October 28, 2010

"Mardi Gras Bloody Mary"

Oil on museum quality ampersand gessobord panel 8" x 10"

And now for something completely different!

Something that one sees around Jackson Square in New Orleans is a form of naive folk art using familiar icons of the area. Often done with ordinary house paint on found planks of wood or shingles, these colorful objet d'art are cheerful and amusing. I thought it would be fun to try my hand at one using a subject that is near and dear to me - Tabasco. I probably have over 100 bottles of hot sauce of various stripe in the pantry and in the fridge (much to my wife's chagrin) but the one that gets utilized the most is the ubiquitous Tabasco. Nothing else tastes like it. I dare say you could make a Bloody Mary with Jamaica Hell Fire Sauce but it wouldn't be the same. I further embraced the New Orleans theme by using purple, green and gold - the colors of Mardi Gras, to really sink it home. I thought the black outline gave the painting a clumsy folksiness. I told you I was going to have fun.

October 20, 2010

"Sammy with pumpkin"

Oil on museum quality ampersand gessobord panel 8" x 8"

It's raining cats and dog...well, OK, just cats, in the studio lately. Hey, can I help it if I have a ready supply of willing models at my beck and call? Alice Thompson's Calypso Moon Art Movement has challenged us to paint a Halloween themed painting this month and my Sam seemed like a good fit. He has been unhappy with J.J. getting all the attention lately and was an eager model. Well, it helped that I sprinkled the pumpkin with catnip. He implored me to paint out his little white bib and white underbelly but I couldn't do it. It just wouldn't be Sammy if I did.

October 19, 2010

"Administrative assistant"

Oil on museum quality ampersand gessobord panel 8" x 8"

My wife Susan occasionally works from her home office and is often visited by unsolicited I.T. support in the form of J.J. He is highly skilled at sending e-mail and types in some form of code that only cats can read. In keeping with my new more painterly approach to the daily paintings, this piece was a study in contrasting colors. The ubiquitous "windows" blue playing off the warm oranges of J.J.'s fur. I am still on the fence as to whether this one works or not. I was close to wiping it down along the way. I'll know better tomorrow. J.J. is thinking "Now where did she put that mouse?"

October 13, 2010


Oil on museum quality ampersand gessobord panel 6" x 6"

Like ordering a Cosmo at a bar, it takes a truly manly man to paint puppies and kittens. I really wasn't going for the cheap shot with this piece - honestly. I was grabbed by the Tissot-like back-lighting on this little imp. My friends Sherry and Joe just adopted two sweet sisters from the S.P.C.A. These gregarious girls, Cleo and her litter mate, Iris, couldn't be cuter if they tried. Cleo was clowning around on the landing stairs and her aura of light and amusing expression was something I deemed paint worthy, if just a silly bit of fun.

October 6, 2010


Oil on museum quality ampersand gessobord panel 6" x 6"

These cold fish have been on ice in my queue since my last trip to France, which, as many of you know, was quite some time ago. Fresh in my mind these many months, they have resurfaced to remind me of why I started painting in the first place - because it's fun! At least it's supposed to be. I seemed to have lost sight of that fact recently. What started for me back in '07 as an experiment in "daily painting" - a new art movement with the sole mandate of completing a small work of art every day, became something quite different. I must admit that I seldom attained the stated goal, but I was content with 3 or 4 per week. Trouble came when I felt compelled to make the work tighter and tighter. Not content with small, quick oil sketches, I wanted to do something that would wow people. The diminutive panels ceased to be mere little studies and became polished works of art. The praise I got from these little jewels was like a drug. I lived for the comments on my blog. I spent way more time on them than I could ever possibly justify, given the monetary ceiling of the internet marketplace. I started using the opti-visor more and more. Frustration set in and I began to resent them. That, my friends, is my long winded explanation for why I have not been posting. I recently made a pilgrimage to the Corcoran Museum in Washington to see an exhibition of Chuck Close's prints. That man knew how to have fun. His "fingerprint" works are a stark reminder that we should have fun in the process. Embracing this revelation, I allowed myself to once again feel the support - to scratch and scumble and toss the paint. This piece may not be great, but it was fun and that's a start. I feel like I'm swimming upstream.