Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Fishing with Papa

I painted Fishing with Papa, a 16x20" acrylic on canvas, as a commission job in 2003. I did it from a photo of my client's daughter fishing with her grandpa. I did this painting a little "looser" than most of my paintings. I was pleased at how the intensity of light came out and I like what is happening in the colors in the shade of the guy's t-shirt.

Silver Sax

I painted Silver Sax, a 15x30" acrylic on canvas the last three months of 2001 and the first six months of 2002. The sax player is, by symbolism, my late father, though my dad did not play sax, but the trombone and guitar. The little boy looking on is me--mesmerized by my dad and the world of music he opened up to me.


Solitude is a 16x20" egg tempera on a hardboard. I started the drawing in December 2001 and painted for the first 6 months of 2002. I was inspired by a recording of Solitude, a song sung by Billie Holiday, backed up by Duke Ellington's Orchestra. I love the luminous quality of the raw powdered pigment mixed with egg yolk. Egg tempera is an age-old traditional method of painting, but I like what the egg tempera master Robert Vickery said in 1973: "...you can defy all the rules, toss the 500 year old tradition out the window, and use egg tempera the way you want. In the process, we can revolutionize an ancient technique and make it relevant to 20th century painting."

Sue by the Sea

After breaking the ice with my first painting in 25 years (see most recent post) I decided to tackle another one. Sue by the Sea, an acrylic on a 24 x 36" canvas, conveyes the memories of vacations my wife Sue and I used to take on the beaches of the east coast. The "Bayside Cafe" is an imaginary place. I used an old building far away from the seashore, here in Arizona, as a reference. I included our dog "Prince" in my imaginary vacation, and indeed this would be a vacation for him, because we could never have him outside without a leash, as he would run away and would not be smart enough to return.

Thanksgiving Day

I'm going to introduce this blog with some of my paintings. I graduated from the Art Institute of Pittsburgh in 1974 to prepare for a career in commercial art. Due to a lack of motivation, I never did pursue that career. For a period of about 25 years I never painted, but I often thought about painting--about what I would paint if I did paint--and how I would paint it. I observed light and shadows and the form of the things around me. Then, in 2000, I decided to pick up the brush again and see what would happen. To my surprise, I painted better than I had ever painted in my life. The painting above, Thanksgiving Day, a 24x30" acrylic on canvas, was the first painting of my "comeback." The subject is an afternoon mountain bike trip taken by myself, my son, my brother-in-law and a friend of my son on--you guessed it--Thanksgiving day.