My daughter has a nice boy puppy, who’s been with her since he really was a puppy. He’s a big boy, a boxer, a protective dog and a brute if he doesn’t trust you. But he loves my husband and I.
He smiles when we come, and laughs and wags his whole body when we take him for a walk. We don’t get to see him often, once or twice a year since he was a little pup, but he remembers, and it is flattering really, to be liked so well by such a good ol’ boy.
Recently he got sick, but he pulled through. We were almost as happy as my daughter and her boys!
I painted him because the boys will remember their good friend, who lets them climb on him, who always walks into the room where they are, who was there before they were born, who protects them. He is getting to be an old good boy. Even though his growl is a little raspier than it used to be, he means business to strangers… but mostly in the loving business with the boys.
A friend indeed. A noble fellow. A good ol’ boy.
He was also walking by in the painting “Eyes On The Pies”.
The joys in life pile up daily, yet some spark love like lightning bolts.
When we went to visit the grandboys, I was able to bring a couple jars of my homemade apple pie filling. It sure made it easier to make the pies, and faster. I had pre-ground my flours for the crust as well, so all I had to do was add butter and water, mix and roll. I love my pie crust. So do the boys. I love those boys.
They were very interested in how to make an apple pie, and after this moment of filling, were happy to help spoon the apples into the crusts. And they sure do focus and take it all in. I hope I give them a good example of things.
My daughter took some photos of this time, and I based my painting from her photos. She has loving eyes.
We all had great fun EATING the pies.
It was fun, too, that during that moment, their dog Onyx walked by in the background. I had to include Onyx. He has been in the family a long time. He’s a good boy, but he didn’t get any pie.
My greatest challenge in this piece was identifying the camera distortions in the resource photo, thereby straightening entryways and one of the boy’s heads was stretched and his body leaning too far, like he fell off the edge or something. I simplified a lot of things, and maximized the duo light source. The canvas used to have a desert landscape painted on it, and I left some of the nubbies from the mesquite scrub for interesting effects.
There might be a thing or two that might spring out at me that I will make minor adjustments to, but for now, I like this one as it is.
I just ordered more oil paint from Dick Blick’s. I’ve been shopping there for many years. Getting new paint is almost as good as apple pie.
Praise the Lord Jesus for His grace and love of mankind.
Walking through a St. Charles neighborhood, there were few places where houses were not dense enough to block the view. However, we kept walking around, discovering a park that was nice, but the best view was a vacant lot on a hill, where one could see the city beneath, over the rooftops of communities. We loved the view from that spot, (although we did not go up to the hill because it was marked as privately owned). A space with a view. That background is suggested here …though not detailed, the feeling is there. Space. A clear space. I love the feeling of freedom in open spaces.
The raven, of course, is Jack. He has never been to St. Charles except in our hearts, and our son has only been here once, except in our hearts. He was standing in his kitchen when I took the photo, with his cell phone. A view of sorts. He also has a pleasant outlook in his life now, and I find he and Jack have a great degree of intelligence and basic joy in their lives.
And since our son and our Jack the raven are some of my favorites, I saw no problem bringing all those pleasant attributes together into one painting, titled “A Bright Outlook”.
The painting is on a canvas with 2 other paintings under it, so it has the added interest of varied textures. It seems most of my life I have painted with some sort of green underpainting before a portrait, but for this one, I began with warm colors and stayed warm to go with his red hair. I use several brands of paint, recently enjoying “blue black” from Rublev and a Mussini “juane brilliant” as well as others beautiful colors. It’s fun to try new paints. Sometimes in working these days, I might forget what I’m doing a little bit or things like that, but I don’t worry about it like I used to.
Also, I discovered I have a tendency to use brushes down to their nubs. I don’t think I want to do that any more. It’s fun to have a nice new brush or two. Live it up.
Grandpa tried throughout the summer to start a new little grapevine for Nio from his Concord grape vine. He thought about the sweet purple taste of the grape and how Nio would like it. He thought about sharing some things that he enjoyed very much with his grandson – gardening, sunshine, eating grapes off the vine.
All of his efforts failed, all his little cuttings died – except this one.
It was time to go visit and his grapevine was still very small and vulnerable. Well, he promised a grapevine to Nio (and you never break your promise to a child). He had to bring it.
Those fellows dug and dug out there in the backyard dirt, in a space where dad’s lawnmower would not be impeded. In fact, they had so much fun digging, they first dug a big hole – knee deep on Nio, and filled it with water. There is much fun playing in mud and holes.
Grandpa loves his grandboys.
Then they got down to business just a little ways from the hole they filled back in, so little brother wouldn’t fall in head first. Little brother also likes to tap a little bit firmly or pull things out of holes, and Nio was quite careful to protect his grapevine.
Today I was remembering my friend Junior. Friends are rare, and good. Junior was a cowboy, I was empty nesting and mid-lifeing and everything that comes during that time. Junior and his wife blessed me so much then.
Everything I learned about cowboys, I learned from Junior. He took me out where the cowboys work, explaining what they do and how. He kept me from causing catastrophes while I was out there, and was responsible for allowing me the chance to paint the entire cowboy series from my experience there.
These are two images of paintings with Junior. He is wearing the black hat. The first one is entitled “Tellin’ A Windy”, and the second I can’t remember the title, but I consider it to be one of my apex pieces.
Some of what I learned about ranchers is that they are excellent stewards of both land and animals. And they love both.
Junior has been away now for 2 years. It seems awhile longer than that.
“Tellin’ A Windy” – 24″x20″ – Oil
Someone else who less personally had great influence in my life was Gene. Gene has recently gone “from breath to air”….
His books have contributed much to my life in the adventure of being in Jesus, of He in us, of His Presence and Livingness now. Church Life as being in Christ, experiencing Him, and sharing Him.
Church Life expressed practically through us, or “putting wheels on it”, Gene had much more to say about that than I could know. That, too, is arranged and fulfilled by Jesus’ Life in His people.
Some brothers must have enjoyed “Star Wars” along with Gene, as for a special event for his 60th birthday, one brother asked me to paint this for them. Captain and First Mate. So also I found it fun to place an altered version of the intro to the original Star Wars program, as Captain Gene may have told it:
Outside of time and space, the final Frontier These are the voyages of the Ecclesia Enterprise Her forever mission To explore New Realms To seek out His Life And rest in His Love To boldly go where Christ in you has gone before…
Well, maybe he would have said that a better way.
And below an image of some saints, sharing in the Love of our Jesus together, singing in a brotherly embrace… Gene was not a fan of pews.
Memories of people we love… remembering times with them. God is good. Whatever our lives are, it is given by God from His Love…
As far as new work goes, I am about half way through another episode of Grandpa and the Boys, this time, planting a baby grapevine together, in the dirt. Young boys and old boys love playing in dirt. If I don’t screw it up, it will be a good one. It is an oil, 28″x22″. And also, I am now working in chapter 20 of Acts. Lord give grace in all the work. Amen.
There is no greater Gift from God than being given a child. We are entrusted by God to raise them to Him. It is the most important job in the world, and we are never more tired, even exhausted, yet it is a treasured and joy-filled time of life.
Nursing our children provides a time of closeness and mutual nurturing, nothing is sweeter. The time is peaceful and calm, a love-bubble for the two of you. Not to mention the mother’s milk is full of healthy things for the baby, guaranteeing immunities and lots of good things.
And there is nothing sweeter still than seeing your daughter’s joy as she loves beyond the deepest exhaustion, fulfilled in motherhood. Her child is happy and beautiful. She gives her life to her children fully and without reservation. I love seeing her with her boys.
I suppose this is the last of works from our last visit. This is the fifth piece, extending my time with them some. Mario has already grown, and is doing amazing things. He’s a happy boy, gregarious and jolly. I look forward to when I may see them all again. God is good, He knows all things in our hearts.
My next painting is already forming, my husband feeding the raven out front when it snowed the other day. Our raven friend Jack is rather spoiled at times.
He’s the star of the show, and the sparkle in my eye. Mario is full of zesty life and I was honored that he felt comfortable with me. I would love to see him more, but that isn’t always doable these days. We were in a park, but the trees did not seem as significant as the feeling of shade nearby and we in the sunshine together.
It wasn’t hard to make him the focus, the subject. He is that in real life also. Over flowing joy.
I take comfort in knowing that God has raised up children for this time in history, that He will take care of them, and all things work out according to His Purpose and Timing. No one is a mistake, our times are in His hand.