Children’s Church Table

Table Mountain 01A 2nd table for the children’s church is painted for the kids at CCOB (Country Church of the Open Bible). It has a mountain and animal theme and a quote, “I lift my eyes to the mountains,” from Psalms 121:1. I start by painting a snow-capped mountain in the distance below a bright blue sky. There is a purple darkening below the mountain so that a row of evergreen trees will be able to show up.

Table Mountain 02Now the winding river leads down to a small pond or lake surface where I will paint a reflection of the mountain on the smooth water surface.

Table Mountain 03The fun starts here as I put various animals in the scenery which I will hide so that a “Where is Waldo” game can be played. There is a total of how many animals are on the table. Only the children will know.

Table Mountain 10Now I can start to add leaves to the tree going up the right side of the table which will help to hide the critters in the tree and in the sky.

Table Mountain 13

See how the leaves make it harder to see the critters here. Now, I measure to put the lettering in straight. I use a piece of chalk to make lines to follow as I paint the words, it is the best as it does not interfere with the paint.

Table Mountain 14The moose is hiding behind the “s” in the word mountains.

Table Mountain 15There are many more added grass blades in many colors, and lots of leaves until it seems right. The final step is doing two coats of polyurethane varnish so that the table top is easy to clean.

You can see the process involved with painting the first table here.

Mural Distraction

Screaming Distractions

I began painting both Wall A & B and discover a horrible mural distraction that I will need to camouflage. WALL “A” is 20’ x 10’ (200 sq ft). WALL “B” is 40’-0” wide by 10’-0” high (400 sq ft).

corner wall A&B background

wall B conduit

Can you guess what it is? Stepping back I happen to notice an item that screams loudly at me.

Bright, shiny aluminum electrical conduit lines reach across the sky. Those conduits are horribly distracting. Luckily, I have learned ways to camouflage un-moveable tyrants like these, when they interfere.

The person who taught me to paint houses and walls was my Dad the contractor. His rule was to paint every single surface. Voices from the past. I remember having to paint the bottom and top of shelves in any cupboard and all sides of every door or drawer. Why did I have to paint something I wouldn’t be seeing? Well, there was no arguing with him. Now, painting every surface is a rule that I adhere to.


I backtrack and camouflage paint all the conduit and wire surfaces in the same colors as the mural it is traveling over. I didn’t fix anything I just hid it. The improvement to the entire presentation is amazing. Take a look at the before and after shots to see the difference.

You can see the conduit on the left side of the column that is painted gray and then black where it crosses the column. When I look at that side my eyes are not so distracted.

wall B conduit painted

The wire and conduit on the right side of the column are not yet painted and are very distracting. So, I will be painting these wire surfaces from here on as I finish the mural.

Compare these two images below. Simply painting the conduit lines black as they are traveling along the black beam makes them seem to disappear.

wall A background with trees
wall A conduit Painted

Be sure to check this mural out when you visit the 49 Degrees North Ski Resort in Chewelah WA this winter and let them know what you think about their improvements!

What a perfect example of how un-anticipated additional costs and time occur on any job site.

Painting the First Wall

Initial Wall

background mountains
background mountains

Painting the first wall of a mural is where I tend to experiment with colors and shapes the most. We want the mountains fading as they go off into the distance brighter trees in the foreground, so, I am using muted colors that overlap to start achieving a shortened depth of field. Consequently, you will see on the far left that I am experimenting with a little snow cap on the hill.

Snow Caps

snowcap mountains
snowcap mountains

Along with the white cap mountain tops, I work my way to the right trying clouds above the hilltop to see what it looks like. The jury is still out about whether this is the best sky treatment for this room scenery.


trees foreground
trees foreground

The next step is the tree layout. With a limited pallet, I am staying real gray and using only quick and very essential shapes right now. The sample I was given to work with had this big tree up front, but I am not in love with it right now. That may need to change before the job is over.

Next Wall

background mountains next wall
background mountains next wall

I have made the turn around the corner and started with the snow-capped mountain range on the longer wall. It is a little tricky to keep the lines right when avoiding things like a column or doorway like this wall has, but it can be done. Sometimes I use a drawn chalk line across the door to the other side so I can keep the lines straight. The resort is getting ready to open its doors around Thanksgiving this year. Everyone is praying for snow. You can check out 49 Degrees North Ski Resort at their website. All in all, things are progressing at a good pace and I am happy.

Ski Lift View

The Ski Lift view always takes my breath away. This is an oil rub-out painting entitled, SunThruSnowyTreesL804, which focuses on the sun rays shooting through trees early in the morning up at 49 Degrees North Ski Resort in Chewelah Washington.

Sun Thru Snowy TreesOne of the most entertaining parts of skiing is the ski lift ride back up to the top of the hill. After putting some real effort out speeding through whatever terrain you are doing, you quickly slip into the lift entry gate to catch your breath. Then as you take your seat you experience a take-off into the tree heights. Up to a level where you can observe pristine quiet mountain views as you float over and through the treetops. It is a real meditation time with soft breezes and nature to the max. Some of the most peaceful and extravagantly beautiful skies and mountain scenes I have ever seen were from my seat on a ski lift. It never gets old.

First Day Back Skiing

First Day Back Skiing… in three years! YAHOOOOOO!

3 years ago, I had open-heart surgery so skiing was put on hold for quite a while. Yesterday we went skiing and I am feeling so glad to be alive. Life is SO GOOD! When you find something that makes you smile just thinking about it – go for it YEAH!

beginning oil painting of 49 degree North mountaintop 49NpanoG4306Thought you might like to see a favorite view I painted from time spent on the hill, here is a shot of the painting just started and then another of it finished. See more about a great mountain at, 49 Degrees North Ski Resort in Chewelah Washington.