Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Sunday, October 14, 2007

Rosa untitled - final

The first one is closest, color-wise. Untitled Rosa, possibly "Bloom" or "angel with poppies", 32 x 48 inches.

Rosa update

Still working on a title.

Sunday, October 07, 2007

Rosa standing untitled - In progress

Rosa standing - I don't have a title for this yet. Just begun - 32 x 48 inches. Oil on toned gesso on panel so far.
I like this pose. Looks like she's a-reachin for her sidearm.

Saturday, October 06, 2007

White Coat update

Oh, my angel is coming along nicely. There's one more thing I gotta do to her.

Wednesday, October 03, 2007

The Plateau - an artist's fable

**with insincere apologies to Edwin A Abbott**

CHAPTER 1 - Be patient, for the world is broad & wide.

This is a simple, repeatable tale. It rolls in on itself like a hoop, plotless and unremarkable.

I call our land The Plateau, dear readers, but not because we call it so - oh no. We have struggled and sweated to arrive even here, and to most, it is called Summit. This is said without irony - in fact it is said with pride. One to another, our people congratulate each other heartily on making Summit, on scaling Summit, on being Summit-bound. But I call it The Plateau, dear readers, for that is its true topography, which I believe will become clear momentarily.

First a word on the nature of our people. We are round, mostly. In fact, our primary physical attribute is our roundness, and in that we are almost homogenous. You could say that we are spheres, and this remarkable fact probably would seem to you two-legged folk, blessed with easy volition and strideful locomotion, an impossibly inconvenient situation. How to navigate, when one can only roll? How to change direction? Indeed we rely on The Plateau to give us both direction and velocity. In the process of rolling about, we are especially attuned to its subtle ridges and shallows, its pits and ramps.

As we roll, we make the most marvelous patterns - in fact I doubt someone of your legged bias could even appreciate the complex patterns we make as we whiz gracefully through the implied mazes and curlicues of our largely featureless land. At times we seem to fall into line, tracing figure eights with precision, though the forces that created such a parade would be invisible to you. At other times we spin feverishly in divots, faster and faster, marking the same path for extended time. A blur of motion - the divot-spinners often trace out their whole lives thusly: not rising, not falling, not exploring any other slope. Their devotion is almost priestly.

Surely at this moment, the conundrum of the The Plateau is as apparent as it is perplexing. How did its inhabitants arrive at this place? Though there are tales and myths of those who suddenly appeared, or were dropped from the sky (it is rumored there is a sky), or even more fancifully: rolled down from some other place, most of us actually travailed... upwards. On several sides, The Plateau is skirted by slopes of varying smoothness and inclination. Each of us began at the bottom and through sheer determination and will, drove our corporal selves up and up and up. Though gravity worked against us, we drove ourselves up. Though the falling bodies of our backsliding peers threatened our progress, we drove ourselves up. Though the very fundamental nature of our shape and leglessness worked against us, miraculously, we indeed drove ourselves up.

And so it is no wonder that most call this Summit. How improbable that any ever reached it - and how wonderful and rare it is to be here! Myself, I found an upward path that was horribly jagged and scarred, nearly impossible by the look of it, but I will tell you those crags were like hooks that held me tenderly still when I lost direction and skidded back nearly to the bottom. In short I am grateful for that journey - its apparent ugliness was its greatest asset. I too came to this land inexpressibly relieved, grateful, and proud. I was ready to join my place in the parade. I was willing - even exhilarated - to find a divot in which to endlessly spin.

I had no idea at the time that I would end up where I am now. I stared awestruck at all my varied brethren whizzing gleefully to and fro. Though assorted in size and color, they moved primarily in unison, with only the occasional rogue sphere stubbornly twirling in one place or dodging pugnaciously through established processions. Some were perfectly crystalline, some shot through with color or swirls of opacity, like the winnable marbles of your legged-world game. Most were dark and opaque, but primarily reflective, mirroring distorted images of all that was around them. And gloriously they spun! In the largest divots, great masses of them rolled all together. The largest was named the Sea, and its colony seethed and roiled just as one of your world's seas would do. In another, the plane of the sides was deeper, bowl-like, looking truly like one of those "fruit bowls" your people covet. There was even, you will scarcely believe, a huge divot dedicated solely to the glories of your own leg-bound kind.

Around and around they went, merrily, singing praises for their paths. Each went on its tried and true route, and over time it might pick up something from very ground beneath it, appearing to change, appearing perhaps in some cases, to become gilded. (Oh and it is true that some precious few spun so fast in their gilded state that they were lifted... that they actually rose from their places and flew!) I joined in the first parade I could find, and bounced happily from divot to divot. I learned all their glorious songs. I was terribly, horribly happy.

Almost immediately, I learned that our world was called Summit, and told quite forcefully that nothing lay beyond it. What happened to those, then, who flew? I asked. They were certainly deposited elsewhere on Summit, they replied. But if we came here from some other place, I asserted, then surely there must be other places yet! None exist, it was declared, and they spun happily on.

So then how did it happen, you could ask. How did I come to this dark place? And are there others? I am not entirely sure, because I am not certain where it is that I am. I do not know whether I am above or below the grade of The Plateau. I know that coming here felt something like dropping off an edge, and something like rolling up a spiral, very fast, hearing only wind and thunder.

Others are here and I can sense their tenuous, strange songs, so unlike the cheerful, unanimous chants I heard at The Plateau. Much of it is wordless. Much of it is not; there are frequent cries of "Me! Me! Me!" There are these new songs, some almost unlike music, but there is more - there is a glow. As I am here, unsure if I am spinning, rolling or moving at all, and hearing almost entirely my own voice in my ears (so strange!), I do see, or think I see, intermittent lights. Light is unexpected from my kind, and sometimes I think I am misinterpreting a particular thrumming noise. But then there it will be again, light. And light again. And again. I turn toward it and struggle to see... It is almost as if I have never had eyes.

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Teaching schedule

I'm teaching portraits on Monday nights, 7-9 pm at the Naperville Art League, and figure drawing on Tuesday nights at the Naperville Art League. The portrait class is booked, but the figure drawing can be taken a la carte. Go to for more information.

Sunday, September 09, 2007

Horns big

If you click on it, it will send you to the big version. Here is a brief explanation of what's going on:
I'm playing with the idea that an image "goes through" some kind of transformation, some kind of interruption by other images and references. Probably I've babbled on about this before, the idea to paint things as they are remembered. So, this is not just a "thing" but a thing that went through something else, some other transformative process, and became some other idea. True itself in some ways, and only an allusion to itself in others. Before, I would paint a thing and it was like a straight shot, beginning to end, to get to the representation of its form. This idea is to paint the thing, and then to paint a feeling of the thing, sort of unconsciously, on top of it.

Horns update

Well now, I feel like I accomplished something. I definitely broke the seal on it. For sure. There's all kinds of stuff in there you probably can't see - cities and tree roots and landscape. There are blocks of motion and sun. I really don't know.

Monday, September 03, 2007

Washer in Progress

Here is a work in progress, the Washer. Also known as "Nice Polish Girl."
Feeling froggy, I just go ahead and smack a drawing onto a 24 x 30, untoned canvas. Later, I will regret not toning the canvas. But I woke up from a nap and had to get this thing on its way to life. You can see all my construction lines and angles, and some of them are accurate. Contours are for sissies.
This is what some people call a wash-in stage. I don't do a great job of it - see all the white areas? I'll be sorry for that in a couple of days too. But basically at this point I've established a narrow-value version of the whole composition, and I'm feeling optimistic about it. Also, I've blocked in some dark underpainting for areas I intend to be light later, which will give them a depth I enjoy.

This stage is what I call the "making a home" stage. I'm making a place for the subject to live in. I know that sounds kooky, and I am OK with that. The idea here is to lay down a mostly correct drawing - you can see I changed the extended arm a lot - and lay down mostly correct values. This is the home/nest/bed that the subject of the painting will later be painted onto. Some parts are probably done and I won't mess with them later.

That may be my best bucket of all time. The figure is painted with thinned paint because she is in shadow, and here is where toning the canvas would have saved me a lot of time today. Instead of being able to really work on the volume and tension of the figure, I had to work on the drawing and the blocking in. But the next session will be better. I have Friday off work so I am hopeful this will be done next weekend.

Sunday, August 26, 2007

Horns update

At this point, I've lost the narrative of the painting, and it's become all style. I don't know. It's hard to say how this one will turn out, but I don't really have a clear idea in my mind what it should look like. This is a new experience for me.

Seated nude final

Here is how she ended up. 8 x 10 inches.

Sunday, August 12, 2007

Seated Nude update

Today's progress, crummy photo.

Long time no post

Sorry I haven't posted in so long. Been working commissions, various other distrations. Both of these are works in progress. The first is a 8 x 10 figure for someone who liked the seated nude, but alas had no room for her life-sizedness, and so requested I paint another but smaller.
The second is a study for the first in a series I've been planning for some time. I'll show more as it progresses. It's 27 x 36. I think the final will be 36 x 48. I want to experiment a little.

Friday, April 13, 2007

Sunday, March 04, 2007

Saturday, March 03, 2007

Bermuda Onion

Bermuda Onion, 8 x 8 inches, oil on gallery wrapped canvas.
Whenever I see this kind of dramatic lighting, I want to call it "Onion of Mystery!" Or "Lemon of Mystery!" Or somesuch. :-) But I guess this title will have to do for now.

Water Glass and Garlic

Oil on canvas, 8 x 8 inches. This is my first painting on canvas in quite a while. I'm working on a large 36 x 48 inch painting and it will be on canvas, so I thought I'd experiment with some small still lifes and get my sea legs back.

Friday, February 23, 2007


Pomegranate, 8 x 10, oil on panel. Say, if anyone knows how to scan an image without that glare you see here, please email me and let me know! The color reproduction is great on the scanner, but the glare is bad.

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Red Pear Half - SOLD

Red Pear Half, 3 x 5 inches, oil on panel. This painting is SOLD.

This little painting was a joy. It practically leapt onto the panel. It was delicious too.

Thanks to the people who have been commenting! I love to hear your comments either on the blog or by email.

Monday, February 19, 2007

Minneola - SOLD

Minneola, 3 x 5 inches, oil on panel. This painting is SOLD.

Back to fruit, which sit obediently still. Oranges are so beautiful. Their colors are ridiculously complex, with very little actual orange in them. On the color wheel, orange has a warm color on either side, so orange cannot be cooled, I suppose, only shifted in chroma (intensity). On my palette, the paints for this orange range from red-brown to dull chartreuse, to flesh, to beige, and one low chroma orange. Laid side by side, they convey orange, but out of context they don't even hint at it. There's a metaphor in there.

Sunday, February 18, 2007

White Roses in a Juice Glass

White Roses in a Juice Glass, 8 x 10 inches, oil on panel. Email me to discuss purchasing this painting.

White roses are far more stationery than the tulips, we're all happy to find out. Today was a wonderful day. We took the kids to the movies ("Bridge to Terabithia." We all cried. How did I forget what that book was about?). I bought some roses, minneola oranges, and red pears. One day, when my children write their memoirs about their rotten childhoods, they'll talk about how they weren't allowed to eat the fruit until mom painted it. I'm a tyrant. What can I say.

I hope you're all enjoying these paintings. Please go ahead and comment. I'm considering putting some of these on eBay I don't know, what do you think?

Saturday, February 17, 2007

White Tulips - SOLD

White Tulips, 8 x 10 inches, oil on panel.
All flowers move, I suppose. Of course they do. I shouldn't have been surprised. I shouldn't have been talking to them. Some flowers I bet move less. I bet roses are practically still.
Also I apologize for the glare on the tip of the upper flower. It's a very shiny painting.

Sunday, February 11, 2007

Michelle - charcoal on toned paper

9 x 12 inches, charcoal, chalk, and watercolor on Bristol paper. Contact me if you would like to purchase this painting.

Saturday, February 10, 2007

Michelle - Charcoal

9 x 12 inches, charcoal on Bristol paper. Contact me if you would like to purchase this drawing.

Thursday, January 25, 2007


Michelle, 8 x 10 inches, oil on panel. Click here to purchase this study for $250.

It's been a while since I posted anything! With the holidays now gone and some larger commissions well underway, I've got some time to post smaller works. I think I'll post some works in progress too - please post a comment if you think that would be interesting.