Monday, April 30, 2007

busy but boring

It's been crazy lately but there has been absolutely nothing interesting going on, which is why I'm not writing much. More chicks hatched this weekend. I went ahead and set batch 6, simply because I was way too disorganized to figure out what else to do with them (like, sell them). I'm going to give it a rest for a week or two, spray/dust the birds again, cull out anything that isn't laying, condense the breeding pens a bit, and restart collecting eggs probably around May 14th. Those will all be for sale. I think I was able to ship eggs into early July last year, so there should be plenty to go around.

Anyway, the rest of it's just way too boring, so that's it!

Saturday, April 28, 2007

Batch 2 chicks

If you aren't into chickens and genetics don't read this.

Last weekend's hatch:

Pen #O1: Brown Red male X BBRed females = 3 BBRed, 4 Brown Red
Pen #O2: Brown Red male (son of O1) X BBRed females = 2 BBRed, 3 Brown Red
Pen #B: Golden Duckwing OExRC male X Black, BBRed, Blue Brassy Splash females = 1 Black (?), 1 Brassy Back, 3 BBRed-ish (1 single combed)
Pen #E: Brassy Black (Black sport) male X Blue Brassy Back females = 3 Brassy Back, 8 Blue Brassy Back
Pen #T4: Cuckoo male X Cuckoo females: 2 Cuckoo, 2 Black
Pen #T5: Black male X Birchen OExRC and Blue Silver OExRC female = 1 Brown Red (?)
Pen #N1: BBRed male X BBRed and Brown Red females = 10 BBRed, 3 Brown Red
Pen #N2: Black male X Brassy Back females = 3 Brassy Back, 2 Black
Pen #N3: Black male X Black females = 1 Black
Pen #N4: Black male X Black females = 6 Black
Pen #N5: Black male X Black females = 2 Black

Batch 3 started hatching out this morning. It'll be somewhat smaller than the first two. I need to candle eggs this weekend, and depending how the fertility looks in a few pens where I switched the roosters around (O1, O2, N1) I may actually just leave it at 5 batches. If needed I'll set 6, but I think I'm calling it quits at 6 no matter what. I feel overwhelmed already!

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

HUGE sigh of relief!

Just as I was about to hit the "pay" button and stockpile $800 worth of Stonehenge paper, a little voice in my head said "make sure it's really going to be discontinued."

And sure enough...

YES the Rising Mill is closing, BUT Legion Paper has acquired the Rising brands and will continue to manufacture Stonehenge. Oh happy day! I'm doing a little happy dance right now! This is wonderful news. I am SO relieved. I was truly going to stockpile about 20 years of paper, I am SO glad I don't need to do that. YAY!!!!!!!!!!!!

I did find some darn good sale prices though so I'll still place a small order!

Here is the press release.

Sunday, April 22, 2007

more fuzzy wonderfulness

Another good hatch!

These are the trays from the hatcher, the chicks get moved from here into the brooder (warm box with food and water).

make that eight

Okay, now it's eight coats of gesso. Bleh, I started over. It's a funny thing, what looks right in a photograph (because it's a photo and we know it's real) can look really weird in a drawing/painting. Normally I do a sketch of what I'm working on but I hadn't been doing that with the paintings (I don't even have a piece of paper that big!). Anyway, not a big deal, I didn't have much time invested. Second time is a charm. ;-) Stay tuned.

Saturday, April 21, 2007

that's a very large rooster!

Edit- this needs some work. It's a very odd angle, and I'm just not thrilled. Stay tuned.

Years ago I inherited a very nicely made 30x40" canvas on cleanout day at the art department. Six coats of gesso later, the horribly ugly naked man somebody painted on it is no longer visible, and I have hereby fully reclaimed the canvas. I've been wanting a splash of bold color hanging on the wall in here for a while, and I'm too broke to buy art so I have to make it myself. ;-) So.. a Sumatra, but the colors won't be what you expect of that breed. I knew it was going to be large but it wasn't til I sketched it on there that I realized just how huge it is. WOW. Like, oh my gosh, that's huge! This is craziness! This'll be a long-term project. Just due to size and detail it's going to take much longer than the dog paintings, but it will be that same style. So this will be something I'm working on for a while, here and there around other projects. It will be for sale too (most everything is at the right price!) ;-)

Just how big is it? How's that for big?

Friday, April 20, 2007

fruit with a sense of humor

Oh my!

nature study

While I was in the kitchen this afternoon I heard a bird hit the front window. I don't know that I've ever been aware of a bird hitting the front windows (other than those silly bushtits a few postings back!). Sometimes they hit the kitchen window, but even that's rare (most of the windows have those lines through them, I don't know the official word but it's like the window is divided into squares, so the birds generally seem to steer clear). Anyway, I ran out front and was shocked to find a female California Quail. How strange! Oh sure, I see them around, but it's definitely not what I was expecting (scrub jay, robin, etc). Poor thing must have broken her neck, and she died in my hands. :-( Such a pretty bird. I took some photographs of her feather patterns before I buried her in the garden.

Thursday, April 19, 2007


About the only interesting thing that's happened is I framed a bunch of drawings today, finally! Should have done this a week ago but this was the first chance I had to get it done. These will be shipped out tomorrow if all goes as planned (meaning I have to find boxes). I love the red mats, I am totally drooling over them, I wish I could hang them on my own wall! ;-)

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

limited edition art prints now available

Click on the image to make it readable!

I can have the first ones ready to go out around May 1st.

Monday, April 16, 2007

turkeys again!

Today was a busy day. I didn't do any art stuff (which was kind of nice...) but just tried to get caught up on a few things. Didn't finish though, *sigh* I still have things to frame and places to go and I'd better not forget to mail my taxes tomorrow!

JJ's two horses are here right now, Dusty and Blue Top. How fun to have Dusty back! He definitely seems to remember me, and he sure remembers the mares and stays well out of their way. They are just here for a couple days to share a vet appointment and farrier appointment. This afternoon all four horses spent some time tied to the fence, and everyone got a bath (well, just a rinse really). I have let Shylah in with the geldings but Evil Mare Gwen is separated because, well, she's rather evil. She's calmer now though because she doesn't have to spend her entire day keeping Shylah away from the boys. Gwen's weird.

Anyway... got some cool photos this evening...

Dusty and Blue Top and....hey, those aren't horses!

They were around the side of the shed so I snuck right up to them and poked the camera around the corner (yay for moveable view screen!) and took these.

Wild Turkeys are certainly nothing rare or amazing, they are around here all the time (and I chase the darn things off!) but I still find them to be very cool birds and interesting to photograph.

more chick pics

These are from the two Duckwing-cross pens (B and T4). I suspect these will be Birchen or Black (the black ones), BBRed, and Golden Duckwing (top right and middle).

The fuzzy red-headed chocolate morsels are Brown Reds. They aren't show quality Brown Red, but I use them in the BBRed program because they seem to produce some nice BBRed babies that are less inclined to have excessively red chests and tails. These chicks do not usually have pale bellies like the Black ones do.

The little chipmunk-wannabes are of course the Black Breasted Reds. Can they get any cuter?

Brassy Backs and Blue Brassy Backs. There are two forms of each color ("morphs" as the bird-watchers would say). There is the solid colored dark morph and the striped light morph. It does not affect adult color and is not sex-linked, I haven't ever figured it out except that these are the first dark-morphs I've seen for years so maybe I had bred it out of them until this year when I introduced the black sport Brassy Back male into the mix.

Cuckoos. Both males, I think? These are much more pale than last year.

Black chickies have varying amounts of yellow-white on them.

They're pretty small. :-)

Batch 1 chicks

If you aren't into chickens and genetics don't read this.

I was NOT expecting single combs from the BBReds. This means BOTH my Brown Red males are only heterozygous rose combed. Ugh. On the flip side, the older male is what produced the best offspring last year. Darn I don't like that this is producing more heterozygous birds though.

Pen #O1: Brown Red male X BBRed females = 6 BBRed (2 of which are single combed, ugh!), 5 Brown Red (1 single combed)
Pen #O2: Brown Red male (son of O1) X BBRed females = 6 BBRed (1 singled combed), 6 Brown Red
Pen #B: Golden Duckwing OExRC male X Black, BBRed, Blue Brassy Splash females = 2 Black (?), 1 Brown Red (?), 5 BBRed-ish (1 single combed). I suspect two of them are golden duckwing.
Pen #E: Brassy Black (Black sport) male X Blue Brassy Back females = 5 Brassy Back, 2 Blue Brassy Back
Pen #T4: Cuckoo male X Cuckoo females: 2 Cuckoo
Pen #T5: Black male X Birchen OExRC and Blue Silver OExRC female = 1 Black (?)
Pen #N1: BBRed male X BBRed and Brown Red females = 6 BBRed
Pen #N2: Black male X Brassy Back females = 1 Brown Red (?)
Pen #N3: Black male X Black females = 2 Black
Pen #N4: Black male X Black females = 6 Black
Pen #N5: Black male X Black females = 1 Black

just so ya know

If anybody who reads this is on LiveJournal, I also have a blog there. There is no need to read both, they are exactly the same stuff, I just wanted to pimp my art a little more so I set up another blog. ;-)

overworked and underpaid

I found this letter on a artist forum that I visit. I guess it had been circulating on craiglist. Author unknown. These are things I rant about myself, and I like what this says, so I'm posting it here:

"To those who are looking for someone to do work for free… please wake up and join the real world

Every day, there are more and more CL posts seeking “artists” for everything from auto graphics to comic books to corporate logo designs. More people are finding themselves in need of some form of illustrative service.

But what they’re NOT doing, unfortunately, is realizing how rare someone with these particular talents can be.

To those who are “seeking artists”, let me ask you; How many people do you know, personally, with the talent and skill to perform the services you need? A dozen? Five? One? …none?

More than likely, you don’t know any. Otherwise, you wouldn’t be posting on craigslist to find them.

And this is not really a surprise.

In this country, there are almost twice as many neurosurgeons as there are professional illustrators. There are eleven times as many certified mechanics. There are SEVENTY times as many people in the IT field.

So, given that they are less rare, and therefore less in demand, would it make sense to ask your mechanic to work on your car for free? Would you look him in the eye, with a straight face, and tell him that his compensation would be the ability to have his work shown to others as you drive down the street?

Would you offer a neurosurgeon the “opportunity” to add your name to his resume as payment for removing that pesky tumor? (Maybe you could offer him “a few bucks” for “materials”. What a deal!)

Would you be able to seriously even CONSIDER offering your web hosting service the chance to have people see their work, by viewing your website, as their payment for hosting you?

If you answered “yes” to ANY of the above, you’re obviously insane. If you answered “no”, then kudos to you for living in the real world.

But then tell me… why would you think it is okay to live out the same, delusional, ridiculous fantasy when seeking someone whose abilities are even less in supply than these folks?

Graphic artists, illustrators, painters, etc., are skilled tradesmen. As such, to consider them as, or deal with them as, anything less than professionals fully deserving of your respect is both insulting and a bad reflection on you as a sane, reasonable person. In short, it makes you look like a twit.

A few things you need to know;

1. It is not a “great opportunity” for an artist to have his work seen on your car/’zine/website/bedroom wall, etc. It IS a “great opportunity” for YOU to have their work there.

2. It is not clever to seek a “student” or “beginner” in an attempt to get work for free. It’s ignorant and insulting. They may be “students”, but that does not mean they don’t deserve to be paid for their hard work. You were a “student” once, too. Would you have taken that job at McDonalds with no pay, because you were learning essential job skills for the real world? Yes, your proposition it JUST as stupid.

3. The chance to have their name on something that is going to be seen by other people, whether it’s one or one million, is NOT a valid enticement. Neither is the right to add that work to their “portfolio”. They get to do those things ANYWAY, after being paid as they should. It’s not compensation. It’s their right, and it’s a given.

4. Stop thinking that you’re giving them some great chance to work. Once they skip over your silly ad, as they should, the next ad is usually for someone who lives in the real world, and as such, will pay them. There are far more jobs needing these skills than there are people who possess these skills.

5. Students DO need “experience”. But they do NOT need to get it by giving their work away. In fact, this does not even offer them the experience they need. Anyone who will not/can not pay them is obviously the type of person or business they should be ashamed to have on their resume anyway. Do you think professional contractors list the “experience” they got while nailing down a loose step at their grandmother’s house when they were seventeen?

If you your company or gig was worth listing as desired experience, it would be able to pay for the services it received. The only experience they will get doing free work for you is a lesson learned in what kinds of scrubs they should not lower themselves to deal with.

6. (This one is FOR the artists out there, please pay attention.) Some will ask you to “submit work for consideration”. They may even be posing as some sort of “contest”. These are almost always scams. They will take the work submitted by many artists seeking to win the “contest”, or be “chosen” for the gig, and find what they like most. They will then usually have someone who works for them, or someone who works incredibly cheap because they have no originality or talent of their own, reproduce that same work, or even just make slight modifications to it, and claim it as their own. You will NOT be paid, you will NOT win the contest. The only people who win, here, are the underhanded folks who run these ads. This is speculative, or “spec”, work. It’s risky at best, and a complete scam at worst. I urge you to avoid it, completely. For more information on this subject, please visit

So to artists/designers/illustrators looking for work, do everyone a favor, ESPECIALLY yourselves, and avoid people who do not intend to pay you. Whether they are “spec” gigs, or just some guy who wants a free mural on his living room walls. They need you. You do NOT need them.

And for those who are looking for someone to do work for free… please wake up and join the real world. The only thing you’re accomplishing is to insult those with the skills you need. Get a clue.

DISCLAIMER: Apparently this well written post has been floating around on CraigsList. I first ran across it when Steph Doyle’s post I Wish I Had Written This came across my google alerts.

He got it from HOWmag forum where Cal posted before they could take it off CL (thanks Cal!).

The attempts to locate the author have failed. If you are the author, please contact us."

the article comes from this link:


Okay I know there it at least one person out there who has probably checked this at least a dozen times in the last 24 hours in hopes of chick pics, so here they are. ;-)

About 60 hatched.

Sunday, April 15, 2007

they're hatching!

The first batch is about 1/4 hatched. I am not sure if I'll take them out tonight or tomorrow morning. Probably tomorrow (don't want to open the machine til they are all hatched or it messes up the humidity). I took the photo through the hatcher door. It's 99.3 degrees, 64% humidity. Not the kind of place I'd like to hang out but you know what they say, the chicks dig it. ;-)

Big shout out, HAPPY BIRTHDAY J.P.!!!!!!!!!!!

Friday, April 13, 2007


French Bulldog
24x24 inches
acrylic and ink on canvas


12x12 inches
acrylic and ink on canvas


12x12 inches
acrylic and ink on canvas


12x12 inches
acrylic and ink on canvas


12x12 inches
acrylic and ink on canvas


Boston Terrier
12x12 inches
acrylic and ink on canvas


Okay, you've already seen the cat paintings and the first three dog paintings, so now I'll upload the rest of them. These will go on the main site as soon as I have time.

Yorkshire Terrier
12x12 inches
acrylic and ink on canvas

what cats do best


Cracks me up when he does this!

Yeah my bed's untucked. Deal with it.

paintings up!

The work looks GREAT in the shop, yay! If it's raining tomorrow evening I will NOT be there for Second Saturday.

Thursday, April 12, 2007

dogs and cats

Okay, I've done as many as I can do, and this will fill the walls. These will be hung at 4 Paws Pet Boutique (19th and Capitol, Sacramento) tomorrow afternoon. I will be there Saturday evening for the Second Saturday art walk, though likely taking off a bit early.

I will be photographing/scanning these individually tomorrow, but this is:

top row l-r: Jingles, Brutus, Turtle, Max, Beemer
middle row (dogs) l-r: Sunny, Kirk, Rambo, Ella, Bob
bottom row (cats) l-r: Hardy, Tempura, Patches, Mocha

I'm exhausted.

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

silly birds

I'm sitting in here working and kept hearing birds flapping against the window. It's this pair of Bushtits, which are really itty bitty gray birds. They are sitting in the Japanese Maple out front and then they fly into the window (about a foot away, it's not like they are hitting it hard) and sorta skitter down the window til the reach the bottom and fly back to the Maple and do it again. I assume they must be going after some bugs, if not then I don't know what they're up to. Maybe they want to come in the house. :-)

Cute little dudes, they didn't mind me standing right by the window taking photos.

This is probably one of my favorite pics now:

Monday, April 09, 2007

busy busy

I have three more dog paintings done, none of which are varnished yet, so I haven't photographed them yet. There's a Yorkshire Terrier, a Boston Terrier, and a Chihuahua. I have five more sketched out on canvas and will do as many as I can by the end of the week (Pomeranian, Chihuahua, Pug, Schnauzer, French Bulldog). I'm planning to hang work on Friday. The shop is 4 Paws Pet Boutique at 19th and Capitol in Sacramento. It will be open for Second Saturday on the 14th, I am not entirely certain yet if I will be present for that.

I am making progresson the supremely icky taxes. Bleh, uck, hiisss, booo!!!!!!

That art show I was thinking about attending in early June, I realized it conflicts with a poultry show meeting I am supposed to attend. Shoot! I am debating missing the meeting in favor of making some moolah but I'm concerned that I may end up needing to attend the meeting just to be present for decision-making. Dang it. Guess I'll see how it looks by the end of the month (ugh, it's already almost the middle of the month!)

I got a postcard from Horse Expo. They say they have a new layout and lighting. Hmm, perhaps I will enter something in the art show. I haven't for years because the layout has been awful, with NO lighting, plus it's expensive. The booth prices are exorbitant, there's no way I would get a booth, but it might not hurt to try to put myself back on the map in the horsey world. And I'd better figure out what to enter in Draft Horse Classic, that deadline will be here before I know it. Oh, and I'm so thrilled that State Fair is taking all entries digitally this year. YAY!!! I hated entering there because they accepted only slides, and they didn't return them (even if the art was not accepted) and professional slides are expensive. Digital is good, I'll be sure to enter several things.

The first chicks are due to hatch this coming weekend. By my calculations there will be.... a whole lot of the little buggers!

Saturday, April 07, 2007

new directions

My head is filled with thoughts about art. Today I met with my friend J.K., who is an artist, and is married to an artist, and has worked in marketing and as an art director. And I got a lot of words of wisdom, and ideas of what direction to take my art and how to market it and things I'd never thought of before, and wouldn't have had a clue how to do. There is such a market out there for what I do and I haven't even scraped at the surface. So you will, in time, see my art take some new roads, have some different appearances. My head is swimming with thoughts. The mere idea that what I want is achievable and that I could actually do this is mind boggling.

And it'll actually tie into a lot of what I had in mind to do anyway. That whole chickens in context thing that L.K. and I talked about over lunch one day, I can weave that into some new concepts and different methods. I know this doesn't make sense, bear with me, I'm writing this one for me.

I'll still be drawing chickens, and horses, and I'll still be painting dogs. I'll be doing a lot of things. As busy as I am now, it'll increase. I'll still do art shows, and still do commissions, but with any luck before too long people will wish they would have booked commissions now. ;-)

I am planning to hang whatever dog paintings I have finished at the boutique on Friday or Saturday. I'll have several more to scan and post on line by the end of the week. It's going well. Next week will be insane. I hang work at a coffee shop in town around the first of May. I'd like to produce all new work to show there, we'll see. Things are changing. Prices my change (not commissions, not yet anyway). I gotta get my website done.

Happy Easter!

Thursday, April 05, 2007

more turkeys!

These lovely ladies were in the front yard today. I took a bunch of pics before I shooed them out of the yard.

I love this one! Tee hee!

In other news I editioned my litho stone image today (the Lipizzaner horse I started in... January I guess it was). Didn't get as many good prints as I had hoped, but there are enough. When the ink dries I'll scan them (that'll be over a week from now). I am soooo tired now.

Majestic Warrior

I let the client pick the title. :-)

"Majestic Warrior" (Asil/Aseel)
6x6 inches
colored pencil, graphite, ink
on gray Stonehenge paper
sold, commission

Tuesday, April 03, 2007

this and that

Ramblings today...

The Aseel drawing is finished (the one that's been a work in progress over the last few days) but I want the client to see it before the rest of the world does, and his internet isn't working right now. I'm quite happy with how it turned out.

I got four boxes of canvases on Monday (12x12s, 12x16s, and 24x24s). I was really disappointed to find that the 24x24s had been packed incorrectly and one of the canvases was dented and loose (it has been up against the box, which was pretty badly dinged up. I was going to call the company and complain and see about getting a new one but figured I'd see if I could fix it. A good canvas should be as tight as a drum. This one flopped! So I spritzed water all over the backside and put it out in the sun for a few hours. Voila! Tight as a drum! Guess the moisture makes it shrink down again. Cool. Now they are all in good shape, awaiting dogs and cats and chickens and who knows what else. Well, in the immediate future it'll be all dogs, gotta get enough done to hang those in the pet boutique by the 13th of April. Yikes!

I watched Lonesome Dove (again) over the weekend. The ONE thing that really bugs me about that movie is that could they not find a female gray horse to play the role of Call's mare "Hell Bitch"? I mean, that horse is an important part of the story, and they repeatedly call her "her" and it's pretty darn obvious that's a gelding! Sheesh.

Progress is being made on the limited edition print stuff, for the Aseel called "Proud Heritage" (the one in the boxing ring). The print pricing seems to be squared away, so now I need to figure out shipping costs so that I don't have to fiddle around with calculating them for every individual, I'll just do a flat-rate for US, and see if I can come up with a reasonable international flat-rate price. I need to get the word out on this thing asap though.

And I really need to make finishing my website a big priority. The sales section has been down since January and this is hurting me. I just can't find the time to get the darn thing done, ugh! If I survive taxes I have a whole lotta work to do.

I've been looking into some upcoming art shows, wanting to get more locally known, but I am finding downsides to everything. There's a local one in late June but it's outdoors, and around here that can be a pretty nasty time of year. There's another one a little farther away in early June and I could apply to be indoors (yay!) but they make you enter by medium. Like, I could have a booth with drawings...only. If I want to bring paintings, I have to pay a whole nother entry fee. If I want to bring drawings, paintings, and printmaking, I pay triple. It's pretty small money, but I don't like that system at all. People always compliment me on having a wide range of work, why on earth would a show want to limit that. Rant, rave. Might do it anyway, hmmm.

Okay, enough for today.

like dinosaurs

Gosh darn it, I just missed photographing the coolest thing. I heard all this thumping out front and looked out to see THREE turkey toms fighting just beyond the driveway out front. COOL! I scrambled for my camera but by the time I got back to the window the dogs were barking and the turkeys were running away. Drat. I took some pics of them in the field but this isn't nearly as exciting. Dang, my camera sucks at telephoto.