-------------- Varied adventures in the art of doug keil aka dkeil --------------

Saturday, February 2, 2013

"Coulter D. Young III in The Den of Creations" new painting by Douglas Keil

Coulter D. Young III in "the Den of Creations" by Douglas Keil (dkeil) 2012 ink and watercolor on paper 7.875x5.875in

 the original painting is for sale at BSBS Gallery in Peekskill (info below)
To purchase the original directly,
 contact me at palatialstudios@gmail.com
or call me at 908-334-9995.
 You can pay by check or PayPal. Well-protected and insured shipping is $25.00
The painting will ship within two weeks of the conclusion of the show at BSBS.
High-quality prints are also available direct from fineartamerica.com
Click on the link just below.

Sell Art Online

...on the making of: 
"Coulter D. Young III in the Den of Creations"

When I was coming of age, Coulter's art was always a part of my life. 
Back then he was painting large pop art pastel paintings which he would set in contemporary maple frames. I always loved how the frames complimented the paintings. Aside from pastels, he took tons of panoramic photographs (back when photography was film.)
When Coulter visited us he always brought stacks and stacks of panorama photos from his adventures in far-off lands.

The den of creation includes more than a large population of metal robot sculptures, it also houses the wall of fame- an entire wall covered in photos mounted in clear plastic boxes- depicting every sort of adventure...from mountaineering to hang gliding, yachting, camping, various revelries, etc.
I'm featured in a few places, as a baby asleep in a boat, and as a cute kid growing up with my sisters.
I've always loved the wall of fame; a day at Coulter's has always been a good day.

Coulter introduced me to pastel painting, and I have fond memories of being a teen-aged hippie making big, brilliantly colored pieces with Rembrandt pastels in his art room; all the while jamming out to the "Built to Last" album.
He has always been super gracious with his art supplies, even to this day!

Lately, Coulter he has been consumed with found object sculpture, having developed his craft into an impressive collection.  His earlier series of sculptural work entitled "sk8 art" was a clever series of found object creations which he built upon the foundation of classic metal rollerskates...
You know, the old-school metal skates from the 1950s.
How did people skate in those things??
I think robot sculpture is a much better appropriation of the metal.

The "sk8 art" series has since developed into an army of rollerskating robots.
From the looks of it, they are mass communicating here;
 replicating, usurping space,
 consuming, differentiating,
 forming family trees and legends of their own.

All the bots, large and small, have at least two things in common:
     First: they are the product of a mad scientist sculptor...
     Second: they mounted on snazzy metal skates.
Beyond that, they share a lineage of estate sale cast-offs and ebay scores.
The metal odds and ends that never quite cut it in the linear line of daily life;
have now been repurposed as objects de art.

Coulter D. Young III  is a mad scientist sculptor
- an art comedian - 
the collector    the commodore    the arranger   the planner   the presenter    the sculptor
Robot surgery??....    photo copyright 2012 Theresa Keil  www.theresakeil.com
"Muscle Beach" robot sculpture by Coulter D. Young III
found object sculpture 2010
  photo by Theresa Keil

Prepare to be meet and greet the metallic underdogs.
Not exactly wallflowers, these machine shop denizens.
An expressive bunch, these bots,
a freak show of welding valor.

Unpredictable, clever, bizarre, engaging, meticulously arranged, quirky, socially conscious,  good-natured:
The robots from Coulter's "Den of Creation" 
See them while you can!

Don't miss Coutler's upcoming show!!
His recent work will be showing in Peekskill at the:

Beale Street Barbershop's Gallery
   The opening reception is:
February 2, 2013 from 6pm - 9pm.
   All are welcome to attend.

Saturday, December 1, 2012

"The Grand Tetons" painting by Douglas Keil (dkeil)

"The Grand Tetons" by dkeil (Douglas Keil) 2012   24x24.2in.  acrylic on board

When I was 22, a close friend of mine and I were dropped off at the western edge of the Rocky Mountains somewhere near Rexburg, Idaho. It was a dirt road; the two-track type of road that spit gravel at the bottom of your truck and issed a suffocating cloud of dust as each lonely vehicle passed.  This was a low budget operation. I had a trashed pair of Teva sandals strapped to my feet, a tarp, sleeping bag and blanket, a pocketknife and my hatchet, my journal, and a stuff sack with twenty pounds of grains. Aside from that there was a roll of leather I bought from a mountain man in Rexburg and two woolen boot liners I recently made by felting some sheep's wool.  They would gradually be made into boots by the time the snows came in the mountains. My buddy had some nice modern boots, a sweet internal frame pack, and a convertible sidearm that could fire both bird shot and .357 slugs. We had a couple #10 tin cans for cooking stews and boiling water. We were pretty rugged.

When Nate's brother drove away, I sent my old SLR camera with him. I figured it would be a burden. We liked to travel fast and light and, besides, confronting the high mountains on foot without a camera bag seemed like a great way to thrash a perfectly nice camera.

 We were stoked for the adventure at hand. Nate was like my big brother, my closest friend at the time. In fact, it was his invitation to work for him as a guide that brought me from New Jersey to the vast high deserts and mountains of southcentral Utah.  We had become friends while interning at the famous Tracker School, basically fulfilling duties as cooks and camp assistants, while we both applied ourselves in our personal studies of natural history. Upon his return to his homestate of Utah, he found employment managing a wilderness therapy company called Sunrise Leadership Academy. The company brought at-risk youth into the desert of the San Rafael Swell of Utah to rough it for a while; attempting to help them find a healthier perspective on life. He wanted me on the team, and it really was a great program. I think it worked out well for a lot of kids. Eventually, that company floundered and the assets were bought out by a larger, more regimented operation called Aspen Achievement Academy based in Loa, UT. After a year of their endless therapeutic drivel and micromanagement, it was a good time to escape.

We finally had both received some time off and, since our schedules coordinated, we took advantage of the circumstances to go exploring in the bigger, wilder mountains of the northern Rockies. The mountains of Utah that we worked in- the Henry Mountains and Boulder Mountain have similar ecology but these mountains go straight up to Canada- populated by wolves, grizzly bear, moose, big horn sheep, mink, martens- this was true big-game wilderness! In fact, I had a few days earlier stalked within 20 feet of a moose, in the middle of the rut, its antlers shedding bloody velvet. The rest of the story no one would believe so I'll omit it...if only I had a video camera, I would have won prize money!

We were ready to explore, but we knew that these mountains commanded respect.

There was a small creek down in the hollow of the canyon where Nick left us, so we dropped down to a grassy clearing by the creek and started a fire. We had to orient ourselves and set up our gameplan because we didn't really have one.
It was September. The first signs of autumn were in the air. Our goal was to push eastward over the mountains and eventually reach the tourist town of Jackson, Wyoming. Even though it was at most about 60 miles as the crow flies, in reality it becomes 2-3 times that when the obstacles of elevation are considered. With the exception of one paved North/South highway some ranges to the east, there was nothing but pure and unadulterated wildness between here and there.
the mountains between Rexburg, ID and Jackson, WY

Since all my gear was wrapped up in my sleeping bag, folded up into a brown tarp, and tied with some surplus parachute cord, my first order of business was to build a a packframe- and fast!
Along the creek there was quite a bit of willow, which has great utilitarian use to the survivalist type.
Pack frames, though, are not one of them. It's a pretty weak wood.
Fortunately, there also happened to be some scrubby chokecherry trees; little bush-type shrubs.
My hatchet ate them for dinner and by the light of a campfire, I constructed a pretty sweet ladder-frame pack. I worked most of the night getting the notches of the frame right so that it would have the rigidity and stability that I needed to hike through the rough mountain terrain ahead. Before I started carving the frame, I had placed some strips of rawhide I had in water to soften. Before catching a few hours of sleep that night, I used the rawhide strips to lash the packframe together. Then I set it to dry next to the fire.

The lashings were pretty solid in the morning; acceptable for a day's walk, at least. I took the large leather hide that I had and cut a few pieces to construct some shoulder straps. Then I tied the tarp bundle to the frame. Over the next few days I refined the shoulder straps and lashings and made a thick leather belt to help distribute the load. Aside from the first day, the pack couldn't have served me better! It even still exists. Across from the table where I am writing this now, leaned up against the wall, is that pack frame- still serviceable all these years later. I found it recently buried in a box and pulled it out. There have been so many interesting things I've built over the years. I always marvel at our ability as men to modify our environment; to create realities.
We focus on what we want, envision it, and it happens!

The expedition was epic.

We saw the colors of the mountains explode, spread our sleeping bags out under the stars and camped in groves of aspen and fir. We hunted pine grouse, saw bear, drank from springs, savored wild berries, met mountain men and even wandered in to the remote basecamp of a group of rich cowboys - the type sporting sidearms and riding their own horses, camping in canvas wall tents by a mountain creek... A Hollywood script writer would have had a field day in their company. The distinction between their "Americanized" version of camping and our more Native-based ideas seemed to be lost on them; we were just a couple of "grizzly-Adams" dudes on a big trek. They thought we were great though, and treated us like royalty for a night. It was like taking a time warp. These fellas were decidedly less nature-oriented than me and my friend. Their wilderness prowess was authentic, but their motivations were subject. Booze, whiskey, poker, and horses filled the days in their remote camp- a circle of canvas frontier tents with enough gear to please the stockholders of Cabela's. Their wives spent the day cooking together and chatting around the campfire. Zohner's Hunting Camp was their name for the remote gathering place,  they were all close friends and had been frequenting the site for generations. It may have been a Forest Service camp that one of Zohner relatives had served at. It may have been put that way, but I didn't make a note of that in my journal.
As the men put it, Zohner's Hunting Camp was where they came to hunt whiskey and beer.

It was an interesting place, but I remember a certain uneasiness and dread of possibility in their company. My buddy enjoyed their association much more than I did. I don't think I drank a drop that night, deciding to hold a vigil for diplomacy in case tensions arose over the card games. I couldn't help but think of all the western movies I watched growing up; and prayed civility would reign. I sat by the entrance of their large mess tent on an old wooden plank bench and sketched the scene in my journal. Comfortable in my detachment, I busied myself with my art, while I kept my ears on their games long into the night.

sketch from my 2002 journal of that night

Their ladies wouldn't think of letting us leave before serving us a hearty cowboy breakfast of biscuits and sausage gravy. If the night was uneasy, breakfast was the antidote! I've never had better biscuits and gravy in my life. They were legendary. After breakfast, Brad, one of the cowboys, took me downriver to where his family's camp was and showed me his horses. He breeds Tennessee Walkers on a nearby ranch and brought along a young colt that he had just broken and was training for the saddle. A beautiful horse, with such a graceful gait. I rode the young horse bareback for a bit a mountain trail along a creek. Brad was a nice guy and promised me a job on his ranch, but for whatever reason, it didn't work out when I called a few weeks later. After Brad and I returned to the "hunting camp" with the horses, It was time for Nate and me to head back on our trek. After parting, we walked east up a mountain canyon until we found a grassy hillside meadow and passed out in exhaustion from the night. We encountered the first mountain snow that night- the same night that I finished sewing the remaining leather into some boots!

There is a certain peace in the wilderness; a tensile calmness.  Humans can be so unreliable and fickle. The tension of the wilderness is more baseline. The rules are more rigidly defined and universally accepted. People tend to scorn standards for personal advantage and the lack of reliability in humanity is frustrating. With our feet back on the trail and miles of mountain continuing before us, life was good.

We finally reached Jackson Hole. Nate went back to work; he caught a bus to Utah.
I had only a few dollars so I stayed in town hoping to find a job.

Jackson, Wyoming is a resort town situated in a valley with an entrance from the east and west. North of town is a small mountain and south of town there is a huge mountain with the Snow King ski resort on it. It's a very wealthy place. A few people around town even casually joked to me that the millionaires we being edged out by the billionaires. As a tourist destination for all things Western, Jackson basically booms year 'round due to the ski resorts in town and its proximity to Yellowstone National Park- located an hour north.

I had no money for lodging, so I bought a sheet of black plastic at the hardware store and headed for the mountain where I built a shack high above town in the shadow of the ski resort. Life was good on the mountain in Jackson. I had the prime ten-million-dollar view all to myself- camped up in the mountains. I would awake at dawn and see the sunrise on the Grand Tetons in the northwest horizon. The early morning orange glow would set the mountains on fire with each new day. The days were getting colder though, and I new that winter was quickly approaching. Within a few days I found work as a laborer for a construction company. I dug holes and planted ornamental plants, along with other boringly repetitive and unappreciated work. Mostly I enjoyed the beautiful autumn weather and meditated on portions of the Bible that intrigued me. Since it was about two weeks from arriving in Jackson until I received pay from my newfound job, the real story for me (and this painting) starts here.

I had enough money to buy a gallon of milk each day.
You can live on milk, baby cows do; I did too.
I tried eating at a Christian "mission" house in town, called the Good Samaritan Mission. They gave out free meals to the fringe of society. I figured I qualified, given my current circumstances. Basically, a motley bunch of alcoholics, drifters, and freeloaders showed up each day to spin their tales of smut and eat a free meal. It was a disgraceful scene. They all had to endure a short "motivational" sermon each evening before the meals was served. Since I was so interested in the Bible, I paid attention and during the course of a few days there asked pretty much everyone individually what they thought of the Bible and the sermons. No one cared, they just came for the food. Seriously.
I thought it was so lame. There was hypocrisy everywhere- just what everyone hates about "Christians," I felt a few of their scriptural takes were incorrect, but I didn't turn my back on the place until I was severely reprimanded for bringing some bread to dinner to share with everyone.
Then I realized those people were nuts.

Soon after arriving in Jackson I made my way to a Kingdom Hall of Jehovah's Witnesses.
I liked Witnesses- they knew the scriptures.
You could talk freely with them, they didn't judge me and give me guilt trips. Though I wasn't for organized religion, I thought of all the churches I examined, the Witnesses seemed to come closest to being genuine Christians from a purely scriptural standpoint. They also didn't just go along with all the obviously pagan holiday celebrations throughout the year and wouldn't participate in warfare- both of which I thought took a lot of guts. I had studied with them in the past, and I knew I could get a Bible from them. I was particularly impressed with the reception I received among them. All haggard and dirty from a month of life of living in the woods, I cleaned myself up as best I could and went to a Sunday meeting.
Still, I was a far cry from a clean-shaven young man in a suit and tie. I had on a woolen plaid lumberjack shirt and cowboy hat, I smelled like a campfire and had woodcraft stains all over my pants. Besides that, I was carrying a distinctly unconventional large packframe with me.
It didn't phase them one bit. I was greeted kindly and promised that my pack would be safe leaned against the wall. they found me a seat and the meeting began.  At that point in my life, sitting inside for two hours was almost unbearable, but I loved what I heard. The Bible verses were expounded reasonably, not emotionally.

After the meeting, a man named Bob approached and chatted with me. At one time he had been a mountain man, and could relate well to my current adventure. He gave me a copy of the Bible and asked my thoughts on some scriptures. One of which struck me as particularly intriguing. In the course of chapter 24 of Matthew, Jesus is speaking to his students about signs that would indicate his return, or presence, as the promised king. He talks about many problems that there would be on earth, etc., but Bob mentioned that Jesus asked one question in particular without giving an answer. He read a scripture about "food being given to people at the proper time by a faithful and discreet servant- under the authority of Jesus." He asked me who I thought this servant was. I had no idea. I thought it was even a strange question really; but Bob was very sincere and intelligent. He also seemed to feel it was a very important question, so after he replied that "I ought to give this some thought;" I filed it away in my memory and did give it thought during the coming weeks.

Now, it so happened that subsisting on a gallon of milk each day became difficult after refusing to eat at the mission. While I was walking into town on my way to work one morning, I decided to see if I could get some free bread by checking a dumpster behind a high-end organic bakery. It was a goldmine! There was every kind of delightful treat discarded- still clean and ready to eat because they had  been placed in plastic bags before being dumped. I had raspberry tarts and scones, delicious organic bread and rolls- as much as I could possibly eat- all for free! Until I got paid for my work with the construction company, I found the food I needed behind the bakery. Throughout the days at work, I would meditate on different passages of scripture and think about Bible proverbs and principles. All the while, I remembered Jesus' question about "who really is the faithful and discreet servant giving food to his domestics..."

Well, the day I got paid, I decided to do my last dumpster-diving bread reconnaissance mission.
After entering the alleyway, I opened the dumpster and found a sack of delicious looking bread.  I thanked God for the food. As I continued on down the alley, towards downtown, there was another dumpster.
I remember saying to myself, "Who knows... I have all I need but.. let's see what's hiding in here...."
I lifted up the top. It was full of boxes and construction debris, and on top, right there in front of me, was a stack of Watchtower and Awake magazines- published by Jehovah's Witnesses.

It was a moment of clarity.
Here I was on a food-searching mission... I found food. But this was the answer to the question of who was "the servant" providing "food at the proper time."  It was spiritual "food."
That's what I really wanted, needed, in my life. I loved these magazines and the literature Jehovah's Witnesses gave out. I knew that they helped me understand the Bible and draw closer to Jehovah God, that they refreshed me, even sustained me like food. It was such an exciting moment; an epiphany.
I decided to study with Jehovah's Witnesses again and this time apply myself more fully in my research.

That was one of the best decisions of my life- one that I made in a back alley of Jackson, Wyoming.
As the chill of the cold evening descended, I recall huddling up in a little corner of that alley, so delighted with my discovery. I munched on organic rolls and read an article in one of the Watchtower magazines, savoring each bit of "spiritual food."
It was one of the happiest moments of my life.

Seeing the Grand Teton Mountains brings back such wonderful memories of personal discovery!

The painting at the beginning of this post is of the Grand Tetons, located just to the northeast of Jackson, Wyoming. The perspective is an angle looking southwest from the top of a bend in the Snake River. It’s a scene of the American West that photographers and painters have captured for years, probably most famously by the iconic black and while depiction of Ansel Adams. For me, the Grand Teton Mountains are simply hard to define.
The best word, I think, is majestic!

Thanks for staying a while to read. Feel free to say hi and leave a comment!
You can also purchase a print if you love the painting. The link is below.
Feel free to share the post on your facebook or other social media.
Make sure to subscribe if you like my work. Thanks!
-Doug Keil (dkeil)

Photography Prints
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Friday, October 5, 2012

"Nathancito" portrait by dkeil (Doug Keil)

"Nathancito" by dkeil (Doug Keil) 2012 24x18in. acrylic on canvas

I love this little guy.
He is so fun, full of life, ridiculously cute and sweet (when not hungry or tired.)
I've always loved kids and thought it would be nice to be a father, but being an uncle is one of the best things that I have EVER experienced in life.
We read together all the time- his favorite books are
Richard Scarry's Best Word Book Ever and Blueberries For Sal.
We also like to look at Learn from the Great Teacher and My Book of Bible Stories.
He loves to look at paintings too, pointing out different things in them that he is interested in.

Recently, he loves the song on the new DVD "Be Jehovah's Friend" and wants to gather us all together to sing with him. It almost makes me feel like crying it's so sweet. Other than that, we play with blocks, make drawings, look at flowers in the yard, and our favorite thing in "the whole wide world" is to take bike rides together- Nathancito rides along in a hiking pack I found at the thrift store for $5. He squeals with delight as we ride around town. Especially when we cross the grassy field at the school near the house where I grew up.

He's such a great kid. Here's my portrait of him, trying to relate that beautiful, innocent, sweet energy that makes him so wonderful.
I love you Nathan!
-Uncle Doug

Sunday, August 26, 2012

The Plight of the Native- painting by dkeil (Douglas Keil)

"the Plight of the Native" by dkeil (Douglas Keil)  8x10.72 in. acrylic on paper

Generally, the story goes like this:

New Guys: "Hey nice land! You all have it made!
There's tons of game, the fields grow crops, the water is clean, and you have so much livestock!"

Natives: "Thank you! Yes, we have been blessed! We shall have a feast and be friends. Stay awhile. There will be peace among my people and yours."

New Guys: "Great! First let me show you my new toy. Everyone line up for me over there."

Natives: "Ok... Let me call the village together."

New Guys: "That's great.. now smile!"
"Bang! Bang! Bang!...."

Then, of course, the hunter comes over the hills to find his world burning, and his life destroyed.
He is angry, and then seeks his revenge.
Open a history book- most of the pages are about the same... in principle.

A lot of people hate Jesus because most "Christians" have been notoriously warlike over the past two thousand years. But certainly he isn't to blame.
He said to "love your neighbor"... but he also said to "love your enemy."
How can you love your enemy and kill him, rape his wife and little children (before killing them too,) burn his village, and steal his land?
The fact is that most Christians are phonies.
It's like me tooting my horn and saying that I'm a great painter all day long,
but all my works look like finger paintings.
I'd be a phony.
So, if you are a warlike "Christian" shame on you.
You need to learn who Jesus was.
He was a peacemaker, a teacher, a healer, a friend, a man of courage and kindness.
Certainly not someone who would destroy a native's village for his selfish and greedy agenda.
He was "no part of the world" and didn't support the politics of the day. His followers (Christians) in the first century are recorded in the history books as being people who refused to serve as soldiers or assume public office. The same holds true today.
Jehovah's Witnesses won't go to war, won't make the guns, won't sew the uniforms- for any country. That makes me proud to be one of Jehovah's Witnesses. Of course, a neutral stand often makes nationalistic types pretty upset, but at least you can know we're not killing anyone for our respective countries or our religion. On the contrary, we enjoy a worldwide brotherhood that truly is remarkable, transcending cultural and regional biases.

The current trend is to believe in oneself or in blind chance through evolution.
Both religious ideas are shallow. The science of probability shows evolution to be the godless mess it is.
We are short-lived and require instruction to succeed.
We learn from others; we have a need for that.
We simply can't figure it out on our own.
Trusting in one's heart is stupid (Proverbs 28:26) because we are imperfect.

The saying that experience is the best teacher is a lie. Jehovah God, the Creator, is the best teacher.
We make mistakes, even if we are really smart.
For example, there have been millions of smart, powerful people who have lived on earth over the years, but they only just recently figured out that the earth is round, the universe is huge, things are made up of atoms, and have accomplished feats like harness electricity.
Our power, ability, and smarts are limited.
We cannot govern even our own person effectively without moral guidance, let alone govern others.
Our power to repair the damages from past mistakes and foolishness is also certainly limited.
Attempts through history often leaves additional trails of suffering.

All the natives of the world who have suffered injustice at the hands of phony religionists will have the restoration of their lives.
Their suffering will be undone, according to the Bible.
That it very refreshing to me.

In the meantime, don't be phony!
Whether you're old, young, or somewhere in between, be nice and share!

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Monday, August 20, 2012

"theClockwork Man- the Jersey Shore statue guy" -painting by dkeil (Doug Keil)

"theClockwork Man- the Jersey Shore statue guy"  painting by dkeil (Douglas Keil)   9.5x13.5 in

I rode my motorcycle down the Shore over the weekend.
The weather was nice but my head hurt and I needed to get out of town.
There's nothing quite like the Parkway on a summer evening to straighten out a muddy head. If you're not on point, it won't be for long, because people have no concept of kindness on the Parkway.
So, needless to say, I got in the zone and ended up with my feet in the sand.

I brought a watercolor pad, my sketching box, and tin of Winsor Newton watercolors.
I've been giving watercolors a chance again though I'm not a big fan of the medium.
The first painting of the day bombed royally. Uggh. It was horrible.
I felt like I was ten. It just didn't work.
The composition wasn't all bad, it was the watercolors.
Of course the sun setting and my blindly mixing colors didn't help much either.
 I did see a great sunset though.

I don't give up easily.
I just couldn't live with myself after painting the worst sunset ever; I needed resolution, redemption.
A walk up the boardwalk to Asbury Park cleared my head to try something else.
Right at the beginning of the boardwalk in Asbury is the amazing Watermark establishment, an incredible example of interior design that I discovered only a week ago, despite the similarities with the Kyma Restaurant that I did design and finishes for last year.
I figured a Tom Collins could help things along.
I never made it to the Watermark on account of Clockworkman. 
Here's his facebook page.

I walked right past clockworkman as I'm sort of creeped out by the clown/mime schtick and I was going to do some architectural sketching and painting, but as I glanced back over my shoulder, the light fell so perfectly on the guy that I stopped in my tracks.
Seriously great lighting. I turned around and dropped my pack against the fence to the beach, sat down and decided to start with a sketch. I gave him some money out of respect for his art and within a half our I had one of the best sketches I've done in a while. All the while, the guy was bankrolling. Even ifhis gig is a street performance that requires good weather and has a short season, he brought in more than enough American currency to make it time well spent (artistically.)  I was astounded at how many people participated in his act and contributed, yet he kindly returned to the same stance and pose so I could record the night on paper. Mr. Clockworkman was indeed a performer and a gentleman.

I decided not to ink the graphite drawing and, instead, to give the watercolors another go. It turned out well enough. I took the plein air watercolor out yesterday and finished up the painting with acrylic glazes. I'm pretty happy with it now, which is why I decided to share it with the world.
Let me know what you think.

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Thursday, August 9, 2012

"Midsummer on the Hudson" painting by dkeil (Douglas Keil)

"Midsummer on the Hudson"  by dkeil - Douglas Keil   2012  acrylic on wood panel   8.75 x 29.75 in.

(click on the photo to see it enlarged)

I had a great time up on the Hudson River this past weekend.
The Shattemuc Yacht Club in Ossining, NY hosted its 2nd annual Plein Air Paint Out and the atmosphere was great! It was a beautiful day for boating and and even better day for painting.
The event was organized by the commodore of the club, Coulter D. Young III. A man who, aside from being a quite capable adventurer, is an artist known for his quirky anthropomorphic robot sculptures and the definition of "cool uncle." I have to write a blog post about him soon.
He and his son have both had an enormous effect on my artistic development since I was a youth.

The gist of the event was: bring your paints, do your thing, and later in the day we'll have an auction.
70% of the proceeds went to the artists and 30% helped to fund sailing classes for teens.
There were about forty artists, and there was some excellent talent was on site.
I remembered a number of people from last year's event as well as many from the Garrison Landing Plein Air events, which occur further north on the Hudson. Stephen Doherty, the editor of Plein Air Magazine was observed setting oil to canvas and George Lowry of NYC's Swann Galleries and a regular on The Antique Roadshow was seen bidding in the audience. There were probably some additional celebrity art-loving-types too, but I didn't pay much attention during the auction process.

Driving down to Ossining in the morning, I wasn't all that excited to paint.
A thick grey gloom hung on the land. However, by the time I had consumed a couple cups of coffee, talked art shop with some folks at the clubhouse, and finally set up my easel, the colors were coming around.
By late morning the view was fantastic!
I shared a park bench under a willow tree with a sweet older lady, Roslyn Miller. We dabbed away at our paintings and jammed out to some old-school hippie music on my mp3 player.

Life is good.
Someone needs to make one of those shirts for the plein air painters.
Hmmm.... Any takers?

A great lady bought my painting; Sharon Rowe. She's the founder and CEO of Ecobags.com, a company which is defiinitely hip to the "reduce, reuse, recycle" mantra of environmental consciousness. You can read about her success here. Besides that, she was sweet; letting me snap a picture of her with the painting to show the world that being a patron of the arts will make you smile!

Update (8-20-12)
Steve Doherty (mentioned above) published an article featuring the Shattemuc Yacht Club Plein Air Paint-Out on OutdoorPainter.com.
There is even a picture of with a picture of the painting underway.
Thanks for including me!

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You can buy a print of "Midsummer on the Hudson"
at my gallery on Fine Art America. It's super easy!
Click on the picture below and it will take you to my Fine Art America webpage.
You can buy just the print alone or even have it framed.
If you want it framed it's easy, you pick out the frame and mat from the many selections,
they assemble and deliver it within a few days!
Also they have a 100% money-back guarantee (including shipping) so if you're not happy, you can get your money back. Not a bad deal.
They don't mark up the print that much, if you want to frame it yourself.
My prices for prints are pretty much rock bottom, as it goes...
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Saturday, June 23, 2012

Private Aquarium in Rumson, NJ feat. on HGTV show "Million Dollar Rooms"

private aquarium facade in Rumson, NJ as seen on HGTV show Million Dollar Rooms"  photo by Doug Keil      www.palatialstudios.com

for those who missed the first 2 airings:

The show is HGTV's "Million Dollar Rooms"-
The episode is HMDRS-206H
SATURDAY JUNE 23, 2012 @ 4:30pm e/p
It will air again on
6/26/12 at 3:00pm e/p.

8/16/12 at 6:30 PM e/p
(8/26/12 update: HGTV posted two more showings)
  • September 11, 2012
    11:00 PM e/p
  • September 11, 2012
    2:00 AM e/p

I sculpted a facade for this private aquarium a while back out of plaster and then faux finished it with limewashes.

I attempted diligently to avoid the kitsch factor by making the rock cracks as realistic as possible, and sculpturing the breakaway areas so that, structurally and architecturally, there would be an authenticity and continuity throughout the room.
It was a pleasure to be a part of this project.
The homeowner is avid fan of sportfishing and stocks the aquarium with native fish caught off the New Jersey coast. He certainly spared no expense on his aquarium. I'm pretty proud of this project.

I have ideas... tons of them...
Though most of my work is in NJ and NY, I have traveled all across the country,
so don't be shy; give me a call @ 908.334.9995
I'm a pretty low pressure salesperson so feel free to discuss an idea with me if you think I might be a good fit for your project.
Maybe we will be putting together your "million dollar room(s) next!"
By the way... the plaster work was nowhere near a million bucks..... lol.

Here's my website: www.palatialstudios.com

  check out my other work:
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"The Grand Tetons" by Douglas Keil 2012


Friday, January 20, 2012

Sunset at the Bay

"Sunset at the Bay" by dkeil (Douglas Keil) 9.25x22.5 acrylic on wood- 2011

There is something that just blows the mind about watching the sunset over a body of water.
Sunset is a great time of the day to reflect. The artistry of a sunset is incredible. Nothing we could ever paint can capture the intensity, but painters have tried millions of times throughout the ages.
I once read that the human eye can perceive 300,000 different colors. Sunsets probably capture a good majority of them, lacking only in the greens.

I love watching sunsets, trying to figure out the colors. I also love them as a time for reflection on the day.
It's a good time to pray, to be thankful for being alive.  Whether the day went well or not, I know that anyone who can create something so wonderful can certainly keep the planet going and fix it up when the time is right..

One cool thing about sunsets is that there is always one happening as the earth spins.
Here's a sunset you can enjoy at any time of day.
Thanks for visiting!

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You can buy a print here at my gallery on Fine Art America. They have great service.
Click on the picture below and it will take you to my Fine Art America webpage.
You can buy just the print alone or even have it framed.
If you want it framed it's easy, you pick out the frame and mat from the many selections,
they assemble and deliver it within a few days!
Also they have a 100% money-back guarantee (including shipping) so if you're not happy, you can get your money back. Not a bad deal.
They don't mark up the print that much, if you want to frame it yourself.
My prices for prints are pretty much rock bottom, as it goes...
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Wednesday, January 4, 2012

"This Storm Too Shall Pass"- painting by dkeil (Douglas Keil)

"This Storm Too Shall Pass" by dkeil 27x34 acrylic on canvas over masonite - plein air 2011
I did this plein air painting at a yacht club on the Hudson River in upstate NY.
I loved the lines on the mast of this older sailboat.

A sailor spends most of their time thinking about wind direction, windspeed, heading, and current. I've always loved sailing and wish my circumstances in life provided more opportunity to shout "Gybe Ho!" Something about capturing the power of the wind in full sails and containing it, redirecting it, transferring it to an entire vessel- is so exciting; when the boat leans precariously on its side, sails tightened; full speed ahead! A sailor spends a awful lot of time looking up at the top of his mast, checking the wind direction, so that was, in part, the motivation for the composition. Symbolism in the rest of the composition exists but I don't feel like going into all that right now. I thought about how to construct this piece for quite a while, circumstances presented themselves favorably at the Shattemuc Yacht Club this summer to make it happen. This is a plein air painting; I painted it out on a dock in the July sun. It was great! I love watching how the marina changes as the tide comes in and goes out. The biggest challenge I faced with this piece was the constant movement of the dock underneath me as I painted. The line work on the rigging was an exercise in patience, as I waited for calm moments in order to continue.

Someday I'm going to sail around the world. A few people actually believe me on this one- they also happen to be part of my crew. I'm not in a rush, really. It's going to have to wait until the storm passes. There's too much piracy and danger at this time; but when the time is right, I'm going! It's going to be a fantastic adventure, one I've been thinking of since I was a boy. I used to love reading adventure stories; and one of the best was an article published in the October 1969 edition of National Geographic. It was the story of 16 year old Robin Lee Grahm, and it was his adventure to sail around the globe in his small boat named "The Dove." By "small"... I mean small. The Dove was a 24 ft. fiberglass sloop.  The kid was pretty much nuts. It was one of my favorite stories as a teenager- but I only had half of the story! The National Geographic article was a "too-be-continued" article. I always wondered if he made it.

Well, last year on my cross-country art trip, I happened to find myself  in some little country town around the Texas/Oklahomah/Kansas area. I can't remember the town's name, but it was a good stop. I visited a number of little downtown antique stores with a mission- find cool antique tools. I was looking for some interesting old handtools for a series of paintings I'm working on. I found a couple wrenches; but I also struck "gold!" I noticed a huge stack of National Geographics organized by year. I thought, "Hey, maybe they have the rest of that story about the kid who sailed around the world..."

So I looked in the 1968,1969 section- and there it was!
April 1969, the continued story- featured right on the cover! The nice old lady sold me the magazine for a dollar or two. Finally, fifteen years later, the adventure completed! It was great. Robin made it to the South Pacific, met a pretty girl, they fell in love, she followed him from port to port (his challenge was to sail solo), they got MARRIED in South Africa, etc.etc. I couldn't believe it- a great real-life adventure with a happy ending! He sailed all the way around the world by himself and lived to tell the tale.

Robin wrote a book about his adventure called "The Dove" and Hollywood produced a movie by the same title in the 70's.  I bought the book on Amazon and enjoyed it; it was light adventure reading- a feel-good book. There are a few other books that I've enjoyed on the topic- the famous "Kon-Tiki" by Thor Heyerdahl (absolutely THE BEST- google it!!) and "Adrift: Seventy-Six Days Lost at Sea" by Steven Callahan. "Kon-Tiki" is probably my all-time favorite adventure. A team of Norwegians set out to prove that a raft constructed of balsa tree logs can sail across the great Pacific Ocean. Their expedition took place in the late 1940's. A classic Academy Award-winning black and white documentary came of the adventure as well as the book. Both are excellent.

Sailing around the world is obviously a huge undertaking, one that I'm certainly unprepared for at this point. But as the saying goes- "you have to have goals to reach them."  I know that in due time, it's a goal I will reach. Solo isn't the plan either; I'll have a great crew of friends to share the adventures with!

Do you like the painting? Leave a comment and let me know what you think. Then you would go from cool reader-person to super-cool commenter-person!

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Monday, December 26, 2011

"the Atlantic Highlands from Sandy Hook" painting by dkeil

"the Atlantic Highlands from Sandy Hook" by dkeil 9.5x23 on canvas on board- plein air 2011

NJ actually has a lot of beautiful places.

You just can't necessarily enjoy them for long-
before someone tells you to keep moving, or calls the police on you.
To be a nature lover in NJ requires that you develop a degree of diplomatic skill so that you can politely explain to "so-and-so" why you are looking at the sunset "on their land," or admiring a flower "in front of their house," or cutting dried wildflowers and grasses "on a public highway...."  Here's the best situation one I've encountered so far: interrogated for listening to birds "while sitting in a tree" (and that was while I was on campus as an ecology student at a NJ university)

So be warned you NJ nature lovers, along with private land owners and deer ticks carrying Lyme Disease, your resolve will be tested!  Nevertheless, there are many natural places of wonder within the artificial borders known as New Jersey. The Pinelands of the southern regions remain my favorite, but I rarely visit them anymore. I used to live in Brookville for a while and enjoyed it immensely. Ah, to be barefoot in the cool moss of a cedar swamp searching for wildflowers in July...  Fresh blueberries in clusters with serenades by Pine Warblers and Towhees.... Yes there are many places of spectacular beauty that I've discovered in NJ. However, to refrain from diverging from topic too much, with this painting- I present the beauty of Sandy Hook Bay. I painted it in plein air, seated on a log in a sand bank near the entrance to Sandy Hook.

While I was growing up, my family had a vintage wooden powerboat, and in the summertime my father loved to pile us all in the station wagon, hitch up the boat, and drive us down to the Atlantic Highlands. There, we would launch and go out into the bay for an evening of fishing and waterskiing. Often, we would cross the bay and explore the bay beach of the barrier island known as Sandy Hook National Recreation Area. It was a polluted mess, with the detritus of New Jersey's suburbia washed ashore. It still is, really. I don't know if it's better or worse. Probably worse. I can't believe we used to actually eat the fish out of this bay- with all the industrial, agricultural, and municipal waste and runoff going directly into the body of water.

My father used to say "the solution to pollution is dilution;" and I agree; the ocean supplies an incredible amount of water by tides to dilute the chemicals of modern civilization. Still, I don't think it takes a rocket scientist to conclude that the fish were probably a lot safer to eat before the chemical revolution. Practically the entire population flushes some sort of pharmaceutical down their toilets every time they use the restroom- and it's not like they filter that sort of stuff out at the treatment plant! It wouldn't be a problem if it was a few people, but the Navesink and Raritan Rivers collectively catch the effluence of an incredible amount of people. Then, add on top of that the heavy industry, urban development, and agricultural lands of the Raritan watershed.
Right.... Funkadelic was an awesome band in the seventies.... It's also the water here.

Still, Sandy Hook is a great place for photography. Since I work down in the Rumson area and along the beach with some regularity, it's so convenient to stop for a short hike after work. I haven't been there during the summer season, but in the off season, it's so quiet- and the admission is free!

The shell collecting is amazing in the spring time. After the winter storms churn up the sea, they leave the beaches covered with beautiful things to discover. The tidal pools are a lot of fun to explore too. This painting is of a tidal pool near the entrance to the park. Looking across the water where the Navesink River enters the bay, you can see the homes dotting the outcropping known as the Atlantic Highlands.

Do you like the painting? I'd love to hear from you. Leaving a comment makes you a very cool person!

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You can buy a print here at my gallery on Fine Art America.
(Click on the picture link below)
They have great service. You can buy just the print alone or even have it framed.
You pick out the frame and mat styles, they assemble it and deliver it within a few days.
Also they have a 100% money-back guarantee (including shipping) so if you're not happy,
you can get your money back. Not a bad deal.
They don't mark up my print cost that much- they add a surcharge for the art paper, printing, and shipping.
The prices are reasonable and they look awesome framed!
You can buy the print alone or with just a mat to save a few $.
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"This Storm Too Shall Pass"- painting by dkeil

I inadvertantly published this post before its time.
Please follow this link to see the painting and my write-up.
Thanks for visiting!
"This Storm too Shall Pass" -painting by dkeil

Friday, December 9, 2011

"Running Man in Bare Fields" - by dkeil (Douglas Keil)

"Running Man in Bare Fields" by dkeil 8.25"x24" acrylic on wood 2011

I did this painting for a film director named Nick Evans. It's a portrayal of a character in one of his films and the trail of trials he was running through. I can say that I am truly happy with this painting- I actually achieved everything that I wanted to accomplish.

  "Running Man in Bare Fields" is the product of a lot of different paintings in galleries and magazines that I have been studying lately. Also, it's been heavily influenced by the work of Coulter Young IV; who is probably the most influential artist in my life, aside from Van Gogh. The son of my father's best friend, I grew up with Coulter's art and we recently reconnected after about ten years. In the interim, he produced some incredible pop culture paintings, ran a gallery, illustrated for some of the top magazines, returned to grad school, handled millions of dollars worth of art for clients (Picassos included!), and now teaches art at an upstate NY private school.

Currently, Coulter's been studying with Andrew Lattimore, a renowned Hudson River artist, who I must say has the skills to pay the bills. I was recently able to accompany Coulter to Lattimore's huge converted-factory studio in upstate NY and the paintings on the walls there have definitely influenced this piece. In the style of Lattimore's landscapes, Coulter has great impressionistic brush work in his oils. When we first reconnected at a Hudson River plein air event in August, I was actually really surprised to see the determined simplicity of his current work. It's totally unlike the precision of his line work and vivid psychedelic colors I remember in his pastel paintings.  Totally different, but great. After another plein air event in October we visited again, and then I went up for a few days to do some work on his house and visit last month (my Flickr page has images from the Beacon, NY trip). I had a great time and learned a lot as well.

  I applied a number of different techniques in this piece that Coulter taught me regarding developing a more natural depth of field. I guess it can be said that we have to see accurately what's in front of us to form an impression of it. I'm really not into realism- that's why I bought a camera.  It seems totally obvious now, but I've been thinking deeply about how to apply Coulter's advice on the matter. He said that I should keep three words in mind: "Lighter," "Bluer," and "Softer;"(which is easy to remember as the abbreviation for pounds- LBS.)  As it was, we were high up over the Hudson River on the Newburgh bridge driving back to Beacon.  To our right was this huge river and mountain vista- spread out to the southern horizon. It was an "aha" moment for me. In reality, the farther away something was spatially, it was lighter, bluer, and softer- just as Coulter said. I've been searching for a certain painterly look, and to some degree or another I've fought with depth of field in a painterly way.

  Another diversion for me here is the use of wood as the grounds. I just love how the grain of the wood has become so integrated into the texture of the work. Especially can this texture be appreciated in the physical presence of the painting. I could go on, I guess, about the actual painting, the colors, etc. The palette was actually pretty limited when compared to my usual palette, I guess it shows, it has a different "feel" to it. I tried to mix the coldness of the dead of winter with the warmth of the dried corn stalks, the hanger-on dead leaves and different colors of tree bark at tree line. Some successful shadow and underpainting work contributes to my happiness, but most of all it's the character- sort of a weird, stick-figured cut-out from a crosswalk light. Some sort of semi-real, transient shadow. Fleeting, fleeing. More than halfway gone, exit stage right. A few tracks remain, generally wiped away without a lasting impression. The vanity of ambition on open land.

Feel free to leave a comment with your impression.

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You can buy a print here at my gallery on Fine Art America.
(Click on the picture link below)
The print quality for this piece on archival matte paper is awesome.
FAA has great service. You can buy just the print alone or even have it framed.
You pick out the frame and mat styles, they assemble it and deliver it within a few days.
If you want me to sign it, I'm happy to do that if you are local.
Also they have a 100% money-back guarantee (including shipping) so if you're not happy,
you can get your money back. Not a bad deal.
They don't mark up my print cost that much- they add a surcharge for the art paper, printing, and shipping.
The prices are reasonable and they look awesome framed!
You can buy the print alone or with just a mat to save a few $.
Support an artist and brighten up a room!

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Friday, April 22, 2011

"Finch in the Painted Desert" by dkeil (Douglas Keil)

"Finch in the Painted Desert" by Douglas Keil 24x30 on canvas 2011

As some of you may know, in my late teens and early twenties, I used to spend most of my nights sleeping on the ground, on one adventure or another. My tireless thirst to understand natural history had me traveling all over with not much more than a backpack, sleeping bag, cookpot, and journal.

I felt so alive waking up next to the smoldering remains of a campfire and eventually I found myself out West, doing expeditions for some wilderness outfits in central Utah. They were companies that I've heard referred to as "hoods in the woods" programs- catering to at-risk teenagers and attempting to snap them out of their unhealthy living circumstancesby by providing a life-changing experience. For those those managed to elude the grasp of litigation, they could be financially lucrative. Most tended to be grass-roots organizations full of zeal and an ardent desire to assist a floundering generation. I hoped that some of my appreciation for life and natural history could be passed on to the kids in my care. Some were pretty rough characters, most were just punk kids a few years younger than me (I was in my young twenties.) The common thread among them all was that they were disgruntled affluent kids whose folks had enough money to do amazing things- like send them on adventures for a couple months. I wish my paychecks as a guide reflected their affluence; I could hardly afford to live; which was pretty pathetic. Anyway, I enjoyed the work for the most part. I learned so much about human psychology and the natural history of the American West while getting paid a pittance to explore some of the most amazing places on earth. Our adventures took us across the painted desert and up into the mountains; camping by streams and waterholes, exploring canyons, spending the starlit nights sleeping on pine needles and listening to the breeze  rustle the leaves of aspen forests.
High up in the clear mountain air life was good. Life was great! I tried to leave a good legacy with my time.

One thing is certain- the desert etched more than a few images into my mind: soaring vistas of rock, sand, juniper and sage, big skies painted in surreal blues, and greater expanses than I ever dreamed of.  There is a feeling of accomplishment that is missing in modern life. The urban/suburban lifestyle has deprived people of the satisfaction of experiencing the scope of the landscape and identifying with the role we should play as caretakers of the physical foundation of society. Days spent trekking across the wilderness furnished ample opportunities to look back across rolling hills and arroyos with reflection, to say,"Wow! This morning I started walking all the way over there, and now... I'm all the way up here!"  The sort of experiences that set the hustle and bustle of business and Hollywood dramas in a more appropriate place. For me that's somewhere between negligible and non-existent.

      Which brings me to my painting "Finch in the painted Desert."
There is something incredibly special about sitting quietly atop a 200 ft mesa and looking down to the bottom of the canyon below, across the desert expanse, and then up at the sky. Inevitably, within the passing of a short time, some action will present itself before your eyes. Perhaps it is a raven noisily flapping it wings past, or a flock of scrub jays moving through the pinon and junipers, and sometimes...
it's something like I envision here: a finch alighting on a cluster of cactus.
When the bird realizes it's not alone, it turns its head sideways to assess the scene, looks into your eyes, pauses for a while to visit, and then flies off in its continual quest for food.

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Monday, March 7, 2011

Pop Portraiture- "Valerie" and "SentryCat" paintings by dkeil

"Valerie"  by dkeil 24x36 on canvas 2011

So what's this?
It's a portrait.
What kind of style is that? 
How should I know- I just painted it. It came out perfect to me. 
Some people have said it looks like pop art. Some have said it looks like anime art.
I say it looks like "dkeil art" when everything comes together right.

She's a smart young lady- she'll tell you all about the axions and their role in the selective reuptake of seratonin. If you can follow along, she'll tell you about many other incredibly complex neurological happenings too; with sketches and word pictures to help it all make sense. She's my sister, Valerie Keil. I love her. Hopefully, all that knowledge won't make her head explode and she'll stay humble and kind. So many people need so much help and she's hoping to assist folks in the mental heath field; certainly a noble aspiration.

So, yeah, I do portraits too. If you want one done, don't be shy- let me know. Whether you want me to work live or from a photo is up to you.  I'd prefer it wasn't just some rush job. It's important to get to know the personality of the one being painted, and portray that in the finished piece.
Just one disclaimer, I don't do nude work. So please don't ask.

Whether a traditional sitting, or from a photo, for a wedding, or to capture a special time in life, I'll make it memorable and enjoyable with a large painting on canvas!
Interested? call me up- Douglas Keil @ 908.334.9995  and we can discuss your ideas.
or email me-palatialstudios@gmail.com

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Yeah. I'll make an awesome painting of your pet too!
Send me a picture and I'll make your pet look like the coolest creature that suburbia ever knew...
well, that's a lot to promise. I'll make it into a cool painting- let's leave it at that.

"SentryCat" by dkeil 18x24 on canvasboard 2011

Sunday, February 13, 2011

"Snapdragon"- by dkeil + memories of Dr. Scott Keil

"Ah, the snapdragon...." by dkeil
-Pen, ink, marker, pastel on paper- 11x14  2010
  Winter is a beautiful time, but hard to live with, and it is definitely still winter here in New Joisey. Glazed-over ice has its white blanket spread around town and forest, the cold wind whips through the branches and even through heavy winter clothes. Despite the cold, however, there is an intensity to the sun again. The hardest part of the winter is past us now. Over the past few days, I awoke to the distinctive sounds of cardinal calls in the backyard. This, my friends, is great news. The days of summer are again in the foreseeable future. In anticipation for the warmth to come, here is a mixed-media work I completed recently:
My dad used to plant snapdragons so that he could pick the flowers and make them talk by gently squeezing the middle. As the flower's "mouth" moved, he'd make some ridiculous commentary and get a laugh out of us. The personification of flowers is not usually something that comes naturally, that's why the ease of which a snapdragon bloom speaks is so endearing. 
For the botanist and inquisitive mind, snapdragons belong to the Antirrhinum genus, which is derived from the Greek words for "like," "nose," and "of (or pertaining to)" so literally the genus name means "like a nose."
Since my father, Scott Keil, was an ear, nose, and throat surgeon (otorhinolaryngologist) and a gardener (among everything else it seems) he probably knew that little fact when he planted his favorite deep-red snapdragons in the perennial bed next to where he parked his car. Incidentally, it was also next to the raspberry patch, two things that probably brought him great satisfaction when returning home after a long day of caring for people's dire medical needs.
I miss him. He died in a terrible accident years ago. It was late at night; he was hit by a car while riding his bicycle home from his office on the other side of town. People have tried to blame it on the the fact he wasn't wearing a helmet- but when you're stuck underneath a car and dragged for a bit, it's hard to come out alive. Maybe he shouldn't have been riding a bike late at night, maybe he should have worn a reflective vest. Sure, circumstances could have been different, but neither of those reasons are valid in assessing blame. We as people take many risks in our day-to-day routine of daily life; He was always in control- he had the steadiness of a surgeon- but not at that last moment. That is a sobering thought. What legacy would I leave behind if I died today? It's been a thought that has governed a lot of my decisions in the eleven years since his death. Our life can be snuffed out in an unexpected instant. His pain was quick, ours has been long-lasting.
  The fact remains that an accident is becoming a tragedy for a family somewhere on this planet at this very moment. It's been a story told to an exhausting degree in the history of mankind. Death for mankind is an enemy, an enemy that has brought a lot of suffering into my life as well as the lives of  people all throughout history. No one is immune; but I do believe that its damage will eventually be undone. The Bible says that "there is going to be a resurrection of both the righteous and the unrighteous" (Acts 24:15). It also says that those who have died have been acquitted of their sin" (Romans 6:7),  and that "the wage of sin is death "(Romans 5:23), and "as for the dead, they are conscious of nothing at all" (Ecclesiastes 9:5), and "as the last enemy, death will be brought to nothing" (1 Corinthians 15:26), so I am confident in a few things with regard to these scriptures: 
     1.  The Creator of the universe can remember his personality and bring him back to life in due time.
     2. Since he has been "acquitted," in a legal sense- when he is brought back it's with a clean slate- with life  in view, not for judgment.
     3. Since he's conscious of nothing, he doesn't even know he's dead, can't think, doesn't exist- except in God's memory- which is very refreshing; because I know Jehovah will remember him. I can see him again  someday, if I keep my integrity in these difficult days.
     4. Death for mankind is a enemy, unnatural. It is not what God wanted or purposed, it has occurred as a consequence of disobedience. However, eventually things will all be resolved in a way that those who wish to be obedient to God (even those who have already died) will be extended a gift of unending life. Then death from imperfection, as an enemy, will no longer influence our lives or threaten them. THAT is good news.  
Between now and then, snapdragons are a reminder to me of what an exceptional man my father was, and this piece helps me reflect on the past appreciatively and look toward the future hopefully. Leave a comment, let me know what you think. If you knew Scott Keil, leave a memory. I know he helped a lot of people, and every once in a while I encounter someone with a heartwarming tale. I look forward to yours. Thanks. -Doug
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