16"x24" oil on canvas ••• Whenever you see one of my still life paintings, rest assured, the subject(s) was in front of me. (Yes, there is a storage issue there, but I would rather not talk about.) Anyway, I either own the items or someone has loaned them to me or The Spousal Unit has murdered them (e.g., flowers) or I have obtained them through some other legal means. • When it comes to my structures-in-the-landscape paintings, it would be somewhat difficult getting a ranch house into the studio. That means a lot of photos. And I mean a lot. Sometimes I get the scrap I need right out of the chute, sometimes it takes over a year of experimentation until I get the shots that will serve my purposes. Sometimes, regrettably, I never get the shots I need. • This lonely ranch house required a ton of photos shot on different days, at different angles, and at different times of the day. On one of those trespassorial excursions, somehow, I know not how, a ranch hand crept up behind me and scared the bejesus out of me. He was the spittin' image of Sam Elliott—sans the mustache—with amazingly tanned skin that you could have made a saddle out of. Being a wise soul, he immediately viewed me with suspicion and obviously did not care for me much. I was, after all, trespassing and I did look like a dork out in the middle of an open field dancing (shoot picture, take three crab steps to the left or right, take picture—repeat a couple a thousand times). But after we talked for a while, I think he took pity on the "dork who can't dance" (or did he say "dork with no rhythm?") and gave me the locations of a couple other old ranch houses in the area. One I found, the other I am still searching for—he wasn't big on road names or even county names for that matter. Still, I appreciated his help and his not whacking me in the head with a shovel. • As a sage once said, "There aren't many problems that can't be solved with a shotgun and a shovel," and a dork dancing like a spastic crab in the middle of your field might just qualify as one of those easily solved problems. Or, at least, be so annoying that you would consider it a humane act putting a stop to it.
Posted June 3, 2016