Saturday, September 30, 2017


Very recently, I had a friend reach out to me requesting that I paint an orchid for her, in the same format of my envelopes, (with a blank place or placard for a name) so that she could have the image somehow put onto the urn that will be used for her mother's ashes.  I was sorry to hear about her mother's passing, but intrigued with the request to 1)- do something for an urn, and 2)- paint an orchid of some kind.
Ashamedly, I'll admit, that I have never given much attention to orchids, having never really been around them much.  Yet, as I reviewed the multiplicity of types of orchids, it was impressive to see just how delicate, yet how beautiful of a flower an orchid can be.  This is the first time trying to paint such a thing...normally I stick with the critters or animals that are either climbing upon a flower, or that will eat one as lunch.  Hopefully, it does justice for the intent of the final image.

This was done in gouache and pen and ink, with a background of acrylic.

Saturday, September 23, 2017

Snails and Mountains

This weekend I was able to knock out a couple more envelopes for people.  The first one is going out "SNAIL MAIL" to an unsuspecting recipient.  I spend so much time at work digitally communicating with others that it is really a joy to create something, some meaningful communication, via regular email.  I'm sure that as technology advances ever onward, the good ol' US Post office will continue to slide into irrelevance.  But, I'm happy that I'm doing my part each week to make a stamped letter retain its wonder.

The second letter is headed out to the last of the crew that I spoke of in a previous post.  It's taken me a bit, but finally have finished a letter to each of the group of friends from yester-year. I was driving the other day towards the Superstition Mountains before the sun came up and I was in awe of the multiple shades of blue and purple of the layered bluffs in contrast to the pink and every brightening sky.  I decided to try my hand at another landscape to catch those colors. Now that it's done, I'm on the hunt for new recipients.

The first was done mainly in gouache with a hint of pen and ink to outline.  The second almost entirely with acrylic, but with a slight amount of prismacolor.

Thursday, September 14, 2017

Wings for a Grandmother

The paternal grandmother of my wife is a sweet, gentle and caring individual.  Over the past few years her health has declined, and a mind that was once sharp and buoyant has grown dimmer as she has ailed.  At this point someone always has to be with her to keep her safe from the affects of dementia and a weakening body.  However, she still loves to sit down and look at pictures and to sing whatever words are in front of her.
After her first husband passed away, whenever she saw a butterfly, she felt it was a sign that he was near and watching over her.  
Today's envelope and letter (to words I hope she will sing) is going out to her.

This one was done with gouache, with an acrylic background.

Monday, September 04, 2017

Complimentary Colors

My son just recently began to find a deeper interest in color, the color wheel, color theory, etc. due to an art class that he is taking in junior high.  This week we spoke about complimentary colors, how they look when they are put together in a composition, how to correctly shade by mixing the complimentary color, etc..  Because of the lesson, I chose this week to play around with blues and oranges.  Thankfully, with a little more weekend time than normal, due to the Labor Day holiday, I was able to spend a little more focus on detail.  This is the result....another envelope to be sent to an unsuspecting recipient.

I've mentioned before that I love fish.  We have a tank in the house and I find that when things are crazy, it is very therapeutic for me to just sit in front of the tank and watch the little guys float here and there.  There is so much in nature that could be enjoyed, so many indications that there is a benevolent creator who has specifically made beautiful things for us to see, touch, and be intrigued with.

This was done almost entirely in gouache, and the background is done in acrylic.

Trees, Trees and More Trees.....

Last week, a very kind couple in our neighborhood faced some challenges as the wife found that she had a blood clot in her head, rendering them both very preoccupied with health, life, etc.  This week's envelope and encouraging note went out to them.  I've been enjoying doodling trees, and playing with greens, so this was a refreshing project.  I particularly enjoyed playing with the trees in the background, and the suggestion of shape by introducing different tones and colors.

When I was a young man, and now on into my "golden years," I have learned that being in the deep of nature, especially in the heavily wooded shadows of nature brings a deep, peaceful, opportunity to reflect on life, the meaning behind it, my place in it, and just to appreciate the good things in the world....unless there are a lot of mosquitoes, and then the situation turns to other feelings of the "not so peaceful" sort.

Nonetheless, I hope you get out and enjoy nature this holiday weekend...and be sure to take your pen and pad to sketch up.