Oh Say Can You See?

upper side of property
upper side of property

Line-of-Sight

How did those surveyors back in Lewis & Clarks time do this mapping of the land?

How do you map out the lines between the property corner markers when you can’t see where the other end is?  Us amateurs began with walking as straight as possible, using a chain saw to clear a “best-guess” path. Planting rebar posts with flags on the hilltops and tying yellow flags in the trees, so we can see. Hours of cutting bush and dead-fall tree trunks, stacking the resulting brush in piles to shred later. So much fun! Not!

wild flower
What wildflower is this?

Upper side of the property…

Fire Breaks

Finally, we are able to take bailing twine and stretch it out to see where our “straight-line” should be. We discover that we were off (way-off) as the twine line goes into a zig zag pattern, turning as it hits trees along the way. Dang, we must have walked the line hundreds of times before we finally got a clear path on the upper slope of the property. We ended up clearing a great “fire break” by the time we got the line straight between those two property corners. Brush is a tenacious thing to conquer.

Clearing the worst area first makes the sides and front of our property seem easier. With the brush removed and the line set, we now only have to dig a 2″ deep ditch to set the wire in, placing flags at 12′ apart on it. Sounds easy, doesn’t it?

Remember those muscles in your hands, arms and between the shoulder blades on the back? We have 10 acres here with four sides 660 feet long. Spend a day swinging a mallot (I can’t) to dig a 2 inch deep ditch along one side of the land and you will definitely remember these muscles too!

Next, we look forward to retraining the dogs on where they can go without getting shocked  by their collars. We can anticipate walking the border with them until they learn.

Who prayed that we would get in shape this year?

Stop it, whoever you are!!!

Underground Dog Fence

NE corner
North East Corner survey marker

We are installing an underground dog barrier fence for Max and Hurley to be able to roam the full property (10 acres).  First off, it took us a while to be able to save enough to buy the system. After we finish, (if we survive the installation) we are hoping the dogs will love being able to run the whole property instead of just a 90 ft diameter around the house. Above is our first corner marker.

Easy-Peasy!

Ha Ha! We made the mistake of assuming this dog fence project would be an easy 1 or 2 week project! A couple months later, we are getting it done and hoping one more week will have the line buried and functioning.

Isn’t this a great idea?

NW corner
Northwest corner
NW corner marker
Marker NW corner

Here is our second corner marker located. They are not that obvious to find are they? Our process started with the land survey corner markers on the North side. This is where we have cleared the brush previously, so it seems pretty straight forward. The search isn’t too bad because our electrical line is buried close to this property line.  Luckily, we already cleared this side and the front of the property when we built the house.

dog fence road
dog fence road frontage

Three corners down, one to go.

A search & rescue event begins for the fourth survey marker located on the roughest steep ravines of the property on the south east side. The property is a virtual rain forest with ferns on the bottom southwest side morphing to a quite a steep slope with some really great rock formations.

Wow! The adventure really begins!

 

Woofer’s A.W.O.L. in Elk WA

If you see these two…

Hurley, golden doodle
Hurley, golden doodle

Please call or text at 509/329-8207

Thanks!

Max, Swiss Mountain Dog-pit bull

Early yesterday afternoon, a coyote howled in the distance and both our dogs took off at a dead-run in hot pursuit. They have stayed out all night and are still not home this morning. I am getting worried because they have never stayed out all night and they rarely will miss morning and night food times….

Both dogs weigh about 80 lbs and are VERY FRIENDLY. Hurley is a tall blond or red-headed Golden Retriever and Poodle mix. Max is shorter but the same weight because he is all muscle. You will notice that they have black collars with a little invisible fence kind of a box unit on it. Evidently, I don’t have the shock correction set at a high enough level to convince them to ignore a coyote.

BTW please don’t tell them that I plan on giving them a bath when they get home, cause I know with the rain and snow they are going to be a muddy mess. A human need to know thing…

Boxer, another dog face to finish

American Boxer Dog Breed
Boxer, American AKC

This is the boxer dog breed, rough sketch initially submitted. Isn’t it a trip to see how many wrinkles are in their foreheads and their lips hang over the jaw bone. They seem to have very expressive facial features as a breed.

Boxer Dog pencil
Pencil American Boxer Dog

The rough sketch is followed by the Boxer, in a  more finished state, in a B&W progressive shot. Working in b&w can be a very tricky thing. It was very difficult to choose an amount of black areas in a manner that showed the black parts of the snout and the less dark tan areas of the rest of the face and ears, then resort to extreme minimal marks to show the white chest area.

After I resubmit a corrected template for wood burning to my client I will have time to proceed with these drawings. I’ll be able to finish  rendering this in a more realistic vein, using pencil with gradual gray tones instead of just black and white areas. I have even felt pulled to pen and inking it. I will post the finished pencil portrait when completed next week.

dog sketch redo

I did rough sketches of a dozen dog breeds, and then started to finish them for a client and found out the finish I was providing was not what she needs for her wood burning templates. Ooooops. This kind of error in communication (by me) happens in an artist world, today I will redo it the way that she needs it, because, having a happy customer is always worth a rework to me.

Australian Shepherd dog breed Rough
Australian Shepherd Rough

Here is the Australian Shepherd rough sketch.

Australian Shepherd dog breed pencil
Australian Shepherd pencil

Here is what I thought would be the final for burning the image onto the wood. The dog breed, Australian Shepherd What is the result of all of this?

Pencil Drawings, images that I think are worth finishing are sitting on my desk. I glance at them and think of the time invested and energy showing in these dog faces…. I think, I could finish these into great pencil drawings.

The drawing speak to me, they are saying, “Finish me, finish me!” Consequently, another project after the project is created. My love of dogs comes out into more pencil drawings in the studio, anyone want to buy one? Another crazy artist  “finish it” desire in process.

Dogs Wanna Have FUN…

When my family visits, they usually bring their dogs along.  Luckily, as a family most of us do love dogs! Here are Hilti (Sam and Jess’s) and Max (Pete and Val’s) playing in the kitchen while we visit and play cards. The other voice you hear is my cousin Jeannie (Sam’s Mom) on the speaker phone in Colorado as we watch the 2 “cousin dogs” play.

Great Dane Portrait Photographs

I received a project from my daughter’s  friend Libby for a portrait of her dog Stella that has passed away. Libby runs Cornerstone Danes out of Oroville WA absolutely beautiful dogs. Unfortunately, Libby lost almost all of her photos of Stella when her phone crashed.  You can imagine how horrible that is. What we had to work with are five shots. One is detailed and up close, the others are not so close up and in different positions definetely showing her personality.

Stella was deeply loved and greatly missed and I look forward to painting her. From my own personal experience I know how difficult it is to say goodbye to our best friends!

BTW. I still take photographs with a real digital Nikon D60 and love the ability to adjust for different lighting and detail.