Looking Back to See Ahead

Much like a giant whitetail, this painting has eluded me for years, and I'm excited that I finally tracked down the opportunity to paint it. For me it's much more than just a painting. It's a pivotal moment where I look back to the dreams and memories wrapped up in all my early whitetail sketches, and then turn and look forward to continue building a meaningful collection of whitetail paintings capturing new dreams and memories.

A stack of old sketches proves that whitetails have been one of my favorite subjects from the very start. In those early days I dreamt of composing scenes like this one. A scene in which the viewer can feel the air temperature, smell the dry leaves, hear the soft rustle of corn leaves, and take in the moment as the soft glow of ambient light blankets the entire experience.

Upon completing this painting it seemed like a good time to look back on previous whitetail works and see the improvement being made over the years. Following are a handful of whitetail drawings and paintings, starting with this recently completed painting, and ending with my first sketch from 1995.

Year: 2023
Most recent whitetail painting

Year: 2010
First whitetail painting, and first oil painting

Year: 1999
Colored Pencil

Year: 1997
Colored Pencil

Year: 1995
First Whitetail Drawing

In addition to the simple enjoyment of looking back on old drawings, this visual progression also serves a few important practical purposes. First, it’s a reminder that growth in anything requires a lot of time, discipline, hard work, sacrifice, and patience. Second, it’s a source of encouragement. Seeing improvement over the past years provides encouragement that progress will continue in future years with ongoing effort and dedication. And third, it’s a goal setting tool. Studying growth benchmarks of the past helps establish future goals with realistic timelines. Whatever your endeavors, don’t forget to look back once in a while to see the improvement, be encouraged, and plan for continued progress moving forward.

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