Wednesday, December 10, 2008

More fun with oils

Here's a 30 x 40 palette knife painting I've been working on with the new Blue Ridge handmade oil paints. Such fun! They are so rich and creamy.

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

This is a little (12" x 12") study I worked on yesterday to try out some lovely new oil paints I ordered last week. They were recommended by an artist friend of mine, Joyce Cambon. The paints are hand made in small batches by Blue Ridge Artists Materials here in NC. They are a joy to use - creamy and very rich pigment.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Work in Progress

I've been working on this for several weeks, alongside working on some commissions that are due for the holidays.... not sure where this is going, just wanted to experiment with different angles of faces and from that this interesting group of characters is emerging. I'm trying to let my intuitive side pull out the images it sees with less directions from my controlling left brain! We'll see where it goes... thinking I need to see something through that window too.

Friday, October 24, 2008

At work

One of my friends took this snapshot when we were working outside last week. I decided to go back in to the piece I was working on in the last blog and use more of the leaf - you can see one of the sheets of gold leaf in my hand.

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Cool Metals

I've been having fun experimenting with mixing in Copper and Gold leaf in recent paintings. Here's one I'm working on now, together with a blown up detail from it to try to show the glorious effect... next week we're heading up to Philadelphia for the Rittenhouse Square Fine Arts Show - always one of my favorites.

Monday, August 11, 2008

The Big Apple

Just got back from a trip to New York City. Spent a day at the Museum of Modern Art and an afternoon at the Chelsea galleries. I'm back home now full of ideas and new directions to explore. Can't wait to get back in the studio - in fact I'm heading there right now! Here's the view of Times Square from our hotel room.

Saturday, July 26, 2008

Update on Fayetteville show...

Just got back from the opening in Fayetteville last night for the opening of the Creation show at the Arts Council of Fayetteville/Cumberland County.  I am pleased and honored to report that the Cape Fear Valley Health System chose my "Joy Squared" painting for a $6800 purchase award.  The painting will be displayed in their new building on the health system's main campus.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008


I sometimes reflect on what it means for something to be "beautiful."   Merriam-Webster gives the first definition as:   "the quality or aggregate of qualities in a person or thing that gives pleasure to the senses or pleasurably exalts the mind or spirit."

With this in  mind, I believe that I do strive to make my paintings beautiful.  They may not be so in the traditional sense of the word, but my goal is to at the very least pleasurably exalt the mind or spirit.  I know that when I achieve a glorious color combination it pleasurably exalts my spirit in the process of creation.  All I can hope is that the viewer can catch that spirit as well.

Alexandr Solzhenitzyn gave his 1970 Nobel lecture on the theme "Beauty will save the world."  Its an interesting read...

Tuesday, July 1, 2008


Woo hoo!   Heard today that my paintings were accepted into two different shows:

 Joy Squared was accepted into the Cape Fear Valley Purchase Award Exhibition, which will open with a reception on July 25 at 7pm and run through August 15, at the Arts Council of Fayetteville/Cumberland County, 301 Hay Street Fayetteville, NC.

The second one was Chanteuse was accepted into the 2008 Regional Juried Art Show at the Craven Arts Council and Gallery in New Bern.  Chanteuse won a merit award at the show.

Library Show

Got the Bogue Banks Library show installed today at Pine Knoll Shores.    Invited Eleanor McArver and Pat Warnke to join me and hang some of their work along side mine from when we painted out at Patsy Pond together en plein air (painting outside).  It looks great!  Its fun to see three different artists' interpretation of the same scene.  I also hung the Les Halles (the french mural), several other large marshes, Total Disregard and one of the Pride and Prejudice paintings.  The show will be up through the end of July.

Saturday, June 28, 2008


I don't usually post the commissions I do on my website, just for the privacy of the subject.  But this was such a great story that I asked permission to share it.  Maude was the "pie lady" of New Bern and baked pies for many of the area restaurants many years ago.  She passed away in her 80's this year.  In a lovely gesture, her son's partner commissioned me to paint a 30 x 40 portrait of her when she was a teenager.   The reference photo provided was stunning and a real inspiration...she sounds like she was quite a lady.

Thursday, June 26, 2008


In jazz, a "riff" is a variation on a theme.  I find that sometimes when I get some good momentum going painting, that I'll go off on a riff with a particular subject.  Its partly because I'll be halfway through a painting and will see that there are several different ways to finish it, and so rather than get "stuck" being unable to decide which, I tell myself, "Ok, I'll do it that other way NEXT time..." and keep going with the flow... often I will make a note in a painting journal to remember the other idea.  Then when the painting is done I'll grab another canvas and start with the same subject again, making variations in another direction.  The possibilities are limitless!  You can get an idea for what I'm talking about with my latest riff.  This was the first version, with this one, I started with a lovely colored texture on the canvas, and then drew directly on the canvas with a Sharpie pen and outlined the face - then went back in with thin layers of paint (glazes) to emphasize the features.  This one is called Raven.  If you look on my website, you can see that I've done several variations on this theme - the latest ones being with really thick acrylic paint in textured layers of rich colors.

Sunday, June 22, 2008

Philadelphia Show

Went to Philadelphia earlier this month for the Rittenhouse Square Fine Art Show (  The incredibly hot weather this year did keep the crowd down a bit, but I still had a great show.  Got lots of positive feedback on this new direction I'm taking with color, and two large paintings that sold were in that style.  This is one of the paintings that sold.

We're bloggin'!

Thought it might be fun to try a blog to share thoughts about the art process as I go along... lately I've really been bumping up the color in my work - it feels more "true" to who I am.  Here's a recent one that I created from an old photo of me when I was nine years old.