Sunday, January 29, 2012

Almost Final on a "A Time For Peace"

Coming along on "A Time for Peace".  I just have to be patient for the gel mediums.  The colors are coming in quite nicely.  What do you think? 

I have more to address.  During homecoming I presented my work to the 3/6 Battalion of which 13 of the 16 paintings were my subjects and to the families as each wave came through.  The people from the National Museum of the Marines that is under construction in Jacksonville, NC met with me to view the work.  There are several presentations that I will be able to give connected with them.  Working out details for now.  The 2nd Marine Division will have 4 of my paintings over the next year on the covers of their magazines and I am planning on attending their conventions.  Locally, I have presented my work at the VFW in North Syracuse with the North Syracuse Artguild.  More presentations to come and I will add some pages on those.

Friday, January 27, 2012

First Layers on a " A Time for Peace"

The day after deployment came to an end we walked along Top Sail Beach.  The sun was warm, the breeze intense.  Forest and his sweet Rachel enjoyed some of their first of many, face to face conversations that until this point, had only been on Facebook and Skype.  Just to see that joy on his face with this special girl at last was a joy to behold. 

The colors of the day were the most beautiful Ultramarine's, Phathlo's, Cobalt, Cobalt Turquoise, Manganese, Anathriquine, and Payne's Grey blues in the sky and waters.  Beyond those awesome seascape waters, the sand in the foreground is made up of Course Pumas Gel with a blend of metallic and interference colors.  Their bodies are made up of Light molding paste that I stenciled and sculpted, as they walk with their faces locked in conversation.  So much to say, as long shadows of Payne's Grey follow them from behind the couples path.  I am working on this for an acrylic class that will wind up Saturday.  

When I took the photo, a reed was in the lens view.  I will end up with that read stretching out across the canvas over many layers of gel and deeper more intense blues.    

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Two New starts on "A Time For Peace and Guardians of Freedom"

It is time for Christmas on February 4th at my house.  Actually, it is all the times Lcpl Forest Blair missed here at home for Thanksgiving, Birthday, Christmas, New Years and most importantly, A Heroes Welcome Home Party!  Deployment is over and post deployment leave starts at the end of this week.  Cannot wait. 
For now, there is a new acrylic painting to start that depicts the other end of deployment.  I am starting a new piece called "A Time For Peace" - Lcpl Forest Blair and his girlfriend Miss Rachel Hort.  Ecclesiastics 3:1-8 says there is a time to every purpose under Heaven.  My favorite part is in verse 8.  There is a time to wage war and (best of all), A time for peace.  Home is my marine and just one day after homecoming, he is walking along Topsail Beach in the peace he and brothers fought so hard for. We are protected because of them.  Each step on that beach is meaningful to the freedom we enjoy because of Forest and the brave men and women like him.   They have run the race and kept the faith.  Semper Fi 3/6, well done!

For my 3/6 Battalion I am starting a painting of multi media that has its start from a book that was given to Forest as he entered the Marines.  One quote from Andrew Jackson's Farewell Address in 1837 says what our military embodies. 
...Providence has showered on this favored land blessings without number, and has chosen you, as guardians of freedom, to preserve it for the benefit of all the human race.  May He who holds you in his hands the destinies of nations make you worthy of the favors He has bestowed, and enable you , with pure heats, and pure hand and sleepless vigilance, to guard and defend to the end of time the great charge he has committed to your keeping...
The background is our country's flag with this quote.  There will be a montage of scenes from the 3/6 Battalion.  More to come.

Monday, January 2, 2012

Final on "The Hardest thing I Have Ever Done" and Homecoming is Here!

This deployment has been a journey.  The people I have met with their amazing stories are incredible.  Because of them, I have been able to portray to the average American citizen "A Military Experience - A Parents Perspective". Best of all is is time for the 3/6 to return home and share my work with them. 

Here is the final on  "The Hardest thing I Have Ever Done" - Lcpl Nathan McCormick.  In painting my portraits for this series I have approached each one with a great sensitivity and when I first saw Nathan's photo, it took my breath away.  Our sons defend this nation with their very lives to keep us free.  It is a great price to pay for there is no greater love than to lay down ones life for another.  Nathan was wounded by an IED, (improvised explosive device) that sent his weapon into his face breaking bones.  He is a purple heart recipient.  While rehabbing here in the states he was asked to do two funerals.  This very first funeral was his best friend and rackmate.   He had to hand two flags to Lcpl Tim Swinerski's parents.  As he leaned in to give the flags to Tim's dad their heads met in absolute grief.  

Originally, I was going to use the photo in a painting geared as part of a larger piece for Camp Lejeune.  However, because the guys are coming home early, I had to make a decision between the many or the one.  Since deployment started I have come to realize this one is a deep need for Nathan. He inquired several times during deployment on how the painting was coming along.  I had several starts of sketches,torn over having it be part of the larger painting or by its self.  This painting has healing in it for Nathan. There is a sense of closure that I have surprisingly found in the waves of marines coming in there are several who have seen this painting since I have come down here.  Many people looked up to Lcpl Tim Swinerski and I have found the need is more than Nathan.

As I present this piece to Nathan for the first time, I want to share with him the lesson this painting has taught me.  When you see this piece remember it is not the sadness of the moment to always recall and morn over.  For it is easy for the brothers who fought with Lcpl Tim Swinerski to feel perhaps they should be the ones in the casket (I have had many veterans share that with me).   To each person there is a purpose in their life they need to fill.  It will take a lifetime to figure that out.  You will honor Lcpl Tim Swinerski the most by finding that purpose.

The one is more important than the many.  This piece is for you Nathan and for your brothers in arms.  It is for the parents who mourn there son, yet celebrate his life.  It is also the families who gather behind the 3/6 battalion.  It is for the one percent of our population in the United States Military.  It is also to teach the American people in this country the sacrifice, honor and courage it takes to be a United States Marine.      

Got to try on a flack jacket.  I am 3" shorter!
We pray about it and long for it and now it is finally here, its homecoming time!  To get the paintings down to Camp Lejeune, I needed to rent a van.  My Saturn just wouldn't fit all these paintings.  Penske has extended a military discount, but it still is costing $1600.00 to travel down for the return of the battalion and back to Syracuse.  To my followers on my blog and all the 3/6 families please consider a donation toward the expense of the vehicle coming down.  There is a donation button on the right hand side of the blog just for this trip.  I have had one of my 3/6 parents gave a very generous gift to help get things started  but I still need your help either through a donation or a purchase of one of my giclee' prints.

You are my heroes 3/6.  Welcome home - mission accomplished.

More to come with the painting start up for Camp Lejeune.  To honor his French name is pronounced Lejern.