Friday, September 29, 2006

Red Horizon

This is a recent still-life I call "Red Horizon." The tension is provided by the spider plant. The calm blue pottery sits motionless on the raging red of the tablecloth. The delicate curves of the vase are repeated by the cup and again by the pitcher, creating a subtle balance that is offset by the tension of the plant leaves. I could have just painted the pots and the cloth, but whenever possible I like to place something that lives, or at the very least was alive at one time, in my paintings. The exploring "legs" of the spider plant encourage the eye to wander around inside the painting. When I was finished I stepped back and realized that I had created a window into another world where the ground is red and aliens walk silently among the machines. Well... maybe I shouldn't have read that that Ray Bradbury book last week, but it's why I call this painting "Red Horizon."

Lucky in Love

The roses are going to be gone soon so I picked a couple of my nicer looking blooms and arranged them in a vase. The playing cards were an afterthought because the flowers looked lonely. The queen of hearts is out because it makes a more interesting composition to actually show a card. I arranged this piece into a classic triangle composition and titled it "Lucky in Love". Get it? The roses, the queen of hearts...the relative heart shaped placement of the rose triage. Oh well... I tried. The shadows became an interesting and integral component of this painting because I purposely lit the subject from an acute angle. This painting is 8" x 10" oil on linen.

Thursday, September 21, 2006

John P. O'Neill Portrait

I am in the early stages of this portrait. It is 22" x 28" oil on canvas.

Union Soldier

I may have to do a Confederate to go with him as I really like the way this painting turned out. I worked from an old Civil War era photograph and used a rouge red ground and sap green underpainting. The board was coated with Gamblin oil ground which brushed on in a really awful way. I thought the board would be useless- then when I finally decided to paint on it I was shocked at what a beautifully smooth surface it had made. I'm glad I have a few more of these boards and it was definitely worth the time I spent in the garage sanding and preparing the supports. I wish I had done more than I did now.

Monday, September 18, 2006


It's been a pretty busy month. I was awarded first place in two local shows -- one for a self portrait in pastel and the other for a still-life painting of a Siennese vase and some books. I have also stayed busy working on the large shake stand painting, which is slow going.

Olivia- this one is being donated to the TAC for an art-fund raiser

Every year our artists club has a dinner and art auction. Each member is expected to donate a small work as a door prize and up to three paintings for the auction. We receive 50% of the auction price and the club keeps the othe rhalf for expenses.


About 12" x 16" oil on primered paper. A practice piece that turned out nicely.

A Second Mexican Revolutionary

This is the second painting in the series, and the size is also 20" x 24". These oils were painted from copyright free black and white photographs. The color interpretation is mine. If you woudl like more information on my methods and materials please visit my website at

Mexican Revolutionaries

The image uploader is working again so I have uploaded the first in the series of Mexican War revolutionaries that I am painting for Mr. Arce. This is oil on canvas 20" x 24".