The final owl

I delivered the painted owl to Steve a couple of weeks ago. He perched the bird on a beautiful piece of driftwood…

and then, as a perfect finishing touch, carved and painted a vole in its talons!

Finch season

We’ve had hundreds of pine siskins (Lingít: s’áas’) at the sunflower seed feeder over the past few days. They are very assertive, guarding the seeds from chickadees (kaatoowú), juncos, and even the usually dominant nuthatch.

I haven’t done any sketches of this recent influx of siskins, but it did bring to mind this “Hocker and Codger” page from a few years ago. Apparently the siskin genus has been changed to Spinus.

Tlingit bird names are from . I’m grateful for the resource!

Looking forward

It’s springish here in coastal Alaska, which means a shifting soundscape. Varied thrushes are singing steadily now, and juncos and wrens have stepping up their song output. Our nesting raven neighbors chat with each other and holler mysterious epithets at us.

Some of the sounds I’m most looking forward to haven’t quite arrived. For example, we won’t likely hear the calls of sandhill cranes for another couple of weeks. But I did finish a painting I started last fall, in anticipation of that thrill.

crane small

Inktober 17th

Yesterday’s prompt from was “wild.” Last night I just couldn’t make a connection, but right before I fell asleep, this concept came to mind. So I’m ignoring today’s prompts (“micro” and “ornament”) in favor of running wild.


Inktober 16th

The prompt is “wild” and the GNSI one is “reptile.” I was tired. Neither sounded very inspiring, so I just went for the reptile; challenge was to see how much I remember about rattlesnakes without looking at reference images. I have a lot to learn…. but I do like the composition.


In the meantime, I had an idea I really like for the prompt “wild”– and I might just substitute it for the prompt for today.

Inktober 15th

Halfway through!

Today’s GNSI prompt was “dinosaur.” This was a rush job–because I didn’t have much time, but also because I wanted to try something loose with no pencil sketch first.

I love thinking of birds as dinosaurs… so for this sketch I thought it would be fun to try thinking of dinosaurs as birds.


I’m going to have to revisit this concept again sometime, because it was a fun illustrative challenge to take what I know about drawing birds and overlay it on what (little) I know about drawing dinosaurs.


Inktober 12th

Rush job on the 12th… end of the day… but I did get both prompts in. “Bird” and “dragon.”


Inktober 10th

Another instance of complementary prompts: “insect” and “pattern.”inktober10_hocker

The wings are all from the adult stages of aquatic insects: caddisfly, mayfly (hindwing), stonefly, and biting fly. I’ll leave it to the bug nerds to decide which is which.