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.
I call this painting Owl Mountain. My wife loves owls, and we both love nature. I wanted to paint a painting dedicated to owls for her. I didn’t want to just paint a single owl. I wanted this painting to exploit owls in some kind of new way. At first, I couldn’t figure out how to do that. I was having painter’s block. I wanted to be outside the box on this one.
Then one day, out of nowhere it had hit me. We recently took a trip to Colorado, and the Rocky Mountains and Pikes Peak were still fresh in my mind. This is how I came up with Owl Mountain. I wanted to combine a mountain range with some owls. So, I started to formulate a plan for the scene in my head. All kinds of thoughts started to pour in. This painting is a culmination of those ideas. These are not the Rocky Mountains. They are made from my thoughts only. A fictitious place dedicated to owls.
The owls are actually part of the mountains, like the wood I paint on is part of the art. When you think of it, this isn’t to odd. Presidents are carved into Mount Rushmore, so to me (albeit weird), this wasn’t to out of the ordinary. This mountain pays tribute to owls in a grand and unusual way. Frankly, if there was such a place…I would like to visit. All said and done, I accomplished what I set out to do I think. My wife thinks so as well, and she really loves this painting. Satisfied. I can now move on to my next painting quest.
After camping here for a week with my wife in May of 2015, I decided to do a painting of Cane Creek Falls. This state park (Fall Creek Falls), is nothing short of spectacular. In fact, it’s hard to believe a it’s only a state park. In my opinion it could be a national park. It’s located in Tennessee and it’s massive with over 26,000 acres. There are six major waterfalls located within it. In the foreground of this painting is Cane Creek Cascades. Cane Creek Falls is in the distance, and its not even the largest falls there (85 feet). That title belongs to Fall Creek Falls (256 feet), and its the tallest water falls east of the Mississippi. This place is absolutely amazing. Beautiful hiking trails, a lake, lodge, vistas and abundant camp grounds. This is just one painting of it. I could do 30 paintings of this park, and not even scratch the surface depicting it’s beauty!
I enjoyed doing this painting because of the time of day approaching sunset. The orange sky splashed on the trees and water nicely. If you are looking to paint something for the first time, you just can’t go wrong painting nature. I didn’t use cedar planks this time. I used pine planks. They are basically the same as far as dimensions, but the wood is a little heavier, but its also smoother. For me cedar or pine do very well for my canvas. I won’t paint on anything else for now.
Since I started painting again this year (2016), this painting is #16. I’m going to keep running with it and see where it goes. I’m practicing for retirement. Like I said in other parts of this blog, I’m just trying to show that the wood canvas is part of the art, and I’m trying to encourage that anyone can give painting a try. I have absolutely no training is this. I’m simply winging it with my own painting style. I don’t care if it’s right or wrong. I’m just going with the flow, or in this case with and against the grain. If I can do this, anyone can. There is one problem I am having now though. I’m running out of wall space to hang the paintings. Oh well, I guess I’ll just start stock piling them somewhere or give them away to anyone who wants them. I hope you enjoy the falls. It’s a great place to escape.
I did this painting for an amazing clothing company based out of St. Louis, MO. They are called The Normal Brand http://www.thenormalbrand.com. If you visit their website you will discover why by reviewing their blog, customer pics, testimonies and of course the clothing itself. They have a terrific clothing line catering mainly to everywhere in the Midwest. One of their sayings is “Life In The Middle”. That said their brand can be found in retail outlets coast to coast. I met their founder and some of his staff, and all I can say is they are some real genuine and fantastic folks who are taking the clothing world by storm.
Now, as to why I did this painting for them. I actually heard about The Normal Brand through a local TV News Story on how they are taking their clothing line to incredible heights. As I looked a little deeper into how they started back in 2015 I got hooked. They are already getting accolades from celebrities like Jennifer Lopez to Terry Bradshaw to John Hamm and more. It was pretty impressive on how the founder started very small in such a short period. They also have been in a ton of magazines and news stories across the nation. But, what really impressed me is they are so down to earth and approachable. I liked their clothing, and I especially liked their “In The Middle” theme. So, with that I was inspired to make a painting for them.
My painting style is sort of also in the middle. Like The Normal Brand I am trying to share something a little new and different in a world saturated with what appears to be NORMAL. As I said, painting on wood is not new, but my style and usage of a different kind of wood canvas makes my art a little in the middle too. So, it’s my new normal. I wanted to depict their brand in this painting in such a way that it would all tie into the middle theme. The silhouette of a man fishing is my youngest son who I love dearly. He is an amazing person. He is one of those people that if you met him for the first time, you would instantly like him. I have a lot of respect for him and I’m not just saying that because I am his dad. The image of him fishing is from a photograph his mom took of him back in 2012. For me, this was the perfect center piece image of the painting. As you can see the fishing line is connecting everything together to include the sayings… “Life In The Middle”, “The Midwest” and “Embrace It”.
This was a fun project for me. The company’s founder Jimmy Sansone has it hanging in their place of work where he and his staff see it everyday. That is rewarding to me. It justifies in my mind that what I am doing is worthy. As an amateur artist I question my abilities. The hardest part of making a painting to me is putting my signature at the bottom when it is complete. I’m my own worst critic, and I say to myself is this painting really complete? Did I miss something? Could I have made something different or better? Will anyone who sees it think it is good? I could go on and on. I say these things not to discourage anyone from maybe giving painting a try. It’s just part of the painting process. So, don’t be to hard on yourself when you try something new. Give it a shot. Pick up a paint brush, a guitar, a saw or whatever, and discover the power of creating something. For me, it’s therapy, escapism, fun. Free your mind with it.
This painting is quite large (4 feet long x 2 feet high). It’s a depiction of what I remember from the current river. This river I have floated what seems like a hundred times in my lifetime. There are many high bluffs along its path. There are a few caves and trails along its many miles. Birds like King Fisher, Great Blue Heron, Hawks, Owls and Buzzards are also plentiful. The clear spring water contains a variety of fish as well. There are snakes and turtles and beaver too. It’s a beautiful river, so it was easy for me to paint from memory. Spending several days with some overnight camping on its gravel bars is a wonderful experience. Did you notice I even put a fire at the bottom left of the painting? I have dedicated this painting to my dear niece Angie, who also floated this river on many occasions. The canoe in the painting has the number 47 painted on its bow. It represents the age of Angie who unexpectedly and tragically passed while I was painting this. I do get a little emotional when I look at it. I love it for the river of course, but now I always think of Angie when I see it. Love you Angie. Always and Forever….Uncle Kevin.
This painting is for one of my great nephews (Donovan). He is the son of my niece who I painted a Panda for. He likes fish. So, I decided to paint some Alaskan King Salmon making their way. To me at a distance the water below the fins of the fish appears to be moving. It’s just another unintentional optical illusion. I also left the top of the painting unpainted to leave the exposed wood. About an inch of it shown. The knotty grain enhances this painting real well I think.