These two pieces are just a few of 30 wall, and standing driftwood art pieces. Delivered to me by natures waterways, and then I enhanced them by a lot of cleaning, treating, sanding and finishing, to create one-of-a-kind art. Although still doing watercolors, this branch (no pun intended) of art allows me a new direction.
i will be adding these and all others to artbyrhayes.com soon
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There’s that few seconds when the edge of day meets the darkness of night that makes things magical. Several times while at the ocean I have my camera in hand thinking I was going to capture the moment, and before I knew it, that moment was gone. How is it that something that stays in the sky for so many hours of the day, can disappear as if there is magic involved. Now I know better, and when that moment approaches, I’m ready.
Original 8″ x 11″ watercolor (11″ x 14″ matted) on 140lb cold press paper
As she dances in the night, she can only dream of a partner from above. It’s been 10 years since she laid upon the fields of gold, gazing up at the stars. Missing the days of riding a bike, swinging in the old rope swing hung by her grandfather, and the warmth when embraced by her parents. Just a young girl with so many moments in life still ahead of her and yet those moments would never come.
It was one of those hot days when the ocean breeze, and the cool spray of the waves could cool things off. This was her moment to use the heat as an excuse to ask her parents to take the boat out a few miles and see the wildlife that she so loved. You see her dream was always to live in the ocean and swim with the grace of the dolphins, and yet the gentleness of a sea turtle upon a wave. This world above sea level was fun, but things must be even better under the sea. Her dad finally puts his tools down and agrees that they do need a break, and off they went.
The boat was loaded and off they went. Smiling with the biggest of smiles, and her friends the dolphins taking lead, further and further they ventured. What they didn’t realize, and something her dad usually checked, was the weather. Setting out in such a hurry, they didn’t realize that the heat of the day, created energy for the storm approaching, approaching fast. The waves grew, the control of the small vessel lessened until there was no control. Her dad fought and held on as long as his loving arms could, but the grip was lost.
As the light from above dimmed, and the cold dark blue of the ocean increased, Amber faded. Her thoughts were on her dad and what had happened.
It’s been ten years, and now Amber still dances, but dances alone. There are still fisherman today that say that they see this beautiful young lady dancing with long flowing red hair, but that’s not possible. For you see, this little girl named Amber and her loving father, are together, but they are together under the tree that once held the rope swing that her grandfather hung.
watercolor, 11″ x 14″
Acrylics on 140lb cold press paper
Click on image to zoom
Lived my entire life in southern Indiana, but have always had a love for the beach and ocean. There are two places in this world that brings calm and relaxation to me, that’s walking in the woods, or strolling down an ocean beach. Even as a kid the adventure of what you might see, or what you might find while walking at both places has always been a fun time. The woods offer beautifully shaped trees, little streams rolling down the hillside, a box turtle slowly making its way through the woods or a shed whitetail antler, you just never know. The ocean, along with its rhythmic sound of waves, also offers an abundant natural and manmade wonders, from a beautifully shaped and aged piece of driftwood, seashells of all kinds, and sea life that will absolutely amaze the eye. Some just simply walk past, or walk through without actually opening their eyes, ears, and minds to actually inhale all of its wonders. This is also a symbol of the way our lives are journeyed these days, without appreciation, respect, and missing out on the true wonders of whats been given.
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Well, it’s been awhile and I know some of you are thankful for it! It has been a crazy Spring and beginning of the Summer here in Indiana, and so my art has taken a hit because of it. But I’m hoping to add to my blog more often, and get back into the swing of it. Thanks for checking in from time to time and I hope you have enjoyed it.
This painting is of a solo boat in the middle of a bay, and under an unseen pier. The dark shadows contrasting with the blues and purples caught my eye and so I had to paint it. But there is more to this in my mind than just a painting. You see I’m at the time of my life (old, but not real old) that I’m not sure if I should stay tied to what I know as safe, comfortable, and unchallenging, like you see in the painting, or should I untie that anchoring rope and allow myself to drift into the unknown territory of the NEW. I know that everyone has these moments through out their lives. You know, that first step into school class, getting your drivers license, dating, marriage, having children, and for me changing jobs, becoming a full time artist or possibly retiring soon (but continue my art). It is so comfortable being tied to that post of life, and be very happy in that situation, but then you have to wonder what might be out there for you if you would take that chance and untie the comforting rope and set adrift. Well, I guess you’ll have to check in from time to time to see if the boat has been set a sail to the shores of Florida, or still tied to the comfortable life in Indiana. Either way, I’ll have paint brush in hand, and ready to paint the next moment in life that captures my eye.
Thank you again for visiting, and may your journey in this life be a grand one!
Click on image to zoom
My daughters are getting ready to move to Florida and one will be working with Winter the dolphin missing a tail replaced by a prosthetic. There was a movie released about it called A Dolphin Tail starring Harry Connick, Jr. and Ashley Judd. She will be working with several mammals at the Clearwater Marine Aquarium. Along with that, she will be swimming with these huge but adorable creatures. \
I have painted several wildlife of different colors series and they seem to be really popular, so I thought that I would do one of the Manatee to go with the series. Although this one isn’t finished yet, it is all watercolor and will be matted to fit a 16″ x 20″ frame.
I hope you enjoy, and I will post the final product once finished.
These are two of five painting that I did while on vacation in Destin, Florida. The little girl was adorable in a pink tutu and unfortunately I didn’t see the parents again after I had painted her. So if the parents see this post please contact me.
The Sea Turtle is actually painted with Destin Florida Ocean Water and was inspired by a sea turtle seen while deep sea fishing with my daughters.
What’s more important than these paintings, are the wonderful people and friends that we met while on vacation. You hear of the bad in people now days, but what we forget is how much good is still out there. People from all over the world and the U.S., came up to me and by weeks end, were what I would consider a friend, even if we never see them again. A man and his family from St. louis even invited me out to camp and do some fishing some day. Now considering that he wasn’t happy to be there because he had hopes of visiting Canada instead of the beach, I think by the weeks end (we won’t tell his wife) but he had a good time!
Another, was a young man, I’m guessing around 9 or 10, was watching me from behind while I painted, and being very stealthy and polite about it. I started to talk to him and found out that he loves art, and his mother from Italy confirmed it. His parents were from Italy and War zone Bosnia, which was fascinating, but we talked about his art and how he had been watching me paint. before they left I presented them with an original watercolor that I had painted earlier that day and you would have thought that I just gave him gold. This means so much more than money to me, to see this young man being so kind, polite, and appreciative, it was an easy choice. i hope someday he will become a famous artist, look back and remember that day, and maybe make another young person excited by giving one of his pieces away. he finished off by telling his mother that this was very special and had to be hang in a special spot… better than money any day!
Thank you all that we met on the beach of Destin, Florida, I hope you had as much fun as my family and who knows maybe we will see you again at the beach real soon!
I hope to soon semi-retire to a coastal area, and I hope that I can continue to do what I do as far as painting and the arts, but more than anything, I hope I can inspire young and old to pick up a pencil, brush or clay and become creative.