Tuesday, October 3, 2017

"Frayed" 48x48, Oil on Canvas

"Frayed" 48x48, Oil on Canvas

I finished this painting after reading Sam Watkins account of the civil war. His book is called, Co. Aytch. Phil Leigh writes this about Sam:

"Of the 120 men enlisting in his company in 1861, Watkins was one of only seven remaining upon its surrender two weeks after Appomattox. Such endurance speaks volumes about the young man’s chronicle. During the war he was falsely arrested once, suffered three gunshot wounds and captured – and escaped – three times." (Article, Private Watkins War).

I am also reading Elisha Hunt Rhodes' account of the war, All for the Union. I am struck by the juxtaposition of these two men. Sam is a rascal but survives by his wits and cunning. Elisha is faithful to goodness throughout the war. He is a man you would remember because of that goodness. Both men came to faith. Sam, later in life after the war's end and Elisha already a follower of God as he went into service. Both men enter the gaping maw of the bloodiest war that was ever fought by an American and both lived through some of the worst battles of that war. Both were forever changed.

Perhaps this painting is also about a frayed South. And today, I feel a frayed country.

Thursday, September 14, 2017

"Emancipation Proclamation" 55x55, Oil on Canvas

"Emancipation Proclamation"
55x55, Oil on Canvas

I woke up on morning with this "idea" or image in my mind of a tree. I want to thank Matt Guilford for his input on the painting. What a blessing he is (and Betsy too!). 

In a time where it's hard to talk about racial issues without there being so much misunderstanding between what is said and what is meant I pray images can help us feel our way to each other.

Friday, September 1, 2017

"Memory" 16x72, Oil on Canvas

"Memory" 16x72, Oil on Canvas

The American Landscape holds our dead and our violence and begins the slow process of life anew.

This was from a great deal of Civil War reading I'm doing right now.

Wednesday, August 16, 2017

"Into the Deep" 55x55, Oil on Canvas

"Into the Deep" 
55x55, Oil on Canvas

Getting back into some larger works and it feels good! I forgot how much paint it takes though so have been making more orders. It was so great to get back to Big Bend and think and feel that enchanting place again.

Have been sitting on a few ideas for paintings that have been rumbling within me for a while. I will post soon. Pray peace over this frayed country.

Monday, August 7, 2017

"Night Lights" 48x36, OIl on Canvas

"Night Lights" 48x36, Oil on Canvas

A Mentor and Friend of mine suggested the title for this and I just loved it. 

I am inspired by the magical feeling of fireflies.

Thursday, July 13, 2017

"Gomer" 48x36, Oil on Canvas

"Gomer" 48x36, Oil on Canvas

I've had this in my mind for a while and finally got the chance to paint it. I am going to try to do more as a series of responses to Hosea. I thought about how she was "lost" out in the city. Her husband had to go looking for her. A man that loved to be in the country. I thought about his love for Gomer and how he looked until he found her and bought her back from her enslavement at whatever the cost. I thought about what had enticed her to leave. Her wayward heart that was looking for some excitement or attention. All along what she truly needed was to stay true to her first love.

In a way this is a painting of contrasts. One of heavenly light (as my friend Matt pointed out) and city lights. One of light fading and one of lights coming on. One of an abstract bending of light and another a grid of lines cutting through our city like scissor clips. It's also about how a city sometimes forgets to just look up. Beauty is grace.

As I've been traveling this summer I have seen some beautiful landscapes in our country. Farmlands and fields, waterfalls and valleys. I got to stay in some motels along the way and move over some of the concrete lines that traverse our nation. Getting passed or passing the trucks that really move this country from one end to the other. My kids and I having a time looking at all the different license plates.

I couldn't help but see how many "Adult Bookstores" lined the highways. It has become clear to me that everything is accessible just off the freeway. This was the first time in my life that I actually used the Anti Trafficking Hotline while on vacation. We were pulling into our hotel in Arkansas and passed another one on the way. One with a balcony. I have learned through Children's Advocacy Center of Texas that some hotels off the freeway with balcony's are used by traffickers. As we were passing this motel I saw a young lady on the balcony standing with a young man. She looked right at me in the van. She had a little tattoo on her stomach and the young man was pulling her arm. I've learned that this lets Johns know that she is available as they come off the freeway. As we left for dinner a few minutes later we passed the same hotel and I didn't see her out there anymore. I could not shake the feeling that I should report it just in case. After dinner, I did contact the Anti-Trafficking Hotline: 1 (888) 373-7888 or SMS: 233733 (Text "HELP" or "INFO"). You can give your tips anonymously if you choose to do so.