Contemplation

Gale F. Trapp, 2009
Acrylic on hardboard 24×36″

Contemplation 2009

Contemplation
2009

Is this painting about a good man gone bad? Is this a man contemplating his first lawless actions?

Is the whiskey a morale builder or fortification before a ruthless act? Are the saddlebags for carrying personal effects? Or, for carrying loot from a planned hold up?

The proximity of the rifle indicates a close friend whose bite is lethal. The waist gun provides added protection… but from what?

The setting is a saloon, maybe for a clandestine meeting with those in the background – playing one last hand of Fargo.

The Hurricane Lamp banishes shadows to the far corners of the saloon where darkness covers the covert actions of co-conspirators or – friends.

The Spittoon is a reminder of the careless nature of the men who haunt the premises.

The bar is an attempt at refinement, where refinement is not wanted.

So, what do you think? Is this a good man gone bad?

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Forget the Ads…

Memorial Day.
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Forget the ads, the sales, the long weekend, barbeques, pool parties and a lazy day off from work. For just a couple of minutes today, I challenge you to remember Memorial Day, and honor those men and women who died in service to OUR country.

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Memorial Day started as Decoration Day about three years after the Civil War and there are a number of towns that claim the distinction of being the first to hold formal celebrations – but really does it matter where it began? Or, how it has evolved?

Memorial Day is now celebrated on the last Monday in May, making a nice long weekend for most of us.

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And yet, I would wager that no American has gone untouched by a veteran’s sacrifice, whether it be a family member, a neighbor, or a local high school graduate. And so, this year I would like to ask each one of us, myself included, to take a moment and remember the tremendous service given to preserve the liberties we often take for granted.

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Please take just a minute to think about this country, with all all its freedoms, and even all its flaws and remember that without the service of our armed forces we wouldn’t have the lives we live today.

And then, maybe make a little extra effort and celebrate Memorial Day the way it was originally intended. Visit a cemetery and lay flowers on the grave of an armed forces member.

US-soldier

Saturday Night at Rock Creek

Every cowboy was a dandy at heart. He wanted to look his best after a hard week at the line camp, branding calves and busting broncos. Shedding a week’s worth of grime, sweat and dirt wasn’t easy, which made a Saturday night bath not just an indulgence, but a necessity.

Of course, bathtubs were a luxury; hot water unnecessary. A real man needed only a hole in the nearby creek. The cowboy’s grizzled expression testifies to the temperature of the water.

His pale complexion bears witness to the complete cover-up of his body during the week past. Cowboys don’t suntan.

The only thing that does not come off is the hat. It is too precious to leave lying around. However, his draws surrender to a weekly cleaning as well, and are nearly as white as his complexion.

Horse and dog keep patient watch while the transformation takes place. Saturday night revels can’t be missed.

Saturday Night at Rock Creek 2012

Saturday Night at Rock Creek
2012

About the painting

Gale F. Trapp, 2012
Acrylic on hardboard, 10×24″.
Available for sale