Kansas City Star

This was a lot of fun to paint, and waaaay out of my comfort zone. If you know my work, you know what I mean. I’m a lot more comfortable painting rocks and trees inaccurately than I am doing the same injustices to the human form, but there they were, pouring themselves into their music for us only a few feet away. What could I do? I did my best. And this is where it landed. It’s especially meaningful to me as I’ve painted at live events while dozens, possibly hundreds of musicians have played nearby, but never a group of musicians I’ve known as long as these guys. Usually I just paint …


The President

Two things happened recently. First, I spent a week exploring and painting along one of mainland California’s most remote and mysterious coastlines. Missile launch silos. American flags. Chain of command and all that. But this painting isn’t about that trip at all except for one detail. One morning on the beach, miles from the nearest pavement of any sort, I came across some paw prints on the beach. I’d heard of mountain lions on this coast, and somehow I always pictured those cats, well, up in the mountains. The thought of one of these majestic beasts with sand stuck between its toes go…


Recent Fractures

Standing on the edge
Where everything brittle must eventually break
Where every painting is a tempting of fate
I do think about these things
But not deeply, and not with too much weight
Because I try to tread lightly on the edge of fate
But recent fractures
Can’t be ignored nor can I the consequences understate
Should I be a fool with the my easel and miscalculate
And become a statistic for the local papers to state
All for the homage to beauty that I’d hoped to create
If the ground would only have held for one more day
So with caution I step, and I work, and I pray
Because more than anything I would surely hate
To subjugate
My wife and my kids
To suffer from my foolishly befallen fate

Who Are You?

Let’s meet for tacos. I drag an art pal along and we meet up with a lawyer friend who has collected both of our works. The tacos are delicious but they are giant burgers and these beers are absolutely perfect. Another lawyer pal of the first lawyer shows up and another round ensues. We leave the funny tacos and head out to paint this spot for the collector friend. We drive a convoluted route through a college campus to a packed parking lot and wander off past the college kids all over the sandstone bluffs in search of this view. Once we find it, we scratch an X and we return to the lot a…


Higher Learning

If I had learned a little more
I’d have known what not to do
I’d have stood my ground
And refused to paint
The whole entire view
But here we are after the fact
Showing every reef and where they lie
Splayed out across this canvas
From a vantage point
Halfway up the sky
A smarter arter would have simply
Painted only one piece of this coast
But thankfully
I missed that class
And I’m not as smart as most

Silver and Gold

Silver and gold I may not have
But what I have I give to you
I’ve got the golden sun
On a morning bright enough to
Cast out shadows
From the depths of hell
I’ve got the silver sea
On a morning calm enough to
Cast a sweet spell
Up to the heights of heaven
Take ’em
They’re yours

Not Exactly No

It was bright green And there wasn’t very much of it Still dripping with saltwater Across her goosebumped flesh I knew she was an artist Because as I fought to keep my focus Safely on the twin circles Of her eyes I could see they were dark And curious She saw me setting up on this cliff As she dipped under a wave Too cool off down below So she came up the path And straight for me It was a short conversation There wasn’t very much of it She wanted to see the painting I had barely even started The painting was at an awkward point That made two of us And I couldn’t say no Not ex…


Into the Sunset

Will this be your first? That was my stupid question for them I’m not very good at this They were really quite beautiful together A perfect couple Watching the sunset Clearly expecting A green flash I’d just finished this painting And drinking 3 beers That’s not the usual During the course of a painting But friends had joined me today And it sometimes goes that way Words of wisdom Spoken by an old friend: “Nothing is better than a two beer buzz” Truth It doesn’t get better Only more difficult To ask the right questions This child would not be their first Or …


When the Ship Comes In

The ship has sailed And with it your lover Stolen away So you live like a pirate now Steering your terrestrial warship Your vessel made of sand Stealing only what you need And in need of everything And needing it today Stealing whatever you can Stealing one last glance At the bigger picture Before your world grows small As you wait for the rising tide To level it all In a baptism of salt And if a mighty king Should later arrive With plastic bucket and shovel Barefoot and sunburned With a grape stuck up his nose And a panicked mother Searching far and wide For her lost prince Who happily builds…