Monday, November 30, 2009

Clare in a Hoop

One can't help but think of Leonardo's Vitruvian Man here. Polykleitos' Kanon also comes to mind. I am indeed preoccupied with proportion, the relation of the parts to the whole, numbers, perfection, and man's relationship to nature. Thankfully though, Clare is not a man. The philosophy of idealism has its limits.
oil on linen panel, 8 x 6 inches, 2009

Saturday, November 28, 2009


This is the first painting I did when I was toying with the idea of small, quickly executed works. Since then the work has become a little bigger, and a good deal more resolved. However, what I enjoy about this one is the briskness of execution and the relative flatness of the shapes. I am always striving for a balance between the illusion of space (realism) and surface pattern (abstraction). It's a struggle that never ends.

Fine art prints of this painting are available here.

oil on stretched canvas, 6 x 4 inches, 2008

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Lauri Arranging Flowers

Today is Thanksgiving, and this painting couldn't be more fitting. The model is my wife Lauri. Without her enduring support none of these paintings would be possible. Not everyone is fortunate enough to have a wonderful family and do what they love. I'm thankful that I have both.
oil on linen panel, 8 x 6 inches, 2009

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Haeley in White Fur

Here is a dichotomy. Do the bars of the chair keep the viewer from this beautiful woman, or do they imprison her? The white of her fur coat opposes the black of the bars, restating this theme of duality. I'm happy also that I was able to limit my palette, as too much color would have detracted from the concept.
oil on linen panel, 8 x 6 inches, 2009

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Caught in Reflection

This is a slightly older painting of Kelsey, a model I worked with a lot before she went to college. The somber mood left me with some ambivalence, but a number of people have commented on it in the studio so I decided to post it. I have always been interested in pictures within pictures, because it seems to be a built-in way to reflect upon the process of image making and how images function in our world. This seems especially true when the secondary image itself is a reflected one, as it is in a mirror. We are all familiar with Velazquez' Las Meninas, and its examination of the nature of perception. Manet's A Bar at the Folies-Bergere is another enigmatic work that has had an influence on me.
oil on linen panel, 5.75 x 5.75 inches, 2009

Saturday, November 21, 2009


Shelbie came in with an astounding collection of vintage dresses and accessories. She is a unique person who seems to emanate an air of wholesomeness. However, in this painting the mood is rather dark. I need to think about why I chose to represent her thus. I hope to work with her again, and seek her brighter side.
oil on linen panel, 8 x 6 inches, 2009

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Kristin Criss-Crossed

I have long been interested in the fundamental ways in which the figure has been represented in Western art. One way has been to represent it in a frontal, vertical, and somewhat symmetrical manner. This was typical of the Geometric period of ancient Greek art. It was also typical of medieval art. Another way has been to represent the figure more naturally, as in the Classical period of Greek art and again in the Renaissance. These two approaches express ideas about how the respective cultures understood their world. One approach suggests other-worldliness, the other approach suggests rationality and an engagement with the world. I often weigh both approaches when I pose the model. Here Kristin raises and crosses her arms directly above her head in a formal gesture. At the same time, we see her in three-quarter view, as opposed to frontally, thereby bringing both world views into dialogue.
oil on linen panel, 8 x 6 inches, 2009

Monday, November 16, 2009

Sub Rosa

The opening of the blouse forms an X-shape, which both hides and reveals the figure within. The muted light illuminates what little we know about her.
oil on linen panel, 8 x 6 inches, 2009

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Jordyn in a Straw Hat

There is an impish quality to this gesture that seems to befit Jordyn. The straw hat, which I found at the Salvation Army, adds to the comical feel of the piece. I'm not sure if the string of pearls fits the theme, but I liked how they worked into that space and rhymed with the shape of her arms.
oil on linen, 8 x 6 inches, 2009

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Naomi with a Rope

The inspiration for today's painting came from a magazine photo where a woman was pulling back a curtain to look out a window. In the studio, for some unknown reason, I decided to hang a rope from the ceiling and have the model hold it rather than a curtain. I suppose the rope lent a certain mystery, which turned out to be apropos to Naomi. She modeled for me only once. She was smart, enthusiastic, and fun to work with. I looked forward to more sessions with her, but unfortunately I could never get her to return. I'm still hoping I'll have another chance someday.
oil on linen panel, 8 x 6 inches, 2009

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Ashley in Red

Ashley is lying back in an old recliner. Her striking red dress would have been compromised by the maroon color of the chair had I not placed the white lambskin between them. The view is from slightly above. A more level view would have again offered too much red chair in a painting that is very red already. I used to take studio naps in that recliner until one day it collapsed with me in it. I'm still looking for a replacement.

oil on linen panel, 8 x 6 inches, 2009

Sunday, November 8, 2009


Here I was interested in the complexity of the interlocking arms. I saw a photograph somewhere with a similar gesture, made some sketches from memory, and thought it would be straightforward enough to get the model into that pose. However, it wasn't so easy. I tried with several models and couldn't achieve the elegant complexity I was after. Not everyone is a contortionist, I guess. Kristin, though, made it work. She also has some very beautiful dresses. This one was metallic and sleek, yet sophisticated.
oil on linen panel, 7.75 x 5.75 inches, 2009

Friday, November 6, 2009

Figure from the Back

There was an oddness about this pose that caught my interest. I thought the interior modeling of the back was especially lovely, but initially found the arms somehow unsettling. I finally realized that they made me think of the Greek and Roman marbles from antiquity that somehow lost various appendages over the centuries. I decided I liked it just the way it was. I also liked how her blouse fell on the table upon which she sits, particularly where the sheer fabric passes over the red velour drape. This particular model is especially graceful and I anticipate working with her again soon.

oil on linen panel, 8 x 6 inches, 2009

Wednesday, November 4, 2009


Kelsey is a wonderful model with whom I've worked quite a bit. Her wardrobe was always simple but classy. I liked the little touches of red within the green shirt, and she looked great in the white frame sunglasses. She is away at school now but I hope to work with her again at some point.
oil on gesso panel, 6 x 6 inches, 2009

Monday, November 2, 2009


Haley is a very young model, but she is a natural. Every pose she takes is worth painting. Here I was attracted to the rhythmic shapes of the arms, offset by her innocent face with its dreamy gaze. Her charming bracelet was the right touch to break up what otherwise might have been a too insistent forearm. The vivid magenta of her shirt was a challenge to capture, but I think I came close.
oil on gesso panel, 6 x 6 inches, 2009