Another Project


“Eagle Scout” is the highest rank in Scouting.  To earn this designation, a Boy Scout must demonstrate excellence in leadership, service and outdoor skills and must have earned a minimum of 21 merit badges.  In addition, candidates for Eagle Scout must plan, develop and give leadership to others in a service project that benefits any school, community organization or religious institution.  This project is thoroughly reviewed and certified by both local and national scouting authorities before the Eagle Scout award is granted”

Some time ago, I realized that a young man I’ve known since he was in 2nd or third grade. was nearing a goal he’d set for himself back then.  Chris started out at the lowest rank in Cub Scouts and now roughly twelve years later, was awarded the rank of Eagle Scout last week. I had little  to do with his accomplishments. The contributions I made towards his Scouting goals were sporadic at best.  It has been a pleasure to see this young man grow and mature.  In “celebration” of his advancement to Eagle Scout, this was a project I undertook as a surprise for him… As an unexpected surprise to ME, Chris had a “gift” for me too!  At the ceremony, he presented me with a pin and an award as his “Eagle Scout Mentor”.  I guess we never know when or how we touch peoples lives….

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Raw knife stock and finger guard

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Prepping for handle

 

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Rough Shaping Of Handle


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Lining Up Rivet Holes

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Attaching Handle

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Handle Mounted to Knife

 

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On the Belt Sander For Shaping

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More Handle Shaping

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Shaping Finger Guard & Handle

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Hand Filing

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MORE Filing!

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Nearly Complete

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The Gift I Presented to Chris

We don’t often realize when or how we touch someones life.  I am VERY proud of Chris and in hindsight, glad that I was able to provide positive input into his growth.

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A Tribute To A Young Friend


An Extremely Lengthy Tribute For Our Friend “Ever since I learned the meaning of the word, ‘Precious’ in second grade, I always wanted to be that to someone.” — Misty …

Source: A Tribute To A Young Friend

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A Tribute To A Young Friend


An Extremely Lengthy Tribute For Our Friend

“Ever since I learned the meaning of the word, ‘Precious’ in second grade, I always wanted to be that to someone.” — Misty Stenslie

Mistys Freedom Final

“Pain Free Ever More” by Dennis Buckman

It sounds cliche: “How can you love someone you’ve never met?” I find it difficult for people to really grow close, when you’ve never met face-to-face. But Misty was one of those remarkable ones. A person in whom I shared the experience of being a “thrown-away child”. In the beginning we agreed, we knew each other without knowing each other. We met sometime in the Fall of ’09 I believe, thanks to the Internet, a mutual interest in art-work, and through a Boys Town Alumnus who was also involved in the Foster Care system. We often talked about how fortunate I was that a place like Boys Town existed. For me it was a “place” where I was no longer being passed around as she had been. “You’re lucky…” she’d say. “You got to stay in Nebraska. I lived in eight different states!!” Early on, Misty and I discussed the fact that even given the age difference between us, we had endured mutual experiences of extreme solitude and feelings of overwhelming vulnerability as we grew up. “Feeling alone, in a crowded room…” we called it. Misty and I were able to laugh together as we shared a variety of “becoming self-reliant” stories. The one I MOST enjoyed was her story about the Thanksgiving dinner she tried to prepare when she was 19 or so years old. How she befriended a stranger on the Butterball toll-free hotline to walk her through cooking a turkey. Misty dedicated her life to inspire, care for, educate and empower the lives of alumni and allies of foster care.

This young woman who so many people called “friend” impacted thousands upon thousands with her optimism, her love, her joyful outlook, her helpful determination. Misty worked to make this world better with her graceful dedication to her causes. We agreed that our art-work, though extremely different in composition, style and subject matter, was an explosion of happiness we were seeking in our lives. Joy that we longed for. Our art was a private way of sharing a salvo of hopefulness to the world. Our escape from depression and inner pain. Another avenue to share with the world, the desire for contentment and sanity in our lives. I can’t take credit for her little “sideline” of “snacks for art” or the greeting card exchange, BUT sometime early in our friendship Misty said to me, “ One of these days I’m going to buy some of your art as a gift to myself…”. “I’ll do you one better…” I told her, “I’ll send you one of mine, if you send me one of yours.” And THAT is what we did.

You’d have never known that Misty was enduring this chronic illness for which there is no cure. Due to the disease, Misty suffered from chronic fatigue, joint pain, muscle pain, depression and Alzheimer’s disease.. She knew that her life would be shorter than most and discussed it freely. In more recent times she kindly reminded me of the Alzheimers, telling me to “write that down and send it for me. I’m getting more and more forgetful” as we discussed a variety of topics. From afar, I witnessed her decline. On a picture she’d created in February or March, she captioned: “This is what I made today and another day a while ago. I forgot. I was so was happy to find this page with some painting already done. Everyday my closet seems to be filled with new things. Dementia fun.” Misty died due to complications from long-term lyme disease, co-infections and ultra-early on set Alzheimer disease. Misty was diagnosed at age 37 and has passed at 43. She often told people, “It should be called “YOUNGER onset”, not “early onset!”

It seemed our conversations always reverted back to art work. She said she enjoyed that most of my work was accompanied with a short story as to what inspired the piece. “I like reading your memories” she’d say. “Do you have any pictures of us together?” “No, we haven’t been that lucky” I replied. “I have Alzheimers you know, and I like that you share your memories. Memories are important to me.” Another time she wrote: “I can’t get myself to make decisions. I feel like my mind is empty and things I knew before now, have melted away…” At the end of our talks she would sometimes observe: “If there is an “other-side” we can continue on with our ideas when you get there…” “Awww, you’re not going anywhere” I’d reply… I am sickened that I never got to say good-bye and the tears are flowing freely.

“Misty was a fierce leader, creating a movement to unite the adult survivors of foster care with a brilliant plan to bring them all together to advocate for the youth still in Foster Care.” But her energy didn’t end there. Her art (what she called her doodles) will also, forever amaze. Not only did the foster-care world loose a hero, but the art world will also suffer her passing. Whenever my work seemed to lean towards depression or darkness she would remind me to instead communicate a spirit of hope. “Lighten it up..” she say… And I reminded myself that these words were coming from someone who also told me, “After I’m gone, watch for pretty birds and loose change! THAT will be me stopping in to say hello.” Mistys art-work portrayed energy, excitement, brilliance, colorful, whimsical and playful views of her world. “Doodles” that she freely shared with anyone who expressed an interest.

Very recently, before her death, Nathan Reed Monell pronounced a “Misty Weekend” celebrating her life. Misty wrote… “I am now overwhelmed with incredible messages and posts from loved ones all over the country (and a few from other countries). As many of you know, I am very ill with an intractable bacterial infection and young early onset Alzheimers. My time on earth is very short and I’m basically being able to share and receive all the messages that are missed by the dying. This is surreal, a little weird and incredibly moving to me. My memory fails me but my feelings about all of you are perfectly sealed in my heart…”,  What a tremendously huge heart she had!

Misty had an “end plan” which she acted upon. The obituary stated ”After a painful six year battle with tick-borne diseases and early-onset Alzheimer’s disease, Misty Stenslie Claassen died peacefully at her home on Saturday, April 30, 2016. ” However, and some of you may be shocked, Misty ALSO wrote her own obituary which I will include at the end of this writing…. As someone stated: “It was not suicide but rather a choice to die with dignity”. Though it is painful to us all, that she is gone, please remember that her pain is ended. The piece I commemorated to her memory is titled: “Pain Free Evermore” Any and all proceeds from the piece will go to the Foster Care Alumni of America” organization as she requested.

My friends’ artwork won’t be her legacy. Her legacy will live in the thousands of lives she touched. The love and understanding she shared. The manner in which she celebrated life, and the bravery, the dignity in which she faced death. Misty, you were an inspiration to all who were fortunate to have been touched by you…. Until we meet again…

Mistys’ Self-Written Obituary

What a surreal and fortunate experience to be able to write my own obituary and message to my loved ones. Even better, because I knew my time was short. I got to hear directly so many messages of love, support, and memories! We had one heck of a virtual funeral party on Facebook.
After a painful, nearly six year battle with intractable tick borne infection and young onset Alzheimer’s disease, I chose to die in my home this morning with a self-administered prescription drug overdose. I wanted to leave this world before the march of Alzheimer’s took away all of my joy. It was not “suicide” but rather a choice to die with some dignity.
I realize this may be a hard decision for some people to understand, that you may even find it immoral. My process has been so very similar to what happened with my beloved 17 year old dog… when her suffering became so great that the quality of her life was falling fast with no hope of improvement, it was the most loving choice I could make to give her a swift and painless death, surrounded by comfort and love. I am giving myself the same gift. I do not fear what comes next. I am so looking forward to being free of the pain, confusion, terror, and other symptoms of my disease.

At this point, I don’t get to choose whether I will die soon, but I was determined to choose as good a death as possible. There have already been times I looked in the mirror and didn’t recognize the person looking back at me. There have been times that my sweet husband has woke me from a nap and I didn’t know who this man in my bedroom was and I felt terror. I am at the point where palliative care workers through Hospice come to my home to bathe and groom me. I wear adult diapers. I get lost and afraid if either my sweet husband Jay, or my best friend, Connie are out of my line of sight, even in my own home. The trajectory of Alzheimer’s means I will soon require a person to feed me and know that I would be likely to aspirate food into my lugs. I am likely to die of starvation or dehydration because I forget how to eat and drink and no longer have the motor ability to do anything it. I am likely to hurt myself or someone else because I don’t have the ability to make reasonable decisions. Staying on earth now means I am guaranteed to die after burning through all of the social, family, and financial resources, leaving my very much loved husband both heartbroken and poor. I would become a shell of myself, perhaps falling into the common behavioral issues of constant sobbing, violence toward others, and eventual emptiness. I am not willing to let that be the end of what has been a beautiful life.

As many of you know, I had an extremely difficult childhood. I was the victim of severe neglect and abuse in my family of origin, resulting in emotional and physical challenges throughout my life. I spent much of my childhood in foster care, kinship care, shelters, and group homes. I spent most of my teen life as a runaway, doing whatever it took to survive, then as a ward of the juvenile justice system in detention, hospitals, and state reform school. Along the way, my excellent taste in people allowed me to recruit friends, staff members, and other mentors to tether me to my very uncertain and frightening world, finding the beauty that I had been missing.

At 16, I entered my final foster home with the Stenslies, whose last name I eventually legally claimed. They taught me that I could be my own boss and advocate. They opened my eyes to the idea of college and an entirely different kind of adulthood than I had ever envisioned before them. Their three adult children claimed me and have continued to be very important to me over the years. They helped me figure out how to have genuine relationships and as a result, I found excellent friends in high school (both at the state reform school and finally at Mandan High School) who continue to be important to me.
I have truly excellent taste in people. It’s probably my favorite thing about myself and is the thing that has made my life happy, interesting, and so worth living.

I was blessed with 12 years of marriage to my very beloved husband, Jay; where we fit in at least 50 years of happiness. Every kiss still makes me feel weak at the knees. I still feel excitement when I see his name pop up on the caller ID. He has dedicated himself to caring for me with gentleness, compassion, and grace. He is a recognized master gift giver. He has made all the little moments special. He is smart, wickedly funny, and strong in every way. We are the perfect balance for each other. I am the peanut butter to his jelly. Jay makes me feel cherished, and most of all, precious.

I was also blessed with many beautiful and special friendships. Connie Connor, who is my best friend of my whole life. We are so very different, but somehow compliment each other so well. Through Con, I got to be a part of the whole Connor/Wheeler clan, kids to love and watch grow up and show up for. Because of Jay, Connie, and other near loved ones, I had the honor of sharing love so broadly. Through Sue, Marnie, Fej, and Eric (friends of 20+ years,) I learned the true meaning of family, commitment, and unconditional love.
My life was so positively impacted by the entire Claassen family, the Franko family, the Stenslie family, my groups of friends in the Fargo-Moorhead and Seattle areas, and my work families from Foster Care of America, PATH-ND, and the Casey Family programs. I want to send a special recognition to the countless alumni of foster care whom I always thought of as extended family members. I was a proud foster parent and had a lifetime commitment to my foster children (now adults) Tomikia, Chris, and Sean. I am surrounded by love and I leave this world in peace.

In lieu of flowers, my request is that you do something to make the world better. Some of the causes I cared the most about were people in and from foster care, animal welfare, sexual/reproductive health, and equal rights for all people. Donations in my name can be sent to the Foster Care Alumni of America. Thank you. I love you all.
-Misty

Mistys Tribute

Safe travels my friend….  You will be missed.

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Saying Goodbye


Source: Saying Goodbye

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Saying Goodbye


With the narration of this piece, I’m not sure where to start. I realize it is my attempt to “landmark” and solidify an ending to my period of pain. An effort to say one more time to my cousin Greg, “I love you. I haven’t let you go. But I need to move on without ever forgetting you. To say, “Gregory, I need to stop hurting. I need to quit hurting.”

“Spiritually” I am angry still at God for the lives he has taken from me, but I know God is big enough to survive my anger. He has proven it out during the loss of my Dad, Step-Dad, Grandparents, and a VERY close Boys Town brother. God was still standing in his “Almighty-ness” while Gregory stood at the head of the river that leads to eternal life, choosing the direction that was right for him. God ignores our pleas, our hopes for anyones life. As we implored for Gregs return, God had other plans.

In hindsight perhaps God has been on my side. October 15th 1977 one week before my paternal fathers death, we met in Louisville and had an entire day together as I delivered a load of cocoa powder to Mothers Cookies. Dad was gone October 22nd. February 1st, 1999 I made a Louisville run to the nursing home where Grandma Bowman resided. We shared part of an afternoon together where she stated, “Dennis. I’m tired. I’m just tired.” Grandma passed away on February 8th that year. In January, 2000 my Step-Dad and I spent two days together planning a November antelope hunting trip to Montana. Tony Buckman died of an aneurysm February 7th, 2000. In February of 2002, my Boys Town brother Ron called to tell me that he had been diagnosed with lung cancer. STILL operating as an independent in the trucking industry, I made arrangements with a broker for loads that passed through Elyria Ohio weekly. Ron and I shared meals, memories and plans for the future. I parked the truck and trailer at a church near Rons house, where he’d meet me regardless of his energy level. My heart sunk the day Ron told me proudly that he was now receiving a “service” called hospice care. Ron didn’t know the implications, nor did I feel he was told. The week Ron died I was offered a load to California for money I couldn’t turn down. June 22nd, on the return trip as I passed through Salt Lake City, I received a call from Rons son that he was gone. That very moment, a flock of doves seemed to follow me as I traveled the Interstate out of Utah to the East.

http://1-dennis-buckman.pixels.com/featured/saying-goodbye-dennis-buckman.html

Saying Goodbye

Saying Goodbye

 Two weeks before Greg collapsed at the Ford plant, I made the journey to Louisville. We shared every meal, teased each other over the Nebraska football team and Kentucky basketball. I expressed my disappointment of his decision to do away with the asparagus patch in their garden. Yet he proudly displayed the numerous quantities of “produce” that Fran had stored away for future use. At Gregs insistence, Fran sent me home a few days later with several quarts of her home-grown green beans. We changed the headlights in Frans car. One was burned out, and I told Greg if he was buying these newfangled bulbs, we needed to change both. While he watched, I loosened the inner fender on both sides of Frans car while Greg fed me unlimited beers and encouragement. “I don’t know why you didn’t take that job at Ford…” he said, as I screwed in new bulbs. “You KNOW I can’t do that factory thing like you do… I have always been an independent” I replied. “And you have paid a price for that freedom…” Greg responded. He knew my pain. He was well pleased with the end result of our efforts on Frans car because his priority has always been his wife, her comfort and her safety. I’ve always admired him for that commitment, We ended the weekend at one of Gregs favorite restaurants sharing an order of the “Bloomin’ Onion” and watching basketball. “I’ll be back between Thanksgiving and Christmas” I promised.

Two weeks later I received the call from Fran that Gregory had collapsed at the Ford plant…

Privately at Gregs bedside as I stroked his hair and held his hand, I whispered to him what he meant to me. The lessons he passed along to me. I teased him that the NEXT lottery ticket would be a joint effort. I told him that I didn’t know what I was going to do without his sarcasm. I felt even though he never regained consciousness, he wondered if anyone else “got it”. That he was “tired”. That the fight was over. They say that hearing is the last sense to leave the room… It seemed Greg hung on until we each were allowed to tell him how much he was loved. To say goodbye. His wife, his parents, his brother and sisters all expressed things that had gone unsaid. “Say what’s in your heart” is what the minister said… And we did. I don’t know that anything was left unsaid, as we begged for Greg to fight hard enough to come back to us. For God to change his mind,

Fran, Gregs wife, stroked his arms and shoulders, kissed his forehead, smiled at shared memories, and gazed at Gregs limp body with compassion, love, and gratitude for a shared lifetime. And we all cried at the thought of life without Greg. Aunt Geri stated, “We should not outlive our children…” I KNOW that observation was going through everyones mind. I know everything we prayed sounded lame. That we were all trying to cut a deal with God on Gregs behalf, but without words we all seemed to know, our presence and our touch were the most eloquent, regret-free ways of saying good-bye. A desperate wish that Gregory somehow knew as he chose to leave…. Yet we wished he would come back to us. We begged. God doesn’t make deals with anyone. Neither did Greg.

At that moment, when the decision was made, I thought, “Please take good care of my cousin. Please keep him safe for us. Let him go without pain. Let him lead us. Let him teach us. Comfort his wife.” I left the room when ”death” was pronounced by the nurse and I walked down the hallway to a glass-enclosed overlook “It is done,” I thought. “Why Gregory? He is so much more the man than I…. He had so much more to appreciate.”

This bridge, “Saying Goodbye” is a metaphor to Gregs honor. On my return to Omaha I viewed a bridge near St. Louis that “spoke to me” and at that moment I immediately began a piece for the scene. It was as if God was redeeming himself to me. Providing a reminder of Gregs life. Reminding me of the memories from the relationship Greg and I shared since 1958. It has taken this long and a struggle to realize that Greg hasn’t really left this world. I don’t say to myself that Gregory’s life was my bridge to understanding. It has been a culmination of loss. I desperately seek my “reason” for being left behind. BUT Gregs passing has prepared me… No… Reminded me, that our life here is limited. I cherish what he and I shared. Gregory accepted me into the family when I didn’t belong. Gregory accepted me as family when there was no shared blood.

Now I laugh when the lottery gets out of hand because I know Gregory would be making his weekly trip to the tobacco shop and scolding me for not getting involved. He would be swearing at the recruits the Nebraska Football team had chosen. Greg would be swearing at the Kentucky Basketball team loss to Kansas. And he would be encouraging me to follow my heart in my own search for contentment and happiness.

Greg: I don’t say goodbye because it is my belief and desire that we will get together again someday. “Until we meet again,” is the phrase that I adopted from the Native American beliefs I was taught… We will. I swear. Until then, this bridge I have done for you, isn’t really saying goodbye… We will meet again on the other side… You simply beat me to the end of the crossing,…

God Bless…

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Gregs Bridge


Much has transpired since my last entry.  I DO intend to catch up…

My followers and friends know the metaphors I use between my bridge-art and life… Perhaps not “outstanding” to many of you, this recent piece is one of the more meaningful works I have done.

Greg and I go back to 1958. I lived with my mother, raising German Shepherds at our house on Chicopee. Drive. In addition, she was showing Tennessee Walking horses. My mother and I were in a car accident near our house on Thanksgiving Day in 1958 and our car was towed to a service station that was owned by Bill Hough, the man I eventually grew to know as “Uncle Bill”. Tony Buckman worked part-time for Bill at the garage, which is where Tony and my mother met. Greg and I became cousins in June of 1959 when my mother and Step-Dad (Tony) were married…

Greg and grew as close as any brothers could have under those circumstances. Though we lived across town from each other, we were together at every weekly gathering at Grandma Buckmans and any other “family” event. My folks and his shared fishing trips, picnics, holidays… Just your typical blended family in the 60’s.

I was sent to Omaha in 1968, yet continued to correspond with Greg through the mail and occasional telephone calls. When Greg returned to Louisville after his tenure in the military, he used to boast that the thing that got him through the Army was my weekly letters to him wherever he was stationed.

I could write pages, but I won’t here. Let me just say that Gregory was the brother I never had. The friend I could trust with my life. The one I laughed with, cried with and who I was unafraid to share every thought, every opinion, every mistake. And always, always welcomed his response.

I was in Louisville and spent 4 or 5 days with Gregory and his wife Fran at their home from the 22nd of October to the 27th or 8th. I always enjoyed my time at Gregs for a variety of reasons. The love that permeated from their home. Gregs “black-and-white” outlook on everything. His honesty. Frans cooking! Greg was winning his fight against cancer which had been diagnosed 6 or 7 months earlier and he was finally in the mood for out-of-town company. The prognosis was fantastic. Nearly all of the cancer was gone, Greg had returned to work at Ford and his life was returning to “normal”. I returned to Omaha confident Greg and I would see each other again between Thanksgiving and Christmas as we’d discussed.  And we talked by phone the next three weekends…

Gregs Bridge

Greg Bridge

Wednesday November 18th I received a call from Fran (Gregs wife) that he had collapsed at work from a massive heart attack.  I left Omaha and drove straight through to be at his bedside Thursday morning. With his family gathered in the hospital room, Cousin Greg passed away November 20th, 2015. I wish I could say that I’ve gotten used to people dying. But I never do. Both of my Dads, several very close aunts…  I have out-lived friends, teachers, neighbors, other relatives. The pain that remains I can only attribute as an honor to the love that was shared. I know the grief will come and go, perhaps even lessen as I come to terms with Gregs passing.

In the meantime, this first bridge to his memory, I “gathered” on my return trip from his funeral. I just imagined as I worked on each cable, the roadway, the lighting… It was Gods way of telling Greg, “Welcome Home”.

Posted in Appreciation, Art & Culture, Art Distribution, Art History, award winning art, Blank Greeting Cards, Boys Town, Bridgeman Art Library, Bridges, Canyons, charity, childhood memories, City, Doctors, Forgotten, graphic design, interior decorating, Interstate Travel, Kentucky, Louisville Kentucky, Marketing Art Work, Memories, midwestern artists, Nebraska Bridges, Nebraska Travel, Omaha Nebraska, Posters Cards Gifts, Print On Demand, reprints, Trucker Art, Trucking, Trucking Artists, wall art, wall hangings, Western Artists, Winter, Wooden Rocking Horses | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Trying to Catch Up


Hello again! I realize it’s been a very long time since I’ve done anything here. It would take pages upon pages to bring everyone up-to-date on my activity. Let me just say that between the spine and shoulder issues and trying to keep myself occupied it seems I’m busier now then when I was running Coast to Coast in the truck!

Briefly… midyear I was asked by a Boys Town sister instead of the normal oak rocking horses I’ve been known to build, if Santa could come up with a couple of rocking John Deere tractors. I manage to find some blueprints and after some experimentation found myself building six or seven of them before Christmas. That was in addition to the three rocking horses that I wanted to get out before Christmas. The tractors turned out far better than I expected, and I think I got pretty good reviews from the recipients.

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All throughout I spent some time trying to keep up with the maintenance on my house which has been difficult given the limited income. I’m just thankful that I still have the attitude that my step dad taught me which was: “Why buy new if you can build it or fix it?” Hopefully this summer I’ll be able to have the the roof done which is what has caused 80% of my other problems

I don’t know how many art pieces I’ve turned out and posted. I can only stay sitting for so long before it becomes uncomfortable. So, I work on the art for a few hours, walk around or do something else, then come back to it.

Player 2

“The Player”

Since everyone decided I was too old to reeducate or retrain following the spine ordeal, another block of my time has been spent trying to learn for myself how to maintain my website, and at least keep my position in the bottom tier of technical knowledge. Funny, when I talked to the folks at the computer store last fall they found it hard to believe the hardware that I’ve been using to do what I’ve been doing. Funny, I guess it’s that lesson from Dad again.

Another “event” for me which I felt extremely complemented to receive and follow through on was an invitation from singer/songwriter, Sue Clayton. There isn’t enough room here today to write about all of Sue’s life’s experiences but she invited me to edit and illustrate one of her songs called “Song For Korea” (click here to have a listen!). Sue will probably admit that she is like a lot of other folks and tends to procrastinate! Therefore when the deadline for this project was discussed the hours I put in was much like the hours I spent on the road when I had a “hot load” of produce out of Santa Rosa California that they were desperate need for in Kansas City! Some serious trucking had to be accomplished! I didn’t mind AND I cherished the compliment regarding my previous work. I gladly accepted the challenge and the fact that Sue sought me out for that project gave me hope that it would be another avenue to get my artistic-editing skills promoted.

Pencil Rice Paddy

“Song For Korea”

I said to myself last fall that I would do more with my blog through the winter months yet here I am enjoying an early spring. If you recall when this first began it was for the purpose of promoting my artwork and the print on demand sites which carry what I’ve done. I told Sue when I first began her project that I was the definition of the starving artist! If you plan on hanging around what you have to look forward to will be introductions to everything that has taken place since my last entry. I’ve said before, the only thing I can ask is that if you’re happy with my writing and my work to hit the share button and pass around. I’m not so arrogant as to think that I’ll go down as the next Peter Max, Picasso, Bateman, Darien or any of the great ones, but if I can keep the lights on and the fridge full for Skip and I I feel that in itself is an accomplishment. Hang in there with me, thanks for listening and we will talk again soon!

Posted in Animals, Appreciation, Art & Culture, Art Distribution, Art History, award winning art, Blank Greeting Cards, Boys Town, Boys Town Alumni, Childrens Parties, Christmas Postage, Female Portraits, First Class Postage, Floral Greeting Cards, Fun Gift Ideas, graphic design, Hospitals, Interstate Travel, Marketing Art Work, midwestern artists, Nebraska Technical College, Nurses, Omaha Nebraska, Print On Demand, Rocking Horses, Thank You Cards, Trucker Art, Trucking, Trucking Artists, United States Postage, Wooden Rocking Horses | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Artistic Home Accessories


Coat racks are making a comeback.  And wouldn’t you know it, we have a few!   I don’t know who invented the coat rack, but historically, it has been a very handy option.  Especially around houses like mine!  With limited closet space in the bedrooms and hall closet, coat racks are ideal for folks like me!  The accessory that Zazzle offers up to designers is built from high quality Alderwood.

If you’re searching for a “unique” gift for someone, consider looking through my designs in the category “coat racks” in the studio.  On ours, the art work is printed in full-color, full-bleed on three 4.25” white ceramic tiles.

These are ideal for small spaces, such as the small house or apartment, and are very versatile. Perfect for that newly married couple moving into their first place! The dimensions for these Alderwood/Ceramic racks are 16.5” l x 7.125” w x 1.5” h.  In “the old days” clothes were usually stored in trunks or armoires. Armoires are very ornate (I’ve seen some NICE ones in the local antique shops)  and  extremely heavy. They are also expensive and take up much more space.

It’s a simple matter to install one of these wall-mounted coat racks. Two keyhole style grooves on the back of rack allows for easy hanging, even if you’re not handy with tools!  All you need to do is decide which wall to use!  I have one in the entryway of my house, one at the back door, and one in the bathroom!

I am able to mix and match the tile variety.  So, if you see three different pieces of art you like, I can include one on each tile.  For example on the one below, I incorporated three of my Sandhill Crane pieces.

Sandhill Crane Coat Rack
Sandhill Crane Coat Rack by dbuckman
Check out other Dennis buckman Coatrack at zazzle.com

 MOST of the ones represented in my shop all carry the same design, BUT again, if you don’t see one here, simply let me know the names of the pieces you’d like included…  And even better, if you have YOUR own images for an anniversary, or more personal gift you’d like designed, just let me know!

Thanks  for listening and as always YOU are appreciated!  I only ask that you pass it on!  Sharing my sites with others, helps!

Posted in Animals, anniversary gifts, Appreciation, Arizona Art, Art & Culture, Art Distribution, Art History, Auto Racing, award winning art, Baby Showers, Baseball memorbilia, Birthday Cards, Boys Town Alumni, Bridgeman Art Library, Cats, Childrens Parties, College Baseball, College World Series, Disney Products, engagement ideas, Female Portraits, Floral, Gardening, graduation gifts, housewarming gifts, interior decorating, Iris Painting, Marketing Art Work, Memories, midwestern artists, Mojave Desert, Nebraska Travel, Omaha Landmarks, Posters Cards Gifts, Print On Demand, Ragoon Arizona, retirement party, Rose Gardens, Rural, Sandhill Cranes, Sports, Spring, Summer, Sunrise Paintings, Trucker Art, Trucking, Trucking Artists, tulip gardens, vintage art, wall hangings, wedding designs, wedding gifts, wedding invitations, wedding planning, wedding postage, Western Artists | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Always Faithful


As always, in my brain, “One thing leads to another…”  What I mean to say is someone I know has someone THEY know, completing Marine Corp bootcamp this week.  My thoughts started out at Paris Island South Carolina, then wandered out to San Diego.  Running in “overdrive” my brain took me to the well known motto, “Semper Fi”.  “Semper Fidelis” which is a Latin phrase meaning “Always Faithful”. United States Marines are revered for their downright fanatical dedication to each other, their service, and their country. For Marines it also provides a caste–a group that is separate and unique from any other… A group that has no desire to be like any other and longing for, putting into practice the culture of “Semper Fidelis.”

The core values of a Marine are Honor;  To do the right thing when no one is looking. Courage;  The protector of all other values.  Courage is being stronger than the fear. Commitment;  To continue on when others quit.

THEN, I spent some time dwelling on our mortality, how we live OUR lives while we are riding on this little blue marble called “Earth”….  I wonder if we are conscious of  “living with honor”.  Do we “do the right thing” because of our upbringing?  Some  have been lucky enough to of had parents and guides to teach us.  Others however, may not have been so fortunate and have developed their own “living with honor” along the way.  I wondered, “Do we have a naturally ingrained inclination to live with honor?”  And then courage.   Do we approach things in life, recognizing the “fear” yet make the difficult decisions without crumbling?  After all, courage is nothing more than physical, mental and ethical strength.  How committed are we, in our relationships, our goals?  Do we stay true to our goals and dreams and continue on when others quit and do we move forward with the determination to succeed?

  It is my earnest hope that it may help folks understand the reason Marines hold the Corps in such high esteem.  Marines are imbued with Semper Fidelis, and all it means, and because they lived it for so long, they have difficulty accepting any less from others.

I know, I know…  I often “overthink” things such as the last day of the 12th week of the most demanding recruit training in the world for this young man.  His entrance into the the ranks of “The Few, The Proud”.   Congratulations Alex Sheldon.

Posted in Alameda Christian School, Animal Postage, anniversary gifts, Art History, award winning art, Birthday Cards, Blank Greeting Cards, Boys Town Alumni, childhood memories, Christmas Cards, Christmas Postage, Custom Invitations, Fall, First Class Postage, Floral, Floral Greeting Cards, graduation gifts, graduation postage, graphic design, Holiday Cards, Holiday Postage, Interstate Travel, Memories, midwestern artists, Oakland California Posters, Omaha Landmarks, Omaha Nebraska, Party Invitations, Posters Cards Gifts, Print On Demand, save the date cards, Thank You Cards, Trucking, United States Postage | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

“Somebody Back East Is Sayin’ “Why don’t he write?”


The title of this post is taken from my favorite line in the movie, “Dances With Wolves”.  Kevin Kostner (playing Lieutenant Dunbar) and Robert Pastorelli (who played Timmons, the mule skinner), come across skeleton during their journey to Fort Sedgwick.  The Skinner says jokingly, “…Why don’t he write?”  During my years in Boys Town, I was usually one of the first in line during mail  call.  There was nothing better than receiving a friendly letter from folks.  Perhaps it my own background that causes me to persist is encouraging ALL of you to make use of our US Postal Service!  You may be surprised at the positive response you’re met with when the recipient of your personalized note arrives at its destination.  My Cousin Greg tells me even today, how he remembers and appreciates all of the mail he received from me during his time in the military.  I discovered after her passing, that my Grandmother had been saving every card and letter she ever received.  If too much time passed, she would dig out one of my older letters to read, until something more up-to-date arrived!

For my card-sending, letter writing friends, and those who love to recognize “special days”, here is a friendly reminder.  Easter is coming up April 20th.   The day represents many things to many people, but I won’t get into that now.  Let me just say that MY fondest memories of Easter, was dinner after church at the Blue Boar Buffet with Aunt Frances and Uncle Gene!  Most all the greeting cards I’ve designed, are appropriate for a special Easter note.

On May 11th, many folks will celebrate Mothers Day.  It’s a day that I can’t just get into for my own reasons, BUT I do encourage those of you who have a decent relationship with your mother, to give her the recognition she deserves.  As dear ‘ole Father Diersen used to tell me, “You should at least recognize her existence, for without her, there would be no you.”  Regardless, think about sending your Mom that much over-due letter in appreciation!   Flowers are nice, but a floral card with a letter is something she’ll enjoy long after the bouquet has wilted!

LOTS of folks will be graduating soon.  I DO create personalized announcements and matching First Class Postage for these events, however allow a little extra time for approval for the Review Committee if you’re having special postage created.  Otherwise, there are a lot of options to choose from regarding unique little gifts for the graduate in your life.

Call me old fashioned, but I am STILL a believer in the special meaning of hand-written cards and notes.  I’ve always been one that enjoyed receiving “friendly mail”.

It’s just a thought, and doesn’t take a lot of effort to make someone in your life feel special!

Thanks for listening….

Posted in Animal Postage, anniversary gifts, Appreciation, Arizona Art, Arizona Mountains, Art & Culture, Art Distribution, award winning art, Baby Postage, Baby Showers, Birth Announcements, Birthday Cards, Blank Greeting Cards, Bridges, Canyons, Cat Postage, childhood memories, Childrens Parties, Christmas Cards, Christmas Postage, Death Valley, Deep Purple, Desert Paintings, Famous Animals, First Class Postage, Floral Greeting Cards, Get Well Cards, graduation cards, graduation gifts, graduation postage, graphic design, Holiday Cards, Holiday Postage, housewarming gifts, Interstate Travel, Marketing Art Work, Memories, midwestern artists, Mojave Desert, Native American Folklore, Party Invitations, Posters Cards Gifts, Print On Demand, reprints, retirement party, save the date cards, Sunrise Paintings, Thank You Cards, Trucker Art, Trucker Buddy, Trucking, Trucking Artists, United States Postage, vintage art, wall art, wall hangings, wedding designs, wedding gifts, wedding invitations, wedding planning, wedding postage | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Why I Ask You To “Like & Share”


I was feeling nostalgic (as I often do!) this morning, and have been looking back at this adventure…  This “road” I’ve been traveling in the world of art.  My first “official” sale…  When I became serious about things and accepted that my years on the road were numbered, the very first piece I ever marketed was October 20, 2009.  “Royal Garden” .  It went to Kansas City Missouri!  There were pieces BEFORE that which eventually made it to the website as reprints, but “Royal Garden” was my first!

Why do I ask you to “share” my art work? Quite simply, YOUR action gets the pieces traveling around the globe.   I try to be humble in my request, and do not ever want to come across as demanding.  When you click on the “share” button, even if YOU don’t particularly care for the work, the style or subject matter, perhaps some of the folks on your list will feel differently!  Or one of THIER friends.  There may be someone in cyber land that you know, who is looking to fill that blank space on a wall.  Or they may know of someone with a special event that is pending, who would appreciate a personalized design for their cards and invitations.  THEY may know of someone with a wedding in the works, someone planning a graduation party that would appreciate having commissioned postage stamps for the announcements.  Perhaps someone out there is starting a new business and would LOVE to have a custom logo designed…  Or a customized piece as a gift…

I’ve learned the art community is VERY competitive, and so each time you share a link to one of my art pieces, it gives me a better chance of marketing that piece, allowing me to continue to create new things.  I DO appreciate the fact that I am gaining more and more “followers” on the Facebook page and my blog.  Even my Pinterest board is growing (which I need to attend to more often as well!) BUT it is also about your help in getting the word out there, about my work.

Clicking on that little button that says “Share” only takes a second, and by doing so, you’re helping to publicize the work, hopefully generating interest in other places around the globe!  I am truly honored when I look at where some of my work has landed:  The United Kingdom, Springfield Canada,  Muehlethurnen Switzerland, Augsurg Germany, Meissen Germany, Brantford Ontario, Condrieu France, .  My art has been delivered to cities Stateside where  my work was inspired: Seattle, Anaheim, Columbus, Las Vegas,  Roseland, Green River, Philadelphia, Lakeland, Des Moines, Houston, Auburn, Janesville, Irvine, McPherson, Waterloo and Littleton.  There are pieces in Weldon Springs Missouri, Chaska Minnesota, Houston Texas, Gilbert Arizona, New Bern North Carolina and Detroit Michigan to name a few.   All thanks to you, and the Internet!

It has been an incredible journey, and I am thankful to be considered a part of the “Art Community”.  I am even more grateful to all of you who believe in my work and have been willing to “share” it, around the globe!  Take a second and pass it on, THAT action is deeply appreciated!

As always…   Thanks for listening!

Posted in "Flower Planters, Alameda Christian School, Animal Postage, Animals, anniversary gifts, antique cars, Appreciation, Arizona Art, Arizona Mountains, Art & Culture, Art Distribution, Art History, Auto Racing, award winning art, Baby Postage, Baby Showers, Baseball memorbilia, Bird Feeders, Birth Announcements, Birthday Cards, Blank Greeting Cards, Boys Town, Boys Town Alumni, Boys Town Reunions, Bridgeman Art Library, Bridges, Canyons, Cat Postage, Cats, charity, childhood memories, Childrens Parties, Chinese Culture, Christmas Cards, Christmas Postage, City, Coffe Cup, College Baseball, College World Series, Colorful Art, Columbine Flowers, Columbine Painting, Columbine Symbolism, Custom Invitations, CWS, Death Valley, Deep Purple, Desert Paintings, Disney Products, Disney Stamps, Doctors, Easter, Edgar Degas, Egyptian Art, engagement ideas, Fall, Famous Animals, Feeding Birds, Female Portraits, First Class Postage, Floral, Floral Greeting Cards, Forgotten, Fun Gift Ideas, Gardening, Get Well Cards, graduation cards, graduation gifts, graduation postage, graphic design, Greek Mythology, Holiday Cards, Holiday Postage, horses, Hospitals, housewarming gifts, Hybrid Roses, interior decorating, Interstate Travel, Iris Gardening, Iris Meaning, Iris Painting, Iris Photography, Iris Symbolism, Jazz, Kentucky, Las Vegas Art, Latin Music, Louisville Kentucky, Marketing Art Work, Memories, midwestern artists, Min-Pin, Mojave Desert, My Dog Skip, Native American Folklore, Nebraska Bridges, Nebraska Humane Society, Nebraska Technical College, Nebraska Travel, Nogales Arizona, Nurses, Oakland California Posters, Omaha Landmarks, Omaha Nebraska, Orchids, Party Invitations, Pennsylvania Art, Pets, Philadelphia Art, Popcorn Art, Popcorn Growers, Posters Cards Gifts, Print On Demand, Qualities of the Wolf, R & B, Ragoon Arizona, reprints, retirement party, Rocking Horses, Rose Gardens, Rosenblatt Stadium, Rural, Sandhill Cranes, save the date cards, Sports, Spring, St. George Utah, St. Joe Missouri, Summer, Sunrise Paintings, Thank You Cards, Trucker Art, Trucker Buddy, Trucking, Trucking Artists, tulip gardens, Union Pacific Railroad, United States Postage, vintage art, Vintage Vehicles, wall art, wall hangings, wedding designs, wedding gifts, wedding invitations, wedding planning, wedding postage, Western Artists, Winter, Wooden Rocking Horses | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

My Art And Why Print On Demand


The internet is filled with hundreds of companies that offer to help artists sell prints of their work.  I have chosen two.  Fine Art America and Zazzle.

I’ve learned that POD companies have a very strange attitude when it comes to sharing profits with their artists.   The general POD attitude can be summarized as “Buyers visit our websites to purchase our products (e.g. canvas prints)… and you (the artist) should feel lucky that we let you put your images on our products.”  As a result of this attitude, many POD companies don’t allow the artists to control the prices of their prints.   The prices are simply dictated to the artist.  The general attitude is “We control the prices.   You should feel lucky to be here.   Take it or leave it.”

The FAA and Zazzle pricing model is much, much different.   I specify exactly how much I earn on each sale in real dollars (not percentages).   If I wanted to earn $5,000 for the sale of a 24″ x 36″ print, I set it.   If I want to charge $25 for a greeting card, that’s fine, too.   It’s completely up to me. They don’t force me to accept a certain price…And I’m not tricked into creating sales percentages.  They DO discount my income when they choose to run sales and when you “cash in” a discount coupon, my income is reduced.    MY thinking is that perhaps I will make up for the decrease in income, by an INCREASE in volume.  To give you an idea of MY income, I earn ten cents on my post cards, and ten dollars on large canvas reprints.   Roughly two dollars on a sheet of First Class postage stamps. That’s it.  I kept the prices down, in hopes of folks being able to afford my work…  I’d prefer you share it and enjoy what I do… THIS includes my time and effort to design a particular piece.  I recently created a business logo for someone, who failed to buy one product.  I lost time and money. I don’t know.  Is THAT the life of a graphic designer?  However, there have been others who I deeply appreciate, for believing in, and appreciating my work and when the design is complete, they invest in the products that work for them…

Another reason I chose these two companies, is this: Try to track down a phone number for customer service on most POD websites! The phone numbers don’t exist.  If one of my buyers has a question about placing an order… or tracking an order… or selecting a frame… there is no one to talk to on these other sites.  Not only can you not talk to anyone… you also can’t return your purchase for any reason.   They have a “no returns” policy!  That’s completely unheard of for my online business. Not only are the telephone numbers for Fine Art America and Zazzle published on my sites, but my personal telephone number is also included!!  I want to know if you have a particular color in mind, or need a custom size for a particular wall.  I KNOW your wedding is important, and want your invitation postage to be PERFECT!

With regard to my cards, postage and other products, communication is the greatest key to successful customer satisfaction.

I chose Print-On-Demand for my work for ease of distribution.  They take the orders, fulfill them, package and insure them, ship them and do all of the paperwork.  Something that I am terribly inept in performing!  You don’t want to see anything I’ve shipped personally!  I spend more on tape, bubble wrap and cardboard than you invested in the work!

Finally, quality.  Both of these companies produce the highest quality products on the market.  You can be assured that when you purchase a canvas print from FAA, or a simple coffee mug depicting my art from Zazzle, you are investing in a long-lasting, top-notch product that will be with you for a VERY long time!  And THAT it my ultimate goal.  Providing the investor with a quality product.  When you go to my personal website and click on a piece, you are taken to the POD company representing that piece.

I hope that this clears up a few issues and questions of why I chose to take the route of POD companies, and explains why I am represented by the companies that I am.

 Thank you for listening….

Posted in "Flower Planters, Alameda Christian School, Animal Postage, Animals, anniversary gifts, antique cars, Appreciation, Arizona Art, Arizona Mountains, Art & Culture, Art Distribution, Art History, Auto Racing, award winning art, Baby Postage, Baby Showers, Baseball memorbilia, Bird Feeders, Birth Announcements, Birthday Cards, Blank Greeting Cards, Boys Town, Boys Town Alumni, Boys Town Reunions, Bridgeman Art Library, Bridges, Canyons, Cat Postage, Cats, charity, childhood memories, Childrens Parties, Chinese Culture, Christmas Cards, Christmas Postage, City, Coffe Cup, College Baseball, College World Series, Colorful Art, Columbine Flowers, Columbine Painting, Columbine Symbolism, Custom Invitations, CWS, Death Valley, Deep Purple, Desert Paintings, Disney Products, Disney Stamps, Doctors, Easter, Edgar Degas, Egyptian Art, engagement ideas, Fall, Famous Animals, Feeding Birds, First Class Postage, Floral, Floral Greeting Cards, Forgotten, Fun Gift Ideas, Gardening, Get Well Cards, graduation cards, graduation gifts, graduation postage, graphic design, Greek Mythology, Holiday Cards, Holiday Postage, horses, Hospitals, housewarming gifts, Hybrid Roses, interior decorating, Interstate Travel, Iris Gardening, Iris Meaning, Iris Painting, Iris Photography, Iris Symbolism, Jazz, Kentucky, Las Vegas Art, Latin Music, Louisville Kentucky, Marketing Art Work, Memories, midwestern artists, Min-Pin, Mojave Desert, My Dog Skip, Native American Folklore, Nebraska Bridges, Nebraska Humane Society, Nebraska Technical College, Nebraska Travel, Nogales Arizona, Nurses, Oakland California Posters, Omaha Landmarks, Omaha Nebraska, Orchids, Party Invitations, Pennsylvania Art, Pets, Philadelphia Art, Popcorn Art, Popcorn Growers, Posters Cards Gifts, Print On Demand, Qualities of the Wolf, R & B, Ragoon Arizona, reprints, retirement party, Rocking Horses, Rose Gardens, Rosenblatt Stadium, Rural, Sandhill Cranes, save the date cards, Sports, Spring, St. George Utah, St. Joe Missouri, Summer, Sunrise Paintings, Thank You Cards, Trucker Art, Trucker Buddy, Trucking, Trucking Artists, tulip gardens, Union Pacific Railroad, United States Postage, vintage art, Vintage Vehicles, wall art, wall hangings, wedding designs, wedding gifts, wedding invitations, wedding planning, wedding postage, Western Artists, Winter, Wooden Rocking Horses | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Another Storm


I guess it’s appropriate to go back to one of my award winning pieces, given the weather we’ve been having!  Around here, we’re supped to have up to seven inches of snow in the next few days.  I don’t recall the song, but I do recall the verse, “Strange days are these…  Strange days indeed…Another Storm print
Another Storm by dbuckman

It’s Part Of The Job

While I was working on this piece, many folks familiar with my art suggested several different captions; “Ice Road Truckers Are Sissys, WE Run The Lower 48!” Or, “Chaining Up Is Not An Option”. Yet, I thought back to memorable winters in this business, and my own experiences. Being snowed in for two days, with only four other trucks, at the rest area on Donner Pass. Having an old 74 Cabover Peterbuilt gel-up on me outside of Sidney Nebraska during an all out blizzard. Crawling along, as many have done, with your head hanging out of the drivers side window, just to see the tracks in the road. In more modern times, “Going through the woods…” when they officially close the main highways. All in an effort, to just do your job. These personal experiences, all of these memories, I have tried to express in this piece. I know the feeling of isolation, wondering how deep the next drift will be. I know the determination of “…This load WILL be on time.” And I know the pride we all share, in surviving yet another storm. We truly are professionals at what we do, and I am proud to have been a part of it for so many miles.  This is a portrait of “Headwind”, my ‘ole W900 Kenworth…

 

Thank you for stopping by…

Posted in Alameda Christian School, Appreciation, Art & Culture, award winning art, Blank Greeting Cards, Boys Town Alumni, Bridgeman Art Library, Christmas Cards, Christmas Postage, First Class Postage, Holiday Cards, Holiday Postage, Interstate Travel, Memories, midwestern artists, Nebraska Travel, Omaha Nebraska, Posters Cards Gifts, reprints, Rural, Thank You Cards, Trucker Art, Trucker Buddy, Trucking, Trucking Artists, United States Postage, wall art, wall hangings, Winter | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Dragoon Arizona Formations


The nuns at St. Pauls, where I began  my grade school education, constantly complained of my penmanship.  Often, my “p’s” were backwards. Or my “q’s” looked like “g’s.  My 2nd grade teacher, Sister Mary Regina used to thump me in the head, telling me “You can do better Mr. Buckman”.  I took typing class mid-way through my freshman year in Boys Town, only because assignments in ANOTHER class I was taking, were required to be at least legible, and I was struggling.  As a typist, I consider myself mediocre, but  I soon became fond of the task. I could actually read what I had put to paper!   Throughout High School, some instructors returned what I considered to be well constructed work, with notes, “Unable to decipher…” or “Please re-write.” when assignments were written in my illegible longhand.  Even my guidance counselor got involved, noting  on one of my  freshman report cards, “A college will expect better penmanship.” (I STILL have that report card in one of my scrapbooks!).  Hence, the decision to take up typing…  What does this have to do with ANYTHING…?

“Intense volcanic eruptions. Erosive forces. Crustal disturbances. Vicious floods. These events and more, contributed to the formation of the world we live in. Why then, are we able to attain such calm, such inspiration from the remainder…”

As “trucking” evolved with the times, I began carrying my laptop on the road.  It became a blessing, being able to at least keep legible notes to accompany the photos I’d taken throughout the day.  Not always could I keep up with the camera nor the miles….  As the material accumulated, I became more and more reliant on the computer.  I truly have thousands of photos and notes stored here, for future use.  I guess “the future” is now…

 Often, after unloading meat in Phoenix, I knew with forewarning from my broker that the return load would originate out of Nogales Arizona,  on the US/Mexico Border.  I also knew that I was destined for a lengthy wait for my load of produce to clear customs, get off loaded from their delivery trucks, then sorted and aligned by destination.  This meant sitting for nearly an entire day in Nogales.  One of my last loads out of there in the Western Star was tomatoes to a produce buyer in Kansas City.  When I owned my trucks, I didn’t “sit” well.  Which meant a great deal of “bobtailing” and “discovering” instead of sitting around the truck stop or shippers parking lot watching t.v. or videos in the truck,  like a bump on a log…

Nogales

Nogales

On Arizona #82 and SR 90 it was only about 93 miles to the town of Dragoon which is located halfway between Willcox and Benson, just off Interstate 10 in Arizona. Dragoon, and the local Dragoon Mountain Range takes its name from a U.S. Cavalry unit.  I gathered a great deal of “inspiration” there during my idle time.  And since ‘mid-’08 Skip was right along with me.  Heat of the dessert and snow of the mountains…

Arizona

The piece, “Arizona Formations”  and “Up The Canyon” was inspired by my time and travels around  Ragoon.

At least take the time to read my thoughts, regarding these two  pieces if you want an understanding of my thoughts during my years on the road…  By clicking on the links, you will be taken to my artwork.

Thank you for visiting the work and what I’ve been doing since becoming disabled, hope you enjoy the scenery  as much as I did…

Posted in Appreciation, Arizona Art, Arizona Mountains, Art & Culture, Art History, Blank Greeting Cards, Boys Town, Boys Town Alumni, Canyons, childhood memories, Colorful Art, Deep Purple, Desert Paintings, First Class Postage, Get Well Cards, Holiday Postage, horses, Interstate Travel, Memories, midwestern artists, Mojave Desert, Native American Folklore, Nebraska Travel, Nogales Arizona, Posters Cards Gifts, Ragoon Arizona, reprints, Rural, save the date cards, St. George Utah, Summer, Thank You Cards, Trucker Buddy, Trucking, United States Postage, vintage art, wall art, wall hangings, Western Artists | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Postage Rates


Just a reminder to my fans, followers and customers…

It’s a brand new year, and our reliable United States Postal Service has brand new rates!  If you want your birthday card or Valentine’s Day card to be delivered, make note.  I STILL think its a bargain when you think of how the cost of everything else has risen!

The rate to mail a letter First-Class will change, and so will the rate for a postcard, among various other domestic and international changes.  All of the details are available on the  USPS website.

The changes go into effect on January 26.  My new postage offerings will be available soon – I will try to keep everyone informed!  Meanwhile, wishing you all the best for 2014.

Posted in Alameda Christian School, Animal Postage, Appreciation, Art & Culture, Art History, award winning art, Baby Postage, Baby Showers, Birth Announcements, Birthday Cards, Blank Greeting Cards, Bridges, Canyons, Cat Postage, Cats, charity, childhood memories, Childrens Parties, Christmas Cards, Christmas Postage, College Baseball, College World Series, Columbine Flowers, Columbine Painting, Columbine Symbolism, Custom Invitations, CWS, Death Valley, Deep Purple, Desert Paintings, Disney Products, Disney Stamps, Easter, engagement ideas, Famous Animals, Female Portraits, First Class Postage, Floral, Floral Greeting Cards, Fun Gift Ideas, Get Well Cards, graduation cards, graduation gifts, graduation postage, graphic design, Holiday Cards, Holiday Postage, Louisville Kentucky, Memories, midwestern artists, Mojave Desert, Native American Folklore, Nebraska Bridges, Nebraska Travel, Omaha Landmarks, Omaha Nebraska, Popcorn Art, Posters Cards Gifts, reprints, retirement party, Sandhill Cranes, save the date cards, Sunrise Paintings, Thank You Cards, Trucker Buddy, Trucking, tulip gardens, Union Pacific Railroad, United States Postage, vintage art, Vintage Vehicles, wall art, wedding gifts, wedding invitations, wedding planning, wedding postage | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Your Christmas Cards


Red Star Holiday Stamps
Red Star Holiday Stamps by dbuckman

I was up until five this morning addressing Christmas cards. Several years ago I offered to anyone who wished to receive a card to send their mailing address.   Surprisingly although my own greeting card and personal postage business doesn’t reflect it, BUT  people still enjoy receiving a kind word in the mail once in a while.  My experience with the Christmas card project has been mixed.  I often get an e-mail or even handwritten notes from some who thank me and even promote my graphics work.  While others who’ve been on my list a few years send me a nasty note wanting to know “Who in the hell is this anyway?” or, “Do I know you?”  Simple.  I remove them from the list!   The “up-side” is the requests I receive;  “My Dad is in the nursing home and would love to receive a card.”  Or, “Could you send my military child a card?  They are stationed in…”  The down side…Where I  failed  this year, well actually EVERY year, is that I fail to keep up on my database with current addresses and such.  As a result, I inevitably get BACK a small percentage of cards stamped “No Forwarding address” or, “Forwarding order has expired”.  I don’t expect everyone to report in to me when they move, BUT it would sure help!

Some “data” I’ve never tracked and I rely on my failing memory!   Do I know you from my childhood in Louisville?  Boys Town?  Did we meet at the garage?  Auto Racing? Scuba diving?  Snowmobiling?  Perhaps we met somewhere between here and there in the several million miles I spent over-the-road?  Your involvement with horses?  Woodworking?    Please don’t take the above observation personally, but lets face it…  I’m sending out 500 cards this year and I simply don’t remember EVERYONE individually!  A number of cards that go out, are from the acquaintances I’ve made along the way on Facebook, old friends I’ve been fortunate to become reacquainted …

SO!  If you haven’t received a card and would like one, you may message  mailing address to me here.  If you DON’T want to receive one anymore, let me know that too!  Meanwhile, I truly do appreciate everyones support and encouragement.  Especially since MY Christmas gift this year, came from a recent report received in todays mail.  “..although he would like to return to work that he can participate in, I have serious reservations about Mr. Buckmans employability given his recent health history…”.  Sounds as if I’d better improve my graphics efforts!

Stop by the site for a visit! Best wishes to everyone, and have a pleasant holiday…

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Holiday Football Reminder


I really SHOULDN’T be sitting here, as I have one more rocking horse to complete in the very near future…  Well, I’d LIKE to have it done before Christmas!  BUT, with the holidays fast approaching, I thought I should send along a reminder for all of you football fans…  I KNOW my game list isn’t complete…

Though they haven’t had a stellar year, and the Husker folks have really taken a ribbing from me this season, they’ll be playing in a bowl game again.

Huskers Tee
Huskers Tee

Against Georgia I believe..   Wasn’t last years’ score something like 45 – 31 to Georgia’s favor?  Hmmmmm…

Georgia Peach Embroidered Hat
Georgia Peach Embroidered Hat

I believe Stanford is in the Rose Bowl, playing against Michigan State.  The 2014 Rose Bowl is the  Spartans’ first appearance since 1988 in what many consider the most storied of college football bowl games…

Stanford Cardinal Block "S" & Tree Bags
Stanford Cardinal Block “S” & Tree Bags

Greetings from MICHIGAN MI Postcard
Greetings from MICHIGAN MI Postcard

It’s going to be Missouri…

Helmet Left Water Bottles
Helmet Left Water Bottles

I Love Oklahoma Coffee Mug
I Love Oklahoma Coffee Mug…and Oklahoma State in the Cotton Bowl…

Purple LSU Tigers Logo Courier Bags
Purple LSU Tigers Logo Courier Bags

And LSU plays the Iowa Hawkeyes

Iowa Football "Flags" Poster
Iowa Football “Flags” Poster

…in the “Outback Bowl”…

Lastly… Tulane will play in-state rival Louisiana-Lafayette in what may be their final game in the Superdome as they move to a new on-campus stadium next season…

New Orleans Postcard
New Orleans Postcard

You can round-up some of your “fan gear” by clicking on the images above…  Meanwhile, I am still working on my own graphics…   Thanks for stopping by!  Oh, and Merry Christmas!

Posted in Animal Postage, anniversary gifts, Art & Culture, Art History, award winning art, Birthday Cards, Blank Greeting Cards, childhood memories, Childrens Parties, Christmas Postage, City, Coffe Cup, Custom Invitations, Disney Stamps, First Class Postage, Floral Greeting Cards, Fun Gift Ideas, graduation cards, graduation gifts, graduation postage, Holiday Cards, interior decorating, Interstate Travel, Louisville Kentucky, midwestern artists, Nebraska Bridges, Nebraska Travel, Omaha Landmarks, Omaha Nebraska, Posters Cards Gifts, Rose Gardens, Rosenblatt Stadium, Sports, Thank You Cards, Trucker Buddy, vintage art, wall art, wall hangings, wedding invitations | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Ready For The Round-Up


I was re-reading yesterdays post.  My writing needs improvement I believe….  It’s like watching paint dry.  It IS watching varnish dry!  Applying the 3rd polyurethane coat on Rusty and his rockers…

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He’s getting darn close. Whenever I worked on projects for Dad, and announced, “I’m done!”  he would inspect the work, and occasionally state:  “Are you REALLY done?  Are you happy with that?”  Loosely translated it meant I had more work to do!  At the time, my Dads criticism seemed somewhat harsh and overly critical.  Today, I’m grateful for the lessons and the demand for perfection that he instilled in me.  The down side?  I tend to be quite critical of myself.  The positive side of Dads’ pursuit of flawlessness and the lesson I REALLY learned?  It wasn’t the shaping of the wood, the enjoyment of time in the shop.  It is the drive I impose on myself which motivates me to move forward.

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I stray…..  After three coats of sanding sealer and three coats of poly, we are about ready to announce completion!

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Everything gets the once-over with  high quality furniture polish…

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Horses have ears, right?  Leather ears?

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And, being a Western Saddle Horse, he needs one more addition……

IMG_7647Rusty receives his rope!

I’d like to thank everyone for following along on this journey.  It REALLY hasn’t been so much about building rocking horses, as it has been a trip down memory lane.  Some of the tools in my shop have been inherited from my Step-Dad after his passing. When I flip the switch on the drill press  or the band saw (which were Dads), all of the memories and lessons learned come roaring back….  When folks receive a piece of woodwork from me, they also receive a little bit of my Dad.

Visit my web site, if you’re so inclined.  I’d appreciate it!  There are coffee cups, calendars, clocks, greeting cards, US Postage on the Zazzle site.   A variety of products, depicting my “other hobby” my art work…  Many of my prints are also available at:  Fine Art America where there are over 130 floral images alone….  I custom create for graduations, weddings, birth announcements and so on, so DO keep me in mind for those occasions when you need an invitation created!

…and thank you for listening….

Posted in "Flower Planters, Alameda Christian School, Animal Postage, Animals, anniversary gifts, antique cars, Appreciation, Art & Culture, Art History, Auto Racing, award winning art, Baby Postage, Baby Showers, Baseball memorbilia, Bird Feeders, Birth Announcements, Birthday Cards, Blank Greeting Cards, Boys Town, Boys Town Alumni, Boys Town Reunions, Bridgeman Art Library, Bridges, Canyons, Cat Postage, Cats, charity, childhood memories, Childrens Parties, Chinese Culture, Christmas Postage, City, Coffe Cup, College Baseball, College World Series, Columbine Flowers, Columbine Painting, Columbine Symbolism, Custom Invitations, CWS, Death Valley, Deep Purple, Desert Paintings, Disney Products, Disney Stamps, Doctors, Easter, Edgar Degas, Egyptian Art, engagement ideas, Fall, Famous Animals, Feeding Birds, Female Portraits, First Class Postage, Floral, Floral Greeting Cards, Forgotten, Fun Gift Ideas, Gardening, Get Well Cards, graduation cards, graduation gifts, graduation postage, Greek Mythology, Holiday Cards, horses, Hospitals, housewarming gifts, Hybrid Roses, interior decorating, Interstate Travel, Iris Gardening, Iris Meaning, Iris Painting, Iris Photography, Iris Symbolism, Jazz, Kentucky, Las Vegas Art, Latin Music, Louisville Kentucky, Memories, midwestern artists, Min-Pin, Mojave Desert, My Dog Skip, Native American Folklore, Nebraska Bridges, Nebraska Humane Society, Nebraska Technical College, Nebraska Travel, Nurses, Oakland California Posters, Omaha Landmarks, Omaha Nebraska, Orchids, Party Invitations, Pennsylvania Art, Pets, Philadelphia Art, Popcorn Art, Popcorn Growers, Posters Cards Gifts, Qualities of the Wolf, R & B, reprints, retirement party, Rocking Horses, Rose Gardens, Rosenblatt Stadium, Rural, Sandhill Cranes, save the date cards, Sports, Spring, St. George Utah, St. Joe Missouri, Summer, Sunrise Paintings, Thank You Cards, Trucker Buddy, Trucking, tulip gardens, Union Pacific Railroad, United States Postage, vintage art, Vintage Vehicles, wall art, wall hangings, wedding designs, wedding gifts, wedding invitations, wedding planning, wedding postage, Western Artists, Winter, Wooden Rocking Horses | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Rusty Is Getting Closer!!!


What’s a rocking horse without rockers?  Deviating from the plans again, I always “fit” the rockers to the horse.  Back “in the day”  when we lived on Gabriel Drive, I remembered a technique Dad taught me in the basement work-shop, on how to cut an equal semi-circle.  What was I?  Eight or ten years old?    Cutting the rockers “free-hand” is way beyond my ability!

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In my 59 years on earth, I am finally getting the hang of the rockers actually matching!  I DO cheat a little, clamping them together in the vise and belt sanding them in the same shape!  And yes, they too are from solid oak…

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Prior to “fitting” Rusty has already had two coats of sanding sealer, both coats steel-wooled with #000 wool…  When I was a kid, Dad would leave notes for me on the dinning room table:  “There are six parts on the work bench that I have cut out.  They need sanding for tomorrow…”  Man how I dreaded that job!

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Dad and I agreed, THIS was the worst part of these projects!  The angle of the hoofs, lining up with the angle of the rockers AND centering the horse on the rockers so that he’s not too heavy on one end or the other!  I learn new curse words every time I get to this point!

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Rustys’ rockers are satisfactorily fitted.  He seems a bit “tall” for little people, so he is going to get “a leg up” for the little ones…. (see below)…  The steps are  wood I “salvaged” from a solid wood ceiling job I did some time ago…

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Content with the steps, the balance of the horse on the rockers and overall appearance I am finally starting to feel some satisfaction and can see the finish line (though be it waaayyyy out there!)

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Everything get disassembled so that the stairs and rockers get a coat of stain and sanding sealer.  Yep, each coat gets hand sanded…  Often times Dad would leave another note:  “With regard to the sanding.  The pieces are still on the work bench.  You can do better!”

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And so EVERYTHING gets another coat of sanding sealer, another steel wool rub down.

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Now comes the fun.  First coat of polyurethane varnish.  Dad always said, “That is where most guys quit…” which when translated meant, “Sand it and do it again!”

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Perhaps by the next posting, we will have this job completed.  I hope so.  Actual work on Rusty began back in September!!

Thank you everyone for your continued support.  Keep an eye out on MY WEB SITE for the newest in my graphic designs.  And don’t forget, I am willing to personalize any of the products that are available at no additional cost to you!

Posted in Animal Postage, Animals, anniversary gifts, Appreciation, award winning art, Baby Postage, Birthday Cards, Blank Greeting Cards, Boys Town, Boys Town Alumni, Boys Town Reunions, Bridgeman Art Library, Bridges, Cat Postage, childhood memories, Columbine Flowers, Deep Purple, Desert Paintings, Disney Products, Disney Stamps, Doctors, Easter, Edgar Degas, Famous Animals, Feeding Birds, Female Portraits, First Class Postage, Floral Greeting Cards, Get Well Cards, graduation postage, horses, Louisville Kentucky, Memories, Rocking Horses, Rural, Sandhill Cranes, Summer, Sunrise Paintings, Thank You Cards, Trucking, United States Postage, wedding designs, wedding invitations, wedding planning, wedding postage | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Horse Project Part 3


Where was I?  Oh yes…  I skipped over saddle “assembly” and “tail attachment” but as you can see, “Rusty” is beginning to take shape.  The saddle is actually 5 pieces of wood per side.  I shape and form the saddle, then “halve” it so that both sides match.  Once both halves are doweled to the body, finishing touches are made with a drum sander…  Same with the tail.  It too is doweled to Rustys’ body (support comes in awhile!).  And like my Dad, all pieces are solid oak or walnut…

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Next, ‘ole Rusty gets mane and tail trim.  The purpose is two-fold.  Not only does the trim dress up and create a more three-dimensional result, but if you look closely, the trim overlaps places where pieces of the body have been joined.  Therefore, the mane and tail trim, which are also doweled, strengthen the result.

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I used to send photographs to my Dad, as these projects progressed.  I hope he’s looking’ down from heaven now, with approval!

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Next, Rusty is given eyesight.  Nothing complicated, and though I’ve tried a dozen different ways to do this, I seem to revert back to a plain old hole saw…  Oh and meanwhile, a LOT of hand-sanding is taking place, as there will be some unreachable places in the future, but I STILL want the end result to feel as smooth as glass.

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After the cinch (support between the chest area and body) and saddle horn are attached, Rusty gets another fine sanding with 320-grit paper, then he receives a coat of red-oak stain…  He gets hung out to dry while I work on his other parts…    Unlike Dads old shop in Kentucky, this time of year, I have to use a space heater in the work shop to aid in drying!

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In the end, I  prefer a sort of “worn” antique sort of look, so I’ve hit a few spots with darker stain (my own mixture!) and lightly sanded a few other places before Rusty gets his legs…

IMG_7497FINALLY!  He’s starting to look like something, but there is still a LONG way to go before this horse is ready to ride!

Thank you for visiting and I DO appreciate those of you who invest in my graphic art work!  Share it with your friends!  Perhaps I can wrap this up next go around….

Posted in "Flower Planters, Alameda Christian School, Animal Postage, Animals, anniversary gifts, Art & Culture, award winning art, Baseball memorbilia, Birthday Cards, Blank Greeting Cards, Boys Town Alumni, Boys Town Reunions, Cat Postage, childhood memories, Christmas Postage, Columbine Symbolism, Custom Invitations, Deep Purple, Desert Paintings, Edgar Degas, Egyptian Art, engagement ideas, Famous Animals, Female Portraits, First Class Postage, Floral, Floral Greeting Cards, Get Well Cards, graduation cards, graduation postage, interior decorating, Interstate Travel, Louisville Kentucky, Memories, midwestern artists, Mojave Desert, My Dog Skip, Nebraska Bridges, Nebraska Travel, Omaha Nebraska, Philadelphia Art, Popcorn Art, Popcorn Growers, Posters Cards Gifts, Qualities of the Wolf, Rocking Horses, Rosenblatt Stadium, St. George Utah, St. Joe Missouri, Summer, Thank You Cards, Trucker Buddy, Trucking, Union Pacific Railroad, United States Postage, wall art, wall hangings, wedding designs, wedding gifts, wedding invitations, wedding planning, wedding postage, Western Artists, Wooden Rocking Horses | Tagged | Leave a comment