Wednesday, October 8, 2008

at auction

John James Audubon was this country’s seminal naturalist/artist/writer. Although more famous for his 435-print “Birds of America," the rugged buckskin-clad backwoodsman also wrote extensively about his outdoor observations. He would have loved a blog. When strapped for cash, which he often was, he sold oil paintings and hand-drawn copies of his originals.

It recently occurred to me that I could do the same. So at auction here is a hand-drawn pin-and-ink copy of my original illustration of a bald eagle that appears in my book, “Natural Histories.” This is not a Xerox copy or a laser print but a hand-drawn, tediously recreated copy. If you take it outside in the rain, the ink will flow like LeConte Creek in the Smokies.

Revisiting the composition, rediscovering its form, the weight of its line after three years was satisfying. It was like a reunion with an old friend, so much time has past, and so little. To my eye, the copy is actually better than the original, there’s more nuance, because as they say, “practice makes perfect.” The eagle’s intensity is rendered with more subtlety; an artist’s hand mellows with age.

The sheet size is 11X14, so it will fit nicely in a standard size mat and frame that you buy. You can bid here on my blog or, if you prefer a more private channel, e-mail me at The bidding starts at $40 and will close in one month: November 8.

Best wishes. Satisfaction—as much as such an illusive concept can be achieved—is guaranteed. Please forward any questions.

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