This is one of three Wildlife mom and babe paintings that I will be doing for small notes and prints. I will be using various colors including greens, purples, reds and other colors to bring a little flair to each. These giraffes have purple, reds, orange and blues to make the spots and shading. I have a full schedule of shows and commissions, but I hope to maintain the blog the best that I can.
The parents and babe series came from the realization that my own children our becoming adults and how I miss them and the tender moments when they were little. They are still full of love, but are working, and going to college, so very little time to see us, but when they do, it’s truly a joy. When my parents warned me that time flies by even faster when you get older and I didn’t think that was possible, but I realize now… it’s true!
This is my watercolor of the French Lick Train that they use for a Polar Express train ride and dinner in French Lick, Indiana. French Lick has a magnificent Inn and the West Baden Hotel that was considered on of the wonders of the world at one time and is absolutely beautiful. I will be at an art show there this weekend. West Baden was once a hotel for the rich and hollywood famous, and after a complete remodel, should still be considered one of the best. I hope to do more private showings soon, and possibly some travels in the near future. Have a great Christmas and Holidays!
8″ x 11″ Image size = $20.00 + SH
11″ x 14″ Premium Suede Matted print = $35.00 + SH
Contact me at email@example.com
Even though I am a warm weathered person, I love the heat, the sun and the oceans, there’s not a lot of things in this world that is more calming and beautiful than a walk through a woods with fresh snow on the ground. It has a refreshing smell of pines and fresh air when you breathe it in, and to see the wildlife flying or running around as though they have a new lease on life. I love the convenience of the city, but the man to earth relationship of the country. I have always been an explorer at heart and the finding of foot prints, nest, bones, shells, and other wonders of the woods, just make it more exciting to wonder. There used to be a tag line on the Indiana license plates that said “Wonder Indiana”, they must have created that by watching my actions. I can start a walk early in the morning and absolutely get lost in time and explore the woods an entire day. I know I have written about walking before, but a walk on concrete and asphalt isn’t what I was talking about. Sure it’s physically healthy to walk on streets, but the walking through nature, especially a woods or around a lake, is both mentally and physically healthy. This is great time of the year in the midwest to do so, the bugs are almost nonexistent and it’s cool and refreshing, just make sure that you where bright orange or go to a park to avoid the deer hunters like myself. As you walk take time to look close at the shape of trees, the formation of the stones and landscape, and stop every once in a while and give time to fool the creators in to thinking that you’re not there and listen to them communicate with song and chatter. I hope you have fun and think of me and this painting while doing so!
Have a great weekend!
Ryan, painting lace, I know and yes it’s true, of course I wanted to add some camo to it, but fought the urge. This Christmas still life is a 8″ x 11″ watercolor image, framed in a 11″ x 14″ antiqued frame. I know it’s early for Christmas and winter paintings, but I’m actually running late on them for upcoming shows. Prints are yet to come back from the printer and originals still need to be painted. I wanted a lot of lace and white cloth contrasting with the dark background, and most of the color high on the paintings edge. Please leave a comment letting me know what you think or what you would have done different.
Price: Original 8″ x 11″ watercolor, 11″ x 14″ frame $225.00 plus SH
Burrrrr! It’s getting a little FROSTY (the other guy) around here in southern Indiana. The temperature has dropped, the leaves are turning golden orange, red and yellow, and yes, winter is just around the corner. This is one of four watercolors that will be made into Giclee prints that can be matted to fit a 11 x 14 frame. The photo is a temporary for my blog only, but will be professionally taken for the prints. I will only have about a 100 prints of each scene, and will cost around $15.00 depending on printing cost. Of course the whites and colors of the painting will be much better when taken professionally. I hope to have them available in a few weeks along with another Santa print, The church steeple and the winter nighttime barn scene. I hope you enjoy Jingle the snowman and will check in soon to purchase for yourself or someone for a gift for the holidays.
This watercolor painting of a lovely old church steeple, will soon be available as prints and Christmas cards. I’m thinking of adding a cardinal in the trees just to add a touch of color, but not sure yet. I did a barn last year that I really liked (sold) that I added a wreath, the wreath was the only item with color. I’m hoping to have a snowman, another winter barn and possibly another Santa Claus. The print of last years Santa sold really well (artbyrhayes.com), I have a few left if you would like to purchase one. They are signed and numbered, and will fit a 16 x 20 frame once matted. I hope to have the cards soon of this years watercolors.
So many people pray, whether whispered, spoken aloud, or maybe a simple quiet thought. I’m not sure if a prayer was answered or just given to me with-out prayer. We forget as our life passes by, the prayers that have been given with-out being ask for. It was almost eighty years ago, long before I was born, I was graced by God without being prayed for. You see my Mother-in-law was born in a small (really small town) in southern Indiana. Along with her twin brother and several other sisters and brothers, they grew up knowing a simple life, but a Christian life. That young girl as pretty as her middle name (Rose) would eventually marry a man who I admired and loved, and still do even today after his death twenty-three years ago. God graced me, and so many others by allowing us to know, their love and become a part of their family. I have been with the family for thirty-three years, and married to their beautiful gift from God for twenty-seven years.
We lost my father-in-law twenty-three years ago, and now my mother-in-law last week. I’ll miss them both forever, but I find comfort in knowing that they are once again together. I realize now that a gift was given, and with that gift families were given even more gifts. Gifts from the Lord will always be there, we just have to accept them and love each and every one of them.
Thank you Lord
for the Rose that was gifted,
Its beauty and life,
the reason our hearts, will always be lifted.
A rose that brought love and sunshine
with her loving delicate touch,
a love that will never be forgotten,
and always be missed, so very much.
So bring her into heaven,
and please give her a special place,
place her soul in the heaven’s bouquet,
allowing her and Gene to once again embrace.
The beauty in our heaven
has never been so bright,
two souls joined once again,
making a single, loving, brilliant light.
Allow their light to shine downward
upon us who keep them near to our heart,
for someday will be together again,
eternally never to part.
Lord I ask thee,
for this I pray,
keep them near your heart,
until we’re all together again one day.
I’m not sure that there is a more peaceful moment than taking a night-time stroll, while the ground is covered with brilliantly white snow. The really cool thing is, that a flashlight or any other form of light isn’t needed, because the snow and moon creates its own illumination. The only few sounds that are heard, is the crunching of the packing snow under your feet, and the whispers of the wind blowing through the trees. I also think that you feel a little more alive, when you can feel the freshness and the crisp air entering your lung, and the visual of life, when you exhale. I think this is important now days because we seem to be just living life, not appreciating being alive! I have a wonderful friend, with a wonderful family, that just lost a wonderful brother. He was young, but cancer didn’t care, and took his life just this weekend. He found out about his cancer less than a year ago, has battled strongly, but lost that battle Sunday. So the next time that you see your kids, parents, siblings and friends, squeeze a little harder on the hugs, grab their necks and wrap your arm around them a little more, and feel the love between your touch and their heart. And this winter if you are in an area that receives a white winters blanket, breath in and feel life entering your lungs, and breath out and see the air that God has given us, to enjoy the time that we have on the Earth.
This painting is dedicated to the memory of Larry, a brother of a friend, a son, father, husband, outdoorsman and a friend. Prayers for Larry’s family, and prayers for those who are still battling this awful disease.
It’s a freezing cold night, with the brisk cold air leaking from every crack and seems of both the windows and the floor. The wood furnace cranked up so hot, that the wood stove itself is red hot, and will take the skin right off of you, if touched. But that stove is several rooms away, and although 80 degrees in that room, it’s only 40 in your bedroom. The only thing keeping you from freezing, is being sunk down about 2 feet in a feather bed, with three grandma made quilts on top of you. But that’s when it hits you! All that ice tea that was sweetened with 5 scoops of sugar, is now weighing hard on the old bladder and you need to visit the John, Mrs. Jones, Privy, Outhouse, or for you younger kids… the bathroom or toilet! Now, I’m only 49, but both of my grandparents had an outhouse when I was younger, barely old enough to remember, but I do remember them. You know how hard it is to get up from underneath those warm blankets in the winter now and walk a few feet to a inside, heated bathroom, just think when there was very little heat and the bathroom was outside and a mile away! Okay, maybe not a mile, but it seemed like it. First you would have to determine whether or not you could hold it until the morning, but if not, then you would have determine whether or not you were able to climb out of a mountain of a feather bed around you. Once you have worn yourself out lifting the 100 pounds of quilts off, and climbing over the feather bed, putting all your clothes on, grabbing a flashlight and head out the back door for the long trek to the shack. My grandparents lived in the country, so the night was as dark as you can get, so before entering the shack, you would peak in with your light making sure that there isn’t any wild critters such as raccoons, possums, snakes or wasp (in the summer), rats and spiders or other crawly creatures. Once determined all is clear, you would go in with hopes that all goes well, and you’re out of there quickly. Now, my grandparents were rich… because they had toilet paper awaiting, instead of the Sears catalog or news paper, sorry, not everyone can be so privileged. Now that “the deed is done” as we would say, you would sprint back as fast as possible because of the fear from all the noises that you heard around you while sitting there, and the freezing cold. Running in, throwing your clothes back off and diving back under those wonderfully thick heavy quilts and on top of that wonderfully sinking down two foot deep feather bed! Those were the GOOD OL’DAYS!
or option 2: Use the large metal pot with a lid underneath the bed! Gross!
This is a 10″ x 10″ watercolor that I painted while waiting in a hotel room in West Virginia. My brother and I visited Gettysburg and other battle fields and I hope to post some paintings of those sites later this week or next. Have a safe fourth of July! And thank you all that is fighting now, in the future, and in the past for our freedom!
Just got back from Spring Break, and a break was needed. Between health issues and the craziness of my work place, a little R&R was appreciated. We went with some wonderful friends, which we have been best of friends now for at least ten years. Their kids were in the same classes as ours, so that works out perfectly and their kids (now young adults) have wonderful values and ethics. They are one of only a few couples that I would even consider staying in the same place for that many days. Dr. Frank and myself have a lot in common. He loves to read… I don’t, He’s a doctor… I’m not, O.K. so we have some differences, but he loves the outdoors, hunting, fishing, hiking… and so do I. Our wives, well they have talking in common, and they do it well! LOL
This year was our youngest girls high school senior year, so we let them pick on where they wanted to go. A lot of their friends were going to Panama City Beach Florida, so that’s where we went. Being about a 11 hour drive from our house, it wasn’t to bad of a drive, I’m just not sure why Florida hasn’t figured out the direct route idea. We zoom down to Montegomery, Alabama, but then it’s back road and stop lights from there to Panama City. Hello! can anyone say direct interstate or major highway to Panama City! You have hundreds of thousands of northern white legs each year trying to get to Panama City to spend millions of dollars, and you can’t build a direct highway. Anyway, we had a great time and enjoyed every minute of a week of beautiful weather.
I didn’t have a lot of painting time but the watercolor above was one that I painted while laying on the white sands of Florida. I hope you enjoy and don’t forget to visit my Gallery at the top of the blog.
So many near death events in my life… you laugh, but it’s true! How does a kid make it through so many years of stupidity and bad judgement. The unfinished stream above looks fun, cool and wet, but one similar to this one almost killed me, and my grandfather. Well, I decided to list a few, and feel free to list some of yours in a comment.
Here we go!
1. It brings fear back into my mind just to relive this in words. It was a beautiful summer day at Spring Mill Park in Indiana. The heat was beaming down, the humidity was so bad, fish could live out of water, and of course I was barefoot and shirtless. My family was gathered around the stream picnicking, the streams temperature was so cold it would make your feet numb if you stayed in it to long. That’s when this shirtless, shoeless kid decides that the moss, slime covered rocks would be a blast to play on in the stream… Bad Idea! Being about 6 or 7 years old (I think) I started across this death stream with balance and agility, so I thought, with in seconds my feet were in the air above my shoulders, my butt following my feet, and my head and shoulders were where my feet had begun the journey. Bam! Whack! (a little batman lingo) I hit the rocks right between my shoulder blades! Air shot out of my body like a gun, both lungs collapsed, ribs cracking, and death was near! Actually the wind just got knocked out of me, and the embarrassment did more damage than the fall. BUT I COULD HAVE DIED! You ask how this nearly killed my granddad? His air left his body as fast as mine, although he wasn’t in the stream or hit any rocks… it was from laughing so hard! That’s right, my granddad nearly laughed himself to death that day and everyday after that when he often reminded me of that day.
2. Another time, was when I thought that I was Evil Kenevil and decided that it would be a good idea to make a home-made bike ramp… wrong! Back in my days (sounds like my dad) we didn’t have these fancy BMX bikes, we had sting rays, with crouch killing banana seats! And whose idea was it to make the boys bikes with the cross-bar… a woman! I think it was women that decided to pay back men by designing a bike with the man killing bar across the middle. But it wasn’t the bar that got me… at least not this time, it was the amazing, blistering speed that I reached while flying down what seem like a mountain, hit the ramp, and of course just when leaving the ramp, you pull up hard and spring your legs to get more altitude. Sounds cool! But if done just right, your bike leaves the ramp and continues on a circular motion. Now days the pros do this on purpose and continues into a flip… I WASN’T a pro and continue into a flip anyway, and proceeded to once again land on the back of my neck and head… I COULD HAVE DIED! But I didn’t, after my lungs decided to work again, and oxygen was once again reaching vital organs, I sprung up and looked around in fear of someone seeing just how stupid I was.
3. The mini bike, that’s right, a mini bike. These were small motorcycles with a pull string starter and a frame made for war. They weren’t like the pansy scooters now days, these were death traps waiting to happen… and I had one. The seat was a crappy piece of foam with about eight layers of tape wrapped around it for a custom upholstery look. Foolishly we decided to load this mean machine up and take it to my Uncles… bad decision once again. My uncle standing in his front yard, cranked the string and roared the engine and said Ryan jump on and take it for a ride. Now remember as I’m telling the story, that I had already rode it a few times before. I jumped on like the manly, 60 pound, Harley Dude that I was, cranked the accelerator and off I went. Oooooh @#$%! my mind panicked, my brain shut down, and everything that I knew to stop, went blank. Zoom around the house I went… to the side… to the back… to the side… and back to the front yard! My uncle laughing and standing in a defensive basketball stance, ready to grab me as I slowed down. The problem is… I didn’t slow down, I sped up! My eyes were as big as baseballs and my uncle’s got just as big once he realized that there was no stopping me. I flew towards him, he dives out-of-the-way like a stuntman in an action movie, and past him I zoomed. About half way through his corn field, my brain clicked in, and I released the throttle and pulled the brake… that’s all it took! BUT I COULD HAVE DIED! And then there was the Spark Plug from this machine of death zipping past my and my brothers forehead at terminal velocity… Nearly killing us… but that’s another story!
The watercolor and ink above isn’t finished yet but I wanted to post something today. I hope to finish it next monday. Have a great weekend!
The flash of emerald-green and blues from the heaven above mirroring off each ripple and wave.
Gentle motion of the rocking sea, holds and cradles you like a mother’s arms while putting a baby asleep.
The hypnotic rhythm of the sea crashing into the side of the boat and along the shore, as though an orchestra of wind and water plays as one instrument.
My heart slows, my mind calms, my body becomes one with the ocean, and all rhythms and sounds becomes my soul as my soul becomes one with the ocean.
I had mentioned my favorite artist in past post that I have always admired, but as I travel, I admire only one as the greatest artist of all… that would be God. Whether you believe in God or not, the Earth has such wonders, as small as the road map of life on an autumn leaf, or as large as the sculpted stone mountains and the deepest blue of oceans. I just find it hard to believe that just evolution would have had such an artistic touch in producing such life. To me, evolution would have produced a more duplicating canvas. At one point supposedly all creatures were the same, from the same region, if this is so, why would some grow limbs to leave the oceans to survive, wouldn’t they all? And those who merged from the oceans, why would some grow teeth, wings, claws, larger brains, some with hair, some without? IF they are still in the same region and climates, would they have all not gained the same evolutionary benefits? I may be a fool for believing in a higher creator of life, but my soul as a Christian and as an artist, tells me otherwise. Even if your beliefs aren’t with God, take time to stop and appreciate each of what has been given.
I painted the watercolor above last night while watching t.v. and thinking of Spring Break just around the corner. It is a 12″ x 16″ watercolor on 140lb coldpress paper. I hope you enjoy the painting and thanks for putting up with my thoughts!
Hot off the press, My first Limited Edition, numbered, signed, 4 color digital litho Prints of my “Santa’s Wink” watercolor. The print has an image size of 12″ x 16″, and printed on a Heavy Acid Free 80lb cover stock, that can be easily matted and framed in a standard 16″ x 20″ frame. I’m sure this would make a wonderful gift for that person who have everything, collects Santas or just to fill a spot with a holiday touch. I appreciate all of you, and I hope that you will help me out and do some marketing for me.
Limited Edition (500, and only 500) Digital 4 color Litho Print
Signed and numbered by the artist
12 3/4″ x 17″ sheet size / 12″ x 16″ Image size
80lb Heavy Cover Stock Acid Free Paper
$35.00 + SH
Thank you again!
Questions, life is full of questions. I’m not talking about those questions that have definite answers, you know, the ones asked in school, although I didn’t have answers for very many for those either, But they did have answers. The questions that I’m talking about are those in our past that made us stop and either wonder why, or possibly cry, because we questioned. One of my most tearful questions for years, was my mom divorcing my dad. I was nine, and I can tell you that this tore major holes in my heart, so I questioned why. The loss of my grandparents that were the most religious and God-loving people, and yet taken by cancer, I questioned why. The meeting of my wife in high school, her being so good, and I was a waste, but she still found love with me, I questioned how I deserve this. The birth of my two brilliantly smart and absolutely beautiful both physically and within their hearts, I questioned how did I deserve them. There were times that I questioned my faith, and just wanted to scream to the Lord above, WHY! Why would you take such wonderful, God-loving people, that were some of the purist of Christian love so early in life. I didn’t just question, but I was angry. How could the Lord take a young child and allow cancer to eat their bodies away until death, and yet allow, what could be a healthy person, kill their bodies with drugs and alcohol. But I do know, after months, or years after I questioned why on these occasions, there always seemed to be an answer given. Unfortunately, so many people and especially young kids, question, but don’t allow enough time to go by to see the answer. My wife’s cousin, and a good high school friend of mine both questioned, but took their lives before they could receive and answer. The sad thing is, if they would have given it a day, or weeks, I’m sure that both would have been living a good life today with children and a wife, but sadly they’re gone.
What I wanted to show in this painting was pain being felt, but a prayer bringing a glimpse of hope into this young girls heart and eyes. Watching my girls grow, and go through high school, I have seen a lot of pain in their hearts, and I remember having that pain myself as a child and young adult, where you weren’t sure if your heart can take anymore pain, and whether it was all worth it. I can tell you, it is worth it, be strong, work hard at everything you do, and most importantly, have Faith, have Faith in yourself, friends, family and most importantly in God. Don’t hold things in, it’s not worth it, talk to your friends and family about things that bother you, but most importantly, close your eyes, open your heart, and pray. As you grow in faith, you will grow in confidence, friendships, and the love of life.
The painting is a 9″ x 9″ watercolor on 140lb cold press paper. I did this one, and another ATC last night while watching football. This is a first of this style for me as a portrait, and it’s a must for you to try.
It’s been a long, long time since I had tied one on (a lure), but hopefully soon that will all change. I love to fish as most of you know, not just to get fish, but for all the reasons that come with it. I have so many memories of my dad and I going fishing when I was young. So along with my quick painting, I wrote a little diddy about those memories.
It was the night before the trip, and sleep was what I was needing. For you see before the sunrise, I was to be awaken and the words let’s go, would ring through the air. I would shut my eyes in hopes of falling fast asleep, but that didn’t work because the excitement of fishing was racing through my head in the hopes of out fishing my dad, or catching the biggest one. Finally after what seemed like forever, I would fall asleep. After, what seemed like 10 minutes of sleep, my dad would come into the room and try to stir me out of bed, before he could say let’s go, I was up, throwing clothes on and headed for the door. My Uncle that went with us a lot, had an old truck and the boat, so we would meet him at his house. We loaded up and headed out, but first was a stop at the local gas station to get in a glass bottle… yes kids that’s right, glass, ice-cold glass bottle of yahoo chocolate milk for me, and soda for them, along with a few sweet snacks… breakfast of champions! The old soda machine was the type that you opened a chest like top, put your money in, and then slid your bottle (ice-cold) along a maze like track till it reached the end and came out. We ere now on our way and by this time the sun has just begun to bring its brilliance to the horizon. We would finally reach the lake, but the lakes always seemed to be way out in the middle of a weedy pasture, so we would drive as far out as possible and then my dad and uncle would carry the boat the rest of the way. I would trail behind carrying rods, boxes and drinks, and wearing shorts (important later), very seldom did I wear shirt or shoes, and always shorts (important later). We then would reach the quick sand like mud at the edge of the lake, you know the type of knee-deep mud that sucks your feet down, and won’t let go of your shoes or boots. Finally we are in the boat ready to cast for bass, blue gill or anything else that might tug at our line. About noon we would get our sandwiches that my mom would make that had been floating in a bag back and forth in the water at the bottom of the boat, a little soggy, but good after fishing all morning. Once we got our stringer full or it was late we would head back to the truck. Of course on the way home I would fall asleep because of the all day sun and getting up before sunrise, and the only thing that would awaken me was the constant clank of the yahoo and soft drink bottles (Glass) rolling back and forth on the pickups floor. My dad and uncle would clean the fish, and then it was off to go back home, bath, and go to bed. With the memories of the one that got away, or the big one that was now in our freezer, or how great the yahoo tasted that morning, just a full day of great memories. Something I will take with me to my grave. Thank you dad for taking the time, and for scraping enough money together to buy those ice-cold (in the bottle) drinks, and also my uncle that had the boat, truck, and the time to go with us.
But for the (important later) inserts, I’ll do a math like description:
Shorts – shirt – bugs spray of any kind + waist-high weeds = CHIGGERS!
From the belt line down, and I’m including some very important parts here, nothing but chiggers bites! I have counted 40-50 just in the waist line area (including some very important parts), and even more down the legs. Now for you that don’t know what chiggers are, they are flea like pest that bite and embed themselves in your skin and create an unbelievable itch. I can hear some of you laughing… and shame on you, and you know who you are, but this was serious stuff for days and days afterwards! Three words for you that find this funny… Very Important Parts!
The Walton’s, Little House on the Prairie, Hee Haw, Hawaii Five-O (old version) and so many other shows that I hated and never wanted to watch, but guess what, I did, I had to. At my dad’s house, we had one t.v., no remote, and hooked to an antenna that we had to go outside to turn in the direction of one of three channels that we were able to get. That’s right kids, 3 channels, no remote, and no matter how cold or how much snow, you had to go outside and manually turn the antenna to receive channels. The only remote that we ever had… was me! My dad would tell me to get up and change the channel, I was my dad’s remote. I would have to brag that I was a professional channel changer, back then the channel knobs were dials, one dial was UHF and the other dial was VHF. I could spin those dials at high-speed and stop exactly on the right number, you know the feeling, it’s the same feeling you get when pumping gas at full speed, and stopping the pump exactly on the correct amount without slowing down at all, or going over. But my dad would throw a fit and tell me that I was going to rip the knobs off the t.v. I wonder how kids could make it today, 3 channels, no remote, no dvd, no color, and no choice or say in what they could watch. I see a vision of kids leaping out of first story windows in horror! That and the content of shows back then. The most you could expect (or in my case hope for) in nudity, was Farrah Faucet, bra-less, and that sent the censors screaming. Now days you pretty well see everything and everyone. Everything from Snooki on Jersey Shore, 16 and pregnant, and so many other shows, where there are no boundaries on censorship. Looking back now, maybe those shows weren’t so bad that I had to watch.
I couldn’t live without Discovery, History or the Outdoor channel though!
This is a watercolor and ink graphic, painting mix. I wished that I had used a bigger paper, but wasn’t sure what I was doing until the end. once again the scan does something funky to the color and the blacks, but hopefully you’ll get the idea. Thanks!
Emptiness, how sad, cold, and soulless. So many places, once called home, whether in the city, suburbs or country, held so many wonderful families, and now set empty. How can a place filled with warmth and love, become just another structure once abandoned? Could this be where the saying “your home is where your heart is” comes from. What’s even more amazing, is that it doesn’t matter how big or lavish the structure is, it still is just a structure once abandoned. Our home of 3800 square feet, 1930 original wrought iron stairway and huge wrought iron gates in the hallway, 10″ mahogany crown molding and arched door passages and so much more, wasn’t a home because of the elegance, but because my wife and I, loved and raised our wonderful daughters there. Planning for early retirement, we now live in a 2400 square foot home, pretty plain Jane in style, with features for our elderly years, and is just as warm, and filled with love as our larger house. We left a structure 3 years ago, that once was our home, but we brought with us all the memories and the things that matter with us, and leaving it as just another structure. Just like the sunlight pouring into a window of a house, without a soul to warm upon touching, it’s just another wasted area of space, light, and no longer a home.
This is a preliminary watercolor sketch for an oil or acrylic painting that is already sketched onto canvas, and hopefully will be started on this weekend. Not sure if I want to do a pure Black and white, or more of a warming color such as sepia. Leaning more to the sepia in color right now. What do you think? Leave me your suggestions on color.
Love is in the air! Do you remember your first crush on someone? That moment when you first looked at them, and you weren’t sure what was going on with your stomach. You kind of felt funny inside, sort of a tickling feeling, but a feeling you liked and you knew it was a good feeling. Now what do you do? Tell them, avoid them, or go the complete opposite and be mean to them, trying to hide your feelings, Oh, what the heart can do to a person. I had several of these in grade school, some were for married women, that’s right even in 2nd grade, I had a crush on a married woman, there was a little age difference, but you can’t let age get in the way of love. Even before that, I had a crush on a girl in the 1st grade, she wasn’t as mature (she was in the 1st grade), but I knew what I liked. I even wrote (changed) a song just for her, at that time here was a song that had lyrics “My baby does the Hanky Panky”, I, being the romantic type that I was, rewrote the lyrics to say “My Deanne does the Hanky Panky”, I know, I Know, Wow, who could resist that… she did, and broke my heart. You heartless women out there! After that I had several crushes on girls, but the hardest that I ever felt was in High School. Wow, as soon as this girl strolled into the room, with her arms holding her books against her chest, with arms crossed, her head tilted slightly down in a shy but cute way, and her walk… well I’ll leave that one alone. Bam Bam Bam, my heart started pounding, warmth shot through my body, what could or should I do? She’ll never go out with me, there’s no way. And then it happened, she looks up with her Icy blue eyes, and looks at me… oh my God, this is it, and then walked on by and set down. Damn it! I should have said something, anything, but I didn’t. I know what your thinking, this is the girl that I wonder about, what would have happened if I would have said something. Where is she now? I could have been happier with her possibly. Nope, non of the above, because I married her! We dated all through high school, and married when we were 22. We just had our 25th Anniversary last year, and I’m telling you, my heart still gets that funny feeling when I’m around her, but now its not just puppy love or a crush, it’s respect, admiration, and pride in what she was and what she has become. Not everyone can say this, a matter of fact very few can say this, but my biggest crush is still my wife. Happy Valentines Day! and don’t forget that feeling you had or having, respect it, enjoy it and grow old with it!
As I lay on this cold wooden park bench, with very little to my name, and everything that I do own is in this single tattered plastic trash bag to keep it dry from the weather. People passing by in their cars, staring, talking, and wondering how someone could get to this place in life. I move from shelter to shelter during these cold winter nights, just hoping to find warmth for just a few hours or possibly all night, but that warmth doesn’t always come, and some nights are spent cuddled as close as possible to anything that will keep the winter winds off my broken and unhealthy body. Did I get here because of a war that I so bravely fought in, only to come home to no job, no family and what seems to be no way out. Maybe it was in high school when I was making good grades, athletic, but because it was popular, at a party decided to try weed for the first time, and that was the beginning of tearing down my pride and I moved to other drugs to make me forget what I had. Did I begin this journey at birth, with a mental disability, with nowhere to go after my parents passed away, and no one else wanting the responsibility. Or is it that I never took responsibility for myself from the very beginning, never wanting to work, and just wanting to get drunk or high every minute of the day. And is that because I had no confidence, or that I just never found something that I loved more than getting high. Maybe it was simply that everything fell apart at one time, lost my job, my family left me because I couldn’t give them what they wanted, and all the loans and credit cards, completely drained me of every dime I had. I’m not sure anymore how I got to be on this park bench, it’s all a blur and becoming even more of a blur as my life candle begins to burns near bottom. Do I wish things would have been different, could I have accomplished more in my life, if I had found something that I love more than getting drunk or high, could I put the drugs down and live for those I love. All I know is that this wooden park bench is cold, and the cold creeps to my bones, and the only warmth I get is found in this bottle that is my life.
I always wonder about things. When metal detecting and I unearth an old toy, or coins placed in a rotted bag, or a piece of civil war relic, I always wonder of its history, who and how it got there. And like this weekend with my daughter going through old abandoned homes out in the middle of the woods or fields, I wonder, who lived there, what kind of family were they, and the history of the happenings there in the last 120 years. This is the way my brain thinks, I don’t know why, but everything has a history and I love to explore those histories. I do the same with homeless people that I pass, I feel sorrow, aggravation, and wonder of what they have gone through to get to the place that they are. Like I said, everything has a history, but at one point, everything has no future on this earth. That’s why I hope that everyone will do what they can to make each today, tomorrows best history.
The 8″x 8″ watercolor was finished this weekend from a photo found on the net, because of a homeless man that I passed by, and made me wonder what his story was.
Sorry this took a little longer to post than I thought, I’m a little busy at work and at home. This is a watercolor that I had started during our weekend family and friends camp out, but just now getting to posting it.
As I was painting the stones below the driftwood, I realized of all the different sizes and colors of the stones are a lot like people. No matter how the government, religions, special interest groups, try to make us all the same… we’re not. We are all different in color, we are all different shapes, we have different ethics and morals, some are athletic, some are super smart, and some our both, some are right and some are wrong, some are good and some are bad, some work their butts off, and some do nothing… we are all different and will never be the same. And yet like the stones, we can gather in the same area, making a beautiful pattern of shapes and colors. As a stone, I’m tan in color, unfortunately rounder than I prefer, and I’m usually on the move. And I truly don’t care what stone settles next to me, I don’t care what shape, color or origin, but what I do care about is that the stone is strong and helps build a strong foundation. A weak, soft stone, that is relying on the other stones for support and structure, will only cause decay and erosion. Don’t get me wrong, even the smallest of pebbles, and each grain of sand, can build a strong foundation, if worked right and finds its place in the creek bed, but it’s the ones relying on others, that don’t try to find their strength in the community, that may cause the down fall of the entire community. We have charities, churches, friends and family, that acts like a root system, reaching out to those that truly need help and grasping on to them, helping them become part of a strong foundation. But this is not an excuse to do nothing, and expect the reaching out from others if you have a choice.
I know that I have preached this before, and it’s not because I have no compassion or love for fellow-man, actually just the opposite. We have better schooling, technology, and opportunities, than we did when Jefferson, Franklin, Newton, Carver, Ford and more, made their mark in history. So it’s our attitudes, work ethics, and excuses that are getting in our way from making our sound foundation community. I want everyone to have as much as they want in riches, not just money, but in life, and I have no jealousy toward those that have more. The saying “I have never been employed by a poor man“ is so true. but you have to as an individual, work hard, position yourself among others and even though you might not be the biggest, or the strongest, you may be a tan, red, yellow, black or a speckled stone, there is a place for you to make our community a strong foundation and a beautiful pattern of strength and color. Make it your goal in the next year to better yourself, challenge yourself, stand up for yourself and don’t rely on others to do this for you. As a stronger individual, you’ll make a stronger family, making a stronger community, making a stronger Nation. Be a rock in the creek… not soft mud!
That’s right, it time to fight, fight for those who have fallen to the pressure of others. No, I’m not talking about anything political or religious, I’m talking about privacy fences. Almost everyone has one, and if you live in a subdivision, you are sometimes required to have one… and it must be to the Associations requirements. You know, 6′ high, exact style as others, regulation gates and stained to perfection to match your neighbors. Neighbors, what is this word neighbors, most of us couldn’t even tell you the neighbors names. Well when we built our home a few years ago, my first thought was we had to build a privacy fence, I mean it’s law right, you go to prison if you don’t have one… I think. But as we were in the process of building, I noticed our neighbors (yes, I could see them) didn’t have fences up. Which worked out perfectly because they were wonderful retired couples.
For 12 years at our previous home, we had a privacy fence and to be honest with you, I really never got to know my neighbors. A beautiful neighborhood with wonderful neighbors, I think, but don’t really know for sure. What ever happened to the front porch, do you want some cold sweet tea, come sit awhile, neighborly get together. What ever happened walking into the backyard or garden and seeing your neighbor and saying good morning Mrs. Jones or hello Tom. What ever happened to the walking over sitting with them and discussing the garden, politics, family and health. I think it’s time to bring back the short keep your dog and kids in the yard pickets fences or no fences at all. We have no fencing and our background looks so open and free and luckily our deck and gazebos looks over about a 15 acre field and tree line, but more importantly I can tell you every neighbors first name, where they work, if they work and we share good times together and conversation.
So Picket those privacy fences, and get to know your neighbors, you might find that you like them and wouldn’t mind sharing some sweet tea or coffee with them every once in a while!
This watercolor is a 7″ x 10″ on cold press 140lb paper. I hope it brings back memories of your grandparents or someplace in your past.
Well, I’m back, with a touch of sun on my skin, and a little bit of beach in other places not to be mentioned, but I’m back. Panama City was an absolute beauty, no oil, let me repeat that, no oil at all. There was a day that sea-foam floated just off shore and the rumors were flying that it was oil, well if it was oil it’s been there every year we have gone done at least one day out of the last 10 years. And then one morning I walked onto the balcony and looked down and along the beach were spots as big around as most home, was nothing but pure black, my heart saddened by the thought that it was oil. But it wasn’t it was sea life, thousand and thousands of little fish, blackened the waters in 30 to 60 foot schools. It was amazing you could walked right through them and they would keep just arms length away from you, but they stayed there the entire day. So many rumors were flying on those two occasions that oil had hit the beach. So many people had mistaken the foam and fish for oil before they really new the truth, Hmmm wonder how misinformation gets through the news and grapevine so quickly. Don’t get me wrong there’s oil, but for right now it is off shore and I hope remains that way until clean-up.
Anyway, these are two of about six paintings and drawings I did while sitting on the beach. Others are soon to be posted. Thank you all that visited and commented while I was gone, I hope to reply soon and post my other paintings.
Well it’s off to the beach for my family, and I just can’t wait. We will be leaving tomorrow and staying a week. There will be fishing, sand sculpting, painting and tanning, what else could a man want in life. I have so many memories of vacationing at the beach as a young boy and recent.
My first, although I don’t remember it because I was to young, but it makes a great story, is of course about my brother. As the story is told, we were at the Florida beach, I was 1-2 my brother 5-6, wading waste deep in the shark infested waters (O.K. maybe they were just guppies) when out of no where it happened… Oh my God the horror, the blood, the screaming, that’s right, a crab got a hold of his toe. Most beach goers thought it was the returning of our Lord, why you ask, because my brother walked on water, and only one other time in history, did that happened. O.K. now close your eyes, picture a kid that looked like Ernie on the old t.v. show My Three Sons, wading in the waters and shooting straight up in the air completely out of the water, never to sink below the water level again, and yet making it back to shore by running. That was my brother, not the returning of the Lord, although sometimes he likes to think of himself as God like.
The second funny memory was the vacation to Daytona, where you can drive and park on the beach. I was a young teenager, my mom and stepdad driving an extended 1978 truck decided to park on the beach. O.K. that’s normal, but being my stepdad, he wanted the best parking spot on the beach so he drove up and parked in front of everyone else, placing us close to the beach. All good right… wrong, you see there are these things called tides, they go out and yes you guessed it, they eventually come back in, to make a long story short, a heavy truck, in sand, on high tide, yep a wrecker was called to pull us out. We won’t even mention the trip back, inolving a policeman, my stepdad and jail.
Now, remember the walking on water earlier in this blog, well I’m guilty of it too. My wife and I was at Sanibel Island on our honeymoon. Yes, we went swimming on our honeymoon! Anyway, we were about waist to shoulder deep with this young girl that we didn’t swimming around us, and then it happened, like the scene from Jaws, which we had just seen a few years earlier, a fin broke the top of the water near us. The thoughts rushed thru my head… do I SCREAM like a girl? Do I dive in front of this man eating machine to save my wife? Do I pick this young girl up that we don’t know and toss her in front of the shark, giving my wife and I time to make it to shore? Or count on my 4 years of high school swim team talent and out swim both, leaving my wife and this young child as the distraction? Thank goodness before I had to make such decisions, the little girl, being a Florida native starts swimming towards it, knowing it was a dolphin instead of a shark. O.K. other than screaming like a little girl with a high pitch voice, I looked pretty manly!
So, I hope to bring more stories and memories home with me this week and see ya’ll soon!
The painting is a 4″ x 8″ watercolor on hotpress board, that I’m giving it away while in Florida, not sure who, just someone on the beach or poolside probably.
a creator of such creatures,
a splash of golden yellow,
upon their feathers and their features.
Dancing among the thistles,
as though kids in play,
as others flying in,
while the others dance away.
The males wear a toupee of black,
with golden yellows shining bright,
while the females beauty is faded,
their colors a little slight.
More beauty attires the males,
as they strut and do their dance,
trying to impress the females,
as they hope and to have a chance.
A touch of golden yellow,
on God’s Earthly painting of wonder,
full of amazing colors and life,
so stop, look and ponder.