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Jackson

Jackson  oil on canvas (11 x 14″)

This is Jackson. I had the pleasure this month to complete a commissioned oil portrait of him. Jackson is a nine year old Golden Retriever. We had the good fortune to live next door to him as well as his masters Lynn and Roger in South Beach. He has been a constant companion for Lynn from the time he was adopted at 3 months.  Jackson has walked a minimum of 3 miles every day of his life and has the inimitable talent of being able to chase down and hold in his mouth any number of balls and Frisbees simultaneously, ideally on his long walks on the beach, rain or shine. Unfortunately, he was diagnosed in August 2011 with osteosarcoma (bone cancer) originating from his left back leg and had to have his leg removed.  His diagnosis means he has less than 1 year more of life. Nevertheless, true to his irrepressible spirit, Jackson continues to walk and, amazingly, run every day and still fetches his balls and Frisbees from a heart of gold.  He will be missed by all who have known him and his good natured enthusiasm. Until then the Lynn and Roger are enjoying what time they have left with him. What a gift Jackson has been to all who have known him. In spite of all his circumstances, he has a great attitude of boundless proportions   that ALL of us would do well to emulate.

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The Kid

The Kid graphite on paper (19.5 x 23.3″)

In the midst of some recent, long overdue studio “house cleaning” I recently came across a 30 year old drawing I had done in preparation for a commissioned portrait of the son of a gentleman who was at the time an internationally prominent boxing promoter.

I chose to pose the 4 year old boy with arms draped over a low hip wall on a deck corner in the familiar pose a fighter strikes while in his corner awaiting the round opening bell. It suited his personality to a tee. I often wonder where this little guy, now a young man in his mid-30’s, ended up. Even at the tender age of 4 he had a presence that definitely drew your attention. And, as you can see, lots of hair. I should be so lucky!

Ray Matthis

Ray Matthis Oil on canvas (12 x 16″)

This is a portrait I just completed of Ray Matthis, the father of my dear sister-in-law Deanna Mandish. Ray passed away in June of 2008. I worked from some photos I took of Ray on Easter, 2008, 3 months before his death. He was one of the few human beings I’ve ever met that I would characterize as “Golden”, a man with a heart of gold and a bottomless wellspring of generosity. People witnessed to his generous spirit at his memorial service, some of them strangers to the family, recounted acts of kindness the family itself had no knowledge of as Ray had not seen fit to take credit. Below is an excerpt from Deanna’s eulogy to her father, Ray.

“…His unconditional love for those of us who were fortunate enough to know and love him, and know with certainty how much he loved us, was unwavering. His generosity was unparalleled. We are quite certain that we will never know all the good deeds he did, all the checks he wrote for someone less fortunate, the pies he baked, the errands he ran, the help he offered, the quiet acts of service, the many kindnesses he extended. He was not perfect. On rare occasions he was grumpy and short tempered, but, his character was steadfast. He was quick to say “I love you” and just as quick to say, “I’m sorry” when he was wrong. His heart was soft as butter…tears sprang to his eyes easily and pride in those he loved was enormous. He was easily touched by simple acts of kindness and his wobbly chin was well known to his family and those closest to him. He was a strong, manly man with a work ethic rarely seen in our world today, but, he was also gentle and not afraid to be silly and to laugh with glee. He loved babies and roses and wood working and his tomatoes. But–most of all, he loved his family and all of us who are gathered here today to love him right back. He was faithful to his commitments, to his family, his church and his friends. If he made a promise, he kept it. He touched others deeply, whether the people he sat with at church or his favorite waitress, Angela, at the Early Bird Cafe. He had faith and he knew where his next stop would be. If he could speak to us today, he’d tell you “it’s all true!” and he’d tell us to meet him on the other side. Because, just as you loved him, he loved you, too. “The gift of God is eternal life.” Say yes to the gift. Be there. He’ll be there to welcome you just inside the gate.”

Jammin’



Jammin’  Limited edition (300) giclee print on canvas (14.75 x 14.75″)

This is an image I created to celebrate Jazz and my love for it. This piece is now on exhibit at the “Jazz You Can See” show at the Newport Performing Arts Center and the Visual Arts Center in Newport, OR. The show lasts from September 3 through October 3, 2010 with an opening reception on September 3, 2010 at the Performing Arts Center.

My Witness


My Witness Graphite on Canson paper (11 x 14″)
Also available in a limited edition (350) giclee print on rag paper.

This is a drawing that my mother posed for about 30 years ago. It is the same pose as seen in my oil painting titled “The Witness”. I love the gesture and it is so much my mother, as wonderfully loving and compassionate a person as ever walked the earth.

My dear mother passed away on Feb. 11 of this year after 91 years of blessing all she came to know. My 2 brothers, my sister, and I each spoke at her memorial service of the tremendous impact she had on all our lives. My eulogy to my mother, Edith Mandish (1919-2010) is below. It hardly begins to do her justice.

Eulogy to Edith Mandish

You know, my brothers, my sister, and I have always kidded each other over who was mom’s favorite. But after all these years it is now apparent that the one she loved the most … was the one who needed her most at the time. And we have all had the good fortune to have been in that position on numerous occasions when mom’s prayers regarding our needs were in full array.

Anyone who knew Edith knew that she was a woman of great faith. She was a great prayer warrior and I don’t believe I ever had a conversation with her that she didn’t mention those that she was praying for, including myself. And one less acquainted with her might be inclined to dismiss these reassurances as empty courtesies. But, I had seen all too many times how many of those prospects had actually become realities against all likelihood. Through death, disease, familial strife, or just plain misfortune, mom was knee deep in supplication. I firmly believe my Mother was well connected, not politically or socially, but spiritually with her Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. She didn’t just talk about having a “Personal Savior”, she had an ongoing dialog with Him and we were all the beneficiaries.

Thirty-three years ago my mother was stricken with cancer. When faced with the decision as to whether to begin Chemo Therapy after a rigorous battery of radiation treatments that all but destroyed the viability of a great deal of the tissue in her esophagus and neck she elected to forego the Chemo because she believed it would be more destructive than curative. The doctors were frustrated by her obstinacy and were certain it could only ultimately lead to her death. Despite all the odds Edith believed that God had something else in store for her and prayed with every ounce of strength left in her tiny frame that she would somehow not succumb to the scenario the doctors had outlined.

One night, as she lay awake in bed for the entire evening praying, she began to feel what she later described as an overwhelmingly intense burning sensation that enveloped her completely from head to toe. It was then she clearly heard the words: “Your body is healed.”

At the time she had no idea what was indeed happening. It was only on a subsequent visit to her oncologist that she was informed that the cancer that had relentlessly riddled her body had somehow mysteriously disappeared. Mysterious to all but Edith, for she realized then and was more than willing to testify later to the Almighty Power that had produced this event. She knew her prayers had indeed been answered and, though she had been “struck down, but not destroyed”, as Paul declares in 2nd Corinthians, she would continue to live for decades to come.

The power of an abundant prayer life is something my mother actively modeled for her children as far back as I can remember and each of us has been witness to the power of that prayer in our own lives. This was Edith’s richest legacy to me.

Sanctuary

Sanctuary Acrylic on paper (17 x 20”)
Also available in a limited edition (350) giclee print on watercolor paper.
This was a piece I originally created in acrylics for the Audubon Society. I am especially pleased with the quality of the giclee edition on this particular paper.

Wave #1

Wave1_blog_3483Wave #1 oil on canvas (12″ x 12″)
As someone who grew up in and near the water I never cease to be fascinated with waves and the action on the ocean. I plan to do a lot more of these, some populated, some not.