Saturday, February 28, 2015

In Progress-18x24


Got this much done on the first session. the nice thing about the acrylic underpainting is you can have fun and experiment with temperature shifts without messing up the underpainting. it IS the underpainting. then if you don't like it you paint it out in the oils on top. I'm still on a kick of wanting to the viewer to see "swirly" paint and bravura brushwork. like in the fence. Still have an hour or so on this one and I'm super happy with it at this stage.

Friday, February 27, 2015

Dreamy Lane- 16x16


Dreamy Lane-16x16
headed to Gallery on Greene
email me for inquiries

Had fun on this one playing with changes of color where you can see the stroke. Also kept this one colorful and sunfilled. Just like Key West!

Monday, February 23, 2015

Out of the pipeline


 Dream View-18x24


Keys Hideaway-12x14

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Going to Work

 
the next Cuba painting. Initial statement in acrylic.
 
In an interview famous artist Chuck Close made a deep and (for me) life changing statement. He said that you have to "go to work everyday" and in an unexpected moment you will learn something profound or do the best work you ever produced.
 
Today that profound learning experience came while I was playing steel drum at a nightly gig, with my new friend Mary. We play jazz for the supper crowd at one of the upscale restaurants in Key West, Bistro Sole. A week ago she asked me to sit in with her after she heard me playing some jazz at the Green Parrot. I said sure and once we put a steel drum playing jazz with her voice and guitar, we knew we had something special. we've played together nearly every night since.
 
tonite while I was "at work" I discovered that I could play a certain note at the end of a phrase or ending of a song, that I had never played before. I was experimenting, much the way you do when you paint, just being driven along by the sound, and I stumbled on that tasty note that i'll be able to use till the day I die. it's now on my "hard drive" and I can pull it out of my bag of tricks when appropriate. I was like a kid on Christmas day. it happened "at work".
 
you were so right Mr. Close!
 
so the next time youre standing in front of your easel painting, or instrument playing, or computer writing a novel, remember don't wait for inspiration to hit, or try to do something notable. just go to work.

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Heroe de las Calles (Hero of the Streets) 24x30



Heroe de las Calles
24x30
available at Gallery on Greene in Key West
 
 

Friday, January 23, 2015

Poorhouse Lane


one from last year. loved the color of the house in shadow and the other color harmonies on this street, on a sunny key west afternoon.
Annette still needs me 24/7 but we got some good news yesterday. there doesn't seem to be anything major wrong with her heart that would have caused the two fainting episodes (called syncopy)  This morning we are having an EEG done and an MRI. she's still cant walk a straight line and says she doesn't feel herself. she also has some sight issues and cant drive for awhile.

Friday, January 16, 2015

the sun is out today- emotionally and literally


this is a painting from last year in key west. it made really happy to look at today, as I went thru some of my images from there, so I'm posting it.
 
the light on the bushes and the distinctive keys architecture is what I loved in this scene. time to start painting some key west themes. soon but not quite yet.
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an update on my wife, annie. We brought her home a few days ago and she was very weak. and rightfully so. first, a hospital stay and pacemaker put in, and then another visit for about four days in ICU. then three more days in a bed being stuck here and there with needles and probes, taking blood sometimes three times a day, and no good rest. I will say tho' that Rex hospital has really good food, especially for a hospital!
 
right now, annies getting stronger physically everyday. yesterday she sat up most of the day and today i'll get her up and out of the house for a short trip in the car, in hopes that that will build up her strength a little more.
 
I cant thank enough, my friends and followers on this blog. the many emails I got showing support and prayers were such an encouragement. thank you, thank you.
 
the good news is she's getting stronger and for the first time in about 9 days I thought of painting when I went to get us something to eat. the sun was out and lighting up the winter landscape. 9 days- that's probably one of the longest periods of time ive ever gone without thinking of the process of painting. plenty of time for that in the near future!

Sunday, January 11, 2015

a diary of sorts

ive lost track now how long ive had this blog but its a long time. its been a written record of my life for all these years. for those who have followed me here for a few years will remember when my son Jamie was burned in a house fire. I blogged from his room while we sat with him in the hospital for over a month. everybody was wonderful to me and very supportive. the blogosphere is an awesome place where people you've never met are giving you support and helping you through the thing. this blog is a diary of sorts.
several weeks ago while I was teaching in Florida I got a call that my wife in NC had been rushed to the emergency room unresponsive. the next day they put a pacemaker in and sent her home. I went to be with her while she recuperated but two days after the pacemaker went in she collapsed again. my son and I did CPR on her. we got her to the Cardiac Intensive Care unit at a hospital that specializes in heart issues.Thank God, she's now in stable condition. yesterday we moved to a regular room and out of ICU. Still don't know why the episodes but I can't tell you how great it felt to move out of intensive care!
i'll write more soon.

Saturday, January 3, 2015

El Cruce (the Crossing) 8x10

 
El Cruce (the Crossing) 8x10
inquire about price and availability

I like the action, and warm into cool, cool into warm shape play here.
 
Hustle and bustle in Havana.

Monday, December 29, 2014

Cupulas y Sombras (Domes and Shadows) - 24x18

 
Cupulas y Sombras (Domes and Shadows)- 24x18
contact me to purchase
 
in Cuba the mix of modern life, 1940's cars, and centuries old architecture is alluring to me and my paintbrush.
the underlying goal in this one was distinctive color, loosey goosey brushwork and a spark of crazy color (the cab and orange car in the distance). the more I paint the more I realize that brushwork is a way of transmitting a vibe to the viewer of the painting. It can signal repose, calmness, or action and vitality, or something in between.
 
in this painting (when I look at it anyway) I sorta feel the hustle and bustle of Havana, but at the same time, the centuries of its just 'being'.
 
like when you stand at the edge of the ocean. its as if in that one moment of looking at the waves lapping at the shore, that you can feel the eons that it's been happening.
 
my color changes happened a few months ago (and continue to morph). now the brushstrokes are evolving.
 
in painting as in life, the only constant is change. sit back and enjoy the ride!

Saturday, December 27, 2014

Excursion en Coche (Joyride)-8x10

 
Excursion en Coche (Joyride)
8x10 oil on panel
 
a cool street scene from the trip

Monday, December 22, 2014

Solo en la Calle (Alone in the Street) -24x30

 
Solo en la Calle (Alone in the Street)- 24x30
headed to Gallery on Greene- Key West
 
my focus on this painting was to play warms against cools colorfully in the shadows. and use the 2/3 shadow against 1/3 light value plan I loved in my sketch.
 
the chrome on the car glinting in the sunlight should draw your eye more than anything in the painting. the very definition on a focal point. the car is the star of the show and the buildings are the supporting actors in this one

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Viejo Canon Habana (Old Havana Canyons) -18x24


Viejo Canon Habana (Old Havana Canyons)  18x24

First large one in the series done. doing all the sketching, prelim studies and careful planning made this come together pretty quickly. I'm happy with the cohesiveness of the image even tho' I want the street scene to reflect the somewhat chaotic, disorderly nature of old town Havana. looks like a lot without being a lot. Also playing with cools over warms and warms over cools and loose edges through out.

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Adventures in Old Havana

Ok. so I'm back from my painting trip to Cuba. what can I say? It was a blast! sorta like Italy (in the city) but with coconut palms, and sorta like mexico out in the country. My kinda Caribbean place. The music was awesome. to hear what its like go to Pandora and listen to Buena Vista Social Club
 
here's a link to youtube to see me jamming on my ukulele with some Cuban street performers. kinda cool. check it out
 
 
the musicians there were intrigued with the uke and said it was very uncommon to see one there.
 
thanks to Nance at Gallery on Greene for asking me to go and her assistant Karen for getting me there and keeping me under her wing and outta trouble. she was cool under pressure and did a terrific job in unknown territory.The consummate professional. also thanks to Faviola and Giovanni the best tour guides in Cuba. No! the world!
 
I have tons of sketches and photos, as well as a plein air piece or two from the trip. and I'm stoked to start larger paintings, for the gallery, from them.
 
Here's the first one in the pipeline.
 
 
 my reference photo
 
the underpainting showing whats in the light and whats in shadow. underpaintings are fun for me because its pure color and loose as heck!
 
more on the adventure later.
 
also don't forget that I start my four week drawing class at The Studios of Key West in January. I'm also doing private lessons if you come outta snow country for a vacation to Key West. i'm  here at my winter studio the whole winter. just email me to reserve your dates.

Saturday, November 22, 2014

Girl from Ipanema

 
have had a few requests to see me (aka Calypso Kid) playing my steel drum.
 
so here's one called Girl from Ipanema.

if its cold where you are right now, I hope the steel drum sounds take you somewhere warm and Caribbean, and you can feel tropical breezes!
 
 
 

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Heading to Galleries

 Island Morning- 30x40

 Down From Atlantic-24x36

 North Harbor Morning-30x40

On the Docks-30x40
 
 
Big Brother-24x30
 
email for prices and availability

Monday, November 10, 2014

Jazzin' it up!

had a painting in my inventory for a while and felt like it wasn't bad enough to sand down and paint over so I put it up on the easel and decided to give it a facelift.
 
 here's the original. proof positive that my color sense has changed a lot since I painted this on Sullivans Island several years ago. it was just plain ho-hum boring.

 so I decided to paint cape school underpainting colors over it and try to revive it. brighter blue on the fish house and all the other shapes.

then I painted the more realistic colors over that. now its way more colorful (read: appealing) to me! look at the feeling of light on the grass and in the palms, for instance (compared to the top original image).
 
so don't throw away those paintings that keep finding their way back into your studio. Jazz em up!

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

On the Docks-30x40


On the Docks- 30x40 oil on gallery wrapped canvas
email for price and availability
 
ive been painting big paintings here lately and loving it. my quest is for glowing saturated and bold color statements these days! think Wolf Kahn!
 
ever concerned with how underpainting affects the finished product. also more color notes in each shape. its and evolution of sorts. the shimmery water you see in the lower left hand side of the painting is the effect I'm after. the total percentage of this painting that has that "X factor" is way up there, so I'd say I'm happy with the direction my painting is going. still not there in a lot of ways tho'. guess i'll always be saying that huh? 

heres what the underpainting looked like. I know its right when it almost looks done in this "crazy color" stage

Monday, October 27, 2014

On the Docks-12x16

On the Docks- 12x16
email me for availability and price
 
playing with shapes continues. the dock here was the perfect lead in to the painting and sets up the feeling of depth I was after. seeing how abstract I can make things and it still look like a building, boats tied up, or distant trees.

love the light on the front of the house, in contrast to the shadowed side.

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Island Morning-30x40


Island Morning
30x40 oil on gallery wrapped canvas
email me for pricing and availability


still stoked about painting ocracoke island, even tho I'm back in surf city.
Playing these days with making the shapes way more colorful and making interesting "shapes within shapes" but trying to make sure they hold together as a unit, from a distance. I like the new direction this is heading.