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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  1. Joe, This is awesome! I like how it's so realistic at the focal point and then gets more painterly as it fans out. Very powerful.

  2. The web doesn't do it justice. The original has so may color variations in the color mixtures but it's still really strong here. Love the lighting.

  3. This is incredible! You're drwing here is really good. Lots of emotion.