Saturday, August 4, 2007

Pine cones

Pine cones, oil on canvas panel, approx. 8x10 in.

8/3. My accuracy here wasn't so good. I think I may have even added an extra row of scales somewhere on the upright cone.

Stanley awl

Stanley awl, oil on canvas panel, approx. 6x8 in.

8/2. Simple tools like this are great. It feels like it would last two or three hundred years or maybe forever, just a piece of strong metal wedged in a piece of hard wood, the whole thing getting stronger with each use.

Funky potato

Funky potato, oil on canvas panel, approx. 6x8 in.

From 8/1. This old potato from the fridge had a bit of something growing on it though I didn't quite capture that - or did I? And from the color I thought at first it might be a sweet potato. It makes me think of a foot.

Friday, August 3, 2007

Green pepper

Green pepper, oil on canvas panel, approx. 6x8 in.

From 7/31.


Onion, oil on canvas panel, approx. 6x8 in. SOLD

From 7/30. This was a bit daunting (mainly the papery skin) but it came out all right, if maybe a bit soft.

I have never completely lost the feeling of dismay that used to paralyze me before starting a painting. Not the "blank canvas" fear that all kinds of people feel at some point or another when faced with a new beginning, which is totally understandable to me. This was a different feeling that could seep into my mind even when I was miles away from the work or the easel. Sometimes it was just the dread of failure, but more often a twisted, strangling mass of sadness and anxiety leading back years into the past - like heavy ropes or cables that are tethered to places now a thousand miles away, and every time I stood alone in front of a painting those thick cable ends would spread out to suffocate me and fill my mind with desperation for as long as I stood there. Or so it seemed, and on some days I was able to hack effortlessly through those cords and just get on with it. I don't think I experienced panic attacks, as it was all in my head and the spell would simply break in the presence of another person. That is what depression is like, or at least a form of it that I was familiar with for a long time.


Ginger, oil on canvas panel, approx. 6x8 in.

From 7/29. This was a nicely shaped piece/root/rhizome I saw in the produce bin - but what piece of ginger isn't interesting? It's a bit wormy, and I thought would be a cinch to paint, but I wrestled with it like it was a wyrm - it was out to get me, I was like St. George in my mind. One of the most stressful subjects so far.... What I do like here is the flatness of the red. Man, I like red.


Avocado, oil on canvas panel, approx. 6x8 in. SOLD

From 7/28. This was the first painting since the cantaloupe in which I felt that I captured "something" of the thing to my satisfaction, and I wasn't tighter than I wanted to be.

Danish blue

Danish blue, oil on board, approx. 6.5x9.5 in.

I am a several days behind in posting, this painting being from 7/27. Sometimes my drawing can be a little off, but this wheel of cheese really was oddly shaped. And it is still sitting in our refrigerator. I really used to like Danish blue but now find it a bit too tangy for my taste. A little cold and sharp, making me think "antiseptic" - which is funny considering all the mold and funk that's grown all through it. (My belief is that the funk should taste more funky.)

Thursday, August 2, 2007

Red skin potatoes

Red skin potatoes, oil on canvas panel, approx. 12x9 in. SOLD

I wanted to see what it would be like to have a lot of empty vertical space (I thought about adding a couple more potatoes behind but left it at these two). Doing these daily paintings is supposed to get me to loosen up but I only got tight as usual! I guess my tendency is more towards Bruegel than Manet. I do like gold and ocher so I didn't do much in the way of background.


Radishes, oil on canvas panel, approx. 9x12 in. SOLD

Wednesday, August 1, 2007


Thanks a lot, Duane Keiser (for popularizing the daily painting thing). I found myself checking out various daily painters' websites a couple weekends ago, after which my wife casually said, "you should do that." So I began that night, perhaps to make up for those long stretches of time over the last nine or so years when I wouldn't paint at all (added up, those dry spells would equal years). Or maybe I just couldn't see any reason not to try. So this was the first, on a fairly "large" panel I had lying around:

Cantaloupe, oil on canvas panel, approx. 9x12 in. SOLD