Sunday, May 15, 2011

"Hometown Hero" This painting will be auctioned off in August at a benefit auction in Guthrie Ok. to raise money for a severely injured U.S. soldier from the war in Afghanistan, Rusty Dunaway

How do you do what you do, is a question I hear a lot. I dont really know, to tell you the truth, it just happens. In this post though, I will attempt to show you how it happens...

First you lay in the background colors, what color the sky and the underlying landscape will look like - those subtle, almost not there colors, and just hint at the 'lay of the land'.

Next you begin to see the important elements 'the meat and potatoes' of the painting, those things that will capture your interest and draw you into the painting, and additional background elements, like the faintly showing fence behind the sliver of a pond and the trees surrounding it. The barn and the silo will be central figures in this painting.

Next the faraway fence is detailed more strongly, since I have decided it is a 'keeper'. More detail, the doors and windows, and patriotic themed wall painting appear on the barn, as well as some additional detail on the silo.

More color in the upper reaches of the sky, a weathervane on the barn, pasture detail, the road and the fence come into play to add a richness of detail. One begins to feel the loneliness of the midwestern farm family that owns this barn, for a loved one serving so far away from home.

The foreground cottonwood tree, dressed in its fall foliage is added... still in those rich golden fall colors that will be the central palette of this painting.

Next the light playing on the roof and side of the silo, a wheelbarrow alongside the barn, the gate on the fence and the yellow ribbon around the tree further enhance the details. Now you know this family has a loved one, serving our country on a distant shore, and they long for his safe return.

And finally the final details are added. Touches of color to enhance the landscape and central figures, along with a new shed at the side of the barn (the wheelbarrow is inside!), and another smaller tree at the side of the barn to add balance and just a 'pop' of color, still in the fall tones, but to add visual interest, just a bit more orange.

AND JUST LIKE THAT, A PAINTING IS BORN. I hope that you can feel the quiet patriotism of my midwestern upbringing in this painting, and more than that, I hope it brings in a great deal of money for Rusty and his family, as well as bringing years of pleasure to it's new owner.


  1. Amazing painting! Thanks for the support of our troops! I know you were a Navy wife, well once a military wife always a military wife as far as i am concerned! I am an Army wife. My husband is returning in a week from his second deployment, this time from Afghanistan, first time was Iraq! He is a flight medic, and my hero! Your story and your work inspire me to dare to follow my dreams! Blessings!

  2. I am a veteran, Active Duty Navy, my husband is the spouse, lol!