Saturday, December 26, 2009

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Landscape project in progress

Above, Landscape with Olive Trees, oil sketch on canvas, 8" x 6".  Sold.

Below, alternate sketch in mixed media on paper, 6" x 4".  Sold.

I'm working with Dawn Ranagan of Magnolia Designs, whose client needs a piece of art to anchor a grouping on a particular wall. The existing theme and colors are Italian-inspired, so we're working with a warm-colored landscape of hills and olive trees.

The finished piece will be 36" x 24" and, of course, I'll post a photo here when it's completed.


Friday, December 18, 2009

Duke the Boxer

Finished this morning; this is about 9" x 8", carbon pencil and pastels on brown paper.

Sunday, December 13, 2009

In progess: Stillwater Griffin

I began this yesterday. It's based on a bas-relief sculpture I photographed in Stillwater, MN in October. Such a wondrous beast that I knew immediately I needed to make some paintings based on it.

These are 18" square wooden panels. They will be a set; I'll be using wax medium to create translucent, textured layers of paint. When they're finished I'll photograph them again and post.

Kitty portraits

Ted, top, and Max, above. Both 5" x 7" pastel on paper.

Monday, December 7, 2009

Indiana the Greyhound

12" x 9" oil on canvas, by commission for Indy's owner. Isn't she a lovely girl? She makes me happy.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Luther Hopkins Honda

Above, today's window, at the Kids' Play Area. Below, the snowman scene I painted yesterday.

Click images to enlarge!

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

This just in: Swine flu is NO FUN.

I've been pretty much flattened for a week now. Mental function practically nonexistent.

This, however, cheers me up tremendously:


The other vids from the Muppet Studios folks are lots of fun, too, but I've been wanting a Muppet version of this song for ... enough years to qualify me for Serious High-Level Dorkdom.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009


On Sunday, 11/15, I went to Tea with Tarts and Tartuffe, an outing organized by Twin Cities TOSCA. Their events are always a lot of fun, and I got to learn a little about Moliere and watch a collegiate production of Tartuffe, which was a hoot.

The sketches are about 3" x 5", done in ballpoint pen in my little Moleskine notebook during the play. I was very taken with the costumes ans characters, so I did my best to catch a little of the feeling of them, and these are the results.

Monday, November 16, 2009

More Fruitiness!

Pleasant Company (Happy Pomegranates #2), oil on panel, 9" x 12"

Finished early this afternoon.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Fresh produce

Above, Happy Pomegranates, oil on panel, 9" x 12".

Below, Pear Friends, oil on panel, 18" x 18", by commission.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Extremely Minnesota Show!

Three of my pieces have been accepted into the annual Extremely Minnesota juried show at Robbin Gallery!

Opening reception is this Sunday, Nov. 8th, from 2 to 4 pm.

Hope to see you there! I saw some of the other submissions when I entered my pieces, and the quality was outstanding. I'm honored to have been included.

Monday, November 2, 2009

Workshop announcement

I have a painting workshop scheduled!

Turn Your Photos into Paintings

Saturday, Nov. 21st, 10:30 am - 4:30 pm at Maple Grove Arts Center, Maple Grove, MN.

You bring a photo you love, and I'll show you how to transform it into an original, expressive painting in oil or acrylic. Some painting experience is helpful, but beginners are welcome.

$65 tuition; bring your own materials.

Examples of the process, workshop outline, and materials list are HERE.

Drawings from the weekend

Below, a drawing I made yesterday around 5:30 pm, standing near the lake. I really love this tree, and have been looking at it for most of the year. I've already started a small painting based on this sketch.

The other drawing is from Saturday afternoon. I spent the weekend at my friend's house, babysitting Greyhounds while she and her husband were out of town. One of the things I enjoy is the chance to draw the dogs, who are such fantastic models. This is a sketch of Biscuit, who moved before I could finish her face properly. I still like the drawing.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Painting for fundraiser auction

Highway 100 Bridge, oil on panel, 9" x 12".

Created for the annual fundraiser gala for Bridge for Youth on 11/5/09. This piece will be auctioned to help support, house, and educate kids who've either run away or been thrown out.

This painting is based on a sketch I made here in Robbinsdale a few weeks ago. I stood on the shore of the lake, in the cold wind, held the sketch book open and drew for as long as I could before my freezing, cramping fingers made me stop. Here's the source drawing:

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Tiny little salvage art!

Hawk House, 2.25" high x 1.75" wide. Oil paint and wax medium on salvaged wood and metal. This piece is sold.

In my hand, you can see just how small this piece really is. Below, the back view with the hole I drilled to allow the option of hanging it on the wall.

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Artichoke: The Sequel!

This thing is really maddening to draw, which is probably why I keep doing it. I enjoy the challenge of getting the big shape and all those little shapes to work together the way they should.

Same size and media as yesterday's Artichoke. Same artichoke, too. No, I haven't cooked it yet. Maybe tomorrow.

Friday, September 25, 2009

Today's drawing: artichoke

I did this while tending the Robbin Gallery this afternoon.

The artichoke is one I bought last night, specifically for art purposes, and now that I have it I realize I have no idea how to cook the thing. Never done it before.

Anyone got any relatively-easy suggestions for what to do with this thing?

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Railroad Flowers

Railroad Flowers, 36" x 48" oil paint and wax medium on canvas.

This was created specifically to go on display and for sale at Riehl Designs in Wayzata, MN. While the colors and size of the piece were tailored for Shelly Riehl's studio interior, the inspiration is personal; I enjoy walking along the tracks, where the rhythm of ties and rails comes together with the turn of the seasons and the fascinating variety of plants and flowers. There's an energy about the place that draws me to it.

Technical notes: I'm using Dorland's Wax Medium, and I love the stuff. It allows me to create layer upon layer of translucent color, giving a depth and life that are difficult to achieve with anything else other than traditional encaustic. And while I'd love to do encaustic, I haven't got the space I'd need for that. Dorland's is a much simpler, cleaner alternative.

Friday, September 18, 2009

Railroad walking

For starters, I'm not supposed to do this. It's dangerous, and I keep a careful watch for oncoming trains -- but so far I've never encountered one while out walking. The tracks are in daily use, though.

It's also the source of a fair amount of the materials I've been using for art lately. People toss things along the railroad right-of-way and I pick some of those things off the ground, take them home, and make other things. The Ladybug, the Green Gecko, the Crow King, all used wood I found along the tracks.

This evening I found a tiny chunk of wood that will become something new. I know exactly what I want to do with it, and that makes me happy. Walking the tracks rarely fails to improve my mood and give me new ideas. Dangerous or not, trespassing or not, I'm not going to stop.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Just out of curiosity ...

Does anyone other than me actually read this?

Gecko! New salvage art.

Green Gecko, oil paint and wax medium on salvaged wood, approx. 13" x 5". This piece is a commission for a collector in Florida.

Saturday, September 12, 2009

A Day at the Greyhound Rescue Picnic

Biscuit the Greyhound. Painted from a snapshot I took back in July; this is 12" x 9," oil on canvas. I did it on the spot today at the Northern Lights Greyhound Association's annual fundraiser picnic.

Here's the silent auction table with the three drawings I donated. :-)

This dog was part of the Dancing Greyhounds show, which was great fun but which I mostly missed because I was painting. I just love how this photo catches the dog moving in at least four different directions at once.

This lovely lady is a therapy dog; regretfully I can't recall her name. Her handler was kind enough to stop and let me snap a few photos of her in the sun.

Saturday, August 29, 2009

Friday, August 21, 2009

Ladybug in Flight

In Flight, 11.5" high x 5" wide. Oil paint and wax medium on salvaged wood, with found jewelry and beads.

This is for a little girl named Amelia.

Monday, August 17, 2009

Crow King

Salvaged wood, oil paint and wax medium, found glass jewel. 3.5" x 5" x 1" thick.

I found the wood, complete with interesting holes, along the railroad tracks a block from home. The jewel, I found about 15 years ago along the street where I grew up in North Ft. Myers. I had no idea what I'd ever do with it, but I simply couldn't let it go.

Now I have; the Crow King is sold and is winging his way to his new home with my friend MJ, down in DeLand, FL.

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Egret canvas commission

36" x 48" oil on canvas, finished last night. This is for Mary Ellen Gardiner of M. E. Gardiner Interior Design, here in Minneapolis.

Friday, August 14, 2009

Railroad Landscape sketch

Done this morning around 9:30, along the tracks near East River Road and 694.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Dangerous Crossings -- Freight Train #2

Dangerous Crossings, oil and wax medium on canvas, 6" x 12".

This is another sketch for the possible restaurant commission, but I did it primarily because I wanted to. I love the energy and motion and potential menace of freight trains.

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Barriers -- Freight Train #1

Barriers, 6" x 12" oil and wax medium on canvas.

This is a "thumbnail sketch" for what will be -- if I get the job, for which there's considerable competition -- a 6' x 12' painting. The prospective clients want "urban abstraction" and didn't guess I'd be interested, what with my portfolio full of wildlife and flowers and such. Truth is I don't confine myself. I love this kind of thing and really hope I get to do it on a large scale.

Whether or not I win out on the job, I really like the painting and am about to begin a companion piece.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Genuine old-fashioned, non-toxic paint

While stumbling around the internet today I found this site:

Next time I have a painting project I'm going to try this stuff. Check out their Gallery page -- the results people get are just gorgeous.

Wax medium and salvaged wood

This little block of wood was lying beside the railroad tracks on Friday. I picked it up because I liked the holes that were cut in it. Yesterday, I decided to use it to experiment with Dorland's Wax Medium for the first time.

This is a work in progress, although I think all I'm going to add is a jewel for the heart-hole. I'm liking the simplicity of this one and don't think I'll add much more to it. Size is 3.5 x 5" and 7/8" thick.

This fellow has been sold already, and I am planning to create more of these wax-paint on wood things, as I enjoyed the process so much.