Ted Vigil – John Denver Tribute Artist

Ted Vigil and I at Jan 2018 Tribute to John Denver Concert

John Denver was my hero. Not only could he sing, he was a champion for the environment.

One of the world’s most admired performers, Denver was equally recognized for his commitment to global environmental and ecological problems. Among many other tributes given him, he was the recipient of The Presidential World Without Hunger Award, The National Wildlife Federation Conservation Achievement Award and the Albert Schweitzer Music Award, esteemed for its intrinsic humanitarian values. He was also an advisor to the prestigious Wildlife Conservation Society, headquartered at New York’s Bronx Zoo, and was on the Board of Directors and advisory boards of many international environmental organizations.

I was so saddened when John passed away, not only because there would be no more songs sung by him, but because we lost a voice that even today, had he lived, at 74, would have weighed heavily against the current administration’s treatment of our special places, like ANWR, Bears Ears, and our public lands.

Ted Vigil is a singer-songwriter in his own right, but he is also someone who can sing a Denver song and make you believe you are listening to John Denver himself. It’s no surprise that people quietly gasp when he walks on stage – you believe you’ve just seen a ghost. And then he starts singing – and what a trip THAT is. I am not a “concert goer” but his was one concert I wanted to attend. I snatched up two tickets (took my son with me) and I’m incredibly glad I did. He sang all the beloved Denver songs, plus a special song he wrote as a tribute to John Denver. It was a sold-out performance! If you get the chance to go see him in concert – DO IT! You won’t be disappointed.

Click the link to go to his website.  Ted Vigil


Morton Pumpkin Festival Art Show

The Hawk & the Goldfinch – 2nd Place, Morton Pumpkin Festival Art Show, Professional Division

The Morton (Illinois) Art Guild hosts an annual art and photography show during the annual Pumpkin Festival. I always enter something, just to support the MAG and local art community. There are three divisions and a “junior” segment. There were 96 entries this year in the art show, which is amazing. The show has grown every year, and every year, the subject matter becomes more diverse. This year I entered The Hawk and the Goldfinch in the Professional Division, and was honored to receive 2nd place! It surprised me that many of the winning paintings chosen in each division were of birds or animals! I hope this means that more people are paying attention to nature! It’s something we desperately need to do!

Artists for Conservation – Exhibit in China

Artists for Conservation member artists’ work will be exhibited at the Lanwan Art Museum at Lanwan Eco Art Park in Qingdao City, China. The exhibit opens with a reception on August 4th, and runs through September 30, 2017. A delegation of 11 AFC artists will be in attendance to represent the exhibit, conduct demonstrations, and act as ambassadors for the AFC mission, and its member artists whose work is included in the exhibit. I am happy to say that my painting, What Was That, is among the artwork on display beginning August 1st.


What Was That? Canada Lynx

Jeff Whiting, President and founder of AFC is among the member delegates attending. He has been instrumental in putting together another venue to promote the AFC mission and that of the AFC artist members. Read more about the exhibit and the AFC mission: http://artistsforconservation.org/blog-entry/afc/afc-announces-new-exhibit-qingdao-china

#AFC #AFCQingdao2017

Artists for Conservation Annual Exhibit

In 2009 I became a juried member of an exemplary group of international artists who, through their art, help support the conservation of wildlife and natural resources worldwide. Artists for Conservation holds a multi-day art and environmental education festival, featuring a world-class conservation themed juried art exhibit and expo in Vancouver, British Columbia. I have submitted my work to the jury for the art exhibit only twice. I was accepted for the virtual exhibit (website only) in 2011, and I’m happy to say that this year (my second time to submit), I was accepted for the live exhibit in Vancouver, BC in September. “What Was That” is a 14 x 18 acrylic painting of a Canada lynx. The lynx is also native to the state of Illinois where I live, so rather than a typical western setting, i.e., mountains etc., I choose a more Midwestern background for the painting.


There were 85 pieces from 80 artists chosen by the jury for the live exhibit in Vancouver while the virtual (online) exhibit will feature 200 pieces from 143 artists. I am honored that my work was chosen by the jury for AFC’s prestigious annual event. Thanks to the jurors whose task, I’m sure, was a difficult one!

  • Brent Cooke – Artist and AFC Board Member;
  • Michael Dumas – Artist and AFC Member;
  • Pollyanna Pickering – Artist and AFC Board Member;
  • Holly Swangstu – Art Institute Director, Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum;
  • Debra Usher –¬†Publisher & Editor in Chief, Arabella Magazine

Pieces chosen for the traveling exhibit and award winners will be announced soon.

“Preening Heron”

Great Blue Heron


My latest painting of a preening Great Blue Heron. The reference photos were taken at a nearby waterfowl refuge. I watched him for quite a while perched on that little log, on a windy day. His feathers were blowing about in the wind and I was amazed he was able to maintain his stance. This is a 12 x 16 acrylic on canvas painting. I’m still tweaking things a bit, as I always do when I “finish” a painting, but I’m quite happy with the way it turned out. Once I’m finished “tweaking” things, I’ll add a larger image to the bird gallery.