Sky Chess

Sky Chess

I call this painting Sky Chess. Ever since I was a little kid I have always loved the game of Chess. I have been wanting to paint something about Chess. Little things came to me here and there, but I was having trouble coming up with an interesting Chess theme. Then I figured why not just go all in and make something grand. This painting is a mix of my imagination, reality and fantasy. The water falls, bluffs, trees and parts of the mountains are all reality. They are from pictures I took from state parks in Tennessee. Of course, the chess board rising out of the water, and both the sun and the moon out at the same time is from my imagination and from ideas I had seen on the internet. The raven and dove are the Chess adversaries. Black is in check and the end game ensues with both birds locked in battle. The fantasy is dark v.s. light, good v.s. evil. Winning and losing are at stake on Mother Nature’s world stage. At the moment Black is in check. As I said, I love the game of Chess and this painting is my tribute to it! I made this painting on three pine board planks. It took me a long time to finish this, but I’m pleased with the time I spent creating and completing it. I hope you like it as well.

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Cancer

via Daily Prompt: Visceral

Today’s Daily Prompt Word is VISERAL – the meaning is based on emotional reactions rather than on reason or thought. I thought this was fitting for the painting I did for Grace seen just below this post. Or, click the link below.

It seems like everyone knows someone who is effected by the scourge of cancer.  I’m so saddened that our family friend GRACE has been besieged by this calamity in her life. I pray for her.

This fund raiser has been extended to 20 Sep 2017. See results from link below…

https://woodcanvasartist.wordpress.com/2017/08/23/painting-for-grace/

 

Painting For Grace

Owl for Grace

We have a family friend. Her name is Grace. She is only in her early thirties and she was recently diagnosed with Stage 4 Sarcoma cancer. As of this writing she has started intensive chemo therapy.

Grace is a talented nurse and caregiver, a devoted and loving wife, and an amazing soul. With the support of her amazing network of friends and family, she is taking on the fight to beat it. Grace is the definition of a strong woman, and we are here to help her focus healing by taking on some of the financial burden through donations and t-shirt purchases. Anyone who wishes to contribute can go to:

https://www.bonfire.com/fightwithgrace/ 

NOTE: This fund raiser has been extended to 20 Sep 2917. See results so far from link above.

I wanted to do a painting for her as well. She likes owls, and earthy colors with yellow being her favorite color. So, I put my thinking cap on and came up with this painting. It’s painted on 3 pine board planks.

Jesus Takes What is Broken and Makes It Beautiful…Its Called Grace”.

Daily Scrolls Quote.

Harris Hawk Soars In Moonlit Desert Sky

Harris Hawk

Harris Hawk

A mysterious night above the desert floor. A Harris Hawk soars through the moonlight sky. The idea of making this painting came to me on a recent trip that my wife and two of our three grandkids made. About a 45 minute drive from where I live, there is a World Bird Sanctuary. It’s basically a hospital for all kinds of wild birds. They even do bird shows that both kids and adults enjoy. During this particular show they brought out a Harris Hawk. These hawks are native to the American Southwest, Chili, Argentina and Brazil. It’s a social bird that usually hunts in packs. Their eye sight is eight times stronger than humans, and they are amazing to watch in flight. I used three pine planks for this painting. 

Grandson meets Elk in Estes Park

Grandson meets Elk in Estes Park

I know my blog is all about my paintings, but I couldn’t resist sharing a pic of my grandson’s shock and awe when we encountered a stray bull Elk in Estes Park. We were in the city. Shops were right across the street. Capturing this moment at just the right time says it all! 🙂  #FOAPNATION , http://www.foap.com , woodartist

Sunrise Mist

Sunset Mist

Sunrise mist floating over the river. A Great Blue Heron effortlessly glides across the water. I was inspired to do this painting from the many memories I have of the Current River. The morning sun rising above the river bluffs. The mist hauntingly climbing the trees from the cool waters below. The Current River is spring fed, so year around its between 58 and 68 degrees. The many springs feeds 20 million gallons of water a day into this river. This painting is not an exact depiction of the Current River, but the beauty of that river easily made my paint brush flow in my mind through my hand. A combination of creating out of imagination and reality. I couldn’t resist adding a great blue heron. It’s wing span can reach over six feet, and they can cruise 20 to 30 mph. On the Current River they fly just above the water. It’s a sight to see as they stay just ahead of your canoe. If you are lucky enough you may quietly float past them as they stand and gaze upon you from a gravel bar or river bank. I used 4 pine planks measuring 26” long for this painting.

 

Louis Hang Gliding

Penguin Hang Gliding

This is #6 in a series of paintings depicting the adventures of Penelope and Louis. Two loving penguins exploring the world. The backdrop of this painting was inspired from a drive my wife and I took along Navarre beach on the Florida coast years ago. I remember having to drive very slow along this stretch. It’s 18 miles of raw unspoiled coast line from Pensacola to Navarre beach. There are no homes or buildings along the route, just dunes and water as far as the eye can see. Top speed was 45 mph. This is conservatory/nature route, so the speed limit is reduced for this reason. Not sure where Penelope and Louis will end up next? My wacky imagination will come up with something though. I used 4 pine planks for this painting.

Puddle Hawk

Puddle Hawk

The Hawk soars effortlessly above. The country road is still wet with puddles from a passing rain. I got the idea of making this painting when I took a walk after it had rained. As the clouds rolled by, the trees reflected off the puddles as I passed the ground soaked puddles. There are hawks living near where I was, and I thought why not put one in a painting reflecting off a puddle. I named this painting “Puddle Hawk”. It is painted on 3 pine planks glued together.

The River Breathes

via Daily Prompt: Better

I wrote the below narrative back in 2015 after a river trip. I think it is appropriate for the daily prompt word “BETTER”. My blog here is an archive of my paintings. My story below are words only. I have a deep appreciation for people who can paint their stories with words. I think I will stick to painting 🙂

Sep 10th 2015

Early morning rain drops began to hit our camp. The drops steadily increased splatting harder on our overhead canopy. The clouds got thicker and grayer, and the rain picked up speed. I was thinking this will be our second float day. Why? Why must it rain today? We had already finished our breakfast, but now the rain was in sheets. The outfitter bus was scheduled to pick us up at 10:30 am at our camp. As I watched a fat little wood chuck rob something from a few camps down and wattle his way back towards the river bank, I thought we still might have a chance to float today. It would burn off I told myself. Our bus arrived, and we loaded our gear and headed north. As we headed upward on the winding up and down snake back road the clouds were breaking up and slivers of sunlight shined through the rugged tree line. Yes, I thought this is going to work. It wasn’t long after we were standing at the Akers Ferry put in. My wife and I never get tired of floating the Current River, and this is a real good 9 mile stretch of it. I have floated this river since I was 15 and I’m now 59, and each time is different. The river has it’s own beating pulse and life with each time of the year, day, hour and minute. Blue sky was now starting to overtake the odd shaped puffy clouds above. Bulging gray rain clouds were still rolling by, so I was still a bit wary of a cold wet blast. No matter, the magic of the river was pulling us to go in, and that dominated any other emotion. The morning rain cleared the humid air and the temperature dropped nicely. Two days earlier on our first float further down the river we seen abundant wildlife. Numerous striped bass, blue heron, king fisher, ducks, turtles, beaver, otter and more. The air was also teaming with dragonfly and butterfly. We expected the same this day and we were not disappointed. The water was swift on our first float, and I knew it would be even faster today. The slope of the river increases the further up you go. It was running perfect and slightly high. We anxiously sat in our canoe and shoved off. As we traveled down and picking up speed, I glanced back and I couldn’t get over how evident the downward slope of the river was? I wasn’t sure if it was an illusion or actual, but I almost felt I was on an escalator. We were moving at a great clip now. With patches of thick clouds still rolling by and cool air slipping over our skin we couldn’t stop smiling. Love this river! I barely had to use the oar to paddle, and mainly only used it as a steering device. Even in the widening flatter parts of the river we were moving at a good pace. On many occasions, I stood up. Standing gives a much greater vantage point when you look downward into the river. Of course, this made my wife a little a little nervous, so I was limited on this practice. This stretch of the river does have some tricky bits to negotiate from time to time. Large root wads and boulders sneakily hide just below the surface of the water, and so what looks like a harmless ripple from way back, can be a trap. After running a few little white caps through some twists in turns of the river, we heard an increasingly louder roar from around a coming bend. We had little time to react to what was lying ahead. The river straightened a bit, and I was standing once again to survey our choice of routes. The left bank had a narrow passage with deep roaring water slamming into the high hillside, and the white caps turned sharply with a hard right and out of sight. This canoe size wide passage had a very large round root wad the size of a car with another passage next to it. Next to the root wad and further right was a downed tree with large limbs spreading up and outward in all directions. Moving further right and just passed the middle of the river you could tell the river was starting to get very shallow as it moved to the right bank. This water was still running fast and hard, but you could start to see the surface gravel glisten in the sun. I almost chose that point of entry, but thought it might be to risky with the fast water pushing us into those tree limbs. I had to think fast now. I had to choose between going through the narrow passage of the tree and root wad, or the root wad and the hillside bank on the furthest left. Both options had their own unique peril. Now I had no choice but to commit. I chose between the root wad and tree. Just wide enough for our canoe to pass through, I told my wife to spread her feet wide for stability. I aimed our torpedo canoe to the  target. No turning back now we were being sucked in with uncontrollable speed. Everything at this point becomes sort of a blur because a large fear of flipping suddenly becomes very apparent. You just feel like a helpless baby at this point, and just hope for the best. The water was loud and ferocious as it slammed our vessel hard into the root wad kicking us hard right into a large tree limb to the right of us. The canoe first tipped hard left and then hard right. It was a balancing act with two rag dolls flailing wildly about in all directions. We were bouncing hard atop white water with it’s fierce loudness and anger. Telling us you don’t belong here. Feeling like a hocked loogie it kicked us out of it’s clutches and bellowed towards us not to try that again. Hearts still racing a little we were able to have a sigh of relief. That was a close one because we did nearly flip which would have been a disaster at that speed. With the humidity still lingering, there were at times real thick patches of mist floating on top of the water. The air was cool when we passed through them. Some would hauntingly climb up the hillsides off the river. The river is alive and it breathes. A lone blue heron standing about 2 feet tall stays just ahead of us soaring just inches above the water, it’s 6 foot wing span let’s it glide effortlessly above the water. King fisher dives into the river grasping fish along the way. Circling above us are a few buzzards. Not a flap in there wings, they just float on the rising thermals. As we sat listening to nature with not another person on this river with us, I was thinking. All the people going to the Caribbean, Australia, Europe and other exotic locations on this wonderful planet, and here we were on this magnificent river in our backyard. Yes…we made the right choice. It’s a beautiful day. What could be  Better ?! 🙂