Friday, April 20, 2012

"All That Glitters" -A Modern Vanitas

This pastel painting will be included in the upcoming book titled "The Modern Vanitas" and will feature many pieces from a variety of mediums and styles by numerous artistsThe essential elements of a Vanitas painting are illustrated in “All That Glitters” by the stages birth, life and the inevitable departure into death. The Calla Lily flowers, which are associated with a funeral, exist in this piece with no vessel that contains water to support their lives. The first flower gazes upon its own reflection admiring its beauty and seems almost above it all, however, this also serves as a portal into another dimension so perhaps this is not only a reflection but a glimpse into its own soul as it appears in spirit form offering up a warning to begin a life which is grounded in humility rather then excess and superficial pursuits. The second Lily has resigned itself to its fate and is laid out on a silk death bed as it reflects upon the life that was lived and the choices that were made to surround itself with jewels and material goods rather then look inward to find deeper fulfillment. The third Lily has collapsed under the weight of these shallow ideals and is being crushed down by the pearls of wisdom that it ignored during the span of its life and has no choice but to surrender its vanity to decay. The string of pearls that glitter with the colors and experiences that surrounds them pass behind hour glass which has run out of time as they emerge from their jewelry box, which also serves as a coffin for the three souls that ignored the signs and pushed ahead with hedonistic extremes rather then measured and balanced choices.

Saturday, March 24, 2012

"Palimpsest" at The Oxford Gallery, Rochester, NY

"April Memories" 14x11 Oil on Masonite

I was very excited to be asked to participate in this group themed show "Palimpsest" by Oxford Gallery Director and owner, Mr. James Hall. To be honest, I did not know what the term Palimpsest meant but once explained to me and with some of my own research I was instantly inspired to create this Trompe L'Oeil piece. 

A Palimpsest is an image and where a presumably earlier image shows through. It is an image that contains evidence of it's own personal history. I love that last line, It's own personal history and I wanted to relate that in not only the layers chalk writing that were there, wiped away, written again but also in my own personal history and memory.

Since this show is a spring event I knew I wanted to make use of the new season to represent something which was older and had been around for a while and with a symbol of spring, the Iris. As a child I remember my father each spring saying the rhyme "spring has sprung, the grass has riz, I wonder where the birdies is?" Fragments of this are found in the writing, layered and lost into the chalk, much the same way those early years come back in small pieces but never in it's entirety. 

The opening reception for this show is Saturday May 5th 5:30-8:30 pm. Show opens to the public Saturday April 21st and runs through Saturday June 2nd, For more information about this show please contact The Oxford Gallery @ 585-271-2570 

Thursday, February 2, 2012

My contribution to The Elliot Fouts Gallery Show "Planes, Trains, & Automobiles"

I love the theme of this show and I was really inspired to create work that not only spoke to its theme but also with my voice and have a recognizable hand in their creation. The first piece "Special Delivery" 18x13 Oil on Masonite, was a total joy to make. This painting was technically challenging to capture essential truck details as it appears with the weathering of time and also be whimsical with the tension between the scale of a toy truck and life sized flower as it is delivered in it's tissue paper  presentation.

The second piece "Cleared For Take Off" 12x18 Oil on Masonite, plays with the word plane by having a wood plane clear a path for the the toy plane's pilot to take off. I really loved making this piece and found having a combination of the Trompe L'Oeil chalk board background very effecting for making the foreground imagery that much more believable. The show opens March 2nd-April 5th 2012, Elliot Fouts Gallery 4749 J Street Sacramento, CA 95818 ph-916-736-1429. 

Sunday, November 13, 2011

"Summer" 9x12 Oil on Masonite

With each new painting I strive to achieve a higher level of craft and evolve my subject matter. "Summer" is a painting that allowed me to expand from mostly painting floral subject matter and the progression to another organic object seemed like a good fit.

Many summer mornings are spent on my front porch enjoying the beautiful homes we live near and soft light of early day. I wanted to create a painting that captured those feelings with color, light, smell, and a feeling of freshness. To me, tomatoes always make me think of August when they are at their best and most flavorful. I greatly enjoyed making this piece and look forward to expanding upon the concept and subject matter. Fell free to leave a comment!

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

"Lean on Me"

My latest pastel piece "Lean On Me" 12x6 was a bit of a departure from my usual composition style. With this piece I wanted to render a very traditional subject matter in a way that was a bit more sleek and modern and have the fruit appear as though it is suspended in space. In reality the subject is sitting on black drapery fabric but I choose to eliminate any folds to delineate surface and allow to viewer to decide how this piece reads. I used Terry Ludwig's wonderful 'sunset ' colors for the pear's in conjunction with Conte' of Paris and Derwent for the remainder of the piece. Hope that you enjoy!

Wednesday, August 24, 2011


My latest and certainly most complex endeavor as an artist is one that required me to not only compile subject matter in an intriguing way with an abundance of textures, colors,  and dynamic form interaction but also tell a story with the composition. The study that I have been involved in for the past three years with artist Anthony Waichulis, director of The Ani Art Academy Waichulis has been and continues to be one of the most transformative experiences of my life, creatively and personally.

"Ready-Set-Go" is my big piece prior to entering the painting phase of my study with Anthony and pulls together all that I have learned with the many, many, many, many, many..did I say many!!! ??? repetitive form exercises. This is a piece that tells a story of global travel and expansion through ones talent, dedication, faith, and hard work. All the objects related to methods of travel are symbols for my own dreams of allowing my gift to take me anywhere I desire. The vintage travel case and hotel labels tell of the experiences in life we go through to gain wisdom and knowledge so when we encounter something beautiful and good we recognize it as such and embrace it. The other objects such as the cards, magnifying glass, match books tell of the trinkets we pick in life as mementos of good times along the way. The silver dollar that sits on the Botanica book was found in my garden this spring while I was planting flower bulbs. It is a 1904 silver dollar, the same year our home was built,  I had to include this in my work because I knew instantly this is how The Universe communicates to us all. I paint flowers, I was digging in the dirt planting flowers when I found this treasure, flowers=treasure=keep going, you're on the right path. This is what this piece is about, to be ready at a moments notice to receive the gift of inspiration, to recognize it and to use it to my full advantage.

Thanks for taking them time to visit and feel free to leave a comment if you wish! :-)

Saturday, May 28, 2011

On The Wings Of Angels 12x18 Pastel on Paper

My latest pastel painting is titled "On The Wings Of Angels" for many reasons but mostly for the feeling I get from this image of ascendance. The compositions that get me the most excited as an artist and I find that I am drawn to tend to be the ones that create a "back story" for the two dimensional image. This story is one that exists in my mind as well as a belief in the best way to live my life, however, if I have done my job well I hope that anyone who looks at the painting or drawing can read the story as well and hopefully I have left enough ambiguity to allow you to create your own story within the painting. Much of my work is fueled by a strong spiritual life that connects me to my true self/true purpose in this life and the best art that I can make because there is not difference between what I do and who I am, it all starts and ends in the same place for me. The Roses travel along a horizontal pathway from shadow into the brilliant sun light and the lead Rose is the only one that touches that light as the others follow behind as the title suggests, on the wings of angels to greater enlightenment, self discovery, purpose, happiness, joy......whatever you think they are traveling towards is exactly where they are going! I hope that this piece makes you smile, I know it gave me great joy to create it! Thank you for taking the time to read this and I hope you enjoy my latest creation.