The #1 on the bottom right next to my signature shows this is my very first painting.
As a kid growing up, art was not something I knew how to appreciate nor learned to enjoy. Sure, I’ve been to my fair share of art galleries and seen the original works of Rembrandt and Picasso, but the purpose of man-made art escaped me. Don’t get me wrong, I love a gorgeous, tinted sunset and all the beauty of nature. However, the emotional force returned to me by an art object that I observed did not register with me.
Roll forward the years and now that I’m past the half century mark, I’ve begun to cultivate the patience to enjoy a piece of art and “experience” the emotion that the artist was trying to convey. I’ve come to appreciate the contemplation of beauty in the colors, textures, and lines that looks harmonious and free, emanating from the pure intention of the artist and therefore beautiful.
Once of my bucket list items in life is to create one piece of artwork before I kick the bucket. Over the long July 4th holiday in 2015, I had an opportunity to do so. I don’t have art training, but I wanted to create a piece that would be beautiful and meaningful to me as I have had an amazing barbecue journey the past 8 years.
This piece is simply titled “Two Weber Smokey Mountains”
Here were my thoughts:
The two represent my two competition smokers which I started with in 2008. The to also represent my two children Amy and Brian. They also remind me of my fiancé Donna Fong of Butchers Daughter and me as a barbecue couple.
The red handles pay homage to my love for my fiancé as well as the respect for the blood of all the animals who have died over the years for my eating pleasure.
The brown “sky” is symbolic of the color of the barbecue meats I’ve cooked over the years.
If you look carefully, you’ll see the hidden numbers. Look for number “80” on the left of the Left WSM and “27” on the Right WSM. Those are the number of first place awards and Grand Championships I’ve won with my WSMs.
The blue-green foreground represents the ocean and my humble beginnings of being a Jungle Boy from the tropical island of Penang in Malaysia. It’s also the Smurf color which I ended damaging my assistant Peter Graves’ WSM in a contest in Arizona. It was a windy cook so I wrapped my blue blanket around the WSM he lent me and the blue blanket melted on his WSM. Yikes!