Happy Thanksgiving – 2012

As has been my custom on the Thanksgiving holiday, not only do we give thanks for everything we have, but I like to share works of art with you. Sometime the paintings have a theme to them, and other times they have been included just for being both masterful and magnificent treats to look at.

For Thanksgiving in 2009, I covered the art of James Bama, an American artist born in 1926. As a younger man he was an illustrator, but he moved to the west and began a second career. His works are most often described as photo-realistic. I love his work, and he was my first choice for a Thanksgiving tribute. You can find my post on Bama here: Happy Thanksgiving – 2009.

in 2010, I mixed the modern with past with regard to the subjects. The artists however, are definitely in the present. I went with Steve Hanks and Alfredo Rodriguez, Tim Cox, and Martin Grelle. It was an eclectic mix of trappers and hunters, frontiersman and Indians, and people caught up in the Gold Rush of the mid 19th century. Steve Hanks was included for the sheer beauty of his famed watercolor paintings. That post can be found here: Thanksgiving 2010.

Last year, I focused on a single artist – Robert Duncan. Duncan’s works bring memories of when we were children. It was a kinder and gentler world when I was a kid, and Duncan’s works capture the essence of those innocent days. Though I didn’t grow up on farm, there were farms nearby. The paintings are displayed in a video accompanied by the classic music, Sunshine on My Shoulder, by John Denver. You can find this post here: Happy Thanksgiving 2011.

This year, I’ve decided to bring forth, in honor of Thanksgiving, a number of paintings made by a number of different artists. I hope you will enjoy these works as much as I do.

Leading off we have a quartet of great pieces of art by Alfredo Rodriguez. While these paintings are not specific to the holiday of Thanksgiving, they do represent how the artist feels about being grateful, and appreciative. The first one (above) is called They Are Coming Duke. A man and his dog are watching for the arrival of their family. Note the continuity of the stripes on his pants despite the folds and creases, and the intricate work done for the dog’s fur. Below, a lonely old-timer prepares his food. This one is called First Meal of the Day. I love the rich color of his shirt, the hanging powder horn, and his gun belt which seems awfully close to the fire.

Directly above we have a third classic by Alfredo Rodriguez. He calls this one Counting His Blessings. As you can see, this isn’t about food, instead we have an old prospector who has just discovered that his panning for gold has brought for some dividends. Is it the same prospector as the one in First Meal of the Day? Might be. While you ponder that – check out the wear and tear on his boots. The last Alfredo Rodriguez painting (below) is called Grateful Hearts.  This one portrays simple homesteaders about to sit down for a meal of a cooked bird.

Next out of the chute is a portrait. The (above) painting is called The Pearl of Sante Fe.  The artist – Carrie Ballantyne. As soon as I saw it, I knew that it would have to be, make that – must be – included in this Thanksgiving post. There’s something about the way the hat, the braid, the scarf, the drop earring, and the woman’s expression that just captivates. Note the lack of a background.

I mention background because the next one (above) is called Song of the Prairie. The artist is John Gawne, and just look at the amount of detail in the background which is a field of grain or prairie grass.  Another  painting in which the background tells a good part of the story of the painting is below.

It is called Out of Silence and is a work of the artist John Clymer. The snow looks fresh and as you look at the painting you can easily image the utter stillness of this scene. The forest would be completely silent if not for the presence of this horse and rider.

Continuing with the theme of snow – have a look at this one above called Careful Passage. The artist is John DeMott.  How wonderful is the reflection of the trapper/hunter and the canoe? Another question might be how did this man manage to get that Moose or Elk into the canoe without breaking the canoe?

As long as we have introduced water into our holiday paintings, I now give you two men at work. Both of them work at sea. The one above is called Trawler. Just think about how many times this grizzled veteran of the fishing industry hauled that net out of the sea. Below is a painting called Abyss. Just think how rare it would be to actually meet a deep-sea diver.

Both Trawler and Abyss were done by Mary Whyte. She’s from South Carolina. She paints, she teaches, she’s authored books, and she’s been featured in videos by CBS News.  That’s her at work below Abyss.

I’m still thinking about that braid up above in the Ballantyne painting, Pearl of Sante Fe. Therefore our next painting is another by Carrie Ballantyne. This young woman with a braid  is in the painting is called Reata. I don’t know if the model’s name is Reata or not, but she has a bit of defiance to her. Is it her expression , or maybe, just the angle in which she stands – half forward, and half back. It is a puzzle. Edited in later – the model is Reata Brannerman.

As long as we have girls with ropes in front of us, how about one more? This time the angle of her hips is ratcheted up a bit more, as is the defiance. The artist is Gordon Snidow. And the painting above is called – I Don’t Do Windows. I imagine it would be easy to get ‘tied’ up with her. Also, I love those fringed chaps that she wears over her jeans.

Okay, I’m not done with braids just yet. This one is called Only Until Dad Gets Back. The artist is JaNeil Anderson, and her subject is a girl and her dog. The fact is that this is not exactly a holiday theme, but what the painting lacks in holiday atmosphere, it more than makes for with a lot of heart.  In case you were wondering, JaNeil lives in Redrock, New Mexico.

That still leaves us in the realm of out west. So you know where I’m going next? Right! Once again will venture into the territory of a girl with a braid and she’s good with a rope. But we will make it a double-header. The painting with the rope is called The Boys Are Back. The painting with the same model in a white dress is called On My Mind.  The artist is Linda Lucas Hardy. She lives in Omaha, Texas – and surprise, surprise – the two images of the model – Hannah – were done with colored pencils.

Staying out west, but switching over to guys, our next pair of paintings are about men and horses. The first (above) is called A Good Hunt. The second (below) is called Sonoran Spring.

The artist is Sherry Blanchard Stuart. She lives right in the heart of the Sonoran Desert in North Scottsdale, Arizona. Stuart relies on the richness of color to illuminate the intensity of the sunlight which makes her paintings ‘pop’.

Okay, it is almost Thursday, the 22nd of November, which this year, shall be known as Thanksgiving.  So I’ll close out this year’s Thanksgiving art by showing you some wonderful works by Steve Hanks. The first one is above and is called Leaving In the Rain. Yes, Thanksgiving is the most traveled day of the year but Hanks has put smiles on the faces of so many folks with his art, so even though…

three of these painting include some rain – Waiting in the Rain is above, these paintings will only please you. Tomorrow is Thanksgiving, so …

… so, rain or shine, including Shelter for the Heart (above), travel safely and enjoy

Holding your Family Together (above) for a healthy and Happy Thanksgiving.