March 31, 2009

"Out of the Box"

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

Perhaps I should have called this "Out of the sand box" The name is derived from the monthly Daily painters challenge - Out of the box, meaning paint a subject or in a style or medium that you are not familiar with. Anyone who knows me well can tell you that I loath boats and I am not altogether thrilled with going to the beach either. That alone would fit the criteria for the challenge. Blue paint would be another element with which I am ill at ease. My early years as an artist, as I may have stated before on these pages, were spent immersed in the study of the Dutch masters. I may have used the tiniest bit of ultramarine blue to cool down the shadows, but that was it. No cerulean, no cobalt, no Prussian inhabited in my palette. I hesitated to put this painting on the blog but what the hell. It actually has more going on texturally speaking, than one can see from this photo. Suffice it to say that I have new respect for the seascape painters out there.

"Rufus in the garden"

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

As an artist, I am frequently (very frequently) asked to donate work to various charities. I wish that I could accommodate every worthy cause that asked for a painting but sadly, more often than not, I must decline. I recently took our two feral females to be neutered at the Baltimore County Humane Society's Spay and Neuter Clinic. The young receptionist saw my blog, loved the work and asked if I would donate something to her fund raiser. She must have caught me at a weak moment and I acquiesced. Rufus here is her Staffordshire Bull Terrier. Of course now she has to decide to donate a portrait of her dog to the cause. Tee hee.

March 25, 2009


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

I don't always have a back story when reinterpreting someone else's reference. I just really liked this guy's Walter Matthau impression. I was surprised to discover that Roscoe was a Maine Coon, given up for adoption at 6 months of age due to the fact that he didn't have the classic long thick coat. I've been told he does however have all the other typical traits of a Maine Coon, from being a one person cat to "chirping." His "Grumpy Old Man" look has been Roscoe's look all his life. This cat was born an old man. Roscoe is also well traveled, having lived abroad for a couple of years. He is 13 now and Diabetic.

March 23, 2009

"Blessed are the cheese makers"

Oil on museum quality ampersand gessobord panel 6" x 8"

The cheese portrayed in this painting is a small sampling of the selection presented to us in Paris at Restaurant Guy Savoy. To try and describe the culinary experience of that night in mere words on these pages would be futile. Suffice it to say that it was the most amazing, decadent (and expensive) meal I have ever had.

March 18, 2009

"Anna" - R.I.P.

Oil on museum quality ampersand gessobord panel - 6" x 8"

I suppose you've been wondering what happened to me. Had my muse run off to Monaco to play baccarat? Had I shuffled off this artists life and joined a monastery? Not quite. Sadly, I had been nursing my dear Anna who was battling two powerful foes - cancer and old age. She finally succumbed to their one-two punch yesterday and I had to intercede on her behalf. Not the way I would have chosen to celebrate St. Patrick's Day I assure you. This kind of intervention is not conducive to the creative process. Perhaps if I were a watercolor painter my work would have taken on a Grace Hartigan quality. Salty tears make for some interesting effects while working in a wet medium. I was able to steel myself to paint a commemorative portrait today. God speed, Anna. I hope you are frolicking with Vincent, Theo, Marco and your mom. At least you are no longer in pain. I wish I could say the same.

March 11, 2009

"Art Nouveau Harley-Davidson"

Oil on Canvas 27 1/2" x 42"

This piece has been knocking around the studio for quite a while. Intrigued by Alphonse Mucha's use of heavy delineation to flatten the figure, I decided to see if I could update it with the help of my Ultra Classic Harley-Davidson and my model Stephanie. The painting was quite a departure for a staunch realist like me. It is certainly unique. That 1997 wine berry and charcoal paint scheme on the bike was a knockout. I learned, too, that I am way too lazy to own a bike with white walled tires.

March 9, 2009


Oil on museum quality ampersand gessobord panel 6" x 8"

What is it about Jack Russells that make them so endearing? Who among us has not been amused at Eddie's antics on the TV show Fraser? An interesting factoid: the dog who portrayed Eddie was named "Moose", an odd name for a little terrier. The few Jacks that I have crossed paths with have been a bit on the nervous side and would shake uncontrollably if I so much as looked at them funny. Yet they all, without exception, had sweet dispositions and although they looked rather fragile, were tough as nails. This old gal belongs to my friends Tom and Dave.

March 4, 2009


Oil on museum quality ampersand gessobord panel 6" x 8"

This little guy is named Lochi or is it Lockie? It is short for "Low Key."
How he would spell it is anyone's guess:

The naming of cats is a difficult matter
It isn't just one of your holiday games
You may think at first I'm mad as a hatter
When I tell you a cat must have three different names

First of all, there's the name that the family use daily
Such as Peter, Augustus, Alonzo or James
Such as Victor or Jonathan, George or Bill Bailey
All of them are sensible, everyday names

But I tell you a cat needs a name that's particular
A name that's peculiar and more dignified
Else how can he keep up his tail perpendicular?
Or spread out his whiskers or cherish his pride?

Of names of this kind, I can give you a quorum
Such as Munkustrap, Quaxo or Coricopat
Such as Bombalurina, or else Jellylorum
Names that never belong to more than one cat

But above and beyond there's still one name left over
And that is the name that you will never guess
The name that no human research can discover
But the cat himself knows and will never confess

When you notice a cat in profound meditation
The reason, I tell you, is always the same
His mind is engaged in rapt contemplation
Of the thought, of the thought, of the thought of his name

His ineffable, effable, effanineffable
Deep and inscrutable singular name
Name, name, name, name, name, name

T.S. Elliott

"Vodka Martini with Three Olives"

Oil on museum quality ampersand gessobord panel 6" x 8"

Scotch whiskey and I are old friends. We go back years and years and I still like a wee dram in the evening, after I have put the brushes down, of course, and am reflecting on the day. The peatier the better. I could easily retire to Islay and drink Laphroaig when I'm near the end. Lately however, I have embraced the dirty, spicy vodka martini as my drink of choice. Last year dear friends of mine gave me a bottle of home infused pepper vodka. They are master gardeners and pepper heads and grow some very interesting and uncommon varieties of hot peppers like "Biker Billies" and "Chocolate habaneros." Let's just say the stuff would put hair on your chest. It was not for the faint of heart but right up my alley. This year they gave me a bag of assorted capsicums and I took them to Lars, my favorite mixologist at the Dogwood restaurant in Baltimore to infuse with one of his organic Vodkas. He keeps it behind the bar for me to have with my short rib meatloaf special on Thursdays. I doubt mere mortals could touch the stuff. It really is wonderful in a dirty martini. This is one of Lars' concoctions.