Tag Archives: hocker

Spring, 1 year later

Wrangell-hbird-hockerIt's amazing how quickly a year passes. I've traveled and taught and sketched a lot in the past year, but haven't returned to my lonely blog til now. 

Just got back from a teaching trip to Wrangell, Alaska, for the Stikine River Birding Festival. Bird highlights for me included sandhill cranes chortling overhead, flocks of white-fronted geese descending on the school football/soccer field, snow geese whirling over the Stikine Delta, and a fascinating talk about the wildlife of Wrangel Island, Russia by biologist Vassily Baranyuk. Also, this sad highlight, a female rufous hummingbird that hit a window. I tried to capture her iridescence by starting with white Prismacolor for the feather texture, then layering metallic green watercolor and several shades of Neocolor pastels and water.

Today, two hummingbirds–a male and a female–are tussling over the feeder outside my window, swirling around each other and surrounded by swirling snowflakes. It has been a long, cold spring.Nice to see these little spots of warmth.

Latest Project: Whales!

Hocker hawaii whales I've been working on text and illustrations for a new children's picture book about humpback whales–and not doing much nature drawing–so I thought I'd post an image from the book. My illustration pace has been glacially slow, but I'm hoping the book will be printed by the end of the year… or at the very least by next spring, in time for the whales' return to our Southeast Alaskan waters…

Otter-bahn

Otterbahn  Here's a page of sketches from my recent stay in Seldovia, where I spent a couple of wonderful weeks as artist-in-residence. The school is very small (50 kids K-12) so I got to work with every student, every day.Great kids, great teachers, great staff, nice community… thanks, Seldovia!

One evening, I walked out the "Otterbahn" trail (constructed by a group of high school students in the 1990s, I think) to a small beach. As I settled down to sun and sketch, I heard harlequin ducks making agitated noises. The ducks huffed and squeaked, then finally took off just as a big otter rounded the point. He climbed ashore, shook himself off, and proceeded to entertain me for about twenty minutes, as this page attests.