With the Covid Pandemic there has been upheaval in everyone’s lives. During this past year I took a break from my wood canvas art paintings. Just recently, I decided to explore art again. I do absolutely love working with wood and painting, and combining the two for me is rewarding. My oldest son back in 2000 hiked the Appalachian Trail. It inspired me to try a different art form. 3D art I guess you would call it. The piece you see here only has about $15 in materials, but I know could sell it for many times that. The laired panels to create the 3D look is just from a 1/8″ piece of wood panel which I bought at a big box store for about $6. I just cut it to make it look like mountains and then sanded and painted them. The frame is just repurposed from an old ugly painting it once held that I bought from a second hand store. The cutouts of the hiker, trees and moon were bought on-line for cents on the dollar. The cutouts are bare wood, so I painted them with the colors that I thought would best suit the picture. The creation is just a labor of love for my son and what he accomplished. I presented it and gave it to him last week, and he absolutely loved it. I don’t know what is more rewarding, making art or giving it away. Anyway, I just thought I would share it here, and welcome any comments.
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.
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.
One of my Nieces (Michelle), told me she likes elephants. So, I decided to paint one for her. These are indeed incredible animals. I basically only used three colors. Black, White and Antique Gold (for the sun on the elephant and African prairie grass. This painting is on two small pine planks glued together.
I did this painting for my wife’s sister Adri. My wife and Adri are from Holland, so it wasn’t hard for me to come up with something to paint for her. The Dutch windmill is iconic. Most people immediately know that this kind of windmill scene represents Holland. Early on in my blog I did a windmill painting for my wife. I made one on two pine planks glued together.
This painting is of Penelope and Louis Hiking. It’s the 8th painting of them in a series I am doing. I used to small pine planks glued together for the canvas.
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.
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″.
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.
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