This is my annual portrait of my wife, Norene. I’ve been a member of a national portrait society for a few years. I’ve attended their conventions. Each year I look at their award winners. I’ve gotten quite turned off by them because they look exactly like photographs. I think there are a lot of beautiful photo portraits, but I feel a painted portrait should look like paint. There is a beauty in an oil painting that a photo doesn’t have. It’s like spoken word versus singing. The painting is the singing version. I prefer painted portraits.
I’ve always liked walking along the ocean. I enjoy the sound of the seagulls and the crash of the waves. Sometimes the sunlight reflects in lots of places creating a shimmering effect. This painting portrays a family enjoying themselves along the shore.
Indiana has the second largest state fair in the United States. One of the most loved activities there is the daily tractor parade. Dozens of farm tractors are driven down the main road. The farmers driving them smile and wave to the crowd. They usually have a couple of other people riding with them.
I’ve concentrated more on shapes of colors rather than drawing the figures which gives the feeling of the sun shining on them.
I love seeing the innocence of little kids. They like to explore every nook and cranny they can find. Before too long, adults will encourage them to grow up. When that happens, their innocence seems to leave them. I remember being that age — sometimes I wish I could go back to that time — or maybe not. My way of feeling those emotions happens when I paint.
Another painting inspired by my recent trip to the New England Coast. This scene is from Rockport, Massachusetts looking down from the harbor wall at rowboats which are docked. I was intrigued by their repetition of shapes and the contrast between the dark water and the light boats.
A few years ago my wife, Norene. wanted me to be like Rembrandt and Frida Kahlo who did annual self-portraits. This is my fifth. The first four were close-ups of my face. This time she wanted the painting to show more of my personality. I spend many hours drawing and she thought that’s what the picture should show, so here I am.
This painting is a commission. It is of downtown Indianapolis. There’s a lot of contrast here — dark to light, etc. It has organic and geometric shapes which give interest. Much of the painting is done with atmospheric perspictive — buildings and trees over the top of others to give the impression of depth. The trees give an interesting touch.