Field with a Stream in Rappahannock Valley

Oil on Gessoed Archival Rag board laid down on same,
5 11/2" x 4 1/4" $40.00 SOLD
This is a scene in Rappahannock County, on the way
to the Blue Ridge. From a photo again. But, I don't
feel bad about it. Sometimes I find I can be more
imaginative when working from a photo than when
working from life. The memory comes into play,
and also there is a freedom to work with color that
the overwhelming presence of Nature sometimes
stifles in me.

I know Degas rarely worked outside,
and he is one of my idols. So, I guess if it was good
enough for him, it's good enough for me. I know that
when he died his family found boxes of photos in
his apartment - some of a nature they were not
so happy with, so they threw them out. Many were
photos he had taken himself.

I was quite happy with this small picture. It gives me the
same feeling that I have when I am out in the country, so
I must have caught something about the lanscape.
It makes me happy, and that is good.


Memento of Florence

Oil on 100% Rag Board laid down on same, 6"x 6"

When my parents first visited Italy back in the 1960's
they brought my sister and I each one of these small
guilded cherubs. I have had mine ever since. It came
from Florence. At the time I never suspected that I would
one day go there and study. Now that was so many years
ago I can hardly believe I was ever there. But, being there had
a profound influence on how I think about and make art.
I'll always be grateful that I was able to go there. It is an
amazing city, and for an art student, an impossibly stimulating


Blue Ridge Mountain View

Oil on Gessoed Wood Panel, 3" x 5" $90.00

I felt like doing a landscape today, but I didn't have time
to drive out to the Shenandoah, so I dug through my box of
photographs and found one I found inspiring. I never tire of
making up pictures of that place, and never tire of going there.


Brass and Carnation

Oil on Gessoed 100% Rag Board laid down on same, 6" x 6"
$75.00 SOLD
I really enjoyed doing this painting. I loved how the colors of the flower were subtly reflected into the surface of the brass container, and how the leaves had all sorts of variations of green in them. I felt the brass was quite shiny and successful, so I was happy with that, and I liked the contrast between the solidity of it and the wispiness of the flower.

Are you familiar with Caravaggio's masterpiece of a still-life? The one in which he just has a basket filled with fruit and leaves silhouetted against a plain, but vibrant yellow background? He was such a master of composition, that just the negative spaces (background shapes) in the picture are positively hypnotic. Each time I just happen upon that painting in a book I am once again completely in awe of it.



This is another spring offering. It is an oil color monotype that I did many years ago down in Blacksburg, Virginia. I picked the morning glories, then sat in front of them for about four hours with a zinc plate, a tiny paintbrush, some oil paint and turpentine. When I was done, I printed the image on to a piece of dampened Italian printmaking paper using my etching press. --Monotypes are like roulette. But this was a winner, and it is something I will never part with. I love morning glories. Their beauty is so ephemeral and ethereal.


Blue and Purple Irises on a Pink Background

Oil on 100% Rag board supported by board, 7" x 11"
95.00 go to eBay

In honor of spring I just had to paint some flowers, but I really wanted to paint some irises, and it's not iris season yet! So, I raided my still-life cabinet at The Art League School where I teach, and found these lovely, though undoubtedly unusual, artificial ones. I have to admit too, this painting took more than one day..... it took two. -- Just painting the background took several hours, and I wasn't satisfied until I covered the original white background with some pink and "tonked" it with some phone book paper to get the texture. NOW, I liked it!

For anyone interested in learning to draw or paint out there, even those learning to draw the figure (I've been teaching that for about thirty-two years) you can learn a tremendous amount by observing flowers. Their endless curving, interrelated parts, delicate relationships, and constantly changing perspective - depending upon your point of view - are all issues that one deals with in drawing the figure, or anything for that matter. So if you are interested in improving your drawing, get yourself a sketchbook, get a stem of freesia, and do a drawing of the spaces in between the flowers. You'll be amazed at how much you'll learn, and, what a relaxing and satisfying experience it is. God is in the details.

NOTE - "Tonking" just means blotting your wet oil painting with telephone book paper (must be only that paper), and was named after Henry Tonks, who was the President of the Slade School in London in the early part of the 20th C.. A very useful practice.


Red and Yellow Pear

Oil on Canvas on Wood Panel, 5" x 7" SOLD
This pear didn't seem to know if it was red
or yellow, but it was just so beautiful that I
had to paint it. It was hard not to eat it, because
it was perfectly ripe. Capturing that type of skin
in paint is a challenge, but I was pretty happy
with this painting. - It was interesting how the
highlights on the belly were a cold pink! You
wouldn't expect that....

Painting fruit and vegetables is such a challenge, and
it is so satisfying. It is a great teaching tool, also. In one
class I teach that is all we paint the entire quarter. I am always
so impressed with what my students come up with, and always
surprised at how much I learn from them. Painting is color,
and Nature offers infinite variety to challenge an artist.


Artichoke on a Pink Plate

Oil on Gessoed Rag Board laid down on board, 6" x 6"

I was amazed at how colorful the inside of this artichoke was!
I'm planning on doing several paintings of this same subject,
because the colors seemed to change with the light.
I was pretty happy with this one. But there are so many