Contemporary Americana pencil art
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The Family History Files of Dalton Ray Phillips







I don't claim to be an artist but I do like to draw. I do a lot of it now that I am retired. I am pretty much home bound and drawing is relaxing for me. I do all of my drawing with a mechanical pencil loaded with 2B leads. PLAIN AND SIMPLE - THAT IS MY WAY. 

At last count, I had almost 400 sketches stashed away in my digital achieves. Some good, some bad, most about average

- all done by me. I typically turn out 2 or 3 new sketches every day. 

I will refresh this page often with new drawings.


If you have comments, suggestions or criticism just send me an email.

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Walter Lee Phillips: My Dad, as he looked in 1969. I depict him as a friendly man with a big broad smile, wearing an old fashioned Fedora style hat. That was the way he presented himself in public. He had a sad life, in many ways, but I never heard him complain about any of it. Born in 1896, he lived through two world wars and several smaller wars. He survived the Great Depression. He worked hard all of his life, for low pay. He was not a whiner or complainer. He always talked about the good times and simply ignored the bad ones. There was a deeper and more serious side to my father that I never really got to know. I don't think anyone did.  
Good friends.  
Granny Mac:  Granny Mac was the grandmother of two kids I ran around with as a small boy. She lived at their house. I went there almost day. Granny would sit on the porch by the front door to their house in her old home made rocking chair. If we got close enough to her, she raised her cane up and swatted us with it. She had a good swing for an old woman. We learned to stay out of her range and we ran as fast as we could if we had to go through that door. Granny was about the age I am now. She was crippled with arthritis  and could barely walk. We knew we would get in big trouble if we disrespected her in any way  so we took it all in stride. It was like a game for her. She usually did not hit us with the cane but she went through all of the motions and it had our attention.  
Taking Granddad for a walk.  
I believe we are going too far with this "sensitivity business". It is turning into a form of censorship. I do not see that as a good thing - EVER.  I think it is getting out of control. I believe in free expression - ALWAYS.  
Mr. Taggart's Snow Cone Stand. From my boyhood, a long, long time ago. It was a favorite hangout for us kids during the summer months. We all loved that little Snow Cone Stand. Every April, Mr. Taggart would work on it. He would clean it up and do any repairs that were needed. He also painted it a bright color. Every year it was a different color. We would help him do all the work. We were very proud of it. We all thought of it as OUR SNOW CONE STAND. We kids ran around bare footed all summer. Once we got the bottoms of our feet toughened up, we could walk on the scalding hot pavement with little discomfort. We had to keep moving and could not stand in one spot for long. We only wore shoes in the summer when we went to Church.  
Is this the next step? If we don't pay attention to our National Security, Homeland Security, domestic Law Enforcement and Immigration Laws we could very well wake up to find to find ourselves in this situation. UNDER THE CONTROL OF FOREIGN INVADERS WHO HATE US.


After the Civil War ended, white southerners still talked down to the Negroes  when they had a chance. Here, a white southerner questions a black sharecropper's wife.  
The lame horse. A blacksmith checks over the leg of a badly limping horse, as the boy who rides the horse watches nervously.


Reading by the light from a coal oil lamp, circa 1890. What progress we have made in a little over 100 years!  
A railroad train conductor checks his watch. Keeping things on schedule was very important - especially for the railroads.  


Old friends reunited. I envision a cancer patient who has been away in hospital for some time. He gets to go home and  is reunited with his horse.


Bigfoot says hi! Our hunter is more concerned about admiring his new shotgun than he is with paying attention to his surroundings. He has no idea that he is being stalked by an amiable looking Bigfoot Monster.  
CAUGHT BY SURPRISECAUGHT BY SURPRISE. The man sights the buck about the same time the buck sees him.  
MAMA COOKING BREAKFASTMAMA COOKING BREAKFAST. Being country folks, breakfast was the most important meal of the day.  I witnessed this sight almost every morning.  
OFF TO PAINT THE BARNOFF TO PAINT THE BARN. Pail of paint and brush in hand and trusty dog at his side, a boy sets out to go to work.  
THE TWISTERTHE TWISTER. This is not an uncommon sight on the prairie.  

I grew up in poor circumstances. Most of the people I knew subsisted on a simple diet. Biscuits and gravy and beans and cornbread were at the top of the list.

HORSE PLAYBoy on horseback. Boys will be boys.


This depicts a hobo making soup over an open fire back in the days of the Great Depression. It could very well be a homeless person today. The soup was made from whatever thay had and everyone made a contribution, if they had anything to contribute.  
Despite the hard times, the men in the hobo jungles banded together to help each other every way they could. In general, they were a jovial and happy go lucky bunch and always had something to laugh about.  
DANIEL BOONE HUNTINGA frontiersman out hunting


THE SLAVE AUCTIONA white planter bids on a black slave on the block at a slave auction.  
It could happen. The mushroom cloud from a nuclear explosion boils up from behind a nearby mountain range. The highway sign reads LOS ANGELES 48 MI. The lady clasps a toddler in her arms and she has a dazed look on her face. You can form your own conclusions.  
Too much information.


The face of despair and hope. Dedicated to the people from the Great Depression period and their descendants. Many of them were poor people who had nothing. My father and mother were among them. They worked hard for a roof over their heads, basic groceries and the bare essentials. They got a little cash occasionally but it was not regular wages. Dad ran the hands on a cattle ranch and Mom did the cooking for all of them. They worked for their keep. They considered themselves to be very lucky. They had a job, they had shelter, they had food. Many of their friends were not as fortunate and they helped them when they could. So it was - all across America. The people made do with very little and they survived it. Despite the hard times, they knew things would get better and they never gave up hope. There are not many of them left but most of us have heard stories about it.  


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