Category Archives: acrylic painting

My Dad…

Dad-in-Mexico
Acrylic painting by Randy Meyer

Red is the Pemble color and it is only fitting that my dad is depicted with red socks and shirt. The scene is from a trip to Mexico after being diagnosed with esophageal cancer. He passed away a few months later.

Chester Ward Pemble was born in 1917 during WWI. I was told that at delivery the Doctor exclaimed, “You’ve got yourself a little Buddy!” ( Battle buddy was a term used in WW I to describe a partner assigned to a soldier in the U.S. Army.) His father nicknamed all the children so he was referred to as Bud for the rest of his life.

Growing up during the depression in the region of Hawick/Paynesville, MN couldn’t have been easy for Dad’s family and I feel this experience was the driving force behind his determination to succeed in business and life.

Looking in the mirror, I can see that I resemble my father much more than my mother. While I did not inherit his math and business skills, I am confident that I am similar to his sisters who were teachers. Dad held teachers in high regard and was proud that I chose that career path. Teaching matched my gifts in life and was the most fulfilling career choice I could have made. For this I am thankful.  I have also inherited his love of travel along with an appreciation of solitude.

I just received the results from my DNA test through Ancestry.com and according to them I am 49% Scandinavian, 30% Scottish, 6% Iberian, 5% Europe South, 4% Europe West, 2% Great Britain, 2% Middle East,  less than 1% Europe East and less than 1% European Jewish.

Hmm… By the looks of it, I’d say the 6% Iberian Peninsula came from him.

 

 

Hobo, Tramp or Bum?

“A hobo wanders and works, a tramp wanders and dreams and a bum neither wanders nor works.”  -Anonymous.

hobo“Hobo at the Breakfast Table” by Randy Meyer

Randy recently picked up the paint brush, after a long hiatus, to capture a memory from his childhood:

It was a cold, snowy day in the early 1960s and this gentleman wandered up to the farmyard asking for work in exchange for food and lodging. He seemed somewhat prepared for the weather being dressed in a long, heavy, hooded coat that had seen better days along with big boots that were held together by wrappings of a sort.  Randy’s parents could not afford to hire extra help, but they generously invited the man into their house to eat breakfast. Imagine four little children peeking into the small  kitchen with wide eyes watching this disheveled older gentleman with a monstrous beard and tremendous appetite devour copious amounts of eggs, bacon, potatoes, toast and whatever else was available that morning. After satisfying his hunger, they wished him well as he made his way to the next farm site.

Who was this man… Hobo? Tramp? Bum?

Since the railroad was still running a train route to the towns of Gary, South Dakota and Marietta, Minnesota it is possible that he hitched a ride on the rail and walked farm to farm in search of food, board or money. This would define him as a hobo.

True hobos fully embraced a strong work ethic, bouncing from place to place, looking for short-term jobs to earn their keep, while bums and tramps wanted to bum everything—money, food, or cigarettes.

The very first American hobos were cast-offs from the American Civil War of the 1860s as young men rode the rails to find their fortunes, usually finding menial work or farm labor. The name hobo is believed to be a shortened form of “hoe boy.” The Great Depression and the Dust Bowl in the 1930s forced millions of Americans to become migrant laborers riding the rails in search of work.

My mother was born in 1920 and talked about hobos coming to her family’s farm when she was a child. Since threshing and haying were labor intensive processes there were opportunities to be had and her parents or grandparents would occasionally hire a hobo to help, allowing him to sleep in the barn. There were hobo markings along the railroad stop in nearby Smiths Mill, Minnesota that would communicate places in the area to work, sleep, etc. which led the hobos to their farm. These markings were a pictographic Hobo Code understood among the hobo community. Since hobos weren’t typically welcomed (and were often illiterate), messages were left that were easy for hobos to read but looked like random markings to everyone else which maintained an element of secrecy. hobo signs helphobo signs lawhobo signs trouble

hobo-glyphs-code

Whatever happened to the strange breakfast guest depicted in this painting? We’ll never know, but Randy can still see his crazy eyes.

HoboGlyphs:  Secret Transient Symbols & Modern Nomad Codes by Delana

Don’t Call Them Bums:  The Unsung History of America’s Hard-            Working Hoboes by Lisa Hix

 

Acrylic meets alcohol meets photography

…and not the kind you drink!

Started with acrylic paint on a ceramic tile.  Let dry. Paint another color on tile with a 50/50 paint to water mix.

Flicks of 91% rubbing alcohol to create bubble effects.  Let dry.

Repeat process with another color mixed 50/50 and splatter rubbing alcohol on this layer.

Sprinkle large glitter on paint while still wet.  Let dry and spray with acrylic clear spray.

Photograph the results with different angles and lighting.

Ta-da!!  Click on image for a larger view.

Hen House Wines make a “splash” on canvas (at least one did!)

We welcomed the makers of  Hen House Wines, along with their signature products, to explore  inner artistic qualities. What better activities to pair than painting and wine.
Step #1:  Open the wine.

openerI was impressed with the efficiency they demonstrated as the official bottle opener fired up the “power tool” style corkscrew.   The speed of this handy little device made by Oster meant the first step was a piece of cake. This group means business!

Step #2:  Lightly sketch the design outlines.

wine-0001Confidence increased with each stroke of the pencil… I can do this!

Step #3:  Fill in the background with the acrylic paints. Thin with water, as needed (or wine if it spills onto your canvas… it works).

wine-0005A seed customer pulled in during this step, but the crew just rolled with the flow as they painted and chatted away until their instructor returned.

Step 4:  Fill in the petals with paint  color of choice and use a darker hue to shadow and outline.  Accent with lighter hues.

wine-0011This step took a little longer, so there was ample time visit and discuss area current events and history.

Step 5:  Fill in the center and give it some texture by dabbing with the brush.

wine-0021Almost finished…

wine-0028Ta Daaaa!  All in a day’s work.

Thanks for the fun evening, especially since I was able to just sit back and drink your intellectually satisfying wines

A-a-a-a-h-h-h  ~ This is the life.