Friday, May 26, 2017


Christine and I have enjoyed four days travelling (Miata top down) to and from and staying at D'Angelo Estate Winery in Naramata. It’s a five hour drive ton #3 and #97 thru winding rides just made for cruising in a sports car. Over the years I have painted four oil paintings for the D'Angelo family. Here is one of Stephanie and one of her little Luca. At their guest house in the vineyard we have found a quiet retreat overlooking lake Okanagan to which we have returned four times. I have come home with many ideas for future paintings. While we were in Penticton and area we treated ourselves to meals in special places. The Naramata Inn's Ambrosia Restuarant served delicious evening tapas. On a hot windy day at Lake Breeze Winery we were served an exquisite lunch while enjoying a shade pergola that overlooked the lake. Most memorable was Front Street Brasserie in Penticton, where chef John Burke and his wife Lisa with whom we spoke at length while relishing three special dishes and dessert all with a French cuisine flair.




He is being picked up today. Well, his portrait is. He is Jordan Cropper and he is an officer with the RCMP. Jordan and his wife Brittani recently commissioned me to paint this portrait of Jordan, the image taken at his graduation some years ago. They now have two children and they live where he is posted in northern B.C. I became proud of this man as I painted him in a moment of his aspirations and dreams. He has already seen some of life’s pain and sadness as he serves the public. When elements of RCMP receive bad press, think of these men and women who with their lives serve us.

20X24” oil on canvas

Friday, May 12, 2017


Taking no credit for the lyrics, I am sitting at my easel again, telling myself to, take the blue of the sky and the green of the forest, and the gold and the brown of the freshly mown hay; add the pale shades of spring and the circus of autumn, and weave you a lovely today.

Even as a child I drew and I painted. As an artist now I most happily remain the child. I put down paint, I try, I learn. It surprises me and I am filled with wonder. I am eager to fall asleep imagining the strokes I'll apply tomorrow. I wake and I can hardly wait to see what happens when I try again.


We are invitees to a wedding today. They are so young. Here Christine and I are in our 50th year and our encouragement to newlyweds or anyone is contained here in a Gaither song.

Tender words, gentle touch and a good cup of coffee, And someone that loves me and wants me to stay; Hold them near while they're here and don't wait for tomorrow, To look back and wish for today.


I went to Harry and Sons Barber in Cloverdale - Last week Christine scheduled an appointment for me with Troy at Michaud's, her hair salon. Well, not actually Michaud's since Troy has opened his barbershop next door to his ‘Michauds’.We discussed what he would do. Then he did it. Ohhh! Listen, hair cuts pour moi are non-essential. The top is barren soil. I manage the sides with an electric trimmer, as with the beard. But this … this was cloud floating. First, the golf green lawn mowing, short, short all over, head and face. Then hot towels on my face, and fragrant oils, then straight razor smooth as silk, and another hot towel & more delicate razoring, then a cold towel. $54 plus a $10 tip. It's a lavish experience. I will do it again, after I get a few more landscape and portrait commissions. -- Oh, and my daughter, Cari Unruh Locken, created the signage.

Monday, May 1, 2017


Edward Richard Unruh died May 1, 2008. He was my father. He was born in 1915. He was 94 years old.  He was a modest man, in height, in speech, in opinion, in abilities, and in appearance. Bald at age 18 he nevertheless won my mother's heart. Fetching dark eyes and a pencil mustache. He whistled, songs of the 30s, like Pennies from Heaven, Cheek to Cheek, and The Way You Look tonight. He served in the RCAF during WWII. His ambition was pragmatic, work hard, provide for those who depend on you, derive your best pleasure from their accomplishments. Life was never unfair in his mind. He was grateful, uncomplaining. He was content. His sadness came predictably during the four years when my mother was no longer able to stay with him in their self-care apartment. He himself walked daily. Never used a cane. He visited his Tina regularly as her mind slipped further into dementia. He stayed on duty until she passed in November 2017. Then six months later, he lay down. Well done Dad.