Monday, December 31, 2012

Bosc, Bartlett and D'Anjou: A Sweet Trio

                                        An original acrylic painting, on heavy-weight illustration board
                                        6x8", unframed
                                        $200.00, - (plus $8.00, pack and ship)

     Mid to late December is the traditional season of gift giving in our culture, the time
when everyone puzzles about what kind of gifts to buy for friends and family members.
Children and youngsters always have plenty of suggestions as to what they want,
of course, but deciding what to give the older people on the list, can be more of a
problem.  Two thousand years ago, the Magi were, no doubt, worthy of their
reputations as generous and wise men, but we need a different kind of wisdom these
days.  Frankincense and myrrh are not a part of most people's daily requirements, and
after we pass into our later years, even gold loses its luster and takes on more of a
trinket status.
     So, what do you give the solitary old souls whose lives long ago passed through
the ages of everything from toys and games, to school supplies, to sports equipment,
to fancy dress-clothes, to work tools and kitchen appliances, and have now reached
the age where they are looking back and wondering what it was all about?
     Since it is a good bet that they already have more, warm sweaters and socks
than they will ever use, the answer to the question often comes in the form of festive
baskets or boxes of fresh fruit.  After all, everyone has to eat, and some juicy,
delicious fruit does make the process more enjoyable.

     And as for the recipients of such sweet abundance, what do you do if you
suddenly have more fresh fruit on hand than you can quickly consume?  Well,
for the artists among them, the answer often comes with the decision to paint it.
Fruit does make a steady, reliable subject for paintings; it always holds still, it
doesn't require rest breaks, and it never charges a modeling fee.  And as a
bonus, fruit is expressive of life itself, with the wide variety of skin textures and
colors as it ripens, and then eventually as it starts to fade, losing its glow and
beginning to shrivel.

     So, I will probably be doing more still-life paintings with fruit soon.  And in
the meantime, I have more examples that I can post in the blog, such as this one,
in which the central, bartlett pear has reached the very peak of ripe perfection.

                                                        (click on image to enlarge)

     This little acrylic painting is a fairly traditional still life, with the somber lighting and
colors that the old Dutch masters favored.  The composition is also a simple, traditional,
triangular or pyramidal construction, with the stems of the fruit providing little, structural
elements, for a circular eye movement around the painting.

     Giclee fine-art prints of this painting are available.


Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Behold The Glorious Dawn

                                                  An original oil painting, on canvas panel
                                                  16x20", unframed
                                                  $1,400.00, - (plus $20.00, pack and ship)

    This is another selection from the folk-art style, series of decorative works which
I referred to in the previous three postings.  As with the others, it is a purely imaginary
Christmas fantasy, aimed at creating a festive and celebratory feel for the ancient
region where the people have celebrated the event for two thousand years, as they
annually mark an important turning point in the cycle of life.

                                                          (click on image to enlarge)


The Great Day Is Near

                                                         An original oil painting, on canvas panel
                                                         24x20", unframed
                                                         $1,800.00, - (plus $20.00, pack and ship)

     This is another of the folk-art fantasies which I referred to in the previous two postings,
and which seem appropriate to the currant holiday season.  As with all the paintings in this
series, it relies on decorative pattern, color and texture, to tell its age-old story, rather
than realistic perspective and accurate rendition of any specific Middle Eastern or
Mediterranean village.
                                                           (click on image to enlarge)                                        

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Glad Tidings Of Great Joy

                                                         An original oil painting on canvas panel
                                                         18x24", unframed
                                                         $1,600.00, - ( plus $20.00, pack and ship)

     This is another of those folk-art Christmas fantasies which I referred to in the previous
post called Silent Night.  This painting also relies heavily on flattened decorative pattern,
shapes and texture, but still I find that there is something fairly authentic about the spare,
silhouetted, Greek Orthodox priest, ringing out the good news of the breaking dawn.

                                                         ( click on image to enlarge )

Silent Night

                                                        An original oil painting on canvas panel
                                                        24x20", unframed
                                                        $1,800.00, - (plus $20.00, pack and ship)

     A decade or two ago I did a series of folk art/ fantasies to be used for a collection
of Christmas cards.  They were all based on Eastern Mediterranean themes, and were
intended to capture a feel for those traditional, old cultures, so resistant to change,
where three, powerful, monolithic religions were born.  The paintings are deliberately
primitive in design, disregarding perspective in favor of flattened, decorative patterns
and shapes, like the innocent charm of early, Christian mosaics, brightly illuminated
manuscripts, and religious icons.
     A half dozen or so of those paintings are still around, so I thought this might be an
opportune time to post a few of them in the blog, if anyone would like to see them.

                                                       ( click on image to enlarge )

     I would also like to take a moment to wish happy holidays, and a joyous Christmas
to all the visitors who stop by to view this blog. Thank you for looking, and let me
know if there are some specific kinds of things which you would like to see more often.


Friday, November 30, 2012

Home For The Holidays, Christmas Prints

     These small, decorator prints are made from my original, scratchboard drawings,
and are designed to suit the season, and perhaps recapture the feel of an bygone era.
     One is titled A Frosty Friend By The Woodpile, and it depicts a boy building a
snowman, while his grandfather splits wood for the fire.  The snowman is complete with
a tattered, straw hat, corn-cob pipe, carrot nose, tree limbs for arms, and lumps
of coal for eyes, mouth and coat buttons.
     The other print is titled The Perfect Tree, and it shows that the boy and his father
have hiked up into the forested hills, to find and chop down the finest tree for their
family's Christmas celebration.
     Both prints are done in a semi-silhouette style and are printed on ivory-toned paper,
to further enhance the antique look.
     These prints, measuring 5x7", and ready-matted to fit 8x10" frames, are $25.00 for
the pair, plus $5.20 Priority Mail postage.
     Both prints, are also available ready-framed, under glass, in ebony or walnut, metallic-
gold lined, wood frames, and are $45.00 for the pair, plus $11.35 Priority Mail postage.
     A single print, framed as described, is $25.00 plus the same $11.35 postage.

     These prints are also available as private edition, note cards and greeting cards,
printed by me on ivory "Stardust", premium card stock, by Wausau.
     A package of ten, note cards, with envelopes, is $8.00, plus $5.20 priority-mail postage.
     A package of ten, large (8.5x5.5"), greeting cards with envelopes, is $18.00, plus $5.20
priority-mail postage.
     The message in the card titled The Perfect Tree is, "May the spirit of Christmas fill
your home, long after the tree and wrappings are gone."  That is followed by a simple
"Merry Christmas!"
     The message in the card titled A Frosty Friend By The Woodpile is, a poetic quote
from Sir Walter Scott -----
     "Heap on more wood!-----the wind is chill;
     But let it whistle as it will, we'll keep our Christmas merry still."
     That is followed by, "Merry Christmas!"

A Grand View

                                                    An original pastels on paper
                                                    18x12" unframed, ( mat size, 24x18" )
                                                     $600.00, - (plus $20.00, pack and ship)

    This pastel study, which I pulled out of storage recently, was one of several
preliminary pieces I did, in preparation for a large, oil painting.  That painting is
no longer available, but this piece still stands up fairly well on its own, and it may
be of interest to blog viewers.

                                                            (click on image to enlarge)

     Giclee fine-art prints of this painting are available.

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Sunflowers and Citruses

                                                     An original oil painting on stretched canvas
                                                     28x22" unframed
                                                     $2,400.00, - (plus $35.00, pack and ship)

     The sunflower is native to the Americas.  The Aztecs even used the sunflower as
a symbol of their solar deity.  But the sunflower now has a memorable history in
Europe as well.  I can never see sunflowers without thinking of the famous series
of sunflower paintings by van Gogh, and the brilliant ways director David Lean used
sunflowers in his production of Doctor Zhivago.
     This is a fairly traditional representational painting of giant sunflowers. The Mexican
water pitcher and oranges, and the somewhat heightened color all help to give it a
bit of a south-of-the-border feel, and the oranges also help to give the sunflowers a
visual scale, for viewers to judge their size.
     Three sunflowers, three oranges, and six fallen petals: I wonder what a
numerologist would say about that?

                                                            (click on image to enlarge)

      Giclee fine-art prints of this painting are available.

Who Left Tom Sawyer Outside Last Night?

                                                    An original mixed-media painting on gessoed panel
                                                    8x10" unframed
                                                    $350.00, - (plus $12.00, pack and ship)

     The title of this painting comes from a question which might be posed by a
parent who is concerned that children are not as appreciative of books as they
should be.  I imagined a scenario in which a child has taken a copy of Tom Sawyer
outside to read, but became distracted by friends and went off to play, forgetting
all about the book.

                                                       (click on image to enlarge)

      This little painting is one of a group of still-lifes I did, using well known books and
volumes of poetry as theme material.  Some of them are larger, such as one that is a
slightly different version of the Tom Sawyer theme,  including in it some old items
which might evoke the character of Tom himself.  This one has more of an Autumnal
feel, which makes it appropriate to post at this time.
     I used an exaggerated perspective in this painting, to try and give it more of a
three dimensional quality.

     Giclee fine-art prints of this painting are available.

The Spirit and The Flesh

                                                    An original oil painting on stretched canvas
                                                    36x24" unframed
                                                    $2,800.00, - (plus $40.00, pack and ship)

     Since the dawn of civilization and beyond, mankind has been on that old quest
for permanence and meaning in life.  This expressionist painting is a bit of a reflection
of that continuing search, and an attempt to capture the feel of the struggle between
the physical and spiritual worlds.  The physical side is expressed in the ruddy color
and vigorous texture of the paint application on the hands, face, hair and beard.
The spiritual side is expressed with the cool radiance of the surroundings.
     This painting has an exaggerated perspective, and an abstract appeal in the way
 the figure's hood-strings divide the central shapes of the canvas.

                                                             (click on image to enlarge)



                                                        An original mixed-media painting on toned paper
                                                        26x20" unframed, - (mat size, 32x26")
                                                        $2,000.00, - (plus $30.00, pack and ship)

     I like that old saying "Less is more.", which is often heard as an instruction from
movie directors to screen actors.  But those words can often be a useful thought for
visual artists to keep in mind as well.  Sometimes the simplicity of limited, bold lines,
can be much more expressive than a heavily labored rendering of a subject.
     This painting was one of those pieces which proved difficult for me to photograph.
For some reason I couldn't seem to get the color exactly as close to the original work
as I wanted it to be, but it is probably close enough to give the right, overall impression
of the painting.
                                                            (click on image to enlarge)

     Giclee fine-art prints of this painting are available.

Dried Gourds and Indian Corn

                                                     An original watercolor painting
                                                     20x13.5" unframed, - (mat size, 26x19.5")
                                                     $200.00, - (plus $25.00, pack and ship)

     I believe that I still have an oil painting which includes a pumpkin and gourd, which
would have been apropos to be photographed and posted in the blog at this time of
the year, but it is tucked away someplace in storage, and I haven't found it as yet.
     So, in the meantime, I'm showing another painting from that bundle of early watercolors
 which I referred to in a previous posting called Forsythia and the Silver Scyphus.  Since
the subjects here included dried gourds, and dry corn in the husks on an old, brass
scuttle, the harvest season is probably a good time to post this one.
     After all these years, I find that I still like the way I handled the painting of the bottle,
and the shadows and folds of the cloth.

                                                            (click on image to enlarge)


Sweet Cream and a Salty Pig

                                                          An original mixed media painting on toned paper
                                                          12x9" unframed, - (mat size, 18x15")
                                                          $375.00, - (plus $15.00, pack and ship)

     This little semi-abstract, still-life is from that group of limited palette studies, which
I mentioned previously in the posting called A Seedling For Van Gogh.  The title for
this one comes from items on the table, which included a small cream pitcher and a
salt shaker.  The little pig is one of a pair of salt and pepper shakers which are still
around the house someplace, along with a collection of a variety of other salt and
pepper shakers that have accumulated over the years, as souvenirs or gifts, but were
in most cases never used.
    I find that I still like the simplicity of the way I handled the sansevieria leaf-shapes
and the vertical texturing of the ceramic, plant container, in this painting.  

                                                            (click on image to enlarge)

     Giclee fine-art prints of this painting are available.

Monday, October 8, 2012

For Vincent's Table In Arles

                                                    An original oil painting, on gessoed panel
                                                    11x14" unframed
                                                    $800.00, - (plus $25.00, pack and ship)

     It often strikes me, when I see fresh fruit placed on an antique, blue enamelware
dish, that the eye-catching color-combination is a post-impressionist still-life, practically
begging to be painted.  That was what happened with this selection of fruit on an old,
deep-sapphire plate.  It was a reminder of when Van Gogh moved south to Provence,
and fell in love with yellow and blue.  The lemon yellow cloth and the little, turquoise
jug further enrich the color vibrancy.
     In my previous posting called Bittersweet In The Honey Jug, I wrote about the long
continuity of that jug as a subject in still-life paintings, and said that I would post a more
recent painting which included the jug.  That is why I'm posting this painting; there is
probably a span of fifty years or more between the two paintings.

                                                         (click on image to enlarge)

    Giclee fine-art prints of this painting are available.

Sunday, October 7, 2012

Bittersweet In The Honey Jug

                                                       An original watercolor painting
                                                       18x14" unframed, - (mat size, 24x20")
                                                       $350.00, - (plus $25.00, pack and ship)

     This painting, with oranges and dried, bittersweet berries, is another sample from
that early group of my watercolors which I have found, and to which I referred in a
previous posting called Forsythia And A Silver Scyphus.  Although I hadn't looked
at it for perhaps half a century before I pulled it out of storage, it appears from its
technique, that it was probably painted a year or two later than the examples from
that group which I posted previously.
     The reason I decided to post this one was because of that central, blue object
which caught my eye, and reminded me of its story of long continuity as a still-life
subject over the years, from painting to painting.
     The glazed, pottery jug dates from the early 1940's, before the age of plastics,
when it was still economically practical for syrups and honey to be shipped and
sold in glass and earthenware containers.  The jug was purchased filled with honey,
stoppered with a cork and sealed with red sealing wax.  The honey was soon gone
but the jug has been around ever since that time, sometimes serving as a humble
container for flowers plucked from the gardens of the old days, and sometimes
playing a role as subject of a still-life painting.
     So, to demonstrate that history, in my next posting, I'm planing to show
another painting in which the jug played a role, but painted a half century or more
later than this one.

                                                           (click on image to enlarge)

  Giclee fine art prints of this painting are available.

Felinity No. 3

                                                An original mixed-media painting
                                                18x12" unframed, - (mat size, 24x18")
                                                $900.00, - (plus $25.00, pack and ship)

     This was the third version of what became of a series of four paintings, which first
began with a straightforward, representational study of a girl holding her cat.  After
that first one, I decided to see if I could try another one which would be a bit more
expressive about the subject.  Although I liked that second version I still didn't feel that
I had gone as far with the subject as it could go, so I continued with this third version
and then on to a fourth one, looking more toward an abstraction of the relationship of
the girl and her cat, perhaps finally blending the characteristics of human and feline.
     The first two versions of the painting are gone now, but this one and the fourth one
are still available.

                                                             (click on image to enlarge)

Felinity No. 4

                                                       An original mixed-media painting, on paper
                                                       18x12" unframed, - (mat size, 24x18")
                                                       $900.00, - (plus $25.00, pack and ship)

     This was the final version of the series of four, which I referred to in my notes
about Felinity No. 3.  At this last stage of the progression, the evolved shapes
of the girl and her pet have become blended into a much more cat-like pair.

                                                           (click on image to enlarge)


A Black Winged Bird

                                                      An original scratchboard drawing
                                                      9x12" unframed, - (mat size, 15x18")
                                                      $40.00, - (plus $15.00, pack and ship)

     This little bird study is one of the group of early scratchboard drawings
which I mentioned in my previous posting.  I'm not positive about what kind
of bird it was, but I think it was probably a scarlet tanager.
     (For those who are unfamiliar with scratchboard work, it is a reverse drawing
process, in which fine pointed instruments are used to scratch white lines through
the black-coated surface of the art board, to the white layer underneath.)

                                                      (click on image to enlarge)

A Candle Lit Cast

                                                     An original scratchboard drawing
                                                     10x8.5" unframed, - (mat size, 16x14.5")
                                                     $45.00, - (plus $15.00, pack and ship)

     Among the trove of my early watercolors and drawings, which I've been uncovering
lately, I have found a number of scratchboard drawings, which may be of interest, so
I will post some in my blog.  This one is a study of one of those artist's, plaster casts of
a well proportioned head, as seen by the light of a candle in a glass-crystal candle-holder.

                                                        (click on image to enlarge)

The Turquoise Vase and A Lost Key

                                                         An original watercolor painting
                                                         11x13" unframed, -(mat size, 17x19")
                                                         $125.00, (plus $20.00, pack and ship)

     This is one of those very early watercolors I discovered recently, which I referred to
in a previous post called Forsythia And The Silver Scyphus. Seeing it again now, after
so many years, it appears to have been carefully drawn, with close attention paid to the
details of the objects, and the folds of the fabrics.  And the colors are still as bright and
unfading as new work, because of its long, storage protection.

                                                         (click on image to enlarge)

Thursday, October 4, 2012

The Frozen Radience

                                       An original opaque watercolor painting, on illustration board
                                       25x20" unframed, - (mat size, 31x26")
                                       $2,000.00, - (plus $30.00, pack and ship)

    Occasionally, before all of the Autumn  leaves have fallen, an early taste of winter
can strike us with what we sometimes call an October surprise, then we wake up in
the morning to discover our world coated and weighted down with shimmering ice
and snow.
     This is an impressionist painting which attempted to capture the feel of just such a
morning, when looking out over the sparkling white trees, shrubs and fields.

                                                        (click on image to enlarge)

    Giclee, fine-art prints of this painting are available.

Forsythia and The Silver Scyphus

                                                             An original watercolor painting
                                                             14.5x13.5" unframed, (mat size, 20.5x19.5")
                                                              $300.00, (plus $20.00, pack and ship)

     This little painting is one of a group of my very early watercolors, which I recently
pulled out of storage for the first time in many years.  To their credit, now that I'm
seeing them with experienced eyes, I can say that at least I was paying careful attention
to the accuracy of detail in drawing and color at that time.  And now, since they have
been in storage ever since the were painted, the colors are as bright as they were
when they were applied, six decades or more ago.
     I will probably show some more of these early things in the blog, during the next
few weeks.

                                                   (click on image to enlarge)

Reaching For The Light

                                                        An original oil painting, on a canvas panel
                                                        20x16" unframed
                                                        $1,200.00, - (plus $20.00, pack and ship)

     The setting of this painting is an old, root cellar, where an antique.salt-glazed crock,
with its lid set down on the table, stands among some scattered and forgotten, dried
onions. The onions have been trying to grow in the dim light, sending their serpentine
sprouts up and around, in a futile search for sunlight.
     The composition is primarily a focus on the patterns of bold, rhythmic lines.

                                                       (click on image to enlarge)

       Giclee, fine-art prints of this painting are available.

Sunday, September 30, 2012

The Emerging Monarch

                                                       An original pastel on paper
                                                       18x24" unframed, (mat size, 24x30")
                                                       $900.00 - (plus $30.00 pack and ship)

     I once had the privilege of watching the entire transformation of a monarch
butterfly, as it emerged from its chrysalis and filled out its wings to take its first flight.
This abstraction of that transformation is an expressionist interpretation of that
amazing experience.

                                                     (click on image to enlarge)


The Barn Owl

                                                    An original pencil drawing on heavy paper 
                                                    12x18" unframed, (mat size 18x24")
                                                    $350.00, (plus $20.00, pack and ship)

     A blog follower recently asked if I had any more bird studies, and I was sure
that I must have more, because birds have always been interesting subjects for me, 
as they always have been for many artists, throughout art history.  So, I did some 
more digging and found some more, including this one of a secretive, barn owl.

                                                            (click on image to enlarge)

Friday, August 31, 2012

A Sunrise Visator

                                                  An original acrylic painting on stretched canvas
                                                  24x20" unframed
                                                  $2,000.00 - (plus $35.00, pack and ship)

     In the beginning decades of the last century, a Kansas City real estate developer
decided to create a unique shopping district, away from the central business district,
which later became known as America's first shopping center  He planned the
buildings and settings to have the character of a Spanish village, with decorative,
tiled walls, courtyards and towers.  And as a distinctive part of his plan, he
purchased numerous European artworks, sculptures and fountains, to install
throughout the district.
     Over the years, I have used a number of those fountains as subjects for drawing
and painting, including this painting of a masterfully carved, little, marble fountain,
shown here in the bright glow of sunrise.  The arrival of the little bluebird at the
fountain is a wistful idea, but an unlikely occurrence at that location, in a busy
commercial district, in the middle of a large metropolitan area.

                                                              (click on image to enlarge)

     This painting breaks one of the old rules of composition, which says that the
subject must never be placed directly in the center of the canvas.  But In this case,
I was more interested in trying to capture an accurate rendering of the sculpture,
than I was in using it only as a starting point from which to develop a painting of a
more expressive, personal viewpoint.  So, I treated it as an example of classical,
monumental sculpture and put it in the center, even though it is not actually
monumental in size.

Queen Of The Lilly Pond

                                                 An original watercolor painting
                                                 20x14" unframed, (mat size, 26x20")
                                                 $1,200.00 - (plus $20.00, pack and ship)

     Swans are painting subjects which I have returned to frequently over the years.
In the bird world, they have always seemed to be the epitome of graceful elegance,
in their form and in their movements.
     In this impressionist watercolor, I was primarily concerned with trying to capture
the feel of brilliant sunlight reflecting off of the shining surface of dark pond-water.

                                                             (click on image to enlarge)

     I still find the informal balance of this painting to be very pleasant.

     Giclee fine-art prints of this painting are available.

The Winds In The Pine Grove

                                                        An original mixed media painting on paper
                                                        13x19" unframed, (mat size, 19x25")
                                                         $300.00, - (plus $20.00, pack and ship)

    Well over a century ago, one of this city's real estate developers gave the city a very
big tract of land, to be made into a great park  The unspoiled land had large, forested
areas, and a diverse topography, and as it was developed, it became the home of our
zoo, some golf courses, a large, outdoor theater, and various other civic amenities.
     The early designers of the park planted groves of evergreen trees and other varieties
as well, along the sides of a grand mall, which stretches down toward the wooded
river valley, and as those trees matured they became peaceful sanctuaries away from
busy city life.
     This little expressionist painting was an interpretation of one of those groves, on a
breezy day, as I was listening to the winds whispering in the pines.
                                                         (click on image to enlarge)

     It is landscape (particularly landscape without figures) that is the subject matter in
which I sometimes feel most free to let myself go and become more expressive about the
beauty of nature as I am experiencing it.  Then I can allow myself to follow my feelings
into abstraction, rather than simply doing a purely representational rendering of a scene.
That is the artist's equivalent of a writer giving himself permission to write an expressive
poem about a scene, rather than writing a simple, descriptive essay.

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Bartlett And Fellow Travelers

                                                   An original acrylic painting, on gessoed panel
                                                   7x5" unframed
                                                   $200.00, (plus $8.00, pack and ship)

     The fruit that we buy at the big, mid-western super-markets is, of necessity, often
picked in the far corners of the country and the globe, especially when it is out of season.
So, of course, it is often picked when it is still green and hard, in order to travel well
in shipment.  Then when we buy it, we can never be certain that it will ripen into a
juicy, delicious treat, or simply spoil.  This pear for example: it was still green and hard
under that first, hopeful blush of color, but it did look promising.  Only time will tell.

                                                             (click on image to enlarge)

     The composition of this painting is pyramidal, with an informal balance of the
light and dark value patterns.

     Giclee fine-art prints of this painting are available.

Echoing Voices

                                                     An original watercolor painting
                                                     15x22" unframed, - (mat size, 21x28")
                                                     $1,200.00, ( plus $25.00, pack and ship)

     How many times have we heard that old expression "If these walls could only talk..."?
That is a question which certainly comes to mind in referring to this Ozark, pioneer
log-cabin and the various modifications to the old structure which had occurred over
the decades, such as the tin-roof replacement for the hand-split, wooden shingles.
How many generations of children played in front of the cabin and on that porch which
has now collapsed?  How many trips were made to the well to fetch fresh pails of water?
And how many cords of firewood and kindling were cut and split to keep the fireplace
tended and to fuel those families' cook stoves over the years?
     Now the decaying homestead waits, abandoned and destined for demolition.  It stands
open and welcoming still, but the only visitors are of the four footed variety, and they
don't report on what kind of echoing voices they hear inside, from those timeworn walls.  

                                                            (click on image to enlarge)

Shadows And Reflections

                                                    An original pastel painting
                                                    24x18" unframed, - (mat size, 30x24")
                                                    $2,000.00, ( plus $25.00, pack and ship)

                                                                             (click on image to enlarge)

     This painting was an interesting challenge of composition questions, concerning
the off-centered, figure placements, and the capture of shimmering, light reflections.
I'd say that I was finally, fairly well pleased with the overall balance in the composition,
and with the various, textures in the shadows and reflected light.

The Sentinel Pines, No. 3

                                                  An original watercolor painting
                                                  18x24", unframed - (mat size, 24x30")
                                                  $2,000.00, (plus $25.00, pack and ship)

     There is a large acreage near here, where at some point earlier in the twentieth
century, a long, double row of little pine trees was planted along the slope of a hill
or berm.  The trees were probably planted to provide some privacy screening,
with little thought given to how big they would eventually grow or how closely together
the trees were planted.  Later on, when I first saw the trees, they had matured into
a substantial, evergreen avenue, standing stately and strong, along the contours
of the hillside.
     I did four successive watercolors of the pines, from one point of view, beginning
with a very traditional, representational study of the trees, paying careful attention to
detail in the painting.  But that first painting didn't quite satisfy what I wanted to achieve
with the subject, so I continued to experiment with the additional attempts.  With each
successive try, I kept pushing for a more expressive feel to my renditions of the pines
and the landscape.
     The first two paintings of the series, which had the more traditional, detailed landscape
approach, are now long gone, but the third and fourth paintings are still here.  The one
I'm showing in this posting was the third one I painted.  In this version, I had moved on
to a more expressive use of line and color, which now looks something like a Derain
or one of the other Fauvists, but I think it does capture some of the drama of the light
and shadow of the trees.
                                                           (click on image to enlarge)

The Sentinel Pines, No. 4

                                                       An original watercolor painting
                                                       18x24" unframed, - (mat size, 24x30")
                                                       $2,000.00, (plus $25.00, pack and ship)

     This painting was the fourth in this series, and my final interpretation of this landscape
with pine trees, as seen from this one vantage point.  In this last version, I was pushing 
even stronger, to get a more expressive rendition of the scene, using more vigorous 
strokes of the brush, and deeper color.  By comparison to the first three paintings of this 
scene, this final one became nearly abstract, with even more interest in a feel for the 
dynamic shapes of the trees and shadows, rather than details of branches and foliage.
     Perhaps I was subconsciously feeling an influence of Franz Kline or one of the 
other abstract-expressionists at the time, but I think it was simply a more personal
exploration for me, to see where my feelings about that scene on that day, would take me.  

                                                          (click on image to enlarge)

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Dawn Over Mount Adams

                                                 An original oil painting, on gessoed panel
                                                 18x9", unframed
                                                 $600.00, - (plus $20.00, pack and ship)

     This was another painting which I hadn't looked at in years.  The subject was from
an area of Cincinnati, in the mid to late 1960's.  Mount Adams is one of a number of
steep, hilltop communities clustered around the central city, and it is surmounted by a
venerable, old cathedral at the very summit of the hill.  At that time, the formerly
blue-collar area had become a trendy, artist's colony, with an old-world atmosphere.
But its growing popularity destined it to be taken over for redevelopment as as an
enclave for residents who were wealthier than the displaced artists, who could no longer
afford to live there.

                                                               (click on image to enlarge)

     The painting seems to reveal a variety of different influences in my work at that time.
The houses and windows are simplified to a nearly cubist treatment, reminiscent of a
Cezanne landscape, as are the the equally simplified trees and shrubs, which are rounded
into flowing shapes to fit the composition.  While at the same time, the dawn light,
breaking from behind the cathedral spire, is fractured into extended planes which are
reminiscent of Marin or Feininger.  But even so, for me, somehow the whole
composition still manages to capture a feel for that place at that period of time, which
has a ring of truth to it.

     Giclee fine-art prints of this painting are available.

A Seedling For Van Gogh

                                           An original charcoal and tempera painting, on toned paper
                                           12x9" unframed, (mat size, 18x15")
                                           $400.00, - (plus $20.00, pack and ship)

     Some decades back, I did a useful series of paintings in this size format, in which I
purposely limited myself to using charcoal and a few jars of leftover tempera paints,on
manila toned paper.  There are still a half dozen or more of them around, and this bright
and lively little expressionist painting of a lemon tree seedling is one of the remainders
of that group.  The series was useful to me because it was a good exercise in the use
of heightened color and strong, visible brushwork.  I find that those are good lessons
for me to remember and apply, when I am working on paintings of a more traditional
nature, which can sometimes tend to become too subdued and muted in color and
                                                            (click on image to enlarge)

     Giclee fine-art prints of this painting are available.

The Contented Pelican

                                                     An original pencil drawing on illustration board
                                                     15x20" unframed, (mat size, 21x26")
                                                     $125.00, - (plus $25.00, pack and ship)

     As with most older artists, I still have large stacks of drawings waiting for me, to
be gone through and sorted out.  Some of the more finished studies that I find, may
be of interest to the viewers of this blog, such as this pencil rendering of a seated
pelican.  I recall that when I drew it, I had an excellent model for the drawing;
the bird never moved a muscle for the whole afternoon because it was a permanent
resident of a natural history museum.....a stuffed and mounted example of the art of

                                                        (click on image to enlarge)

      Viewing a pelican often reminds of a well known, old limerick by Edward Lear.

A wonderful bird is the pelican.
His beak can hold more than his belly can.
He can hold in his beak
Enough food for a week!
But I'll be damned if I know how the hellican?

Saturday, August 4, 2012

A Hibiscus Aloha

                                                  An original acrylic painting, on gessoed panel
                                                  8x10" unframed
                                                  $400.00, - (plus $12.00, pack and ship)

     After a perfect day in a Pacific paradise, the sun is setting over Hawaii, and the
fading rays of sunlight glow on a single hibiscus blossom, in the final moments of its
one, brief day of beauty.

                                                          (click on image to enlarge)

     The hibiscus we like to associate with Hawaii is not actually a native variety to the
islands.  It traveled there from across the orient, along with the immigrants from those
lands, who came to work on the sugar and pineapple plantations, but that takes nothing
away from the exotic appeal of the flower.  I chose the Japanese, porcelain spoon and
bowl to use for this still-life painting, to carry out the theme of an exotic, tropical
 paradise, at the romantic ending of the day.

     Giclee fine-art prints of this painting are available.  

Friday, August 3, 2012

Merlin's Enchanted Keep

                                  An original acrylic/mixed media painting, on heavy card-stock
                                  19x26", unframed - (mat size, 25x32")
                                   $2,300.00, - (plus $30.00, pack and ship)

     What if there could be one, last, mystical and undiscovered glen, somewhere in the 
secret heart of an ancient British forest, where the captive soul of the legendary,
Arthurian wizard awaits to return?  And if such a magical spot still existed, might it not
appear something like this mysterious, forest landscape?  

                                                          (click on image to enlarge)

      The composition of the painting is designed to contrast the bright outer-world, beyond
the narrow entry-pathway through the forest, with the mystical, dark inner-world of the 
spirit of Merlin.  The painting was composed using various scraps of paper, painted and
glazed with acrylics, and then assembled into the final image.

     As a side note, although we may not have a Camelot world today, we could use a 
few wise wizards to counsel some of the Warts who are seeking political power now. 

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Three Leaves

                                                          An original mixed-media painting, on paper
                                                          18x22", unframed - (mat size, 24x28")
                                                           $1,600.00, - plus $25.00, pack and ship

     Some years ago, we had a potted, rubber-tree plant in the house, a bold plant with
very large, oval, leathery-green leaves, which tended to grow rapidly.  As the plant grew
taller, the large, old leaves at the base of the plant would fall off.  Three, thick, heavy
leaves dropped off in quick succession, and then began to curl and twist as they started
to dry.  That drying process transformed them into interesting, natural life-forms which
were sculptural objects, like other cast-offs of Mother Nature, such as sea shells and
deer antlers.  They became worthy subjects for drawing and painting, and I did several
studies of them, including this one, which came closest to showing them full size.     

                                                             (click on image to enlarge)

     The rich earth-tones, and the rhythm of the composition, set up by having three similar
objects placed in a row, give this study something of a classic feel.

     As a side note, the title of this piece (Three Leaves) reminds me of a quote by the
famous ecdysiast Gypsy Rose Lee, who said that when she was on stage performing,
she always had to remember to keep her three leaves from falling, or else
the cops would come in.

Tuesday, July 31, 2012

A poster for Pseudolus

                                                An original, tempera, poster design, on paper
                                                24x18" unframed, - (mat size, 30x24")
                                                $!,400.00, - (plus $25.00, pack and ship)

      After the release of the movie A Funny Thing Happened On The Way To The Forum,
there was a revival of interest in Ancient Roman Comedies for a while.  This was my
preliminary, poster design for a proposed, college-theater production of a play by Plautus.

                                                       (click on image to enlarge)


     This bold, colorful design has a playful exuberance, suitable to the play which it
would have promoted, but it is not a work of subtlety or depth, and the influence of
Picasso is a bit too obvious.  Even so, perhaps the poster still has a brightly decorative
appeal for those who have an interest in theater and stage arts, or for poster-art
enthusiasts in general.