Sunset in the Tropics

Oil on Gessoed Wood Panel, 6" x 8" $125.00

This is an entirely made-up painting, with a nod to Frederick
Church (whom I could never hope to equal). I have been to Jamaica
several times, but always to the north coast of the island. I love it
there. I think the landscape, above and below the ocean, and the people,
are beautiful.

I have also always admired Frederick Church's painted
"sketches" (amazing smaller paintings he did in preparation for huge
studio paintings - a typical 19th Century artist). I have had a book
of them that I got in a great sale at the National Gallery years ago, that
I have pored over many times.

So, here I am imagining that I am looking
at a sunset over the Blue Mountains in Jamaica. It's just a feeling I'm
trying to get, nothing exact - but I do think I caught something of the
humid atmosphere there, so I am happy about that!

P.S. I have decided to go through and put the prices under all of my
paintings, as I have been advised to do that, and also feel that perhaps
people are embarassed to broach that subject. I plan on opening up
my ebay store again, eventually.


Oil Sketch of Alan

Oil on Gessoed Rag Board, 7" x 9" $100.00

This quick gestural sketch of one of my
favorite figure models, Alan, was done
with a limited palette, using burnt umber,
naples yellow, cadmium red light, and
cobalt blue. The gesso had been washed
with a light neutral gray before starting.

I was trying to demonstrate to my students the
mapping out of broad planes of light and dark, and
how one can simplify the complexity of the back
just to get started (the back can be so intimidating).

Although this is an "unfinished" sketch, I felt that
I had really "caught" Alan, and his energy and grace.


Sunset over St. John

Oil on Linen laid down on board, 3 1/2" x 5" $80.00

This tiny landscape of St. John in the Virgin Islands, is one of
several that I have done of this same composition. The shapes
and colors of these clouds just fascinate me. The pink really
was this intense.


Egret in Huntley Meadows Wetlands Park

Gouache on Canson Watercolor Paper SOLD
4" x 6"
This beautiful white egret really stood out against
all the darker reds and greens of the wetlands. It is
good that they stand there for so long!
I love working in gouache. It is similar to oils in that
you can work fairly thickly and continually overlay
different colors. But you have the option of also using
washes, which is nice for underpainting or just
giving the whole composition a particular tint.
I like the sketchiness of this piece.
This was done in a Canson watercolor notebook,
and because the dimensions of the piece were so small,
I didn't have to worry about wrinkling. In watercolor, that
certainly is one advantage of working so small!


Bearded Iris ll

Watercolor, Gouache and Pencil
on Archival WC Paper, 5" x 7" $120.00
Go to eBay

I just couldn't get over all of the colors
in this iris. They were really something.
I was experimenting with Aquapasto
today. A wonderful watercolor teacher
at the Art League School, Tedd Betts,
who passed away a couple of years ago,
told me that you could squegee a thin
layer of this stuff on your paper with
a credit card. He used it to incredible
effect. Particularly in painting trees
in the wintertime. His paintings were
beautiful. It's really a shame he wasn't more
well-known in his lifetime.

Using the medium has its advantages and
drawbacks for an artist. You can completely
lift any paint put over it, and washes can be
laid down next to each other without flowing
into each other, but that's just the thing -
the washes don't really flow at all, and that
can be frustrating. I guess the solution would
be to figure out what effects you want to achieve
before you start, and use the medium where it
would be most effective. Anyway, it is fun to
play around with.


Memory of Ellett Valley, Virginia


Watercolor on Acid Free Watercolor Paper, 7" square

This was one of the most beautiful places that I was ever in.
It was a valley that basically ran parallel to the town of
Blacksburg, Virginia, on the other side of a small mountain

range. Back when I spent time there in the 80's, before they started
building developments with "cul de sacs" and mini-mansions, it was
full of wonderful old pig farms, and Virginia vernacular architecure.
It also had rolling, twisting roads, almost like a roller coaster that
seemed to go on forever...not to mention the cornfields, sunflowers,
sweetpeas, and cows. I haven't been there in years. I think I'd rather
remember it like this.


Milena Posing in a cold light in class

Oil on Canson Paper, 10" x 13"

This semi-clothed nude study was done very
quickly in an interesting technique that was used
very often by both Degas and Toulouse-Lautrec.
It is know as peinture a l'essence, which literally
means, "painting with solvent". If you notice, a lot
of Lautrec's paintings were done on cardboard.
Well, this is how he did that.

To use this technique, the oil paint has to be placed
on blotter paper or paper towels overnight to soak
out all of the oil from the paint. The next morning
(or the day after that...), the paint is transferred onto
a palette and can be used to paint on bare, unprepared
paper, diluted only with turps or paint thinner. No medium
is used, of course, because that would defeat the purpose
of having removed the oil in the first place. It is really fun,
and great for gestural figure painting! You should try it!