With this painting my mind harkened back to when we went to Colorado on vacation a little over a year ago. The scenery is a hodgepodge of photos we took. Part of that trip we stayed in Estes Park. This is a stunning area of the Rocky Mountain National Park, and it’s loaded with Elk. I guess I wanted to make a tribute to the magnificent Elk standing majestically in the cool crisp Rocky Mountain air. It is a beautiful animal, and I don’t know what the painting commands most? The attention of the Elk or the scenery? I made this painting on three pine board planks.
I call this painting Sky Chess. Ever since I was a little kid I have always loved the game of Chess. I have been wanting to paint something about Chess. Little things came to me here and there, but I was having trouble coming up with an interesting Chess theme. Then I figured why not just go all in and make something grand. This painting is a mix of my imagination, reality and fantasy. The water falls, bluffs, trees and parts of the mountains are all reality. They are from pictures I took from state parks in Tennessee. Of course, the chess board rising out of the water, and both the sun and the moon out at the same time is from my imagination and from ideas I had seen on the internet. The raven and dove are the Chess adversaries. Black is in check and the end game ensues with both birds locked in battle. The fantasy is dark v.s. light, good v.s. evil. Winning and losing are at stake on Mother Nature’s world stage. At the moment Black is in check. As I said, I love the game of Chess and this painting is my tribute to it! I made this painting on three pine board planks. It took me a long time to finish this, but I’m pleased with the time I spent creating and completing it. I hope you like it as well.
Penelope and Louis are at it again. In my last painting, they found themselves in the desert. This is the third in a series. After playing in the desert sand they made their way east to Fall Creek Falls State Park. Although Penelope and Louis are a figment of my imagination this location is not. It is very much a real location. Piney Falls is one of many in this Park. The noise of the falls, and the peace and beauty surrounding it make it a great destination for our two love birds. Their artic snowy memories have faded into wooded bliss, and so they will stay awhile and relax. World Penguin Day is April 25th. Crazy I know. But hey, it helps me with coming up with silly painting ideas. This painting was painted on three pine board planks.
A tropical dream. A day dream floating in space. I wanted a painting with a tropical bird. Water seemed to be a natural pick for the background. Then I thought maybe a young version of my wife and I could fit in somewhere as well. And so, I came up with this wild setting. A dream world where two people gaze upon a beautiful colorful bird suspended in a made up tropical world. My imagination gets the best of me sometimes. I just went with it, and let it run its course. Go with the flow as they say. This painting is made on three pine planks glued together.
During some years, for about two weeks in mid to late February, the setting sun creates a mesmerizing deep orange glow phenomenon when it strikes Horsetail Fall. This is a small waterfall that flows over the eastern edge of El Capitan in Yosemite National Park. El Capitan is a majestic enormous rock face, and a favorite of rock climbers. The fierce orange glow of the fall is caused by just the right conditions like water flows, clouds and temperature. The natural effect gives the illusion that intense bright orange lava is cascading off the cliff of El Capitan. Timing is everything when the angle of the setting sun causes the light to hit the waterfall just right.
When I lived in California for a total of nine years my family and I frequented Yosemite as much as we could. In fact, we camped there for an entire week on one occasion. I can understand why John Muir spent almost entire life there. In my opinion, its one of my top places to see on the entire planet.
I painted this on two small cedar planks. I added a snowy owl because it just felt right. I hope you enjoy the painting, and of course I always look for feedback. Good, Bad and Ugly.
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.
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.
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.
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.