New Painting Initiated

I know what this is going to be, but I’m not going to tell you just yet.

Can you guess what this is going to be?  Post your answer in the comments below and I’ll send something cool to the first person to guess correctly before I upload the next updated picture.  Better hurry.  I’m making progress…



Name this painting


I started this painting a few weeks ago and finally finished it yesterday. My oldest son, Sam, asked me what I’m going to call it and I had no idea. I asked folks on Facebook for suggestions for a name and there were a ton of great ideas. Post your suggestions for a name in the comments below! Also, I’m not sure what to do with this. I’ve never sold any of my works and I feel kind of weird even thinking of doing that. Anyone have experience selling or auctioning off something like this?

10 Years of Silence

In light of my recent post about getting back into writing after monumental failure, I greatly appreciated this post about successful artists and others who put in long hours (and years) of time before actually creating anything long lasting and great.

Also, if you liked my post about artistic endeavors, be sure to also check out Angela Sealana’s beautiful post on the same topic.

Work in Progress

After the leaf painting from last week, I started a new one.  Here’s the very first foundation:



And here it is after the first coat on the hands:


I doubt this one will end up on the wall, either.  Jennifer likes artwork that is somewhat nebulous, where you have to gaze at it a bit to figure it out.  My Catholic readers can probably figure out where I’m going with this.

I’ll post updates as I progress.

Stupid Leaves

The summer before Jennifer and I got married, I went on a mad-dash painting spree. I wanted our apartment to have cool artwork on it and did some rather cool paintings, if I do say so myself. I did two portraits of Ernest Hemingway (which I’m not even sure what happened to), one of Jennifer (which I think is in her closet), and a portrait of the two of us (which is now in basement), and a couple other random paintings. They were all done in oil on canvas, and it was the first time I’d done anything like that. But because of my long history of drawing, the process came fairly easy to me.

But then came children, and spending hours painting, plus having turpentine around to clean the brushes, didn’t seem like a good idea.

Now, after a 16-year sabbatical from painting, Jennifer got me a new set of brushes, an easel, a couple canvases, and a bunch of tubes of paint (this time in easier to clean acrylic).

Whereas I earnestly jumped into painting 19 years ago, now I was a bit trepidatious to start again. Even though I like the paintings I did before we got married, looking at them now I see all sorts of weaknesses and shortcuts.

But do I paint for fun or because I’m an expert at it? That’s the question I now ask. I’m no longer under some self-imposed deadline of creating a bunch of paintings to decorate the house. Instead, I highly suspect that most of what I create now will end up gathering dust in the basement. Instead, I’m trying to approach art as an exercise in letting the Holy Spirit work through me if He wants to, and otherwise just enjoying the process of creating if He doesn’t.

So far I’ve finished one painting and started a second. The first was on practice board (wish I’d used actual canvas now). The second is on a 24×30″ canvas.

The first painting was of a tree. I thought I was finished when I got to this point:


While I really liked the way the trunk turned out, I really, really, really, really, really didn’t like the leaves.

After a few days and much thought, I did this to the tree:

As you can imagine, I was a wee bit nervous when I painted over such a large part of the tree.  What I did different the second time around was to actually paint the branches on the top,  even though I knew I’d end up painting over those.  In the end, this was the final result:

I was much happier with the final product.  But I’m still intimidated by painting those stupid leaves.

Here are the two versions side by side (I also ended up expanding the trunk a bit since the mass of the leaves ended up being greater):

IMG_1321As I made the corrections, I decided to make a short video of the process: