Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Painting the Sun

Every day, in front of an easel, paintbrush in hand, the artist stands before his patient model and paints a picture.

He paints a castle with a bell tower and doors upstairs and down. The bell sounds far off yet the house vibrates like crazy!
Another day, battling traditional modes of pictorial perspective, a weary bird finally finds a rocky resting place.
On a tower built from discarded canvases, the artist inevitably gets closer to the true subject.

Monday, April 11, 2016

To the Moon!

The bright light of the full moon creates deep black shadows
The waterfall flows all day and all night
Sparkling, splashing, silver scales flashing
Let's go all the way!

Fish going to the Moon
mixed media

Saturday, March 26, 2016


Clouds slide left and right and can't make up their minds.
A black bird travels in one direction: forward.
The elusive goal of solitude; it's an addiction for some.
A white noise metronome lulls the gods to sleep. The mischievous Universe expresses itself.

This randomness adds up to the meeting of two individual birds in the vastness of their individual lives

Tuesday, March 8, 2016

Noah's Ark?

Every day the news is filled with heartbreaking stories about people making arduous journeys into the unknown. They are leaving a bad situation and hoping to find something better. It may not be much better but perhaps, their children will benefit.
I am part of the broad American middle class. I live in a place and time where journeys like this are unthinkable. I am thankful for the comfort and stability I have luckily inherited. Yet… ? The imbalance and unfairness of Life befuddles me and makes me ashamed of my comfortable and predictable situation. This contradiction finds its way into my pictures (another privilege!) where some story is leaking out:
  1. two birds on a colorful container ship out on the high seas. They wonder what is inside the steel containers.
  2. What if  they were filled with other creatures? Animals who have perhaps lost their freedom and are being sold into servitude or the circus.
  3. Or could it be a modern Noah's Ark full of hope for resettlement and the future in a new Promised Land.
  4. Without hope, the journey is a despair filled Middle Passage. With hope, it's a desperate race against time to find that land that barrel bombs cannot reach. How nice!
  5. Which story will emerge from my mind? I do not know yet.

Two birds on a Container Ship
possible cargo: animal prisoners or Noah's Ark?

Saturday, February 27, 2016

Art & Illustration Thoughts

I started drawing Crystal Cities in 2009 and always come back to the series when I'm not certain what to paint (which is almost always the case). I wouldn't have it any other way.

Before I seriously set out on my peculiar artistic path, I always sketched my ideas out first. Then I would build a stretcher and staple my canvas on it. The sketch would be transferred to the primed canvas and then I would finally get my brushes dirty.

I must acknowledge Caroline Gerardo, a fellow student several lifetimes ago in Claremont, California who made it abundantly clear to me that all that premeditation wasn't necessary. The spirit needn't be mediated and if one actually paid attention, it resisted being tamed --if we would but listen. I think I got the message. I hope I did.

It's odd then that I gravitated to illustration as a profession (magazine, children's books, newspapers, etc.) which is so dependent on the sketch. It takes many sketches to develop a concept and help the client understand what they want. I don't begrudge the sketch, the client, or illustration. They are essential and make sense, but as an artist when I require the most direct path between my thoughts and the support that must contain them, there can be no separation between the sketch and the final work.
Thanks to all my teachers!

colored pencil, tusche, collage
paint stick, watercolor, pencil, chalk
ink, watercolor, crayon resist
ink, collage, acrylic, watercolor
paint stick, ink, acrylic


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