Author Archives: artbybam

Spectacled owl

Raptor love!

A few weeks ago, I had the pleasure of attending a raptor show at the Waterman Conservation Center. I brought my sketchbook and camera. A few very rough sketches made me realize I could best capture them with my camera, and soon, only with videos!

It paid off, though.  I came home and, using my photos as reference, completed eight 9×12 ink and watercolors.  Very happy to share them with you today.  Hope you enjoy them! Aplomado falcon Bald eagle Barn owl Caracara Eagle owl Gyr falcon Spectacled owl Harris hawk



My niece pointed out that those green things growing outside might be ostrich fiddleheads!  These are good for eating, after boiling and sautéing.  So I picked several and tried them.  It may have been a little early to pick, because there was brown stuff that was rather difficult to remove.

But I did like the taste, so I decided to buy some at our local market. These were a little larger, with no brown ‘stuff’ on them. Very yummy, like a delicate asparagus flavor. Of course, garlic, butter and salt helped.  It seems like a bit much effort needed, so I won’t be doing these very often, but I’m very glad I gave them a try! Fiddleheads

Beginning a new adventure!

It’s been two weeks since the new dark grey Promaster was delivered.  So far, all the planning is in my head.  I wanted to have a separate site for the plans, materials and work that will get done.  And of course, our travels once it’s ready to go!

This made it SO much easier!

Theres a few things I can do while waiting for (me!) the final plans to get drawn.  It came with mfr floor and walls, so yesterday I removed the walls. I ordered a special tool which made it easier to pop out the plastic pegs holding it in place.

The walls are out!

Don’t worry! Soon I will have detailed plans to share!

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A New Beginning

I’m very excited to share this news with you!  There’s a new van in town, and it’s going to be converted into a camper van!

I’ve travelled quite a bit, but not a whole lot around the U.S.  This van will change that.  Starting later this year, on the east coast, then expanding towards the west and those national parks that are calling.

I hope you’ll decide to follow along, I’ve decided to make a new blog for you to follow along.  Because, well, some are following here for my art and travels and some will follow there to see what is being done to “Grey Matter”, the name we’ve given to this lovely hunk of metal. See the new website here, it’s pretty bare so far, but plans are in the works!  Sign up for updates here! (You have to sign up separately from this one!)

Grey Matter is also on instagram as greymattercampervan.

Sketches in the Glen

A heart-shaped surprise

Walked the Glen today, 40°, the snow has started melting and last fall’s autumn leaves are peeking out.  I sketched quickly, adding color at home.   Check out my favorite tree on the right, just noticed the heart shape! 

That’s what sketching does – helps you notice details, things you’d otherwise miss. Sketches in the Glen

Here’s a screen shot from the Alltrails app of my typical Glen walk- 1.7 miles in 40 minutes. I’m not a speed walker! 😉. All Trails - Glen hike

Soaring eagle

My favorite birds of prey

Don’t get me wrong, I really like hawks! But, I do have a favorite – the eagle.  I’m so glad they have made a comeback, and there’s quite a few here in the upstate NY area. Today, a grey and gloomy February day, I walked the Two Rivers Greenway in Endicott.  Endicott, NY island

There’s an island you can see from the bridge that goes to Vestal, and there’s a flag I always see on it.  So, I found a bench and sat down to sketch it.  I shot a reference photo, and didn’t notice an eagle sitting in a tree on the other side of the river, because a branch was in the way. I got about 3 lines drawn, when I moved my head a little and saw it. Bold as can be, an eagle looking down river. Bald eagle

He didn’t stay long, and soon took off. But, I thought it only went a little way, and went to look for it upriver. Throwing my sketch stuff in pockets, I hustled to find it.

Found him in a tree a little upriver, and oh joy! There were two! Two bald eagles

After a half hour and tons of photos, the second one  looked like it was getting ready to move, so I put my camera on movie mode.  The first video is 38 seconds, but listen, and you’ll hear an eagle screech. Chills.


After catching it flying away on video, I decided it was okay to leave. Seeing them was such a wonderful gift! Soaring eagle



The Dovekeepers

This book, set two thousand years ago and based on nine hundred Jews holding out on Masada mountain against the Roman armies, was written by Alice Hoffman.   What a fascinating read!

I finally got a chance to watch the miniseries and, in trying to use up the last few pages in my sketchbook, sat and did a few sketches while watching it.



Women at the market in Masada

Women at the market in Masada