Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Air Head 30x40

So, I've done this painting before just not in this size. It is a big'un and 'cause I got a few of these huge canvases I'm looking forward to making more. I really love painting large with my big fat brushes, lots of paint, hair in my face and a crazed look in my eye... and some cool jazz on the radio. I have yet to get to the point where I'm emptying $100 buckets of oil paint on a palette on the floor and applying it with a hockey stick. I had a tortured-soul artist friend that did that. While I languished in oxygen deprived misery last week I thought of that and...stealing aspirin gum from the medicine cabinet. Somehow, in my feverish dementia I combined childhood memories with mixing paint and the result was truly inspirational. Now, rejuvenated with iron lung treatments and fresh rain from the monsoons I am set to work on a new sky series. Stay tuned.

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Lark Rise 40x30

Our 23rd anniversary was celebrated with a tasteless (due to symptoms described earlier) Chinese meal. I'm almost at the point where I will give unsolicited advice at the slightest provocation. Maybe it's mid-life malaise or maybe it's brought on by my frequent bouts of night terrors where I scream like a wild boar stuck through the heart. Anyway, I'm starting to feel like I've earned it. And I'm seeing more and more young couples who need it. Of course we would all like to blabberate our opinions all the time, and be heard. Nothing new about that. There are a few topics though that I feel exceptionally compelled (in my paint fume induced opinion) to weigh in on. Sensitive subjects as they may be, marital bliss and child rearing come to mind. Take no offense, my ideas are not so much a comparison of one person's values/practices over another's as much as an observation that has borne itself out in over two decades of whip-cracking, God-thunder invoking, happy house making good will and cheer. I won't go into what makes a marriage stay together, too much stuff there but let me say that intentionality is the key to making good kids...not "love". Of course we need to love and nurture our offspring...usually not to difficult (at least at first) But too many folks raise their little kids based on their intuitive "feelings of love" and nothing more. Many of these little crumb crunchers are destined to be curses instead of blessings, at least till they pull out of the nose dive they're in in their mid twenties. They(parents) have such low expectations and high opinions of their children that the end result are disobedient, uncreative, self absorbed monsters. I'm here to say it doesn't have to be that way. Clear rules (parameters) with no exceptions with early and immediate consequences made with forethought (intentionality) and not anger go a long way in bringing up kids to be a blessing, not only to their parents but to others as well. Who do I think I am you say? Nobody (do X-men exist?), is my response but check this; My kids have never once talked back to me or their mom, never thrown a fit, never begged for junk over and over till they got their way and never have they ever asked me to turn Bob Dylan down on the radio. They are not angels by any means but in every area where we have been intentional about their growth/obedience/kindness etc. (and started early...like at 6mos-1yr old) they have responded. My encouragement is this; people can raise their kids intentionally to be a joy to be around. Simple as that. And with a little extra force be made to have the same taste in music as their dad. See, once again, I've lowered the high bar of excellence just so's to keep me and others like me humble and aware of our own shortcomings. This great and beautiful sky painting was inspired by my son Darell's recent car accident that he got in on the way to visit my other son Darell in the county jail. Welcome to Catalina!

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Double Dip 12x24

I've discovered a new weight loss system. Eight pounds and counting, I'm in the second week of a strict regimen that has me drinking infusions of garlic and honey (tasty combination!) and coughing up all non essential organs and detritus that shan't be named. The upside is that I am not in the hospital. The downside is that if I don't take it easy I might still end up there. This, brought to my attention by the numerous writings and warnings I've received regarding the general recalcitrance and pertinacity of the lobal pneumonia that I've been plagued with these last few days. Take heart, I've not succumbed and just to flaunt my ignorance and delusional beliefs as to my invincibility I worked yesterday! Fueled by mega doses of under-the-counter analgesics I was able to cut down two trees with the chain saw and make it home in time to watch an episode of Lark Rise to Candleford. (If you're a fan let me know)
I am on the mend, receiving with gratitude the results of your prayers and well wishes.
We will paint again!

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Creer 15x12

I don't always paint big. But I do paint with big in mind. When I paint outdoors I have always thought of the "plein air" sketch as nothing more than a quick reference. It's always been hard for me to appreciate small work...I want to see it life-sized. Nevertheless, there are some cool nuances you get with working small and there is always a lot learn about color, values, shapes and lines. Changing up brush sizes makes me think harder than normal. In most cases that's a good thing. Usually in my case it leads to overload, steam pouring out the ears and a lung full of spider webs. How else could I explain it? I saw the doctor last week. I had experienced three straight weeks of coughing up chunks of old tires and mushrooms. He said my lungs were fine, sent me home with a voodoo cocktail and told me to call him after the weekend if I wasn't better. I called him pumping on one cylinder, having lost my eyesight, ears and sense of humanity from a continual fever and was ordered to get an x-ray. With a wry smile the doc said he didn't notice the pneumonia 'cause my lungs were half full and "compacted" and that if I wasn't better in fifteen hours I needed to be hospitalized. That was about fifteen hours ago. I'll keep you posted. Meanwhile, check out the few pieces I still have on auction. Who knows? They might be my last.

Friday, July 1, 2011

Scorpions On A Plane..."Reddy" 30x40 "Windom" 12x15

One foot hit the floor, shoeless and bare. It was the only step between me and the little bunk; the only movement that separated me from a night of bone-tired, albeit hot and tropical fitful sleep. Fateful little step it was. I've described the intense, immediate feeling as though my toe had been placed on an anvil and whacked with a heavy ball peen hammer. This, the first of several scorpion stings I've had the pleasure to endure, was definitely the most intense. Numbness up to my knee could be felt for days and a lingering sensation was still evident a week later. The other, less dramatic brushes with the desert demons would have left me with little respect for the phosphorescent phantom's stinger, which were much more like a mild bee sting. This first encounter however was enough to put me on wary alert every time I climb out of my bed roll at 5 am and turn my boots upside down with a good shake before I slip them on. I suppose it was a bark scorpion that gave me my first welcome to the Sonora desert those years ago. Of the 20 or so different kinds that lurk and slink and crawl and creep around the ground here in the desert southwest, the bark scorpion is the most painful. I did see a young boy go into shock once from scorpion poison so they are nothing to be trifled with, especially if they get you in the head. If, however, you were to give me free plane tickets for every one of the blasted things I've encountered I'd basically own three or four airlines about now. I think I've squashed one or two in recent weeks...during the making of these paintings! Where's my headlines?!?!