Desert Season's Greetings from Me to You!

Sonoran Season's greetings from illustrator Mark A. Hicks. Art from the book Coyote Claus: A Southwestern Desert Tale.
Art from the book
Coyote Claus: A Southwestern Desert Tale

Available at your favorite book retailer or at 

ISBN: 9781941384534


Signings in the Desert

Recently I stopped in and signed some books at both Saguaro National Park Red Hills Visitor Center and the Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum. Thanks to the great staff at both bookstores for your friendliness and for helping the book sell well down there!


New Children's Holiday Book

Coyote Claus: A Southwestern Desert Tale. Written by Cory Cooper Hansen with illustrations by Mark A. Hicks.
Coyote Claus: A Southwestern Desert Tale, is an original manuscript which brings the cultural heritage of the Sonoran Desert to life through the familiar genre of Clement C. Moore’s A Visit from St. Nicholas.


Patent Pending Update: Patent Granted

Update: Patent Granted. More info here. 

 After a year of sketching, constructing and testing a prototype, and filling out paperwork, the lawyer filed for a patent for my invention for the kayak this week. 

Being an avid kayaker, I saw a need for an easy-to-use vessel to stow supplies and equipment that would not interfere with paddling or legroom. My invention helps to solve the problem of never having enough space for dry storage of extra supplies on kayaking adventures.

Next comes finding a company to license and manufacture my creation. This search is being assisted by a professional marketing company. Inquiries are welcomed! Contact me here and I'll direct you to the online portfolio of my invention.

This isn't my first invention -- just the first that I pursued a patent on. Of course, I hope to patent my other ideas in the future as time and cash flow allow.


A Wickedly-cool Good "Bug"

From my Little Things of Nature Portfolio -- Sketches Afield.

Know nature. Learn to be still.

 This wickedly-cool tailless whipscorpion crossed my path early one morning recently. Of course, I had to sketch it. 

Actually, it isn't a bug -- it's an arachnid, from the order amblypygi. But it is good, however. And it is harmless to humans. This 4-inch creature (including legs) is great to have around for pest control. Living under rocks during the day, they come out at night to prey on cockroaches, crickets, other small insects.


Talk Like a Pirate (and look like one too!)

Talk Like a Pirate Day mask
Ahoy maties! Today is International Talk Like a Pirate Day. If ye gonna be talkin' like one. Ye better be lookin' like one. Now get ye landlubber hide over to www.imHalloween.com to download this here colorin' page of mine.


Delicate Sounds of Nature

Verdin (Auriparus flaviceps)
From my Little Things of Nature Portfolio -- Sketches Afield.
Know nature. Learn to be still.


Everyday, just as the sun begins to rise, there's a brief span of time when the natural world tries to remind the noisy and distracted humans of my city of nature's beauty. Shortly before the cacophony of yapping dogs, leaf blowers, and car traffic fills the air, a tiny songbird, whose population is declining because of loss of habitat, sings its delicate three-note song to welcome the day.

Are you listening?

 More from my Little Things of Nature Portfolio:


Well, I Thought it was a Good Idea

folioMARK Stock Art, Published Art, Fine Art, and Cartoons from the catalog of artist and illustrator Mark A. Hicks
At this point in my career -- after nearly 35 years of being a freelance artist and illustrator -- I thought I would begin to catalog all my artwork. And while I was at it, make some of the physical art available for sale. Maybe license some of the images that I own the reproduction rights to too.

Then I started going through my previously published artwork and a sense of panic set in. What the s*#$% was I thinking! There are literally thousands of pieces of original art in my portfolio! There's artwork from books, magazines, greeting cards, and other assorted publications and projects to go through. Most of it has been published and some of the art has won awards. It needs archiving to be sure. It needs to have the publication as well as copyrights and contracts matched and noted. Then, to put the art on a website, it needs to be digitized, watermarked (so some loser doesn't illegally reproduce it), resized, optimized, uploaded, etc., etc., and etc. Hello Mark! This is going to take a while. Not to mention I'm still busy working on assignments and other art projects. (And obviously adding even more to my portfolio!)

Who said art can't hurt you? Cartoon by Mark A. Hicks, artist and illustrator


Back-to-School Madness

Just want to wish all my teacher friends the best as they get ready to start a new school year. And, if you teachers need some fun, free clip art for your classroom newsletters, etc., you can get it at EducatorClips.com...
Free Teacher Clip Art


It's the Little Things

Wonderfully evolved for blending into the bark of trees, this tree lizard, with the cool-sounding scientific name of Urosaurus ornatus, seems to have adapted to blending into lichen-covered rock as well.

I chanced upon this beautiful creature while visiting Gila Cliff Dwellings National Monument. Naturally (no pun intended), as an admirer and advocate for the little things in nature that other people just don't seem to notice, I had to paint its image and add it to my Little Things of Nature portfolio.

 Tree Lizard (Urosaurus ornatus)

From my Little Things of Nature Portfolio -- Sketches Afield.
Know nature. Learn to be still.


Some Thoughts and a Painting for Earth Day

Painting by Mark A. Hicks of a jack rabbit in the open desert with a clouds and a sunset.

I cherish and crave open, unspoiled landscapes and what I call the beautiful quiet that can be found there. It is there my mind recharges and my imagination has room to roam and soar. When I was younger, finding such places seemed effortless. Now it takes determination to find any peaceful spot of inspiration and refuge.

What is to become of the open spaces and beautiful quiet of the world? Will it all be overwhelmed by human tumult and indifference?  Overrun by those who can’t be still? Disturbed by those who seem afraid to be quiet long enough to experience an original, insightful thought or to know tranquility? If the beautiful quiet disappears, where will the dreamers and the creatives go for peaceful contemplation? Where will minds and souls weary of the mindlessness and thoughtlessness of the world find respite?


Going Bananas Today!

I would love to see a professional sports team named the Bananas. Just imagine thousands of fans standing up and screaming "GO BANANAS!" at the top of their lungs. It would be more fun than an arena full of primates.

BTW, this funny fruit clip art image is available for download on my website, EducatorClips.com.


Upcoming Book...

Children's book artwork by Mark A. Hicks, illustrator -- www.whimsicalillustrator.com
Coyote Claus: A Southwestern Desert Tale is now available. It is an original manuscript which brings the cultural heritage of the Sonoran Desert to life through the familiar genre of Clement C. Moore’s A Visit from St. Nicholas.


Talking (about) Trash

 Artwork by Mark A. Hicks for ASK magazine for kids

Ever wonder what happens to all that refuse you generate?

Art of mine from the March 2019 issue of ASK magazine for kids. ASK is an award-winning science and art publication for 6- to 9-year-olds.

ASK subscription information is available at:  https://shop.cricketmedia.com/magazines/ASK-Magazine-for-Kids.html


The Art of Invention

Above is some of my artwork from a recent edition of CLICK Magazine for Kids. This assignment was rather fitting since I had just obtained a patent for one of my own inventions about the same time I was assigned this project for CLICK. (And no, my invention was for kayaks, not nose warmers -- although the ones I invented and illustrated for this assignment are kind of cool, um, warm.)

More about my invention, the kaYAKtail(tm), here.