from a dad's view


Amber – Watercolor

Click on image to zoom in

Well, I had a little break in the action last night and even though I several commissioned paintings to start, I had very little time for a major project, so I found this photo of Amber that I had wanted to paint for awhile now and this is the end result. Amber does amazing photography and is creative in all that she does. A lot of her photos to me have this rich look to them and I didn’t capture exactly what I was hoping for, but I hope she approves. She has beautiful skin and the rich colors and at terns of the cloth draping her brings a wonderful contrast. Thank you Amber for allowing me to paint from a beautiful photo of yours!

This is all watercolor on Crescent hot pressed  illustration board. The image is 5 1/2″  x  8″

Don’t Forget to visit the Gallery at the very top of blog and also visit my other blog (updated soon… I promise) Thanks Everyone!

Aspen Trees, Greening for Spring – watercolor

Click on image to zoom in

A little celebration of what’s hopefully coming soon… Spring!  Southern Indiana has had a fairly calm winter but it’s time for it to get out and allow the spring time weather to roll in. This watercolor that I painted yesterday is a 5″ x 7″  on 140lb coldpress paper, 3 color watercolor palette and india inked tree. For some reason I decided to only use the pen and ink on the tree trunk and limbs, and watercolor the leaves… just something different I guess. By keeping the shading down to minimum, I think it gives a more graphic or illustrated look. Instead of shading I either kept a thin white line between items to separate them or just used the contrast in colors for depth.  Anyway I have a canvas acrylic almost finished and another larger watercolor about half way finished that I hope to post next week (if time allows). Until then I hope you like this one and thanks for visiting.

Please visit my Gallery at the top of my header to see other paintings of mine.

Also, I apologize to all my good friends of the blog world for my absence visiting your sites, it has been a crazy year so far. I hope to visit more in the coming months, but just always know that I admire all of your talents and friendliness.

Why? God – watercolor

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.

Sea Shell by the Sea Shore – Watercolor

Listen… can you hear it, years and years of families making memories. Can’t hear it yet, put the shell a little closer to your ear, and listen closely, now do you hear the kids laughing as they run back and forth, up and down the beach, avoiding the waves edge. Maybe the laughter as the dad throws his kids high in the air and catching them just before they land in the ocean waters or maybe the building of the first sand castle for some small kids and the amazement in their eyes when something so beautiful can be made from something so simple.  Or maybe the teenagers playing games, hoping that they meet someone special to spend their Spring Break with.  Or maybe that retired older couple that spends their days hand in hand walking the beach, remembering all those memories and still making more as they go. Can you hear it, can you hear it now?  If not, maybe it’s because you haven’t experienced it yet, and just don’t know what it sounds like.  Take my advice, and locate the nearest ocean and go, we drive 10-14 hours to get to one, and it’s all worth it!  Sacrifice some unnecessary, material things, and take that special one, family or your kids, and go.  I think you’ll find that it is all worth it in the end.  And while your down there, buy a conch shell, they are only a few dollars, mark the date on the bottom of it, and put your ear close to its opening and listen every once in a while, I think then you hear all the memories that you had made.  Thanks, and make some memories with your family!

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!

Lighthouse Summer Challenge-My Version

This is my watercolor and tech pen version of the Summertime challenge put on by Richard posted this challenge using his photo of a lighthouse or you can also use a lighthouse of your own.  Well, being from southern Indiana there’s not a wide variety of lighthouses, so I used the one Richard had offered, although I summered it up.  I wanted the Light and a few trees to break free of the paintings border by extending them beyond the paintings frame.

I can’t wait to see other artists versions and I’m glad that there was enough interest in the spring challenge that Richard brought it alive again in this summer challenge.

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.

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?


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.

Forgotten Treasures

While doing this sketch, I started thinking about the age, history and stories behind this beautiful old vehicle. How proud was the owner when purchased new, something at that time was rare. What kind of memories were made in and around it. I have so many memories in my parents cars, sleeping in the back window (before seat belt laws), Sticking my bare feet out the windows on a cool night, trips taken with  my brother and sisters packed in like sardines and so much more. I guess like this old truck, as we age are cosmetic beauty fades, but our history, knowledge and inner beauty grows. So take a second look, what stories or memories do you see?