Monday, June 12, 2017

An Evening At The Teahouse

                                                   An original acrylics painting on canvas
                                                   16 X 20"
                                                    (This painting will not be available from this site
                                                      until it is returned to me from an exhibition, but
                                                      as with most of the paintings in the blog, giclee
                                                      fine-art prints are available. )

                                                   ( click on image to enlarge )

     The structure of this painting's composition is based on strong, opposing, diagonals,
which are intended to create the feeling of a figure in motion.  The heavy lines of the
geisha's kimono are a bit of an homage to Van Gogh and Gauguin and the other post-
impressionists, who admired and collected Japanese, wood-block prints, which also then
influenced their own work.   The glow of the lighting of the scene, is intended to convey a
feeling for the look of a geisha performing in the light of lanterns, as they would have done
in the old days.

     I seldom document the progress of my paintings as I am working on them, however I
did have a camera at hand while I was working on this one.  So I did take a few pictures
along the way, starting from when I first laid out the bones of the structure, and then on
through several shots of successive layers of color overlays and glazes.  For those
viewers who may be interested, I will try to add a few of those to this posting later.

Monday, May 29, 2017

The Storm Chaser ( Gull #4 )

                                                  An original acrylic painting, on stretched canvas
                                                  18 X 22", unframed
                                                  $400.00, - ( plus $35.00, pack and ship )

                                                      ( click on image to enlarge )

Ivory - In The Headwind ( Gull #3 )

                                         An original acrylic painting, on stretched canvas
                                         18 X 22", unframed

                                                     ( click on image to enlarge )

Sunday, April 30, 2017

Racing With The Waves ( Gull #6 )

                                              An original acrylic painting, on gesso primed masonite panel
                                              20 X 16", unframed
                                              $350.00, ( plus $35.00, pack and ship )

                                                          ( click on image to enlarge )

     Anyone who has ever watched the feeding habits of shorebirds, scavenging along
on beaches, is familiar with their patterns of movements.  As the waves are receding,
the birds hurry onto the wet expanses of sands and pebbles, in search of freshly
exposed tidbits of marine life.  Then, as the next waves advance, surging back up the
beach, the birds hastily retreat, to avoid the incoming breakers.  And so, it continues
in endless repetition, to the rhythm of the waves.

     This painting of an ever-hungry gull, was an attempt to capture some of that
feeling of observing the active movements of birds on the beach.  As I look at the
painting now, I would call it impressionist, but with expressionist aspects.  The
vigor of the paint application, has a freshness and spontaneity which helps to convey
that feeling of movement.  When I was painting the bird, I also made a very conscious
decision to have the tips of the wing and tail feathers extend just slightly beyond the
edges of the picture-plain, which is also an attempt to create the impression of an
active bird, moving quickly forward.

The Day The Earth Shook ( Lost And Found # 24 )

                                                       An original mixed-media, on illustration board
                                                       5 X 7", unframed, ( mat size, 10 X 12" )
                                                       $110.00, ( plus $15.00, pack and ship )

                                                           ( click on image to enlarge )

     Sooner or later, for each and everyone of us, the day will come when we experience
a life-threatening event, which becomes a sharp reminder of our individual, human
mortality.  For me, that event was a combination of a couple of heart-attacks, followed
by difficult, open-heart surgery.
     After my stay in the hospital, I was brought home, and as i was emerging from the
car ( moving very slowly ) I happened to see two small objects which had been washed
down the street by heavy rains, while I was away.  They were a small, plastic figure of
one of Disney's Seven Dwarfs, and a single well-used die.  That trivial discovery seemed
somehow prophetic to me
     During my convalescence, as I tried to avoid moving as much as possible, I worked
on a series of miniatures, which included those two, found objects, along with other things
which had once been treasured, but then long-ago forgotten and lost.  I called those
miniatures my "Lost And Found" series, which is perhaps symbolic of the fact that, in
the end, we are all destined to lose everything, but that we sometimes receive a bit of
an extension or second chance, before we have to say goodbye.  My extension has
lasted for several years now, and I am grateful for each new day.

     The little painting which I have posted here, from that series, was the one which
included an old, broken pocket-watch, that I found shoved to the back of a drawer,
where it had remained since the 1940's.   The hands of the watch are set at five
twenty-nine, which was the exact moment of the detonation of the first nuclear
weapon, on the morning of July 16, 1945, in New Mexico.  Ever since that earth-
-shaking day, life threatening events have been multiplying for all of humanity.  The
question now has become, not one of our individual mortality, but one of whether
or not the whole, human race is going to survive, especially with all of the unstable
people who now have control of nuclear weapons, including our own chief executive.    

Friday, March 17, 2017

A Little Bit O' Heaven

                                                  An original acrylic painting, on stretched canvas
                                                  10 X 20",
                                                  ( This painting will not be available from this site
                                                     until it is returned from an exhibition, but giclee
                                                      fine-art prints are available.)

                                                       ( click on image to enlarge )

     The title of this painting, is taken from a line in a very, very old, popular, Irish-American
song.  I realize that by doubling up on that word "very", I risk sounding like Donald Trump,
trying to hide from the truth, by bolstering his falsehoods with doubled-up adjectives, in an
effort to sound more emphatically persuasive and believable, but in truth, I doubt that the
old song has been heard on any major, broadcast network in well over sixty years or
     I have not done an internet search on that old song, so I do not know who wrote it,
but I do know why. The song was written to satisfy the market for songs which appealed
to the nostalgia and the longing, which the Irish-Americas felt, for the land they had to
leave behind.  It may not even have been written by someone of Irish heritage: that was
not a prerequisite on tin-pan alley.
     The song is the story of all the various ingredients, which went into creating that
perfect land, across the sea, including that bit of heaven, which were all then gathered
and somehow blended, until finally "They called it Ireland".  The song was a standard for
Irish Tenors, who sang it on music and variety shows, on radio and television, right up
through the early 1950's, until the ratings system destroyed diversity in broadcasting.

     The painting is probably as much of a cliche as that old song.  We like to think of
Ireland, as a land of picturesque, green hills, dotted with charming, white-washed,
stone cottages, with thatched roofs,  and also somehow, the eternal folk-tale of the
pot-of-gold at the end of the rainbow, always becomes a part of the mental image.
( Did any treasure-hunters ever stop to ask which end of the rainbow, was the
correct location of the gold? )
     But, of course,the true picture of Irish history is a much sadder tale.  I don't know
where that old expression about the "luck of the Irish" came from.  In all the dark
years of the past centuries, good luck rarely visited that land.

    The structure of this painting's composition is based on several very broad "S"
curves, which intersect at the center of interest, where the old road descends into
the valley and to the hills beyond.

     This painting is now custom framed, in a richly toned, molding, with a
fine, white-linen liner.

Sunday, March 5, 2017

A Tale As Old As Time

                                                   An original acrylic painting, on canvas panel
                                                   10 X 8", unframed
                                                   $250.00, ( plus $9.00, pack and ship )

                                                          ( click on image to enlarge )

     The vast majority of mankind's art and literature, created in the last twenty five
hundred years, have not survived the ravages of time.  Much of the treasury of wisdom
and beauty which was created in ancient Greece, in particular,has come down to us
only in pieces or fragments.  They suffered through too many centuries when such
creations were deemed unworthy of preservation, or deliberately destroyed by the
forces of ignorance and religious intolerance.
     One of the better survivors, was the collection of fables, written by a slave named
Aesop, who is thought to have lived in Greece between 620 and 564 BCE.  Perhaps
his little tales survived all through the years, because they fit the long tradition of oral
story-telling, in the days when most people were illiterate.  Some of the succeeding
story-tellers, even began adding some stories of their own, so that, now, scholars
have classified which of the tales actually came from Aesop's time, and which ones
came much later.
    With the invention of the printing press, the popularity of Aesop's Fables bloomed
and spread around the world.  They have been told and retold in all the art forms,
including drama, song and film, in endless variations.  One of the tales, the fable of
The Tortoise And The Hare, is cleverly depicted in a little Italian figurine, which I
sometimes use as a subject for still-life paintings, such as this one I have posted
     The old story of this improbable foot-race between two such unequal contestants,
still rings true for many of us.  The over-confident rabbit has a good time, enjoying
himself with all manner of distractions, always thinking he would have plenty of time
to get to the finish line before his pathetic opponent, while in the end, it is the
 slow-but-steady tortoise who wins the race.
     As we all grow older, the more we all come to realize how short is the time
 of our race, and how very close we are to our own finish-line, looming up ahead.

     In my last post, I mentioned the use of over-lapping planes, in the composition,
to create depth of field.  So, I am posting this painting, to show how something as
simple as a pile of old books can accomplish that, because of all of the different,
rectangular shapes, receding from the picture-plane. A book pile can also be a
useful subject for drawing practice.  It can be a challenge because of all the
perspective complications, with so many different vanishing-points.

     This painting is now available custom framed, in a handsome, heavy, hard-wood,
molding, with a fine, linen liner, for $325.00, plus $30.00, to carefully pack and ship.