Friday, January 2, 2015

Welcome to Drawn to the West!

Mountain bluebird chicks in a nest box
This column is dedicated to the Mountain West - its ecology, people, cultures, and countless challenges and opportunities. 

I've toted my sketchbook from Montana's Rocky Mountain Front, where I grew up, to the red deserts of Arizona (a fascination I married into). More recently, I've unpacked all my art materials, guide books, and gear into a home on the windswept grasslands of Wyoming. 

Through it all, I've captured snippets and moments of what makes life so compelling in this high, dry, and sunny region.

Readers can expect a weekly illustrated article about a nuance, issue, or species from the Mountain West or the Southwest. Look for humor, personal anecdotes, and behind-the-scenes experiences with the scientists and other professionals that study and make their living here. And, of course, there will be a healthy smattering of food-related material, ranging from recipes to gardening, canning, and wild harvesting.

At all times, I'll be sharing my hand-drawn interpretations of the places and people I write about. Sometimes, the images will be rough sketches, dashed out in a moment. On other occasions, you'll see the full process from sketch to finished illustration, and/or something in between. Above all, you can expect lots of drawings and sketches like the ones in this post - lively line drawings with a splash of color accompanied by my musings.

Drawn to the West was inspired by Drawn to Quebec, an illustrated column I launched in Quebec in 2014. In its turn, Drawn to the West is both an exploration and a chronicle of the places I call home. 

Drawn to the West is available for syndication in your local paper. 
If you'd like to read the column, let your local newspaper or magazine editor know you want to see an illustrated version of the West in their publication!