Dusk Beach Moments with Mom

Dusk Beach Moments With Dad

Chicken Universe

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Stealing Third

2006 & 2007 were banner years for Oregon State University Varsity Baseball. In '06 they went to the Collegiate National Championships, got into the final four, and took home the national title. Then, in 07, clearly something of an underdog, they did it again--the illustrious "2-peat!"

This picture, Stealing Third, is my interpretation of a photo (of player, Chris Kunda,) taken in May of that year (by Dennis Wolverton, http://denniswolverton.com/) from OSU's Oregon Stater Magazine . Yes, of course. I'm an OSU Beaver alum! (24 X 30 Acrylic orig.)

In December of 2008 I headed out to the west coast to visit family and friends. Some of my favorite sights, sounds, and smells are found in and around Newport, OR. During that trip and late one Sunday afternoon I headed that direction from the Valley about 45 minutes away, Corvallis, and made the trip to Newport. I stood above the docks just as the sun was going down. I walked down the long approach to the nested fishing boats in the harbor. It struck me how they were all together there like tired, sleeping fishermen in their assigned births up and down the docks.

The water was unusually calm. Picking my way along the floating docks I snapped a few photos and then headed back up the ramp to shore. Many of those shots came out surprisingly good, but this one demanded to be painted. What you see here, Sleeping Fishers, is my interpretation of that image. This is actually a poor picture of that painting, but it will do for now. There was one lone duck making its way across the quiet water. Can you see him? (16 X 20, Acrylic orig. Geclee $210)

Thursday, April 23, 2009

A place for Chicken Theorizing?

We built a chicken house. A short time after we moved to our present location near the city of Golden, CO, we decided to do some chicken farming. That idea wasn't so far fetched when you know my high school and college years were intensely albeit constructively influenced by a Conservative Mennonite community. At that time in my life it didn't matter that my family lived in the city. Our thinking--and our daily discourse--was connected to the adjacent agricultural community.

So, in building a chicken house with my wife and children we revisited (for me) some of these old and familiar skills, sights, sounds,...and smells. A parallel universe? "Chicken Universe" is about those skills, sights, sounds...and smells. It's about the chickens' world, where they live and play. It's a tightly routinized environment defined for them by the coop, the straw on the floor, their yard and its toys, and the fence that separates those things from the rest of our world. I'm a foreigner there. For all practical chicken purposes the outside world is surreal. It exists largely as a topic for intense chicken intellectualizing and speculative discussions. Beyond such chicken brain-expanding exercises--and maybe an accidentally open gate permitting a wider "free range"--this is the Chicken's Universe. (16 X 20, Acrylic orig; $180, Geclee)

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

They were on a beach for the very first time.

I remember my own first time. I was just a little kid. We'd recently moved from the nation's heartland to a coastal region of the Pacific Northwest, but we'd not yet been to the coast. Having driven from the valley toward the coast on a Friday evening after dad's work, we arrived at our destination; an ocean side campground, in the dark. Nevertheless, my parents wanted to "see" the Pacific Ocean. It was their first time, too. So we walked a sandy, winding path toward the beach. Fog and clouds obscured light from the moon or stars, so it was persuasively DARK! And the noise of the crashing waves told us we were getting close to the surf. It was a big sound, a penetrating din that began to roar, and everything in me shifted into "back-up!" mode. Mom and dad reassuringly took my hand to encourage me forward with them. Out of the fog, like a plush moving carpet, a tired ocean wave caressed my hesitant feet--a welcoming baptism. It splashed a new found joy into the heart of this young boy and welcomed me to the Pacific shores of the Northwest's coast. (16 x 20, Arcylic orig. Geclee $180 ea., sold separate or together)