Almost in Grasp

20" x 14.5" eLITHOGRAPH, 'Almost In Grasp'; serigraph, 5-color, posterization

20″ x 14.5″ eLITHOGRAPH, ‘Almost In Grasp'; serigraph, 5-color, posterization

I love fish.  I love to watch fish. I love to fish for fish .. and catching fish is a lot of fun, too.  But I can garner all the satisfaction necessary by just watching fish.  I can barely walk past a mud puddle without checking it for fish.  I am mesmerized by the fish tanks at Wal-Mart.

So, every chance I get to walk by a stream, near a lake or pond bank, along a beach … I am looking.  Looking intently, for fish.  For me – ‘fishing’ is more fun that the actual ‘catching’. In the same way, looking is high up there in the fun-ranks, as well.

But there is a lot more to ‘looking at fish’ than just enjoying them.  The more you look at them, you end up observing them. This observation leads to a better understanding of fish movement and behavior. The better you understand fish…  well that information comes in ‘reel’ handy when you’re lookin’ to ‘hook-up’ with one.  Reeeeel, handy!!

An off-shoot of this habit of watching-fish has become the, measuring of the fish I observe.  Now, being at random distances: from bank-to-water; depth-of-water; clarity-of-water; etc. There is simply no precise way to actually take a measurement with all of the interfering variables.  So I devised one. I call it  CALIPER.  Which stands for the ‘Casual Angler’s Let’s Imagine Proportion-by-Experince Ruler’.  And the process of CALIPER, I call, ‘caliperizing.  Yes, my new word for the day is caliperizing.

The ‘Casual Angler’ caliperizes fish by

  1. spotting the fish — of course;
  2. fully extending whichever arm you wish, in front of you, with thumb and index finger in a ‘near-pinch’ position (together but not touching);
  3. sighting the fish ‘through the opening”; opening and closing the thumb and forefinger to allow the fish to ‘swim through visually';
  4. taking a measure of the ‘gap’ with a ruler and recording it;

Combining the caliperizing process, with records of catching a few of those whom I ‘caliperized’, I have been able to formulate a rough, but fun-to-acquire set of data on sizing the fish. Seriously, all math used here is as simple as it gets.  It has to accommodate me!

Interestingly enough, I got lucky. Measuring’ the size and weight of a fish with this caliperizing method, seems to work!  So, watching fish has now become sort of like ‘best ball’ in golf.  I walk over by some water – spot fish – observe for a while – caliperize a few – record the number of my  would-be-C&R-fish, rank by size, and jot them down, compare to historical data and….  Voila!  Fish fun without anyone -fish or fisherman- being overly excited or stressed in – or because of – the event.

Truly a non-invasive form of outdoor activity, involving fish and tabulating trophy and size.  When executed in a phenological format, an interesting graph of a stream, river, lake, etc. can/could be derived.  Such activity may seem intuitive.  But, that is rarely the case. By-and-large, this kind of information just does not exist.  Maybe a fad-wave is begun .. eh?

I’m not saying this is a replacement for actually casting a fly; floating it out over a calm pool, to drop undetected at the entry to the feeding lane of a lunker brown trout; mending line, keeping distance, ready to set – connection! – hook-up – battle – meet ‘n greet – photo memory – adieu! – and onward.

NOT at all! 

But, is sure beats setting on a couch and watching people shout, act stupid, break jaws, and dispense human germs to the piscatorial community.


Did I mention.. I like fish?

I am haunted by waters … and all the stuff found there. Yes I am this is true.  And, it fits me just fine.



The latest image to grasp my imagination is the one on this page, entitled,  Almost in Grasp.  This is a 20″ x 14.5″ eLITHOGRAPH impressionist piece, created in serigraphic (silk/screened image), 5-color, posterization format.

The image du inspiration, came to me by way of my Facebook Friend, Bill Elliott, of Statesville, North Carolina. The original image can be seen in Bill’s Gallery/Albums/Cover images.

Bill, is, himself a magnificent outdoor activity artist; with many years of successful art and illustration work behind him – and we certainly hope many more in front.  Bill’s preference in outdoor art shows up in his love of fish and fishing.  Moments after Bill had posted the original photo I came across it  and could not resist asking for permission to interpret. Bill was his usual self, and was most gracious in his reply, saying, “Go right ahead.”  So, I did.  Thank you Bill.  I do believe it was a very good outcome.

I should also admit that the ‘style’ I ended up using is one with no small matter of influence, by two other Facebook artist friends; and no slight amount of nudging by the works or a couple more.  I will only embarrass two of them with this post.. but not to worry, the rest of you are fair game, too!  The eLITHOGRAPH, Almost in Grasp style owes a good deal of design-genetic influenced by the works of Josh DeSmit, (Josh DeSmit Art) of New Hope, Minnesota  and Ryan Sharpe (DeadWeightFly) of Greensboro, North Carolina.

Thanks guys . It is all your fault.  Well, that and all that fish watching.


Think About IT – new campaign

New art series, 'Think About IT', showcasing heritage wisdom; sayings that have guided us for generationsOOAK Digital Gallery announces a new image campaign called, Think About IT . This image campaign is focused on bringing into remembrance the heritage wisdom from the ages.  Valid today as they were in centuries past. Humanity remains humanity, with the same strengths and weaknesses – and the need for reminders of the value of course correction… as well as advocacy and recognition.

The first in the series is a quote from the Old Testament book Haggai, taken from Chapter 1, verse 7.  The heritage wisdom found here is in the phrase – repeated twice – Give careful thought to your ways.  This is an excerpt providing background on the phrase.

1 In the second year of King Darius, on the first day of the sixth month, the word of the Lord came through the prophet Haggai to Zerubbabel son of Shealtiel, governor of Judah, and to Joshua son of Jozadak,a the high priest:  2 This is what the Lord Almighty says: “These people say, ‘The time has not yet come to rebuild the Lord’s house.’ ” 3 Then the word of the Lord came through the prophet Haggai: 4 “Is it a time for you yourselves to be living in your paneled houses, while this house remains a ruin?”  5 Now this is what the Lord Almighty says: “Give careful thought to your ways. 6 You have planted much, but harvested little. You eat, but never have enough. You drink, but never have your fill. You put on clothes, but are not warm. You earn wages, only to put them in a purse with holes in it.”  7 This is what the Lord Almighty says: “Give careful thought to your ways. 8 Go up into the mountains and bring down timber and build my house, so that I may take pleasure in it and be honored,” says the Lord. 9 “You expected much, but see, it turned out to be little. What you brought home, I blew away. Why?” declares the Lord Almighty. “Because of my house, which remains a ruin, while each of you is busy with your own house. 10 Therefore, because of you the heavens have withheld their dew and the earth its crops. 11 I called for a drought on the fields and the mountains, on the grain, the new wine, the olive oil and everything else the ground produces, on people and livestock, and on all the labor of your hands.  12 Then Zerubbabel son of Shealtiel, Joshua son of Jozadak, the high priest, and the whole remnant of the people obeyed the voice of the Lord their God and the message of the prophet Haggai, because the Lord their God had sent him. And the people feared the Lord13 Then Haggai, the Lord’s messenger, gave this message of the Lord to the people: “I am with you,” declares the Lord. 14 So the Lord stirred up the spirit of Zerubbabel son of Shealtiel, governor of Judah, and the spirit of Joshua son of Jozadak, the high priest, and the spirit of the whole remnant of the people. They came and began to work on the house of the Lord Almighty, their God, 15 on the twenty-fourth day of the sixth month.”

”   – Haggai 1:5-15

OOAK Digital Gallery has not set number of images to be produced for this series. There are so many  valid -and invaluable- heritage wisdom sayings to be chosen from, for now, we leave the ending …open.

We will release these graphics in the form of posters, t-shirts and a future book that compromises a selection of the best of the collection.

OOAK DIGITAL GALLERYNew image series called, "Think About IT".. showcasing the heritage wisdoms of the ages.  Tshirt outlet.



Raven Skies


The concept for Raven Skies comes from a photo taken by Jen Klassen of Smithers British Columbia, Canada.  Jen and I have collaborated on a several eLITHOGRAPHS  that have been inspired by her photographs.   The world found in front of her camera lens is such an inviting place – and Jen has a keen eye for seeing and combining the wonderful images of her region.

Raven Skies is so named for the ‘raven images’ found in the cloud formations.  How many ‘raven heads’ do you see and count? 

The Raven is a bird of much importance to several Native American peoples as well as many other peoples around the world.  The raven is a bird of carrion – it eats the dead animals killed by other predators and/or disease.  Thus, primitive peoples associated them with death and bad omens.

The raven, (Corvus corax) as a biological entity serves an even greater purpose.  Ravens are passerine birds – as are nearly 3/4 of all bird species.  The passerines possess toe patterns of 3-forward, one-behind.  This affords them perch grasping capability – and grasping. With nearly 5,000 species they are one of the most diverse vertebrate animals on earth.

Among the smartest of all birds, the raven is gaining a reputation for solving complicated problems invented by ever more creative scientists.  It is, in great part, this intelligence that has maintained its mystique among many people.  Being a passerine bird of the Corvidae family, the raven is accompanied by a number of other members having vastly less ‘dark’ associations. Among these are the Jays, Nutcrackers and Magpies.  All of these birds exhibit a remarkable intelligence.

It is with all this background that I found the photo, taken by Jen Klassen, to be so intriguing.   As a kid, I loved to lay back in a field, in the yard, on a stream .. or just stand in the open .. and gaze upward. Looking at the clouds.  Trying to pick out of the clouds — faces, images, designs.  Hours have floated by with the clouds in this pastime.   I have also found it to be a very creative exercise.  And that is how I have come to bring to you…  Raven Skies.