King of the Plains

I’m continuing in my South Dakota themed work lately. I’m also experimenting with rougher knife work. This relatively large Bison piece was accomplished primarily with the knife and so it has a rough, textural look that I’m really liking. When painting with a knife there are so many “happy accidents” and intricate little textural effects that would be impossible to create any other way. It’s been a lot of fun scraping and trowling on this one. Oh, and I’m wearing my Wall Drug hat too, so… that helps.

Happy New Year!!

What better way to spend New Year’s Day than eating leftover lefse with football on in the background and finishing up a nice landscape. So here’s the first one with”2018″ in the signature. While on vacation last summer in the black hills, I loved getting up before sunlight and driving around Custer State Park. This painting is a product of one such morning.

Red Alert

I’m starting to swing into some pieces based on our family trip out to the Black Hills earlier this summer. One early morning in Custer State Park I observed and photographed a coyote cruising tirelessly through a prairie dog town. Some of the prairie dogs peeked sheepishly over the rims of their mounds. Others stood tall and alarm barked loudly at the passing menace. The coyote was unfazed at the verbal abuse and continued her confident pace, knowing that she’d eventually get her breakfast. 

Flying blind

I’m venturing into new territory on a large (60×30) landscape I recently finished in that I’m building a frame for it myself from scratch. I’ve gotten it assembled, and so far-so good. Next comes the finishing. I’ll post again with the final result. 

Remembering Mrs. Underbakke

Back in October a dear family friend passed away at the age of 91. She was like a grandmother to me long after both my grandmothers were gone. She was an educator, an English teacher, and she spoke with impeccable English even in casual situations, but it wasn’t at all pretentious. Nothing about her was. She was a gracious, godly woman of sincere faith. She was the kind of person who would cook up her last batch of oatmeal and brew her last pot of coffee for you if you visited and be glad to do it. She was a true joy, had a contagious laugh, and saw the good in people.

When she passed, I remembered a photo I took of her in her Iowa-farmhouse kitchen years ago. She was busy preparing breakfast for us her guests. The morning light caught my eye and I secretly snapped the picture. I found that photo these years later and fashioned a painting from it.

This is how I remember Mrs Underbakke, modestly serving, giving what she had. She was quite an example of a lady.