Friday, June 1, 2018

Portrait of Mom

Mom, Acrylic on Canvas, 10"x8", NFS

Portrait of Mom

This is my Mom. I left her glasses off because I like the way her personality shines through her eyes which are really deep-set and kind of get lost behind glasses. I started this portrait earlier this year. At the time, I left it unfinished because I wanted to think about what level of finish to use and how I wanted to deal with the background. In the end, I went with a loose look with some unfinished passages.

Thursday, May 31, 2018


Exotic, Acrylic on watercolor paper, 10"x9", NFS

Report from Camp - Part 3

This painting was actually painted a few days after I left the workshop. During class, we had made a number of abstract substrates to paint on. As part of that, we applied a variety of gels, pastes, mediums and textures as we learned how each of them looked and acted in a variety of conditions. This one has modeling paste, gel, copper paint, pumice paste, gesso, and more, smeared around using palette knives. My palette for the background is Phthalo Blue (Red Shade), Alizarin Crimson, Indian Yellow Hue, and Iridescent Copper Light (Coarse.) For the painting, I added Titanium White and Carbon Black.

The idea here was to assign the background a value (light, medium or dark) and leave that showing anywhere that value appeared in the portrait. In this case, I assigned the background a dark value - that meant most of the portrait would actually be painted positively over the background; only the hair was truly dark. I have other substrates ready to go - I made a point of making sure they were lighter so I can make them a larger part of the face. 

My next step is to decide where to take what I learned. There are a lot of pieces and they need to be integrated into my work in a way that reflects what I want to say and how I want to say it. That will be an on-going project.

Wednesday, May 30, 2018


Oom Daan, Acrylic and collage on watercolor paper, 10"x9", NFS

Report from Camp - Part 2

I started this painting during my workshop with Jean Pederson. As with my last posting, this painting incorporates collage to create decorative elements and interest. I made the collage papers using sticks, stamping maple samsaras and cross-stitching mesh, etc. I cut and glued the collage pieces to fit the drawing I made.Although the collage elements really worked here, I really struggled with the man's head - I had a number of features incorrectly sized and ended up with a portrait that was just - off.

This week I finally got around to fixing all of the incorrectly rendered features and he now looks like a real human being. My post's title refers to the fact that I find men far more difficult to draw and paint than women - I'm not sure why that is but it is quite noticeable to me. As with the previous piece, there were a few collage pieces that ended up being painted over when they failed to work as planned.

Tuesday, May 29, 2018

Experiment in Collage

Untitled, Acrylic and Collage on Watercolor Paper, 9"x10", NFS

Report From Camp - Part 1

I recently went to a watermedia workshop on portraiture with Jean Pederson in North Carolina. Part of that workshop involved experimenting with collage, abstraction, wild and crazy grounds - all of which would be used to create unique and interesting portraits. This painting involved most of the elements that were covered in the class - the substrate began as an abstract collage on watercolor paper; the portrait is that of one of the models I sketched during life drawing; the elements of the collage were created using paint, stamping, splattering, etc. on sketchbook paper and cut up. The portrait was painted over the collage, incorporating the collage into the face and background. Because this was a classroom piece (my experience with collage is minimal), parts of the collage ended up getting painted out, while other pieces of collage paper were added as needed. I used a light green wash to unify the entire painting (the photo is more intensely green than the actual painting.)

Sunday, May 20, 2018

Flying Heron

Flying Heron, Acrylic on Canvas, 20"x16", $600

The Sky's the Limit

Good news! My painting, "Flying Heron," has been accepted in "The Sky's the Limit" show at the Bryan Memorial Gallery in Jeffersonville, VT. I painted this painting a while ago when I was messing around with a minimalist approach to composition. The show opens on June 28 and runs until Sept.3.

To purchase this painting, please contact the Bryan Gallery at (802) 644-5100 or e-mail them at

Sunday, March 18, 2018

New Work In Progress

Untitled, Acrylic on Canvas, 10"x8", NFS

Back to the Studio

I started this painting back in February when I was still struggling with the Thirty Day Challenge. I abandoned the Challenge and the painting when "life intervened" and I wasn't able to stay focused. Now that I am back in the studio (and getting ready for a workshop on portraiture in April), I picked up the roughly blocked in portrait on my easel and took it to the next step. I took this photo to post as an example of one of my interim steps in my process. The more I look at it, though, the more I like it the way it is. It does need a little bit of clean-up and finish work, but, overall, I like what I have here. So I think I'm going to leave it here for a while.

Monday, February 12, 2018

Day 12 - Doodling

Doodling, Acrylic on Gessoed Watercolor Paper, 7"x5", NFS

Thirty Paintings in Thirty Days - Day Twelve

This painting is a crazy experiment in doodling. I put in a variety of transparent areas and then added apaque passages. When those were dry, I used a small round brush and fluid acrylic black paint to doodle on the black patterns.