I have tried to capture a hand pump in a rural patio at dawn, two shacks clinging precipitously to the side of a hill, an almost blood-red dirt road carved into the mountains, the spectacular view on the way to La Laguna, the acacia trees of Coronado, an outhouse under a mango tree in the late afternoon, and a fisherman’s tumbledown shanty.
– John Haines
Here is a painting of our daughter Linda’s house in Virginia. When Esther and I go there twice a year, we board there with Linda and her lovely family. The house is a cozy one, and we have all developed great affection for it. This view is from deep in their back yard at about 5:30 on a summer afternoon This was done on a linen canvas measuring 15×30 inches.
This is the mountain one sees in the distance when driving out of Coronado toward the Interamerican Highway. This view was based on a photo taken from the other side of the mountain which I found on the Internet. No matter which side you are on, these are some pretty impressive peaks.
This is the front patio of the finca in the Interior where Esther’s grandmother lived and where Esther herself spent her earliest years. She and I used to take the kids up there for Semana Santa every year till they were in their teens. The two of us still go up there frequently for a weekend. We have added a number of things over the years– electricity, running water, even cable TV– but the place stays essentially unchanged. All of the kids, and some of our grandkids, too, bathed in that pump. And the bowl of water in the foreground began as the iron hubcap on a US Army truck which fell off during practice military exercises in the area during World War II. it is still there.
This cattle gate is just off the little road that leads from the highway back to Esther’s grandmother’s finca in Herrera province. Every time I drove past it, I thought, in the right light, would make a great subject for a small painting. So, here it is. The canvas measures only 9 x 12 inches, but there is quite a bit of detail in the painting.
This painting was done on a commission for a businesswoman here in Coronado who wanted a large, colorful painting for her new, windowless conference room. I based this on a photo of a river near El Valle, jazzed up the flowers in the foreground a bit and added the partially open window to give the painting more depth. The canvas measures 30×40 inches and the frame, not shown here) adds another 6 inches or so to both dimensions.
Took stuff from three sources and tossed in some imagination. Whatever: keeps me off the streets.
This painting of a tropical waterfall was commissioned by a successful businesswoman in Panama to hang in her office at a new mall which she has built and recently opened on the Interamerican Highway at the entrance to Coronado. I worked from several photographs to get this scene, adding two species of heligonia to the foreground to give it more depth. (Models for these flowers came from Esther’s garden here at the house.) Also, at Esther’s suggestion, I put a quetzal in the branches of one of the trees to the right, about a third of the way down from the top. You may have to look around a bit to find him, but he is there. Obviously, there is quite a bit of detail in this painting–which measures 24×30 inches–but I think it all came together pretty well.
This is one of the eternal series of waves that break on the black rocks on Punta Prieta in Coronado. This painting is also destined to be a surprise gift for a friend with a weakness for seascapes.
Bahia Serena, Early Morning
Esther’s grandmother had a place in the Interior just the other side of Divisa and about a mile back off the Interamerican Highway. This is a portion of the small road leading back to it. We still go up there occasionally. The road holds many memories for Esther who spent a good bit of her childhood walking it to and from school. I took a photo of this curve in the early morning to catch the shadows falling across it.
During our trip to Hawaii in June 2014, I saw a number of paintings of Waikiki and its environs, virtually all of which involved surf and beaches and mountains. When I got home, I decided to experiment with the style and techniques I had observed in the Islands. This is the result. I used a photo of a Panamanian rainy season sunrise I had taken several years ago, and another shot of a breaking wave here in Coronado. I put the latter on steroids. The rest I made upa as I went along. As I say, this was an experiment with a different style and is unlikely to be repeated.
8 x 10″ oil painting. More of an exercise than a painting, but…
Tranquil beach scene based on several photos of Bahia Serena, just a short walk from our front door. The composition was derived from three diferent photos and some imagination, i.e., I made up the rocks and dead tree in the foreground to give the painting more depth.
I got the idea for this one while I was putting the finishing touches on the painting we have called Playa, which shows the beach on a nice day with a water bird poking for tidbits on the edge of the surf. I thought how dramatically different from this the sea looks after a rainstorm which, around here, usually comes in the late afternoon. So, I tried in this painting to portray the scene as it would appear about an hour or two before sunset with the storm clouds receding over the horizon. To give the painting depth, I decided to focus on a brown pelican (very common in this area) setting out to scout up his dinner.
Although I worked more than 3 decades for the Panama Canal, and have painted countless miniatures of the many aspects of the waterway on sand dollars, I had never attempted a full-size painting of the Canal until just recently. Here you see the result: a southbound bulk carrier with a tug on the bow and a launch, the latter putting aboard the linehandlers who will bring aboard the locomotive cables at Pedro Miguel Locks. If you look closely, you will see both the Panamanian courtesy flag and the pilot flag flying from the yardarm.
My college roommate bringing down a bird in the Piedmont area of South Carolina.