This is my 7th painting of Penelope and Louis penguin adventures. This time they find themselves in the African plains. This painting was inspired by my 8 year old grandson who says he wants to be a zoologist when he grows up. He asked me…”Grandpa can you paint the penguins in Africa?” He loves everything animals! How could I say no. I did this painting on 3 pine board planks.
Who doesn’t love a couple of Donkeys on the farm? Why did I paint these two? I don’t know, it just felt right at the time. Besides I know a couple of people who love donkeys, and so I did this painting for them. I used two small pine board planks for this painting.
A challenge and a victory. Hiking the Knife Edge Trail to Chimney Peak on Mount Katahdin Maine. Like the game of Chess it takes strategic moves. I did this painting for my oldest son. I combined his love of Chess and hiking into one little painting. It is a reminder and tribute to him for tackling the Appalacian Trail back in the year 2000. This is small wood canvas measuring only 5″ X 7″.
My brother-In-Law (Brother), Ray asked me to do a painting for him. I asked him what kind? He said something military. Since we were stationed together on the same base in Europe 40 years ago this would be something I could do that we both would feel good about. The first fighter I ever worked on was the F-4 Phantom, so I almost went with that for my center piece of the painting. But, my favorite fighter was the F-15 Eagle which I also worked on after the F-4. I decided to go with the F-15. Of course, since it’s called the Eagle I decided to also include it’s depiction. Since we both were in the Air Force and are Veterans I also decided to word it in the painting with a Red, White and Blue theme. For anyone who knows the F-15 it was known for it’s full after burner max climbs, as it corkscrewed through the clouds. It’s engines capable of producing 50,000 pounds of thrust easily propelled this fighter jet with sheer brute force. I never tired of watching it over the years I worked on it. Loud and proud…it was and still is an excellent bird! Thank you Ray for your service. Go Air Force! I made this painting on three pine planks glued together.
The Conqueror Eagle
The determined fierce conqueror eagle is unafraid as he commands the dark skies. He thrusts his strong wings through a perilous epic journey. His quest is towards calmer blue clouds. He will succeed and not be defeated by the turbulent storm winds that engulfs him. He will win out and soon be able to soar free on more peaceful heavens. I almost didn’t complete this painting. It wasn’t coming out the way I wanted it to. Through the middle of it, I completely changed directions by making it a more mystical piece. I made it on four pine planks glued together.
The graceful dolphin’s arched leap over the sun catches the fading light that will soon turn into night. My wife likes owls and hummingbirds. She also likes dolphins and whales. This painting is for her. I did this painting in one day on three pine board planks glued together.
My wife and I just floated the Current River, and I felt inspired to do another painting of it. It was a great float! I decided to go with a bright pink and orange sky, and a huge morning sun. The river winds around the bluff on the left, and is complimented with a large gravel bar on the right. Great place to pull up the canoe and have a morning dip. The Ozark Mountains up ahead. The morning air is cool with spring fed water that’s crystal clear. We go with the flow. Made this painting with two small pine wood planks.
Imagine on a sunny day standing on this pier. A cool ocean breeze slips across your skin. The blue-grey water gently moves back and forth below your feet. Reluctantly, you leave to return another day. While away…BOOM! This pier is under siege. Darkened skies, massive swells, lighting and thunder and a freakish gigantic wave develops. The world around this pier is in chaos. The pier like many times before will endure this drama, violent turmoil and unrest that seemingly won’t end. The pier will stand strong in adversity. Another day awaits. A beautiful, serene calmness will surround the pier again. We as humans are in many ways like this pier. Our daily lives can be filled with peace, love and harmony. But, in an instant our world can be turned upside down in an upheaval of unwelcome noise, darkness and uncertainty. The pier is me. The pier is you. The pier to me represents what we as humans face throughout our lives. I left a hint of blue sky in the upper left corner of this painting. It gives hope of what was and what will be in brighter days ahead. For me, this small space of calm gives the biggest message in an otherwise dominant mixture of anarchy and disorder. This tiny blue space within all of us reminds us that when we are experiencing dark and unhinged feelings there will be peace forthcoming. Keep the faith and hope alive inside you when your world is turned upside down. I made this painting on 4 pine planks glued together.
I did two other theme paintings like this one. They are titled “The Barn” and “The Dividing Line”, and they can be seen within this blog.
P.S I am sober eight years now. There was a time I was a functioning alcoholic. I was in a constant state of clouded numbness filled with anger and regret. Freeing myself from the bottle has heightened my creativity with painting. I wrote a poem years ago after some very dark days. Looking in the mirror and not liking that person very much I made a decision to stop the hurt I inflicted on others and to myself. That person is gone now and he is not allowed back into my life.
Alcohol was my downward spin
It was my friend that helped me sin
The juice took its toll on my role
Now I repent and mend and give hope to my soul
As a husband, a dad and granddad I’m glad
I am proud and at the same time sometimes I’m sad
I have changed as I live with regret its true
I hope my good replaces the bad I gave you
I wish I knew then what I know now
I’ve caused some hurt, anger and pain that’s foul
I no longer place blame on my old deceitful friend
Calm and peace is now my trend
It’s taken me years…I was a man astray
I thought I knew who I was…now I pay
I was weak from the juice and standing in my own way
I clearly see now and hold a new day
As I write this poem I want to weep
I can’t turn the clock back so I must keep
Bad childhood memories started my rue
Like with my dad the juice made me a fool too
Getting older makes me wiser I’ve seen
I’m only human and am no longer mean
I’ve changed my path and bettered myself
I focus only on family, time, love and health
My heart has ached with a piece of it empty
So I have learned to fill it with love and be true plenty
I’m a better man…you will see I am new
So please give me a chance and I will prove it to you
To me something about sunrises and sunsets have a calming effect. The anticipation of a new day or the satisfaction of a day well spent. The geese fly west…southwest towards the extinguishing light. The lake is like glass in the still of the night, and soon the night will consume the horizon’s red glow. Peace, serenity and calm. That is what this painting represents to me. I made this painting in one day. That includes cutting, gluing and sanding the wood canvas made of 3 pine board planks.
One of my favorite places on earth is the Missouri Ozarks. People come from all over the world to float it’s rivers. Of all the rivers there that I have floated, my all time pick has to be the Current River. It’s gravel bars, caves, bluffs and the river itself teaming with wildlife makes it hard to beat. In this painting the river divides temporarily by a center gravel bar. Looking back from the canoe towards the large tree in the center, you can make a choice to float down the left or right side of the gravel bar. The painting shows the canoe resting on the other side of the river on another gravel bar. The occupants chose to come down the left side. but as we look into the painting this would be on the right. Looking back at the amazing bluffs on either side, the canoe made a long sweeping turn on the right side of the painting, and came to rest before launching over a small rapid. It’s a good place on a hot summer day to grab a snack and beverage and look up river from where you just came from. The summer sky, the rushing water and magnificent bluffs can fill your senses. It’s personal to me because I have floated this river countless times since I was a teenager. I’m 60 now, and hope I have many more floats in me. It never gets old. This painting is a compilation of my many memories to reflect several aspects of the river. It’s hard to compact all aspects in one painting. That said this painting makes me want to go back and “Go With The Flow”. I made the painting on three pine planks.