Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Bernie's Ramblings: "A Tribute to Gold Star Moms"

For me, as an artist, painting is a struggle. Struggle in the sense that I force myself to adhere to an almost daily routine of painting. Too many times life gets in the way and painting has to take a back seat... but sometimes life gets in the way and inspiration comes. When this happens it's as if the painting takes on a life of its own. It's as if divine intervention takes over... this painting has such a story.

"A Tribute to Gold Star Moms" by Bernie Rosage Jr.
10x8" Oil on Linen, en plein aire, April 2008.
(click on image to enlarge)

The painting started from a typical monthly "Paint Out" with a group of plein air artists that gather once a month to paint scenes form our county. We call ourselves OOPS... Onslow Outdoor Painters Society. We live in a military conscious area... home of Camp Lejeune Marine Corps base. Our April "Paint Out" was at the Beirut Memorial... a beautiful and significant spot.

Beirut Memorial, Jacksonville, NC
The OOPS artists were scattered throughout the site painting from various vantage points... I opted for a close up of the statue's boots. Since I was positioned at the focal point of the memorial I had the opportunity to meet many nice people. Two of those people opened my eyes and broke my heart. Let me explain...

Bernie plein air painting at the Beirut Memorial...
Two ladies approached me, commented on my painting and one asked for a business card... as we talked she told me... "my son is buried over there"... motioning to the Veterans Cemetery adjacent to the memorial. I was taken back... she was my age and her son was close in age to my three oldest children. I'm used to burials of WWII, Korean, and Vietnam veterans over there... older veterans who lived full lives... not someone my children's age. She (wish I could remember her name) mentioned her son was killed in 2004 and that her friend's (Anita I think??, from Virginia) son was killed less than a year ago. My eyes were opened to how real this war is and my heart ached for these two ladies. I noticed one lady wearing a "Gold Star" necklace knowing well what it represented since my wife's grandmother was a Gold Star mom... losing her oldest son in Korea in 1950. When I got home... I added the necklace to my painting as a tribute to these two anonymous ladies, their impact one me, and Gold Star moms everywhere. I have four children of my own... my mind can't even imagine what Gold Star moms and families go through... please accept my humble tribute to you.
Close up of painting showing necklace...

As I write this... an AP Release was just printed stating that the US troop death toll for April pushes a 7-month high in Iraq. Whatever your politics... I think everyone agrees that we must be ever mindful and prayerful of our men and women in the military service of our great country. The AP also announced today that at least 4,059 members of the U.S. military have died since the Iraq war started in March 2003. To some people... this is a number... but to many... it represents lives shaken to their very foundations. I'm talking about the family and friends of this 4,059 and unfortunately... the numbers to come. I don't mean to detract any thing from the brave souls who gave their full measure for country and comrades... their sacrifice will and SHOULD be remembered for all future generations just like they are at this special memorial.

I'm talking to those family members left behind whose lives in a single moment were changed forever... a moment they relive and can recount with clarity in such a way it almost seems surreal. People who associate everything before and after that defining moment. They know what it's like to have lifelong friends loose touch because those friends don't know what to say so they say nothing. On the flip side... they have heard comments they knew were meant in kindness and comfort but cut their hearts to the quick. People who long to hear someone mention their son's, daughter's, husband's, wife's, dad's, mom's, brother's or sister's name in ordinary conversation so they know they are not forgotten. A remembrance of their dear loved one...
My prayer is for...

...for the world and for Gold Star Moms and families everywhere.

I would love to hear your thoughts and comments... Click here... comments

Please forward this blog post to any Gold Star moms and veterans you know and let them know you appreciate them. Thanks...

In Faith,
Bernie Rosage Jr.

PS... If you are a Gold Star mom... I want to hear from you and send you a digital image of this painting as a gift and tribute. Simply email me with "Gold Star Mom" in the subject line (I won't open any emails without it due to spam). Please share a special memory about your son or daughter.

To email Bernie... click HERE...

This candle burns in
memory of those we
miss and love...

Various Links:

American Gold Star Mothers, Inc.

Gold Star Family Support by Marine Parents

Gold Star Parents

Gold Star Siblings

Gold Star Wives of America, Inc.

Gold Star Mothers Club

Beirut Memorial

Weeping Willows

Onslow Outdoor Painters Society (OOPS)

Saturday, April 19, 2008

"On the Prairie" by Bernie Rosage Jr.

"On the Prairie"... 6x6" Oil on Linen on panel, alla prima, 4-2008.

This original oil painting by American Artist, Bernie Rosage Jr. is available for purchase...Em ail Bernie about purchasing details HERE... please include the paintings title in the subject line.

Click on image to see a larger view...

Again... my love of old barns shines through. This impressionistic painting titled, "On the Prairie", is set in the heartland of America.

This painting, on a Belgian Linen panel with painted sides, is easily framed or displayed with a decorative easel.

All my paintings are signed originals using artist grade oils and archival surfaces. "Certificate of Authenticity" included.

80 5/15

Ice Water with Lemon Please

"Ice Water with Lemon Please" by Bernie Rosage Jr... 8x6" Oil on Panel, alla prima from life, 4-2008.
SOLD... Thanks again Bob!
Richlands, NC

Click on image to see a larger view...

This still life was set up in my studio and painted from life. I found it challenging to work quickly enough before the ice melted. Rendering glass was my main goal in this one... hope you enjoy...

20 1995

"Marshland Reflections at Sunset" by Bernie Rosage Jr.

"Marshland Reflections at Sunset"... 5x7" Oil on Panel, alla prima, 4-2008.

This original oil painting by American Artist, Bernie Rosage Jr. is available for purchase... email Bernie with the title in the subject line... click HERE... for price and details.

Click on image to see a larger view...

The coastal waterways of North Carolina are gorgeous. The marshes are one of my favorite subjects to paint. Their natural beauty is unsurpassed... especially at sunset.

This painting, on a gessoed panel with painted sides, is easily framed or displayed with a decorative easel.

All my paintings are signed originals using artist grade oils and archival surfaces. "Certificate of Authenticity" included.

70 5/15

Saturday, April 12, 2008

Impressionistic Highway

"Impressionistic Highway"... 8x6" Oil on Panel, alla prima, 4-2008.
SOLD... Thanks Dean!
Deppe, NC

Click on image to see a larger view...

This small impressionist painting titled "Impressionistic Highway" comes from my love of traveling back roads. To really see and appreciate this great country ones needs to get off the interstate highways and travel the blue highways. So much Americana to behold and people to meet!

20 2249

Wednesday, April 09, 2008

"Cape Lookout" by Bernie Rosage Jr.

"Cape Lookout"... 20x16" Oil on Gallery Wrapped Canvas, 2008.
SOLD... Thanks Jane!

Click on image to enlarge...

This painting was commissioned by a dear friend from the "Class of '79"... Her grandfather was the lighthouse keeper at Cape Lookout many years ago.

The first lighthouse was completed and lighted in 1812. It was a 96 foot high brick tower painted with red and white horizontal stripes. It proved to be too short to light the treacherous coast. The present lighthouse was completed in 1859 and is 150 feet tall. In 1873 the lighthouse was painted in its distinctive black and white diagonal checkerboard pattern. It is the only lighthouse known to have this pattern... unique because the diamond pattern indicates compass direction. When the sailors saw a black lighthouse with a white diamond pattern, that meant the ship was sailing east or west. However, when the sailors saw a white lighthouse with a black diamond, that meant the ship was sailing south or north. It's the only NC lighthouse that operates during the day and can be seen 12 miles out to sea. It is my favorite of all our beautiful lighthouses here in North Carolina...

Tuesday, April 08, 2008

"Carriage House at Cone Manor" by Bernie Rosage Jr

"Carriage House at Cone Manor"... Blowing Rock, NC... 6x8" Oil on Panel, alla prima, 4-2008.
SOLD... Thanks again Art!
Oronogo, MO

Click on image to see a larger view...

If you ever travel the Blue Ridge Parkway be sure to stop in and see the Cone Manor near Blowing Rock, North Carolina. The house and grounds are beautiful. The site is also a horse lovers dream come true with miles of scenic trails for horseback riding. The crowning jewel is the Carriage House set on the Cone Manor grounds and the subject of this small painting.

20 1995

"Old Blue Ridge Road" by Bernie Rosage Jr

"Old Blue Ridge Road"... 5x7" Oil on Canvas Board, alla prima, 4-2008.
SOLD... Thanks again Jonathan!
Knoxville, TN

Click image for larger view...

When I think of the Blue Ridge Mountains I think of Heaven on earth. The peace and beauty they hold is something very special... ask anyone who lives there. This summer scene titled "Old Blue Ridge Road" leads the viewer into a place worth lingering for a spell.

20 2373

Tuesday, April 01, 2008

"Granddaddy's Old Pick Up"... by Bernie Rosage Jr.

"Granddaddy's Old Pick Up"... 6x8" Oil on Panel, alla prima,
SOLD... Thanks again Jonathan!
Knoxville, TN

Click on image to see a larger view...

"Granddaddy's Old Pick Up" captures a scene commonly seen across any rural area in the south. Many of these old trucks and cars have been rescued and brought back to life by grandsons, etc. There is something about and old weathered barn and the patina of an old rusty truck that sings to my soul the song... "paint me"...

20 1995