from a dad's view

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We all love dogs – Watercolors

duopaintings
Click on image to zoom
These are two recent watercolors of mine that will be given away for two important reasons. The first will be going to a friend of my daughters for a Valentine Day gift for his wife. It’s easy to go out and buy flowers or candy, but something unique or handmade, always made more sense to me and I hope his wife loves it.

Although important for this friend, the second painting is a life changer. Maybe not the painting, but what it will be auctioned off for hopefully will be. A high school friend of mine will be auctioning off the original, and will be offering prints to purchase in order to raise money for children with Epilepsy, and has a need for a trained early warning dog by their side. Knowing how important these dogs can be to change, and save lives, it was an easy choice to donate. My daughter trains dogs for the military PTSD, and other specially trained dogs, not only are the dogs amazing, but the trainers are equally amazing. The Gala and Auction will be held in Indiana and I hope that the auction is successful and will be able to supply several children with the dogs that they desperately need as a companion, and early warning alert system.

As an artist, I believe that God has given me (us) a gift to use as a craft to make a living, and help others that are in need. Please as an artist, give your time and art to special charities, churches, or any other group that may need just a little help.


Life ROCKS! watercolor and Pen and Ink

lonelyshadows
Click on image to zoom
Now I’m not one to stop very often, always moving, working, playing, and as a famous wise man once said “Git-R-Done” kind of guy, but when I stop there’s nothing better than a porch swing or a rocking chair. As I was painting this, although lonely in feeling, you have to wonder how many thoughts are, and were going through his mind while rocking in this chair for years. Front porches are a lost communication tool that needs to be brought back. Kids are missing out on the benefit of getting chewed out for swinging to high on the front porch swing that was meant for a gentle swing (been there done that). To many teenagers have missed out on the gentle swing or glide, outside, while parents are inside (probably peeking out the window) holding hands for the first time, first time kiss, all while swaying in a gentle way, almost seemingly to comfort both young nerves (been there done that). And then there is the wonderful time of holding your baby in your arms while swinging, or the proudest grandparent holding their grand baby remembering back when they held their own on the same swing or rocker (been there done that). Couples finally calling it a day and swinging together as they did when teenagers and discussing future plans, and just relaxing (been there done that). And then as the later years of life set in, to be able to sit in that same swing or rocker that holds so many memories of family, love, and yes even some pain, still brings back a little comfort to life and usually a smile. My Mother-In-Law passed about a year ago and one of the last pictures taken was all the family sitting on the porch swing remembering the wonderful times that we had with both parents, it once again brought the family love and thoughts together in a way that they would love to see. I’m sure there is a mental reason why people and babies have always enjoyed the rocking motion, but I do know that I plan to ROCK my life away and I hope you ROCK ON with me!

6″ x 6″ watercolor with pen and ink sketching


Sisters… who needs them

LilywatercolorClick on image to zoom in

Sisters… who needs them? I do, I do!  My family means so much to me, and my sisters are no exception.  I painted this painting for my sister that helps me so much with my parents and is there when I need her.  Ever since my parents got there divorce when we were really young, all of the siblings have been extremely close and helped each other get thru several very ugly years of divorce. Because of this, we have a special bond that goes beyond most siblings relationships.  To all my siblings far and near, thank you for your love and help thru troubled and wonderful times!


Going Old School – Watercolor

GoinOldSchoolClick on image to zoom in

I’m not sure which is older and in worse shape, this old school building or myself! This is a one room school building here in southern Indiana that a friend has located in her backyard. This 5″ x 7″ pen and ink, watercolor painting that I did was painted from a photo that she had taken earlier.

It’s funny to me, when I think of all the brilliant people who was taught in schools similar to this. Abraham Lincoln for one, actually grew up just miles from this school, and that’s not counting the great Philosophers, Engineers, Inventors, Astronomers, Physicist, etc. that we’re taught and excelled in classrooms similar to this. I hold education so important seeing that I wasted mine earlier in my life, but my question to you is why is it that we keep spending more and more money, millions upon billions on improving our schools and yet getting horrible results. A local high school has received millions and looks like the best of any small college in technology, and yet the graduation rate is less than 75% and minority rate is even much lower.  Maybe it isn’t the money spent, but what has changed in the areas of discipline (in schools, but more importantly at home), pride of both the child and parents, the respect for elders, parents and teachers from a child, and hard work, and that flat-out means stop being lazy America, whether your a child or an adult. I think it’s time we stop using money as an excuse for our problems and start looking at ourselves for the answers. A new computer can’t teach life lessons to a child, like that of a person who loves them.  Time to step-up, be the person that you were meant to be. Yes it’s hard work, time-consuming, and sometimes heart breaking, but like I have always told my daughters, most things that come easy aren’t worth having, and the rewards that are received after so much effort… is worth millions (or something like that).

Everyone have a great weekend, and let’s make a change for ourself and others that we touch this weekend!


God’s gift was given

A Gift was Given

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.

Ryan’s Prayer

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.

 

Amen


Night-time winter barn – watercolor

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.


Santa – Limited Edition Prints

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.

The specs:

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!

 

 


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.


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!


A gate somewhere in Orpington?

Just a small watercolor painting to be delivered to a blogging friend that was supposed to receive a painting months ago. So I’m sending two hopefully to maintain a blogging friendship… sorry for the delay!


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 lakerudolph.com. 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!


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.


My first Oil Painting

 

elie

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.