Wednesday, September 11, 2013

The Lord is Good to Me

"Johnny Appleseed"  Illustrated by Joshua S. Brunet © 2013
I recently finished a new painting for self-promotion of a favorite American hero of mine, Johnny Appleseed. As a Michigander, my family used to pick apples every August/September. It was one of the best parts of growing up. And as the season turned cold, we would visit our local cider mill for the best cider and donuts I've ever tasted. I've wanted to paint the legendary apple hero for a long time... and now here he is.

Here are the lyrics from Walt Disney's Johnny Appleseed song, from the Melody Time short which was released on May 27, 1948. Another favorite childhood memory, as well as a continuing influence.

“The Lord is good to me, and so I thank the Lord.
For giving me the things I need, the sun, and rain, and an apple seed.
Yes He’s been good to me.

I owe the Lord so much, for everything I see.
I’m certain if it weren’t for him there’d be no apples on this limb.
He’s been good to me.

Oh here am I, ‘neath the blue, blue sky, a-doin’ as I please.
Singing with my feathered friends; hummin’ with the bees.
I wake up every day, as happy as can be.
Because I know that with his care, my apple trees they will still be there.
O the Lord is good to me.”

Disney's Melody Time, released May 27, 1948

I painted him the same dimensions as my Casey Jones illustrations. Maybe one day I'll develop an entire series of American heroes of the frontier... and in fact, I probably will.