Friday, July 20, 2007

Looking Back / Friday Photos

sign painterThere's somewhat of a danger in "reminiscing." I don't want to come across like the children of Israel--complaining, "we had it better in Egypt!", but every once in a while, I wonder how things might have been. Don't get me wrong, I love my wife and my two boys. I can't imagine life without them...actually I do imagine life without the boys--it's called RETIREMENT, but that's another topic. Anyhoooo...I love my church, my pastors, the people in our Sunday School class, etc. I wouldn't want to change any of that. What I wonder about is: what if I had gone into a different line of work?

Right now, I work for a company that builds refinery equipment. I am "in charge" of writing and reviewing all of the welding procedures used in fabrication. I also track the welding "consumables" (rods, wire, and flux) via a program I wrote and each month I report the amount of welding consumables in total pounds and dollar value used for each job in our shop (pretty exciting stuff, eh?) I began working here in the CAD Department (actually it was called "Drafting" when I started), went back to school and took some programming classes in FORTRAN, taught myself Visual Basic, AutoLISP, and Access databases--and through a chain of events--i.e. our welding engineer died--find myself in the position I currently have.

The irony of all this is that I have a diploma in Commercial Art. I use some, not much, of my training/education/art skills designing forms, applications, etc. I also maintain a very static website for our company, but all-in-all, the "artistic side" is just a hobby, when I have the time. I did own my own sign shop for a while, but that was 19 years ago. Once PC's took off, hand-lettering pretty became a thing of the past--I know there are still some sign-painters out there that do hand lettering, but they seem to be far and few between.

I bring all of this up because I actually had a couple of evenings last week where I didn't have something that just HAD to be done, so I broke out my sketch pad, the colored pencils and such, and sat down at the kitchen table. My inspiration was this photo I'd seen on Flickr a few days earlier. Below is the result.

Eagle Drawing

It was really relaxing just to sit and do something that I really love doing...something that just comes "naturally." People tell me: "man, you should be doing something with that!" or "what's stopping you from doing that again?!" Then I remember why I don't "do art" for a living. It became a "job"...I wasn't doing it for the pleasure it brought me; I couldn't. I had deadlines and gripey customers. It quit being fun and became a chore. SO, I guess that's the answer to answer the question: "what if I'd stayed with the art?" instead of doing what I do now. Looks like I'll stay right where I am...God must have put me here for a reason.

Friday Photos

My oldest son, Ryon, playing at a local coffee shop

Caution Sign
This is a sign on the back of an automatic drill in our shop. I liked the colors.

flickr: Friday Photo Group


Marcian said...

I have the same attitude about my photography. I'm in the middle of a project for a few publications at the moment, and it's become a chore, though I enjoy turning out the images. I got to the point where I remembered that I have a job, and photography isn't it.

Baxter said...

Wow! I like your eagles(?) eyes better than the original! You can really draw! I knew this photographer who wanted to photograph my hands. Now, I never saw anything GREAT about my hands, but he did, and my daughters have said they really like my hands, but "I" still can't see it cause I never did like my hands. But anyway, he showed me some of his photography and I asked him why he doesn't do this for a living and he said, "Because then it would be a JOB and not pleaure." You are not alone in thinking like that. But, WOW, you really seem to have a gift!

Baxter said...

Apparently, that photo of the eagle you copied was the "real" thing at a high exposure setting? Correct? I thought it was a drawing, but I still like being able to "see" your eagles eyes.

Unknown said...

May I use your eagle artwork? I volunteered to help my son's high school design a logo and web page and I like this image. Many thanks!

Keith said...

Larkpics: Feel free to use the eagle pic. Thanks for asking. A "credit" on the webpage (if possible) would be nice. I'd love to see the finished product when it's done. Email me at keithwhitfield[at]cox[dot]net.

N9JY6JP said...

Dear Sir,
I have been working with my daughters High School Marching Band (The Golden Eagle Marching Band 4 time State champions), we purchased a used Semi Trailer to haul the band equipment to computations. We have spent hundreds of hours outfitting the interior for the instruments, having the trailer painted white and raising money to complete the outfitting and graphics. When we reviewed many ideas for our graphics one of the art teachers is drawing a fearsome golden eagle for the side of the trailer, and we saw your Eagle Face we all fell in love with it and would like to put something like this on the front of the Semi (8’ X 8’). I wanted to ask if this is your art work can we get permission to use the art work for this purpose. We do not have much money as we are a charity for the fine arts at our school but would be willing to make a donation of some kind if you have a high quality version we would be able to use to have this put into a large format.

Thanks Ben

Bonnie said...

Hi there..:)
My name is Bonnie and I was surfing images looking for an eagle to use on my friend's webpage..he builds custom motorcycles. This eagle has a very proud look..and i think hew wants to guard some motorcycle pictures\..what do you say? id be happy to link back to you. thanks in advance for helping out!

Keith said...

Bonnie: I have no problem with you using the image as long as it is not for profit. A link would be appreciated. Thanks for asking.

Michael said...

Hello! I didn't know how else to contact you but to leave a comment. I was wondering if the middle school I teach for can use your wonderful eagle drawing on a shirt? please contact me at or call at 804-633-6561.

Ramon said...

Hello Mr. Keith I know not of any other way to reach you nor do I know if this website is still active, but I wanted to ask you something in regards to your eagle drawing. A while back i Used it to make a sketch which turned out exactly as yours. I was wondering if I may be allowed to upload it to my deviantart profile with your permission. I would credit you fully.