Thursday, December 28, 2006

Flowered Mermaid


Back to the Mermaids, I think I have six more to go! This one is another 5x7

I've spent several days now playing around with the big piece. I do the background in acrylic...mostly primer. It enables me to make changes quickly in color and composition. I'm now satisfied with the comp. There are small dark mussel shells in the setup that will be added later...maybe. It's very exhilerating working large again....36x48". Fun also to play with the paint in a free abstract way. This style of "Scatter Painting" satisfies my craving for abstract work as well as intense realism.

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Sunday, December 17, 2006

The strange paths of inspiration

I haven't been doing any daily work since the last mermaid, but things have been brewing. I had the opening of my first one man exhibit Friday evening. I'm sorry I didn't get any decent pictures to is one with my friend Louise standing in front of the Dots Painting. Most of the Food paintings can be seen on my website.

What I really wanted to write about is how a conversation with a guest at the reception sparked an image that became overwhelmingly strong in my the point where I've compulsivley started a rather large painting during a very inopportune time. In my scatter painting series I have often painted loosely rendered rectangles as a background for the objects I depict. I never gave this much thought except that perhaps it was a throwback to some of the abstract work I used to enjoy painting many years ago...linear, rectangular shapes. I liked the idea of combining a little painterly abstractness with the realism. Anyway to get to my point, I stopped doing these backgrounds last year. The Ala Prima Cheese Curls was the last. I thought for sure I would only be doing "real" backgrounds from here on in...and yet. And yet this woman was questioning me intensly about my style of work and she mentioned that the rectangles reminded her of the faded ( or unfaded as the case may be!) spots left on wallpaper after a long hanging painting has been removed. I couldn't get the thought out of my mind. Suddenly all those backgrounds took on a new meaning, one I had been thinking about, but not really conciously. I realized I wasn't through with them after all. These musings then awoke an image in my mind....mostly about color. Several ideas I had been thinking about on and off suddenly crystalized. Wow. I had to start the painting. I wanted to write down the process while it's fresh in my mind. If I bored you all sorry. This stuff can be quite emotional for me...which is why I paint I suppose. Here is the started painting. 36x48. There will be plenty of change, and maybe it wiill never become the image I have in my mind ( they rarely do) but at least I got something down....well there is a presketch as well, but I'm not showing that. I know I will not have much time to paint over the next 10 days, but I was afraid if I didn't begin right away I would lose the image...something that has happened too many times in the past.

Tuesday, December 12, 2006



7x5 oil/panel

Monday, December 11, 2006

Starburst !!

This 11x14 oil is from May of 2005. I needed to record an image for my records so I thought I'd post a pic here on the blog. It is also to acknowledge my first one man exhibit! I'll be showing at Dante Hall in Atlantic City, starting this Friday, December 15th until February 1st. The exhibit is in conjunction with the Noyes Musuem in Oceanville, N.J.
I'll be featuring the food paintings from my ongoing still life series I call "Scatter Paintings".

Sunday, December 10, 2006

Big Haired Mermaid

She looks like she could be singing in the B52's!
Munch's Mermaid that I saw in Philadelphia last year also came to mind when I was painting her, however when I looked the image up, I see no real resemblance whatsoever. Memory is a funny thing with painting. Check out Duane Keiser's post on this matter.
Most of these pieces are Occupied Japan. I hope I'm not getting too cute by placing them on mossy rocks from the garden.

Saturday, December 09, 2006


5x7 oil/panel
A Face only Frazetta could love!

Friday, December 08, 2006

Backside Mermaid


This one reminds me of my cat Edie, who loves to lounge around with her back to the world, facing the wall...Much Attitude!

5x7 oil/panel

I spent Yesterday at the Met in NYC. Several excellent exhibits going on. Of main interest for me was The Americans in Paris and the Ambroise Vollard;Cezanne to Picasso exhibits. While visiting some of my old favorites the other half took this pic without my knowledge...I wish he had captured me in front of "The Daughters of Edward Darley Boit" by Sargent...that painting just blew me away. I really could have just spent the entire day studying that masterpiece. Wow.

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

Second Red-Tailed Mermaid

It's good to be back to the mermaids after such a busy week with my yearly studio show/open house. The color and value are a bit off with this photo. I may repost the pic later if I can get a better image.
6x8 oil/canvas

Sunday, December 03, 2006

Malachite Egg and Black Rubber Frog

I keep no fresh eggs around so I chose to paint this one... it's semi-precious. Sort of like nearly-valuable.

5x7 oil/panel

Monday, November 27, 2006

Blue Mermaid

I was thinking of calling her Mona.

5x7 oil/panel

Sunday, November 26, 2006

Mermaid on a Rock

A friend has given me access to her ceramic mermaid collection... I find these little figurines irresistable. I must say.... they are more challenging to paint then I expected! Almost like life drawing class. A really fun subject never the less.
5x7 oil

Saturday, November 25, 2006

Tipsy Elephant

I picked this little ornament up years ago in Cambria Ca. I guess he's supposed to be Dumbo. I've seen a house fly, I've seen a horse fly...but I aint never seen an elephant fly!

5x7 oil/panel

Friday, November 24, 2006


This little figure is in with my Christmas stuff...I think she must be Asian. Anway I did this version of her several days ago, but it's been very stormy here in the northeast and she definitely needed natural light to be photographed.

5x7 oil

Monday, November 20, 2006

Borrowed Time Roses

So far I have not yet had a killing frost in my yard...highly unusual. Most of my neighbors have, but for some reason just my yard has been spared, perhaps because I am on a hill covered with Oak Trees. These roses are still blooming. Every day I see them is like one more gift of twenty four hours. All the leaves have fallen and the temperature is in the thirties at night, yet still they hang on...I love that.

8x10 oil/panel

Thursday, November 16, 2006

Leap Frog

I've been letting "busy" take over. I thought about it today and figured I would stop the daily paintings until I do my cards, shows, seasonal crunch at the day job and other "busy" things ....then I thought about it again. I don't want to loose the momentum, so I'll allow busy as I must, but I'm still going to try and paint as many of these per week as I can.

*Frogs have several personal meanings to me...all of which shall remain personal. On this post anyway!

5x7 oil

Sunday, November 12, 2006

Saturday, November 11, 2006

Second Study of Old Garage Window

Most days for the last month I've looked out the window as the sun sets and been facinated by the light on the flag peeking through my old garage, Today I set up the paints on the bathroom sink and set to's the result. I didn't realize until someone pointed it out later that this is a rather appropriate subject for Veterans Day....Although I'd rather see the flag flying high in honor of the men and women who have served ( and died) for this country ( and others).
My lines are rarely straight in my attempts at architecture and the photo set things on a further tilt, but the feeling is there I think. This would probably make a good larger piece with more time and attention. 8x10 oil/panel

Friday, November 10, 2006

Thursday, November 09, 2006

Third Two Christmas Balls

This is a small one
3.5 x 3.5 inches

Sunday, November 05, 2006

Second Two Christmas Balls

5x7 oil/panel

A few years ago my mother asked me if I wanted some of the old Christmas balls she bought when our family lived in France in the early sixties. I was thrilled to get them ...and realized for the first time that they were in fact "Made in America"
...Nice old ornaments just the same. Filled with nice old memories as they should be.

Saturday, November 04, 2006

Friday, November 03, 2006

Thursday, November 02, 2006

Two Christmas Balls

6x8 oil panel
Always fun to slip in the subtle self portrait in reflective subjects!

I have two holday shows coming up. Man this time of year comes on like gangbusters. It's a very busy time in the flower shop as well. As usual in life...everything always happens at once. A good time of year to make money, but I can't wait for January when I can devote the month to painting. Winter is a time when I can do larger paintings. These small ( almost) daily pieces are wonderful practice, but I really like working large as well.

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Red Flower, Blue Flower

I brought my hibiscus inside for the winter, it's covered with buds. here is the first of the "Indoor Season". I realize after looking at the photo of this that the elipse is off on the bottom of the inkwell. Will fix that this afternoon. With daylight savings I'm now recording the artwork in the morning when it's light so the posts will be a day behind.

Sunday, October 29, 2006

Old, Borrowed, New & Blue

The brick I borrowed from a friend, it came from the Tomb of Augustus in Rome, The Blue Jay feather I found last month...and the jawbone? I have no idea where that came from. Once again indulging my love of hard edged details. I may return to this in a few days, needs some more detailing :) 9x12 oil/panel

Saturday, October 28, 2006

Friday, October 27, 2006

Second Octopus

4x6 canvas

Not quite as blue as the photo, it's really overcast this afternoon,

Thursday, October 26, 2006


8x10 oil/panel

A study for another work in my octo series. I find these extremely fun to paint. Small deceased animals are so compelling to me. It's not an easy subject to sell, but then I ask myself what( and who ) am I painting for exactly? Too many answers to that question. I'll save myself some brain ache and just keep going on instinct.

On a side note, I participated as a judge in a juried art show today. It was a first for me and I was ( luckily ) able to rely a bit on the experience of the two other jurors. We had to select 50 paintings out of 157 entries and then of course choose the prize winners. Not an easy process, but very interesting. The show is presented by the Ocean City Art Center and runs for the month of November. I can vouch that it is a collection of very fine work in a wide range of style and technique.

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Baby Chinese Cabbage

4x6 oil/canvas

Not too far from my home there is a huge Asian Market. One of my favorite places. I have found many an inspiration in their vast and diversified inventory.

.....for paintings and meals!

Monday, October 23, 2006

Two Inkwells

I worked on this 5x7 oil a bit more after taking the picture, but now it's too dark to get a decent photo so I'll go ahead and post this one...Fixed the elipse on the green bottle and made a few other adjustments. I got caught up in the background of faint blue light shining through dark venition blinds ( in case you were wondering what those stripes are )...Yesterday's painting was not worthy of posting....I was going to title this one "Not Bittersweet"! It goes that way sometimes...For me painting is almost like an act of faith. When things don't go well I have to believe that by persistant practice they'll get better again...heck even better then before. So far in the last twenty months that has pretty much proven to be true.

Saturday, October 21, 2006

Two more Marsh Paintings

I never hesitate to let my influences be known...and these little studies were surely influenced by the plein air work of Jan Blencowe. I've been following her beautiful paintings of Southern New Englands' Wetlands these past few months. Jan just had two paintings selected to represent her homestate of Connecticut. Congratulations Jan!

These are also 5x7 acrylic on panel

Friday, October 20, 2006

Fun with Acrylics


When I bring out my plastic basket of acrylic paints it's like visiting an old friend I've lost touch with...or perhaps outgrown. I use them this time of year to paint my holiday cards. I felt like just messing around and doing a few wetland scenes. I'm slowly but surely revving up to go out and paint the marshes plein air...until then, these are just imaginary excursions. 5x7 panels

Thursday, October 19, 2006

Blue Delph

Needed to give the cadmiums a day off....
5x7 oil/panel

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Sunday, October 15, 2006

Obligatory Pumpkins

After is October.
One thing about painting from happens. I was just getting into this little 5x7 when someone showed up at my doorstep. She was here to buy a couple of paintings ( a good and worthy distraction )...when I got back to the painting a half hour later the sun had shifted an unreasonable amount...all values on the windowsill totally changed. How could it be? I considered wiping it all off, but went ahead and finished the little darlings off as best I could. God I'm having fun. Seriously.

Saturday, October 14, 2006

Better Circus Peanuts

When I started this blog last year I had only peripheral knowledge of the "Daily Painter" movement. Duane Keiser was the only painting blog I looked at. I really just wanted someplace to post some of my smaller paintings and drawings in tandem with my website. I had not the slightest intention of actually becoming a daily painter, but here I am doing small paintings at least six days a week. I'm taking a moment to express my gratitude to all you artists who blog because your influence has really upped my drive to keep improving. I truly love looking at the variety of good quality art every day....
I felt like I was leaping over a stepping stone when I did this last 6x4 painting of this so very orange candy.
Painting on a daily basis was something my highschool art teacher told me I should always do...and that was a very long time ago..and you know what? She was right! I don't think she imagined that I would relearn that lesson 30 years later from a group of daily practicing artists residing all over the world...pretty cool!

Friday, October 13, 2006

The Gift

Thursday was a very long day. I worked all day in the flowershop then had to go out for the evening. When I came home around 9:30 that night there was a gift left for me at the foot of my chair where I paint. I have two cats and a basement full of holes! I was so tired, but knew I had to paint this at the moment 'cause I really didn't want to have to save the poor thing. Into the yellow dish he went. I don't like painting late at night because it really revs me up and makes it difficult to sleep. Glad I did it tho. Now I have Two small animal paintings. Not sure why I like to paint in twos so often, but it just feels right.
4x6 canvas

Here's some pics of the other creative endeavor. We had to do 80 of these hundred dollar centerpieces...they were placed on top of tall pedestals ...a lot of work. I disdainfully call them "round mounds"...big blobs of color...not really that creative when you get right down to it. At least not to a tired and jaded old designer like myself. I hope I never feel that way about my painting. I don't think I will. Flowers have certain limitations that makes floral design incomparable to the art of painting pictures.

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Mushrooms and Acorn

That little yellow dish I brought out for the sparrow has really caught my fancy. Here's another ...preparing for dinner, but just had to paint these first painting! I'll be doing some time at the flowershop for the next two days so look for the next post friday or saturday.

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Early Morning Ageratum

I was out poking around the garden early in the morning and saw these little blue ageratum that must have seeded themselves last year and just now decided to show up. What really caught my eye was the shadows on the rocks. I dashed in grabbed my paint stuff --perched precariously on another rock and started. I think I had five whole minutes before those shadows dissapeared. Plein air work is so chancey. Difficult for a control freak like me. I notice that my outdoor paintings ( usually garden scenes ) tend to be much darker in value then the still lifes. Interesting.
I have a french easel I've never used. When I do these garden studies I wonder that I don't do more outdoor work.

Monday, October 09, 2006

Circus Peanuts

These had to be the most challenging objects I've ever tried to paint. I've had in mind to do a larger "scatter" painting of these candies since doing " Night at the Movies" two years ago. Someone sent me some in the mail thinking they would inspire to to do the painting if I actually had them in the studio. I gave them a try yesterday morning...something about that fake shade of orange with the blue shadows...felt like I was in way over my head. I think this is a good thing...can't improve without stretching...I will have to do more studies before even thinking about the larger piece. The panel is primed and waiting...emphasis on the ''waiting'' part!

4x6 oil

Sunday, October 08, 2006


Out walking yesterday and I found this dead sparrow lying on the path. I was reminded of a painting I saw on Wet Canvas by William Wray last year, so brought it home and set it in this little yellow dish. It reminded me of how much I enjoy subjects like this even though they are not that popular with my friends and family...or most potential buyers! I did two paintings of octopus last year...the 'Dried Asian Octopus' is still my favorite painting to date. Guess I'm a little weird that way. I grew up in a family of men who love to hunt game. Although I don't enjoy hunting myself, I look at dead animals very objectively and often see much beauty there.