Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Snowy Creek near Maurice

Snowy Creek near Maurice| 5"x7" | oil on hardboard

It is the season of giving, so I think I'll give this painting away. All subscribers to the blog will automatically be entered in the drawing and if you make a comment on the painting (below), I'll throw your name in the hat a second time. It will double your chances!

This is a small creek one mile west and two miles south of town. Winter officially arrived today and it looks and feels like it too.

Another year has flown by. Thanks for taking the time to view my work and a special thanks to those of you who have written kind comments and sent e-mails. They mean a great deal to me.

Merry Christmas, and may you have a blessed new year.

I will do the drawing for the painting on December 31.

Monday, December 6, 2010

Highway 20 Motel

Highway 20 Motel | 5"x7" | oil on hardboard

This hotel is located somewhere east of Sioux City, Iowa on Highway 20. I remember it being on the top of a hill possibly near Moville. It's one of those old fashioned motor-lodge kind of places that we stayed in occasionally when I was a kid. They were Mom and Pop kinda places owned by the locals rather than being a chain of carbon copy Holiday Inns.

This one, like many in this style, is a single story tall and room after room is stretched out next to one another. Those repetitive doors and windows, combined with the symmetry shown here make it visually appealing to me.

Interested in buying Highway 20 Motel

Monday, November 29, 2010

Red Pistol

Red Pistol | 5"x7" | oil on hardboard

I enjoy going to auctions occasionally, and this old red tin pistol was in a box of "treasures" I bought at a sale in Ireton quite some time ago. It is metal and looks like it is probably from the 1950s. It says that it is a water pistol, but I sure can't figure out where you put water in the thing.

I like the sleek styling, and thinking about the fun that some young boy had playing with it. I'm guessing this gun came out after the traditional western guns with holsters and if you had this sleek sidearm, you were definitely the cool kid on the block. Looks like it got played with a lot.

The strong sunlight cast a hard shadow, and I liked how the shadow echoed the shape of the gun. I have a couple other small paintings started as well. It sure feels good to be in the studio.

Interested in buying Red Pistol

Monday, November 15, 2010

The Artist's Voice

Artists' reception held Saturday evening

I entered a piece in the show that is currently on display at Northwestern College in Orange City. The reception for the show was held this past Saturday. It was fun talking with fellow artists, friends and others. Here's the press release that went out regarding the show itself:

The work of nine regional artists will be featured in an exhibition held Nov. 11-20 at Northwestern College's DeWitt Theatre Arts Center in conjunction with the college production of The Seagull. "The Artist's Voice" is being presented by the Orange City Arts Council.

An artists' reception will be Saturday, Nov. 13, from 6:30 to 7:25 p.m., prior to a performance of The Seagull. The public is invited.

The juried show includes work by Joanne Alberda and David Versluis of Sioux Center; Glenda Drennen of Le Mars; Cathy Reed of Meriden; John Vander Stelt of Maurice; and Mark Alsum, Ken Fry, Dan Landegent and Susan Moon of Orange City.

"The Artist's Voice" exhibition complements the production of Anton Chekhov's The Seagull, in which one of the themes is the tension between being truthful to an artistic vision and making art that relies on conventions. Exhibiting artists will include brief statements on the tension between convention and vision in their work.

Artwork in the show includes aquamedia; textiles; silk painting on silk; photography; digital/ giclèe prints; and acrylic, watercolor and oil paintings.

Thursday, July 29, 2010

The Storm

The Storm | 8"x10" | Sharpie on paper

It hit a week ago today.

I was fast asleep when my wife nudged me. She had heard the wind and rain outside our bedroom window, but now there were voices outside that same window. She peered out the blinds to find firemen with flashlights roaming about. We looked out our front door and a huge limb had fallen out of the tree directly in front to of our house, and a massive ash tree belonging to our neighbor had also fallen across our driveway and blocked the road.

It was very evident that a serious storm had blown through Maurice, and our once picture perfect town had been changed in an instant. One family in town lost their home. A handful of other buildings destroyed too. Countless trees snapped off, uprooted or seriously damaged.

At daybreak, cleanup began and the days that followed showed the kindness of strangers, the strength of the midwestern work ethic, the beauty of small town life and the definition of community.

I thought it was fitting to sketch this in black and white today. I really didn't enjoy creating this, but felt the need to create it and post it.

It has been a week filled with a variety of emotions for me. I was sad the day after the storm. 80-100mph winds had shredded parts of the town I love. But life goes on and with each passing day things look more normal around here. We will all get use to the new normal after a period of time–and God is still good.

Monday, June 14, 2010


The Pizza Ranch Racing show car hauler

My family spent most of last week at the Wisconsin Dells last week, attending the Pizza Ranch summer meeting. One of the highlights of the week for me was seeing my design work on the 2010 NASCAR Pizza Ranch show car and hauler. The basic design of the car is the same one I created last year, but the hauler is a new creation for this year. This car and hauler will be traveling to about 40 different Pizza Ranches in the midwest throughout the summer. You can check here to see if it is going to be in a town near you.

The Pizza Ranch Toyota comes off the hauler

Joe and Jack help push the car into the exhibit hall

Pizza Ranch has partnered with Joe Gibbs Racing again this year, and our new driver is a young driver named Matt DiBenedetto. He had his first top 10 finish a couple weekends ago, and will be driving the Pizza Ranch car this coming Saturday at the Nationwide race in Wisconsin. The race will be televised on ESPN2 at 2:00 Saturday afternoon. Tune in and check out the action...and of course the car!

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

An Update

My painting table

Well, it's been nearly a month since I've posted last, so I thought I should let you know that I have not fallen off the edge of the earth. Rather, there are a few other things that have kept me from the blog.

Spring is in full swing and with that comes a life outdoors. Jack and I have been throwing the baseball on a nearly daily basis this past month, and I actually rode my motorcycle to work for the first time again today. Gotta love that.

Spring and summer will probably be a bit more sparse on postings. I'm hoping you have missed seeing them on a weekly basis and I hope to perhaps get back to that routine in the fall. Meanwhile, I'll be re-charging my creative batteries.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

3 Cherries

3 Cherries | 5"x7" | oil on hardboard

Three juicy cherries. We've renewed our efforts to eat healthier at our house this past week. So rather than painting candy bars and bags of potato chips, cherries are a much more nutritious subject to paint. Dieting...it's the pits.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Last of Winter

Last of Winter | 6"x6" | oil on hardboard

Spring has finally arrived and while all but a few piles of snow are gone, the snow is still a not so distant memory. Right? So this is one final look at the winter landscape for another year. Farewell.

Monday, March 15, 2010

New Prints Available

Twin Bing | 5x7" image on 8x10" art paper

Time to roll out some prints. Four different paintings and each is 5x7, printed on a heavyweight sheet of 8"x10" art paper. Easy to drop into a standard 8x10" frame (as Jack demonstrates above).

Each will be hand signed in the lower right corner. I picked four images I liked and they will be available for $25 each. An extra $5 to ship it to you if necessary. Also add sales tax if you happen to live in the great state of Iowa. You can find the original posting of these at Twin Bing, The Blue Bully, A Little Faith, and Birthday Cake.

Want to buy one? contact me

These four prints are now available to purchase

Want to buy one? contact me

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Allendorf Elevator #3

Allendorf Elevator #3 | 5"x7" | oil on hardboard

Allendorf Elevator #1 and #2

I just returned from a quick trip to Charlotte, NC. Travel always stimulates my creative juices. It's great to see new things and experience life in another part of the country. When we were driving home from the airport today, my love for good ole Iowa was renewed as I gazed at the fields, farms and small towns.

I posted Allendorf Elevator #1 in October, and Allendorf Elevator #2 in November so figured it was time to move to variation #3. This one starts bending those straight lines and starts to flatten some of the planes.

Iowa. Home, sweet home.

Interested in buying it?

Tuesday, February 23, 2010


Cornstalks | 6"x6" | oil on hardboard

This winter seems like it has had an abundance of gray days. Gray, snowy, overcast and frequently foggy. While a sunny day is almost always a welcome sight, I have developed an appreciation for the grayness of this kind of day. The whiteness of the snow combined with gray skies gives everything a gray muted tone. Even a bright red stop sign becomes muted on a gray winter day. I could imagine artist Andrew Wyeth painting a scene like this if he had lived in Iowa.

I was driving home from LeMars recently (on one of these gray days) when my eyes were drawn to these cornstalks in the field along the road. I returned later and shot some photos. I'm sure there were some other motorists who drove by thinking to themselves, "What is this kook doing shooting photos of an empty, snow-filled cornfield?"

I'm including another close-up so you can get a little closer look.

Cornstalks | detail


Tuesday, February 16, 2010


Karin | 5"x7" | oil on hardboard

This is a quick study. If you recall the recent artist portrait swap, it was organized by an artist named Karin Jurick. Coordinating 180 artists and the entire process I'm sure was a massive undertaking. As a surprise thank you, another artist organized 118 of the participating artists- and all 118 did a painting of Karin as a surprise for her.

I chose to paint mine really close-up, rather than painting her whole head. I thought that might make it stand out from the rest of the group. We all worked from the same photo of Karin, and it's interesting to see all the different interpretations. I'm not crazy about how mine turned out, but it was fun to loosely paint this. Click on the thumbnails below to peek at all 118.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Hershey's Kiss

A Single Kiss | 6"x6" | oil on hardboard

Recently, a friend and fellow artist, Darren Maurer, did a couple of paintings featuring Hershey kisses. With Valentines Day coming up this weekend and the fact that I seem to be in candy mode lately, I thought I'd paint a kiss as well. Capturing the reflective wrinkly wrapper was enjoyable.

Kisses have been around for over 100 years (since 1907) and Hersheys makes over 80 million of them every day. That's a lotta chocolate.

I also wanted to share with you an article that appeared in last weeks edition of The Weekender magazine. It featured a story about my blog and artwork. You can click here for a link to the story.

Happy Valentines Day.

Interested in buying A Single Kiss

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Double Bubble & Cruise

Double Bubble | 5"x7" | oil on hardboard

Add this to the list of candy paintings I've done. I enjoy painting these. I think it might be a combination of my love for art, graphic design, and a little candy nostalgia that makes it appealing to me.

It's easy to find beauty in the things we love. Sometimes I need to look harder to see the beauty in other things. The beauty is almost always there, but just waiting to be discovered.

It's been a couple of weeks since my last posting. It's mostly because we took a week-long Caribbean cruise with friends last week. Cruising is something I've never done before, but we had a great time. Here are a few pictures from the trip.

Inquire about purchasing Double Bubble

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Peanut Buttery

Peanut Buttery | 5"x7" | oil on hardboard

I love peanut butter. My wife, Denise, prefers the creamy variety (Jif), but for me chunky is the only way to go (preferably Skippy). There was a time in our marriage when Denise purchased only the creamy variety, and I silently ate it. Until one grumpy day when I lashed out and declared my desire for chunky. Ever since that day we've had a jar of each in the cupboard. Anyway, perhaps you can see that I opted for the chunky in this piece.

This painting has simple lines and geometric shapes with a big blob of peanut butter to balance the composition. The late afternoon light was coming through the window and I liked the shadows that were cast. I think there is also something interesting about the whole thing being shades of white and gray with the exception of the peanut butter. That lovely, yummy, chunky peanut butter.

Inquire about purchasing

Monday, January 11, 2010

Spillway Drive-In

Spillway Drive-In| 5"x7" | oil on hardboard

After the last couple weeks of winter weather and sub-zero temps, I figured we were due for a glimpse of summer. This is the Spillway Drive-In that sits on the south edge of Spirit Lake, IA. I don't think it has been open for the last couple of years, but perhaps someone will feel a bit of nostalgia and re-open it.

For me, there are two drive-ins that I frequent. Bob's Drive-Inn in LeMars and the Dairy Dandy in Sheldon. Both still have that nostalgic charm from a bygone era. My favorite menu item? They both make a very good peanut butter malt. Summer can't come soon enough.

Inquire about purchasing

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Portrait Swap

The woman that I painted and posted last week turns out to be Susan Lile, who resides in Missoula, Montana. Above you see the portrait that she painted of me. You can go check out all 180 portraits at the Different Strokes blog.

It is extremely cold these days, but the air is wonderfully clear and the bright white snow on a sunny day is stunning. This is a photo taken looking out my studio window.