Friday, August 23, 2019

Sunday, July 21, 2019

Caddo Grasslands: An Escape from Dallas

Not far from Dallas is a stretch of landscape called the Caddo Grasslands. I've driven through on a work related trip, a photographic trip and a trip with my nephew. I haven't found much to do, except maybe fish in the parks but it's a beautiful place to ride and get away.

My first impression, green and lots of it. Native grasses sway in the afternoon, near several small lakes and ponds where locals sit on patio chairs and visit. I definitely plan a trip in the fall as it's so close to home and there are many larger trees that would probably be a great spectacle in the middle of fall.

The parks and lake areas are alive with native birds, woodpeckers screech in nearby trees and several warblers sing from hidden perches in the thick blackberry and beauty berry bushes. The grasses are the main focus though, natural stands of native bluestem grasses hearken of the prairie once extensive across North Texas.

It was very windy on my last visit. No people, no crowds, nothing but large expanse of trees, water and grasslands. A welcome escape from the city of Dallas.

Sunday, July 14, 2019

In the Dallas Fort Worth Area: A collection of nature places

I've learned to find beauty where ever I can. In Dallas you need to commit to a trip to go to experience nature but there are places I've found a little closer to home and with a little less commitment needed.

When I was very young, the simplest bit of nature made me happy and gave me such peace. In New Jersey there was so much more closer to home and lots of places from mountains to ocean to get lost in with little commitment necessary.

This first location, I heard about from a guide at the Raptor center. In early spring, I found an oasis of crystal clear water, lots of native birds and many native plants. It is called Park Hill Prairie and it is in Blue Ridge-It's in the middle of nowhere and I can count on one hand the amount of other visitors I have run into. 

The beauty of this place is you stand in the midst of a prairie, almost as it was many years ago. The wind blows across the plains, scissor tailed flycatcher perch on wire fences and there is a silence that calms and soothes me. I've gone out and just sat on the stone wall looking across the prairie and it doesn't seem like you're still so close to Dallas.

This is the first in a series of beautiful places close to Dallas. I will have more pictures on the website as well as more places to go see.

For more images of Parkhill Prairie-Check out the website. Get on the newsletter for more places to go and art and nature for home and office.

Thursday, February 14, 2019

Cold Dark Water: February on a Kayak

It’s been a while since I wrote perspectives from a kayak. The idea of kayaking just hasn’t seemed as fun with my son off to the army.

Yesterday was the first time I put the kayak on the car by myself and even with his tendency to call out every imperfection in my process: I missed him.

A windy February day and the lake at Daingerfield State Park was an atmosphere of dark water and high contrast ripples reflecting an overcast sky. I am deep in the middle of painting a series on water and I was inspired to study every element of the reflections.

What I love about kayaking is the silence and the sound of water rushing with every stroke of the paddle. Rich reds, yellows and greens of the lily pads were like abstract patterns begging to be painted. I know there will be more paintings added to the current series.

I listened to the birds in the darkening forest as the sun hid behind the clouds and moved closer to the horizon. I heard the nasal call of a nuthatch as it crept upside down on the tree trunks. There was a chorus of tree frogs that called constantly but it’s not simply the wonderful sounds, it’s the fact that I took the time to listen.

Kayaking usually ends up being an introspective time for me, a time to be still and listen to nature. This day was perfect for that, I caught one small pickerel and for the rest of the day I just floated on a dark mirror of mercury reflecting the trees and gray sky in monochromatic drama.

Very tall pine trees surround Daingerfield State Park; so it doesn’t even feel like a normal Texas lake. The trees shelter you from the wind and the experience of quiet and calm is something I’ve been wanting for quite a while.

The patterns in nature are so fluid and constantly changing form and color. It is my job as an artist to see how the eye sees for just a moment and inject that same pattern on a flat dimension while keeping the emotion and sense of space and time consistent.

I never get tired of watching water and it's many dimensions and intricacies. I am in awe of a slow moving stream or the torrent of a waterfall, it's capturing that feeling and the sound in a painting that is the hardest task.

To learn more about camping, fishing and kayaking at Daingerfield State Park go to

To see more images and upcoming paintings go to This blog will be moving to that address as I continue to grow the site.

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