A Canna Lily in Full Bloom

This is a gouache (opaque watercolor) painting on Fredrix watercolor canvas.
I used Winsor & Newton Aquapasto first, put on extra-thinly with a credit
car, because when I first painted, the paint crawled and beaded very badly.
This may be because the canvas was severaly years old. - The Aquapasto
created a thin film that allowed me to lay color down on the canvas surface.
I put in a lot of different hues of green and gold in the background and yellow
on the flower and let that dry. - After it was all dry, I put another layer of
Aquapasto on thinly with a credit card, but just on the flower. Then a put a thin
layer of a mixture of cad red light and peony red (Holbein). The medium allowed
me to create texture in the red, creating similar effects to those that one sees on
Canna Lilies, which often have bright, variegated petals. I love gouache!


Blue Cloud

Oil paint on Gessoed Dutch Archival Painting paper. I love the colos in this paintings, and even though it is very simple, it
gives  me a very good feeling when I look at it. It measurses about 7"x 5" , with a 3/4" white margin all around. I use a wax
medium with this, that was mixed with an alkyd medium. It dried very quickly, and gave a very matte appearance which is
pleasant in a serene compostion like this.                                                                                                                     BUY


Toulouse as a Poster

This is a lithograph of a friend of mine. It is a lightly hand-colored lithograph on
BFK Rives white printmaking paper. The hands aren't there because they aren't
supposed to be, in case you are wondering. I liked the shadows of the fingers, and
just suggesting some things better than drawing everything. It was particularly her
incredible eyes that I wanted to be the focus of the picture. This is not a portrait, it
is a work of graphic art, done for a particular purpose.                                     BID


Seated Girl Painted in Oil Washes

This piece was done in class in a technique that I have mentioned
before on this blog: "peinture a l'essence", or, in English, painting
with solvent. Just to quickly review for those of you who do not know
what this means - it is a way of using paint so that the linseed oil in it
(which in its natural state in the paint is very corrosve) will not damage
the paper. It is just necessary to lay your paint out on some heavy paper
such as printmaking blotters, covered, overnight, and the oil will leach out
       into the paper. The next day you scrape what is left onto your palette, and
dilute it with solvent. This manner of painting was very popular with Degas
and Toulouse-Lautrec - Lautec painted many of his paintingson carboard.
   You should give this a try - it is fun.                                                BID 


Chinoiserie Triptych

This triptych was inspired by a painting by John Waterhouse of The
Lady of Shallot, although I didn't realize it at the time. Years ago I had
a reproduction of that painting on my wall because I thought it was really
wonderful. Years later I did this. This is acually the second one I have done,
because the first one was never returned by an unscrupulous art dealer in
California. Yes, that is the life of an artist. I never got any money for the
painting, and I never even got the painting back, so that I could enjoy it myself.
So, I decided to do another, similar one. It was at that time when I was looking
casually through my daughter's book of John Waterhouse paintings and spotted
the exact same pose - facing in the other direction- of the Lady of Shalott! It is
funny how the mind stores things away. Some of them are identified clearly
day to day, and others dwell in this more dream-like, design-oriented (if you are
an artist, I suppose) area. I guess I accessed that area without realizing it.
The two palest yellow vertical strips are for the gold-leafed mat that a potential
framer would construct to go around this painting. It was done on board in oils,
and oil glazes, and will be mounted on wood.                                                                                SOLD

Bearded Iris

I keep all of my gouache, and gouache/watercolor paintings in Canson watercolor
paper spiral-bound notebooks. I have been doing this for about ten years. I like the paper,
because it doesn't wrikle very much, as long as I confine my composition to a fairly
small area, and it also takes the Cotman watercolors - which I like to combine with
my Caran d'ache gouache paints - very well. Sometimes, if I know I am gong to use
a lot of watercoor in a piece, I will use Liftng Preparation first and allow that to dry
before I start working. That makes it easier to remove any color I may want to. Of
course, this is not essential when working with gouache, because it is opaque, and
you can paint over anything, but sometimes you may want a more transparent area
in your work. I also really enjoy working with the new watercolor canvas that came
out a couple of years ago. You can do virtually anything on that - for watercolorists
it's a dream because it is really easy to life from. As long as you keep your compositions
very small - which mine are, just naturally - you don't need to do any preparation. But,
if you want to use a whole sheet, you need to stretch it just like a piece of regular watercolor
paper, or it will buckle and wrinkle on you. This can be most upsetting. - If you look at my
piece above, you can see that I used both opaque and transparent paint. I particularly like
the curled petal on the bottom right that is very lavendar with a highlight. Then, there is
a semi-transparent wash behind that, that really emphasizes the solidity of the curled petal.
I like the colors in this piece.                                                                                          BID


Black and White Chalk Drawing (after Robert Barret (?))

I have to say that I really like this drawing. The funny thing is, I don't even really remember doing it.
It's in a notebook I have of some rather strange, smooth gray paper, that I think may have been made
out of recycled paper, because there are tiny flecks of barely visible color in it that actually show up
more in a photograph than to the naked eye. Here I am using a very time-honored technique - a mid-
tone paper paired with black and white chalk or pencils. One could also use sepia, sanguine, really
any dark color that would serve to represent the shadowed areas of the form. That is the whole point
really, of using the toned paper with these materials. The toned paper functions as the mid-tones, or
evenly-illuminated parts of the body, the white expresses strong illumination, and the dark pencil renders
the form with more detail and shadows of different values, the degree to which it is developed is really
a function of the artist's style. Having said all that, what I really like about this drawing is the lines. BID            


Black and White Head of Hypnos

This is yet another drawing of my beloved Head of Hypnos. I do not know who sculpted it. Perhaps someone does? But I have never seen any attribution given in any book. Perhaps it is just too ancient, and was never signed, or was effaced at
some point, like so many works of art because of some disagreement, often beginning with a one of a religious nature as in
our society today. But I can't imagine everyone not agreeing on one fact - that this is a sublimely beautiful object of a bizarre
nature and endless fascination. It is utterly inspiring to me - but I have always found ancient objects to be artistically inspiring. I don't know why, and I guess it doesn't really matter in the end. Even though this is my own drawing I find it just
as hypnotic as the sculpture itself. That is a very nice feeling to have. I have done plenty of duds, but here I feel I captured how I see, and what I feel about the Head of Hypnos. and it doesn't matter to me what anyone else feels. If they like it, that
is wonderful, but if they don't, well, that is alright too. "Beauty is in the eye of the beholder" my mother always told me,
and she was right.                                                                                                             Buy It Now


Gabe in Class on Monday

Oil on shellacked Canson Paper, done while teaching Expressive and Gestural Figure Painting at the Art League School in Alexandria, Virginia. This sketch was about thirty minutes long.                                                  Buy It Now