My wife and I are madly in love and have been married for over 24 years. We live on the backside of a mountain in far northern Idaho, where we raise kids, a garden, and a great life.
Way out here in the woods, we live far beyond the reach of trends. We don’t get a cell phone signal out here, and our internet is only available via satellite. We’re an hour away from the nearest grocery store, traffic light, or police station. So we’ve learned to do things for ourselves, raise our own food, and make what we need. And we like it that way. This website is a way to share our adventures with others who might not be so lucky.
Living out here, you have to either be retired or bring your work with you. My work is drawing. I’ve been blessed with the ability to draw so realistically that virtually everyone who sees my drawings thinks they are photographs. And I’m surrounded with a lifetime of source material: There’s more beauty in these mountains than I could ever capture. So over the years I’ve drawn these mountains and trees, the snow and rocks and water, the light and rain and mist; and I’ve loved doing so. But I’ve barely scratched the surface of possibilities.
I’ve encountered a number of artists with abundant drawing ability, but none of them tackles my subject of photorealistic mountain landscapes. As far as I can see, I’m the only one doing this; and based on buyers’ enthusiastic reactions, something about my art touches a chord in them. That makes sense, because it strikes music in my own soul as well.
Q. These are drawings?!
Q. Charcoal, right?
A. No ma’am (sir); I have no love for charcoal or conté crayon; I find them too mushy and hard to control. This is graphite, like what you find in an ordinary pencil.
Q. How long does it take you to do a drawing?
A. That depends on the size of the drawing. I did "Autumn Grace Notes" in one day, but that's because it's small and I was able to concentrate on it all that day with minimal interruptions. "Spring Arpeggio" only took me two days for the same reasons. Bigger ones take longer.
Q. Do you go out and draw in the woods?
A. No sir (ma'am). For one thing, it's pretty hard to haul around a big sheet of Bristol board—a camera and backpack is enough. For another, I'm trying to capture light (not necessarily composition), and when you're outside, the light can change pretty fast. For another, I wouldn't want my work to get rained on.
Q. How do you keep it from smudging?
A. I just work from the upper left of the drawing to the lower right. If I have to go back to work on a finished area, I'll put a piece of paper down so my hand doesn't smudge the drawing. I might also use a long ruler for the same purpose, which is why in some of my in-process photos you see that steel ruler.
Q. Do you take commissions?
A. Depends. Drop me a line and let’s chat about your idea.
Q. Any other personal stories about the art?
A. Every drawing has a story. When my kids were small, they helped on a number of the drawings. They come in while I'm working and say "Can I help?" So I give them a branch or a rock or something to draw. That way they've helped with my art, and you'll never see it.
One of my drawings actually has a glop of white caulk in it. I was working on it beneath the skylight in my old studio and my wife was caulking the skylight, and a bit of wet caulk fell onto the art. But I worked it into the art and you'll never see it—and I ain't telling which drawing.
Q. How do you say your name?
A. FLOO-key-grr. Glad you asked. It's Swiss.