Rod's Ice

8"x 8" oil on canvas

Posted April 13, 2021

sold • private collection


John Marshall

 8"x 8" oil on panel ••• I present to you in gooey resplendence the fourth, and arguably, the most important of our Chief Justices. It dawned on me that I may not have shared this diminutive piece with you—at least not close up—and this seems like an appropriate time. The Honorable John Marshall, Chief Justice of the United States was really the modeler of the court, it being in its infancy and desperately needing to be molded.

Posted April 6, 2021

sold • private collection


Catalina Liquor

8"x 8" oil on canvas ••• A small study that was in the Cityscape Show last summer at the George Billis Gallery/LA. A larger 36" x 36" version is currently housed at the Gallery.

Posted March 31, 2021

sold • private collection



10"x 8" oil on canvas ••• This was a study to see if I wanted to do a larger version. I think it worked out well, so I did a 30" x 20" of it. There are some subtle changes between the two. Both are available via George Billis Gallery / LA.

Posted March 30, 2021

Señor Fish

8"x 8" oil on canvas ••• This piece should qualify as some sort of historical document because this building is no more. It was across the street from the Japanese American National Museum in Little Tokyo. Like so many people who haunted downtown decades ago, I will always remember this not as a Señor Fish, but as the home of the legendary and comfortably creepy Atomic Cafe. The cafe was a great place to hang out, and it had the added benefit of giving you the feeling that you would get hepititis just by thinking of going there. Ah, the good old days in Downtown Los Angeles! I stumbled upon some photographs I had taken of this side of the building before they tore it down and decided to see if it would make for a good painting. The Spousal Unit probably thought the signage looked cool and forced me to take pictures of it. It is a simple equation for happiness: She says take the shot, I take the shot, done. As usual, it turns out She was right; it makes a for a good painting.

Posted February 19, 2021

sold • private collection

Chili John's


8"x 8" oil on canvas ••• A small study that was in the Cityscape Show last summer at the George Billis Gallery/LA. A larger version is currently hanging in my show, "Local Icons," at the gallery. ••• Here we have a Southern California landmark, and I . . . go and paint the back of it. Sure, the front has its iconlike appeal, but once again, I became enamored with the derriere of the place. The following is going to bring on a slue of culinarily angry emails, but I have to say it: I do not touch chili. It just isn't for me. You may be thinking, "Hey, Raymond! If you don't like chili, what the heck were you doing at a place that puts chili on anything that doesn't move (too fast)?" Well, when you choose to breed and your offspring develop a hankering for it, you find yourself at places like the famous Chili John's (est. 1946). For all of you who are preparing to send me a case of chili, understand this: I have an impenetrable shield protecting me from the odious concoction. The shield is called Spawn Number One (a.k.a., Mr. Iron Guts) and we just have to make sure he doesn't eat the cans as well as their contents. We have also found that it is better to quickly retract our hands lest we loose a digit(s) — never get between Spawn Number One and his chili.

Posted February 17, 2021

sold • private collection

Box City Back Door

10"x 8" oil on canvas • • • A small study that was in the Cityscape Show last summer at the George Billis Gallery/LA. A larger version is currently hanging in my show, "Local Icons," at the gallery.

Posted February 16, 2021

sold • private collection

Frolic Room

11"x 8" oil on panel ••• My late February solo show at the George Billis Gallery/LA has been moved up to be a late January show. If you would like to receive show announcements or just keep up with what is going on in the studio, hit the SIGN UP! button and after you sign up, you will receive my emails.

Posted December 13, 2020

sold • private collection

A Couple of Corked Bottles

6"x4" oil on panel ••• I could talk about how the title of this piece implies that the subjects are two inebriates locked out their homes by their wise and weary wives who are fed up with their spouses' carousing shenanigans. Or, I could reveal to you something much more interesting and of monumental importance. I am going with the latter and here it is: The Spousal Unit has determined that it takes exactly 25 blueberries per pancake to make her perfect—and I mean perfect—blueberry pancakes. We are a simple pancake loving clan and yes, we even eat pancakes for dinner and no, this practice did not start during the current alternate reality we are all experiencing. We have just always liked pancakes, day or night. Our nuclear family motto should be "Transire surrepo, quaeso!" (Pass the syrup, please!)

Posted December 10, 2020

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 October 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



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

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