The big red Acorn gum machine’s little blue brother. As I have lamented before, I wish everyone looking at this on their screen could see it in person. The colour, the detail the subtle texture of the painted surface, all these vanish and flatten with the backlighting of the device you’re viewing.
In 2009 I painted this big red Acorn gum machine – so it was time to visit it again. My motive to paint this is obvious – it’s a beautiful thing to behold. Also, Wayne Thiebuad painted gum machines and he’s an inspiration.
I’m more confident with details and relaxed with the time that it takes to focus. In 2009 I intentionally only painted a few gumballs. There is also the darker atmosphere. I have a much brighter studio now and the result shows in the paintings.
At once these paintings are both simple and complex – like a metaphor for all things in life.
The elements I strive for in a painting: a sense of space, light, and atmosphere.
Although my work is realist, it is not hyper or photo realist. All the layers and paint marks are really only visible if you stand before the actual painting and look close. Glancing at it here on your phone, iPad or computer screen will be too brief to see these details. That’s okay, the entire point here is to just introduce you to the painting. If you want to get to know it better, to really understand what it is I’m doing, you have to see them in person. I hope you’re able to do that one day, if you haven’t already.
Books have always been one of my favourite things to paint. And I think the titles, the actual titles, say just enough. I don’t need to add anything else. They speak for themselves and are up for your own interpretation.
Once you add text to a painting, you’ll immediately look at it differently — words transform the subject.
This Remington Quiet-Riter painting is like all of my paintings – simple at first glance, but full of detail once you look a little longer. The straight forward composition is easy to read, but the repetition in the numerous keys creates complexity. The layers of paint to bring the depth of the inside of the case was a joy to paint.
This is the sister painting to the baby blue Royal typewriter in a simple vignette. A red Underwood Standard Portable Typewriter to be featured in my October 2017 solo exhibition at the George Billis Gallery in New York City.
This is another painting that left me very pleased with the outcome. It’s the culmination of years of work and dedication.
This is hands down my favourite painting that I have done in the past few years. It’s a Royal Quiet De Luxe typewriter in a simple vignette. It feels good when a painting comes together in all the right places.
This will be one of 18 new paintings showing at the George Billis Gallery in New York City from the beginning of October through to the beginning of November.
This is the culmination of plenty of work and focus. I painted all throughout the summer months and a huge sense of relief and accomplishment has come over me. I have kept busy boxing up and shipping the paintings, but also stepping back from an intense period of painting and now I’m gearing up for the fall months spent following the momentum I built up this past summer.
This painting is at the George Billis Gallery in New York. It’s another in a series of paintings I have been doing by revisiting my portfolio and applying a new technique to subjects I have painted in the past 17 years.
The first time I painted a fan, I had a quick technique and was finished the painting in a few hours.
I think being a young father with a 2-year-old son and a 3-month-old daughter may have had something to do with how little time I had to paint. We had also just moved in to a new house that needed major work and I had a job at a university.
I have distinct memories of feeling this crunch of getting a painting done, racing to the finish line, before my son woke up from a nap. I also painted in the evenings for several years, tired and beleaguered.
I am completely on the other side now. Teenaged kids who require no nap times and they occupy themselves marvellously. I left my job and paint full time in a house that needs no work. Goals achieved. I have the next several decades (hopefully) to paint uninterrupted.
Thirteen years ago I painted this phone for the first time. It was when I began seriously building my oeuvre. I would paint fast and furious, thinking that a quickly rendered, expressive way of painting was what I wanted to achieve. It never really felt like a natural way for me to paint, but the subject always felt like the right one.
I was painting with acrylics, and if the painting wasn’t done after an hour of work, then I felt like I was taking too long.
Over time I slowed way, way down and focused with an indirect painting technique. A very slow building of layers in oils. In person my paintings are still far more painterly than they appear on the screen before you.
Over the past several months I have experimented with paintings and tried a few different approaches. I’ll still do such experiments now and again, but I have decided to look back over the last 17 years of my paintings and will simply re-paint my own work with my new approach and technique. I want to copy my own portfolio, I want to see if I can make the paintings better, I want to see if I can learn from my own work.
In 2004 I signed up for Flickr where I have archived 740 of my paintings. Most of my works is there, including work done in 2000 as a student. Anyone who wants to see, warts and all, is welcome to browse.