Saturday, November 24, 2012

Cloud "A" 18x12, The Old Guard 30x24

How long will I be able to play football?  A question that everyone asks himself from time to time and one that I think, during this season of economic upheaval and gift giving, is on everyone's mind.   I, for one, intend to go on at least another 15 years...maybe 20.   As long as I can keep upping the magnification on the reading glasses, skeet shooting, writing and painting should all be fine...well into my nineties.  But the gridiron does indeed take it's toll and I'm not really sure how many more times the tailbone can take Eli (200 lb 17 yr. old) rushing in on those fourth-down desperation drop-backs. Today, the day after our annual Turkey Bowl, I am walking slowly. Tomorrow I will need to take some aspirin. By next weekend I'm sure I'll be ready for another romp on the playground. Sure it hurts, but you know, it's a good hurt. It's not too unlike the struggle you have with trying to build an oil painting.  It kicks your butt for a while but when you finally come out on top the bruises and contusions you suffered in the heat of battle make the victory all the sweeter. These paintings were savory to me on many levels.

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Airplane 1945 18x24, Sundown Seaside 24x30

Another proof of my pettiness. While some people lament the overuse of techno-stuff with kids, materialism at Christmas, bickering between political factions, the high price of gasoline and movie tickets etc.  I hark back to the good old days when you could get a nice fresh apple (only in season) from your friendly neighborhood grocer and not find anything unwashable sticking to the fruit.  I hate having to peel the super-glued, magnetized, RFD chip-implanted atomic tag stuck to every Golden Delicious I want to eat.  Hey, I have a hard enough time just getting myself to consume anything not made of meat and sugar so what's with this obstacle? How am I supposed to get my 2 weekly portions of green stuff? Well, my plan is to start eating the little ID stickers and see if it don't make me sick. I think I've got a lawsuit in the making.  I'll get back to you on this one.  Meanwhile, enjoy the new paintings made for your listening pleasure.

Saturday, November 17, 2012

Same Palette two Paintings

People come, seasons go
But we got something that will never grow old
And I don't care if the sun don't shine
And the rain keeps pouring down on me and mine
'Cause our kind of love never seems to get old
It's better than silver and gold
                                        -Neil Young

The good part about being ten times older and wiser and smarter than the pile of teens and twenty-somethings that inhabit my house is that I'm always right.  The downside is that my sagacity is hardly recognized by the ones that need it (and daily rely on it) most. My heretofore diurnal cycle of life has taken a turn this last year or so. For some reason I am needing less sleep prompting wakefulness way before the dawn. I rise a full two hours before the rooster even thinks about crowing (he's doing it right now just outside the study where I write). It's not insomnia, nor stress; I gave those up years ago. My guess is that the extreme narrow mindedness I have developed results in the channeling of all my energies to an acute and finely sharpened point of intellectual astuteness and efficient productivity, thus negating the need for much sleep. Sound reasonable? Or maybe it's just that for some reason I can't see the clock on the dresser anymore.  Or maybe it has to do with going to bed and 8:30 pm. Either way, like I've told the kids a million times..."There's nothing wrong with being narrow minded when you're right".  I painted both of these with the same tube colors.  I use a fairly limited palette of just about 5-7  colors. No sense in muddying things up with too many options. Hope you like these latest offerings.

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Three New Paintings

Osa Johnson wrote a book called I Married Adventure.  She and her husband Martin were the first to document with film aboriginal peoples and wildlife in Africa and the tropical islands of Malaysia (in the 1920's).  It was recommended to me by a well meaning fellow who, by force of zeal, was submitted to my eloquent and compelling description of the writings of America's most adventurous and noble president Teddy Roosevelt. The flumsy (clumsy and fumbling) anecdotes that comprise the "adventures" of this couple serve only to throw in stark relief the contrast between the real deal and the fake. It's not always easy to detect the fake but when you come upon the real everything else fades to the background (where it belongs).   Had my book recommender friend ever read Mr. Roosevelt he would have clapped a hand over his mouth before a word ever escaped his gaping verb-hole and simply nodded for me to carry on while secretly shaming himself for even thinking his little novel should be mentioned in the company and light of the true standard-bearer of adventure.   I did, however, listen to his word-in-edgewise and even abased myself to read his book thus, the knowledge I gained to share this with you.
There are a few areas where I think this applies. Politics of course and probably because almost all  politicians seem to equivocate (ignoble trait) when it's convenient; very hard to tell if they're fake.  Art is another area where, if you have access to the real good stuff everything else appears to be student-grade. Honestly, most of us "painters" never develop the eye of the real artist (I include myself here) but, at the very least we can have as our standard the very best.

The evangelical fervor I employ to propound the excellencies of the writing and the downright manliness of Theodore Roosevelt and his tempered (some would say skewed) world-view must come in second however, to the fierceness of the burning heart that is experienced by knowing the Lord Jesus. When once His standard is raised in the heart of any person all religiousness fades to the background in the light of His unequaled glory...One of my favorite words.

Friday, November 2, 2012

Crimson Cows, A Red Land 24x18's

Just to clarify regarding my last post.  Yes, I know, my little litany of slight sufferings is a pathetic way to garner sympathy. I did, however, preface it by begging the indulgence "this one last time". So, I thought I'd throw it all out there to impress myself. Well, I'm not impressed (though you gotta admit those pics of  busted bones send "Obama tingles" down your [left] leg) especially since I know we all have had our own physical trials.  Our brains are good at stuffing away memories of grief and pain and if not for that grace from God I think we'd all be in a mental jam. Percocet and Vicodin aside, the third best therapy I have found for restoring your mental equipoise is to break out oil paints and slather them liberally all over a canvas.  That's what I did here. With all the painting therapy I do you must wonder what kind of pain I continually find myself in. And, you must wonder what are the top two remedies I refer to. Read Psalm 119 out loud to yourself and you will see.  To turbo-charge the effect, do it while painting a masterpiece...or something of the sort.

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Water's Edge 12x16 Tib,fib, ankle break

I know I've already milked this for all its worth but indulge me this one last time. One year ago today I suffered an injury that rivaled all my previous physical travails.  That includes, hepatitis, malaria, pneumonia, one root canal, amoebic dysentery, 7 other broken bones, concussions (2), stitches, hundreds of bee/wasp stings, scorpion stings and the birth of my children. (vicariously obviously...hey, I did cut an umbilical chord on one occasion and had to stand by and watch them resuscitate one non-breathing kid)  Anyway, I'm very glad to be able to say along with one of the men I most admire in all this life (and the next) that the sufferings of this life are not worthy to be compared to the glory that will be revealed.