Leonardo da Vinci

Where the spirit does not work with the hand there is no art.

--Leonardo da Vinci

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Napoleon 12-Pounder's

Sunday was a good day for painting. I got an early start at Steigerwald National Wildlife Refuge and turned out a couple 6x8 landscapes. I was home by noon, had some lunch and had energy for more. So, i went to the studio and painted from a photo i took, of a pair of cannons that are stationed on Officer's Row. As i started in, i found myself wiping the panel clear of my poor lines a handful of times so i decided to simplify and exaggerate working the entire painting more than i usually do. Forgotten what a challenge painting oval shapes can be, i just worked back and forth, making, breaking, making, breaking and then making again. It turned out to be quite fun.
I did a little research on these beauties and found while they are replicas of the Napoleon 12-Pound Light Field Cannons, they have a great story. They were made by students of Mountain View High School (Vancouver,WA) from material donated by the City of Vancouver. The students used drawings and original photos so they could get as close to an exact replica as possible, however they do not fire which is probably a good thing; Great job MV and its instructors Larry Books and Darell Midles. The placement of the cannons was taken on as an Eagle Scout project by James Deuvall of Troop 328 (Vancouver,WA), way to go James. The cannons were dedicated on November 8,1991 in honor of four Congressional Medal of Honor recipients, and they are:
First Sergeant James M. Hill: 5th U.S. Cavalry, The Indian Campaigns, 1873. First Sergeant Moses Williams: 9th U.S. Cavalry, The Indian Campaigns, 1876. First Lieutenant William W. McCammon: 24th Missouri Regiment, Civil War, 1896. Bugler Herman Pfisterer: 21st Infantry, Spanish-American War, 1899
Present at the dedication was General Colin L. Powell and Major General Patrick H. Brady. In a book i have (Images of America Downtown Vancouver, by Pat Jollota) General Powell is pictured leaving the Marshall House.
Thank you to all who had a part in this memorial and thank you to all, past and present, who put their lives on the line so that i have the freedom and the right to post this entry.

Monday, July 18, 2011

Historic Hangar

Unique Aviation
10 x 21 7/8
The Pearson Air Museum was built in 1918 and used as a "cut-up" plant for the US Army's Spruce Division. It was relocated in 1924 to its current location, turned into an aviation hangar and has lived a very textured life. During World War II it was used to house Italian prisoners and on June 20,1937 served as host to the unexpected landing of the Soviet ANT-25 and its three flyers, Chkalov, Baidukov, and Belyakov. It wound up as the first flight from the Soviet Union to the United States via the North Pole.
The museum seeks to inspire and educate with its amazing display of antique aircraft and interactive attractions that include a movie theater, flight simulator and science area. Want to see a replica of the WWI plane flown by the "Red Baron"? Well, its here too.
As the nation's oldest wooden structure still used to house aircraft, Pearson Air Museum remains alive with many events during the year. The scene i depicted in the painting was from a photo i took on Memorial Day weekend this year during their "Open Cockpit" event where vintage aircraft offered thrilling rides to kids of all ages.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Art in the Heart

Recently i was invited to be a guest artist of the art gallery, Art on the Boulevard, for the annual outdoor art event and sale, Art in the Heart. It will be held in conjunction with First Friday on August 5th and 6th in Downtown Vancouver,WA.
I am so excited and humbled to be a part of this event as this will be my first time to showcase my paintings in this type of setting. Also to sit along such great artists as Mike Rangner, Bud Fields and Oleg Ulitskiy is a bit sobering.
Now, as you can tell from my blog entries, i have been painting local historical structures for the last few months, not with any particular event in mind, but this i feel is an opportunity to do exactly what this collection of work is intended to do; inspire, enlighten and engage people with the wealth of local and national history that is right here. I know we've all said it, Gosh, i haven't been there since i was in grade school, or i've never been there and i live in the same town. I guess this is my way of helping people over those obstacles and inspiring them to get energized about our city and its rich heritage, or just add fuel to their fire that was set years ago.
In any case, i have been working diligently and plan on having around 70 paintings on display or at least ready to thumb through in a bin.
If you are not aware, Art on the Boulevard art gallery is in my opinion one of the premier galleries in the whole Pacific NW. It represents some of the finest art and artists you will find anywhere. I urge you to click on the link and take a look for yourself or just make the short trip downtown and experience it in person. You will not be disappointed, but you most likely will get inspired.
I want to thank Kevin Weaver, the Gallery Director, for giving me this opportunity to take another step forward in making my dreams become real.

Friday, July 1, 2011

Fisher Cemetery

8 x 10
I have been painting quite a bit of late, which is why my blog is suffering from larger than i would like gaps between postings. Last saturday i decided to spend the morning with the oldest public cemetery in Clark County, Fisher Cemetery. There is something deep, soulful and enriching about visiting cemeteries. They allow our thoughts to run rampant with the figuring out of who is buried there and how they ended up there; what is their story?
Headstones date back to the 1850's, some with beautiful carvings, some with amazing quotes, and some that are unassuming, but most possess names and dates that hit me like a sledge hammer. Why, for instance, on December 17,1903 did Clara Stamp die at the age of 24 Yrs. 6Ms. 11Ds....? and why did her mother parish the following year, while her father lived until 1920. These are questions that i just cannot put down, i have to know more. This is the essence of story telling in a most textured way.
Solomon Fisher and William Simmons established the Fisher Community in today's SE corner of Vancouver,WA along the Columbia River. There was a grade school, general store, blacksmith and a post office. Fisher built a riverboat landing where wood was sold to passing by steamboats. William Simmons donated an acre of his own land for the cemetery and named it in honor of his wife Ann J. (Fisher) Simmons.
In order to move forward, one must have balance, one must know where they have came from. In the case, where a community came from. It brings light and perspective to the senses, and frees our thoughts allowing forward progress.