Sunday, January 20, 2013

dreaming of Africa

Last night my dreams returned to Africa. The place where the earth became a new discovery. When we are children almost ever day is new. Remember that first time you visited a zoo? Each new animal filled your heart and mind with fresh wonder, awe and inspiration. The first time you felt a tug on a fishing line and you pulled up your first catfish, gills gasping, tail twitching and flopping, you felt such an amazing thing. You only get that sense of wonder so many times in a lifetime. I keep wanting to find that sense of wonder and it is why my heart calls me to travel to those places to find it. I remember standing in Yellowstone at the edge of this massive waterfall. I stood there for almost an hour, my feelings overwhelmed by the immensity and grandeur of such a spectacle of beauty. The first time a child sees a goldfish in a bowl is such a feeling, never having seen a goldfish before they watch it for hours, days, until the feelings numb and finally become adjusted. That is the way of it. Lucky for me the EARTH is too big and too complex and wonderful-even though our destruction of it increases by horrible bounds each day-and i am compelled to seek out each new places
-each new discovery for my own soul.************************************************************************************************I remember waking up in Kenya, stepping a few feet outside out tent in Samburu and finding pizza pan sized footprints in the sand. Elephants, like silent gigantic ghosts in the night, walked a few feet from where we slept and dreamed of the immense beasts. As i look each morning at our bayou, here in Texas, I remember those brief but memorable visits to the jungles of Costa Rica and the savannahs of Africa, the elusive views of toucans and spider monkeys in the canopy and the giant elands on the night drives and I realize and sadly imagine this same bayou winding from the bay like a sleek green twisting and turning anaconda, its banks filled with huge sun basking alligators and hundreds of herons, egrets, ducks, rookeries of white and colorful plumage, bobcats, ocelots, and red wolf packs hunting along the forest edges of the waterway. I think about this as I gradually wake up to the day. These thoughts are usually what compel me to make art of animals and instill in me a burning desire to leave this place of too many people too much destruction and travel- move- follow what is left of the search of new discovery--that feeling-that I found in Africa that never leaves once discovered-that feeling that my years melted away in that place and each morning I woke up a child-full of wonderment and promise. ************************************************************************************************I have been planning our next trip and it a year long process just to find and figure out where and when we embark on our journey of discovery. In the next few months i'll figure it out and keep creating and dreaming of the animals that are trying to survive- My small contribution is in directing my art students in their Endangered Species Art Project next month! Until the next time-thanks for reading my words and share my blog ---DOUG HISER

Monday, January 14, 2013

2013 A NEW YEAR for ART!

As I write this I am back teaching the 2nd semester of High School Art Students and almost TOO busy to ever get any of my own artwork accomplished. The Visual Arts Scholastic Event is coming up for my students in 3 weeks and I will be totally embroiled in preparations for the event up until that time.*****************************************************************************************************************************************************************************With that explained I'll share the last few paintings I completed in December and the new one I finished today. This new one, an american Kestral, which I used to call a "Sparrow Hawk" I used a technique I just invented and I sort of like the way it turned out. I used a blue-black BIC pen and Derwent color pencils. It almost has a metallic strong finish to it. Kind of like a Heavy Metal Little Hawk! **********************************************************************************************************************************************************************************Those who follow on Facebook might have seen the Mara Hippo or the Barn Owl and maybe even the steps in the other hawk. During the holidays I had some ups and downs, mostly ups-seeing my daughter and son come home and spending time with my family. I did spend some time out in nature and had some really great encounters with local wildlife. I spent about 20 minutes only a few yards away from the most beautiful Loggerhead Shrike I have ever seen. That bird was not even afraid of me-and I didn't have my camera! I also got to watch two White-tailed Kites flying above a lake for some time. I have been having visits from three Pied-billed Grebes here on the bayou in my backyard this winter-seems like they show up every year at this time. I also have had plenty of Kingfisher visits and lately brown pelicans have been cruising down the bayou. ************************************************************************************************The Art Show season has been slow lately but in a few months the Springtime will pick it back up! One last thing My 2 bestsellers, The Honey Bee Girl and Montana Mist keep on finding their way into the reading public with the help of many good reviews showing up on Now if you haven't discovered my FAVORITE Book that I have written, Tropical Calypso, order one today! AND stay tuned I'll soon be announcing when my new book will be ready for sale, Ten Secrets of Love! Thanks for staying with me, Doug Hiser