A Father's Legacy





A Father's Legacy

The Artist

Artwork by Ernest D. Martin
(Click on small thumbnail Picture to see the larger view.)

1973 Opaque

I painted this opaque in 1973 and gave it to a lady that worked with me at the Southwest Pharmacy in Ardmore. Today I called her and asked if I could borrow it to scan a picture from it. She graciously loaned it to me, and of course I will return it to her.

This is the first time I have seen the original in 27 years. It's size is only 5"x7" and is well preserved because she has had it properly framed and cared for.

Opaque paintings are susceptible to smear if contacted by water. This feature is not unlike a photograph that is printed by your computer printer. An opaque water color can be protected if framed behind glass. I usually laminate a print that I have printed with my computer printer. Also I have decoupaged some opaques and that works very well. Oil paintings seem to be very durable and can lasts for centuries, yet most oil paintings are varnished to keep their color fresh.

sketch #1

Sketch #2

Artistic Doodlers -- I have a series of sketches that my newspaper friend came across and put into a composite arrangement & printed it in the Ardmoreite. This is what he wrote in 1973....:

"Senator is Artistic Doodler" - Reporters Notebook, by Mac McGalliard "Most of the doodlers I have noticed produce only patterns of lines and spaces, or geometric designs, or meaningless blobs of marks on paper, but not our State Senator Ernest Martin. He is an artistic doodler as you can see by the drawings reproduced with the Notebook today. In his office at the capitol, or at his desk on floor of Senate, he makes sketches of people, scenes, objects, or whatever comes to mind while he listens to speeches, talks on the phone or just sits and thinks. There are lots of doodlers among the Senators and Representatives, but as far as I can find out Ernest is the only truly artistic one. And there is a reason for it. Ernest is a trained artist along with being a pharmacist and state senator. I was so impressed with his doodle-sketches I asked for a sample of them for my collection."

1976 Walton Mtn.

1976 Walton's Mtn. -- The "Bowl of Hygeia" honor was bestowed upon me at an annual awards dinner given by The Oklahoma Pharmaceutical Association in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. June, 1976.

An all expenses paid trip was also provided, which included a visit to Richmond, Virginia where we visited the "Robins Laboratories." We were given an arranged trip to Williamsburg, Virginia to enjoy a tour of the preserved & restored historical city.

This gave us an insight into the very early days of the continental congress and where the seed of democracy seemed to be in its most formative days. It was here at "Old Church" where we enjoyed an reenactment of Patrick Henry's famous speech where he charged "Give me liberty or give me death"

As we returned toward home Nita wanted to locate the home place of Earl Hamner, Jr. who was the author of the story that inspired the Television series entitle "Walton's Mountain" She was determined to locate the actual home place of the author of that show.

By acquiring a phone book at Charlottesville, Virginia she called just about everybody in the phone book and eventually located a person that was related to the Hamner family whom very graciously gave information to Nita that allowed us to actually locate the home place.

We drove down through the beautiful wooded area that was blessed with many small clear streams of water. I remember a creek that had a sign announcing that this was "Rockfish" creek (familiar name of a creek in the show).

Finally we came to the little community where the home was located. Sure enough the Hamner home was there. Although it had a recently installed fence around the yard there was no such barricade that would turn Nita back. She walked to the door and was welcomed by an elderly lady that immediately invited us into her home. (I couldn't believe this was happening). She offered us cookies & coffee and visited with us at length.

Mrs. Hamner even suggested that she would love to take us to the little cemetery where her family members were buried. The little cemetery was not far from her house but she welcomed a ride in our car to the site.

My dear Nita loved people and I think they felt it, because she seemed to be accepted, even by total strangers. Mrs. Hamner told us there had been a soap stone quarry close by, and gave me a flat piece that was totally gray in color and was about 6 x 3 x 1 inches in dimension. This visit was a highlight of the trip for Nita and later she had me to paint a picture on the rock that depicted the beautiful countryside.

1942 scratchboard -- The Scratchboard is unique because it uses a process entirely different from the usual technique of doing a picture. This scratchboard was done in early 1942 before I enlisted in military service. The method of doing it is simple, but involves using two coats of india ink on a specially prepared paper board. The drawing is done on a separate paper and then transferred to the black surface with a white material. A stylus is then used to scratch out the black india ink to create the final drawing. (actually I used a small pocket knife instead of a stylus) This is the only scratchboard I have ever attempted.
Opaque - 1942

1942 Opaque -- The painting entitled "opaque" is done by using the same pallet (colors) as you use with an oil painting except they are actually water soluble. The shades of color are created by mixing the colors exactly as you would with oil paint but the result is not a true water color painting because you use a certain amount of white show card paint with the color to give it an opaque texture. A true water color painting differs because it is done on stretched water color paper and is literally washed onto the paper surface. When a lighter effect is desired you carefully let the paper show through. The opaque painting can be painted on any type of surface and this particular opaque was painted on a manila folder.

Farm Nov.
The Farm -- The fall scene was done with a pallet knife & no brush at all.. The tree that is in the "farm" picture can also be faintly detected in the left hand corner of the pasture painting. This were attempted when I was still just beginning. Later I developed a more signature style in my pursuit of illustration painting.
Pature painting
The Pasture -- The "The Farm" & "The Pasture" were done on site and you may see the Criner hills over in the extreme left hand corner of the one labeled "Pasture" [ we are about 7 miles west of Ardmore ]
Snow Nov.
The Nov. Snow & Red Bird -- Nita loved the Red Birds (Cardinal) and I made a special effort to buy their favorite food which is the sun flower seed. In 1976, I painted a little snow scene out in our east yard for her, and after I finished it she insisted that I put a Red Bird in it. I argued that there was no Red Bird present at the time I painted it, but guess what, I had to add one anyway.

1944 Dirt Road
1944 painting

Aug, 2000, same dirt road
Photo Aug. 2000, Dirt Road

1944, August - Dirt Road -- The painting I did one August evening in 1944. The photograph below the painting is a comparison of the painting of the same site, but with some 50 plus years apart. . I want to mention that I was home on a pass and drove out north of Ardmore in my Dad's old 1939 Plymouth. I set the canvas board against the steering wheel - placed the palette in the seat beside me and made the painting in about 30 minutes. During that time I think one car came by.

Dirt Roads, author unknown: "What's mainly wrong with society today is that too many Dirt roads have been paved. There s not a problem in America today, crime, drugs, education, divorce, delinquency that wouldn t be remedied, if we just had more Dirt Roads, because Dirt Roads give character.

People who live at the end of Dirt Roads learn early on that life is a bumpy ride. That it can jar you right down to your teeth sometimes, but it s worth it, if at the end is home, a loving spouse, happy kids and a dog.

We wouldn't have near the trouble with our educational system if our kids got their exercise walking a 'Dirt Road' with other kids, from whom they learn how to get along. There was less crime in our streets before they were paved. Criminals didn't walk two dusty miles to rob or rape, if they knew they'd be welcomed by 5 barking dogs and a double barrel shotgun. There were no drive by shootings. Our values were better when our roads were worse! People did not worship their cars more than their kids, and motorists were more courteous. They didn't tailgate by riding the bumper or choke you with dust and bust your windshield with rocks.

Dirt roads taught patience. Dirt Roads were enviromentmentally friendly, you didn't hop in your car for a quart of milk you walked to the barn for your milk. For your mail, you walked to the mail box. What if it rained and the Dirt Road got washed out?

That was the best part, then you stayed home and had some family time, roasted marshmallows and popped popcorn and pony road on Daddy's shoulders and learned how to make prettier quilts than anybody.

At the end of Dirt Roads, you soon learned that bad words tasted like soap. Most paved roads led to trouble. Dirt Roads more likely lead to a fishing creek or a swimming hole. At the end of a Dirt Road the only time we locked our car was in August, because if we didn't some neighbor would fill it with too much zucchini. At the end of a Dirt Road, there was always extra springtime income, from when city dudes would get stuck, you'd have to hitch up a team and pull them out. Usually... you got a dollar. Always you got a new friend & at the end of a Dirt Road."

1945 - WWII Cliser

1945 - WWII Sgt. Melvin Cliser --

Old Friends United After 56 Years.

The charcoal painting story should now say, after 56 years, finally, contact has been made!

Old WWII friends are once again united through the help of some special people out there.

Gary Cliser is a nephew of of Melvin Cliser contacted Ernest and gave him Melvin's phone number and address. Melvin Cliser and Ernest Martin have finally made contact after 56 years!

Thanks to Everyone who helped in the search and connected these old WWII buddies after all these years.

It All began with... A charcoal drawing done 55 years ago of Sgt. Melvin Cliser. Cliser and I became friends when stationed at Lowery Field, Colorado. We were both Sergeants and explored a large part of Colorado while there. Although Mel and I were in different squadrons we shipped out at the same time with the destination being Keesler Field, Mississippi. Soon we explored much of the Mississippi coast and the inland. WWII was over in August 1945 and it was about January, 1946 that Melvin was scheduled to be discharged. I went to the Biloxi Depot and watched as he waved "good bye" from the platform of the last car on the train. I never saw or heard from Melvin Cliser again. After 55 years, this is all I have, except a memory.


The Old Man

The Old Man -- A few years after coming home from Chicago I was going through a stack of painting studies that I had done while a student at American Academy of Art in Chicago. Many of the paintings were of nudes but there were others also. I was evaluating them and decided that I would just destroy them all by burning them.

I had a stack of wadded up paintings that were soon to be burned when my brother, Edgar, happened on the scene. He inquired as to what I was doing and quickly dug one out of the stack and asked if he could have it. I gave him the painting and later discovered that he had had it framed & mounted in his living room.

Later he took it with him when he was sent to Iran to help explore the Persian Gulf region for oil. As you know, a time came when the county of Iran was falling apart, so he was returned to the US with his family. Later he was sent back to Iran but was convinced that he should not take any valuables with him so he therefore left the original with us for safe keeping.

Nita mounted it on our wall where it stayed for several years, but when Edgar was hurriedly evacuated from Iran at the time of the fall of the Shaw of Iran he asked for the return of his painting. Since we had become accustomed to having the "old man" in our living room, we decided we would have it reproduced by a professional photographer and take the place of where the original once hung.

Some years later, Edgar & his family were located in Houston and soon afterwards he retired and built another home on his 60 acres near Ardmore. My brother, Edgar, passed away in Sept. 1985. His widow now lives near San Antonia with their daughter. I presume they still have the original painting of the "old man" I loved the "old man" simply because it meant so much to my brother. It's size is 19.5 x 24."