April 27, 2008

What's up?

I'm sure by now you are wondering why there has been no new work.   Uncle Bob has finally succumbed to the cancer and today went to join the morning stars. 

 As a well-spent day brings happy sleep, so life well used brings happy death. Leonardo Da Vinci

I must again head down south.  

There will be work again, i promise.

April 19, 2008

"Water lily"

Oil on Canvas mounted on board - 6" x 8"

 Tucked away in hidden courtyards all over the French Quarter are wonderful lush gardens; tiny oases of wonderful flora and fauna. These tropical gardens are a great place to escape from the Louisiana heat, slope back a Hurricane or a Sazerac or just commune with nature.  I chanced upon this lily pond while on a culinary walking tour of New Orleans.  

I'm off to Birmingham and won't post again until Wednesday night.  

April 17, 2008

"Button Mushrooms"

Oil on Museum quality, Archival 1/8" ampersand gessobord panel - 6" x 6"

 "One piece makes you larger, and one piece makes you small, and the ones that mother gives you don't have any taste at all."  I'm paraphrasing Lewis Carroll (and Grace Slick) but those of us who grew up in the 50's probably never saw a fresh mushroom.  Oh, maybe we nibbled a rubbery one in the chow mien from some mediocre Chinese carryout. (remember, this is the 50’s - there won’t be a Szechaun restaurant for years).  Perhaps, just perhaps, a daring, adventurous mother might have thrown some canned ones in her spaghetti sauce, but never a fresh one.  I didn't see a mushroom, culinarily speaking, until I left home.  The late 60's were an eye opener for me in many ways.  I was a geek and a freak and an avid J.R.R. Tolkien fan.  He imbued his hobbits with a passion for mushrooms far surpassing the big folk and I had to try them.  Try them I did and I, too, grew to love them as much as Frodo and Sam. I put them in everything and on everything.  I made a dish called "Gruel" which was not a thin porridge, but a hearty-tomato based stew chock full of mushrooms that was the basis for many a party in my starving artist days at my Stafford Road studio.  I was represented by the Gallery 306 in Philadelphia in the 70's and I often drove through Kennett Square, PA to deliver paintings to them.  Kennett Square is home to the Wyeth Museum and more importantly;  the Phillips mushroom farm, also know to me by its other name - Nirvana.  They had mushrooms the size of hamburger buns which they sold by the basket for not much money.  Hitherto, I had never seen a portobello mushroom and this was a revelation. Sadly, they did not stock or cultivate psylisybin mushrooms, another fungus gaining popularity at the time...and so we come full circle - back to Wonderland. 

"The time has come," the Walrus said,

"To talk of many things:
Of shoes--and ships--and sealing-wax--
Of cabbages--and kings--
And why the sea is boiling hot--
And whether pigs have wings."

April 15, 2008

"Photo Finish"

Oil on museum quality, archival 1/8" ampersand gessobord panel- 8" x 8"

I may add some text to this entry later today.  I just finished this and am going to rack out for a while.  It feels good to be back in the game.

April 13, 2008

Comment test

I was at an art opening this past weekend and was talking to some friends about the whole internet-art experience.  A few of them remarked about this piece or that piece that they had seen on my blog.   Looking at the blog is tantamount to falling by the studio.   More than one person said that they had tried to leave a comment, but that it didn't work. 

Just to be certain that the comment button actually works:  This is a test of the comment button.  Feel free to say anything you want - "Nice weather we are having",  "How about them 'O's" etc. 
It is suppose to work like this;  You place your cursor over "0 comments"  and click.  Type some words in the box,  choose an identity (you can be anonymous if you'd like),  if there is a box to type in some jumbled code words - be sure to fill that in.  Press the "preview" if you want to see what your glorious comments will look like.  When satisfied - hit the publish your comment button.  There, wasn't that easy?

April 12, 2008

"Peace" ...for my next illusion I'll need a volunteer from...everyone.

Oil on museum quality, archival 1/8" ampersand gessobord panel - 5" x 7"

Peace - what a concept.  When I was a young man the war in Vietnam was going strong. For my dad, it was the Germans and the Japanese.  Korea, Granada, (Granada?!) the Middle East...When will it all end? Why all this hatred? Why can't we all just get along?  I don't get it!

Magicians have a trick they do with a pan and a dove.  They pour lighter fluid into a pan and ignite it, then they close the lid.  When they open it -VoilĂ , a live dove appears.  Oh, that peace was that easily achieved.  I am not usually given to symbolism in my work, but this piece is rife with it.  The composition appears to be severed in half; two separate elements; dove and chick pan, separated by a sea of worn out red crushed velvet. You don't have to be Fellini to figure the red cloth or the dove.  I suppose I could have made it more exciting; flames shooting out of the pan, etc. but by the simple fact of isolating the dove from the trick shows how impossibly far even the illusion of peace is from reality.   

"Imagine all the people living life in peace.  You may say that I'm a dreamer, but I'm not the only one.  I hope someday you'll join us, and the world will live as one" - John Lennon

April 11, 2008

"Candy Apples" and cold starts

Oil on museum quality, archival 1/8th inch ampersand gessobord panel - 5" x 7"

New Orleans and this new MAC have taken their toll on me.  I did get some fun reference while I was down south which will show up in the next few days and weeks, but once again I am forced to face a cold start at the easel after a week off.  This is always a frightening thing.  What if I forgot how it all works?  I purposely picked something that would allow for some fun color and paint but was not too challenging or complex.  So here it is; a fluff piece to get me started.  

BTW   I love the MAC but it has taken some getting use to.  Things are not where they were.  

April 9, 2008


To expostulate
What artistry should be, what duty is,
Why day is day, night night, and time is time,
Were nothing but to waste night, day and time.
Therefore, since brevity is the soul of wit,
And tediousness the limbs and outward flourishes,
I will be brief: my noble friends, i am mad:
Mad call I it; for, to define true madness,
What is't but to be nothing else but mad?
But let that go.


…More matter, with less art.


 … I swear I use no art at all.

That I am mad, 'tis true: 'tis true 'tis pity;
And pity 'tis 'tis true: a foolish figure;
But farewell it, for I will use no art.
Mad let us grant me, then: and now remains
That we find out the cause of this effect,

Gentle cousins, computers hath made me mad and stayed me from my course, but no more!

Tomorrow will find me in the studio.

April 1, 2008

Tech time

Today was given up to technical issues and paperwork. I am now a MAC man. After months of kicking, screaming, cajoling, pleading and control-alt-deleting my old PC, I had finally had enough. Just removing the spaghetti and miscellaneous detritus from the old PC has taken more time than I would have imagined. The good Apple people have (hopefully) transferred all my painting files over to the new machine. They tell me that a MAC is much better for an artist than a PC and that they are very intuitive. I’ll let you know. The book about how to use leopard is 458 pages long! I’ll be putting in some time loading applications onto the machine that wouldn’t directly transfer. I probably won’t get any painting done tomorrow either. Then it’s off to the Big Easy to celebrate my wife’s 50th birthday. I am going to pre-load some paintings onto http://www.dailypainters.com/ so I can get them into the gallery section. If you are new to my blog, you can look back and find them and there may be a story to go with them. For my regular lookers and lurkers; there may not be a new painting until next Tuesday, so don’t be disappointed.