from a dad's view


Tying one on

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!

Little House on the Prairie – Sunset watercolor

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!

Peeping through the Window

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.


My Country Sweetheart

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!

Who took my home – Homeless

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.

Like stone in a creek

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!

Let the Pickets begin!

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.

Life is such a Beach!

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.

Under the Sea – Watercolor

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.

GoldFinch Watercolor

There must be a God,

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.

What’s life without Morals?

That’s right, I have no morels, and life with out morels, makes life hard to live. Some say that you don’t need any morels, and maybe that is what they were taught growing up, their parents didn’t have any, so they taught their children that they didn’t need any, and maybe that is what’s wrong with people now days. But on the other hand, the more people who want morels, the fewer it leaves us.

Yes, I’m speaking of Morels and not Morals.  It is the season in southern Indiana and Kentucky.  These ugly, little, brain looking like growths, are sooooo good!  The sad thing is they grow in only a few selected woods in the area, and the season only last a few weeks depending on weather. The other competitions you face when trying to find them are, other people getting them before you, deer and other animals eating them, and their short life span.  But once you find a woods and if you pick them correctly, you ca go back to that same place every year and find them again.  As far as picking them, you always pinch them off at the ground level, leaving the roots. other than that, there is nothing to it. The other problem, which is a very important one, is to make sure you know what you’re looking for. That and in our area, ticks.  Eating the wrong thing or a mushroom can kill you, so make sure you go with someone who knows what to pick and spray yourself with some type of bug spray before entering the woods.  But it is a fun thing to do with the family and kids love to find them.

Preparing and Cooking:

1. When you return home, split the morels length ways down the middle, top to bottom.

2. let soak over night in cold salt water in the refrigerator.

3. After you have soaked them, drain off the old water and Bugs, and yes I said bugs, they will be there. Rinse with new water and drain.

4. Some roll the morels in egg before the flour, others roll them directly in flour, either way can be done. The flour should have plenty of black pepper, all placed in a bag for shaking.

5. Get your oil good and hot before placing the morels in the skillet. Fry up to a golden brown and then lay them on a paper towel for draining the oil.

6. Salt and eat while hot, they are really bad when cooled off or cold, but heaven when hot.

Have fun finding them and have even more fun eating them, but just stay out of my woods!

Willie Nelson – Watercolor

My heroes have always been cowboys, and they still are it seems.  These are lyrics from a Willie Nelson song, just one of so many great songs by Willie. This is a watercolor/ink drawing I did over the weekend. I have always had people that I had considered heroes and people that I admire.

Here is a list of my heroes and people that I admire:

1. All my parents

2. People of the miltary

3. The police and firemen

4. The original founders of our Country and it’s government

Childhood Heroes:

5. Bruce Lee, amazing man although small in size, his strength, speed and wisdom was untouchable.

6. Daniel Boone, frontiersman

7. Tarzan

Tell me who would be on your list?

Magnolia – Acrylic

Nope, never seen the movie, but I did a painting. This is an old painting that I painted for my mom and step dad when they were leaving to move to Florida. It’s an acrylic on canvas and about 32″x48″ in size. It’s steel (play on words) one of my favorites because of he colors and depth.

I am currently working on an oil painting of my youngest daughter, all in black and white and hopefully will be posting it soon, but until then I have a few oldies that I will be posting in the next several days.


Don’t stare at it or you may start feeling a little dizzy… and not because your blonde. Finished this saturday morning for my youngest daughter. Click on the photo to get a better view. Have a great one!

Holly Berry is finished!

Worked on this friday at lunch and saturday morning to finish it up. It’s matted with a black mat backed off the image to leave a white 1/4 ” trim and then framed. The image shows the black all the way up to the painting, I did this just to give it a border for the post. This was a quick but fun painting that measures about 7″ x10″. Happy Holidays!

Scared the crap out of me!

RatHave you ever been so scared that you tried to run from something and even though your legs and feet were going a hundred miles an hour, you went no where? It’s like the old cartoon, where they were running so fast and not moving, that smoke started lifting from their feet. Well some us have seen it… not mentioning any names (brother), but it was the funniest thing I had ever seen. We were in my basement with a drop ceiling, where we suspected a mouse or rat had gotten in. We never had one before, so this was a new experience. So, I decided to put poison above the ceiling tile where we thought it was living. Now, not mentioning any names (brother) we ventured down the stairs, as I slowly lifted the ceiling, I saw a piece of ceiling insulation falling out. Being the teaser that I am, as it fell to where my brother (oops) could see it, I yelled loudly, THERE IT GOES! Catching a glance of something leaping from the tile, the man (my brother) started running like an Olympic sprinter, the only difference was, he ran in place practically burning a hole in the carpet. What he envisioned was this giant, man-eating, rat, pictured above, diving for his juggler. This was horribly mean of me, but I’m telling you, if you were there, you to would have laughed your head off. Oh, by the way we were both over the age of 35, not kids.

O.k. now that I’m going to catch hell from (my brother), I’ll tell one on myself. We were TPing (throwing Toilet Paper into the trees) at a friend’s house for Halloween. Iwas about 14 years old, 130 lbs, and apparently not very smart. I was with several older kids, some boys and girls. Anyway, in the process of TPing the dad of the person getting TPed comes busting out of the front door with a shotgun… acting like he was out to kill someone. He pointed the gun in the air and shucked a shell (we thought) into the chamber. Anyone who has hunted, knows the sound of a pump shotgun being loaded, and knows what a shotgun can do to you. Needless to say, I became an Olympic runner just like my older brother, only I was moving, when running. First of all, you can’t out run a shotgun, second of all, it was dark, Third and most important, when running in the dark at full speed, you have to watch for CLOTHES LINES! You guess it, at full speed, I ran my head and neck right into a clothes line and went instantly from an Olympic runner, to an Olympic gymnast, doing a triple flip, in pike position, right onto the ground (scoring all 10’s). All I could hear in the background was the shotgun bearing crazy man, laughing his head off, knowing he scared the CRAP out of me. Now, for the good news, after picking myself up in shame, still running, I leaped into the back of a pickup truck. No, that’s not the good news, the good news was, that a very attractive high school girl was leaping in after me and landing on top of me, Oh, did I mention that she was a high schooler, and I was in junior high.

There’s a couple of examples, now give me your moments, that you were scared the crap out of.

Due to the Graphic content

scaryhotThe content to this blog may be to graphic for the weak hearted or elderly… wait a minute that’s me! O.K., it’s a graphic, just a graphic, nothing scary, nothing gross, well at least not much, and kinda hot, but not obscene. I thought that I would do something a little different in style for the halloween theme, and go with a graphic style vampire . I enjoy halloween because it allows us to be a little crazy, creative, and it’s the only holiday that you’re supposed to be ugly, which is easy for us that are already ugly.

My family and I just spent the weekend at a halloween themed campground. The entire campground of more than 350 lots, decorate and create halloween scenes at each lot. The campground also has dances for the teens, pumpkin carving, ghost stories around a giant fire, and much more. Adults dress up and become kids for the weekend and enjoy each others company and food. Food, lots of food, to much food and guess what, I ate it all, I’m so ashamed. The campground is called Lake Rudolph in Santa Claus, Indiana, the web is They started with 1 weekend and now due to popularity have grown to 6 weekends. They have 200 rentable campers that have a queen size bed, kitchen, dining room table, living area and a bedroom with 4 bunk beds, with heat, air, and kitchen appliances. I know what you’re thinking… that’s not camping, but as long as you have a huge campfire  marshmallows and chocolate, that’s camping. Check it out and try to find a local campground and encourage them to due the same. They make a fortune off of it, and it’s great fun for family and friends.

Whether a trick or treat, leave me a comment!

Horse – Watercolor

HorseeyeI started this last night for my daughter. She loves horses and is off to college to become a vet tech, specializing in equine breeding or therapy. I know it’s similar to the predator painting, but I think she’ll love it. It’s almost finished with just a few more hair details to be placed under the eye and jaw. Thanks for visiting!

emBARKED on new watercolor!

DriftwoodTook a break from the fantasy painting in order to complete this black and white wash this weekend. I love black and white photos and have requested my photog blog friends to post more of their black and whites. So, I decided to do a mono painting, and the flow of this driftwood entangled with each other caught my eye. It’s a 12″ x 16″ watercolor on hotpressed board. It took about 4 hrs to complete and was for sell, until my wife decided she wanted to keep it. She wins… all the time! So, it will be framed in a modern black frame, but I’m not sure on matting or not. The seam down the middle is a scanning mark, because I had to scan in two separate scans and pieced it together.

I was wondering, what would be considered a fair market price for a painting similar to this one? I usually give or sell my paintings to friends and family at a discounted or free, usually free, so I’m not sure what to ask when people contact me to purchase a painting. I’m not a crazy artist that gets offended by remarks or comments on my art. For one, I realize, all people have different taste, in music, art, looks and material things. So I don’t expect everyone to love my art or want to own one. But with the international market opening up for me, thanks to the internet, I have been contacted by several people wanting to buy my art, and  I’m not sure of what price I should be selling my paintings for. Do you go by the time put into the painting? Or is there a standard price for an unknown artist piece of art?

Help me out, all you pro’s out there, if you have any suggestions please leave a comment.

Tis the Season-watercolor

SnowwalkI know, I know it’s not winter in Indiana yet, but it is in my world. This is the time, starting in August, that I design corporate Christmas cards, oh, I’m sorry, Holiday cards for those politically correct. The watercolor posted, is a sketch for a card that I had done for one of our customers. Most of you know that I love the beach and the heat. There is only one week that I love snow and winter weather and that’s Christmas. Every once in a while we get lucky in Indiana and receive snow during the Christmas holidays and I love it. But once the new year rolls around, I’m ready for Spring again. I think more than the weather itself, what bothers me is the short days of daylight. I get to work about 7 a.m. and then get back home around 5 p.m., during the winter it’s dark when I go to work and then dark by time I get home for the evening… HATE IT!

But as the season approaches and the temperature drops, may your home and heart be filled with warmth, no matter what religion or philosophy you believe in.

Yep, another watercolor of a barn

barnfnlThis is a follow up on the last post. I finished this last night for my sister (metaphase). The scan once again isn’t the best but it gives you an idea on what it looks like. I’m testing out the best and least expensive way for some students to get into to watercolor. This set of 12, .4 oz tubes of reeves watercolors was $9.00, four nice brushes were $23.00 and watercolor coldpress paper. The barn painting was completed using this exact set. That’s one thing nice about watercolor, the tubes are small but the paint goes a long way.

There are some fantastic artist visiting my blog and I would love to hear your critics on my technic or directions to help improve my paintings. I haven’t been schooled at all, other than high school classes, so any suggestions are welcomed. I hope to be giving free classes over the winter just to get people into the arts and your suggestions will be helpful. I will learn from my students just as much as I will teach I’m sure.

My first Oil Painting



Yep, you would think after painting and drawing for 30 years, I would have attempted an oil painting. But all through high school we weren’t allowed because of the ventilation problems, and I never went to college or had art training. Because of that I just became accustom to acrylics and other medias. This is the first oil painting ever for me, measuring 24″ x 36″ finished in 2007, which took about 10 hours. I get bored with the subjects and mediums so I change frequently. Not the best thing for a fine art career but it keeps me interested. The color and contrast isn’t the best due to poor camera pic, but it will give you an idea of what it look like. 

I would gladly listen to suggestions from experienced oil artist, or anyone else with critic or direction.

Native American-Sketch Final

Indian#2This is the final for the Sketch and blog posted yesterday. I’m moving on to a new subject, it’s been a long time since sketching or painting a Native American, enjoyed doing it.


Passion a great liking or enthusiasm for something or someone.

Where do I start? I have so many passions, they may be spread out to thin. But I would just as soon have it that way than to be passionless. I love hunting, fishing, painting, drawing, wood working and most of all, my family. I believe there is a huge difference between just doing things, and having a passion for them. For an example, to walk into the woods, shoot a deer and walk out, is killing not hunting. Both have the same end results, but to spend days scouting the woods noticing which trees have fallen from wind or age, the growth of new vegetation, the beauty of deer grazing in the fields, sitting for hours a day in a tree stand with birds of all kinds coming within feet of you not noticing you’re there. To have the golden and red leaves surround you one week, and to see them fall in a waterfall of gold, red and orange the next, and then to be almost in a meditational state, mesmerized by the beauty of falling snow in the woods and then to finally see a majestic animal walking towards you, an animal that has out smarted you so many times, finally walking within bow range. Your heart starts pumping at a rate that can even be dangerous for some, and then to end with a shot that you have practice so many times in order to make a clean, quick kill. Now that is what you call a passion for hunting, not just killing.

Why did I pick one of my sketches of a horse for this story? My daughter that is eighteen has found her passion, a passion and respect of equine. She has spent two years of her high school weekends mucking stalls (shoveling up the crap) and working around the stables in order for her to have and stable her own horse. Believe me when I say, this is no easy job. She’s 5’11, drop dead gorgeous and could have been doing other things that wouldn’t have made me near as proud as I am today. She is off to college next year to study equine science and management, and I hope her passion stays true.

What is your passion? (keep it clean) And if you had a passion but lost it somewhere in the past, tell me why or how you lost it.