Doodles, Snowflakes, & Blizzards


Every time it snowed, my Dad used to say "The biggest blizzard begins with the smallest flake." Other times he'd say, "The longest journey begins with the smallest step."

The idea stuck with me as a kid and has served me well as an artist--small things become big things if you commit to figuring it out.

My painting Maggie's Big Day was recently acquired for a private collection in Scottsdale thanks to Altamira Fine Art.

This six-foot tall painting began four years ago as just a doodle on a piece of scrap paper:
The question then becomes, will you commit to figuring out how to make it work?

Here's a quote I keep taped to the wall of my studio to spur me on--

Next step: multiple revisions of the drawing on tracing paper, working on spacing, movement, and rhythm. Here's one of the studies:
In the documentary Score, Howard Shore, the film composer famous for The Lord of the Rings trilogy soundtrack, says he works obsessively on the melody line until it feels absolutely inevitable before he begins fleshing out the idea further. I love that.

A work of art needs good bones. The drawing needs to be right.

Once the line drawing felt right, over the next few years I painted several modestly sized variations of the idea.
The first version in oils (below), painted in 2017, was all in earth tones.
(And the drawing is flipped over). "Woman and Dog" 36 x 48:

Here's the same drawing with completely different colors painted two years later in 2019.
Woman With Dog, 30 x 40 :

Here's a vertical version painted in 2020, Circus Dog, 36 x 30:

Each iteration is an experiment with color, spacing, and visual rhythms.

No idea why, but every version of this idea made me think of our dog, Maggie, so the final version bears her name.

Maggie's Big Day

72 x 60


Wishing you perseverance, enjoyment, and success as you nurture your small ideas into big ones-