I have always felt that I would like to paint landscapes. I am well into being “70ish” but earlier this year I took a class from Janet Williams, a Bob Ross instructor from Farmville, Virginia. One of the things she explained was how the Bob Ross oil paints were mixed, blended, and applied to the canvas with the various brushes. I loved how the brush strokes flowed and have not stopped painting since that day. My family encouraged me to enter my first oil painting in the County Fair and was I shocked when I won second place.
As my enthusiasm increased, the wall space decreased, and I began giving them away to the older ladies in my church. (They think I’m a better artist than I feel that I am.).
The greatest joy I have derived from my new talent is the expression on their faces when they receive a painting from Jack Hanham. That makes it all worthwhile and at 78 years old I’m just starting out.
My latest effort is shown below, it’s called “Resting Buck”.
I have also taken up poetry by writing a poem that I was more or less “ordered” to do by a Federal Judge in the Salt Lake City Courthouse who I know and have worked with. I told him I had never written a poem, and didn’t think I knew how. He said that I could and told me, “Just do it.” I did, and was surprised again when there was a request from our great Senator Orrin Hatch for a signed copy for his wall. Below is that poem:
THE MASTER OF STORY
IN THE ART OF TELLING TALL TALES.
FROM THE TOWN OF KLARNEY CAME MOST OF THEIR BLARNEY,
WITH A LITTLE HOT AIR FROM WALES.
TO BE A MASTER OF JEST WAS THEIR SINGULAR QUEST,
THROUGHOUT THE OL’ EMERALD ISLE.
THEY COULD SPIN A GREAT YARN,
TO SURPASS THOSE OF JAKE GARN,
WITHOUT CRACKING A SMILE.
SO THEY CAME OUT WEST TO COMPETE WITH THE BEST,
AND PLAY WITH THE AMERICAN GLORY.
BUT LITTLE DID THEY KNOW, THAT WE INVENTED THE SHOW,
THE ART OF TELLING A STORY.
BUT HERE IN SALT LAKE, OUR CHAMP IS NO FAKE,
FOR HIS SKILL IS ONE OF A KIND.
SOFT SPOKEN, POLITE, A MAGNIFICENT SIGHT,
BUT HIS STORIES COULD BOGGLE YOUR MIND.
SO EVERYONE MET, AND THE CONTEST WAS SET,
RIGHT HERE IN THESE BEAUTIFUL HILLS.
THE STORIES WERE TOLD, WITH SOME THAT WERE BOLD,
AND SOME THAT COULD GIVE YOU THE CHILLS.
BUT WHEN IT WAS OVER, THERE’D BE NO GREEN CLOVER,
FOR THE GREAT O’FLARITY AND O’TOOLE.
FOR THEY WERE NO MATCH FOR ONE SENATOR HATCH,
FOR IT WAS HE THAT WAS DESTINED TO RULE.
THEY WERE HUMBLE AND CONTRITE,
AFTER ONE HECK OF A FIGHT,
FOR HATCH HAD PUT THEM THROUGH SCHOOL.
THEY WERE NEVER AGAIN SEEN,
IN THAT BEAUTIFUL LAND O’GREEN,
THE ONCE GREAT O’FLARITY AND O’TOOLE.
WHAT HAPPENED TO THEM WOULD SURE MAKE YA WONDER,
CAUSE I HERD SOMEONE SAY THEY HAD GONE FAR AWAY,
TO A STRANGE PLACE CALLED, DOWNUNDER.
For the other adventurers who discover this web site, I will admit that my spinal column is worn out and the back pain is excruciating – sometimes I hold up my painting arm with my other arm to steady my paint brush. Still these activities are the best pain relievers yet.
I’d like to encourage others not to put off doing the things they’ve wanted to do during their earlier years. Make a plan to begin, then do it.
Keep trying and never give up,