Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Center of Attention

27"x 23"
Oil on Canvas

In almost all of the photos I have of my grandmother in college she is right in the middle of the shot. She is surrounded by friends and appears to be right in the center of things. I want to ask her about this night, goofing around with her friends in her dorm room, bed groaning under the weight of all of them piled on top.

I decided to highlight her in the painting so that you see this picture the same way I do. When I see the photograph, I zero in on her, noticing her face, what she is wearing, what she is doing. I notice the other girls and I am curious about them, but she is the one I really care about, as I look for the woman I knew in the young girl pictured. By only adding color and facial features to her, she becomes the first thing you notice as well.

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Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Lessons I've Learned While Teaching

This summer I have been teaching art lessons to a number of kids, ranging in age from 4 up to 16. All these kids come with different levels of skill and interest. But it is always encouraging to me to see the joy and abandon with which kids approach making art- an abandon that is very quickly lost as they get older if it is not encouraged. So, to help me maintain a childlike enthusiasm for my art work, here are a few lessons I have learned while teaching art.

  • Nothing is a mistake. Anything can be crossed out, marked over, or incorporated into the piece.
  • If your favorite colors are pink and purple, then by all means paint everything in pink and purple.
  • When doing a self portrait, adding a crown, fairy wings, or a mermaid tail to yourself is acceptable.
  • Kids understand perspective much better than adults.
  • When in doubt, use more colors.
  • Never use just a little bit of paint when there is a lot at your disposal.
  • Draw what you love, over and over again, no matter what anyone else says.
  • You are as amazing as you think you are.
  • It's always a good idea to take a break and dance.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Nobody Move

12"x 12"
Oil on Canvas

To purchase, email me with the title in the subject line.

I have no idea who these people are. They are related to me in some way. The photo was amongst the several hundred I have from my family's history. But for some reason I love it- the hats and formal clothes, the beards on the men, and the stoic expressions as everyone tries to hold as still as possible through was must have been a very long exposure.

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Tuesday, June 22, 2010

A Day on the Lake

This is another commission piece that I did for a family as a father's day gift. With the heat today I could sure use a nice cool day out on the lake.


Thursday, June 17, 2010

A familiar sight

All you Furmanites will recognize this one. This is a commission piece that I couldn't wait to share. I don't do that many landscapes, but this one had a slightly different element to it with the leaves that made it really interesting.


Wednesday, June 16, 2010

He and His Girl

6"x 6"
Oil on masonite
The sides are 1" thick

To purchase, email me with the title in the subject line.

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Tuesday, June 15, 2010

On Pictures

For several weeks now I've been sharing my mom's old camera with my sister. Ever since my camera died, it has been great to have another one, but it often leads to days like today.

Planning to spend the day working on commissions and go to a meeting at the art museum, I happily left the apartment this morning camera-free. As much as I love the commissions I am currently working on, there often comes a point when a little voice whispers to me, "stop. Work on something else, just for fun." After several good hours of work, that voice started nagging me, and I decided to satisfy it, pulling out one of my 6"x6" pieces of masonite and a beautiful picture of my great uncle and his first wife.

I love the resulting piece. It turned out just as I hoped it would. But, no camera...

I glare at the useless hunk of plastic and metal that is my broken camera, and that is still (inexplicably) sitting on my drawing table, mocking me. I suppose I could wait until tomorrow to post the painting, but I want to share the joy and satisfaction I feel with my dear friends who check in to the blog every day.

So, my lovely little painting is reduced to a blurry, grainy, badly lit photo taken on my cell phone.

I just can't do it...

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Tuesday, June 8, 2010


Some days really need a do-over. Remember when you were a kid and you totally messed up at whatever game you were playing? You shouted "do-over", and you were given a free pass to try again. The slate is wiped clean, hope is restored. I think as adults we should get do-overs. The day didn't work out as planned? Do-over! Try again tomorrow, here's your second chance.

My studio is overflowing, my list of work is growing rather than getting shorter, and I just discovered I deleted all the photos and documents off of my laptop (I may have gotten a few back, but many appear lost forever.)



Friday, June 4, 2010

Climbing on board

I currently have about 6 or 7 pieces in progress, which has been keeping me pretty busy. I spent part of today putting the air line logo in to this piece. I have painting words and logos, and would have left it out completely if I didn't feel that this one needed it.

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Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Boarding for Adventure

This piece is not finished, but it has been taking up so much of my time recently that I wanted to share it.

I don't know why I love this photo so much. The composition is not great, and the people it was intended to capture are barely in it (I believe the hat disappearing into the door of the plane is my grandmother.) But there is something exciting and glamorous about the idea of getting dressed up for a flight and boarding the plane out on the runway instead of through those claustrophobic little tunnels. I wonder where all these folks were going, and who they were. I can't help but make up stories about the business men in suits on the bottom right, and the woman in the middle of the stairs holding a child.

And there is something I love about taking a normal, everyday snapshot and turning it into a large piece of art. Once again, this is a fairly large canvas, recycled from my college days. My next step is to add in the various logos on the plane. I don't typically like painting in words or logos, but in this case, the plane is such an important part of the piece that I think they are necessary. I'll post another update on this one soon.

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Tuesday, June 1, 2010

In the Shade

My sister asked me to do this piece for her friend's birthday/wedding. I do a lot of these, but I have to say I especially love this one. I played around with the color a bit, and I love the texture of all the textiles in it- his shirt, the scarves, the blanket. Congrats Lacie!

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