Thursday, December 31, 2015

Tops of 2015

So the year quickly coming to an end was fruitful personally and creatively bringing opportunity into view as well as a rewarding sense of accomplishment.

I'm not much of a planner and setting goals doesn't come easily.  My preference is, it seems, to glide in a way, making corrections along the road as the evidence piles up or obstacles or routes sometimes appear seemingly at random.  Well, some would say that's no way to live and I get that. On an intellectual level I subscribe to objective plan-making but after all, in the binary tension of creativity/emotion/art vs. the plain and simple requirements for sustaining life and property, well there are battles lost and won.

On balance I think I engaged well with those competing claims for attention in 2015.   Having held on to life and shelter and all that they require as well as grow my art skill in ways which I find satisfying and encouraging, I think this year has been wonderful!

Growing existing and new relationships brings such dividends!  2015 provided surprising opportunities for knowing others and self and for that I am the most grateful.  Is it possible that growing older expands the possibilities for growth, compromise, negotiation and appreciation?  I'm kinda thinkin' so.

Along those lines I encountered a quote of Jack Kerouac's just the other day that seems to sum up my cumulative insights into relationships for 2015:

This might be my favorite work of 2015:

Ink on paper

Found new music in 2015 too!  Last post for the year so title fits really well!

More art/more posts in 2016!

Wednesday, December 30, 2015

Thursday, December 24, 2015


Charcoal and conte on paper
24" x 18"
This is edgy and maybe a bit hard. It might be a good drawing of me on the inside but as I look at it I'd like to hope that isn't the case.  One thing I think I know, with as much certainty as might be possible, is that my concentration on the actual mark-making was pretty variable!  I think I sort of suspended some amount of intention as I moved ahead with it.  Maybe 45 minutes to an hour of looking, talking, pushing the charcoal and eraser.  Really like it!!!!!!!

Wednesday, December 23, 2015

and moving along...........

I look at this piece and wonder sometimes just how much paint I can add or rather how much paint I must add until it makes sense to me?

Friday, December 18, 2015

Compare with 12/17

I made some revisions to this piece today and will set it aside for a time.  I actually prefer the earlier result.  It must be obvious to anyone checking this site out that I've been piling paint on this canvas for months!!!!!  To what end we'll see, huh?

Thursday, December 17, 2015

Detail/work in progress/oil portrait-figure

There wasn't a particular consciousness to mimic the work of another as I worked this through today but I do see a connection to historical work.  I'm not troubled by it necessarily but wonder if this means I shouldn't look at the work of others if I want to make an original piece?  Comments?

Tuesday, December 15, 2015

Oil sketch detail

Detail/oil on canvas
11" x 9"
Loose, quick (couple hours), fun.

Monday, December 14, 2015

Here's to Russia!!

Work in progree
"Pink Proletariat"
220 page views from Russia last week!  Thank you citizen art lovers!  The Soviet poster-style direction this seems to be heading was entirely unplanned but I can't pull myself from it.  I hope it doesn't offend!!

Monday, December 7, 2015

Thursday, November 26, 2015


This work-in-progress really challenges what limited skills I possess and I hope, when finished, will reward a viewer (or many?) who encounter her.  Apart from the beauty of the subject, the colors, placement and crude technique of mark-making there is (as I see it) the unfolding struggle I am having to not make a story about flesh and beauty but more about human strength with vulnerability, about the space which separates us being as well the channel that joins us, our humanity everywhere so obvious yet obscured and displaced in today's world.  I get that the pose looks classic in a sense and dates perhaps to an earlier artistic period but although that might make this image seem a dusty relic of sorts I see it as a form of a link (not digital!) to all we've learned in our human struggles to survive and grow in the face of the voids around us.
I don't know if the artist should critique the work or endeavor to plumb the source of inspiration or the intention of the piece.  The work itself reveals the maker in spite of any intention.  So what I am making here is saying me, myself but as in life I think I guard my interior and at the same time have a willingness to present it in a painting as an ambiguous statement for others to sort out.
Not a trick!  Just the viewers burden and license.

Sunday, November 22, 2015

Day 44 + look inside paint shop

So, I'm feeling a sense that this piece is done and rather than making any significant additions I'll only pick out some spots to amplify.  When I say "amplify" I mean I'll look to place some darks here and there for contrast and therefore depth.  I was hoping to hang it in my living room at least for a time.

What do I see here?  Some Maxfield Parrish, some movement/motion, an ungrounded perspective, something soft and lush but mostly a struggle for balance and security in space, a land with a bit of disorientation.  I wonder if the early and subsequently regarded impressionist painters sensed some upheaval in their personal worlds or the broader community when they developed their work?  Were they responding with their painterly skills to something in addition to light?  In my case I can't really identify the deep source or inspiration for this piece, if there was such a thing, but it does strike me that the space we inhabit is being altered all the time and adaptation, action or rebellion flow from change.  So, it's a philosophical piece!  Beautiful, too, I hope!

That's me at work.  Camera mounted on a tripod and the timer set.

Friday, November 6, 2015

Day 28

My work has been exciting and revealing as I move ahead with this.   I've noticed that what I feel is successful about the effort often flows from a flash of inspiration; much less calculation and much more about following the direction offered from the act of applying the paint.

Sap green, burnt sienna, cadmium yellow, titanium white, phthalo blue are in the pallet.

Friday, October 30, 2015

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Moving ahead with detail

Working on this every day.  Another view tomorrow, I hope.

Saturday, October 24, 2015

Favorite from the past

Charcoal on paper
18"x 24"
Can't actually recall when I did this.  2010 maybe.  Remains a favorite!

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

In progress

Oil on canvas/40" x 40"
In Progress
I'm working this through with some obvious line work punctuated (or so I'm thinking) with jabbing, rhythmical and swirling brush strokes.  The brushing is almost as much fun as color placement.

The natural beauty in this area really inspires creativity and offers the opportunity to discover interesting and new ways of looking, seeing and painting.

Saturday, October 3, 2015

This is it!

Detail/oil on board
I've lost count of the layers of paint and adjustments to line and color on this.  What difference?? I think she is a completed image now and the process was so wonderful I'm moving to the next thing asap.

Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Next step....

I keep making changes/revisions to this searching for the right color combinations, proportions and balance.  The photo doesn't do it justice.  I'll try to photograph it in natural light and see if that helps.

Sunday, September 20, 2015

"Don't fall for it!"

My art professor friend, who shows his work all over (if he feels like it) told me the other day (while we visited in his cavernous studio surrounded by 12' high canvasses) that he'd gradually pulled away from the need to always like his finished work.  His comment surprised me.  He added however that he thought it was much more important to continue working, pushing ahead.  Maybe he was saying that affection for any particular piece, if it resulted in a lingering pause to enjoy the success of his efforts, was too much of an interruption to be bothered with.  Or, maybe he meant that he wasn't going to judge any longer, just keep on working and leave "appreciation" for others. Either way, I like the thought.  Not sure that degree of objectivity will be incorporated in my practice but his comment has stuck with me and I'm thinking I'm going to try to be less judgmental as I move ahead. If it makes for loose work, that is......see, I won't be objective at all!!!

I manipulated these images in Picassa.  The bottom one is pretty much what the piece looks like in its current iteration. Oil on board.

Friday, September 18, 2015


I've given myself permission to continue with this work after having "settled" it more than once. We'll see where I end up once again..............

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Revisions/work-in-progress/oil figure

I've spent many months fussing with colors and various brush and knife techniques on this piece.  It's beginning to make clear statements to me about how it should be resolved and I'm excited to bring it to a conclusion.

Oil on canvas/30" x 18"/in progress

Detail/oil on canvas

Thursday, September 10, 2015

Portrait in progress

You might like to compare this image to the one posted on August 21st and images posted prior to that date.  Talk about things evolving.

Oil on board

Monday, September 7, 2015

Monday, August 31, 2015


I'm thinking this is done......I'll give it a couple of days.

Friday, August 21, 2015

Portrait(s) progress/figure/landscape/Greenfield Gallery

Detail/oil on board/in progress

Pastel on paper/24" x 30"
In progress/oil on canvas/30" x 24"

Ink on paper/14"x 11"

Studio work continues with the occasional outdoor scouting for ideas expanding the inspiration. Actually, I hope to get up to the Green River (next week) and into what I jokingly tell myself is the "deep woods" for some drawing and maybe a few photos and and some watercolors, too.

The Greenfield community welcomed The Greenfield Gallery to Main Street earlier this month and I was delighted when asked if some work could be shown as part of the inaugural exhibit. Thanks to Kate and Rachael for the opportunity and for organizing a wonderful exhibit. Their drive, energy and ideas are fully on display in the newly purposed space and I hope they have continued success.