Native Son

I’m guessing the title of this wont sound familiar to many people – but it’s an oooold Bryan Adams song about, surprise, the Native American Indian. Since its Thanksgiving time, I thought I’d do a painting around this topic… minus the “pilgrims” of course.

Technical notes: I almost copped out and did this as a night/moon scene – because for some reason “night” scenes are easier for me because the contrast, clouds, etc take less detail somehow. But – going that route made the covered wagons hard to notice and it also gave the “open fields/mountains” the wrong feel – so I stuck it out and stayed with a daylight scene. I also tried giving the Indian a few more trinkets, feathers/etc – but I opted to keep it simple and finish by Thanksgiving than spend a few more days coming up with the right style and amount of his “accessories”.

I think about this topic fairly often. Even if I tend to over-romanticize/simplify what actually happened – due to my atrocious lack of education on the actual details/events –  I am pretty sure it’s worth remembering and reflecting on from time to time. Regardless of how black/white or gray the issues were back then – the bottom line is that an entire race/culture was basically wiped out. It’s impossible to know how you would be had you lived back then vs. now – but being the idealistic guy that I am I hope I would have been more like the Kevin Costner character in Dances with Wolves than one of the many (most) back then who mistreated and/or betrayed this people… I can hope anyway.

Here are the lyrics to the Bryan Adams song if anyone is interested. If you want a gold star click here to listen as you read the lyrics below (it’s a cool song!).


(Bryan Adams)

I’ve seen many moons through these wrinkled eyes
The years have made me old but they’ve made me wise
Now the white man lives where our rivers run

For now better days have passed
We walk the streets of broken glass
Our people vanished as snow before the summer sun

Like dogs we were driven from this place
Such injustice, time will not erase
All these changes cannot be undone

When you feel the anger inside of you
Hold your head high – let your aim be true
Though your heart beats like a drum
My native son

Once there was a time my little one
Before the wagons – before the soldiers’ guns
When this land was ours as far as the eagle flies

No white flag – no broken truce
With few words one can speak the truth – I don’t hear it
Time won’t heal it now

With each new day that comes to pass
Will the great spirit free us all at last?
He said we were the chosen ones

For all we had there’s nothin’ left
We wont forgive – we can’t forget
You know that your day will come
My native son

With each new day that comes to pass
Will the great spirit free us all at last?
What has happened can never be undone

When I was young – not yet a man
The sun rose and set upon our land
We were the chosen ones
My native son.

Dino Lincoln!

Yes I’m once again breaking my “no Dad talk” rule here because this one is based on some new TV show Lincoln’s currently obsessed with (Dino Dan). Anyhow…

This painting went about like the last one (Airports!) in that it took quite a few ‘re-dos’ to get a dinosaur that looked halfway believable and not totally silly looking. Once I got past that (or gave up trying!) the rest of it went great and I had a lot of fun doing this one. For the record I attempted to get Corgan in here but there was something neat about just one person staring at the dinosaur so I resisted – I also tried putting Yoshi behind Lincoln but bailed for similar reasons.

As a side/geek note – I have to say I am still gleefully amazed at how much fun my iPhone is. I can’t describe how fun/neat it is to hold a device in my hand that let’s me paint these things while it, at the same time, plays my music of choice via iTunes/headphones – insane/awesome. The only downside continues to be that I stay up way too late at night because of it!

365 Sketches: 11/14/2010

Some kind of snow fort was last week’s sketch topic. The snow (and Holly) reminded me this week that I need to get moving on my 2010 Christmas card. Holly says I never usually start until after Thanksgiving but I may use the next couple weeks of sketching to come up with the idea/scene.

By the way – if anyone has suggestions for this year’s card please chime in – I’m always open to them (within reason/my abilities of course!). So far the “current ideas” list goes like this:

  • A cutesy Christmas/nature scene (Holly suggestion)
  • Santa floating down the river and Daddy swooping in w/the toy bag on Christmas morning!

365 Sketches: 11/09/2010

A shelf of books was last week’s topic – once again no idea where that came from as I’m sadly not a huge book worm. I wish I was and I have aspirations of being one, but I don’t think reading random/spurts of chapters in PDF technology/training eBooks counts 🙁 ! By the way – the dude on the left side looks nothing like the book-end I intended him to be so you’ll have to use your imagination there.


I have no idea where this topic came from. In any case – I did most of it while riding with a couple colleagues to a customer’s office for a meeting – maybe subconsciously I wanted to get out of the car (because I feel so inefficient/time-wasteful in meetings) so an airplane somehow represents “freedom”? heh. I also discovered that I had very little grasp on what an airplane really looks like because I spent a fair amount of time erasing the tail-end of the red plane over and over until it looked at least in the vicinity of an airplane – so any aviation experts out there please suspend reality a bit if you notice huge inaccuracies in the structure of my planes!

By the way, I make it a rule to not talk about my kids/family on this blog but FYI  I named this “Airports!” for Lincoln because he still insists on calling airplanes “airports” and if you try to correct him he says “I know but *I* call them airports!”.  Also, while I’m breaking my rule… the pink airplane is for Corgan even though you can’t see her name :). Also, a technical note – the colors came out a bit different on PC than the iPhone this time – so please imagine the colors a bit less saturated and not as high contrast if you can!

Halloween 2010

Happy Halloween everyone. I don’t know if you’re allowed to post Halloween artwork the day after – but I am even if you’re not!

This was originally not a Halloween painting – it was just some clouds I jotted down that I saw the other night. I attempted to write out “Halloween” with the match smoke but it just looked weird so I took it out. Looks like the last three paintings I’ve done have been night scenes – wonder if there’s some subconscious message there? Or maybe night time is just cooler during the Fall/Winter months :).

Also, this was the first painting with my new stylus. I’m not sure I like it (stylus) yet – it’s almost double the thickness of my previous stylus – but I’ll give it a few paintings before I decide. Try to contain yourself for my decision – I know everyone will be on the edge of their seat.