Tuesday, March 12, 2013


The Sawatch Range from Frantz Lake, Salida

Why, yes. Yes, it has been very quiet here at Brush and Baren. There is plenty of work going on in the studio, but I'm not quite ready to share it. Perhaps by the end of this week.

In addition to burnishing my shoulders and wrists into oblivion I'm also wrapping up work on a project for the Collegiate Peaks Scenic Byway, and getting two new contract projects underway. There are FOUR (count 'em) major exhibition jury deadlines coming up in April. AND I'm trying to wrap my brain around a week of linocut workshops and a steamroller printing event at the Woodson Art Museum at the beginning of May.

Maybe it's a (still-entirely-too-far-away) spring vibe. I'm spending an awful lot of energy putting an enormous number of things in motion– the benefits of which won't be reaped until the end of the summer.

This morning, however, I'd had quite enough of all of that and took myself out for a walk in "my patch." I've spent the last ten years cruising this same 3.5-mile loop, keeping erratic tabs on the comings and goings of plants and animals and fencelines. All the bird linocuts I've been making lately? Most have been inspired by adventures in my patch.

It's been a week since I stopped by Frantz Lake, during which time almost all the ice vanished. The surface of the lake has hosted ice skaters and fishermen and no birds for months, but this morning there was a feathered party going on! Ducks, geese, mergansers... a grebe. I spied this lone snow goose consorting with its Canada goose cousins... and immediately wondered if it might not be the same solitary snow goose that spent several weeks hanging out with its cousins last year at this time. No way to know.

The beavers did a number on the massive willow tree "on the corner" of the lake earlier this winter. When they cleaned out the damaged tree limbs property managers did a number on other vegetation there, too. It all looks pretty ratty at the moment, but I'm hopeful it will recover this summer. There's a western scrub jay loitering on this corner now– my first at this location. Red-winged blackbirds singing. Goldfinches. Last week there was even one of those pesky common redpolls that have been popping up all over the country and making birders twitchy.

The last ice on Frantz Lake. Methinks I smell a linocut here.
I don't have any sketches to show for today's adventure, but it was more than wonderful to  spend some time with my favorite subject outside the studio instead of in.

Back to work now.


  1. We will be very happy to see your print whenever you are ready. Just take care of yourself, as you have shown in this post...
    Big virtual hug,

  2. Thank you for a peek at your patch. The colours are wonderful! What a great place.

  3. Wonderful to see and hear about your patch over the other side of the Ocean !