Wednesday, 18 August 2010 at 21:03

The Boxer

No this is not about the Simon and Garfunkel tune. Though I’m a big fan. Its about a dog, or to be more precise, our dog. We named him Junior because non of us could get over Chip’s passing (our previous boxer) so we needed to name the new edition in relation to Chip — sort of paying homage to Chippy.

Junior is an expressive guy for sure. I have been looking at a piece of photo reference I shot from the vault. I have been chewing on this idea for a painting for a while. To loosen up a bit after a very serious portrait seemed to be the right medicine. Shown are a couple of efforts to nail the look, get the eyes to focus correctly and to apply good drawing principles to mood created by light and look. I caught June right as he noticed I was noticing him. Boxers are handsome in a way only a mother could love — almost ugly cute. They are very sharp and bright and seem to speak with their eyes through expression.

After doing a couple drawings and scratching out and drawing in, I redrew the image onto a 24” x 24” raised canvas. I wanted to go even larger because I knew the piece would be big, bold, colorful, and a very graphic piece.

After the drawing was refined I coated the canvas with mars black oil paint thinned with turps. I then let the canvas dry in the sun for a couple days. The next step was to paint into the black strokes of color and a strong black, expressive

outline. I think the piece developed a strong abstract feel. I like the breakup of space with color and tone. I’m building up the fat areas of the painting to contrast the thinly painted lean areas. I love playing with the concept of focusing a painting with a tightly rendered finished area that migrates to a more chaotic unfinished and bare area of the piece. I like to see process in the finish. I’ll keep working on it.


Tuesday, 17 August 2010 at 19:17

Poster Mania

I am heading to Ohio this weekend to hook up with mom. We are going to set up the tent and do a preliminary for the Taste of Hudson show September 5 & 6 Sunday and Monday.

We are only going to be showing the poster collection which can be found in the “store” on this website. Show here are a series I created that got into the Print regional Design annual and many other awards locally. I call it the Design Series because it is based on 6 design terms. The illustrations that accompany the words are lyrical looks at their oxymoronic meanings.


I created the art with colored pencils sharpened real tight and rubbed against a cold press illustration board. Then I punched the pastel colors with Dr. Martins dyes thinned with water.

The production of these posters by the Teagle and Little printing company is really something. The stock is 100 Mohawk cover and has as about as much texture as the surface of the art. The art was photographed with an 8” x 10” camera and drum scanned. Each poster was printed up to 13 color. Each plate was hand stripped old school. Touch plates of fluorescent ink were used. I was never happier with a print production project than these posters. See them live in Hudson!


Sunday, 01 August 2010 at 15:00


Since I have launched my website and posted my blog I have reconnected with many friend and folks I have know over the years. That has been a blessing and a joy. The power of the Internet and social media sites have also, through its randomness, presented me with a challenge and a connection otherwise that never would have been made.

In Ohio the past couple months there has been a tragic summer drowning that seems to occur every year at this time. It also happened here in Rochester off lake Ontario. The young woman who drowned is Emma Hahas. I wouldn’t know about this event if it hadn’t been for an email I received from her great uncle, Jim Holms, who attended the same high school as myself in Tallmadge Ohio. Jim is actually a fan on mine on my Studio Facebook page. Jim has reached out to me to commission a memorial portrait of his great niece to give to Emma’s mother as a gift. I have done many portraits in my life but none with the profound sadness this one takes on. I have been pouring over Facebook photos and other images Jim has sent me. Jim did not, understandable, wish to contact Emma’s mother directly to look for images that could influence a great portrait. This makes the job doubly difficult as I pour over pixels, and toner and try to feel who this person was and begin to touch her character and spirit. Also at play here is a review of a life of a girl roughly my daughter’s age. I see the familiar images of parties, friends, and fun that are common to many people her age. Images I see every day on my son and daughter’s social media pages. The only difference in Emma’s case is there will be no more pictures. I feel this commission was placed o my lap by a power greater than the Internet and social media. And that as random as it seems, I believe it was the plan all along and I am suppose to complete this painting.

Shown here is a composite of samplings of the images I have been going over. I started doing sketches from these and my imagination to begin to touch this young spirit. I usually look for an image where the viewer is really unaware of the camera or a knowing glance or spontaneous expression that reveals the character. In this case I was very limited in the reference images. As a result as well as a feeling that this painting is really a tribute, I decided to make the portrait more formal.

The painting is still in progress. I will look at it with new eyes to finish it off when I get back from Conneaut, Ohio for a week on wonderful Lake Erie. I will be blogless until I return hopefully with a renewed energy and rich with subject matter forma week at the lake.


Tuesday, 27 July 2010 at 02:03

Figure Drawing

I was lucky enough to grow up with a father who appreciated and studied many things. One of those things was an appreciation and reverence for the human form. We could stand together and view a nude drawing, usually in the classical manner such as a Michelangelo or a David, that’s Jacques-Louis David, and he would point out the Latissimus Dorsi , Oblique or Glutes and comment on their proportion and beauty. After playing in a football game on Friday night in high school, I took a 3-4 hour life drawing class the next Saturday morning at 8:00. I loved it too. I also took took many life drawing classes in college.

I believe to master the human figure, in any medium, is one of the most difficult challenges in all or art. It exemplifies the truth of the creator. It is a beautiful and constantly changing with even slight or subtle movement. Artists throughout history have tried to master or create a perfect human proportion - truly a mystery.

Another gift of my Father’s interest was growing up with /American Artist magazine. In one particular issue, the figure drawings of Paul Cadmus were featured. The Cadmus drawing shown above had a huge impact on with me, and still does. It reaches high as a drawing. It is a master view and realization of the human figure. The drawing in done in conte crayon on a stained or tinted cotton rag drawing paper, heightened with white tempera.

The sense of weight, the foreshortening of the position of the figure, the way a strong directional light rakes across to revels form, is all set up beautifully. The minimal amount of actual rendering to achieve such a clearly visualized moment is incredible. The figure looks as if it were going to move and change position in a moment. It also looks as if it could have been done yesterday…timeless.

Dad, I’m glad you introduced me to Paul.


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