The Chiricahua Gallery Highway 80 at Pine Street Rodeo, NM 575.557.2225.
The Douglas Arts Association 625 East 10th Street Douglas, AZ 520.364.6410
About 1978, a Scottish wildlife artist named Frederick Watson stayed with us in our home near Sacramento. His visit indelibly marked my art, for he introduced me to field sketching. Derick became a fast friend, visiting us in the States and opening his home to us in St. Abbs, Scotland. He and I co-led tours in Britain, which focused on coastal wildlife and field sketching. Once he visited us on the Gray Ranch during a very wet, cold December. Derick and I ventured out in spite of the weather. Wet and shivering in a remote canyon on the eastern flank of the Animas Mountains, we discovered a big steaming pile of bear scat and both knelt down to warm our hands.
Derick’s gruff comment was, "They’re never going to believe this back in Scotland." The process, ideally, starts with a field sketch. No other method brings the same spontaneity to an artist’s resulting work. These seabird sketches were drawn in England and Scotland in 1996, during a visit with Derick.
Media & Products
Most of my drawings are done in in pen-and-ink, with an occasional venture into pencil or colored pencil. Most paintings are watercolors or acrylics. Please see the "Art Gallery" for photos of the works. There you’ll find original drawings and paintings, prints (both lithographs and giclées), and notecards. Occasionally hand-painted tiles and t-shirts are also available.
Books with my illustrations include:
The Travails of Two Woodpeckers: Ivory-bills & Imperials Noel Snyder, Kevin Clark and David Brown
Raptors of North America Noel Snyder and Helen Snyder
A Natural History of the Sonoran Desert edited by Steven Phillips & Patricia Comus
A Birder’s Guide to Southeast Arizona Rick Taylor et al.
A Birder’s Guide to the Rio Grande Valley Lockwood et al.
A Guide to Southern Arizona Bird Nests and Eggs Pinau Merlin
A Guide to Birds of the Anza Borrego Desert Barbara Massey
Collaborative Art Projects
Horsefeathers photo by Helen SnyderThanks to the generosity of local sponsors, Horsefeathers was my contribution to the Trail of Painted Ponies, a statewide public arts project that swept through New Mexico. The sale of these lifesized horses, each painted by a different artist, benefitted charities and non-profit groups. The Trail of Painted Ponies was inspired by citywide art projects, particularly Cows on Parade in Chicago.
The making of Horsefeathers stimulated the surrounding rural community along the Arizona-New Mexico border, much as Cows on Parade had aroused Chicago. Neighbors donated horse trailers to transport Horsefeathers. As I painted the final details in space provided by the Chiricahua Gallery in Rodeo, New Mexico, a steady stream of ranchers, birders, fencers, builders, artists, scientists, cowboys and truckers flowed through the gallery to view the pony. Body shop workers at Southern Arizona Auto in Douglas sprayed the pony with a protective coating of urethane, kindly donating their time to the effort. Briefly, Horsefeathers graced the Borderlands, before moving on, to be stabled in venues that included the Albuquerque airport and the Arizona State Capitol. The sale of Horsefeathers benefitted Malpai Borderlands Group, a not-for-profit, internationally-recognized consortium of ranchers, environmentalists and scientists, based in Douglas, Arizona, who work together to find practical solutions to land-use problems in the Borderlands.
Here in the Borderlands of Arizona and New Mexico, a group of artists is coalescing, which I call the Borderlands School. We are centered around the Chiricahua Gallery in Rodeo, NM, a small outpost at the edge of the art galaxy, and I like to think that we’re doing good work. Other artists in the Borderlands School whose work is featured on Websites include Crystal Foreman Brown and Jean Bohlender (and, Sandy Urban, no more procrastinating you need a website too!)