We interrupt our usual programming…

For a glimpse of my secret other life as a very occasional courtroom illustrator.

Oregon has been in the news for the last 4 weeks due to the armed occupation of a federal wildlife refuge building out on the east side of the Cascades. Yesterday, 7 of the protesters were brought into federal court in Portland after being arrested. I got a call mid-morning from one of the local news channels asking me to go down to the courthouse to draw.

The courtroom experience is always a little fraught for me.The initial procedural hearings happen in a heartbeat — it is a crazy challenge to capture the general appearance of each defendant in less than 10 minutes. Accustomed as I am to working alone in my backyard studio, with no attention and little time pressure, the adrenaline rush of getting to court, angling for a seat where I can see the defendants, setting up a miniature studio around my feet, and cranking out reasonable likenesses of each defendant without knowing how much time I will have to do so — all of this gets my heart beating fast. But once I am drawing, the surroundings slip away and I experience a kind of hyper focus that I rarely achieve in my other work.

But it’s such a relief to return to my hidey-hole!

Ammon Bundy (one of the spokespeople and leaders of the occupying group)


Ryan Bundy


Ryan Payne


Peter Santilli


Joseph O’Shaugnessy


9 Responses to We interrupt our usual programming…

  1. Scott Flora says:

    Abigail, One of our book clients is the American Birding Association and I have been following the story.

    Your drawings are amazing and sad. Goor work.
    Scott Flora, About Books

  2. stephanie says:

    wow. that’s some pressure. and what fantastic likenesses!

  3. Rob says:

    I also wanted to chime in and say that your work here is beautiful.

    They capture a lot of emotion. Have you considered making any of this work available for purchase?

    • Abigail says:

      Thanks, Rob!

      The question of selling original courtroom work has rarely come up.
      If you are interested, feel free to email me — abbey (a) abigailmarble.com.

  4. Abigail says:

    Thanks for all the kind words!

  5. Barbara says:

    These are amazing! You are amazing! What a great experience.

  6. Tina says:

    Abby, I found your site from the KOIN 6 news that credited your beautiful drawings to your name. What lovely pictures. I am forwarding this link to my daughter’s high school art teacher. This whole situation with Malheur is a mess, and you managed to make it both human and sad. Thanks for beautiful work.

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