Pulverizer

Pulverizer

Here is one of my very first paintings from my first painting class. I believe it was actually my second painting and it was for an assignment where I was to paint something based on the war in Iraq. I chose to paint a detail from a photograph I took of this old World War II tank that currently sits in front of the Dunbar Armory in West Virginia. I was really proud of how it turned out at the time because I had real doubts that I would even like painting at all and because my first painting turned out horribly. I was really amazed when I submitted it into the 2003 West Virginia Juried Exhibition held at the West Virginia Culture Center and it actually got in. Then on top of that, it even sold during it’s time there. A couple passing through on their way home to Michigan stopped in to see the show and apparently couldn’t pass it up. It was the first piece of art I had ever sold, this painting holds a lot of firsts for me. Even when I look back on this image, I still feel that is very successful. Of course I see things I would like to fix on it, but I think I see that in all my work when I look back on it. An amusing little detail about the painting is that I submitted it to the exhibition and I hadn’t varnished it yet which is a fairly common practice with oil paintings since you should wait a year before doing so. Since the couple who purchased it lived out of state and the museum had already accepted the money for it, they were going to send it directly to them when the exhibition was over and couldn’t allow me to take it home. I ended up getting their contact information and got their permission to varnish it for them, but the museum would still not allow me to remove it from their possession. What they did allow was to let me varnish it directly in the gallery while it remained hanging on the wall. The reason that varnish is so important is because as oil dries, it oxidizes, which causes the painting to lose its luster. What the varnish does is protect the oil paint from oxygen and basically keeps the painting looking as it did the day it was painted.