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Someone You Should Know 50 | www.cedmag.com | Construction Equipment Distribution | July 2014 120 feet tall to as small as 11 by 14. "Size depends on available wall space and the impact the client wants," Burns said. "I usually work at about 32 by 24 or 30 by 40 inches." It's common for Burns to invest 40 hours in one painting. Larger images, of course, require more time. "I spent more than 200 hours on the Quarry Cats painting," Burns said. "It took that much time to capture the essence of the landscape, equipment and the exquisite sunrise on the horizon. It's also a very large painting, 14 feet by 5 feet." At the University of California at Santa Cruz, Burns studied art with Mary Holmes and Jack Zajak. "The studies emphasized painting and printmaking," Burns said. "That strong foundational training helps me meet the challenge of depicting the symmetry and sheer power of the astounding construction machines in my paintings." Currently, Burns' art portfolio includes more than 300 paintings, which are found in office installations across the United States, Germany, Finland, Japan, France and China. "I'm honored to have paintings in some of the most prestigious contractors, insur- ance companies and law firms in the world," he added. All in a Day's Work Burns was born in Hollywood, Kan., and grew up in north- ern California. He and his family now live on the island of Kauai in the Hawaiian Islands. Most days, he starts working on his projects by 5 a.m., breaking at 7 to take his children to school. "From there I work again until about 1. If the surf is good, I surf for a couple of hours, then work again until about 6," he said. "Sometimes, I work later after everybody goes to bed. That's when the house is quiet. With eight children, seven of them living at home, quiet time is a rare opportunity I cherish." It's not unusual for responses to his work to include the phrase, "Love it!" "I've done complete in-house art installations for large corporations, with 30 original commissioned paintings," Burns said. "I've also done pieces for individuals. I once did a painting for the very loving wife of a guy that owned a Midwest demolition company. She was so excited to present her gift to her husband at Christmas. She even printed Christmas cards with the piece on it to send to existing and potential clients. Pretty smart lady. You can imagine how rewarding it is to see that kind of response after hours of crafting what you hope will be pleasing to your patron." Each of his paintings is born out of Burns' heart, soul and 25 years of art experience. However, one piece stands out in his mind. "I created a painting for Ghilotti Construction in Santa Rosa," he remembers. "It was their work on the new San Francisco 49ers stadium, which proudly hangs in the corporate offices of the team. A large print of the painting hangs in the Ghilotti headquarters." None of Burns' patrons has ever been anything besides ecstatic about his creations. From time to time he does encounter someone who has developed a challenging concept. "All my work comes ready to hang," he said. "I guaran- tee every painting 100 percent. I have no problem standing behind every commissioned piece, no questions asked. ("Artist Captures the Drama, Strength of Construction on Canvas" continued from page 45) An 8-foot by 3-foot canvas titled "Night Push" hangs at Appian Engineering – CEO Jack Estill stands proudly beside the painting.