When I was in the Air Force, I worked on many types of aircraft to include HH-53 Helicopters and even the Space Shuttle carrier. But, by far my most favorite aircraft of them all that I worked on was the F-15 Eagle. It’s just an amazing aircraft in many ways and has stood the test of time of decades. This painting is my tribute to it.
NOTE: After I finished this painting, I noticed a figure in the clouds. It was totally unintentional, but there it was. It’s a figure of a man’s face staring down. The face image is above the right wing near the orange color. Do you see it? You can clearly see the nose, eyes, hair and beard. When I showed my wife, she said she didn’t see it at first, but seen something else that I didn’t see. A large figure of a man saluting above and behind the plane. He is wearing a military dress hat. His arm extends left and then back to his brow saluting. His arm is overly large, but it clearly shows a salute. Do you see it? Again, this was totally unintentional. Then my son found another image in the clouds. It appears to be a man’s head staring down to the bottom of the lightning bolt crashing around the white cloud. The man’s head is right to the left of the nose of the plane. I guess something was speaking through my hands when I created these clouds. Weird…eh?
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 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.
I call this painting Eagle Over The Smoky Mountains. The Smoky Mountains bring mysterious, peaceful and sometimes haunting images throughout the hours. It all depends on temperature and time of day and evening. The mist blanketing the mountains is something to behold. I remember traveling and camping here as a kid with my parents. It’s something once you see, you never forget. The eagle threads his way atop and along the horizon. This is a small painting on two pine board planks. Even though the canvas is small, this little painting packs a colorful punch and rivals any large paintings I have done. I’m completing this painting on the last day of the year 2017. As we soar into 2018, I’m thankful to be able to paint, and to all of you who have looked at my work. I wish all of you the very best in the coming year!
I have dedicated this painting to the Super Moon. I call it “Super Moon Over Missouri Wetlands”.
While Super Moons aren’t unusual, having three back to back to back in one year is. These three occurred October 16th, November 14th and December 14th, 2016.
The biggest of three Super Moon events was on November 14th. That hasn’t happened since 1948! The next Super moon of this magnitude will happen again after 18 years on Nov. 25th, 2034. The next Super Moon will be next year on December 3rd, 2017. The closest Super Moon of the century will occur on December 6th, 2052. If I make it that long I will be 95 years old. Yikes! I have no idea the next time when there will be three in one year?
I’m from Missouri, and wanted to showcase a part of its land diversity that doesn’t get much attention…the wetlands. So, I chose the wetlands of Missouri to be the back drop for the Super Moon. I think Missouri is better known for its rolling hills and bluffs of the Ozarks. Missouri has eight types of natural wetlands: swamps, shrub swamps, forested wetlands, marshes, wet meadows, fens and seeps, pond and lake borders and stream banks. I sort of blended some of these together.
I also included an eagle and green heron ( related to the blue heron), in it. The eagle has his eye on the heron snagging a fish. The scene is fictitious, but in my mind it plays out. I have seen plenty of blue herons on the many Ozark river float trips I have taken, and there are plenty of eagles to be seen in Missouri as well. This is the wonder of painting. The act of creating anything you want. I try to mix both realistic and made up scenarios when I paint.
I wasn’t sure how it was going to end up looking, because I made the scene up as I went and wasn’t really sure where I was going with it? That is the other fun part of painting for me. Just letting things unfold as it comes. I’m happy with the outcome. I used three long pine planks for this project. This is my final painting for 2016. I did 23 paintings since February. Thank you to everyone who have seen them, and especially to those who made comments as well. I appreciate the feedback.
The American bald eagle. What an amazing creature. I just had to paint this guy. I made up the background, but I was inspired by the infinity pool I had seen when I was at Johnson Shut-Ins two weeks ago. The eagle is in action eyeing his river prey. Soon he will have his fish in his mighty claws. No escape. I used seven cedar wood planks in vertical fashion. I wanted to enhance the river violently going over the falls, and thought by placing the wood planks vertically that it might help? I’m not sure it helped at all, but I don’t think it hurt either. It’s a fictious scene for sure, but I think it’s not to far off the mark. A similar situation may play out on any day in Alaska for instance. There are many Bald Eagles nesting near where I live here in the American midwest. There are also many eagle watching places and days here to spot this magnificent animal. Mainly in the spring, fall and winter months. For me, painting nature in action is my favorite subject. I’m still learning how to splash acrylic paint around together to learn what it does. It dries fast, so you sort of have to be quick with your decision of what you want from it. Again, I’m no teacher on the subject. Quite the opposite. I’m just trying to encourage anyone looking at my paintings that maybe some day they could give it a try. Of course, you will mess up, but like anything else with each try it builds a little more confidence to try again. You might surprise yourself on your abilities. Over thirty years ago I started out with water colors and poster boards. That medium doesn’t cost a lot of money if cost is a concern. For that matter acrylic isn’t that expensive either. Oil painting is a different story and it will eat you alive. Back then, living in the military on base with a couple small kids it was a concern. So, painting with water color was a cheap and fun outlet for me. Then I got away from it for decades until this year where I have gone ape painting on wood with acrylic paint. I never knew my love for wood would be incorporated with painting. Glad I stumbled on it. So, whoever is looking at this, consider grabbing a paint brush and let your imagination flow through your hands. For me it makes me look at the world through a sharper lens. I find myself focusing more on what a cloud looks like or a tree or whatever. Stuff that we just take for granted on a daily basis all of sudden comes alive a little more. Like the blog says….Shine On, and don’t be dulled by what others think.