Thursday, July 31, 2008


This is a 4x6" acrylic of the California Coast. It was sold on Ebay


IOWA Artists - I have just heard of an effort to help those artists in Iowa who were victims of the flooding earlier this summer. If you are of a mind to help theres information at

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Good Gravy

5x7" acrylic Price on Request

When I was growing up in NY everyone I knew called spaghetti sauce gravy. As in:

"Pass the gravy, Please." "You need more gravy on that ziti?" "I gotta go start the gravy."

Heres a good recipe for gravy:

4 tablespoons olive oil

5 garlic cloves and one onion minced

5 pounds fresh tomatoes, peeled and sliced*

1 6-oz. can tomato paste

splash of red wine

taste of sugar

10 fresh basil leaves


grated parmesean cheese

*OR 2 28-oz. cans ready-cut peeled tomatoes

In a deep 10-inch frying pan or pot heat the olive oil and gently sauté the garlic and onion.

Add tomatoes, tomato paste


Simmer some more

Add wine, sugar to taste

Add basil and cheese

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Evolution of an Idea

This is an 11 x14" landscape I started Sunday. I was playing with the idea of a split scene - a huge compositional risk. Dividing the canvas in half and all that. My main tree did wind up rather spot on dead center. I added two more distant trees. And while I liked the yellows in the lower left I felt they were too close to the edge. The first major revision had the water on the left smoothed out and unified more but this did not bring the painting along far enough. I also felt the mass of darks in the middle needed to be broken up some.
And here is what is finally the final version. In addition to the light values on the distant water I added more texture and some slight verticals to the bushes on the right and some dabs here and there to the path.

At this point I think I'm done.

Monday, July 28, 2008

Pinocchio and Venus

Ohio's own Jim Dine has made this 30' cast bronze statue in his Walla Walla Washington for the people of Boras Sweden.

While the process is interesting to me the character has never been one that I appreciated. Personally I find puppets and marionettes to be extremely creepy.

Dine on the other hand has found his inspiration there and said that he has for "many years been able to live thru the wooden boy. His ability to hold the metaphor in limitless ways has made my drawings, paintings and sculpture of him richer by far. His poor burned feet, his misguided judgment, his vanity about his large nose, his temporary donkey ears all add up to the real sum of his parts. In the end it is his great heart that holds me."

The YouTube video has the festive air of Gulliver championing the Lilliputians.
In Cleveland Dine adopted a more classical route for his commission at the Federal Court House Tower. And his Venus was not without her controversy either. Perhaps Pinocchio, the boy who couldn't lie would have been more appropriate for the Courthouse?

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Old Tannery Acres Hudson Oh

These outbuildings are in Old Tannery Acres, site of John Brown's home, built by his father in 1807.

On the left is a chicken coup which was originally attached to the barn.

The middle building is a very old post and bean constructed granary and the third is a creamery build by later owners who ran a dairy farm on the property.
On that hot Saturday morning I found a patch of shade and turned my attention to the three little white buildings nestled across an expanse of lawn. I painted on ampersand clayboard, it is 5x7" and available for purchase.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Gold Days

Land of Gold
Heavily textured Acrylic 4 x6" Sold

Gold is in the news these days. LeBron James guarantee that Team USA will win this year's Gold Medal in basketball. And you can take that to the bank.
A good place to go with since gold sales during the quarter totaled 1.27 million equity ounces, fetching on average $900 an ounce, as the precious metal rode a huge spike in commodity prices. Gold prices were averaging about $600 an ounce a year ago.
Bloomberg's Mark Gilbert said 'Optimists Buy IPhones While Pessimists Hoard Gold'. I'm not sure which way I go on that one.
In the meantime the only gold that we artists are concerned with is Golden Acrylics.

Monday, July 21, 2008


The Canadian artist Robert Genn writes about the advantages of doing 'lapwork' in his July 11th newsletter.

Genn enumerates reasons why its a good idea to practice such close up work.
You ACEO fans know that I'm a regular practitioner of painting watercolors in my lap while on long car rides. It not only helps me fight boredom and makes use of otherwise idle time but there is an intimacy with the work to be had with such a hands on approach.

Here's a photo of me last April, in the passanger seat, somewhere along I-80, with a sheet of freshly painted ACEO's - painted while we drove through Pennsylvania.

Supercentenarian or Bust!

There are more than 60,000 people in this country over the age of 100 And now a new demographic group has been identified -- known as supercentenarians -- people 110 years old. There’s a book out called “If I Live to be 100” by Neenah Ellis with profiles of centenarians.
It’s a growing group and one that I hope to be part of. So what are you going to do for all those years? Ah – in my opinion, this is the life –

At 112, Alabama Man Is an Artist
Frank Calloway views art as his job and sits at a table by a window drawing for seven to nine hours a day….."He draws all day long except for the time that he spends in activity and eating his meals……. "That's what he loves to do."

Or this - the worlds oldest blogger, Olive Riley who passed away at this month at the age of 109 (Thanks J for the story!)… read it at

Wondering if you’ll make 100? Take the test here and start planning:

Saturday, July 19, 2008

John Browns Well

Saturday Morning Painters - We were lucky enough to be invited to the John Brown homestead to paint. Brown ran a tannery here in Hudson in the early 1800s.
There are so many beautiful scenes to paint on this property. I chose to start with the well outside the main house.

My painting is 5x7 on ampersand, alla prima.

I'm pretty happy with it - maybe just a touch up here and there..... I took so many photos today that it will take me a month of daily painting to do them all. And so look forward to many more posts from Old Tannery Acres!

Friday, July 18, 2008

Cats vs. Dogs

Max 1987 - 2006

I 'm posting this painting I did of Max because I was reminded of him by a news article I read today. There is an art show currently open at the Midland Creative Spirit Center, Midland Michigan called "Best Friends: Dogs and Cats in Art".

On one side, paintings, photographs, lithographs, sculpture and clothing depicting cats.
And on the other, an equal number of art pieces, and books, depicting dogs. And don't you love this - a white picket fence divides the gallery space in half.

It also reminds me that I should get busy on the long over due Portrait of Casey.Perhaps a Christmas in July pose?

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Ohio Happenings

These are scenes from the Wooster Ohio Art and Jazz Festival last Sunday. There were 80 local artists and the Cleveland Jazz Orchestra providing great music on a beautiful summer day. A New Orleans style Parade completed the day. Everyone decorated umbrellas and mached along - here you can see the band leading the marchers in a tight right turn.
I've visited a number of art shows so far this summer and I'de like to share the websites of some artists who I've met and whose work I admire:
Unique intepretations:

Monday, July 14, 2008

For the Birds

Inspired by the birds who are regular's at Michaels Grain and Feed Fly Thru, open 24/7
The first painting was done earlier this year and is sold.

This fellow has a seed in his mouth - and a feast at his feet. Acrylics 2.5 x 3.5"

The happy couple is painted in acrylics, 4x6"

ACEO-Gold finch 2.5 x 3.5"

Here is the bird feeder. Here, seeds and crumbs.

Sprinkle them on and see what comes.

One cardinal, one chickadee, one junco, one jay.
Four of my bird friends are eating today.


This piece is 4x4", in acrylics on ampersand board. The pot of geraniums are on my patio and while I was painting them I decided to do an ACEO also. I love these reds - would have don another but dinner was ready!

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Life is a Carousel

ACEO "The Carousel"

I woke up late today and tuned on my favorite tv show "Sunday Morning" just in time to catch the end part of a feature about carousels and one woman's 22 year effort to restore the historic carousel from Idora Park in Youngstown, OH that she bought at auction. The story is here:

These are photos from a restored carousel in Chapel Hill Mall in Ohio.

Saturday, July 12, 2008

Saturday Morning

I joined up with the Satruday Morning painters today for my first plein aire session. We decided to set up on the porch of the Canal Boat Museum.

It was a very hot and humid morning and the shade on the porch was welcome. We got started a little after 9:00 am and picked our views. There is a cluster of small buildings across the street - a house, a shed and the red 'money barn'. It earned this name when a park maintenance worker stumbled across the stash while restoring the rickety old barn. I have heard that it was $35,000 in cash buried in the foundation stones.

There was a good bit of glare and some challenging reflections off the shed roof. Combine this with the little gnats that wanted to embed themselves in the wet paint and I had my hands full! The new easel was great, every time I set it up I get a little more proficient. by 11:00 I had 95% of the 8x8"painting complete - just some finishing details to see to when I got home. A short break, some scouting to find a new subject and it was back to work. This time a small 6x8 of the field and shed across the street, behind the Trail Mix Store.

All in all a great morning out. The best part was having the opportunity to chat with all the nice people who stopped by.

Friday, July 11, 2008


I’m excited to be joining the Saturday Morning Painters tomorrow for a Plein Air session in the Cuyahoga Valley National Park. I’ve had my outdoor easel and chair for a while now but have never used it before. The wooden French easel smells wonderful ( for you car buffs, this is like the joy you get from that ‘new car smell’). Everything is clean and free from paint spatters. I’ve packed everything that I think I could possibly need. (ooops… bug repellant!). I plan to be a Saturday morning regular and will post my wet paintings tomorrow!

In the meantime, here's a few new ACEOs:

Tonight is the opening of the Cain Park Arts Festival in Cleveland Heights. 150 artists, great food and live entertainment. Details at:

The Fabric of Art – Incredible talent – if you appreciate fine needlework look at this story out of Texas

Thursday, July 10, 2008

A Little This, A Little That

  • When I have time I like to surf the net looking at other artists websites. There is an amazing amount of talent to be found. Today I discovered an artist who paints abstracts and figures and landscapes. Mark E. Mehaffey is well accomplished and nationally known. I was happy to see that he has published a book – which is on my wish list already. Check out his work at

  • This summer, NYC is installing a handful of giant, 120-foot-tall waterfalls in the East River and under the Brooklyn Bridge. This shot of the Brooklyn Bridge waterfall in action was taken by photographer Vincent Laforet The waterfalls will be up for the next couple months, so be sure to walk across the Manhattan bridge and check them out if you're in town this summer. While it looks great in this photo, I'm not as entranced by the sideviews or some of the other locations. I think seeing the metal framework detracts from the spectacle. I also miss the backdrop of rocks and trees that a natural waterfall offers.
  • While browsing in the library I came across "American Photobooth" a celebration of the classic photography booth. It will bring back memories of squeezing into a photobooth with your friends and making silly faces for the camera. See it here: Be sure to follow the link and see the NY Times Video. I was surprised to learn that the new digital booth in Times Square will screen your pics outside on a jumbo screen at the top of the building.

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Water and Salt

Using watercolor is a lot of practice, some chemisty and a little bit of magic. We strive to maintain a translucent look and utilize the white paper showing through as the lightest value. In this piece I achieved some special effects by sprinkling salt into the wet pigment.


Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Sitting on the Dock of the Bay

"At the Dock of the Bay" 8x10 Acrylic POR
....and here's a litle bit of summer ......enjoy the scene with the music of the late great Otis Redding.

Monday, July 7, 2008

Collage Revisited

This is a collage that I did this past week. I was going for a colorful, all-over design. The piece is 11x14” (POR) It’s done in acrylics and the collaged elements are mostly joss paper.

Joss paper is traditionally made from coarse bamboo paper, although rice paper is also commonly used. Joss paper burning is usually the last performed act in Chinese deity or ancestor worship ceremonies.

Its been a while since I’ve done much collage work –probably since I started painting every day. I am a Signature Member of the National Collage Society an was a frequest participant in international collage shows.

International Collage Exchange Look for my work in 2000-2004

Friday, July 4, 2008

The Matador and the Bull

I saw the movie "Modigliani" this weekend and was entranced by the performances and the quality of the film. Andy Garcia gives us a superb performance in the starring role as Modigliani.

The relationship between Amedeo Modigliani and Pablo Picasso was steeped in insecurity, jealousy and admiration. As giants of an equal caliber each respected the others talent and both bowed before Renoir.[ My favorite line was when Renoir was asked how much his estate cost…he smiled and said “just two paintings.”]

I think it is impossible to create in a vacuum. The rivalry between these two men sharpened their creative talents and spurred them on to excel. I recommend the film with two thumbs up.

While the paintings in the film were created for the film ( I so wanted them to be real) there is a painting by Modigliani of Picasso.

Amedeo Modigliani. Portrait of Pablo Picasso. 1915. Oil on cardboard. 34.5 x 26.5 cm. Private collection.

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Monument National Park Utah

Sipapu Bridge

My painting of Sipapu Bridge was done from photo references. While I have not visited the park, I hope to see this in person one day.
Sipapu Bridge is the second largest natural bridge in the world. Its rounded opening and smooth sides are mute evidence of countless floods bearing scouring rocks and sand. I was intrigued by the beautiful colors in the rock, especially the way the warm tones contrast with the blue skies. This painting measures 6x8” and is currently on display at the MD Garage in the Cuyahoga Valley National Park.
This bridge, whose opening would almost house the dome of the United States Capitol, has taken thousands of years to form but will someday collapse and erode as part of the endless cycles of time and change.Sipapu means "the place of emergence," In Hopi mythology, a “sipapu” is a gateway through which souls may pass to the spirit world.
Take a virtual tour: