September is fast upon us and you know what that means...Right, more inspiration for landscapes/seascapes like this to make their way onto canvas and into happy homes for never-ending enjoyment. Truth be told, I think there aren't too many things that qualify for such a description. One of them might be the love of a dog (actually you've got about 14 years max). Another might just be the sound of my favorite uncle's voice. He'll be in concert next month in Phoenix. Will I attend? Well, in all the years I've known him he has yet to send me a VIP invite and I don't expect him to start now. I know, he has no idea what he's missing by not hanging out with his estranged nephew. If we measured him in dog years that doesn't give him too much time to make things right. Regardless, I will keep painting...and remembering my old dog's faithfulness.
Sunday, August 30, 2009
Saturday, August 29, 2009
A happy meadow with content cows...doesn't get any better than this. I was reminiscing about the old days. Do you remember when there used to be all kinds of abandoned buildings everywhere? The countryside was peppered with little outbuildings, boarded up homesteads, defunct hamburger stands etc. The early-mid seventies was a kid's dream for breaking into old shacks and searching for collectibles and ...burnables. On the edge of this field I'm sure there's a dilapidated structure just waiting for exploration....unless of course these brash bovines already put a torch to it. I wouldn't put it past 'em. For sale on auction here.
Friday, August 28, 2009
I don't typically like high key paintings ...but I do find it somewhat therapeutic to express my inner angst...always comes out as bright and cheery. Well, maybe I'm not one to store up too much guilt and sorrow and unfulfilled dreams, crushed hopes and frustrated and fractured fantasies. But then again, what about that time...? and how about when...? Wow, I really do have some serious issues. Well, artist or not, I think all of us, could we lie down on the proverbial couch, would be able to come up with sufficient work for even the dullest of therapists. After Painter of Light and Cowboy Singer I think my next career choice would have been that of a friendly shrink. I imagine myself sitting there doodling in a sketch book, drawing pictures of cows and trees and writing down song lyrics and as my patients describe their inner turmoils I throw out little anecdotes and platitudes that make them feel better...and prescribe a healthy dose of reading the Psalms...Truly the most cathartic thing you can do is to read (out loud if you're able) the psalms of David. Make them your prayers and you will experience a soul-cleansing like you never thought possible. And, if that doesn't work...take a couple of Vicodin.
Wednesday, August 26, 2009
Getting our fill of piniferous aromas and ocular chlorophyll we hiked through many a stand of tall trees this summer. This view made it into perpetual perpitude as I permanently dedicated it to everlasting (almost) perpetuity by using archival pigments and acid free canvas substrate. It was a joy to paint these trees-descendants of the Ents...at least that's what they told me as I wrested one of my kids from the gnarled limbs of a particularly large and smelly one. Offered here for your continued enjoyment
Monday, August 24, 2009
Mid-summer and 50 degrees at the coast. That should be the name of this very cool new painting...near the mouth of the Rogue river in Oregon. The late sun blazed through the misty cold and was giving everything a bath in it's warm light, tinging with a golden lava glow all the colors. My fingers were getting so cold I could hardly work the camera. In the summertime... that ain't right.
This was a little tricky to paint but when finished...quite easy on the eyes. Available for your permanent collection here.
This was a little tricky to paint but when finished...quite easy on the eyes. Available for your permanent collection here.
Sunday, August 23, 2009
Once upon a time we lived in the American west- Billings, Montana to be exact. We ate wild game, we walked the trails that Lewis & Clark blazed and trained Lassie (Max was his real name) to rescue our kids from mountain lions and ...machine gun-toting gang bangers on the south side. I prefer to remember the Montana pictured here in this cool moonrise. Also, I prefer to remember ourselves as the beautiful young couple pictured with their budding family. The kids are now 20, 16 and 14. They have changed a lot. Carmen and I? Well, if you can believe it she is prettier and I am stronger. This painting is being offered on auction here.
PS. If you were worried about the kid that needed to be resuscitated in the previous entry fear not. He's pictured in my arms here...and is now bigger than his dad!
Saturday, August 22, 2009
Twenty years ago today the Vikings won a pre-season game on Monday night football against the Miami Dolphins (23-17). I stayed up late in the birthing room glued to the TV screen that was set at an odd angle up in the corner next to the ceiling. The curtains were teal blue and the walls were a soft pastel pinkish tan. I remember the corridor, I remember the lighting, I remember something about contractions and was hoping my first child's arrival wouldn't interrupt the game. What a relief it was when the final displayed a "W" for my team! Oh, and what?... we have a baby girl? I think I'll name her Marissa in honor of the win. I hear she was born at about 2 am and that I was there. I don't remember that part. Anyway, how can I be expected to recall the details of something that happened so long ago? Plus, I've had to witness other kids being born and I get all the details mixed up what with all the "Mr. Hawkins would you like to cut the umbilical chord?, Mr. Hawkins, would you like to swaddle your newborn? Mr. Hawkins, can you leave the room, your baby is not breathing and we have to get people in here "STAT" to resucitate him?" The painting of a field across the way from our friend's house in Oregon is for sale here.
Thursday, August 20, 2009
The tarantula was too small and agile for his own good. Had he been a bit larger (and slower) I would have let him live. As it was we were all gathered on the front porch and the southwest sun was goldifying the last few clouds on the western horizon. He scooted around the sandal-clad feet of our guests and headed for the ever-open front door. A spider of his caliber and renown should never act in such an undignified manner...I squashed him. We hardly ever see scorpions around here...maybe one or two each year. It kind of depends on your neighborhood whether you have a lot of them or not...same goes for giant cockroaches. Anyway, I have killed four scorpions in the house this summer,.. Add the tarantula and now I've only got to get me a rattler and I've bagged the Desert Three. Table Mesa is for sale here...kind of reminds me of my favorite dish ...Chicken Con Pollo.
Wednesday, August 19, 2009
Davey is starting to show his age. His muzzle is getting frosty and he trips sometimes descending the steps on his way to the shop. For years I have thought how nice it would be to have my favorite dog stuffed, sitting in the corner, his head cocked with that winsome inquisitive look good dogs are known for. It's halfway between bewilderment and joyful excitement at the possibility that master might be paying attention to me. There he'd set for perpetual head-patting enjoyment never needing a bath or a brushing...and never shedding again. The almost perfect pet. An on-line search for "pet preservation" came up with an array of morbid possibilities all of which convinced me that when it's Davey's time to go to that big ol' dog pound in the sky the best place for his remains will be...where the red fern grows. No, I don't think I want my best friend freeze dried forever, thank you. Here's the auction for this painting.
Tuesday, August 18, 2009
Rain's a' commin'. That's what you say when that familiar damp earth smell hits the nose and the memory synapses fire to bring you back to where you first recognized that aroma as something new and exciting...a portent of change for the better. Or, in my case, rainy afternoons stuck inside till you just couldn't take it anymore and you put on your rubber galoshes with those unbelievably inefficient black buckles. I know it might be hard for some folks from the northland (or anywhere there's black dirt) to not associate rain smells with the excitement of seeing and catching earthworms. The streets would fill with them and the puddles that formed along the curb would harbor their stinking forms for days after a good soaking. They are some of my very first and fondest memories and well, rain smells just don't have that wormy ingredient here in the desert. We do however, have a swamp cooler on our house. Actually, we have three. (You should pity the Tucson dweller that does not have air conditioning) They effectively bring in the outside air and cool it quite nicely when the humidity is low. But when there's been rain you find out why they're called swamp coolers. To me it's a beautiful reminisce every time my duct work sends out wafts and draughts of moist air that reeks of rotting worms. So you see, my kids haven't been completely deprived of childhood essentials just because we live in a desert. This writing relates directly with the painting pictured above.
Sunday, August 16, 2009
Crispy, crunchy creamy clouds- Words that at first blush don't seem to go together well but here they describe perfectly these wafting enigmas of ethereal effervescence. (as well as your favorite donut) This is being offered for sale at the place America loves to shop...and no, I'm not referring to Craig's list.
Saturday, August 15, 2009
Friday, August 14, 2009
This is how Mt. Shasta looks in the middle of summer. The area had just experienced some of the highest temperatures and still the snow remains. I had several views to choose from but liked this one from the west, southwest. This is available for sale at auction. See link top right.
Thursday, August 13, 2009
Thursday, August 6, 2009
Questions of the first order is what I've heard them called. They are the big questions, the why and how of existence. I grapple with them from time to time and I grappled about them the other day with a young man who fancied himself intellectual and a bit of a philosopher. Well, I'm by no means a mental giant but neither do I readily embrace cognitive dissonance as a practise. This young fellow was more than willing do that and it was discouraging and frightful to see and hear what passes for "reason" in some circles. Now before you get to thinking that I'm fixin' to pull myself up by my own bootstraps let me say that I comported myself in my usual humble and dignified manner ...worthy of the best self-effacing lambs out there. No, I take no joy in gloating my brain or it's prowess over others.(not that I have a lot of opportunity for that) It's just that sometimes the quantum physicist in me gets to cringing overmuch at the improbable theories foisted upon us continually by the modern media and intellectual elite; people who should know better. The details of the beliefs or lack thereof aren't what rankle as much as the quick and easy embracing of dishonesty. Truth on the inward parts...that's what God desires. King David prayed that God would keep him from secret sins...ones he wouldn't / couldn't even know. Now that is really peeling back the layers for some serious soul-searching...something that will bode well with anyone hoping to develop a systematic life philosophy. I for one have a hard enough time just looking in the mirror... which I do everyday as I paint. Seeing the picture in reverse gives fresh eyes and especially helps in the drawing and composition stages. How did I turn this mini rant into an art lesson? ...it's not the turpentine anymore for I now use odorless.
Wednesday, August 5, 2009
What do Johnny Cash and I have in common? Well, for one thing, we've both been to Folsom prison. Also, I can imitate him pretty good for being about half his size. I don't think he ever really had a chance to imitate me though. Too bad 'cause I think he would have done a bang-up job of it. I saw him at the Pine City fair sometime in the late 80's. My sister was working as a traveling gypsy selling leather goods to bikers as she followed the Midwest county fair circuit. I went to check up on her one time to make sure she wasn't involved with shifty drifters and down-on-their-luckers. It was mid-week, the middle of the day and it was hot and humid. I couldn't believe my luck when I heard Johnny's name announced over the loudspeaker. Hoping beyond hope and wishin' upon a star that I could somehow find my way into a grandstand that was sure to be full to capacity I hurried across the fairgrounds. To my amazement and dismay I found the place all but empty. No one in that whole dad-blamed county had the good sense or cultured taste to recognize a true American legend. Their loss was my front row gain. Turns out my sis was involved with the aforementioned drifters and pistol packers so I had to decline Johnny's invitation to join him on the road for a few shows. FYI, even though I missed my call in life to be in a cowboy band there ain't much in country music I like...Johnny, Roy, Merl and Willie are exceptions.
Yes, when it gets right down to it, I can be pretty dang funny. See picture above for proof. That's me in Chinatown, SF. with a new friend in a gift shop. Her only intelligible English word was "beautiful", which I took to mean she liked me in the Chinese cap and long braid. I was able to practise language skills heretofore never used to such an oriental extent and got on quite well with the natives. Thankfully the rest of our antics weren't recorded. We did purchase some trinkets hoping it might help mitigate any potential political unrest caused by whatever possible offensive cultural faux pas I might be guilty of. I almost bought some roosters and a peacock but thought better of it when I was reminded we still had 3 thousand miles to travel with 7 people in the car. I settled for some of the best dim sum I've ever tasted and a walk across the golden gate bridge. The painting pictured is for sale...saw a lot of scenery just like this all over central California.