Additional Paintings: Landscapes

Greetings, everyone. I haven’t been doing as much writing as I’d like, but there are more paintings I have done. People have even started giving me paid commissions. Commissions!

Six months ago, if you told me I’d be getting commissions for paintings, I wouldn’t have found it the least bit believable. Life seems rather full of surprises like that. By the way, if you’d like to commission a painting, my email address is to the right.

Here are some of the landscape paintings I’ve done these past few months. All of my paintings so far have been done with acrylics.

"Fourteeners." 8 x 10 inches.

“Fourteeners.” 8 x 10 inches.

"Sturdy." 4 x 6 inches.

“Sturdy.” 4 x 6 inches.

"Colorado Dawn." 2.75 inches square.

“Colorado Dawn.” 2.75 inches square.

Untitled. 2.75 inches square.

Untitled. 2.75 inches square.

A miniature version of "Fourteeners." 4 x 6 inches.

A miniature version of “Fourteeners.” 4 x 6 inches.

"Lakeside." 4 x 5 inches.

“Lakeside.” 4 x 5 inches.

"Rocky Mountain Retreat." 4 x 6 inches.

“Rocky Mountain Retreat.” 4 x 6 inches.

This last one, “Wild Colorado,” is being auctioned off for Crosses for Losses. They are an organization that’s doing incredible work to support Black Forest, Colorado after the fires last June.

"Wild Colorado." 4 x 6 inches.

“Wild Colorado.” 4 x 6 inches.

Thank you very much for your time, everyone. The writing is getting back on track, slowly but surely. Take care!

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Flames Over Black Forest

I have been absent for a long while, and that is due in part to a fire that broke out in the Black Forest neighborhood. My home. I still remember standing in my driveway and feeling a flake of ash drift into my eye.

I could see the glow of flames from my house as we were evacuating.

I could see the glow of flames from my house as we were evacuating.

As I am writing this, the fire is 85% contained, but has done plenty of damage. It was human-caused, but we have no word yet as to whether it was accidental or deliberate. Two people were killed. It spread across 14,000 acres. Over 500 homes have burned, more than in any other fire in Colorado’s history.

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Many of the places that have been a regular part of my life have been destroyed, while others still stand (fortunately, R&R Coffee is among those homes away from home that is still there). I myself had to be evacuated, but God be thanked, we are back in our house right now. Many of my friends weren’t so lucky, and they’ve lost their homes.

Kind of surreal seeing it so close to home.

Kind of surreal seeing it so close to home.

Please do keep your prayers with everyone who is still evacuated or has lost their home in the wake of this disaster.

There may have been a tremendous amount of damage wrought by these flames, but we will rebuild. Black Forest, CO is a wonderful community, and its spirit shall never be crushed. May God bless everyone, protect them, and lead them through this rough time.

A great deal of unexpected rain showed up over the next few days, and helped contain the fire. Thank you, God.

A great deal of unexpected rain showed up over the next few days, and helped contain the fire. Thank you, God.

If you want to help out or need some assistance, you can go here to learn more.

Colorado’s Quintessential Coffee House

All right, now for a bit more local advertising. R&R Coffee, tucked away in the heart of Black Forest (just outside of Colorado Springs), is one of my favorite homes away from home. It’s one of those friendly little places you hope to find whenever you wander through a town or community you’ve never visited, and I would recommend it if you’re ever in the neighborhood. Being a coffee house and all, they’re doing quite well for themselves even with other Mom and Pop stores dropping like stones. A strong reputation and stronger coffee have earned them a well-established standing in the area, and I am grateful that they have stuck around for so long.

The coffee and food are very high-quality, better than anything I have seen from Starbucks.

The foundation of their whole business, of course, is their customer service. I am glad to tell you that it has been consistently excellent in the 3-4 years I have been a patron. They’re your friends, and as soon as you walk in the door you’re greeted with a smile. One of the real charms of the employees is that they remember regular customers — by name and by whatever they usually order.

Heck, they even have hooks for the daily patrons to hang their mugs! Now that’s what I call trust.

Better yet, a number of local artists get to hang their works on the walls, and sell paintings when possible.

If only I had the cash, I’d rather like that waterfall painting.

As I understand it, they can also do book signings and live music.

The store is about to undergo a pretty significant change, too: at the end of the summer, they’re moving across the street to a larger building in what is now a lumber yard. I have a feeling business will pick up, but if you get the chance, drop by while they’re still in the smaller building, and enjoy the warm, quiet charm. R&R lives up to its name, and it is definitely worth a look.