From work in progress

Early Morning Light

Sitting in my studio in the early summer morning, the painting I am working on was soaking up the light, so I quickly took a photo.

The colour of the painting was entirely dictated by the shifting tones in the light, a cool to warm gradation was passing over the surface of the three foot width of the painting.

These paintings are built up of thin layers of paint, even the large amount of white you see.  As the light changes throughout the day and the year, I like to see how the paintings themselves seem to change as the light bounces around the room and off the painting’s surface. The mood of the work can be entirely dependent on the space they are in and the angles they are viewed and even the time of day.

I’m almost done with this piece. Then I’ll be focussing on a somewhat complicated commission.

Work in Progress / Early Morning Light

Work in Progress

I listen to radio, podcasts and audiobooks while I work. I have done so for over a decade. I have noticed that when I look back at past paintings, I can instantly recall what I was listening to. This is not true for all paintings because not everything I hear makes an indelible mark. But some things have significance, and they signal a turning point or an idea that has substance and holds.

Ford Quality Ball Gum / on the easel

Fact: if you pose your hand holding a brush up to your painting, more people will stop and look at the image when they’re scrolling through on their phones. My hand in the photo does a few things; it offers a sense of scale and offers the sense of a human being behind the work you are looking at.

A work in progress. On we go.

I’m putting the finishing touches on this painting on what is a very optimistic day.

There have been so many setbacks for everyone, especially in this last year. But it is beginning to feel like we are turning a corner and things will again move forward.

These primary readers from the 40s, 50s, and 60s are sending me the signals. On we go!

On We Go / work in progress

Yin & Yang

This painting is the yin to the yang of the painting I shared yesterday.

It crossed my mind while I was painting these that they were taking a very long time to complete. It didn’t seem to matter.

Along with the white clocks, this piece will be showing at the George Billis Gallery in New York City this September.

10 Clocks — Black

Lock-Down Project

Just put the finishing touches on this lock-down project.

Well, to be honest it was going to happen pandemic or no pandemic. I have to say that being able to focus on the tiny details of this painting has been a great way to stay grounded and focused in reality while so much seems to spin out of control.

10 Clocks — White

Psychological Experiment

As they write the books on this era in the future it would be interesting to know what they’ll figure we got right and what we got wrong. It’s almost like we are in the midst of a planet-sized psychological experiment.

Just finished this piece and I’m on to the next.

Work in Progress / Manual of Psychology

A Little History

Every subject I paint has a built-in history. This Kodak Petite camera was made from 1929–1933, precisely during The Great Depression. The little pocket camera is sitting upon a stack of paperbacks from the same time and leading up to WWII. I always find myself thinking of the people who used these objects and what their world was like. Perhaps they were not so different from us.

This painting will be part of my upcoming September exhibition at the George Billis Gallery in New York City.

Work in Progress / Kodak Petite

Getting Lost in the Details

I’m lucky to be a studio-based artist. For the past 15 years (maybe even more) I have become well-conditioned to long periods of self-isolation. I have spent endless hours getting lost in the details of the subjects I choose, like this Oliver No.3 typewriter from 1905.

I have another exhibition scheduled to open in New York City in September. For now, I work toward this goal as I stream radio, podcasts and audiobooks to keep me company.

Work in Progress / Oliver No.3

Work in Progress

I have been keeping a journal for 26 years. Something I notice when I read back to see what was going on in my life, say 10 years ago, is that there’s a definite cycle, a pattern of behaviours and moods. February always stands out. There is a way for me to combat the February doldrums — by occupying myself with deadlines. So for the last several months, I have been working toward a late March exhibition in New York. Too occupied to fuss around on social media. And that is a good thing.

I have begun working on the last two paintings for the exhibition and it feels good. Once they are complete, I move into packing and shipping. The shipping part is the most anxiety-riddled process as I hand over my life’s work to companies whom I trust to get everything across the continent intact and on time.

Cluster of Cameras / Work in Progress

Work in Progress

All the Time in the World / Work in Progress

I’ll be calling this one “All the Time in the World”. It’s a bit challenging but that’s a good thing. Clocks are a subject I’ve worked with over and over again for many years. Rife with symbolism and ideas – it’s an ongoing process to perfect technique. Layers of paint over several days, I keep entering the studio throughout different times of the day and seeing areas that need reworking.