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Sketching in Lewis County With Sue Gorman

My friend, Sue Gorman, lives in one of the prettiest areas in Kentucky. It is where the rolling hills start to become Appalachian Mountains. It is scattered with a few small, isolated communities, and is an artists paradise. I’m reluctant to tell everybody about it, because we humans have a tendency to destroy anything nice.


There aren’t many people who would have fun sketching with me, since it involves a lot of standing in one place and enjoying/analyzing the scenery.  However, Sue is a talented landscape artist, and we are both perfectly happy sitting by a covered bridge with our sketchbooks.


I don’t use a lot of photos, and even though I was surrounded by breathtaking scenery, I didn’t take a single picture. Fortunately, Sue shared this photo that she took while we were at the Cabin Creek covered bridge.

a sketch of Cabin Creek Covered Bridge - Lewis County, ky

Here is a little bit of how my process works. I did 3 different sketches at the Cabin Creek Bridge.  The first sketch is the most realistic. A camera could never photograph this scene, but it has the main elements of the location in the correct place. The first sketch is usually how I get to know the scene.

second sketch of cabin creek covered bridge - lewis county, ky

For the second sketch, I was in the same spot, but I tried to eliminate everything that was not part of the answer to my question, “what is this drawing about?”

Third version of Cabin Creek Covered Bridge

This third sketch is from a different view. I moved a few things around so that the design would fill the space a little better. It is still based on a real and true place. Hopefully i didn’t make so many changes that you can’t tell where it is, but at the end of the day, who cares? it looks great, and it’s ART, not a documentary…in my opinion, a photo is better for that job anyway!

ipad drawing of trinity from crooked creek road

This is a different place (Trinity), a different creek (Crooked Creek) it is the first sketch, but I got enough information to come up with a strong painting.

Lucky for me, Lewis county is a short drive from my house. After spending a day there, I am inspired by that area’s natural beauty. I am planning to spend a lot more time there. An artist could spend a lifetime in that small corner of Kentucky and never be bored. Thank you Sue Gorman and Sam Brevard for the hospitality!

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New Smyrna – drawing in the dunes

I wanted to visit my friend, Samuel Ruder, in New Smyrna Beach.


He is a great artist, and taught me a lot about how to make a living as an artist.

We visited a 1 1/2 mile boardwalk where you can walk through a natural dune area.

A lot of these natural areas are being destroyed to make room for resorts.

One reason the dunes are so important, they are a natural habitat for the sea turtle.  Samuel’s watercolor painting (above) illustrates the importance of the dunes.  Visit his site here to see more of his work:

We visited the dunes 2 separate times

Each visit, we took our art supplies and made work inspired by the dunes.

We were rewarded for our hard work by a gorgeous sunset!

of course, the dunes are beside a beach which is another separate place for inspiration…maybe next time.

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Printmaking Collaboration with Radha


I just started a printmaking collaboration with Radha, one of my neighbors at the Pendleton Art Center.  She is one of my favorite printmakers, using many traditional patterns from her home in India.  Visit her website to see for yourself.


These monotypes are the beginning of our collaboration.


I have used elements from my prints for the monotype…when they dry, Radha will print on top of them, we will pass the artwork back and forth until the artwork is complete.


Stay tuned, I’ll share more prints as the project develops

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Someone Special Coming to My Studio…

I am happy to announce that my friend, artist and jeweler, Rob Weingartner will visit my studio this final Friday at the Pendleton Art Center.



Rob’s jewelry is a true work of art.  He cuts his own stones, and then crafts them into gorgeous one-of-a-kind designs with silver. 

He has been out of town all winter, and this will be the first chance to see his latest/greatest works.

come see both of us, Friday, March 25 at the Pendelton Art Center in Downtown Cincinnati, at my studio 400A (on the 4th floor) from 6-10pm.

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Artist Of The Month–Barbara Ahlbrand

Last week, during final Friday at the Pendleton Art Center, my neighbor on the 4th floor, Barbara Ahlbrand was the ‘Artist Of The Month’. If you haven’t visited Barbara’s studio, you are missing a real treat. Her studio is a true artist studio with all original work (no digital reproductions). She is in her studio almost every day, and her space delights the senses with beautiful abstract paintings, accompanied by the smell of freshly used oil paints.


Many spaces at the Pendleton Art Center are used strictly as pristine showroom spaces, it’s a rare treat to have the opportunity to see an artist (in the wild) working in their studio. You can visit her website at

but it does not compare to seeing the work/artist in person. So next time you are at the Pendleton Art Center be sure and pay Barbara a visit.