Tuesday, August 27, 2013

My Secret Forest Studio

Deep inside an ancient forest in the Pacific Northwest is my secret forest studio, where I go to get away from civilization and work on my projects. Above is a river in the Cascade Mountains of Washington State. Just off the river bank  is my forest studio. I have everything I need here, except Internet access. I'm off the grid while I'm here.

Today the conditions are perfect. It's about 80 degrees, and it's pleasant and cool in the rain forest. I'm sitting on my seat cushion on a thick floor of sphagnum moss. The big nurse log behind me has a thick layer of moss, which makes a perfect natural back rest. I prop my feet up on the log in front of me and bury myself in my work. Just to my left is my beverage of choice, which rests comfortably on a shelf fungus (Basidiomycoda). Behind me is a giant Western Red cedar tree.

I often look up and remind myself of where I'm at. I wonder why it doesn't seem to occur to other artists that they can escape the confines of their studios. I spend enough time in my studio as it is. It's always wonderful to get away and hide in the deep Northwest forest while I do my work.

My drawing board is a sheet of Plexiglas, so it doubles as a light table. Today I'm working on my Oakdale, California cartoon map. I need to trace images from my pencil layout onto my Strathmore Paper. So I simply tilt my Plexiglas board until it's vertical, and the rays of the sun come shining through to illuminate my pencil sketch.

I will return soon to my secret spot. I hope you find a secret spot of your own.


  1. It's great you found a willing sasquatch to take your picture.

  2. My secret place isn't quite so secret, because a friend, Thad Humiston, came along that day. He's researching a book on my life and career, and he likes to document what I do with his camera. Were it not for Thad, I would've had to bother a Sasquatch to take the picture.

  3. This is a wonderful idea. Just amazing. So simple and obvious but brilliant. I love your work. I saw that you tweeted about the infinite corpse project. Would you consider doing 3 panels? It'd be amazing if you could sometime. If you want to contact me go to my website and write, or sign up right on the infinite corpse website. This is Aaron Renier.