Thursday, December 31, 2009

Happy New Year

I thought this would be a good painting to ring in the new year. Kelsey stands in near darkness and opens the window blinds, washing herself in sunlight. I'd like to wish everyone a safe and prosperous 2010. I look forward to sharing with you many more figures in light.
oil on linen panel, 7 x 5 inches, 2008

Monday, December 28, 2009

Ashley in a Red Top

One thing I enjoy about realistic painting is taking liberties of exaggeration in small ways. Here I stretched out the profile of the face. It's not exactly flattering to Ashley, whose face is quite pleasing and near perfect, but I felt it brought an added dimension of interest to the painting. I hope she doesn't mind.

oil on gesso panel, 7 x 5 inches, 2008

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Merry Christmas!

Season's Greetings to all that have visited my blog, left comments, and purchased paintings. This is still a relatively new venture but I feel it has gotten off to a good start, thanks to your support. Happy Holidays to you and your families, and my best wishes for the New Year.
oil on gesso panel, 6 x 6 inches, 2009

Monday, December 21, 2009

In Her Garden

The inspiration for this painting goes back about ten years. I had an art calendar then and one of the reproductions was a watercolor by the German Expressionist Erich Heckel. I remember it as depicting a male and female couple obscured partly by a vase of tulips in the foreground. It was a captivating image but I don't know what happened to it and I have not been able to find another reproduction. Today's painting, based on this distant memory, is more of a portrait, yet it has some of the same obfuscation. I find the dark under her eyes a little unsettling, but I like to think the blossoms offset whatever dim thoughts she might be harboring.
oil on gesso panel, 6 x 6 inches, 2009

Friday, December 18, 2009

Kristin in Gold

I like the challenge of posing a reclining figure and avoiding awkwardness, especially when it involves a lot of foreshortening. Usually this means distorting some of the proportions. In this case I made the legs smaller, and slightly exaggerated the upper body, hopefully achieving more naturalism. On the right I added the metal patch to the wood floor boards as a counterpoint to the angle of her hip.
oil on canvas panel, 6 x 8 inches, 2009

Tuesday, December 15, 2009


I liked how the figure seemed to just topple over onto the table. Her hair looks as if it might be wet, and the blue sheet is just thrown across her naked body. Although I am the author, I am at a loss for an interpretation. I just like how it came together.
oil on linen panel, 5 x 7 inches, 2008

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Amber's Image

We just returned from the Dearborn Holiday Choral Festival and it was wonderful. Christmas music always evokes a sense of magic and awe, and as I sat there listening I thought about how painting might do the same. I thought about tonight's painting, and how Amber is seen once and then once again "through a glass darkly". I don't feel that I have achieved all that I would like with my work. Perhaps the mirror is my signature metaphor, as it offers a mere reflection of reality. Yet there are some great works in music and art that seem to shatter the illusion and show us the world as it is. For me these tend to be works that are joyful and hopeful, like what we heard tonight.
oil on linen panel, 6 x 8 inches, 2009

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Ashley in Sunlight

Ashley is very self-contained in this huddled pose. Only her over-the shoulder glance at the viewer is inviting, except perhaps the light on the wall behind her, which opens up the composition a bit. I enjoyed mixing the dusty rose hue of her top, which is trapped between the denim shorts and her striking blue eyes.
oil on linen panel, 8 x 6 inches, 2009

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Shelbie Veiled

There is something defiant, or maybe just self assured, about Shelbie as she looks askance out of the space of the picture. Mostly though this was just fun to paint. I love rendering delicate materials like her veil, as well as the sheer trim and small pearls that adorn her gown.

oil on linen panel, 8 x 6 inches, 2009

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Tiffany in Ermine

Tiffany is from a small town in northern Michigan, but she showed up at the studio with the most amazing collection of vintage clothing and accessories, mostly borrowed from a nearby community theater. I couldn't resist working with the stole, even though she was a little queasy about it herself. It turns out she's quite an animal lover, but she soldiered on. I love how her chestnut locks tumble into the similarly colored fur of the unfortunate ermine trio.
oil on linen panel, 8 x 6 inches, 2009