Friday, December 24, 2010

Merry Christmas

I had hoped to do another Christmas painting this year but I have been too occupied with the Governor's portrait. Instead I am posting our Christmas card which was designed and printed by my wife Lauri. For a number of years now she has been producing beautiful and very unique cards and it is always a pleasure to send them to friends and family.

I want to sincerely wish everyone a Merry Christmas and a Happy Near Year!

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Kelsey in Dark Glasses

I finally got around to finishing this small study of Kelsey. There is a similar version that was posted last November. In this one I enjoyed how the light washed out the color in the sleeves of her shirt.

oil on linen panel, 8 x 6 inches, 2010

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Haley Roberts

Haley is part of the team at the David Klein Gallery, and it is a pleasure to work with her. It was her idea to base this on Vermeer's Girl with a Pearl Earring, and I think it was a good one. The clothing and headdress were also her inspiration. All I did was apply the paint.

oil on linen panel, 8 x 6 inches, 2010

Friday, August 13, 2010

Governor Jennifer Granholm

I am happy to announce that I have been commissioned to paint the official portrait of Michigan's Governor Jennifer Granholm. This is a major project that will demand most of my time for the rest of the year. Therefore, blog postings will be sparse. I would like to sincerely thank everyone who has followed and supported this blog since its inception. It has been a very rewarding project for me and I expect to continue it in some form well into the future.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010


This is Jack, Sofia's brother. It was fun to have them both in the studio, and it was remarkable how attentive they were to what we were trying to do. Having their father there helped, of course. If you are interested in commissioning a portrait, you may contact me at for pricing and other information.

oil on linen panel, 7.75 x 5.75 inches, 2010

Thursday, May 27, 2010


Sarah is another new model that I hope to work more with this summer. I'm still trying to capture the effects of a live flame. It's not an easy thing to do.

oil on canvas panel, 6 x 8 inches, 2010

Saturday, May 15, 2010


This is a recent commissioned portrait, a Mother's Day surprise. I also painted Sofia's twin brother, Jack, which I will post in the near future.

oil on linen panel, 7.75 x 5.75 inches, 2010

Monday, May 3, 2010


This painting is from Apryl's first modeling session with me and I was very happy with how it went. She is a natural with an imaginative wardrobe and I look forward to working with her again.

oil on canvas panel, 8 x 6 inches, 2010

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Mirror of Melancholy

This is derived from an earlier, larger painting. I continue to be interested in how paint might suggest a reflected image as opposed to an actual one. It's a subtle difference that I want to continue to explore.

oil on canvas panel, 8 x 6 inches, 2010

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Green Hat

In a recent painting I was mildly criticized for depicting a redhead in a red hat, a fashion blunder it seems. On Amber's next visit to the studio she presented me with this green hat, which she kindly donated to my collection.
oil on linen panel, 8 x 6 inches, 2010

Saturday, April 3, 2010

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Figure with Vanitas

I am still toying with multiple light sources and was somewhat pleased with this result. Currently I am trying to learn to effectively illuminate a scene entirely by candlelight. It requires lots of candles, but fortunately the fire department is just down the street.
oil on canvas panel, 8 x 6 inches, 2010

Friday, March 19, 2010


This is a portrait of my son Gabriel, who just graduated from college. He is a very talented artist himself, though he decided to major in linguistics. Please contact me at if you would like information about commissioning a similar portrait.
oil on linen panel, 8 x 6 inches, 2010

Friday, March 12, 2010

Second Light

Here I was interested in the dichotomy of sunlight and candlelight. The wide brim straw hat and Amber's shroud of hair serve to separate these two worlds of light.
oil on linen panel, 6 x 6 inches, 2010

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Ben's Trains

This painting was for a little boy who loves trains, and whose father is a distinguished art collector. Trains seem timeless in their fascination for children, even as their role has declined, at least in America.
oil on linen panel, 6 x 8 inches, 2010

Friday, March 5, 2010


This flower painting went to a little girl who admired it in my studio one day. I like to think of her growing up and blossoming with it.
oil on linen panel, 8 x 6 inches, 2010

Monday, March 1, 2010

Kristin in Red

It's difficult to achieve a full value range with a true red, at least for me. It wants to turn brown in the shadows and pink in the highlights. I added the light on the wall in an effort to balance the composition.
oil on linen panel, 6 x 6 inches, 2010

Thursday, February 25, 2010


This is a portrait of my daughter Julia. I have drawn and painted my family members a number of times over the years, but now I wish I had done so even more. They are treasures to look back on and I know too that they will be passed on to future generations. If you are interested in having a portrait painted of yourself or another, please email me at and we can discuss details.
oil on linen panel, 8 x 6 inches, 2010

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Portrait Commissions

I am now accepting commissions for portraits. The commissioned work will be similar to the small paintings I have been featuring on this blog, and tomorrow I will post an example. For more information please email me at

Saturday, February 20, 2010

The Millinery

Amber brought in this striking green crushed velvet dress, and I immediately thought of the red hat that my wife found recently at a thrift store. I don't know if the composition really conveys the sense of a shop, but I went with the title anyway.
oil on linen panel, 8 x 6 inches, 2010

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Amber Sipping Tea

There wasn't really anything in the cup. I was going to add steam rising from it, but thought better of it. However, something is missing in this painting. What is it?
oil on linen, 8 x 6 inches, 2010

Thursday, February 11, 2010


Finally I'm back in the studio and today I was able to finish this study of Kristin in pale pink. I was somewhat uncertain about how to handle the background color, but ended up going with a slate blue that was neither indoors nor out, and I left it at that. It reads a little lighter and bluer than it reproduces here. 

oil on linen panel, 8 x 6 inches, 2010

Saturday, February 6, 2010

Shoulder Injury

I have not been able to paint for a few days due to a shoulder inflammation. I expect to post again later this week. Thank you all for your continued support.

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Amber in Red

I cropped the figure more than I thought I would at first, but I still think that the conch shell serves to restate the femininity of the form. The chair is one that I have used many times because its subtle curvilinear design always seems to rhyme with my subject. Someone once said that the problem for modern painting was what to do with the background. I think they were on to something, but in this instance I can live with all the open space. If anyone can attribute that quote I would appreciate hearing from you.
oil on linen panel, 6 x 8 inches, 2010

Thursday, January 28, 2010


I enjoy working with more than one light source. It's challenging, but it creates a more complex mood that suggests multiple readings. Here Amber is indeed at rest, but her expression is perhaps not so tranquil. I like to think that the cool and warm light sustain this ambiguity.
oil on linen panel, 8 x 6 inches, 2010

Friday, January 22, 2010

Tea with Kristin

The scarlet hat and lipstick are attention grabbers in this painting, but what I enjoyed painting most was the delicate lacework of Kristin's blouse. The intricacy of her fingers and the warm light coming from the right also added interest for me.
oil on linen panel, 8 x 6 inches, 2010

Tuesday, January 19, 2010


I know the title is a ten dollar word, but I think it describes her best. She was remarkably poised and self-assured from day one. Everything she did was elegant. We even tried some poses where she climbed into an old trunk, and it seemed to fit her like a glove. For all her presence however, she remains a mystery. All I have is this painting.

oil on canvas panel, 8 x 6 inches, 2010

Saturday, January 16, 2010


The idea for this painting came from an old Vogue magazine. I added the mirror however. The hands belong to my son, Gabriel. Regarding the theme, I think the title says enough. We've all been there.
oil on canvas panel, 6 x 8 inches, 2010

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Haeley Huddled

This pose seems to be characterized by a drawn, even a tense quality. Haeley's raven hair and dark top frame her disquieted face, and her body is compressed by the expansive background. Absorbed as she is, she remains alluring.
oil on linen panel, 7 x 5 inches, 2008

Saturday, January 9, 2010


The thing I enjoyed most about doing this painting was picking out the intricate pattern on the blue robe. I can have difficulty generalizing complexity in parts of a composition, but in this case it was necessary. I wanted to bring attention to her face and torso, and not so much to what she was wearing. I used a variety of brushes and hues, and just flicked or dabbed the marks to represent the floral motif, and it seemed to be enough. I also liked how her leg fell abruptly into shadow, forcing attention on her well lit torso. Sometimes these strong contrasts can be distracting, but in this case there was something intriguing about it.
oil on linen panel, 8 x 6 inches, 2010

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Morning Light

It wasn't really morning light, but the pale pink sheet I draped over the window cast a rosy glow on the figure, and I liked the effect. It was a challenge to render its translucency, along with the watery sheerness of her blouse. My studio windows face west, so I am always dealing with changing light, and always looking for ways to control it. In this instance the sheet did the trick.
oil on gesso panel, 6 x 6 inches, 2009

Sunday, January 3, 2010

Samantha in Red

This painting continues my interest in the tension between the formal/symmetrical and the natural/worldly aspects of posing the figure. I discussed this in an earlier post entitled Kristin Criss-Crossed. Here the tension resides in the angle of her head, exposed leg, and the palm branch. I imagine Samantha stepping into a pool of water, but instead of the traditional white garb she is wearing red.
oil on linen panel, 8 x 6 inches, 2009