Saturday, December 30, 2017

Some Final Landscapes for the Year

Still in the Romantic Turner inspired landscape mode in the last two months..Hannibal Crossing the Alps, Slaveship, Burning of the Houses of Parliament etc. except its local versions. The top piece is our beach with one of its spectacular sunsets...3rd Best in the World proclaims a local T-Shirt. I like its humbleness...the t-shirt that is. The second piece is waves and ice dunes...Hannibal crossing the lake in a snow storm. The bottom piece is an homage to the late Riverside Inn. Lost tragically in a conflagration, but it went out with a bang not a whimper.
We've been hit by record snowfalls starting on Christmas Eve and still going today. I don't know the official tally, but it was over 50 inches the first two days and we've gotten another foot over the last two days. Quite beautiful right now in Erie.

Monday, September 25, 2017


Spent some time in France this summer going to see the Isenheim Altarpiece in Colmar, The Strasbourg Cathedral and the Moses Well and other works by Claus Sluter in Dijon. An amazing trip of art ogling. The wine wasn't bad either. Did a couple of pieces related to the trip including this watercolor of superimposed facades and walls of the cathedral. Turned out OK, I think I could do a more interesting work with what I learned but the thing was so labor intensive I'm hesitant to commit to it.

Working on the Beachwork this weekend. Actually went into the water which is still bearable at this time of the year thanks to an 8-day warm streak.

Monday, September 11, 2017

The Power of Light

These are two pictures of the current Stonewave project. The only difference is the time of day and the light. It is amazing how different the stone looks. There are no filters or alterations, just raw iPad photos. The bottom photo makes it look like the stone is like the stone in the southwest. 

 Regardless of the light, this summer's high lake levels and frequent storms have washed the front part of this away twice so far. It has been a Sisyphusian summer as far as the stone work is concerned. The shoreline has lost 8 to 10 feet of land and countless tons of topsoil to high waves. Twenty year old trees have been washed into the water and in some places even much older trees are threatened

Wednesday, May 31, 2017

A Third Wave

Trying to work some bugs out of the system and so far this has been the best result. I'm going to give it at least one more try. This piece is about 24" by 40". Meanwhile I have got a couple of nice figure paintings done as well as putting in several hours on getting the "Beachwork" back together after several disassembling events at the hands of Mother Nature. The lake is really high right now and combined with the absence of a beach, the shoreline is only about 6 feet from the stonework. therefore every puff of wind strong enough to make a wave imperils my efforts. Hopefully the beach fairy will make a deposit soon.

Tuesday, April 4, 2017

Turner's and Hokusai's Love Children

Playing around with some wave images. Color and atmospheric effects...Didn't quite turn out the way I wanted, but third time...who knows. The colors looked better while I was working and then all of the sudden they decided to get rebellious. I will give it one more try before moving on.

Friday, March 24, 2017

Vermeer's Studio

For the last several months I've been working with the figure after a long time away. Kris Risto and Deb Sementelli have been bringing models in for figure sessions. It has been great to get back to it, but grueling work. Three hours of drawing and painting broken only by an occasional swig of beer. Kris has organized a couple of little shows of sketches at a little local gallery, but I have been working a few of the sketches up into finished works of which this is the most ambitious. One day the model was lit in a fashion that reminded me of Vermeer's light so I got the idea to work the figure into Vermeer's studio. I like the result. the color is keyed up a bit, but I don't think it is works actually. I had to reverse the model's direction and I turned the map into a blackboard, like the one in the studio where we work. I changed the artist's figure to me, but I tried to keep the shirt design. Everything else I tried to stay faithful to. Copying masterworks has a long history as a training method and each time I have done it I've experienced revelations. This time I was struck by the sophistication of the composition. Vermeer's tight construction of form and color holds together like a fine clockwork. I tried moving a few things around and it was immediately clear that the original location was the better one. A symphony without a note out of place. 

Thursday, February 23, 2017


I was at an opening of a former student, Theresa Musatto, at a small gallery in town that is no longer exhibiting,the Urarro. She is a grad of MICA's painting program and the work was wonderful. While talking with her about her work the conversation led to challenges of working in a non-representational vein, which I don't often dabble in, but after the conversation I went home with the intention of focusing on some non-representational exercises. These four works were the result. Inspired by images from planets from NASA, I just tried to divorce myself from subject matter as much as possible and just let color and texture drive the image.

The above was the first to be done and I was working with various violets and maroons and trying to suggest heat, but the cold heat of space. I was thinking in terms of a transit across the face of a sun. Not being able to completely escape some form of representation, I guess.

The second one was the least successful from an expectations standpoint, but I like the lower right hand corner portion and some other bits and pieces. Composition didn't quite pan out the way I had planned.

This was all about green and unfortunately a gas giant kept trying to force my hand and then while I wasn't looking that big Jovian orange spot shows up...what the H.

 This was the piece that I ended up being the most pleased with despite it being the most representational of the bunch really. It just had a nice feel to it, literally. The last of the project for now, but it is just the beginning of setting free the bears...maybe.