Leonardo da Vinci

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

--Leonardo da Vinci

Friday, May 25, 2012

Untold Stories

Old Glory XI
With the Memorial Day Weekend upon us, i thought it would be good to post another flag painting. Since i have started this series of paintings, i of course see our nation's symbol everywhere. And i'm like a kid in a candy store when i see a flag, and state to my patient wife, "look, there's another one"!
I often stop and take photos to capture just that right composition and study the wave patterns. However, this past week while in Seattle, and locked out of my son's condo (for a bit), i had ample time to contemplate a large flag flying atop a downtown building. A few people passed by, including an older gentleman wearing a veteran's hat. As he shuffled by, he glanced at me and gave me a nod. I reciprocated with a nod of my own and a solemn "hi". He had no idea what i was doing or what i was thinking, or what i was about to think....
At that moment, my thoughts turned from line and form to people. The many faces that pass by everyday with the blink of an eye, and of their untold stories. What does our flag mean to them? What does our flag mean to all who have lived under these colors? How much pain and how much pride is lurking in each and every one of us that most people never have the opportunity to learn about.
So here is one of mine....
I painted this piece with specific thoughts in mind. As it is my Eleventh flag painting in the series, it, and my number Nine painting, are meant to serve as my way of honoring the victims of  9 11.
Number Nine was painted for a specific Marine, and dear friend of mine, to represent our military forces and public servants who work to protect our nation on a daily basis. Number Eleven is to honor the 911 victims.

In my closing thoughts  i would like to dedicate this post to the memory of my mother, Betty Jane Lindstrom, who passed away in 1991. She planted the seed of oil painting in my teenage thoughts so many years ago. And although our painting styles are a bit different, i wish we could have had the opportunity to paint together.
Mom, thanks for the memories, and thanks for your amazing creativity.


  1. Great post, Michael! I know why your flag paintings are so popular...they are indeed all different from one another, even though they are the same subject--but the viewer "gets" your respect and admiration in each one. Your Mom is in all your paintings, it's like you are helping to finish what she started. Happy weekend to you--I'm looking forward to seeing your new work next week at the gallery. :)

  2. Thank you for this wonderful post Michael! Your words truly honor our great flag, our great country, and your mother who sounded like an amazing person. I think it is incredbile the way you pay tribute to all of us who have served our country and also to the victims of 9-11. Your mom would be very proud of you and your kind heart. I know that lucky marine who owns "Old Glory 9" will forever cherish the painting, and even more so, the meaning behind it. Thank you again my friend. Have a safe and happy Memorial Day weekend........Semper Fi!

  3. Tuas pinturas têm uma atmosfera muito agradável que eu gosto muito, parabéns! Foi um prazer conhecer teu blog, se te interessar conhecer o meu, terei grande satisfação em receber-te. Boa noite. valeriasouza-telas.blogspot.com

  4. Amazing picture!
    Wonderful, wonderful colours!