Group challenge

The  new exhibition getting ready to open at Gallery 1261 in Denver, CO.
This new painting, Master Violet Ray #11, has been shipped out west for the show…which opens June 29th.

In case you are not familiar with exactly what a Master Violet Ray is… you might enjoy reading the Painter’s Notes for this one. Click HERE for the link.

Finding Abstraction

The Current show at Gallery 1261 features this little play on the theme… Finding Abstraction

The set up for this was crazy. I wanted to use a real Jackson Pollock painting as reference and found one in my old college Art History text book which I scanned and printed out so I could enlarge it and make it look like a postcard with torn edges. Then Pat found me an old paint can from the stash in the garage and after I rigged them up I taped a canvas to an old fedex box and started to drip.

I remembered the scene in the movie Pollock where Ed Harris takes house paint and starts to drip it on the floor. Turns out there is a learning curve which involves refining the dilution of the paint and the movement of the brushwork. More of a slow dripline than a splatter. I was aiming for verisimilitude but my need for immediate gratification left me impatient with the process. Yes, I could fake it… but I eventually found the right consistency and made up four jars of color and then I dribbled one layer at a time with the panel flat on the floor and walked away while it dried (that was the hard part). Since I was using oil paint instead of acrylic, it had to dry completely between colors or else I ended up with an oily blooming mess.

Then there was the fun of trying to get the magnifying glass to stay on that teacup.

I was just about finished with the painting when, sitting at my easel, I felt everything start to shake. When you work with a Bernese Mt. Dog at your feet this occasionally happens so I yelled at Finn to stop. It kept on shaking so I turned around and yelled at her again…but she was asleep. Then my phone beeped and I read the breaking news that there was an earthquake in DC. Yep, that felt about right.

I looked around the studio and a couple of the paintings were hanging off kilter but the only real damage was to this still life… the postcard had fallen off of the brush that I had rigged to hold it up (I did fake that nail and tile background).

So there’s the rest of the story as they say… stop by if you’re in Denver and check it out.

Fall Line Up

It’s time to move on to something artsy and not covered in mud…so I’d like to welcome you to the fall line up of shows which are going to be taking place in Denver, Co.

                      Gallery 1261     

October – Contemporary Realism

The Beginner     Oil on Panel          20 x 20

The Big Dipper             Oil on Panel       16 x 20

The Organist’s Daughter    Oil on Panel   24 x 36

November – Finding Abstraction 

                                              Brushwork    Oil on Panel     30 x 15

                                                Finding Abstraction      Oil on Panel    24 x 18

                                                                   Suspended   Oil on Panel    20 x 16

December – Small Works Show…..   stay tuned !


By Design…

A frosty december day here in Manchester. Spent the whole morning cleaning out the office and now we could hold a barn dance in here.

Gallery 1261 invited me to have some work in their upcoming Small Works Show. It opens on December 10th out in Denver with an opening reception from 5 – 7 pm.

Here’s a sneak peak at a new painting that will be headed out west for that show…

By Design

Oil on Panel     16″ x 12″

Another in the Teacup Series this little one is jam packed with props that I  have had stored in the Prop Room for years now. When I went up there to snoop around for some inspiration they, one by one, jumped into the old suitcase.

Oh those magical muses…

Having a heat wave ?

Take full advantage of nature’s drying oven and….make panels !

The studio yard doubles as workshop in order to get a jumpstart on a batch of smaller panels.   Day one – Dibond cut to size.    Day two –  Portrait grade cotton canvas wrapped and adhered with acrylic matte gel.    Day three (morning) – Call Pat on her way home from market and ask her to detour to pick up some Liquitex acrylic gesso… use plastic putty knife to paint backside of panels.    Day Three (afternoon) – use same putty knife to paint front side of panels.    Day Four (today) – second coat on front with Liquitex.

Let the sun do its thing today and they will be ready tomorrow for the first coat of ArtBoard Gesso. I’ve written about it before when first trying it out and after months of working with it…it’s become my gesso of choice. The beautiful chalky surface is easily and quickly worked into a smooth paste using a fine sanding sponge and a little bit of water. I can control the texture and even when it’s glassy smooth there is still plenty of tooth to hold the first coat of oils. It is pricey enough that it would be wasted on the primer coats, but well worth the expense for the finished product.

I’ve got two more shows this year and want to have new works in both so there is no down time in the studio for this artist.  I’ll be posting the expanded exhibition schedule soon…but in the meantime mark your calendar for these two dates…

1261 Gallery     Denver, CO.

Group Show     Opening October 15th


4 Women Paint   York, PA

Opening  November 13th, 14th

Artist Talks the following weekend.

Back to the easel for me… stay frosty out there !