Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Rocky Mountain Way 24x24

I was only joking about bagging the desert "big five". Someone misunderstood me 'cause the four foot venom-fanged devil was coiled at my front door shaking his tail with such gusto that Carmen nearly knocked me over as we both instinctively leaped out of striking range.
He would have been a trophy specimen to me about 30 years ago (pre-desert dwelling) but Sunday night as we approached the "safety" of our cottage at 8 pm, peacefully strolling arm in arm, he was a menace and a diabolical sign of the evil that comes too close for comfort in these modern times. He was literally right on the stoop waiting to slaughter us there where we stood, or stepped, as it were. And but for our "spidey sense" and quick reflexes this would just be a post-mortem report. A deftly placed .17 cal. pellet was all it took to dispatch the serpent and send him into the lake of fire. Eddie is a good shot and the multi-rattled tail is proudly displayed in the girl's room. My friend Warren asked me the other day if he could send me some pics from Montana to paint. I obliged him with this cool mountain view (above) ...being offered on auction this week here.

Sunday, September 27, 2009

River Dance (Redwing) 24x24

I've been building some paintings lately on 24x24 canvases. I am finding this size quite enjoyable for composing landscapes...think I'll keep it in the rotation. This river view is of my true Alma mater. (soul mother) Most people refer to a college or university when using this little Latin phrase. I however, being the genuine scholar that I am, (?) use it in the truest and purest sense. Short of incubating in it's belly for nine months of gestation, I spent all my formative and educative years suckling her nectar, feeding on her crayfish, wallowing in her mud and cavorting in her current. It's been a while since the Mississippi has made it into the pantheon of my subjects but, truth be told, I think one could easily spend an entire lifetime depicting the river in all her splendiferous glory. Alas, my religious zeal and affections for her beauty have been
co-opted by a life-stream whose course has drawn me farther and farther away from her silty shores. Someday I hope to wash my feet in her murky milk, never more to roam.

Saturday, September 26, 2009

River Boat 24x18

Here's a little change of pace for your ocular enjoyment. Could this be the Amazon? The Seine, the Rogue or the mighty Mississippi? You guess the river and ...maybe I will surprise you with a gift of some sort. Or maybe I'll just be quietly awestruck with your impressive powers of divination. (That's the word we use to say "guess" in Spanish by the way.) A friend sent me this image...a photo from a fairly exotic place...I've never been there but I have killed a crocodile.

Friday, September 25, 2009

Wuthering Heights 36x24

I think there should be a fraternal order of cloud painters. I get a lot of correspondence from artists that have their heads in them (the clouds) and it has me wondering if there isn't something primal about looking up. I was on a zealous tear the other night expounding my own private heresies to a semi-permanent captive audience. (my family) For the most part they are on-board with my somewhat passionate view of the return of the Lord Jesus. It's not that I have set ideas about the when and where it's just that I find it immensely encouraging to contemplate...not scary and fearful, just curiously encouraging. My daughter asked how we would know it's really Him when He comes. Good question. "Take heart that no one deceive you (saying "Look, he's over there", or "he's inside here") for just as the lightening comes from the east, and flashes even to the west, so shall the coming of the Son of man be". That's pretty awesome imagery. In another place He says, "The Son of Man is coming on the clouds of the sky with power and great glory". So, here you have all the ingredients necessary for artistical fanaticism. Don't worry, I'm not about to start painting The Last Supper and angels...(haven't seen many of those) Besides, I have yet to make a cloud worthy of the above-mentioned occasion. It's just that there is something that goes way, way back in our little psyches that causes us to look up...maybe it's the imprint of that first colorful mobile dangling above little Billy in his crib back in 1962. Or maybe, in this tarnished old world, we are all looking for beauty beyond description...the sky comes close.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009


Here's a trio of paintings. These should be as easy on the pocketbook as they are on the eyes, no? Not too often the case with fine art but here you can find it that way...hopefully. I know a lot of folks who can't just walk into a high-falutin' gallery and lay down 2 or 3k for a pretty picture. That's why we serve humanity glorious helpings of artistical goodness and everlasting renditions of beautiferous bounty for the otherwise bare and drab walls that surround us. Next to reading a good book I recommend the enjoying of visual art...after, of course, ...time spent fishing.

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Above 9000 24x30

A stylish view of our little mountain range here in Catalina, AZ. This was an easy one to work out (I look at these everyday)...One thing you must do if you have a skyscape with a lot of clouds is anchor them by establishing shadows. When you can show defined shadows it makes the picture more solid, more believable, thus, "anchoring" the clouds. For sale here.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Boy with Dog 30x24

This is Eddie and Davey walking north from the house. They were on their way to try out their skateboard skills at an abandoned slab of concrete a few doors down from our place.(yes, the dog too) and but for a rebellious camera and it's fumbling operator I would have been with them and never would've captured this picture. Davey, being the faithful friend that he is, is here shown displaying his divided loyalties. "Do I go with Master number one, the true Alpha-leader of the pack (me) or do I stay with fast Eddie, the funnest boy-master a dog ever had?" As you can see, the dog is closer to the boy and even though he continued to cast anxious glances my way never really turned tail and came home to papa. Spurned once again and relegated to the ranks of sulking artist alone in the studio with my imaginary muse making up pretty pictures so I won't feel so alone, I purposed to make this one to remember. I should probably keep it since I've never painted my first-born boy child before this. Alas, the child must is for sale here.

Monday, September 14, 2009

24x36 Roseburg

The Umpqua valley near Roseburg, Or. These are the shapes that most capture my eye, second only to clouds and water. It's foliage in all it's unrivaled splendor, green or dry, short or tall, but especially in, trees, that most readily grab my attention. I would like to know them better. A few have spoken to me over the years. Not often and not with many words mind you but remember, the Ents don't believe anything is worth saying unless it takes a long time to say. Yes, there are those who talk to animals ...and there are those of us who converse with the woods. I used to be able to do a sort of Vulcan mind meld with woodwork. Just by touching and caressing, especially an unfinished piece of milled lumber or furniture, I could feel and sense the inner workings of the cosmos through the fibers and grains. Therein lie hidden secrets of the ancient world many of which remain heretofore undiscovered. Alas, I have all but lost the touch. Anymore a piece of wood to me is just a stick for building a frame or paddling a kid. Sorry to let you down. This great scene, however, will not let you down...being offered on auction at our favorite on-line community marketplace.

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Red Sky At Night 24x24

When you've taken the life of as many creatures as I have the sound is more than familiar. Some call it the death rattle. Your quarry, or victim as it might be, lays there writhing in a puddle of indescribable agony, a pitiful, wrinkled mess of carnage waiting for the coup de grace. I often oblige the defeated one with a sharp poke in the eye, even digging out, with a certain gusto, the last vestiges of life...licking the bowl clean as it were. Yes, there usually is some wheezing, often accompanied by a distinctive, plaintive call akin to that of a mourning dove on a lonely road somewhere at 5 am. I am quite fond of this awkward, somewhat morbid last invigorates only in that it bespeaks new life. Life begets life. Don't forget it! Nothing ever comes of nothing and there ain't no such thing as a free lunch.
So was the recent demise of my last tube of rose madder paint. She died while making this nice desert sunset...gave her life in order to bring to life a simple picture. It is truly the circle of life. Hakuna Matata!

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Apple Eye 12x24

This painting was made over a few days with fast drying translucent a real 3d kind of feel to the clouds. Speaking of clouds, there were none overhead the other eve when the hapless diamondback happened across my path. Bad luck for him 'cause as much as I believe in the theory of live-and-let-live he was just too dang close to (smack in the middle of) the path where my kids walk everyday. Leti (my would-be-one-time-estranged-prodigal son - daughter) whom we love with all our heart is just getting over the effects of a bite. Two weeks ago she stepped on a small rattler in her house. It wrapped itself around her ankle as she tried to shake it loose, fangs sunk into her instep. Not much venom was injected and aside from a benumbed lower leg and foot she got away relatively unharmed. So, I have bagged the Desert Three this summer. I know, it ain't the African Big 5...but maybe we can add fire ants and Gila monsters to the list of the fearsome man eaters of the desert(?!?)

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Jewel 30x24

Monsoons over the desert make for the best skies in the world. I spend more time these days on cloudscapes. Sometimes I get to laying it on pretty thick (figuratively and literally) The trick is not to let it get away from you. Start with thinned darker washes/blocking and build from there. I've been using more stand oil lately and have really liked the results. In fact, I'm making more studio paintings that are built over time using a process reminiscent of techniques used by the old masters. I find I can get an almost three dimensional effect by layering translucent colors. I will label these "Master Series" paintings when I make them available...not to sound presumptuous, it's just reflective of the technique employed. This painting is available on auction here.

Friday, September 4, 2009

The Marshwiggle 30x24

My new favorite blog...Hawksquill If you want some delightful, good-for-the-mind-and-heart reading check it out. Yes, I am prejudiced. "Remember" I often tell the kids, "I am your creator!" I know, it ain't good theology but my goal is to strike the fear of God (and dad) in my chillun for their own good. Anyway, the writing in Marissa's blog is at least as easy on the eyes as this painting. Leave her constructive comments and don't forget to lather on the praise for her dad if you do. She discovered long ago that I don't really have a third eye on the back of my head so any help I can get will be appreciated...

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Shadows Are Fleeting 24x30

How many people do you know who can claim dried, shredded shark meat as their favorite breakfast food? Go ahead and count me if you have any fingers left. Mix it with some hand-made tortillas and a few chiltepin peppers fresh off the bush in the front yard and mouth waters just thinking about it. My father-in-law is here this week. He blew in from the south with the latest hurricane and brought with him fresh fish and dried shark and manta ray direct from the Sea of Cortez. Neil Young wrote a song about Cortez ("...the killer") and I wonder at the reasons for naming a whole sea after such a murderous rascal. Of course they celebrate the likes of Pancho Villa in some places so go figure. Anyway, shark is good as machaca and as many times as I've had it in this dried version I don't think I've ever eaten it fresh.
The painting pictured here is an image that could never even remotely remind me of sharks or Cortez. That's why we put them together. It's all about being original.