Thursday, December 27, 2007

New Vizsla Puppies

While I was preparing for the NCHA Futurity Sales in Ft Worth, Cooksie, the Vizsla at the ranch gave birth to 9 puppies. The are not much to see when they are first born, but now their eyes are open and they are starting to explore. These photos were taken at our family Christmas party as we brought a few in to cuddle. They are very close to a month old and will soon be a handful. If you want to learn more about Vizlas visit Cooksies website at

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Futurity Sales in Ft Worth

This past week I was in Ft Worth photographing the Western Bloodstock Select Sales. This photo above is a composite of a series of photos taken during the Invitational Yearling Sales. In this sale a selection of top yearling colts and fillies are offered for sale. This is the 2nd year of this sale which is televised live on RFD-TV. This particular image shows Curlys Cowgirl being auctioned for $500,000.
The following Saturday before the Select 2yo sale, A parade of the top sires was held in the Watt Arena, with Jim Ware of Western Bloodstock Inc, commenting on each stallion and their merits and records. Peptoboonsmal is shown here by Carol Rose. Photos of these leading sires can be seen in this Gallery.

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Chrismas Program

This past weekend, Rafter J Cowboy Church had their annual traditional Cowboy Christmas Program. This photo is of Cookie inviting you to the gallery to see all the photos of two of the three nights it was presented.

Thursday, December 06, 2007

First New Camera Photos: Trip to the DMA

Tonight I took my new EOS-1D to see how well it worked in low light with no flash. All of these images were shot at ISO 3200.
This was my favorite of the evening. The Art is not always found just in the Galleries.
The 18th Century Galleries includes both decorative and fine art. I call this image Chair with Portrait.

I found these two masks in the Meso American Art Galleries. The first is a mask of gold, the second a mask of stone.

This is one of my favorite sculptures in the 18th Century European Galleries. It is called Turkish Horse. I have sketched it many times during the Thursday night sketching class.

Thursday, November 29, 2007

More Thanksgiving Fun

Here is our annual group Thanksgiving Photo taken in Fredericksburg. It seems the yard turkey snuck into the photo when no one was looking.

I have photographed this Agave plant before. It is one of the largest I have ever seen. I converted this one to B&W from an original low contrast color photo taken on a gray Thanksgiving Day.

It is fall and nothing is more fun than running through large piles of leaves.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Thanksgiving in Fredericksburg

I have returned from Thanksgiving in Fredericksburg, Texas. It was pretty much an overcast and very cool weekend, but Thanksgiving day was dry and lots of outdoor fun was had. I have posted two galleries of photos, The First Gallery includes photos of all of our Thanksgiving activities, including Archery, Horseshoe Tossing, and enjoying an fire. The Second Gallery includes photos I took in Fredericksburg during walks to town.

Sunday, November 04, 2007

Texas Cutting Futurity - Finals Day

Sunday was Finals Day at the Texas Cutting Futurity in Waco, Texas. This Photo shows John Mitchell discussing with his help, his cattle picking plans. Experienced Cutters go into the cutting pen with a strategy for picking their cows, based on study of the herd as they are settled, and as other cutters before them chose and cut the cattle.You will most always find the cutters with a pad and pen writing descriptions of the cows based on their color and markings.
John went back to the starting point at the back of the pen and began his quiet approach to the herd, walking into the herd and gently pushing the cows out and letting them fall back until only his pick was left. Then the cutting begins as the first cow is cut. This photo shows the intensity of the horse and rider in this cut. The cow is to the left and out of the view in this photo. and the cutter is between the cow and the herd.

Thursday, November 01, 2007

Texas Cutting Futurity - Power Cutting

I have been photographing Cutting Horse Shows for 12 years and rarely have an opportunity to photograph a horse showing this much power, and when I do they are almost always in the Will Rogers Coliseum. Although Pepto Cays Surprise missed the finals by one half point, you would not know it by seeing these images. In this photo Pepto Cays Surprise is being shown in the 2nd go of the 5/6 year-old open class by Terry Clifford and is owned by John and Connie Jones of Burleson, TX.

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Halloween at the Texas Cutting Futurity

I was looking for signs of Halloween at the Texas Cutting Futurity here in Waco, Texas. Other than customary bowls of candy I was hard pressed until I was leaving the arena after the Open Futurity class and encountered this horse with a Halloween head band. Things have been going well this week. The cows are brought into the arena at 8am and Cutting begins about 20 minutes later after the cattle are settled. Today we finished the Open Derby and Open Futurity classes, and tomorrow the 2nd Go of the Open 5/6 yr-old and the 7 yr and up for both Open and Non-Pro is scheduled. We should be through about mid-afternoon. After the cutting I process and prepare images of the day and then head to HEB (Best Grocery Store Chain in Texas) to hunt for supper. Tonight I found some Tarragon Chicken Salad which I put over Spring Green Mix and some Spinach and Orza Pasta Salad with Olives. It went great with a cup of Pinot Girigio.

Friday, October 26, 2007

Sketching in The Galleries:White Sculptural Forms

For the last class of the month, we were assigned to take multiple works and bring them into one composition. My second sketch of the evening was my most successful. I aligned my point of view so that Brancusi's Beginning of the World (egg form) was in the foreground and a sculpture by Barbara Hepworth was in the background. Since both were white, I elected to use my black paper and white nupastel to bring these forms together.

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Texas Cutting Futurity

Dual Rey Me
Next week I will be in Waco from Monday, Oct 29 - Sunday Nov 4 for the 2007 Texas Cutting Futurity at the H.O.T. Dodge Arena. I am not sure if I will have an opportunity to post any mid-week entries.

OKFQHR Cutting in Ardmore, OK

Only One Cat
October 13 I photographed the Cutting at the OKFQHR Ardmore Show. This is a photo of Mindy Costello showing Tom Miller's Only One Cat

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Foundation Quarter Horse Show

This past weekend I photographed the Oklahoma Foundation Quarter Horse Registry Show in Oklahoma. There were 2 full days of classes, the first day being dedicated to Reining and Cattle Classes, and the 2nd Day to Halter, Trail, and Riding Classes. This is a photo I took during one of the Youth Halter Classes. The photos I took will soon be posted at

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Sketching in the Galleries: Portraiture

Tonight our assignment was portraiture. We went to the 19th Century European Portraits and picked one to work on. I chose a oil painting of Louis-Charles Balzac, 1811 by Anne-Louis Grolet (1767-1824). This week I returned to white paper and used a 2H pencil for my underdrawing and then switched to my favorite Staedtler 8B to bring out the contrast and depth.

Friday, October 05, 2007

Sketching in The Galleries: Krumbau House

This week we were assigned to sketch from an exhibit of drawings of German Expressionists. I chose a pastel and watercolor entitled Front View of Building (Krumbau House) by Egon Schile, 1910. The location of this building was near Vienna, Austria. I chose this drawing because I liked the upward angle of view, as if I was looking up from sidewalk level. I drew my version on brown paper with graphite and white pencil.

Friday, September 28, 2007

Old Power Plant

This evening I visited the old power plant and fish hatchery at White Rock Lake in Dallas. I was taking photos on the east shore and looked over and the sun was pretty much blocking my view of the plant, so I got back in the car and went to the West Shore. When I was in the Arts Magnet during my last year in high school our teacher used to take us here for drawing. The view above is from the spillway. The bottom two photos are of the fish hatchery building.
The smoke stack is one of the most interesting features. This stack has been piercing the sky for about 3/4 of a century, unused.
This nearly one hundred year old power plant is now the home of a Dallas Water Utility Service Center; however, water has not been drawn from this lake since the drought of the 50's. When I last visited this plant in the mid 70's it was idle and the powerplant building was in

about the same shape as the Fish Hatchery building shown below. I walked around the entire building, photographing broken windows, bricked in doors and old brick walls and cement steps.

Thursday, September 27, 2007

Sketchbook: Cornfield and Windmill

Tonight at Sketching in the Galleries we went to the Barrett Collection of Early Texas Art exhibit. Our assignment was to show the texture of our subjects in our sketches. I drew two paintings, but preferred this one of Otis Doziers' Cornfield and Windmill. This oil painting is of a cornfield and barn with windmill in the background. The scene was night or late evening but I translated it to night in this graphite and white pencil drawing on black paper.

Saturday, September 22, 2007

Revisiting the Back Pasture

I returned to the lower pasture to report on how the geldings and colts enjoyed their summer at liberty. Squirt eagerly came to see what I was up to with my camera. Had I had a halter he would have not come close without a fight. Squirt looked very good for a 20yo gelding. His hooves looked better than they ever have, despite having not been trimmed in months. There is nothing like a wet summer and lots of tall grass. No need for hay.

Badger is Squirt's running buddy. He is a retired cutting horse. He ran playdays for a few years after his cutting career, but now enjoys pasture life. He is still runs when he sees a halter coming and does he best to get cooperation in the pasture to play "Get between me and the person with the halter" with other horses.

Elvis started the summer as the third horse, which is a tough in the equine buddy system. He is still a young gelding and this was his summer off. I am sure he will soon be in training for a career in Barrels and Poles.

Late in the summer a yearling colt was added to the pasture. He is still a year off from training and needed some socialization, so what better place to put him than a pasture with the geldings. Elvis now has a buddy.

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Sketching in the Galleries: Calders' Three Bollards

Tonight we returned to the Nasher for our night of sketching. Our instructions were to find a sculpture in the outdoor sculpture garden and integrate out drawing with aspects of its environment. We started at 7:15 so our daylight time was limited and rapidly changed. After 15 minutes of sketching the lights came on and changed the color and depth of my subject. I brought out my orange and continued on. I finished by bringing in the color of the grass and the shadows cast by the sculpture. It was soon too dark to see my black paper so I moved to a brighter place to finish up. My media was hard pastel on black Ingress laid paper.

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Eclipse Quarter Race Horse Sale

Today I photographed the Eclipse Fall Mixed Sale in Grand Prairie, TX. This sale is of Racing Bred Quarter Horses, conducted by Eclipse Sale Company which was established and managed by managed by Jay Helzer of JEH Stallion Station. The first part of the sale was mixed with mares, weanlings, and horses of racing age. The sale was mostly yearling colts and fillies. The prices were mostly under $40,000, but one bid reached $155,000 for Even Steve, A Mr Jess Perry x Lil Bit Rusty Yearling Colt offered by Tex Gal's Stable, Royce Rogers, Agent. This bid did not reach the reserve so was retained by owner.

Friday, September 07, 2007

Sketchbook: Asian Collection

This week our sketching class went to the Asian Galleries. Although this is not my favorite part of the museum, I decided to stick it out and try some different things. Our assignment was to draw objects as opposed to paintings. I chose a statue of the torso of a Hindu god earing a Dhot on tinted paper using dark graphite and white prismacolor pencil for the highlights. My goal was to describe the form and texture as best I could. I worked on both the intended forms and those resulting from many centuries of wear.

Next I moved into the main gallery and found this stature of a Hindu god in the lotus position. I had read the day before in American Artist Drawing Magazine about an Artist who draws in graphite on black paper so that the graphite becomes the light part of the drawing due to reflectivity. Seeing this black statue and having some black paper I decided to give it a try.

Sketchbook: Old Man and the Sale Horse

While waiting at the Museum for my Thursday night sketch class I did this drawing from a photo (see photo in August 29 post). This was one of my best photos from the Fasig-Tipton Summer Yearling Sale.

Wednesday, September 05, 2007

Sketchbook: Ring Men

After each sale I come home with many photos that I am eager to work with in my art projects. This drawing is from one of many photos I have taken of the ring men (bid spotters). Despite that fact that there was not any real action going on in this image, I was intrigued by the relative positions of the two ring men as they watched for their bidders. The ring man in the center has been the subject of many of my other photos and drawings. Last year I created a composite image for drawing and I have reposted it below in B&W.

Saturday, September 01, 2007

In the Kitchen: Green Chili Potato Pancake, Sausage, and Egg

Early this week I had mashed potatoes, so with leftovers I decided it was time for my favorite Potato Pancakes. As usual I take the leftover mashed potatoes, add milk (goat), and multi-grain pancake mix until I have enough to make a good potato pancake batter. I then added a fresh fire roasted (hot) Hatch Green Chili (shredded) and about 4 Black Bernier Olives. I mixed the added ingredients into the batter and then made 3 large pancakes. I then cooked an egg over easy and placed it on a plate with a potato pancake and some pork sausage with Baby Bella Mushrooms sliced which I had cooking while mixing the batter. I then poured green chili enchilada sauce over all and served.

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Fasig-Tipton Texas Summer Yearling Sale

This past Monday and Tuesday Fasig-Tipton and the Texas Thoroughbred Association held their annual Summer Yearling Sale at Lone Star Park in Grand Prairie, Texas. While the first day was a little weak, the pace picked up on the second day with a number of sales over $70,000 and up to a record $330,000 for a Pleasant Tap/Tensie's Pro Yearling Colt (bottom photo).
I picked a few of my favorite images from the 2 days of sales and have posted them on the left. The first was taken of a owner or agent with his charge waiting to hand him over to the handler for the next up in sale. The second image is of two ring men watching their portion of the sales arena for bidders. As bids start coming in you will see them inticing the bidders to increase their offers as the price rises.
The third image shows a portion of hip number 397, with an added sticker advertising the respected yearlings parental record. Each yearling in the sale has a lot (hip) number sticker on their hips and a few have added an additional sticker. Additional Sale horses may be seen in my Sale Horse Gallery.

This Pleasant Tap/Tensies Pro Colt is a Lousiana Bred Yearling which sold for a Fasig-Tipton yearlng record of $330,000. Overall Results for this sale may be found on the Look for the Texas Sale Results for the 2007 Summer Yearling Sale.