The above painting is called Down Time and I did this painting as a way of show the general public that even in a growing secular society that troops still turn to God for guidance and protection. This is not intended to be a sweet little picture but a portrayal of an event I witnessed and would like make tribute to.
During my seven months in Iraq SrA Jared Moore and myself created a Bible Group/Life Group that was intended to help us and our other airman to unify in God's Word on a weekly basis. Some mornings we would gather to pray outside of the armory off to ourselves. This painting is meant to capture one of those mornings. In most other paintings like these you would see a dove, a bright light from above or some other Religious object but I did not want to include these because I want you the viewer to see it as I did. The dark background is there to help bring focus to the airman and to help accentuate the feeling of "darkness" around us. This is what we did in our Down Time.
Dear Rose Marie, Oil on Canvas 16 x 20
One of my best friends in Iraq was SrA Fidel Nunez who was from the Dominican Republic and I took a photo of him writing a letter home to his wife Rosa Marie - hence the title Dear Rosa Marie. I wanted to not only just show an airman writing home but again I wanted to create a contemporary spin on it.
In past paintings done by famous painters I usually find a lot of these "heroic" images and these super macho types who either win a battle or if they are doing a simple "letter home" they are either crying or they look like a typical soldier with blonde hair and blue eyes writing home to Sally. I don't know why but I get tired of those and think we are in a new era where other ethnicities are left out of the loop.
In this image I wanted to portray Nunez of the Dominican Republic to show that there are other races involved in this war and they, too, have people at home who love them. They are also fighting for this country and everytime I hear people cry "send them home" I want to show them this image.
Out of the Ashes, Oil on Canvas 16 x 20
This painting has been attempted before by me and I was happy with the original concept but I was not pleased with my execution. So I wanted to try this again and I wanted to use a background that indicated a dark past and a better future. With a title Out of the Ashes I think it is clear to see that in this image the viewer will get a sense of a man who once went to war and through it all came out being a better person.
For me that statement couldn't any further from the truth. I once was a person with a secure job at a fortune 500 company making a good income while serving part time in the National Guard. However that part time job was becoming something of a full time position with six call-ups to Active Duty between 09/11/01 to 06/28/07 for a grand total of three culmulative years of active service.
The left side of the painting represents a point in my life where I had surrendered my dreams and left my ambitions aside so that I could maintain an income, keep my job and work for retirement. However, I hated both jobs: the military and working in sales. Yet it took seven months in a war zone for me to 'wake up' and see what my true potential, ambition and passion for life really was.
The right side is who I am now and indicates a sense of direction and more life. I have more red in my cheeks and sunlight on my face as I leave the ashes in background behind as I head towards where I am suppose to be: practicing art in a studio!