I’ve always wanted to do a painting of Alley Springs Mill, but I wasn’t sure on what kind of mood I wanted for it. Then it kind of hit me with Halloween coming. I decided to do a ghostly, haunting theme. It’s not quite night as the sun rays fall on the mill and the moon rises above the bluff. An unworldly set of tiger eyes pierces through the trees. Just staring and waiting for the impending darkness. I think I created an uneasy beauty with this theme. It took me awhile to get this one done because I wrestled with how I was going to create the mood. I almost left the tiger eyes out, but then decided to go with them. I hope it was the right decision. This painting is done on 4 pine planks glued together.
Category Archives: Bluffs
Big Piney River Frog Gigging
Recently, my oldest son and his fiancee, my niece and her fiancee did a float trip on the Big Piney River. When my son posted some great pics of their trip, I asked him if I could use one to make a painting. The painting here is when my son snapped a pic of my niece’s fiancee standing at the river’s edge watching the frog giggers light up the other side of the river bank. The beam of white light freezes the frogs stare, so they can gig them with their long spears. I’ve been on the river myself watching people gig for frogs. As they troll up river, the echoing sound of the flat boat motors bounces off the bluffs in the thick black night. It’s a sensory experience to behold. Their brilliantly strong spot lights pierces the darkness with ease. The bull frogs eyes glow in the blinding white light. They freeze like statues, and then with a swift gig their fate has ended. I made this painting on two small pine planks glued together.
New Day Current River
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.
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.
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.