Monday, October 6, 2014

Good Soil - Part 3

Here is the completed painting. I titled it Good Soil for a few reasons. We are blessed here with some of the best soil in the world. Good is an understatement. The richness of the land is portrayed in the vibrant and vivid colors in the painting. The size of the barn is large, a sign of prosperity as well. The young farmer is deep in thought, or prayer. He as well is soil, as the soil in the parable of the sower found in the Bible where the seed falls on different types of soil.

The farmer has much on his mind. His crop, the livestock, his family and many more things. All are in need of good soil.

"But the seed on the good soil stands for those with a noble and good heart, who hear the word, retain it, and by persevering produce a good crop." - Luke 8:15

As the painting progressed, I took short video clips of the progress with my phone on an app called Cameo. It is a 2 minute video, and you can watch it here.

Below are a couple of photos taken after installation in the lobby of the bank. The painting has a great location in the new lobby area via the west entrance to the bank. Stop and take a look in person if you can.

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Good Soil - Part 2

Here are some photos from the the progression of the painting. The large 5'x8' blank canvas was built by my Dad. I then added the base coats of gesso, which is an acrylic base coat. As you can see in the first photo, that was done in my garage.

Looking at a blank canvas, especially one this size, is always exciting to me–to imagine all the possibilities and color that will be layered on it to make it come to life.

The next photos show the painting at various stages that took approximately two months to complete.

The dog was added at the request of the bank president. He had a similar dog when he was a boy.

My knowledge of cattle is pretty limited, but it was fun painting the rich reddish browns of these herefords.

My oldest son, Joe, served as the model for the farmer.

The farmers cap was later turned to green and gold. I'm pretty sure there are a lot of farmers who would prefer it to be red. More posts to follow.

Monday, September 29, 2014

Good Soil - Part 1

I spent the last few months working on another large commission. I thought I'd try to post a couple things from that, and how it progressed.

The painting was for the lobby of a new addition to American State Bank in Sioux Center. American State Bank is one of Iowa's largest lenders in agriculture. Thus the farmer and agriculture were to be a primary focus of the painting.

The owner of the bank, and the interior designer had both seen the painting I did for the Northwestern College Learning Commons, and liked it. They wanted this piece done in a similar style. Below are the original two concept sketches I submitted. I took the sketches into Photoshop and superimposed them on the stone wall where the painting would hang, to give a good idea of the scale and effect they would have in the lobby environment.

After reviewing the sketches, they preferred the version with the younger farmer, but wondered if I could incorporate some livestock as this is also a significant portion of their business. I went back and came up with what became the working composition below.

I'll soon be posting some photos of how the painting developed over the course of the summer. I started painting the beginning of July and finished it the end of August.

Monday, January 13, 2014


The paintbrushes have been taking a rest–or I suppose in all honesty, I have.

This is another small painting of candy that I just finished. The Bit-O-Honey candy has always been somewhat underrated in my opinion. Maybe it is because it is wrapped to look like a candy bar, but when you open it, it is more of a taffy. Is that what you'd call it? Whatever it is, I have always liked it.

Invented in 1924 and currently made by the Pearson's Candy Company of St. Paul, MN. Here is a look at what the wrapper looked like back in 1969.