In an effort to motivate and challenge myself as well as to share and show my work with others in (almost) real time, I will post here, every Monday by 11:59 PM, one new piece created that week (allowing myself two weeks off for my honeymoon). When the calendar rolls over to 2011 I will have posted a total of 50 pieces. Whew! No time to chat, gotta get to work!

Monday, November 8, 2010

Week 43. "Peace" 30"x22" ink, crayon, pastel, graphite and watercolor on archival paper

Experiencing an evolution in thought the human race suddenly recognizes that all life is linked, that violence is not a cure and hatred cannot be rationalized, ever. It is humanities first century without war. People begin to focus on the art of living... that is, loving. Humans, no longer placing importance on the superficial, force consumerism, advertising and it's consequent misuse of in your face technology to fade out completely. Animals, recognized as being a part of life's single thread, are no longer murdered but appreciated and respected. It is remembered as the first century in which humans become what they had for millennia professed to be, humane.

"Peace" was inspired by "Le Bonheur de Vivre" by Henri Matisse.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Week 42. "Harvest" 18"x24" oil on canvas

It is true, for the first time this year I was unable to get a new painting up last week. If you look at this week painting, for which my wife is the model, you'll see part of my excuse. Yes, we are in a family way and even though the baby's not here quite yet there are already new and interesting demands upon my time. Never-the-less, I'll do my best to make up for missing last week sometime between now and the end of the year.
Please do enjoy this week's painting of a very pregnant woman in a corn field. Happy autumn!

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Week 41. "Friends in the Desert, Part II" 30"x22" blue ink and pastel on archival paper

This weeks piece is based on a painting I did a few years ago called "Friends in the Desert" done in oil on canvas and which can be seen below. I've taken the original idea and have turned it into an illustration in which the figure can be seen in several different stages of his journey rather than just one. Although part I has it's surreal qualities, part II becomes takes those qualities to a new level. The world in which the figure is living is a physical impossibility but certainly a reflection of the real world. It's a psychological space visited in dreams on more than one occasion.

Monday, October 11, 2010

Week 40. "A Sixth Fool" 18"x24" oil on canvas

"Where art thou, Adam?" called God.

"Right here, dude, where you put me. Where have you been?" replied Adam.

As all paintings in the "Fools" series this one is a self-portrait. Early on the face started looking very Asian so I just went with it. I mean, look at him. This is a fool who's discarded the "wisdom" of man and surely doesn't pay heed to to the myth that would separate men into races.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Monday, September 27, 2010

Week 38. "The New Bohemians" 40"x30" oil on canvas

"The New Bohemians, Bobby and Jeff in Chicago, circa 1993"

"Girl" by T. Rex

O God
High in your fields above earth
Come and be real for us
You with your mind
Oh yes you are
Beautifully fine

O Girl
Electric witch you are
Limp in society's ditch you are
Visually fine
Oh yes you are
But mentally dying

O boy
Just like a boat you are
Sunk but somehow you float you do
Mentally weak
Oh yes you are
But so much you speak

Monday, September 20, 2010

Week 37. "Inside, Outside" 22"x30" charcoal on archival paper

Okay, technically this is not a painting but having put all of my effort into it this week this is the piece being posted. Having gone back to school in and attempt to earn amy degree in graphic design my time has become a bit more limited and some work may have to do double duty, like this one. This is an assignment for my drawing II class. The directions for the assignment are to create an illusion of space using linear and atmospheric perspective. Looking into or out of a window or door is also one of the requirements. This is the view from my kitchen window. I've never considered myself very good at drawing with charcoal. Charcoal is messy and likes to be used in a very free manner. My drawings and sketches tend to start with very precise lines and occasionally I'll give them some shading if I want some volume. This drawing was done with practically no lines but by making shapes of differing value. I tried to find a good balance between free and constrained. The charcoal sort of behaved.
Below are two different photos of the painting I posted last week, "Icon". The color in the top image looks very close to the actual painting while the color in the second image (what was originally seen last week) does not. What a difference a good photo makes. I had to take the first (bottom) photo under artificial light and my silly little Pentax just couldn't get it's little circuits to figure out what it was suppose to be seeing. The more recent photo (top) was taken outside in natural light.

Monday, September 13, 2010

Week 36. "Icon" 16"x20" acrylic on canvas

Through the ages there has been so much iconography produced that it really must be considered an art form all to itself. Most recently, beginning in the mid-19th century or so, artists began shaking off some of the dogma of the church as well as some of the restrictions established by renaissance art and began making more personal and intimate images of iconographic material. These images were Christ images as opposed to images of the man Jesus. In other words artists were attempting to represent the Christ idea as opposed to a believable representation of Jesus's physical body. After all, Jesus wasn't crucified because of his awesome physique but because of his ideas. Edvard Munch is probably the artist that best typifies this for me. Christ figures show up in much of his work. They are always a single luminescent circle floating above a shining pillar of light. The figure isn't identifiable as Jesus or even a man but it is obviously a Christ figure. My Christ figure in "Icon" is much more humanoid than Munch's. Still, I'm aiming to represent an idea or a feeling, not an accurate representation of a body. While I was painting this I was continuously asking myself, "what could someone possibly be saying to shake the world at it's very foundations? Is a message of love truly so powerful?" Sadly, this photo of "Icon" is a very inaccurate representation. Please check back in a day or two and I should have a better one posted.

Monday, September 6, 2010

Week 35. "Scylla and Charybdis" 48"x24" acrylic on wood

Scylla and Charybdis, according to myth, were both sea nymphs who were turned into sea monsters and together created an impossible straight through which to sail. If one is said to be "between Scylla and Charybdis" then they are between two equally undesirable options or dangers. At least that's the most common understanding of the myth. Personally, the story reminds me to never say die. There is always hope... unless you give up. I don't have any idea why this story popped into my head this week. This is my second week rediscovering acrylic paint and really working it and seeing what it can do. I thought painting water would be a good test. It was. It is much more difficult to paint water with acrylic rather than oil. Nevertheless, I really enjoy some of the effects that happening in this painting. There's an echo of traditional Japanese painting in the waves. The colors are appealing and I love the whirlpool in the lower left hand side.

Monday, August 30, 2010

Week 34. "Cock-A-Doodle-Doo, 2010" 24"x48" acrylic on board

This is the third piece I've done with what I call a cock-a-doodle-doo theme. There are obvious Peter Pan influences here. The same visual pun exist in all three paintings with a boy giving a "cock-a-doodle-doo" while behind him is a sun that looks like an egg yolk within an egg shape. When I painted the first one I felt that the boy was saying something like "I'm here... come on! Let's do it!" and saying it with some arrogance. But now I feel that the boy is just joyful. He's enjoying life. He's in the moment and living in the now. He's free of fear, criticism or envy. He just is. This is the first piece I've done using acrylic paint in a few years. Acrylics dry in a matter of minutes where oils dry in a matter of days. That fact alone changes everything about the painting process. There's also the fact that acrylics darken as they dry making it difficult to get the exact tonal quality desired. Still, I had a lot of fun this week and plan on further re-acquainting myself with the possibilities of acrylic paint. Below are the first "Cock-A-Doodle-Doo" (24"x30", acrylic on canvas) as well as the second, titled "Dream 5, Dawn" (12"x12", oil on canvas).

Monday, August 23, 2010

Week 33. "Seahorses" 18"x18" oil on canvas

Oceans have been on my mind having spent most of last week camping along the seashore in Maine and then attending a beautiful wedding right on the water in Rhode Island a couple of days ago. Normally I would never demand a new painting of myself after spending so little time at home but, you see, I have this blog where I said I would paint a painting every week and post it. So here it is, "Seahorses". With the little time I had I fought with this piece. I scraped most of the paint off a couple times and had to start all over. Meanwhile I could hear the clock was ticking. But here it is with 3 hours and 15 minutes before my last moment to post and I'm diggin' it.

Friday, August 13, 2010

Week 31 and 32. Red Light Red 18"x24" and Red Light Green 18"x24"

Anyone paying attention noticed that I did not post a new painting this past Monday. I do have a good excuse. I've been painting Red Light Red and Red Light Green simultaneously. Every time I would bring one of them up a step further I would then set it aside and bring the other up to the same point. So, although I didn't post this past Monday I am still filling my quota. Let's say Red Light Red is for last Monday and Red Light Green is for this Monday coming up.

Both of these pieces are expansions on the idea from "Pomegranate" (week 30) but these two are meant to be shown together.

enjoy... H

Monday, August 2, 2010

Week 31. "Pomegranate" 18"x24" oil on canvas

Pomegranate fruit, pomegranate blossoms and a coquette. As always I was paying very close attention to the colors here. Greens and reds are always fun to juxtapose but the real fun was trying to get the skin of the coquette to really glow. I'm also enjoying the abstract features in my work lately, especially in this piece. The forms and tonalities in the background give a feeling, an idea of a place but not enough to define it. It's left up to the viewer to decide where she is and what's happening.

Monday, July 26, 2010

Week 30. "Sympathy" 18"x24" oil on canvas

This weeks painting, "Sympathy" and last weeks painting, "Persimmon" are both 18"x24". That's quite a bit smaller than the 30"x40" or 36"x48" that many of the paintings I've posted here so far have been. With the larger canvas sizes I always begin with sketches that I later enlarge on to the painting surface. What the smaller canvas size I'm more comfortable planning the composition right on the canvas itself. This makes the process much more intuitive and immediate. So when I started "Sympathy" and "Persimmon" I sat down in front of the blank canvas and made a few lines in pencil and built on whatever came out. I had very little or no preconceived idea of what the figures themselves would be (although I did have a very clear idea of the colors I would use). For an artist like myself who often has a very clear and precise vision in mind of what the final painting will look like before even beginning it is very frightening to just start with a line or two, go one step at a time and trust that the final product will be worthwhile. A film maker friend of mine told me a story once about Salvador Dali. To tap into his subconscious he would hold a wooden spoon in one hand while painting. When he would start to fall asleep the spoon would fall the sound of the spoon hitting the floor would wake Dali up and immediately he would start painting again. I'm not interested in depriving myself of sleep to tap more deeply into my subconscious. However, I do think that, as an artist, I need to find ways of silencing the whirring gerbil wheel in the head and just express whatever needs to be let out. Planning a little less and working more directly is, for me, a step towards "getting out of my own way" and letting a more of my subconscious seep out.

Monday, July 19, 2010

Week 29. "Persimmon" 18"x24" oil on canvas

I was seeing the color in my mind's eye. It wouldn't leave me alone. I had to do something with that color. Anything. But, somehow, someway it had to be put down on canvas and made to really pop! So that's what this week's painting is about. A color. A few minutes ago, as I began to think about naming the painting, I realized that that color is persimmon. Even if nothing else interesting happened in this picture I'd be happy just because I got the color out of me and on to the canvas. But other interesting things did happen. Ah... the triangles! No, not the obvious triangles. If the viewer were to block out everything and see only the woman's skin, her face and neck, they would be seeing a triangle. If all the viewer were to see was the fabric of the woman's clothing that also makes a triangle. Then there's the other half of the canvas, also a triangle, which is made up of the persimmon background. And yes, there are many small triangles. But we can't stop there. The shape of the woman's nose and the shape of the back of her neck where it meets her neckline echo each other as if she's going in two directions at once. The shape of her forehead and bust are also very similar. There are repeating shapes all over the place! Plus, there is texture all over the place. There is movement all over the place. And last but not least there is the color persimmon. Can you almost taste it? I wish you could see the real thing. Sometimes it takes weeks for me to fully digest one of my own paintings and then I can start appreciating it. Sometimes the payoff comes right away. I finish and I love it. It doesn't happen often. It's great when it does.

Monday, July 12, 2010

Week 28. "Slaves" 30"x40" oil on canvas

the Slave’s Mantra

I can tell that you think you’re more important than me
but I know that’s not true
because I know I’m more important than you.

I live in a better country
I go to the proper church
I have much more money
and went to a better school.

Every time I see you you get in my way
and I have things to do, so move,
because I know I’m more important than you.

I’m obviously more intelligent
and certainly more refined
I drive a better car
and this should be recognized.

I can tell you think you’re more important than me
but I know that’s not true
because I know I’m more important than you.

I’ve been told I should love my neighbor
as much as I love myself
but you really don’t deserve it
so I’ll make you suffer and keep my love on the shelf.

I can see you laughing and having fun with your friends
your acting like you love them
but you don’t even notice me.

Sometimes I hear a small voice that I can usually ignore
saying everyone is as important as me
and I’m the one that’s enslaved
when all I consider is me.


Monday, July 5, 2010

Week 27. "A Fifth Fool" aka "Cry Fool, Cry" 18"x24" oil on canvas

"A picture, it is worth a thousand words (at the very least)"... says me.

Monday, June 28, 2010

Week 26. "Moonbather" 30"x40" oil on canvas

Color, line and texture equal infinite possibility. With each painting I do there are things about it I love and there are other things that, although not bad, I would change were I to do the painting again. There are so very many good and usually surprising things that have happened in the work I've posted here this year. I say this with all humility because all of the best things, in my opinion, just happened. I didn't plan them. The challenge is to then take those good things and build on them. This is not easy to do. With infinite possibility comes an infinite number of results. Hopefully those results are positive. "Moonbather" is a "building on the good things" painting. It draws heavily on previous paintings like "Romeo and Juliet", "Summer's Cauldron" and "Electra". I definitely broke some accepted "rules of art" in it. With impish delight I decided to just totally ignore the light source which should be the moon. Instead I gave the bather her own light emanating from within her. Also, the moon-bather's hair splits the painting almost exactly in half. Separating a composition into equal halves is a big no-no. But guess what... it works. So much for rules.

Monday, June 21, 2010

Week 25. "Akhenaten and Nefertiti In Their Garden At Amarna" 30"x40" oil on canvas

“Indulge not thyself in the passion of anger; it is whetting a sword to wound thine own breast, or murder thy friend.” -Akhenaten

Are these truly the words of a pharaoh? Those mighty kings who wished to be worshiped and treated like gods? Akhenaten, the first monotheist in recorded history. Akhenaten, over-thrower of tradition and builder of a new city. Akhenaten and his beautiful wife, Nefertiti.

“To be satisfied with a little, is the greatest wisdom; and he that increaseth his riches, increaseth his cares; but a contented mind is a hidden treasure, and trouble findeth it not.” -Akhenaten

Monday, June 14, 2010

Week 24. "A Fourth Fool" aka "Breathe fool! Breathe!" 24"x30" oil on canvas

This is the fourth installment of the fool series starring me, myself and I as the biggest fools anyone ever did see. The original idea for this one was that the fool would be staring up out of picture into light so bright that he really couldn't see. It could have been called "Don't stare at the sun, fool!" What happened was that while I was taking the reference photographs I kept sneezing (because, like the fool I am, I was staring at the sun behind the camera). I was holding those sneezes in! "I can do it!" I told myself. "This is the longest ten second auto timer on any camera, ever!" I thought to myself. One half of a millionth of a second before a sneeze forced it way out the camera finally took a picture. I looked at it. I liked it. I used it. And when I stepped back from the canvas I saw a fool, not out in the brutal sun but holding his breath under the water. He's not too far under the water because the sun is still powerful enough to blind him. He looks like he's in about three or four feet of water tops. So maybe the really really real title of this painting is, "If you think your drowning, stand up! Fool.".

Monday, June 7, 2010

Week 23. "Wisdom and Knowledge" 36"x48" oil on canvas

First let me say thanks to all of those of you who have been taking time to follow along as I post a new painting every week. Thank you also for the supportive feedback. It is truly wonderful to know that my work is being seen and appreciated. Finishing a painting every week is not easy (especially when the canvas is 36"x48", very daunting at the beginning of the week) but I must say that I'm enjoying it. One thing I'm learning as I push myself to get the work done is that there's no time to wait to be inspired. It's possible that inspiration may eventually strike while I'm sitting on the sofa waiting for lightning to strike. But if I just get to work, feeling inspired or no, I realize several hours later that the inspiration was there all along.

As to this weeks painting I can only say that it's nice when wisdom and knowledge work together but they are by no means the same thing. Wisdom is generated from within and knowledge is found without. Wisdom works just fine by itself. But knowledge without wisdom, as a Nigerian proverb has it, is like water in the sand.

“True wisdom comes to each of us when we realize how little we understand about life, ourselves, and the world around us.”Socrates

True wisdom is less presuming than folly. The wise man doubteth often, and changeth his mind; the fool is obstinate, and doubteth not; he knoweth all things but his own ignorance. -- Akhenaton

My embodiment of wisdom is a woman, accepting and pregnant with ideas. Knowledge is there, behind her, represented by three figures that could be some sort of clerics or scholars. They are important, but wait, watch out boys! Bow your heads when wisdom is appears.

Monday, May 31, 2010

Week 22. "A Third Fool" aka "The 'I Do Whatever I Want, Fool!' Fool" 18"x24" oil on canvas

Someday, when the funds are available, I will have a model. And to that model I will say "Here, put on a jester's hat and a velvet jacket and then make hysterically emotive faces". Until that time the only model I have who's available 24/7 and poses happily for no $ is yours truly. And that, my friends, is the age old story of why there are so many self-portraits in the world.

I had a lot of fun exploring this image digitally before putting paint to canvas. It really helped me understand the composition better and allowed me to see many different color schemes without having to commit to any one of them. Here's the digital version of "A Third Fool".

Is there a greater fool than he who talks more than listens? Probably not. A jester's cap is a facetious replica of a king's crown. A jester was often the one who could make the king laugh at himself and still keep his head. A jester helped the king listen to opposing points of view. We are all kings over our own thoughts and actions. Too much talking and too little listening is a sure way to sink a kingdom.

Monday, May 24, 2010

Week 21. "Summer's Cauldron" 30"x40" oil on canvas

I think one of the hardest things to do, not just as an artist, but in life itself is to be mentally free to do what truly brings one joy. It's not easy to take all the advertising, opinions of peers and acquaintances and, worst of all, the "that's how it's always been done" mentality and throw it out the window. Then truly ask one's self, what brings me joy? Well, while doing this painting I may have come as close as I've ever come to just doing what brings me joy when I'm painting. What? Creating art is not always a joyful experience? No. It can be excruciating. Especially when plagued with thoughts of is it hip enough? is it now enough? is it original enough? is painting dead? The art that I'm in love with comes from within. To let that art out I must ignore all the art history, art contemporary, pop, shock, angst, post-this and neo-that. This week, I tell myself, I will work in joyous equanimity. I will shut the door on the art flavor of the month, May something, 2010.

I envision a pregnant couple taking a summer's rest on a bed of vegetation that is somehow reminiscent of a night sky. It is textured and deep and yet close and intimate. There is a profound stillness and but I hear the buzzing of bees coming and going and coming. I see it in this moment of now-ness and lay it down on the canvas in the next. I work, I float, I'm timeless, I'm gone...

Monday, May 17, 2010

Week 20. "Adam And Eve" 30"x40" oil on canvas

Oh Adam! Oh Eve! Oh phooey! This painting is an ode to spring. It is an appreciation of every single time two people have felt love and/or attraction for each other. Original sin? Again I say, phooey! An Edenic state of mind is always possible. Enough about what I think this painting means. You decide for yourself. I'd rather talk about trying to show paintings in the digital age.
Recently I was following a juried art competition sponsored by a group based in Brooklyn, NY with celebrity judges and all. The theme was self-portraits and variations of self-portraits and was open to any medium (painting, sculpture, photography, etc...). To enter this contest an artist would submit a digital image of the art via the internet. Nine out of ten winners in this competition ended up being photographers. Stunning. Why such a ridiculously high percentage of photographers? One reason may have been that seven out of those nine winners were women who had submitted self-portraits of themselves without shirts on. But there is another answer I find is worth paying attention to. That is that when submitting art via internet your art is being seen exactly as it's meant to be seen if it's original form is a digital image. However, any work that exists in the real world (meaning it exists outside of a hard drive) will have to have a photo taken of it and hopefully represents the original somewhat accurately. In other words the judges were judging the photography in a state in which it was meant to be seen but were judging real world art from a photo which is only a poor replica of the original. In any art competition where digital art and real world art is being judged side by side on a computer screen the real world art is going to come up short. Lesson learned. That being said...
When you look at a photo of a painting online you are seeing a version or resemblance of the painting, not the painting itself. I know this seems obvious but the reality is that much of what makes painting as a medium so wonderful (like texture and nuances of color) get lost when an image of it is captured with a digital camera. So this week I'm going to share some detail images of Adam and Eve providing close up views of few different parts. Please click on the images below to enlarge.

Monday, May 10, 2010

Week 19. "A Second Fool" 18"x24" oil on canvas

If I were the plaything of every thought, I would be a fool, not a wise man.

A Second Fool
is, as the name implies, is a second piece following One Fool which was posted to this blog a couple of weeks ago. Both of these painting have been were started by referring to a photo I took of myself. I manipulated the photo in Photoshop so that the face barely resembled my own then used this manipulated image. In essence both paintings are self portraits but not intended to look like me. Anyone who knows me would not describe me as a dark skinned man with a red afro and one blue eye and one brown. But that's the whole point. A fool thinks he is wise. He is absolutely sure that he knows who he is. He knows his face, name, race, nationality, social security number, religion, schools graduated from, net worth, etc... A wise man knows himself to be a fool because, although he knows all of those things also, he recognizes that not one of them actually have anything to do with who he is. He knows that a perpetually open and unassuming mind is the only mind that can be filled with wisdom even though it may make him look a fool. I've had occasional dreams where within the dream I glance into a mirror and the face staring back looks nothing like me. I always awake with a start when this happens. And yet, if the face in the mirror looks like black man with a red afro, or if he looks twenty, or forty, or even if it's a woman's face looking back at me, I am still me. The superficial is exactly that, superficial. Freedom is recognizing that which is insignificant and letting it go. Poof!

Let no man deceive himself.
If any man among you seemeth to
be wise in this world, let him be-
come a fool, that he may be wise. 1 Corinthians 3:18

Before One Fool and A Second Fool I'd explored the idea in a couple of other paintings. One is from quite a long time ago and was inspired directly by The Fool card from the Tarot (on the left). I was never totally happy with it and stopped working on it before it was finished. The air around the fool is filled with images and faces that can be made out if looked at closely. The more recent painting is called Jumper and was one of the pieces that was shown in Art for Progress's Clash of the Artists 2009 show in New York city.

Sunday, May 2, 2010

Week 18. "Romeo and Juliet" 30"x40"

True, I talk of dreams,
Which are the children of an idle brain,
Begot of nothing but vain fantasy.
Romeo and Juliet. ACT I Scene 4.

Love cannot exist without a courageous heart. But dying for love is cowardly. It’s when love is lost and yet a life of love is continued to be lived that courage is discovered and true love found.

As I was taking the photo of this painting this morning my next door neighbor came over to take a look at it. I watched as she identified the different subjects within the painting piece by piece, not all at once. She saw Juliet first, then the moon and then the flowers. It seemed that she thought she had seen all there was to see and then suddenly saw Romeo lying there across the bottom. Then I pointed out the rams along the top of the wall. It was wonderful to get to see this process of discovery. The effect is lost to some degree when the image is shrunk down to be viewed on a computer monitor but when looking at the actual painting it does take a while to see what's what in this picture. The composition is deceptively simple. Even Juliet's shirt is difficult to see properly. The lines in it keep twisting and turning keeping the viewer's eye busy trying to make sense out of it. The bodies are still but the emotions are turbulent. One thing that's been left totally obscured and would never be known if not let in on the secret is that the quote from the play at the beginning of this blog (True, I talk of...) is written on the slab on which Romeo lies. The vines and moss have almost completely covered the text but parts of it can still be seen when looked for very closely.

Monday, April 26, 2010

Week 17. "Idyll" 30"x40" oil on canvas

Happy Mother's Day! May we all be welcomed on to Earth with as much love as my mother welcomed me.

Monday, April 19, 2010

Week 16. "Electra" 20"x24" oil on canvas

Not very often, but every once in a while, I lose interest in a painting even though I've already put a lot of time and energy into it. When this happens it's often because things are developing in such a way that does not fit with how I originally envisioned it. In other words, I'm unable to adapt to the "now" that's happening in the piece. So I put the canvas aside and let it rest. In the case of "Electra" I let it rest for about three or four years! Then, a few weeks ago while rearranging my storage area I found her again, literally and metaphorically. I took one look at the well established but very incomplete picture and knew that I could finish it. I had let my preliminary vision go and could see what needed to happen instead of only seeing what I wanted to force to happen.
The story of Electra is from Greek mythology. When Electra's father returns from the Trojan War he is murdered by her mother and uncle. Electra becomes consumed by a desire for vengeance. For a time she lives, insane and feral, in the wilderness until she and her brother are able to revenge their father. In the eyes of the world she's surely justified in her miseries and actions... right? Maybe, but for me this painting is a direct contrast to "Joseph and Potiphar's Wife". Where as Joseph was able to forgive, move forward and accomplish much, Electra becomes stuck. A satellite with a low orbit circling one single event in time; alive but not living. That's truly tragic.

Monday, April 12, 2010

Week 15. "One Fool" 18"x24" oil on canvas

One Fool
is the first of a diptych called The Fools. More and more I've become absolutely entranced by the textures that can be created with oils. The background here is a rendering of birch bark. Paint is laid on thickly to get sense of peeling bark. The fool's blanket is inspired by a very ornate fabric that's transparent and lacy with opaque fabric creating patterns over it. I've created an illusion of a much more opaque fabric but have kept the patterns. My first step in painting the blanket was to paint the basic light and shadowed areas then go back over it all with the tip a palette knife "carving" patterns into the paint. Once this layer was dried I delicately skimmed the top of the now three dimensional surface with lighter or darker paint and easily brought the patterns out. Look for Another Fool in the coming weeks.

Monday, April 5, 2010

Week 14. "Joseph and Potiphar's Wife" 30"x40" oil on canvas

The story of Joseph and Potiphar's wife (Genesis, chapter 39) has always disturbed me somehow. I guess that's the point. It makes one think. I mean, really, why not just give into the woman? Of course, if he had, Joseph would never have been thrown in prison, became pharaoh's right hand man or eventually been in a position to save the region from famine. Joseph's story only became really interesting to me, however, when I realized that what really would have derailed him from accomplishing all that he did was if he was not able to forgive. He forgave his brothers for selling him into slavery and no doubt he forgave Potiphar's wife as well. If he had spent his time complaining about how unfair life was or condemning those who had hurt him he would not have been able to see the opportunities that were being presented to him. He was too busy living and doing to worry about pointing fingers and labeling people as "sinners" or "infidels". One moves towards where they are looking. Joseph obviously wasn't looking at other people's short comings but at the good that could be accomplished.
To me this explains why he could just walk away.

Monday, March 29, 2010

Week 13. "Lady Bird" 12"x12" oil on canvas

A companion piece to "Queen Bee", "Lady Bird" can be seen at climate/gallery in NYC from April 3 to April 25. One thing that's fun about a smaller canvas is that when viewed online it's almost the actual size of the painting (when on a full sized monitor). I mean, even in this photo the paint itself can be seen very clearly. "Lady Bird" is all about juxtaposing the hard with the soft. Ladybugs (sometimes called ladybirds) have shells. Playful and colorful maybe, but still, hard shells. But they are called lady bugs. They don't sting people. They'll gently crawl all over you if you let them. So I put her under a leaf in mid-summer where the light is a soft incandescent green. No harsh light or dark shadows here.