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 ?! 🙂

Penguins Heart On The Beach

Penquins Heart On The Beach

This is my fourth painting in a series of Penelope and Louis. World Penguin Day is coming up on 25 April 2017, so I wanted a special painting of them on their day. By facing each other and holding their flippers they created a heart. I will call this painting Penguins Heart On The Beach. It is painted on three pine board planks. The beach is the unpainted wood, and I glued on some sea shells for an added effect. Hope you enjoy the painting.

Penguins at Piney Falls

Penguins at Piney Falls

Penelope and Louis are at it again. In my last painting, they found themselves in the desert. This is the third in a series. After playing in the desert sand they made their way east to Fall Creek Falls State Park. Although Penelope and Louis are a figment of my imagination this location is not. It is very much a real location. Piney Falls is one of many in this Park. The noise of the falls, and the peace and beauty surrounding it make it a great destination for our two love birds. Their artic snowy memories have faded into wooded bliss, and so they will stay awhile and relax. World Penguin Day is April 25th. Crazy I know. But hey, it helps me with coming up with silly painting ideas. This painting was painted on three pine board planks.

Tropical Dream

Tropical Fantasy

A tropical dream. A day dream floating in space. I wanted a painting with a tropical bird. Water seemed to be a natural pick for the background. Then I thought maybe a young version of my wife and I could fit in somewhere as well. And so, I came up with this wild setting. A dream world where two people gaze upon a beautiful colorful bird suspended in a made up tropical world. My imagination gets the best of me sometimes. I just went with it, and let it run its course. Go with the flow as they say. This painting is made on three pine planks glued together.

“Fire Fall” An Amazing Illusion

fire-fall

During some years, for about two weeks in mid to late February, the setting sun creates a mesmerizing deep orange glow phenomenon when it strikes Horsetail Fall. This is a small waterfall that flows over the eastern edge of El Capitan in Yosemite National Park. El Capitan is a majestic enormous rock face, and a favorite of rock climbers. The fierce orange glow of the fall is caused by just the right conditions like water flows, clouds and temperature. The natural effect gives the illusion that intense bright orange lava is cascading off the cliff of El Capitan. Timing is everything when the angle of the setting sun causes the light to hit the waterfall just right.

When I lived in California for a total of nine years my family and I frequented Yosemite as much as we could. In fact, we camped there for an entire week on one occasion. I can understand why John Muir spent almost entire life there. In my opinion, its one of my top places to see on the entire planet.

I painted this on two small cedar planks. I added a snowy owl because it just felt right. I hope you enjoy the painting, and of course I always look for feedback. Good, Bad and Ugly.

The Barn

 

The Barn

I call this painting “Life…There Is Light After The Darkness”.

This painting is one of my first, and its located on my main page of Word Press. I wanted  to add it over here on my Blog side of Word Press along with my other paintings. Its a fairly large painting on six cedar wood planks measuring 20 inches wide by 30 inches long.

The left side of the painting represents the turmoil and storms we have as we go through our life’s journey. The right side of the painting represents the happiness, love and peace throughout ones life. It gives hope and light after you have been struck down in the darkness. The Barn is the focal point. To me it represents humans. No matter what is thrown at you to tear you down, to break you with grief, pain and sadness the human condition can win out. The barn will not be crushed in the aftermath of immense destruction, and  you CAN shine on and stand tall through it all with hope, happiness, freedom, love and a sense of calm, peace and inner strength.

Salmon Fishing Reflections

salmon-fishing

I made this painting for my good friend Don whom I’ve known for 40 years as of this year 2017. Don, since I know you love Salmon fishing, I decided to make a painting for you. Besides, what is the point of painting if you can’t share it with the people special to you in your life. I really racked my brain on what I wanted to paint, and then it just came to me. This painting is on two small cedar planks. Hope you like it Don, and I will have it in the mail to you soon. I wish I could hand deliver it, but Oregon is little far for me right now. I will be there to see you some time though, so have an extra pole and lures ready for me! Your friend for life…Kevin 

P.S I learned from the first photo of taking this painting to not take it in artificial light. The detail of the painting won’t come out as good and it won’t have a yellow sheen to it. I retook the photo in natural light and it made a much better picture I think.