Tuesday, December 31, 2013

The Winter Solstice

                                        An original mixed-media painting, on stretched canvas
                                        10x8", unframed
                                        $200.00, (plus $12.00, pack and ship)

     This is another of the paintings which I made as a Christmas card design,
but it may have a more lasting appeal than that, for some viewers of the blog.
The original design included a buck deer with a large rack of horns, but I finally
felt that the painting was more satisfying without anything other than the early dawn
light on the snow covered, mountain landscape.  So, I decided to use the deer
in a larger painting, and simplified the composition in this painting.  As a general
rule, I find that small paintings are more successful if their compositions are very
simple and uncluttered.


Saturday, November 23, 2013

Why "Y"? (Lost and Found, No.8)

                                          An original mixed-media painting, on illustration board
                                          3.5x5", (mat size, 8.5x10")
                                          $50.00, (plus $10.00, pack and ship)

     I don't really have an answer to the question posed by the title of this little miniature.
I suppose I chose that title simply because of the semi-amusing alliteration, created when
someone asks the question.  If there are some viewers of this posting, who feel that they
may have an answer or a story to fit the question, please feel free to leave your comments.

Only Twenty Four Letters To Go (Lost and Found, No.7)

                                           An original mixed-media painting, on illustration board
                                           3.5x5", (mat size, 8.5x10")
                                            $60.00, (plus $10.00, pack and ship)

Monday, November 11, 2013

"N" Is For Nash, (Lost and Found, No. 14)

                                           An original mixed-media painting, on illustration board
                                            3.5x5", ( mat size, 8.5x10")
                                            $45.00, (plus $10.00, pack & ship)

     "N is for Nash, and P is for Packard, and S is for Studebaker, and W is for ....."

     In the late 1930's, perhaps that kind of memorization was used to help children learn
their letters. when they were playing with their alphabet, building-blocks and toy cars.
Those were the days when practically all the cars on America's streets and highways
were the proud products of American car companies.  Sadly enough, for American
workers, the time would soon come when many of those proud names would be gone.
After World War ll, the overpowering competition from foreign and domestic car
makers, swallowed up many of the once-proud, brand names, and now we are left
with only vague memories of so many of those gleaming icons which once ruled
America's roads.

     The tiny, toy car in this miniature, which I found in the bottom of a long-forgotten
toy-box, dates from those years shortly before the war.  That was in the days before
war-shortages of commodities such as metal for castings and rubber for wheels, made
the manufacture of such toys a rarity during the early 1940's.

     The little toy car appears to have traveled many an imaginary mile in the busy hands
of the two small boys of the household at that time, who were my brother and I, living in
a much more carefree age.  The car suffered some paint loss and is a bit bent,  but
it still rolls on its original wheels, even after more than seven decades of waiting for a
child to come along and take it out for another ride.

     They made them well in those days. They made them strong, durable and reliable:
the cars, and the toys........and brothers.

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

The Sleigh-bell, (Lost and Found, No. 9)

                                         An original mixed-media painting, on illustration board
                                         3.5x5", ( mat size, 8.5x10")
                                         $65.00, (plus $10.00, pack and ship)

     The antique, heavy-weight bell in this painting, with its incised, petals design on the
base, must have been a fairly costly trinket in its day.  It is worn and tarnished now,
(I have taken the liberty of brightening it up a bit in the painting), but back when it was
new and brightly polished, a full compliment of such bells on a horses' livery and graceful
sleigh, would have made an impressive display for a snowy, winter sleigh-ride.

     The old bell brings back memories of my childhood, during the mid 1940's, memories
of wilting-hot summers, in the days before air-conditioning and television.  That was when
the other children of the neighborhood and I spent our days outdoors, running around
barefooted and trying to avoid any patches of the sidewalks which were not well shaded
from the broiling heat of the sun.  Streets which had been baking in the sun all day were
crossed in rapid sprints, accompanied by multiple utterances  such as "Ouch! Ouch!
Oh oh, ouch!", until the safety of a shaded sidewalk was reached again.

     You may be asking what an ancient sleigh-bell has to do with the heat of summer,
so I will explain the connection.  Even in those days there was a vendor we all called
"the ice-cream man", who drove along the streets distributing frozen treats to children,
in exchange for the small coins which we ran breathlessly to fetch from our mothers.
The big difference between those days and now, was the unique means of transportation
used by our ice-cream vendor. He drove an ancient truck which was built on a high,
narrow chassis, and which stood on tall wheels with thick spokes radiating from the hubs
to the tires.  The back of the truck had windows along both sides, and when the driver
stopped for the eager shouts of his small customers, he could go from the front of the
truck into the narrow aisle at the rear and stand tightly compressed between the dry-ice
cooled cabinets on either side.  When a child called out his choice of cold confection,
the driver knew exactly which compartment-lid to lift and reach down to retrieve the
icy treat.

     And now here is where the sleigh-bell memories come into the story.  Those days
were long before the age of recorded tunes playing over the loud-speakers, which we
see and hear playing repeatedly from atop the ice-cream trucks of today.  The vendor
needed some other method of alerting  the children of the neighborhood that he was
coming our way, and he had found the solution to the problem in the tall spokes on the
wheels of his truck.  He had strung old sleigh-bells together, and he wove them in and
out between the spokes of the wheels, so that as he drove along, the bells rang-out their
jingling and jangling announcement of his arrival, as effectively as if he were driving an
old-fashioned, circus-parade wagon.  We could all hear the ice-cream man coming
from way over on the next street.

     Somehow the remembered music of those bouncing, jingling sleigh-bells, holds
more merriment in my mind, than all of the monotonous tunes being endlessly broadcast
from truck's loud-speakers these days, could ever achieve.

    As for the bell in this painting, I don't recall exactly how it came to us.  I suppose
that we could have found it in the street as a lost bell, perhaps even from the ice-cream
man's truck, but I vaguely recall that it was something my father had from earlier days.
It might have been an interesting story, to hear how he acquired it, but that was another
story never told.    

Sunday, November 3, 2013

Lost And Found, No. 3

                                           An original mixed-media painting, on illustration board
                                            3.5x5", (mat size, 8.5x10")
                                            $45.00, ( plus $10.00, pack and ship)

Thursday, October 31, 2013

Lost and Found, No. 5

                                        An original mixed-media painting on illustration board
                                        3.5x5", (mat size, 8.5x10")
                                        $45.00, (plus $10.00, pack and ship )

     As an update to my previous post, I have to report that I was much too optimistic
about the time required for recovery from my difficult surgery.  Although I am getting
around fairly well now, I am still being carefully monitored, and that will continue for
three more months.  But during my recuperation, I have continued to carry on with
a number of the miniatures which have occupied my time during convalescence, such
as the example in this post.  I will probably be posting more of them, from time to time.

     I have found a number of alphabet building-blocks, which have survived from the
1930's, in the bottom of a dusty old toy-box, and which fit well with the lost and found
theme.  I have used one in this miniature and in some others which I may post later.  .

Saturday, August 31, 2013

Snow White's Lost and Found Dwarf

     I believe it was the year in which I was born, that Walt Disney released
Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, the first full-length, animated feature film.
The film proved to be such a great popular success, that at the Academy Awards
Ceremony, Disney received a special honorary Oscar, accompanied by seven
miniature Oscars.  Shirley Temple may have played a role as a presenter, in giving
the statuettes to Walt, but I'm not sure about that bit of Hollywood history.
Disney used the popularity of those seven little characters to licence them to toy
companies for reproduction in a great variety of forms, and I imagine that they are
still being commercialized to this day.

     Some months ago, after a night of heavy rains, I found a little reproduction of
one of the dwarfs which a child had lost or discarded, and which was most probably
one of a set of all seven,  The rain had carried it along the flooded, curbside gutters
from some unknown location, and deposited it in front of my studio at the opening
of the storm sewer.  The little figure was lying there, along with one chipped and
scratched die, and only some twigs and leaf litter had prevented the two small
objects from falling through the iron grating into the sewer to be lost forever.

     August was my birth month, all those years ago, when audiences were first
being charmed by Disney's dwarfs.  And now I have to report that this August was
also nearly the month of my death.  I had a heart attack, and that was followed by
extensive, open-heart surgery, and now a torturous recovery period which will last
past the middle of September.

     During my painful convalescence, while I am waiting for the strength to return to
 my normal routine of life, I have been doing some small drawings of little objects
including the little dwarf figure which stands just a bit over two inches tall, as well as
its lost companion die.  I find the symbolism of this little lost fellow to be appropriate
to my message in this posting.....Just when we think that all is lost, our fate can 
change, and the lost can be saved!      


Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Calling The Birds To Breakfast

                                                          An original acrylic painting on canvas panel
                                                          20x16", unframed
                                                          $1,400.00, - (plus $25.00, pack and ship)

     There is an old saying which declares that sentimentality is the death of art.  That is
to say, the death of art for art's sake, or art with a capitol A.  As I view this painting
again, I would certainly say that it has some of the major hallmarks of sentimental art,
including angelic sweetness and innocence, as the little girl tries to entice birds from
the shrubs with crusts of her morning toast.  Undoubtedly there would be critics who
would say that the story-telling aspects of the painting would label the work as more
of an illustration than a work of true art  However, there may be something more to
this painting than simple illustration; I would be interested in knowing the opinions of
the viewers of this blog on this subject, if anyone wold care to leave their comments.
If you like this painting I have more work with similar subject matter which I can
show in the blog, in future postings.

                                                            (click on image to enlarge)


Sunday, June 30, 2013

The Colors Of The Prairie

                                                          An original mixed-media on toned, Strathmore paper
                                                          18x24" unframed, ( mat size, 24x30")
                                                           $1,800.00,  ( plus $24.00, pack and ship )

     Visitors to the Kansas City area are sometimes surprised to learn that the growing
of tobacco was a long standing part of the local, agricultural economy.  We tend to
think of the heart of America as being the bread-basket of the nation, growing our
important food-grains such as corn and wheat, while crops such as tobacco and
cotton are thought of as the more traditional harvests of the deep south.  But some of
the earliest settlers in this area came from the plantation culture of the old south,
well before the civil-war, and they brought their tobacco seeds with them.  The annual
tobacco auctions became a staple of life in this part of the mid-west, for many decades,
with the booming voices of the auctioneers calling for bids on the bundled, dried leaves.

     Now, here and there, dotted among the fields north of the city, any remaining of the
huge, old tobacco-barns, may still echo with the auctioneer's calls.

                                                         ( Click on image to enlarge.)

     The composition of this piece is loosely based on a spiral design, focusing in on the
center-of-attention in the upper right quadrant.

In The Fading Light

                                              An original oil painting, on gesso primed, Masonite panel
                                              12x18", unframed
                                               $950.00, - ( plus $20.00, pack and ship)

     I recently found another of the paintings from the old days on Mount Adams,
which I have mentioned before in previous postings, such as Ten Ten Celestial,
and Dawn Over Mount Adams.  In this case, the subject was a small house on
the eastern flank of the hill, which someone had completely remodeled.  The false,
rectangular facade had been removed to reveal the peaked roof, which extended
over the recessed entryway at the side of the house, and nice, brick retaining-walls
had been constructed to create tidy, little gardens in front and back.  However, I
was not concerned with creating a detailed image of a specific place at the time.
I  was more interested in using the basic shapes of the scene in simplified forms,
letting all the details be diffused under the faceted gleam and extended planes of
the fading, evening light.

                                                         (Click on image to enlarge.)

Friday, May 31, 2013

Return Of The Monarch

                                                         An original acrylic painting, on gesso primed masonite
                                                         10x8", unframed
                                                         $300.00, (plus $12.00, pack and ship)

     The savage and record setting weather which has chilled and soaked the heart of
America this spring ( or should I say this absence of spring ), is finally showing signs
of giving us a reprieve at last.  The wild flowers are starting to bloom.  So, soon we may
be seeing some of the first monarch butterflies, working their way northward, on their
annual migration.  Perhaps this little painting offers a feel of those brighter days ahead.

                                                            (click on image to enlarge)

   The composition of this piece is a simple, reverse "S" curve, leading from the
upper right to the lower left.

   Giclee fine-art prints of this painting are available.

Ten Ten Celestial

                                                         An original oil painting, on gesso primed masonite
                                                         15x24", unframed
                                                          $1,300.00,  (plus $25.00, pack and ship)

     When the old Mount Adams section of Cincinnati was first laid out, the steep and
difficult terrain necessitated a plan of sharply winding and climbing streets and stairways.
The devout, early developers gave the streets heavenly names, which matched the views
out over the Ohio River valley and the downtown area of the city, and also because those
climbing streets led up to the church and monastery on top of the hill.

     The lots were narrow, which was typical for that era of the 19th century, when
brownstone style structures with formal facades, filled the lots from side to side, as well
as from the front sidewalk back, to perhaps a small bit of open space at the rear.
Some later builders, with less deep pockets, made do with frame structures, which
they tucked in between the brownstones.

     As the city expanded to the suburbs in the mid 20th century, the old, core areas of
town, such as Mount Adams became forgotten time-capsules of the city's history,
bypassed and cut off by the freeways which cut through it to provide convenient
commuting for suburban home owners, as was all too typical of what happened to so
many of America's cities.
     Then the artists discovered Mount Adams.  They found that the charm of the twisting
streets and quaint old houses, provided endless subject matter for paintings.  And, as so
often happens when artists move in and create an art colony, it became a popular
destination place for the young social crowds.  It was that very popularity which became
its downfall.  Property values and rents jumped, making it difficult for artists to keep their
studio, work spaces.   New "developers" saw that they could profit handsomely by tearing
down the low-density housing and raising apartment buildings in its place, to house the
influx of new residents.
     By the mid 1960's, the house at one thousand and ten Celestial, as well the
neighboring houses, had been demolished and replaced with a blandly utilitarian
apartment building.  So,  this painting is a remainder among the souvenirs from
a different time, a different world and a different life.

                                                         (click on image to enlarge)

I used an exaggerated perspective in this painting to emphasize the odd angles
created by the steep viewing points.  I thought of the composition as an assemblage
of bold shapes which could contrast the heavy masonry of the brownstone structures
with the more timid, wood-frame structures, set back from their domineering neighbors. 


Tuesday, April 30, 2013

The Prairie Winds

                                                              An original mixed-media painting
                                                              24x36", unframed
                                                              $3.000.00,  (plus $45.00, pack and ship)

     This painting dates from the days when I was using landscape themes as starting
points, from which to expand into nearly abstract paintings. I wanted to create work
which would somehow depict the feel for being out in the sun and the wind, watching
the movements of the trees and grasses and gathering the fragrance of the air.
     The results of such zealous, expressionist fervor were not always awe inspiring,
but they still sometimes carry a kind of dynamic enthusiasm which I appreciate.

                                                       (click on image to enlarge)

An Indian Princess

                                                    An original oil painting, on canvas panel
                                                    24x20", unframed
                                                    $2.000.00, - (plus $25.00, pack and ship)

     This painting is not so much a portrait as it is a work of expressive composition,
and vigorous brush handling in the application of the paint.  My primary interest was
the creation of the free-flowing shapes which form the figure, especially the nearly
abstract, bold shape of the somewhat Gauguin inspired, rippling-hair silhouette.  That
lively, dark shape, is nearly flattened, in the manner of the Japanese wood-block prints,
which the post-impressionists so admired.      
     But I would say that the painting owes more to the abstract expressionists than it
does to the post-impressionists.

                                                         (click on image to enlarge)

Emerald Green and Lavender Grey

                                                   An original water color painting
                                                   15x11", unframed, _ (mat size, 21x17")
                                                   $550.00, ( plus $15.00, pack and ship)

     This little watercolor which I recently found stored away, dates back to the years
of some of my earliest work.  It was interesting to see it again after six decades or
      It is a fairly simple piece, but what I can say about it, as I look back at the painting
now, is that it was carefully observed and precisely rendered.  That was its main goal,
and that is what was achieved.

                                                            (click on image to enlarge)


Weather hexes, and hexamerous tulip blossoms

      Someone in Middle America must have angered Mother Nature this year, because
she extended the full wrath of the Winter, well into Spring, for the folks who live here in
the heartland.  We have been hexed indeed.  The blossoms of the early-flowering, spring
bulbs were obliterated by a continuing series of snow, sleet and ice storms.  And, even
the late blooming tulips have had to weather heavy frosts and the occasional snow flurry.
      After rescuing a few blossoms, with thoughts of painting a still life, I realized that it
had been many years since I had closely examined tulip blossoms.  When I looked
down into the open bowls of the blossoms, I was struck by the bold, hexagram patterns
of the flowers.  They reminded me of a kaleidoscope which I had when I was a child,
the kind with those little bits of colored glass behind the lens, which were multiplied by
mirrors, as the kaleidoscope was turned, to create endlessly evolving, symmetrical and
jewel-like arrangements, worthy of  a Tiffany, stained-glass designer.
     I wonder now if tulip blossoms could have been the inspiration for the hex signs
which the Pennsylvania Dutch used to decorate their barns, perhaps in hopes of
warding off hexes and providing good fortune.  We could all certainly use some more
good fortune this year.
     Here is a sample of what I've been seeing through a camera lens, rather than through
a kaleidoscope.


Sunday, March 31, 2013

Spring Comes To Old Maybry Mill

                                                      An original transparent watercolor painting
                                                      16x22", unframed - (mat size, 22x28")
                                                       $1,200.00, (plus $25.00, pack and ship)

     Spring has been AWOL in our part of the country, regardless of what the calendar
tells us.  We had a third, heavy and deep snowfall last week, doing additional damage
and staying with us right up until this weekend.  I have been as anxious for a genuine
taste of spring as everyone else, and I ran across this watercolor which may perhaps
brighten a few spirits.  The subject is probably one of the most photographed and
painted old mills in the country, but maybe my treatment brings something a little bit
different than others may have tried.

                                                          (Click on image to enlarge.)

     Giclee fine-art prints of this painting are available.

Saturday, March 30, 2013

Cheese and Quackers

                                             An original acrylic painting, on gessoed Masonite panel
                                             6x8", unframed
                                             $175.00, (plus $10.00, pack and ship)

     The cheese was a small wedge of white Stilton with apricots, imported from
England.  It had a mild flavor and a crumbly texture, with chewy bits of diced apricot.
     The quackers are a pair of salt and pepper shakers, in the form of  hand-painted,
duck figurines. They were also imported, but from the other side of the world, and
they are of a much older vintage than the cheese was.  Those two, little ducks have
been around as far back as I can remember, dating at least to the 1940's or earlier,
when so many ceramics products were flowing into the country from Japan.

     The chances are that they were a little gift to my father, who liked hunting, and
who actually seemed to enjoy sitting in a freezing, cold duck-blind before dawn,
in the hope that some ducks might eventually stray within shooting range.

     Now these surviving ducks are just two more of the multitude of little dust-catchers
in the house, which are patiently awaiting their dispersal after I am gone.  So, here they
are, perhaps making a final appearance before their future migration to an unknown

                                                       ( Click on image to enlarge.)

     Giclee fine-art prints of this painting are available.

Monday, March 11, 2013


     I believe this is the title page to John Greenleaf Whittier's long, 1866 poem, which
was so popular in the late 19th and early 20th century.  The poem tells of that era in
America, before homes had electricity and telephones, when the sudden arrival of
deep, snow and ice storms would intensify the feelings of isolation which many people
had to endure for long periods of time.  In those days, when being so snow-bound, the
only form of entertainment available to relieve the cabin fever, was to huddle around
the fireplace and tell stories.
     I was reminded of that poem because, for the past few weeks, the heart of America
has been snow-bound.  For two weeks in a row, late Winter storms visited us, dumping
nearly a foot or more of snow on us with each passing blow.  The last storm in particular
dropped heavy, wet snow, which stuck to every little branch and twig, pulling the trees
and vegetation to the ground.  That resulted in thousands of people being without power,
and some fairly devastating damage to trees and shrubs.
     My own, quiet hide-a-way, which I like to call The Artist's Retreat, was not immune
from the crushing, wintry assault, or from the resulting destructive force. These photos
I took of the front garden, show the shrubs all flattened under the weight of the snow,
and the flowering trees bent down to the ground. ( Somewhere, under that fractured
red-bud tree and that mound of snow, is a driveway and a car.)
     The complete inundation reminded me of the the winter scenes of the Russian,
country home in David Lean's film production of Doctor Zhivago, when the house was
overwhelmed with deep drifts of snow and ice.

     Now that the snow is melting into smaller patches and I can tally the damages, I can
see that there are a number of large evergreen shrubs and trees which are beyond
repair, but I know that young replacements would never grow to a handsome size
during my remaining days.
     So, I am reminded once again, that despite all of our modern conveniences, Mother
Nature still rules, and we can all still become........Snow-bound.    

Thursday, February 28, 2013

Fruit For The Greenhouse Gardeners

                                                             An original oil painting, on stretched canvas
                                                             36x24", unframed
                                                             $3,000.00, -(plus $35.00, pack and ship)

     It has rather humble subject matter for a painting this size: some old,clay flower pots,
filled with dirt and broken pot shards; an old galvanized, watering can, which has lost its
sprinkler head; some stray fabric, perhaps used as frost protection for tender plants; a
wandering vine from a philodendron plant; and some fresh fruit.  However, I suppose
those objects were not the real subject of this painting.  Back in the days of my youthful
enthusiasm for experimenting with composition methods, it was more about the painting
process, than it was about the subject matter.
     This is the painting to which I referred in my previous post, Variation On A Cezanne
Motif.  This one dates back a half dozen years or so earlier than that one, to the late
1950's or early 1960's.  I don't think I was too overly conscious of Cezanne's
composition methods at the time that I painted it, but I was certainly in full harmony
with his efforts to create deep space in paintings by making the planes rotate or move
around a central point, back and forth in space, without destroying the picture plane.
Therefore I deliberately modified the shapes and planes of the various objects to further
that effort, such as tilting the bench top at an exaggerated perspective, tilting the watering
can on its axis, and literally tilting one of the flower pots.  All of which combined to create
a strong directional thrust from the lower left corner to the center of the canvas, with
additional elements reinforcing the directional pulls from the lower right and both sides,
continuing that circular movement around the central pivot point.
     I recall that I first made a full scale, preliminary drawing for this painting, using charcoal
and ink, just blocking-in the major elements of the painting, to get a better feel for the
direction I wanted to take the composition.  That drawing must be lost or long gone.

     As for the painting technique, it bares practically no resemblance to the carefully
modulated planes of Cezanne's art.  This one was painted at a time when I, like so many
other artists, was enjoying the the love of paint, and the pleasure of seeing the paint itself
and the evidence of the application process, still visible in the finished painting.  Although
I didn't go quite so far as to have the paint drip and run down the surface of the canvas,
the painting was handled broadly, with undisguised elements of the under-painting and
glazes still showing beneath passages of strong, loaded brush-strokes.  

                                                            (click on image to enlarge)


Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Variation On A Cezanne Motif

                                                       An original oil painting, on canvas panel
                                                       24x20", unframed
                                                       $2,000.00, (plus $25.00, pack and ship)

     I have been an admirer of Cezanne and the other post-impressionists since my
early school days, and my own work has no doubt been influenced by those modern
masters who led the way for all artists, as we have followed their ground breaking
work.  Several decades or more ago, when I was looking at a book of Cezanne,
still-life paintings, I observed the often overly-elaborate, arrangements he set up to
paint, using favorite objects surrounded by an abundance of fruit, resting on flowing
folds of fabrics.  That abundance was very deliberate of course, so that Cezanne
could create the many, overlapping planes he required for the unique, spacial
organization of his paintings.
     One of the paintings which caught my attention, featured a dramatic swag of
drapery, flowing down from over the upper left portion of the composition, and I
decided to try a simplified study of that kind of arrangement, using just a few, handy
still-life objects.
     I no longer remember the specific Cezanne painting which was the motivation
for me to do this one, or even any of the objects he placed in it, other than the fabric,
but I know that this painting bares no resemblance to the great complexity of Cezanne's
compositions, or to the definitive modulations of his painting technique.  However, for
those viewers who enjoy richly textured, oil paintings, this one does have passages of
vigorously applied, loaded brushwork and painting-knife work.
     Looking at this painting now, it strikes me that the way I handled the fruit has more
in common with Gauguin or Van Gogh, and their interest in Japanese woodblock prints,
than it has with Cezanne's painting method.  Cezanne was on record as disliking the
flattened shapes of Gauguin's painting compositions.
     As for the old, hand-wrought, copper pitcher in this painting, it was purchased in
an antique shop in the mid 1950's.  I know nothing of its history beyond that, but its
quite aged patina makes me wonder if it might once have been used to serve up ale
or hard cider in some Early American tavern.  

                                                           (click on image to enlarge)

     Viewing this painting again, reminds me of an older one that I believe I still have,
which perhaps reflects a stronger influence of Cezanne's approach to composition.
It must be stored away someplace; I will see if I can find it for my next post.

      Giclee fine-art prints of this painting are available.

Thursday, January 31, 2013

China Tree Seed-pods, and Old China Cat

                                                An original oil painting, on canvas panel
                                                24x18", unframed
                                                $2,000.00, - (plus $25.00, pack and ship)

     Some years ago, I had a few clusters of seed pods and dried leaves of a china tree,
which I used as subjects for still-life drawings and paintings, such as this one which has
been in storage since that time.  The trees, also commonly called varnish trees or golden
rain trees, are native to China, and are now considered an invasive species in Florida,
but they are not so plentiful in the middle-west.  The pods are rather unusual, little,
three-lobed, lantern shapes, with paper-thin husks, which makes them interesting to
draw and paint.  I wish I still had some.
    The ceramic cat figurine in the painting, is one of a pair which have been in the family
since at least as far back as the 1940's, when most of the ceramic figurines which were
flooding into the country were made in Japan.  I have used them in paintings a number
of times, changing their color as needed to suit the compositions.  Looking at this
painting now, I'm wondering if it might be time to add a ceramic mouse.  That seems
apropos, since just about any little, ceramic mouse we can buy today is most likely
made in China.

                                                           (click on image to enlarge

     Giclee fine-art prints of this painting are available.

Weathering The Storms

                                                  An original mixed-media painting, on paper
                                                  18x24" unframed, (mat size, 24x30")
                                                  $1,800.00, - (plus $25.00, pack and ship)

     The wonderful old barns which defined us as an agrarian nation during the 19th
and early 20th century, are rapidly disappearing from the landscape, but it is not
the storms which are sweeping them away.  They have fallen victim to farm
consolidations and changing agricultural methods, as well as suburban development,
such as the subject of this painting.
     Some decades ago, when I spent an afternoon doing this expressionist study
of this particularly fine old specimen, with its high, gambrel roof, ventilation cupola
and extended bays, the structure was still standing, shimmering in the gusty wind and
the heat of the sun.  Now it and the grain fields are long gone, consumed by an ever
expanding, suburban sprawl.  

                                                         (click on image to enlarge)


Splashes Of Light

                                                   An original mixed-media painting, on toned paper
                                                   9x12" unframed, (mat size, 15x18")
                                                    $300.00, - (plus $15.00, pack and ship)

     One way of summing up the art of painting, is to say that it is our various attempts
at using paints on canvas, to capture the effects of light falling on a wide range of
surfaces.  From everyday, simple objects, to faces and skin, to landscapes and clouds,
or anything that we see, it is all defined by light.  And, it is the manner in which we
choose to express what we feel or want to say about what we see, which tends to
define the "style" of art we produce.
                                                           ( click on image to enlarge)

       This little expressionist or semi-abstract still-life, is from a series of limited palette
experimental studies, which I have referred to in previous postings, such as the one called
Sweet Cream And A Salty Pig.  As with the other pieces in the series, the subjects are
an unrelated selection of items gathered from the kitchen, offering several different types
of light-reflecting surfaces, from the ceramic pitcher, to the gleam of the metal vase, to
the square-faceted, pressed-glass, salt shaker with a metal lid.

Saturday, January 12, 2013

The Littlest Angel and The Christmas Card

Dedication - For all of the littlest angels of Sandy Hook Elementary School

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

     In many homes across America, remnants of our recent Christmas celebrations are
still in evidence, waiting to be discarded or put away again until next year.  Items such as
the Christmas card and small, bisque, angel figurine in this painting, are still decorating
many fireplace mantels, quietly offering a final moment's opportunity for us to to reflect
on the true meaning of Christmas.  But sadly, their messages of love and peace, always
seem to get lost somewhere amid the the many conflicts and stresses of our daily lives,
and on some days it seems that there is little hope that love and peace can exist in our
merciless, violent world, where even the most innocent among us often pay the price
for our senseless hubris.

                                                         (Click on image to enlarge.)

       Giclee fine-art prints of this painting are available.

     And now that I have opened the subject of one of the most contentious issues
facing congress, I might as well make my position clear, even though few will read or
care about what I write here.
     Automatic and semi-automatic, military, assault rifles, with large ammunition clips,
are designed for one purpose --- to kill people in large numbers, as quickly and
efficiently as possible!  That is why we want our soldiers to have such weapons, in
order to provide them with as much protection from enemy fire as we can give them.

     These guns were not designed for the love of sport;  hunters get along perfectly well
with hunting rifles, and target shooters have a choice of thousands of different weapons
which can be used for target practice.  These assault rifles are collected by people who
desire to own the weapons with the greatest possible killing potential and lethal force.
They enjoy the macho image of being able to say "Look at the power I have! See what
I can do with this!", and describe the shooting as "Awesome!", or "Cool!", or other
proud adjectives.  It is as senseless as buying an expensive sports car, with enough
horsepower to achieve speeds which are several times greater than the legal speed limits.
It's all about image, not necessity!
     We have reached such a perverted sense of personal freedom in this country, that
when we write out our daily shopping lists, along with the butter, milk and eggs, we
may include a military assault rifle with enough loaded clips of ammunition to kill an
entire community, children included.  That unlimited freedom is based on an amendment
to a document written over two centuries ago, when our guns were muzzle loaders.

     We have all heard the arguments of the gun lobby and the opponents to the appeal
for sensible restrictions on civilian ownership of these weapons of mass killing.  They
say that crazy people will always find some weapon to use in fatally attacking innocent
people.  The answer to that blind lack of reason is, "Why do you insist on making it so
much easier for single, deranged individuals to commit these multiple horrors, on such
huge numbers of victims, during just one bloody assault?"  

     It is the gun manufacturers and gun dealers who reap the lucrative, monetary rewards
for this insanity.  (No doubt, if it were legal to sell rocket-propelled grenades to the
general public, there would be some who would be willing to profit from the business,
and many eager customers willing to pay the price.)  Unfortunately, it is much too often
the innocent civilians who pay the much higher price to these merchants of death.