Friday, January 24, 2020

Jack in the Box

Lately I have been motivated to paint. I went quite a while without putting brush to canvas, but now it's a different story. I just signed my latest, which I have entitled "Jack in the Box." Why that title? Let me post the painting here, then I'll explain.

Jack in the Box
This is Jackson, my grandson. This picture was taken many years ago and I've saved it with the thought of painting it one day. Jackson is soon to be 19 years old and I'm sure this was taken when he was three or four. So cute!!! BTW,the box really did say "First Class Travel for Children." He is now a freshman at MTSU in Murfreesboro taking music classes. He is following in his father's footsteps in the music business. He aspires to be a recording artist. He has written many songs and, with dad's help and expertise, has released a few of his original songs. You can follow him on facebook under Jackson Forrest. I am so very proud of him.
Although I signed it,it is not completed to my satisfaction, but to be honest I got tired of fighting to hide the grid lines. I didn't think about that while doing the drawing so had to deal with. I will work on it some more.

I do have another project that I will be working on. I'm anxious to get started on it. It is a portrait of a very special couple, people who have done so much to help me. I wanted to repay their kindnesses, so we agreed on a "commission" of a portrait. I hope and pray I can do them justice.

Well, that's all for now. See you next time.

Friday, December 27, 2019

I'm Back

I guess you've noticed that I've been MIA for a little over a month. This past month has been filled with so many other things that needed to be done. The month of November started out with a presentation for the Women's Ministry of my church - which I am told was a success. Then the holidays were upon us; Thanksgiving, then Christmas. Have you ever thought about the fact that we celebrate three holidays in a short period of time - starting with Halloween at the end of October. Busy, busy time.

To make matters worse, I was not operating at 100% ability. Let me explain. I was diagnosed with Rheumatoid Disease (commonly referred to as Rheumatoid Arthritis) in late 2011 and have been under doctor's care ever since. It can be a debilitating disease and there are days that doing anything at all - physically or mentally - can be almost impossible to handle. I still paint, but it takes me longer to finish a work. Sometimes when I'm hurting I just push through and other times painting has also proven to be cathartic in the sense that it takes me out of the pain.

Here's a painting I just finished today.

Mauna Kea at Sunset
Commissioned by a friend back in November. They requested a painting of this mountain - the tallest point in the islands - in the world - when you consider it from its base deep in the ocean. Mt. Everest stands at 29,035 feet above sea level, and undeniably the "highest altitude" in the world, but the highest mountain is Mauna Kea. The catch: it's a dormant volcano which is about 19,700 feet below the Pacific Ocean, in other words, more than half of it is submerged. When you add everything together, Mauna Kea is over 10,000 meters tall or way taller than the 8,850 meters of Mt. Everest - making it the "worlds tallest mountain." The location is near ideal because of its dark skies from lack of light pollution, good astronomical seeing, low humidity, high elevation of 4,205 meters (13,796 ft), position above most of the water vapor in the atmosphere, clean air, good weather and low latitude location. 

 At present there is a lot of controversy surrounding this mountain. Because of the ideal conditions stated above, there are already observatories on top of the mountain, but the scientists/ astrologist want to build more and larger observatories to house larger telescopes. The governor has approved that build, but the local people are in arms about that because they consider the mountain sacred. They have been fighting against the construction for several months. The activists have been literally living on the summit of the mountain for months in an attempt to keep construction from starting.

Normally it wouldn't have taken me this long to finish, however, there were a couple of weeks that I could not bring myself to paint. Now that's done, I'm ready to take on another project.

Saturday, November 16, 2019

What Can I Say - Late Again!!

Guess I'm always going to be late posting to this blog. Just can't seem to stay on top of it as I would like.

Saturday, week before last I displayed some artwork and bore my testimony at a Women's Ministry Brunch for my church. I must admit that I was very apprehensive about it - I think it was more the anticipation of doing it because once I got started it went very well. Better than I expected. The whole event was very well received and I breathed a sigh of relief.

As a result of that show, with the help of my son I rearranged the paintings in my studio/home. (I tell people, when necessary, "I live in my studio."). My son provided the muscle for hanging them. Luckily we did this when we did, because someone asked if he could bring his wife over to see my paintings. She missed the brunch. Here's my two primary walls that I hang my work on.

Notice the completed bassist from last time's post. 

Guess that's all for this time. Need to get started on another project.

Saturday, October 19, 2019

It's Been a Month

What can I say - it's been a month since I last posted. I'm trying, but try as I might, two weeks between posts has been difficult to keep up. I have all kinds of excuses, but not gonna go there, just sorry!

A bonus though, I've almost done with The Players - Bassist. I wanted to finish him because next month, November 2nd, Saturday to be exact, I will be hanging some of my pieces at a church function put on by the Women's Ministry of my church and I wanted to finish him before that time. Here he is:

I thought the painting of the first in this series was a challenge, I found that this one was a challenge as well - I thought it was going to be easy. The standup bass was the real challenge. For one, the wood had such a variation of color and grain - that I finally went with what seemed right. I did really enjoy doing this piece. Just needs a few more tweaks. For sure it will not be exactly like the picture.

Talk about the picture, I will post it below so that you can compare. I tried to put them side-by-side but couldn't do it.

Thank you for visiting. I will post the finished painting shortly.

Tuesday, September 17, 2019

2nd in The Players series

I did not mention it in my last blog post, but I've started a new series which I call "The Players." God has given each of us a special talent and since I enjoy painting people doing what they do, this series will be of people who exercise their God-given talent by playing music. The players are those men and women who are in the background, who are so essential to "seasoning" what the lead people are doing. Music is a universal language and very much a part of our lives. I can't imagine what this world would be without music and the part the players play in bringing us the music.

I'm going to do something I normally don't. I am going to post here the beginning of the current painting I will be working on - probably for the next month or so. I'm working from a photograph that I took of the bassist in a band called "Horseshoes and Hand Grenades." I know, I also thought, what kind of name is that, but guess they had a reason for picking that name. Anyway they were performing at the Ryman Opry House in Nashville, Tennessee during the Ryman's Bluegrass segment when I saw them. This player intrigued me - as I mentioned to my friend, "he looks like he's tripping, but he is really good."  That's when I decided to do this series, starting with the piece I did of my son in performance. Not sure how far I will take it.

18x24 oil on stretched canvas

I think I'm going to enjoy doing this one. I will post as I progress on this piece.

Saturday, August 10, 2019


Hi All:

It has been a little over two weeks since I last blogged (actually 21 days). Have been trying to be more consistent about posting every two weeks, but having difficulty doing that. This time it was due to the fact that I wanted to finish this painting, then post it.

This painting was taken from a photo taken by a fan of my son, Kimo Forrest, in performance. Kimo plays lead guitar and sings harmony with the mega-star band Alabama. He also has his own band - Cash Creek - that he fronts, sings harmony and lead vocals, and plays lead guitar and sometimes keyboards. He is quite proficient on all instruments.

Anyway, the fan posted the photo on Facebook and it popped up on my feed (I think I posted it here on July 2nd. -  I'll post it again so that you can have a comparison.) I was so impressed by the photo that I decided to challenge myself and paint it. Here it is:

"The Player" - Oil on 30x24 stretched canvas

I started the charcoal sketch on May 29th and here it is August 9 and finally finished.
Here's the photo I took it from. Considered putting the stripes from his shirt in, but realized that it would've probably proved too stressful.
I'm thinking that maybe this will be the start of a series of musicians in performance ... hmm, good idea - I think. That's it for now. Talk to you next time, hopefully in two weeks.

Saturday, July 20, 2019

I'm Back

My last post was July 2nd. It is now July 20th. A little more than two weeks, but not much considering the fact that I have been under the weather for the past week - actually side effects from a new medication my doc wanted to put me on.

Anyhow, thought I would post this triptych I did for an art competition back in 2010. The competition was sponsored by the First Baptist Church of Nashville. It won the "Purchase Award" which was worth $250. That was a surprise as I didn't expect to win anything. The prize money, to me, was not as rewarding as the fact that the painting was recognized. The painting had to reflect the theme - The Return of the Prodigal.  I don't remember the exact size, but it was pretty large after all the pieces were put together. Here's that piece.

The Return of the Prodigal
I tried to be as authentic to the time as I could. I know the actual story tells of how the father went way beyond the protocols of behavior by hiking up his "skirts" and running down the road to meet his once lost son. Composition-wise this was the only way I could show all three main characters - had to include the disgruntled older son.

Well, that's all I have for now. Hopefully I'll be able to work on my current WIP (work in progress) and post it for you in a couple of weeks.