Saturday, August 11, 2007

Avocado #2

Avocado #2, oil on canvas panel, approx. 4x6 in.

8/10. Some color today. This thing makes me think of a space rock that has traveled through different worlds acquiring stickers like a piece of luggage.

Friday, August 10, 2007

Titanium white

Titanium white, oil on canvas panel, approx. 5x7 in. SOLD

8/9. In case you haven't noticed the pattern, I have been playing with white on white - things that "read" as white and white backgrounds - to see how the white suddenly becomes less so in that situation. The ochers and blues started to jump out and take over as the dominant colors to be found within competing "whites," or it appeared that way to me. The mushrooms perhaps weren't really white enough or like young Waterhouse I rendered too much of the dirt, so that didn't really happen in their case. And this one is just a silly pun.

It started with a quick (bad) pencil sketch, which I haven't been doing except for the awl, and the lines and marks were visible almost to the end. I actually like when I leave a lot of marks as it makes me think of Bruegel. The first time I saw Bruegel in a museum I was horrified by the amount of underdrawing that screamed out through his thin overpainting (it seemed like a complete pen sketch underneath), and impressed by the simmering energy that this produced. Unless he was also lazy, like Degas he had a deliberate carelessness from a degree of confidence that I can only hope to reach. These guys were masters because they drew (in their different ways) and the line was as important as the light.

Thursday, August 9, 2007


Eggs, oil on canvas panel, approx. 5x7 in. SOLD

8/7. This took me back to Jeff Markowsky's class years and years and years ago (he teaches drawing now (and at a different school (because they need teachers like him))). I kept wondering whether old Jeff would approve, as I was stressing out about the shadow's edge etc. I could have kept it simpler I know, with more background showing through. Maybe next time I voluntarily paint an egg, which may be another decade or so.

Wednesday, August 8, 2007


Marshmallows, oil on canvas, approx. 5x7.

8/7. From the Old English mersc-mealwe [mĕrsh-mĕəl'-wə], confections of sweetened paste formerly made from the root of the marshmallow plant but now made, in the case of Kraft® JET-PUFFED, from
corn syrup, sugar, dextrose, modified corn starch, water, gelatin, tetrasodium pyrophosphate (whipping aid), artificial flavor, artificial color (blue 1).
I wonder what they would look like without the artificial color. "CHOKING WARNING: Eat one at a time."

Tuesday, August 7, 2007

Cotton balls

Cotton balls, oil on canvas panel, approx. 5x7.

8/6. Triple Size, 100% Natural Cotton. Eckerd® Cotton Balls are soft, absorbent and gentle. Perfect for applying lotions, creams and astringents. Smooth enough for powder and rouge application. For cleansing diaper area and for applying lotion, especially in delicate body creases.

Monday, August 6, 2007


Mushrooms, oil on canvas panel, approx. 5x7. SOLD

8/5. Alla prima was never natural to me so this daily painting practice has been good. Surface textures can get tricky, and my way of dealing with them is usually scumbling/glazing - this agrees with me as I'm the kind of person who believes he never gets things right the first time. Working wet-on-wet there comes that point when my tendency to "texture map" takes over and I get bogged down in paint, but I think now I'm more aware of it and at times I can make it work, even if not efficiently. At those moments when I feel I'm getting close I'm always reminded of the line in A. Hobson's J W Waterhouse (1989), about when the young painting student (later a master paint pusher) was required to submit a chalk drawing of a statue for admission to the Royal Academy:
His drawing of the Discobolus ... faithfully recorded the false lights and shadows due to accumulated dust and dirt, and was understandably rejected.

Sunday, August 5, 2007


Clementines, oil on canvas panel, approx. 5x7.

8/4. Smaller panel for this one - I intended to keep it under two hours but it went much longer and the paint got much thicker.