from a dad's view

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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


Sea Turtle – Watercolor

Destinlittlegirl DestinTurtleClick on Image to zoom in (Both Available to purchase at artbyrhayes.com)

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.


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!


PASSION

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?