Exploring the Arabian Desert and Sharing a Passion (or two)

Art Exploring (and hawking the Arabian desert)
For those of you that know me, you know how passionate I am about animals and wildlife. Those who know me very well know my love for raptors and falconry.  Falconry can be defined as the taking of wild quarry in its natural state and habitat by means of a trained raptor. To me personally its a passion, almost as much as art, not quite , but a close second.

Getting to mix the two has been a dream. I have traveled the world and have met so many different international falconers, that I now call friends and family.  Much like the art community but smaller, we all know one another and share our lessons and information with each other. The parallels are actually amazingly similar. It is an art form and some do it better than others. Like artists, some falconers are well known and others up and coming.

This year I went in attendance with the North American Falconers Association representatives to The United Arab Emirates to Abu Dhabi. I brought some artwork, my sketchbook supplies and a Native American flute. I was prepared to see an amazing culture and hopefully share some as well. The first part of the trip was an amazing desert camp in the beautiful dunes. A tent city was set up along with huge tent facilities for speakers and demonstrations. Falconers from every corner of the world together to share the same passion.
Houbara bustard

We hunted the deserts on camel back with falcons pursuing a bird called a houbara bustard. A beautiful bird that very much looks like a Terryl Whitlatch concept and put together by Jim Hensons Creature shop.
The flights were amazing and the experience unforgettable. Pinching myself and wondering if I was dreaming.
At night, the campfires burned, music played, beautiful Bedouin tents were up to enjoy all of the cultural commodities. Dates, Arabic coffee (I am not a coffee drinker. Only in Arabia ), hot teas, fruits and great food. Their hospitality was amazing. One of the nights I shared dinner with the Arabian falconers in their own tent, it consisted of the houbaras that were captured with the falcons that day.
I met some very talented artist/falconers from Belgium, New Zealand, Mexico, Japan and other countries. The motivation for both art and falconry was irresistible.
A gift to a very gracious friend in the UAE

I brought a sketchbook and drew some, not as much as I would have liked too, but I did take pics.
Its amazing what passion brings when you follow your path of what inspires and drives you. In times you will be surprised where it might lead you.
In closing I did share another thing I absolutely cherish and is very close to me, the Native American flute. This particular flute belonged to my friend and brother, Robert Mirabal. I was honored to have played at the festival everyday, something that was not planned, again, where one things leads to another. I played as the United States Falconers were on the field or stage I should say and again in closing the entire ceremony with very important audience members of the UAE.

I could keep going on and on about the people and experiences , but I thought I would share just a small part with you all. Thru art I have made the most amazing friends and families worldwide.
Where has art lead you?
Whom have you met?
What have you learned?
I hope your journeys are motivating experiences that will fuel your art and passion. Look around you. We live in an amazing place.


"Just as art informs art and always refers back to itself, we as artists are a collective whole whose dreams circle back on themselves in the sense that, ultimately. I believe true artists want nothing more than the freedom to do their art. All obstacles in our way are just the tolls we pay on our separate journeys. We owe it to ourselves to make the most out of the help we're given; and we owe it to our art to stay positive, aim high and ket nothing stop us from our goals."
Sketching hawks
gyr sketch

Mongolian Eagler
Quick Camel doodle
Native American Flute 

Happy New Year

Hi everyone!
Its been a hectic 2014 for lots of us and we hope that 2015 will be a great one. The AE Team have lots of projects we are hoping to get to and hope to achieve. As you continue to work do not forget to get outside and use the outdoors as a place to help recharge your creative batteries. The outdoors does wonders, whether it's visiting state parks or the creek nearby, going outside and taking in nature is  amazing medicine.
One of the fantastic things were are starting year off with is a Schoolism Live event in Austin, TexasSchoolism is bringing some incredible instructors. Nathan Fowkes, Terryl Whitlatch and our very own David Levy! I will also be joining Terryl in her creature design class so it should be an exciting time for everyone.
Hope to see lots of you there. All the best to you all and have a wonderful New Year!!

Register HERE