From painting

Hello 2019

I read this book 17 years ago – long before social media. How is it possible that things might be turning out worse than the fiction of the book? Perhaps we shouldn’t think about this too deeply and just find a funny and cute YouTube video to take our minds off things.

This Penguin Books classic edition of Aldous Huxley’s Brave New World is the perfect subject on many levels. Not only is the theme of the book relevant, but the simple graphic design of the cover with the symmetry and balance attracts me as well.

Happy New Year! Let’s make it a good one.

Do-Over

This past week I spent some time with some do-overs.

These two paintings are from a few years ago and although they don’t look too unusual for my work, they did before I repainted the backgrounds.

The Pleasures of Life / 24 x 24 / oil on canvas

Before these pictures were taken, the backgrounds were what I call explosion blue. They were a vibrant, unnatural, unfamiliar, chemical blue.

They were complete and even hung in a gallery for some time, but I was happy to get them back to correct them. I was pleased with the balance and geometry of the compositions, but the blue was so peculiar to my eyes that I had a hard time looking at the paintings.

I removed the varnish and added some layers of a much more subtle and neutral tone — a white/grey with only the most subtle, barely perceptible hint of blue. Immediately it felt as though my own personality returned to the paintings.

I did the vibrant blue backgrounds on the suggestion from a friend who was giving some opinion on changes they thought would add some “pop” to my work. In a moment of weakness and confusion, I took their advice.  It was as though my own signature was removed from my work.

The opportunity for the do-over has been very therapeutic.

Imagine if life were like a painting. Imagine if you could literally get a moment or an event back, remove the varnish and make your corrections.

The Interpretation of Dreams / 24 x 24 / oil on canvas

The Wishing Well

I’m calling this one done. Finding the point of completion is always satisfying on a painting. This one is going to hang in my house for some time while I move on to the next stack of books to paint.

This painting is available as a 12 x 12 inch print. See it in my print shop here.

Talking & Listening

If you have time, please read this article about my work from Wall Street International Magazine. You’ll find a very good summation of the intentions of my paintings.

Red Rotary Telephone / 22 x 28 / oil on canvas

These two paintings are part of my current exhibition in Los Angeles at the George Billis Gallery.

They are used as representations for communication – a theme I have focused on for several years. Talking and listening; the literal functions of these as objects. Admired also for their iconic designs and vibrant color.

Stromberg-Carlson Radio / 22 x 28 / oil on canvas

On Painting Typewriters

Underwood Leader / 30 x 30 / oil on canvas / 2018
Underwood Leader / Detail
Underwood Leader / Detail

Typewriters seem to embody ambition. They represent the tools to document thoughts, ideas and stories – you literally hammer your words on to paper.

They’re familiar to us, but distant enough to be obsolete. As with all the man made objects I use as subjects the compositions are simple and straight forward. But they become more complicated with the repetition of the keys and the mechanics of the machine.

I’ve painted many typewriters and without fail, every time I start working on the keys, I think “what did I get myself in to?”

Above: Underwood Leader
Below: Remington Quiet-Riter II

Remington Quiet-Riter II / 30 x 30 / oil on canvas / 2017
Remington Quiet-Riter II / 30 x 30 / oil on canvas / 2017

Read What You Will

The titles read like a poem. Or at least they do if that’s what you want. It’s not intentional on my part. It’s more serendipity.

The Big Picture / 30 x 36 / oil on canvas / 2018

Text makes you look at a painting longer. If there’s something to read, you’ll spend more time. Then you begin to draw connections between the words. You let them tell you what you want.

A General View / 24 x 24 / oil on canvas / 2018

You may also respond to the color, and the structure the books create. They are architectural. Solid and sturdy.

The Silent World / 30 x 36 / oil on canvas / 2018

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