IT DOESN'T GET ANY BETTER I HAVE HAD A LIFELONG FASCINATION AND INTEREST IN ERNEST HEMINGWAY, HIS ADVENTURES AND HIS WRITINGS. HERE IS THE 'OL COYOTE IN HIS ELEMENT DURING HIS EARLIER YEARS, SANS THE WHITE BEARD. EVEN WITH HIS HOLLYWOOD GOOD LOOKS AND OUTDOOR BRAVADO, IT'S HIS EYES AND CHESHIRE SMILE THAT SAY, "IT DOESN'T GET ANY BETTER." THE SPIRIT OF THE IMAGE MAKES YOU WONDER WHERE YOU LAST PLACED YOUR ROD AND REEL.
NICE SHADES I HAD ALWAYS WANTED TO DO A PAINTING OF A GRIZZLY BEAR. BUT, I NEVER KNEW IT WOULD END UP LIFE SIZE. CHANCE, OUR YELLOW LAB, IS OFTEN FEATURED IN MY PAINTINGS, USUALLY WEARING HIS COOL RAY-BAN SUNGLASSES. THIS TIME, CHANCE ENCOUNTERS A BEAR THAT IS SPORTING HIS OWN SIGNATURE SUNGLASSES, GOLD-TRIMMED WITH A PERSONAL BRAND INSIGNIA. NOW THAT'S WHAT I CALL ONE BAD BEAR! CHANCE, FEARLESS AS ALWAYS, ENDS UP BLOCKING THE FORWARD PROGRESS OF THE BEAR. BUT BEING SO PREOCCUPIED WITH HIS STYLIN' LOOK, HE BECOMES ENTHRALLED WITH THE SHADES AND FORGETS THE POTENTIALLY DANGEROUS SITUATION AT HAND.
TEEN SPIRIT IF YOU'RE LIKE ME, YOU ARE CONSTANTLY AMUSED BY THE SIMPLE, SALIVATING PLEASURE THAT A DOG DERIVES FROM PLAYING WITH A BALL. MCKENZIE IS OUR BLACK LAB. SHE ADOPTED US ONE RAINY WINTER NIGHT, SOAKING WET AND SHIVERING. SHE'S NO TEENAGER ANY MORE BUT SHE CERTAINLY STILL HAS SPIRIT AND ENERGY FOR HER YEARS. THIS IMAGE IS TYPICAL OF HER STILL, EVEN THOUGH SHE POSED FOR THE PHOTO WHEN SHE WAS ABOUT TWO YEARS OLD. HENCE, THE TITLE, "TEEN SPIRIT". SHE'S A GOOD DOG.
LOST AND FOUND THIS PAINTING WAS ORIGINALLY TITLED, "TWINS WITH ALPENGLOW". IT WAS COMMISSIONED BY A MAN WITH TWO YOUNG TWIN DAUGHTERS. ALTHOUGH TWINS, THEY ARE TOTALLY DIFFERENT FROM EACH OTHER. THEIR FATHER HAS A LIFETIME HISTORY WITH MT. HOOD, SKIING THERE FREQUENTLY AND CLIMBING IT CLOSE TO A DOZEN TIMES. IN THE PAINTING I COMBINED THE CONCEPT OF HIS TWINS WITH HIS BELOVED MOUNTAIN. THE ST. BERNARDS ILLUSTRATE THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN THE TWINS. THE ALPENGLOW EVOKES THE PASSAGE OF TIME, REMINDING PARENTS TO ENJOY EVERY MOMENT AS THEIR CHILDREN GROW UP. THE PAINTING WAS PERSONALLY TITLED FOR MY CLIENT, SO WHEN I DECIDED TO PRODUCE A LIMITED EDITION PRINT OF IT, I CHANGED THE TITLE TO "LOST AND FOUND". IT RELATES TO THE REPUTATION THAT ST. BERNARDS HAVE FOR FINDING PEOPLE LOST IN THE MOUNTAINS.
DOG DAYS AT THE LAKE TO SIT ON THE DOCK IN THE MIDDAY SUN BY A PRISTINE LAKE IN NORTH IDAHO WAS OUR DOG CHANCE'S GREATEST PLEASURE. HE DERIVED FROM THIS NATURAL EXPERIENCE A PERSONAL SATISFACTION THAT NO HUMAN COULD EVER ATTAIN. AS I OBSERVED AND STUDIED HIM, I RECOGNIZED THAT THERE ARE TIMES WHEN A CREATURE'S LIFE CAN BE SUPERIOR TO OURS. IF THERE IS SUCH A THING AS REINCARNATION, MY FIRST CHOICE WOULD BE TO COME BACK AS A LARGE YELLOW DOG, BORN TO RELAX IN THE MIDDAY SUN ON A DOCK ALONG A NORTH IDAHO LAKE.
NORTHWOODS NAP NORTHWOODS NAP WAS INSPIRED BY NOTHING MORE THAN SITTING IN THE LIVING ROOM OF OUR IDAHO CABIN ON A SUMMER DAY, GAZING OUT THE DOOR TO THE LAKE AND BEYOND. IN MY MIND THE IMAGE TOTALLY DEFINES THE SIMPLE PLEASURE OF RETREATING TO A MOUNTAIN CABIN AND TAKING IN THE WARMTH AND JOY OF A LOVELY DAY.
DOG WITH BISCUIT DOG WITH BISCUIT WAS CREATED TO COMMEMORATE THE CELEBRITY STATUS THAT CHANCE, OUR NORTHWOODS DOG, HAS OBTAINED. HE UNDERSTOOD THAT IN ORDER TO BE RECOGNIZED AS A TRUE CANINE CELEBRITY, HE MUST HAVE HIS VERY OWN MAHOGANY RUNABOUT. HE TOOK GREAT DELIGHT IN RIDING IN THE REAR SEAT AND BEING CHAUFFEURED ACROSS THE LAKE AT HIGH SPEEDS. HE WAS KEENLY AWARE THAT HE HAD INDEED ARRIVED. IN HIS MIND, HE WAS CHANCE, THE FAMOUS NORTHWOODS DOG.
I'LL BE HOME SATURDAY... CHANCE THIS IS THE FIRST PAINTING I DID OF OUR DOG, CHANCE, WHO LOVED TO TRAVEL WITH US, WHETHER TO THE GROCERY STORE OR TO A REMOTE RESORT. IT WAS THE FIRST IN THE ONGOING SERIES, "THE TRAVEL ADVENTURES OF OUR DOG CHANCE" (ALSO KNOWN AS THE POSTCARD SERIES). CHANCE WANTED TO GO TO NEW MEXICO TO VISIT THE RANCHO DE TAOS CHURCH. IN THIS IMAGE HE HANDED HIS CAMERA TO A TOURIST AND ASKED IF HE WOULD PLEASE TAKE A PICTURE OF HIM IN FRONT OF THE CHURCH. HE HAS MAILED OFF THE PICTURE, WRITING ON THE BACK, "I'LL BE HOME SATURDAY...CHANCE".
RADAR TO THE RESCUE I DECIDED IT WAS TIME TO DO A PAINTING OF A DOG OTHER THAN CHANCE. NOT ONLY ANOTHER DOG BUT A COMPLETELY DIFFERENT BREED AND COLOR. RATHER THAN A CELEBRITY TYPE DOG LIKE CHANCE, I OPTED FOR A PORTRAIT OF A WORKING CLASS DOG. SINCE WE LIVE IN THE NORTH CASCADE MOUNTAINS, I THOUGHT A SEARCH AND RESCUE DOG WOULD BE APPROPRIATE. I CHOSE A GERMAN SHEPHERD WITH A BLACK COAT THINKING THAT THE SNOW ON A MOONLIT NIGHT WOULD PROVIDE A UNIQUE BACKDROP. I FEEL THE IMAGE EVOKES A FEELING OF MYSTERY AND ADVENTURE, RIGHT DOWN TO THE DETAIL OF SAFETY GLASSES RATHER THAN THE USUAL SUNGLASSES.
COMANCHE CHIEF WITH TRICKSTER HERE IT IS. YOU'VE GOT THIS COMANCHE CHIEF WHO HAS DISCARDED HIS CUSTOMARY NATIVE GARB FOR THE CLOTHING PROBABLY TAKEN FROM A DEAD SOLDIER ON THE BATTLEFIELD. I'VE NEVER UNDERSTOOD THAT AND I NEVER WILL. POSING FOR A PORTRAIT WEARING THE UNIFORM OF YOUR HATED ENEMY. I AM EMBARRASSED BY THE WHITE MANS' BRAZEN DISREGARD FOR NATIVE AMERICAN CULTURE AND THE BLOODSHED AND BROKEN TREATIES THAT RESULTED FROM THE WANTON PURSUIT OF LAND AND POWER. THIS IS WHY THE 'TRICKSTER' OR RAVEN HAD TO APPEAR VIA THE PAINT BRUSH, SITTING CONFIDENTLY ATOP THE CHIEF. HIS RED, WHITE AND BLUE EYE STARING FEARLESSLY WITH THE KNOWLEDGE OF THE FUTURE.
CUSTER'S KEMOSABE THIS IS A PORTRAIT OF CURLY, ONE OF GENERAL CUSTER'S CROW SCOUTS. CUSTER WROTE HIS WIFE SAYING THAT THE CROW SCOUTS HE HAD CHOSEN WERE MAGNIFICENT LOOKING MEN, MORE HANDSOME THAN ANY RED MEN HE HAD EVER SEEN. THEY WERE ASSIGNED BY CUSTER TO FIND SITTING BULL'S CAMP. WHEN THEY HAD DONE SO, THE SCOUTS FOUND THE SIZE OF THE SIOUX VILLAGE SO LARGE THAT THEY BEGAN TO SING THEIR DEATH SONGS. IT WAS THEN THAT CUSTER DISMISSED THEM. THEIR JOB WAS DONE. CURLY IS SAID TO HAVE BEEN THE FIRST MAN TO BRING NEWS OF WHAT HAD HAPPENED AT THE LITTLE BIGHORN TO THE OUTSIDE WORLD. MAGNIFICENT LOOKING RED MEN... I WOULD HAVE TO AGREE.
WHITE MAN RUNS HIM IT WAS HIS NAME, WHITE MAN RUNS HIM, THAT GRABBED MY ATTENTION. WHO WAS THIS INDIAN? A CROW SCOUT, CHOSEN BY CUSTER. ONE OF A TRIBE WHOSE VAST LANDS WERE BEING TAKEN OVER BY THE WHITE MAN, AND WHOSE WAY OF LIFE WAS CHANGING FOREVER. HIS NAME PERSONIFIED EXACTLY WHAT WAS GOING TO TAKE PLACE. IT WAS GIVEN TO HIM BY HIS OWN PEOPLE FOR HELPING THE 7TH CAVALRY IN THEIR FIGHT AGAINST THE SIOUX. HIS EYES SHOW THE ENVY OF THE RICHES OF THE WHITE MEN. HIS NOSE IS PALE AND BENT OUT OF JOINT IN A FUTILE ATTEMPT TO APPEAR MORE LIKE A WHITE MAN, BUT TO NO AVAIL. HIS NATIVE BELIEFS SLOWLY STRIPPED AWAY, HE WEARS THE SYMBOLS OF CHRISTIANITY. HE HAS ADAPTED THE COLORS OF THE WHITE MAN'S FLAG TO HIS CLOTHING IN HOPES THAT HE WILL BE MORE IDENTIFIED WITH THE WHITE WORLD. TO ME, I JUST SAW A PERSON WHOSE SPIRIT COULD NO LONGER REMAIN AND HAD EXITED HIS BEING FOREVER.
PORTRAIT OF GLORY, MONTANA 1876 WHAT CAN I SAY ABOUT GEORGE ARMSTRONG CUSTER? IMPULSIVE, EGOCENTRIC, LAST IN HIS CLASS AT WEST POINT WITH A RECORD NUMBER OF DEMERITS. CRUEL TO HIS MEN AND DISCOURTEOUS TO OFFICERS. ARRESTED AND FOUND GUILTY OF CONDUCT PREJUDICIAL TO GOOD ORDER AND DISCIPLINE, AND SUSPENDED FROM THE MILITARY FOR ONE YEAR. YET, THIS GREATLY FLAWED CHARACTER WAS PERFECTLY MADE FOR BATTLE AND COULD JUSTIFY THE TAKING OF INDIAN LIVES, INCLUDING OLD MEN, WOMEN AND CHILDREN, AS HIS DUTY. I WONDERED, WHO WAS THIS MAN? TO ME, HE WAS THE "BOZO OF THE SEVENTH CAVALRY." A MAN WHOSE MONUMENTAL EGO PREVENTED HIM FROM SEEING THAT THE END WAS JUST OVER THE NEXT HILL. IN ACTUALITY, A DEAD MAN WALKING. DID CUSTER DIE FOR THE SINS AND BROKEN TREATIES COMMITTED BY THE WHITE MAN? I WOULD LIKE TO THINK SO.

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