Saturday, October 31, 2015

a halloween hike to bears den

The weather was too pleasant and the fall foliage was still too vibrant to miss out on the chance at taking a good hike to Bears Den, along the Appalachian Trail this final afternoon in October. There were a lot of people on the trail and on the rocks today, contrary to what the photos might portray, which made it a challenge to concentrate on working on a sketch. Still, I was happy to see so many people outside and enjoying nature in all of its splendor. I noticed I was able to eventually tune out all the chatter from the folks around me (including an overly excited group of college students), and I felt more confident than I ever had, drawing in public. Heck, I even got a few nice compliments. Most of all, it was good to have gotten some drawing, as well as hiking in again. It's been what seems like forever, since I visited this wonderful place that I've grown to know and love over the years, while living out in Northern Virginia for the past decade-and-a-half. It has provided me with so much inspiration, as well as peace of mind. Plus, when compared with the hike to Raven Rocks, it was practically a cake-walk, though it does have some minor challenges, and today was particularly slippery, after a few weeks worth of fallen leaves covering the forest floor. 

In the meantime, I will be taking a self-imposed hiatus from all social media beginning November 1st, 2015. I'm not sure for how long it will be, but I will be back on board, eventually, in the coming new year. As much as I love posting and seeing what's going on on Blogger, Facebook, Flickr, Tumblr, Instagram, etc, I'm looking forward to clearing my mind and opening up more time and (mental) space in my own personal life. Until then, feel free to browse the blog and have a good look around. Last but not least, my wife Kris and I will continue to have our paintings (many of which were inspired by this place) hanging up on exhibit at North Gate Vineyard near Purcellville, Virginia, through the very end of November. So, if you're in the area, do stop by!

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

some magic bullet work, revisited

With Halloween fast approaching and Inktober 2015 well underway, I thought I'd post a few low res images of some past submissions I made to Magic Bullet, DC's premier comics newspaper. I don't think I posted any of these in their entirety, with the exception of the middle image, which ended up being chosen as the cover for MB #8, in full color. Enjoy!

Tuesday, October 13, 2015

taking a hike

Sometimes there's nothing like a good hike to lift one up. Last Sunday I took the seven mile round-trip hike to Raven Rocks (also known as Crescent Rock) along the Appalachian Trail from Rt 7. It's been a while since I hiked this part of the trail - a part I used to hike on a regular basis when I first moved out this way. I tend to forget how beautiful it gets in the fall season. I also tend to forget what  a serious workout it can be, even for someone who has been working out regularly these past couple of months. It's incredibly rewarding, however, and even though I tried to keep the picture-taking to a minimum this time, I still managed to get some in, including shots of what appeared to be faces embedded in logs, trees and leaves - some of which where familiar, while others were new to me. 

One of my favorite parts of the hike is just as you're about to reach Raven Rocks, and the view that comes along with this part of the journey. Just seeing the clearing of the trees and the blue skies ahead was encouraging, after climbing some serious hills (above).

Of course there is the view of the valley, the best part of the hike. Lots of people were there, but since I was off to a relatively late start, most began to leave. The photo above is only a small portion of this breathtaking view.

I'm glad I brought along lots of water, a packed lunch, and my sketchbook and some pens. It was total meditation, doing some countour drawings of the trees and cliffs, from above. I seriously needed this. Hopefully I'll make more time for more of these types of adventures in the near future!