When life gives you lemons, draw them, 11 x 14 inches dry pastels, graphite on paper

"When life gives you lemons, draw them". (Nikki)

"Trust your intuition, it's just like goin' fishin'; you cast your line 'til you get a bite." (Paul Simon)

"Color! What a deep and mysterious language..." (Paul Gauguin)


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Thursday, June 1st, 2017

Hannah, 11 x 14 inches graphite on paper

Hannah, 11 x 14 inches graphite on paper. This was a special commission for a good friend. I no longer offer to do portraits – pets, absolutely – but while I love drawing people, the work and long periods of in-between study I require take too long to warrant what I’d need to charge. There are other artists who specialize in only portraits and do nothing else.

Hannah portrait: scribbles outlined lightly. Some are erased but some are left, creating a bit of life in the drawing. Hannah portrait: scribbles outlined lightly. Some are erased but some are left, creating a bit of life in the drawing.

The photo was a very small file, only 500 pixels wide, plus the feet were not in the frame, so initially I thought it impossible to work from, but started anyway. All works on paper begin with taped edges, leaving an inch of border which helps when it comes to framing, especially if composition is off a bit. I scribble in the main shapes lightly, gradually building up areas with lines and then shading as confidence grows. As marks, once placed, are difficult to erase, the face details are drawn in more gradually than the rest of the composition.

As marks, once placed, are difficult to erase, the face details are drawn in more gradually than the rest of the composition.I remember that my friend used to call her grand-daughter Hannah Banana, so I snuck some banana shapes onto the blanket  – that will be a surprise for her when she sees this. I smudge the graphite and use erasers quite a bit, a good technique for subtler details like the background and blanket pattern.  Eraser sticks, 2 different sizes, are perfect because they are held and used like a pencil.


Tuesday, August 6th, 2013

Blue Hydrangea, 18 x 24 inches graphite on 80 lb premium

Blue Hydrangea, 18H x 24W inches graphite on 80 lb premium, white mat


$250.00         Buy Now Using PayPal

Blue Flag Iris

Tuesday, July 30th, 2013


Blue Flag Iris, 24H x 18W inches graphite on paper

Blue Flag Iris, 24H x 18W inches graphite on paper, white mat


$250.00       Buy Now Using PayPal


Tuesday, July 2nd, 2013


Gladiolas, 24H x 18W inches graphite on paper

Gladiolas, 24H x 18W inches graphite on paper, white mat


$200.00          Buy Now Using PayPal

Stars in the Sweetgum

Thursday, June 28th, 2012


Stars in the Sweetgum, 12H x 9W inches charcoal and colored pencils on paper
Stars in the Sweetgum, 12H x 9W inches charcoal and colored pencils on paper, preliminary for a larger painting of the extremely large Sweetgum tree in our side yard.
Portraying darkness is an excellent color study. Inspired by travels on clear nights when speeding by tree silhouettes, there’s an illusion that horizon is absent and stars are in the sky as well as the trees. I often marvel how dark skies can still be so colorful, ranging from rich teals, purples, to shades of red and orange.

The insight of a nine-year-old

Monday, June 25th, 2012


“It does not matter how much you see, it matters if you appreciate what you see”

Fintan Fox, 9 yrs old. Below, an angel fish drawn after snorkeling in Figi

Fintan Fox, Angel Fish, pencil crayon on paperI recently had the pleasure of conversations with nine year old Fintan Fox, the son of a good friend whom I had not seen for over 35 years. My friend Julie and her son, Fintan, both created blogs about their extensive travels beginning in England where they live, to Russia last August, then through China, Thailand, Cambodia, to Australia, Figi, and now through western North America. They are on the last leg of their year-long trip around the world, stopping to visit us in Oregon on their way to Canada.
This drawing is one of Fintan’s blog entries, an Angel fish drawn after seeing some while snorkeling in Figi. So impressive! With a minimum of information, the style is bold and confident… simple, yet accurate. Similarly, he writes with matter-of-fact wisdom, and surprisingly well-thought-through opinions. Wow, nine year-olds can be great sources of inspiration.

Chrysanthemums: work in progress

Friday, May 18th, 2012


Chrysanthemums, 45L x 85W x 3D inches, graphite and primer on 100% cotton, work in progress

Chrysanthemums, 45L x 85W x 3D inches, graphite, charcoal and primer on 100% cotton, work in progress

Detail of Chrysanthemums using primer with graphiteRather than priming the fabric first as usual, water and primer are painted to enhance the graphite while the composition works itself out. It’s been all about getting lost in the improvisation and surprise! Grass blades are implied by the buildup of thin streaks throughout, which also serve to balance and energize the work, plus add slight cubist effects.

This is will hang in a contemporary-style room. If color is used at all it will be limited to red, yellow and green areas near the large main flower. Parts of the surface may be left raw, so to set the finished piece, the entire back will be primed and the front will be sprayed with fixative.


The chaos of this past year, moving to Oregon from Texas, has truly put my artsy artist’s statement to the test; that ‘creativity is an attitude toward life’. I’m accustomed to creating chaos in my artwork, then resolving it. With too many move-related priorities and unfinished renovations, no wonder I’ve felt increasingly disoriented. The good thing is that observations never stop, even if the focus on art-work has to.

Upper left detail Left central detail Upper right detail

Monte rocks!

Tuesday, May 10th, 2011


 Monte face seen in a rock

Monte rocks! Who is he?


Monday, November 29th, 2010


Steller's Jay, graphite on paper by Jim Drury

“Some of us loved to draw when we were very young and many didn’t, but we are all capable. There is something to be said for innate abilities, but talent alone will not help us to advance. You might inherit Grandpa’s artistic genes, but every talent needs continual development to become skill no matter what it is, and drawing is no different than learning to play an instrument or climbing a mountain in that respect…” (excerpt from the article “Extreme Drawing“).

My father was a wood carver for most of  his life, and  his love for drawing was crucial to designing all the different things people ordered. Any time he taught woodcarving, he first insisted on lessons in drawing.

As it provided the funds necessary to build a house after a career the Canadian Armed Forces, there was almost nothing he wouldn’t carve; an entire range of subjects from detailed Armed Forces crests, modern abstract pieces, as well as birds and animals. My favorites were the custom designed doors, cupboards and headboards made  for clients in Canada and the U.S. before retiring in 2002. Well, artists never really retire, they just keep moving on to try new things!

Chipmunk by Jim Drury, graphite on paper

Photography has always been one of his passions, and he’s the real die-hard kind that will sit in mosquito-infested forests waiting forever for the right shot. One time he climbed a tree to capture photos of a porcupine, then fell out and sprained both his ankles. I was about nine years old, and I remember my Mom, my brother and me holding him up while he hobbled back to the car! Here is some of his recent photography, and lately he’s been taking the time to enjoy drawing again.

My Mom was an equal and supporting partner in the creating and finishing details of all the wood work they sold. Though my mother claims to not know how to draw, they have both been, and continue to be, huge influences as far as my being an artist. When I was quite young I would ask my Mom to draw anything so I could color it. I did care what it was. It was not refined and professional, but I would coax her, “Yes, you do so know how to draw! Pleeeeeaaaase!”. Children don’t seem to have the same hang-ups we adults do about drawing.

Steller's Jay, graphite on paper by Andra Drury

Now they see my two young nieces often, one of whom drew her own interpretation of “Stellar’s Jay” after watching her Grandpa. Andra is 5 years old. Don’t you just love the addition of hearts on the branches?! I feel so inspired by children s’ work. It is pure and straight from the heart. In fact, she is so nonchalant about her abilities and unaware of how keen she is, she did not even show it — my Dad found it after she left.

If Andra chooses to be an artist, it’s due to Nature and Nurture, and also not so much about what she’s been given, but what she does with it.

Mary Ann Pel’s Bench

Wednesday, October 20th, 2010


Mary Anns Bench, dedication to Mary Ann Pels, 11 x 14 inches graphite on paper

Mary Ann’s Bench, 11 x 14 inches graphite on paper

Illustration of a bench dedicated to a client’s sister by the staff at the University Arboretum, Madison, Wisconsin

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