So… it all began as we talked about an  “Artist Kit”  we had given to our artist grand-daughter,  Lian,  for Christmas… somehow I got into a story about how I was able to get a  passing grade  of “C” in Latin by  sketching Roman Soldiers  in my Latin notebook that contained my  non-passing  academic work….  🙂

The family started  encouraging me  over Christmas to try it again… do some sketching… perhaps trying to find something for philip to stay busy with,  in order to keep him out of trouble….  🙂

That led to my first attempt…  Nate all dressed up and looking cool in his new leather jacket and sunglasses…  I am calling this one:    “COOL HAND NATE”


Of course… I had to try my hand at one of those Roman guys which kicked off this whole new hobby thing of sketching…  🙂

Photo on 12-31-17 at 9.11 PM.jpg

But… my real passion is to sketch  U.S. Soldiers… had a couple very emotional experiences in December having to do with my responses to several different areas… especially about WWII… and the difference in all the wars since then… also my brother Marc’s helicopter years in Vietnam… part of the reason I related so emotionally with the movie  “We Were Soldiers”  …  every time  “Snake”  flew back to the battle zone… I had a picture of what my brother was doing regularly for 2 years in Vietnam.  Like I said… lots of emotions… I cried  a lot  during December, 2017…. and I remain thankful that the Lord kept  Marc  (and Snake)  safe thru all the horror…


This one above is a  memorial  for Ellen’s father who landed at Utah Beach with Patton’s 3rd Army, 4th Armored Division as a scout… (forward observers had a 200% casualty rate)… her dad went thru the rest of it with Patton… some of the most ferocious fighting in Europe…. from the beach right up thru the liberation of some of the concentration camps… only had a scratch… in all that time.

God has such a marvelous purpose for our lives… some of us are taken early… some given more years… and He doesn’t always explain Himself….  Patton was taken  the moment it all ended…. his purpose for being here was completed… Thomas McCloy was given enough extra years to produce 4 wonderful children… one of those was God’s very special gift to me… Ellen.  Then the Lord took her dad at only 43 years… He had completed His purpose for Tom McCloy… I am looking forward to finally meeting her Dad when the Lord has finished with what He has for philip here… but…  not rushing that day….  🙂


This one continues my hope to honor not just Tom McCloy and Marc Wolff… but all the veterans and their comrades who lost their lives…. in all the wars… regardless of the whys of their being sent to fight… sadly war changed during Korea, MacArthur was fired and war was politicized… we no longer fought wars to win them… which is why I loved this fox-hole sketch as the artist shared the fox-hole with his company commander… and called it  “A War to be Won”…. it was the eyes that grabbed me… and the bullet hole in the helmet.

Speaking of the  War with Korea… the artist called this one  “Pork Chop Hill”… as I started sketching, the haunting melody from  “We Were Soldiers”  came floating thru my mind… “and many men have died…” … bitter, useless battles, as the US, Chinese and Koreans were negotiating an armistice….

I think I need to watch the movie tonight….


my favorite general…

Thought I would give my  “favorite general”  a try…



sketch of a weary warrior…

“General Vandegrift sent a message to all men under his command in the Guadalcanal area thanking them for their courage and steadfastness. He reminded them all that their “unbelievable achievements had made ‘Guadalcanal’ a synonym for death and disaster in the language of our enemy.”

“Too Many, Too Close, Too Long,” ……   “little guys, just plain worn out… stamina and spirit stretched beyond human endurance. He has had no real sleep for a long time … And he probably hasn’t stopped ducking and fighting long enough to discover that he has malaria. He is going to discover it now, however.”

Thank you, thank you guys for all you did….


an old warrior…

as they returned from the field… they were all  older  warriors… fatigued… totally  drained… and  thankful  to still be alive…

as I sketched… I  wondered  if this is what Philip would have looked like if he had been  born in 1925,  instead of 1935….


no greater love….

These  memorial sketches  have been to honor all those who have  given their lives  for us…. my plan is to continue with more and more of these sketches….  because….

“Greater love has no one than this….. than to lay down his life for his friends.”

This next sketch is  to honor  the one who not only laid down his life  for  us…. but then rose from the dead in order to be able to give his risen life  TO  us….


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how was it possible….

….wave after wave of Japanese soldiers (150/200 each time) all day/all night over 24hours… that first battle of Edson Ridge cost us 31 Marine Lives… over 600 Japanese died in the attack… there were only 300 of our 700 men left that were fit to fight in the final battle of the Ridge… most of them unable to fight because of exhaustion and disease… the final battle took 53 more of our Marine’s lives….. over 2500 Japanese soldiers died, sending bayonet charge after bayonet charge into constant defensive fire…. this victory was a decisive turn in the war against Japan… and a complete miracle...

I watched History Channel’s 45 min presentation of the  “Shootout at Guadalcanal”….  I was stunned… they had nothing left


the magnificent obsession…

Knowing our  purpose  for being here on this earth has created all kinds of obsessions  for those He has placed here…   Why am I here?  What’s it all about?  Is there some purpose to my life?   Father sent His Son… with a purpose… to do the will of His Father… just 4 little words was Jesus’ response…  “Thy will be done”…  that was Jesus’ obsession… to do only what the Father wanted Him to do.

Philip’s  purpose… the reason Philip is here… is to follow Jesus… to give my life to Him… to agree with Father, to let Jesus live His life in Philip… so…  His will…  will be done...  in my life… as well.  For that to happen… my choice has been to  make Jesus  my obsession... what a great choice that has been… Jesus is my  Magnificent Obsession...

and  His joy is my joy…     not my sketch though… couldn’t capture His joy…. it is  His joy that is  my joy  anyway… not my ability to capture it in my own sketch….  🙂


true confessions…

We attend the Anglican Church that our children are part of… they have a 9:00am service,  then a 10:00am coffee/fellowship time, then an 11:00 higher church service…

The family goes to the early service, then we hang out with everybody during the 10:00 time… this last week they began a presentation during that hour on the Confessions of St. Augustine… it has been very interesting.

Tonight, I am bringing you the only copy available anywhere of the first Chapter of  the Confessions of St. Philip...  🙂

The last sketch I posted was the sketch I was working from in order to show Jesus laughing… not somber, not dying, not suffering, not wimpy, not crowned with thorns, not being beaten, crucified and dead on a cross… just Jesus laughing.

I couldn’t catch it… couldn’t get Him to smile… this is what I sketched… and couldn’t seem to change it, no matter what I tried to do…

If you tune in tomorrow… I will tell you  what Ellen had to say  to me about all that…
Chapter 2 of  the Confessions of St. Philip….

IMG_2798.JPG on the ‘morrow…

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