were best friends.
And currently with my two year old Llewellin Setter, Foxxer who is painfully jealous of Gracie. On good days they tolerate one another at best.
February 2021, Foxxer at 4 months engaging Gracie in a little snow play and she ain't having any of it!
If a pair of my hunting boots were on the floor she would always curl up beside them. Think it was a hint?
In January of this year Gracie, at 15 years 9 months, slipped away to be with her great pal Ruger, seen here with her in 2016, leaving me as Foxxer's soul focus of torment.