Hard Days End: Oil On Linen 24 x 34"

The American landscape is filled with people working hard and living strong. In spite of set backs and rough times people fight hard to come back with a resolve as hard as the land they work. In my painting, "Hard Days End," I've depicted a young man ending his day on the ranch. He's working to feed his wife and child while carving out a new life through tough work and personal determination.

He may be down for now but he's coming back stronger than ever before. In spite of his rough times, it's not about the paycheck—it's about doing the work right because his name still means something. Like his father before him he's building a new life on the land he works. His back aches and his hands hurt but each day brings him closer to seeing the reality of his dreams after the hard days end.

To capture the intensity of this man, I kept half his face in shadow while allowing the other half full illumination. He's going through a transition. He's emerging but not yet there. This balance helps give the painting an emotional edge while creating a dramatic focal point.

It is hard to decide what more to discus here because there are so many technical points to cover. For me, it all comes down to the essence of the human soul being caught in an honest moment. Once I do this I know the painting is finished and it's time to start another.

Detail of Oil Painting

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Storm Clouds/Oil On Linen 26 x 34"

This oil painting launches a new series I'm working on depicting people of the American heartland. I'll be exploring many emotions by depicting character studies of everyday people as they live their lives and dream their dreams throughout our nation's landscape. My main goal is to capture the inner soul of real people and paint a moment in time that encapsulates an emotional beat in their life. Painters like Andrew Wyeth and Edward Hopper inspired me to embark on this journey of discovery in my own unique way.

This series will cover a wide spectrum of people ranging from happy to sad and from lovely to hard weathered. The common denominator will be the truth in what I see—taken as it comes. In my first painting of this series, "Storm Clouds," I took the opportunity to delve into a man's life at a moment when he is dealing with deep feelings and bitter choices.

We have all been cheated. We have all experienced loss. It is what we do in the aftermath that set's the course of our individual life and those around us. "Storm Clouds" captures this inner struggle as it is set against the backdrop of the American West.

Oil Painting Detail

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