Mixed Media Oil & Pigment Painting release from Nebraska Artist Tim ONeill
This mixed media oil & pigment painting portrait is done from an image that is near and dear to me. The original photograph was shot at the Veteran’s memorial in North Platte, NE several years ago. I had seen several stunning images from the famous memorial in DC and was hoping to shoot some stills that I could use for painting. As the memorial in North Platte sits facing north, that gave me two prime opportunities each day to grab the lighting I was hoping for, in this case cross-lighting so the texture of the sculptures would show nicely. So, sunrise and sunset were my choices which is often the case. I chose to go down at dusk. Noah, my youngest son was 7 at the time and wanted to hang with Dad so we happily schlepped out to the site which is on the south side of I80 in North Platte.
As I was shooting around the site Noah was checking out the relief sculpture carved in brick. It is a beautiful piece and Noah was really taken with it. Like seven year old’s will do he was asking a bunch of questions. Most of them garnered the normal uh-huh, yea and so forth answer that a distracted father would give. Then he asked, “Where are their kids?” …that got my attention. Other questions came up as we talked about soldiers, war and the sacrifice the men, women and families in the military make for us. The question that came up that stuck with me was, “Daddy, are they gone? ” as his hands delicately touched the hard, cold brick. I stood back watching and shooting a few frames as I answered his question by telling him that yes these soldiers, these hero’s, were gone from this earth and were being watched after by Angels just as the soldiers had watched over us. With a huge sigh he put his head on his arms and crying softly said, “I would miss you Daddy”. I admit it, I am a softy, I cried.
That became the title and is perfectly fitting. I had not given much thought to what my family might be thinking about me being a combat photographer and going back in during a time of conflict. Noah’s words stayed with me.
While the original will stay in our private collection giclee prints are available.