George Caleb Bingham

Recently I made some illustrations for the Notable Missourian book on the painter George Caleb Bingham.  He was an interesting man in both art and politics.

Young George sits and watches Chester Harding paint a portrait of Daniel Boone.  His love of art was now official.

Young George sits and watches Chester Harding paint a portrait of Daniel Boone.  His love of art was now official.

George went east to study the works in the big museums there.

George went east to study the works in the big museums there.

George was passionate about the plight of the people, and got deeply into politics.

George was passionate about the plight of the people, and got deeply into politics.

Not only did George enjoy politics, but he used it as a subject of many of his works.

Not only did George enjoy politics, but he used it as a subject of many of his works.

George as an elder teaching a painting class.

George as an elder teaching a painting class.

New life for an abandoned painting.

"The Gift" original "unfinished" version

"The Gift" original "unfinished" version

So in my studio has sat a painting that had confounded me for a few years now.  I wasn't sure if it was done or if it was unfinished. To be clear, I would tell myself it was done, but there was always a little voice in the back of my brain saying "no its not".

Well the other day I decided I needed to paint.  I was going through old paintings trying to decide if I wanted to paint over an old so-so one or use a new canvas.  While digging around I came across the aforementioned painting and for the first time it struck me that I should finish it...whatever that meant.  So I did!

"The GIft" acrylic on 24"x36" canvas. It probably went a completely different direction then what I originally had in mind, but thats kind of what makes the recently finished version cool.   

"The GIft" acrylic on 24"x36" canvas. It probably went a completely different direction then what I originally had in mind, but thats kind of what makes the recently finished version cool.