Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Allendorf Elevator

Allendorf Elevator | 5"x7" | oil on hardboard

Allendorf is a tiny town in Osceola County. When I was a kid, my brother and I would spend a few days each summer at my aunt and uncle's farm near there. We would occasionally go to the little cafe that was in town at the time. The cafe is gone now, but the sign was still there when I snapped the photo of this place.

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Thursday, October 22, 2009

The Daily Palette

My work was just featured on the University of Iowa's website called The Daily Palette. The Daily Palette's goal is to heighten interest, awareness and appreciation of the visual arts and writing through recognizing the efforts of Iowa-identified artists and communities.

You can view the site by clicking here.

Monday, October 12, 2009

Twin Bing

Twin Bing | 5"x7" | oil on hardboard

The Twin Bing. A mid-west candy classic. You're not from familiar with it? The Bing was invented in 1923 by the Palmer Candy Co. in Sioux City, Iowa and it was originally a single lump of nutty chocolaty cherry goodness. But evidently it was so good it went to Twin Bing in 1973 (and in 1986 to the triple lump King Bing).

I remember buying them at Duane's Grocery store here in Maurice when I was a kid. I can't quite remember if they were a nickel or a dime back in the 60s. Cherry nougat center surrounded by chocolate and crushed peanuts. Good stuff; trust me.

It's the nostalgic packaging that still grabs my attention. It has not changed much, if at all, over all these years. I worked this painting longer than I intended to. I kinda got sucked into creating the multiple shades of red and the wrinkled wrapper.

I've managed to keep the candy bar in the package thus far, but I can hear it calling my name.

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Monday, October 5, 2009

A Servant's Heart

A Servant's Heart | oil on canvas | 30x40

Here it is, the final completed painting. You've seen glimpses of the hands in the past, but here you can see them completely. Open, giving, serving hands–filled with things that represent what it means to be a servant.

Painting hands is a difficult task, and that was compounded I believe by painting them at this super-sized scale. My son Joe was my hand model and I think his hands worked well–although he wished I had done a better job of capturing his callouses. Tough critic.

My son Jack took the photo of me next to the painting. I thought it would help give you a better idea of the scale of the piece. Pretty large compared to most things you see on the blog.

In Rick Warren's book, The Purpose Driven Life he writes, "It is possible to serve in church for a lifetime without ever being a servant. You must have a servant's heart. How can you know if you have the heart of a servant? Jesus said, "You can tell what they are by what they do."

Real servants make themselves available. (the watch)

Real servants pay attention to needs (the coins)

Real servants do their best with what they have. (the nut and nail)

Real servants do every task with equal dedication (the matches)

Real servants are faithful to their ministry (the ring)

Real servants maintain a low profile. (the shadows)

Whoever wants to be great must become a servant - Mark 10:43

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Fields of Gold

Fields of Gold | 5"x7" | oil on hardboard

It was my hope to post the completed commission piece this week, but I've had a tough time getting together with the buyers to deliver it. I figured they should probably be the first to see it. Right? Thus, I'll wait to show you until they have it in their hands.

So I decided I'd post this instead today. Fall is now officially here and things are changing quickly here in Iowa. The harvest season is ramping up into full swing and the fields look beautiful. Golden fields of soybeans are radiant on a sunny autumn afternoon.

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