purple bird with a green beak

pallet knife oil on 8" x 25"board. A new approach for me, painting a hard edge abstract and without using brushes!  I stepped way outside of the box to paint this non-representational piece! My comfort zone is realism and impressionism...but this was so much fun!! If you stretch your imagination, you might see the bird in unintentional accident..but why not?   
                                  But more amazing than any kind of art, more important than anything we make, more incredible than all the inventions of all time is the promise of eternal life..given to us by the Creator Himself!         
"Whosoever, therefore, shall confess me before men, him will I confess also before my Father who is in heaven." -Jesus Christ.


'Capture of the Irish Thistle' in oils on canvas board. 100.

       Today the huge yard is a wheat field as we passed the useless tractor to our left. Up ahead a mysterious animal sits motionless in the middle of the road but as we get closer we realize it was merely a shadow! I notice the 24 hour surveillance sign has fallen and is just propped up at the base of a skinny black birch tree....good idea though! The car bounces up and down the winding driveway and our little injured Papillon finds a more comfortable spot in the backseat. Suddenly I see it! Stop! Backup! My sister puts it in reverse there! See it? A pretty pink fuzzy head poking up above a sea of grass! I jumped out of the Subaru armed with nothing but toenail clippers! The stalk is spiny and the leaves are sharp but I manage to break it off and take my captive Irish Thistle home to my art shed ! My sister's hot sauce bottle from Barbados works nicely for a vase and I'm in business once again☺️. Thanks for looking! This 'Capture of the Irish Thistle' painting is available for purchase. Just email or call 5186463783. If you prefer to use PayPal , use the link below.


'Prearranged' oil on board- $100.

                                     Don't you think? I chose the mug....and the flowers...It took some doing. I had to pull some strings, well maybe some stems...but it required a search, up and down the roadway, for just the right match! Careful planning produces results and this just had to be right! Okay so it was prearranged, but the only thing wild about this was the flowers and any old 'love at first sight' would just end in failure!!! Like a marriage...No, we need to make sure it would know, with deep roots...a solid foundation...something rock solid....time tested!! Grounded in good soil! 
              God did a lot of prearranging too. But maybe the most important thing he did was to make a way for us to get to heaven after we die. No one gets out of here alive right? Well that's not entirely true. When Jesus died, they buried him like they do with anyone who dies, but  Jesus did not stay there. On the third day after being put in the grave, he returned to his friends with a resurrected body. It was to show you and me that this can happen to us if we believe.   The bible says 'God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten son that whosoever should believe on him would not perish but have eternal life. '  It also says .    "Whosoever, therefore, shall confess me before men, him will I confess also before my Father who is in heaven." - These are the words of Jesus Christ.    Now that is one nice promise! I like strength and truth..and this strikes me as a bolt of the colors in this painting..bright , bold and true!     

And prearranged.

It was a great plan don't you think?  Grab a Bible and read more about the love of God.

Do you know anyone who wouldn't like a gift of eternal life? It's apparently free!!


' Justify' #2

So one of my favorite clients asked for another painting of a favorite racehrace 'JUSTIFY'. This one he just might keep! The others were gifts to his friend Mike Smith, the jockey who rode 'Justify' to the finish line! It was an honor to paint all those other wins and to know Mike Smith has that collection!  Read the article below the painting.                                        
Painting of a favorite winner 'Justify', his final race, ridden by the one and only well known jockey Mike Smith!           Oil, 8x10 canvas on board.   

So this wonderful race horse will be retiring soon.   
Zechariah 1:8
I saw at night, and behold, a man was riding on a red horse, and he was standing among the myrtle trees which were in the ravine, with red, sorrel and white horses behind him.   

A little history.....from USAToday             

'Triple Crown winner Justify retired from racing

Triple Crown winner Justify was retired from racing Wednesday because of fluid in his left front ankle.
Trainer Bob Baffert and Justify's owners said caution over the horse's ankle condition made it impossible to tell if he'd be healthy enough to race by the fall.
"What a way to go out: never beaten, won the Triple Crown," jockey Mike Smith said by phone. "He's happy, healthy. That's just beautiful."
Baffert said Justify wasn't responding quickly enough to treatment to be able to race in the next few months, so the decision was made to retire him.
"We all wanted to see Justify run again, but ultimately it is my responsibility to make sure he is perfect," Baffert said. "Without 60-90 days, I can't be definite."
The goal was for Justify to run in a major race this summer, likely the Travers Stakes at Saratoga, and be pointed toward the $5 million Breeders' Cup Classic on Nov. 3 at Churchill Downs. Instead, he was taken out of training earlier this month because of swelling in his ankle.
"The timing is bad for another start in 2018, and therefore, we have to retire him," said Elliott Walden of WinStar Farm, which co-owns Justify. "Like (2015 Triple Crown winner) American Pharoah, we can't take the risk of running Justify as a 4-year-old. We all wanted him to finish his career in the Breeders' Cup Classic, but it was not meant to be."
Justify won all six career starts, becoming the first horse since Apollo in 1882 to capture the Kentucky Derby after not racing as a 2-year-old. He won the Preakness and Belmont Stakes to become the 13th Triple Crown winner and second in the past four years after Baffert's American Pharoah.
"I could almost say he made my life," jockey Mike Smith said. "I'll forever be grateful for that horse. It takes a great, great horse to do what he did."
In addition to the Triple Crown, the Kentucky-bred Justify won the Santa Anita Derby and retires with career earnings of almost $3.8 million.
"It has been a great ride for all of us, and I have complete confidence Bob is doing the right thing by Justify," said Teo Ah Khing of China Horse Club, which is also a co-owner.
Walden said it's possible Justify's stud rights will be sold to Coolmore but added that won't be finalized until a later date. Justify is expected to return to WinStar Farm in Kentucky next month.
"Justify's extraordinary racing career — from maiden to Triple Crown winner in less than four months — was as brilliant as any our sport has seen," National Thoroughbred Racing Association president and CEO Alex Waldrop said. "We can't wait to have his first runners hit the track in 2022."
Smith considered Justify a horse who couldn't be beaten and called him a "truly a gift from God."
"You don't have to worry about him getting hooked up in a speed duel or something," Smith said. "If you want him to go, he could've gone. He didn't have to be in front. He'd do anything you wanted him to do. He was just naturally quick''.


An unlikely still life. 100.

                 Original oil on  8 x 10" canvas board. Exquisite wildflowers of various
 unknown botanical names grace the
 top of a Tide bottle otherwise destined
for the recycle bin!


The safe way to handle Wild Parsnip!!

 Do not touch this extremely toxic weed!!
But you can safely purchase the oil painting!!

LStudy this link to learn if that roadside weed you see is wild parsnip or wild hogweed


Queen Anne's Lace' and 'Wild Parsnip' on the Good Path

are moments on our journey following the Lord where God illuminates every step we take.there are times when circumstances make perfect sense to us, as we try to understand each move He makes When the path grows dim & our questions have no answers,turn to Him.' 1st verse from the song 'Bow the Knee'            I walked along this morning in search of something nice to paint and what caught my eye was the more than usual amount of wild parsnip growing among the roadside wildflowers. A harmless looking plant, kind of pretty actually, no warning labels, no cautionary statement or medical advice for seeing the doctor if swelling occurs from just touching the thing!_why do we have these nasty weeds anyway?  Well, there's that parable about the wheat and the tares, which explains how the good and bad grow side by side and only during the harvest are they separated, the good part saved, and the weeds thrown into the fire! Wild Parsnip sure is bad, and if I didn't know what it looked like I might have picked it for my flower arrangement! It's also kind of deceiving in appearance because at first glance you might mistake it for Queen Anne's Lace! But it has a different stalk, almost celery like with vertical ridges, and I guess they don't bloom exactly at the same time because it's flower looked premature while the Queen Anne's Lace was all white and stunning! So I painted the good flowers and may do a study sketch of the infamous 'Wild Parsnip'!!


Every good path

 7x6" oil on canvas and as before, mounted on masonite pane.  As I walked down the road with the dog, I found the most beautiful treasures! Hope you enjoy this mountain wildflower painting! The good book says..."Incline thine ear unto wisdom and apply thy heart to understanding. We are to seek her as silver and search for her as for Hidden Treasures." And down a little further it says to keep the paths of justice and preserve the way of his Saints. Then shall thou understand righteousness and justice and equity , yes,  every good path. The advice is that those who leave the paths of unrighteousness, who walk in the ways of darkness who love to do evil and delight in the perverseness of the wicked, who's ways are crooked and perverse in their paths, that they will not take hold of the path of life. So I'm thinking about paths today as I take my morning walk with PG.       Growing along the roadside this morning,  a variety of exquisite little blessings peak out from among the weeds. How amazing to think that each one was designed individually, as not one is exactly alike any other! What am I doing really, but looking for that blessed hope and the Glorious appearing of the great God and Savior Jesus Christ! Here among the lilies of the field, for the grace of God that bringeth salvation has appeared to all men!


From Huge to Teeny Weeny

      For tiny details I use tiny brushes and a magnifying light to paint these 2 X 3 inch racehorse commissions! - quite a different sort of challenge than mural painting on a big outdoor wall!
 I am told these two little paintings will eventually find themselves in the possession of the famous jockey Mike Smith, who rode champion filly 'Unique Bella' to victory in the Santa Maria Stakes in February and the huge thoroughbred 'Justify' to win the Kentucky Derby this month! That amazing horse is actually favored to win the Triple Crown!

Oil on"linen mounted on 2 X 3 inch Masonite panel

'Justify' in the lead!

Here's my rendering of 'Unique Bella' ridden by Mike Smith . Oil on linen mounted on 2 X 3 inch Masonite panel

Unique Bella wins the Preakness 2/11/18 at Santa Anita .  World class jockey Mike Smith giving thanks!


Leaving the wall behind

     For a while at least, I think we'll just pack up these old painting clothes, toss out some of the really worn out paint brushes and rags, return the reference books to our local library, wash out or toss all our aluminum cans, (one nice thing about this amazing theme paint is that it peals right out of the plastic containers!), put away the ladders, chair, stool, radio, tarps, and remaining gallon cans of paint. Except for applying an ultraviolet protective coating and having the 28 names redone, these 2 murals are finished!

      Palatka was very kind to us, and we will miss seeing many of the people working at the courthouse who said hello and commented on our work from day to day. We appreciate the use of the parking lot and the extremely clean facilities there!!! Thank you to those who noticed our mistake in the year for Pearl Harbor! It's corrected now! Thank you to the Palatka Daily News, the Conlee Snyder Mural Committee, with special thanks to John and Gwen Alexander, Evelyn Snyder, Frank Walker (for securing our scaffold!) and Linda Crabell, who came by periodically to see how we were doing, Sam Deputy and also Don from the bicycle shop! Also, I want to thank Pat and Gary Greene from our church in Flagler Beach, for keeping us company one afternoon as we painted!  Our pastor Don Schultze drove out from Palm Coast one day to see our work and took some really great pictures!  We also enjoyed a nice extended visit from our good friends Louise and Jerry Cunningham all the way from Flat Creek Baptist in Gilboa, NY! What a treat! And thanks to all the FB friends and relatives who left comments and likes! There were also visitors from places like Canada, Russia, upstate NY, Ohio, Georgia and local Floridians who came by to take pictures and talk. I want to specifically thank the Veterans from different wars, who came by to study and comment on the war scenes and share. The purpose of this war memorial is for them, to Honor Those Who Have Served and to Remember Those Who Have Fallen.  
  A posthumus thank you is in order for the late Clint Snyder, one of the founders of the Conlee Snyder Mural Committee, who envisioned this memorial years ago, and put together a very detailed composite of reference photos and instructions to work from. He also worked tirelessly right before he died at the age of 92, to raise funds for these mural projects.

Funds are still needed and donations for these and future mural projects can be brought to the Bicycle Shop on St. John's Ave. in Palatka or sent to the address below. 

 The Conlee-Snyder Mural Committee, Inc.,  is a 501(c)(3) Corporation, which makes your contribution fully tax deductible.  Should you care to partner with them, your tax-free contribution may be sent to:                                    The Conlee-Snyder Mural Committee, Inc.
                                                             P. O. Box 1901
                                                    Palatka, Florida  32178


Robert H Jenkins Tribute Portrait

 Portrait of Robert H. Jenkinson painted on cement column to the right of Viet Nam War scene..

  Into our 8th week, our mural painting was now coming to a close with just a few last minute details to complete. We spent so much time on the Iraq deployment scene and were both looking forward to finalizing our project! I had one remaining thing left to do, and that was to paint the portrait of a marine by the name of Robert H. Jenkins on the column above the Viet Nam scroll for MIA's and KIA's. I knew nothing about this young man at first, but in researching his name learned that while serving as a machine gunner with Company C, Third Reconnaissance Battalion,on March 5,1969, he was killed in action, when, along with a dozen recon team fighters, he was attacked by Viet Cong enemy fire.  Jenkins and another marine by the name of Fred Ostrom, had taken up position together in a trench to man the machine guns during the attack.  A hand grenade was thrown into their emplacement and Jenkins threw himself on top of his fellow marine absorbing the full impact of the grenade. He was mortally wounded and posthumously awarded the Medal of Honor for his heroic act and sacrifice of life. How fitting for a portrait of this brave man to be painted beside the Viet Nam War panel along with 28 other names of men from Putnam County who were killed or missing in action.
Among the dead and missing

                                 you will find the name
                      PFC Robert Henry Jenkins Jr. USMC.  
        Palatka has a middle school named after this brave man.The Conlee-Snyder Mural Committee, Inc.,  is a 501(c)(3) Corporation, which makes your contribution fully tax deductible.  Should you care to partner with them, your tax-free contribution may be sent to:                                    The Conlee-Snyder Mural Committee, Inc.
                                                             P. O. Box 1901
                                                    Palatka, Florida  32178



Iraq war mural - into the 4th week!

     Yesterday our troubles didn't seem so far away! and hopefully they wouldn't be here to stay!! It was another chilly and very breezy subtropical morning... Bundled up in layers we rigged up the tarp on the side of our scaffold to cut down on the wind chill factor! We then optimistically painted for 3 hours before giving up...It's just plain silly to try to hold your paintbrush steady in high winds!! I think with proper steering and the tarp trimmed just right to catch the wind, we could have sailed right back home to Palm Coast!       
     But today was a welcome relief from yesterday's comedy..a beautiful day!  it warmed up a bit from this morning's 49 degrees,the winds had died down and there was less risk of sailing away on our scaffold!!    I remember looking up into the blue sky and wondered about those tornado warnings posted for central Florida!!! 
    So today Ed finished adding 28 KIA and MIA on the Viet Nam War scroll,

and I was able to make good progress on the marines waiting deployment in the Iraqi desert, and waiting for me to paint their many boots on the ground!!! and machine guns, camouflage uniforms and grim expressions.. This project has been a lesson in history, a sad journey down a very sobering memory lane and a realization that when history repeats itself, there is so much unexpected and sometimes unnecessary loss of life.
 Several sections pieced together   
In the bridge crossing scene down below a landing boat carrying 2 soldiers waits as a couple of tanks cross overhead.

        What remains to be done still, is a single memorial portrait of a soldier from the Viet Nam War, to be painted above the scroll. This is the reference photo to be used - one young life represented on this wall.
      There is a log of pictures out there taken by passersby, some visiting from other states touring the mural trails, admiring the murals and offering their thanks in honor of the men that served. We had the fun of meeting a nice couple from Maine today, who were happily following the mural map from Palatka's Welcome Center. They came over just as were packing up and spent a good half hour chatting with us.   The woman's husband mentioned that he had lived thru all 4 wars! He must have been very young when WWII broke out!
 So, thank you for visiting this blog and I hope you come in person to see all the history painted on Palatka's buildings!  Funding for these and all other murals is being raised by the Conlee Snyder Mural Committee, and donations may be brought to the bicycle shop directly across from Palatka's Welcome Center on St. John's Ave.  


WWII memorial....Blood, Guts and Nerves of Steel

During the second world war, much blood of brave young Americans was spilled in the Hawaian waters of Pearl Harbor,  the beaches of Normandy, France, and the island of Iwo Jima in the South Pacific.  On the Veteran's Memorial wall in Palatka, Florida, this fourth panel to the left of  the Korean War scenes painted in 2016, is finished.   From top to bottom they are....the bombing attack on Pearl Harbor, the Normandy Beach D-Day ( actual scene depicting D+1 Day) , and the iconic flag raising at Iwo Jima. These were the three scenes the late Clint Snyder envisioned for the WWII panel of this memorial. I  remember way back in 2012 or was it '13...Clint had invited Ed and I to have a bite with him at Dunkin Donuts, to discuss the possibility of us painting a veteran's memorial . We already felt quite overwhelmed with the huge Annie Oakley mural we were painting and the thought of painting another one like what he was describing....consisting of 21 scenes, each triple scene being 16' high by 12' wide on a 91 ft wall seemed like a job for Superman! or woman!  History was never my best subject, and didn't think we could do justice to a project of this magnitude! Clint however, explained to us how this was all going to happen. He had put together a rough sketch for each entry, numerous reference photos and a placement map with measurements, arrows, circles and labels, and after spreading all this out on the restaurant table, explaining each war scene in detail, we got into his car, and drove over to the courthouse parking lot to view the wall he had in mind. He then asked us to think about it and put together a proposal for the mural committee to approve. He would then begin to raise funds from various local and other veteran's groups and advertise for funding from the private sector as well. I wondered whose job would be harder .. ours or his! 



Vet's Memorial Mural 2018 WWII and Iraq

Once again, we are in the charming town of Palatka, Florida, to paint 2 more panels for the Veteran's Memorial Mural on the western wall of the Courthouse. World War II and the Iraq War comprise 6 paintings in all, 3 for each war. As we begin the upper scene for WWII. The horrendous suprise attack in the early morning hours on Pearl Harbour by the Japanese Imperial Navy comes to life as we prepare the backdrop sea and sky for this awful visual record of treachery perpetrated on our peaceful naval base. Although devastating, the attack did not cripple the United States forces as the Japanese had hoped. The oil storage facilities, shipyards, submarine docks and repair stations remained intact, while all of the Navy's
Pacific Fleet of the aircraft carriers were elsewhere.
our worksite still there ...still waiting!
Frank Walker's very necessary scaffold modifications-wooden handrail and crisis-cross cable assembly!

Iwo Jima flag raising
      We are hopefully going to finish this half of our project in 2 weeks and although there is rain in the forecast for several days next week, we feel we have a good head start in what we have been able to accomplish so far. As I paint the huge ships anchored unaware in Oahu's beautiful harbor, it's difficult to imagine what was experienced there on that morning of December 7, 1941. What sudden terror, fear and confusion, in a war that had not even been declared yet! I try to do justice to the terrible scene with firey explosions and plumes of black choking smoke filling the air. Sadly, 20 Naval vessels and 200 airlplanes were destroyed, and the American loss of life included 1,500 soldiers and personnel, with another
1,000 personnel wounded. In light of the sacrifices made to protect our country, I feel grateful and safe where I am with paintbrush in hand looking back on that fateful day.
             Actually, this was for us, our absolute best painting day so far, and we would like to thank a very special volunteer from the amazing Conlee Snyder Mural Committee! A wonderfully dedicated Frank Walker concerned himself with making sure our questionable new scaffolding was safe and secure, and took it upon himself to correct some of the problems we were having with it!  He spent quite a lot of time anchoring it together with cables, adding supporting outriggers and even built a nice guard rail for the top level! We are so thankful for this mural committee, who are comprised of caring individuals,
volunteering their time, energy and skills to bring the history the city and our nation to the town of Palatka. The mission of the Conlee-Snyder Mural Committee is to 'accurately depict the historical, cultural and natural riches of Palatka and Putnam County through larger than life murals. In sharing these pictorial renderings with citizens and visitors appreciation of the heritage of our community will be developed and enhanced.' The Committee was named in honor of the organization founders Elizabeth and Clinton Snyder and the City Commissioner and philanthropist Leon Conlee. We are also personally grateful for the Committee Chairman John Alexander and his wife and all they do to make it all happen!


Chris' name added to the mural wall

Thank you Lord, for this beautiful son... Children are a gift you said...
I was so blessed to have him as mine
Everything he did, was done with enthusiasm and care
As was this mural scene
Chris, your name has been added to the Chosin scene on the Korean war memorial.
Thanks for the time you gave us..R.I.P. Love always, Mom