Donuts Back Door

 8"x10" oil on canvas ••• This is one of many cityscape "studies" I have been working on in a—so far—futile attempt to figure out what I might want to paint larger. This diminutive back door scene of a donut shop in Fillmore, California, with its austere composition and subtle tonal challenges, presents me with so many headaches that I may take it larger. There is nothing like a painting that purposefully antagonizes you from the easel to get your creative juices (and swearing) flowing.

Posted October 26, 2020

sold • private collection



Saddle Shoe

4"x6" oil on panel ••• Don't ask me why I paint so many shoes—I don't have a good answer for you. The only explanation I can offer is my very aggressive laziness: The dang shoes are there, so I paint them. I admit that bending down to pick them up is quite arduous, but I make the sacrifice. Carrying them all the way to the studio is another Herculean feat that I endure with grace and poise, only stopping to whine about every five steps or so.  I often forget that sarcasm does not always come through well via the written word. So, if I offended anybody, I apologize, though I think the only person I just offended was myself. I apologize to myself. There, I feel so much better. Now, Hercules is going to look for more shoes to paint.

Posted October 19, 2020


Jar of Spice Candies

6"x4" oil on panel ••• Frankly, I found these candies revolting. For a simple minded person such as myself (i.e., a guy who may or may not read a label before consuming candies), when I encounter a bag of colorful gummy looking candies, my addled brain thinks, "Fruity gooey wonderfulness!" not, "Spiced to the point that I'm going to spit them out across the room!" That last part reminds me of how much I enjoy cherry tomatoes. Not because they taste good but because of the childhood memory of biting into one and hitting my brother in the face with the seeds that squirted out across the table. Ah, good times... It just feels great when your aim is true. Sorry, I rambled a bit.

Posted Ocotber 7, 2020

sold • private collection

Crayola Crayon Box

24"x16" oil on canvas ••• In an unexpected turn of events, this piece sold before I came up with a title for it. It happened so quickly that I went with what is essentially a working title. A working title is the one I slap on my image files (JPEGs) before I have had time to think of an actual title. Just changing it simply to "Box of Crayola Crayons," would have been an improvement. Even better would have been, "Pilfered Color Sticks (Yes, I stole these from The Spousal Unit's stash)," or "45¢ of Quite Effective Wall Desecraters," or "Better Be Returned to The Spousal Unit—AND SOON—If I Ever Want To See Fresh Baked Brownies Ever Again!" That last one is the most accurate, bummer I did not go with it.

Posted Ocotber 2, 2020


sold • private collection



Nunzilla!

 

4"x6" oil on panel ••• Nunzilla seems like such an easy topic for discussion, but all I can tell you is that The Spousal Unit was against Nunzilla from the start. What's not to like? You wind her up (the toy, not the Wife) and she walks at you (a creepy walk, more like a swampthing crawl) with sparks coming out of her mouth. Simply wonderful! Let's move on to a much more important topic. There is a technical term frequently used in oil painting studios around the globe and it goes like this: Where the $%&@# did that smudge of paint come from?!?!? (Etymologists have been able to trace its usage as far back as the reign of Ramsses II—circa 1250 B.C.—give or take.) A smudge of oil paint can travel around a studio like, well... hellfire, so finding its origin can be quite difficult. One minute your fine and the next you have smudges all over the place. You stand there dumbfounded, terrified to move and mumbling, "Where the $%&@# did that nefarious smudge of paint come from?!?!?" As you can probably deduce, this just happened to me. The culprit this time is alizarin crimson and its origin still eludes me. Alizarin crimson is a wicked pigment that you do not want loose in the studio*. So far, it has been located on several of my digits, my trusty 12 ft. tape measure, and my not-so-trusty keyboard. Yikes, I just found it up and down my right sleeve, damn you smudge! God forbid it finds its way into the family manse. Which brings to mind another of my personal mantras: Do not wind up The Spousal Unit and have Her start shooting sparks out of Her mouth! The hunt goes on. 

*I was going to say that alizarin crimson is a pigment that should be used sparingly, but I do not use any pigment sparingly, so that would be a bit hypocritical of me.

Posted September 17, 2020


sold • private collection washington, dc


Tower Camera


4"x6" oil on panel ••• See next post for the commentary that went with this email.

Posted September 15, 2020

sold • private collection


Two Bottles and a Cork



6"x4" oil on panel ••• I find it funny that, for a guy who paints a lot of bottles, I receive a lot of messages stating that I need to paint more bottles/glassware. The fun communiques are the ones where the sender states that they would accept paintings of chrome objects if I run out of bottles to paint. Isn't that nice of them?  One of those wonderful people put their bottle where their mouth is and gave me the green bottle you see in this painting. Seriously, isn't that nice!?!? (He actually gave me a bunch of nice bottles.)  There is also a delegation that would like me to paint only Converse sneakers and another group that states that if I paint another LEGO mini figure, they will unsubscribe from these emails. That may sound nasty, but to be honest, I appreciate it when somebody takes the time to communicate with me. That is, as long as they understand that any complaints might fall on deaf ears—I paint what I want to paint. That's just the way it is. (CAVEAT: When The Spousal Unit shoves freshly murdered flowers in my face, they must be painted. No ifs, no ands, no buts. It's in the marital bylaws somewhere.).

Posted August 30, 2020


R-2 D-2 Drink with Red Straw


6"x4" oil on panel ••• Years ago, a friend of The Spousal Unit gave Her two Star Wars promotional humungo drink cup thingies. I have repeatedly threatened to donate them to some poor unsuspecting organization or person. During that time, I grew somewhat fond of R-2 D-2 here and just kept moving the cups around instead of getting rid of them. Then one magical day, I decided to paint R-2 D-2 and I would like to be able to say it was fun, but with all the odd angles and shapes, it was a bit of pain controlling the drawing as I was painting. In the end, it came out nicely, or at least that is The Spousal Unit's opinion (and I always go by Her opinion). The other cup thingy is fashioned after Princess Amidala and it is truly hideous (i.e., it will not be a subject of a painting). R-2 D-2 now happily resides in my studio, but that creepy Amidala thing is exiled to the garage. It is so hideous that I think I will put it outside to scare the cats in our neighborhood.

Posted August 24, 2020
 

Maneki Neko with Fish

 

4"x6" oil on panel ••• No commentary on this one. It was grouped with another painting in my email.

Posted August 23, 2020

sold • private collection washington, dc


Kahlo, F.

8"x8" oil on panel ••• Mr. Hemingway here is another in my recent series of 8"x 8" portraits. There is much that can be said about Mr. Hemingway: How he changed the style of American storytelling or his ginormous ego or the way he lived his life or even the manner in which he chose to leave this mortal coil. But for me, the thing that really stands out about this titan of American prose is that wicked comb over of his. (Yes, I am that base.) My late maternal grandfather had a nasty comb over just like Mr. Hemingway's and let me tell you, when a gust of wind came up, that scary 9" flap of Grecian Formula rose up like an evil specter causing many a small dog to become incontinent. (Wow, I thought I had successfully blocked that memory.) Anyhow...
 

Posted August 18, 2020


sold • private collection los angeles, ca



Hemingway, E.

 

 8"x8" oil on panel ••• Mr. Hemingway here is another in my recent series of 8"x 8" portraits. There is much that can be said about Mr. Hemingway: How he changed the style of American storytelling or his ginormous ego or the way he lived his life or even the manner in which he chose to leave this mortal coil. But for me, the thing that really stands out about this titan of American prose is that wicked comb over of his. (Yes, I am that base.) My late maternal grandfather had a nasty comb over just like Mr. Hemingway's and let me tell you, when a gust of wind came up, that scary 9" flap of Grecian Formula rose up like an evil specter causing many a small dog to become incontinent. (Wow, I thought I had successfully blocked that memory.) Anyhow...
 

Posted August 12, 2020

8"x12" oil on canvas ••• This diminutive piece with a heckuvalotta paint on it was a commission. What can I say? Somebody really loves their little car and I was honored to do a little portrait of it. • When asked about my paint handling, I like to joke that I wipe more paint off my knives while doing one piece than my fellow artists use all year. It is just a joke, but there is some truth in it. For example, there is enough paint on just the door in this piece to produce a much larger painting executed in the classic style. Take a look at the detail shots below and I think you will see what I am talking about. • Another question that is often thrown my way is, "What do you call your style?" Being the serious artist that I am, I usually respond with anything from, "Paint Hurling," to "Spackling," to "Championship Cupcake Icing," or even my go-to, "Wasting a Heckuvalotta Paint Whilst Daydreaming About Freshly Baked Cookies." In my opinion, the last one is by far the most accurate description. Actually, it is pretty much the way I go through life—just dreaming of my next encounter with cookies.

Posted August 9, 2020

sold • private collection los angeles, ca

 

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Angelou, A.

8"x8" oil on panel ••• My second 8x8 of Maya Angelou. I scraped the first one.

Posted August 1, 2020

Fan without a Name (Yet)

6" x 6" oil on panel ••• As per the Official Artist Bylaws, dangerous electric fans are an obligatory subject matter that must be painted by we object painters. A friend of mine gave me this menacing little fan and the above is my second attempt at painting it. (I know, I know, you are shocked that I have friends and no, they are not imaginary.) I finished the 6x6 you see above yesterday, hence the easel shot and absence of a title. My first attempt is shown below. The thought had crossed my addled mind to paint the fan larger, but I cannot quite see it yet, so I keep making these little studies in a vain attempt to make up my mind. If I go larger, and I am not saying I will, I am leaning towards the one staring straight at us, daring us to plug it in and test the efficacy of that wholly inadequate blade guard.

Posted June 24, 2020

 
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