Wednesday, December 7, 2011


The first panel is the "Black Mission Demo" panel. It shows a progression of the painting from the drawing stage, to the finish. The two figs in the middle are one sitting of painting and the last three figs are completed. The second panel is just a fig mini. I titled it "Black Mission Mini" because I thought it was cute. To me, the point of painting a bunch of figs lined up is to show them as small portraits. When there is nothing else going on in the painting, you have to look at the difference between each of the characters involved. I tried to pick the figs that were the most unique in some way from each other. There are several different types of fig. These are Brown Turkey Figs and Black Mission Figs. There is nothing in these paintings but figs. I see so many paintings of a bunch of apples or pears, or figs and each one in the painting is treated the exact same way. I think part of why is that most painters work on the whole painting at once working on all of the dark areas and then all of the middle areas etc.  I painted each fig one at a time and then cleaned my palette, forcing me to see new colors each time and not be tempted to use the same color on all of the figs. The changes are subtle, but if you look closely, you will see many differences in each fig.

Sunday, December 4, 2011


I painted this one in 2008 for the Salon International Show in San Antonio. It got in, along with two others which have already sold!

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Hershey Bar - A Portrait Of A Famous Wrapper

"A Portrait Of A Famous Wrapper"

Aside from the title being a joke, there was another reson I decided to paint this. Trompe L'oil is becoming more and more popular and I was included in a Trompe L'oil show a few years back. I don't actually consider myself a Trompe L'oil painter, mostly because I am more concerned with the personality of the work than whether or not it is fooling anyone. I also wanted to see if I could paint something like this without photos or tracing, which is how many of these types of paintings are made. I had meant to have some of the candy bar in the wrapper initially but I ate it...... Oh well, just an empty wrapper then. I used only a ruler for some of the straight lines, everything else was freehand. 6 x 12 Oil on Masonite
It's up for auction!!!


Sunday, August 28, 2011

Fig Demo

6 x 12, Oil on gesso panel. This is the fifth in a series of step by step demonstrations I am planning on various fruits and vegetables. The first step is a drawing painted with the brush in Burnt Umber and White. The middle step is the end of the first sitting, painted wet into wet. The last step is painted with glazes and finished with highlights.


Friday, May 27, 2011

July 15 - 17, 2011 - NJ Painting Workshop!!!

In this class we will cover every topic a student needs enjoy the painting process. We begin with canvas and brush selection, toning or not toning the canvas, and palette choices. Further topics covered are: How to set up the painting, composition, what to paint first, color coordination and harmony, background selection, drawing with paint, seeing the proper values, alla-prima vs glazing, the finer details, checking angles vs measuring, getting personality into your painting, the tricks of the trade, and the finishing touches.
Because every student in class is at a different point in their painting journey, the class is structured so that if one feels they are confident in a topic being discussed they can work on their painting until a topic they are interested in comes up. There are several demos throughout the class including: A drawing demo, Painting Alla-Prima, Glazing techniques and materials, and a short but thorough demo on color and how to use it. Personal instruction is given several times to each student throughout each day.

Although there are many things to go over in a short period of time, the goal of this class is to give the student the proper tools to make painting fun and interesting.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Pear Demo

6 x 12, Oil on gesso panel. This is the first of a series of step by step demonstrations I am planning on various fruits and vegetables. The first step is a drawing painted with the brush in Burnt Umber and White. The middle step is the end of the first sitting, painted wet into wet. The last step is the finished pear, with a bit of glazing and added highlights.

This painting is SOLD but if you would like a painting of a pear done like this(or any  piece of fruit) Please send me an email.

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Still Life on Vacation

This is the first in a new series of still lifes on vacation. I wanted this one to have a casual feel and bright colors. Instead of the reflective polished wood surface and reflections, I had them sitting on a boardwalk.

Because tropical fruits rot so fast I had to keep spraying them with water and placing them in the fridge at night.

All objects are actual size, so those are plantains and not regular bananas. This work was painted completely from life.....

Saturday, April 9, 2011

Thursday, March 31, 2011

Studio Clean Up and Moving!!

I'm off to Florida for the next four months. Then Australia, and finally in the North West of the US......and I just have too many paintings to keep all of them. Here are a few that I have up for auction right now....more to come!!!!




Sunday, March 27, 2011


I painted this one in Boston, in my studio in the North End. I never much cared for Asparagus. One day while looking for still-life objects to paint I struck up a conversation with the grocer I went to. The North End of Boston is like going back 50 years. The grocer had a small shop, three people could barely fin in comfortably. He told me the reason I didn't like Asparagus was that I didn't know how to do it. I didn't understand Asparagus. "Everybody goes for the thick kind which is bitter" he told me. He handed me the skinniest Asparagus I had ever seen and said "Chop up some purple garlic, heat up some olive oil, and throw it all in together when the oil gets really hot....but be careful not to burn the garlic." Not only was it great, I immediately got to work on this painting, which is why there are only a few pieces....I ate the rest! I have loved Asparagus ever since.
10 x 20, Oil on Linen, 2007

20 Min Gesture Paintings

One of my favorite things to do is painting short poses. When I was in art school we did alot of gesture drawing which was always 2,3,5, and 10 minute poses. Only rarely did we get anything longer. When I moved to Arizona, their idea of gesture drawing was  some two minute poses in the begining and then 20 minute poses for the rest of the night. I decided to try painting them and instantly loved it.

I always draw with the brush. I use Burnt Umber and White and do a quick gesture sketch. Then I draw over it in straight Burnt Umber. I try not to let the drawing take more than 10 minutes on a 20 minute pose or I will not have enough time to paint. On rare occasaions, I have just left it as a drawing in paint if I like the way it is coming out. 

After I get a drawing down, I then move to the shadow areas. Sometimes I fill them in in solid burnt umber to save time, other times I am more precise. If I am in my studio I tend to be more accurate, because If I like the painting, I can just make the pose longer and finish it. Can't do that in a public painting environment. I can always go back and add color to the shadows later but sometimes I like to focus on the lights. A quick pass for the halftones which are often the same value as the tone of my canvas. If there is any time left I work on the lights. Often by the time I get to the lights there are only a few minutes left.
I use a limited palette on these of: White, Yellow Ochre, Cad Red Med, Burnt Sienna, Burnt Umber, Cobalt Blue, and Ivory Black.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Plums and Figs

This was number 2 in the series. The original point was to just paint the objects and have little or no background behind them. Just a few strokes of color that would be the same value as the toned panel. Somehow, as I keep painting these, the backgrounds keep getting more and more involved. This one is really what I originally had in mind. I plan on getting back towards it as I continue with the series.

Friday, March 11, 2011

New Mini: "Green Grapes with Plum"

Whenever I paint I long still-life I always over-buy fruit. I find it useful to use some of the extra to paint a Mini while I'm working on the larger piece. I had plenty of the green grapes left and thought they would look great next to the purple of the plum. When I first painted the grapes in the other piece I found them a bit boring to paint. When they sat out on the table however for a few days I found the colors to be much more interesting.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Mixed Grapes and Pears

I have never painted green grapes before. I saw the pears first. I instantly loved the character of the one which is hunched he was born to be in one of my paintings. Green always looks good with brown and purple so I thought the green grapes would go well with this one.


Thursday, February 17, 2011


I deepened the darks a bit and lightened the lights. About an hour of work the next day.
I then decided to scan it rather than shoot a photo and I really liked the way that came out. Much closer to the actual image.
One day - three hours 6 x 8 Oil on Panel.....

The Drawing -

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Mason Jar & Teapot

I just finished this one on Thursday. It took about twelve days but I painted a few of the minies as well at the same time. The Mason Jar took a bit longer than expected and several layers. The tin cup is one of my favorite objects to paint. In fact the theme of this painting is that these objects are all some of my favorite things to paint. The blueberries were the last thing to be added. I always find them challenging to paint so I make to to paint them often. I like to paint objects that I have difficulty with rather than those I find easy.

Perhaps I should have titled it."A few of my favorite things" I think I will hold onto that title for a while......

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Teacup of Blueberries or "Now What?"

I had a great time painting this one. There was a bit of discussion over the title of this one. We started with "Jump! Jump!" and some ideas thrown out were funny and amusing. I went with "Now What?" because I thought it best covered what I would be thinking if I were up there.....
6 x 8 oil on panel 2011

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

"Tea Cup of Apples"

I'm making this a series within a series. I like the tea cup idea so here is number two. In the Mini-Still series this is number 41. I got some use out of the green apples, used them three times so far but they are begining to change color so I suppose that will be it for them.

Sunday, February 6, 2011

"Cracked Eggs II"

This is the second cracked egg painting I have done in this format. I get asked alot if I paint eggs. I guess many artists paint them whole, which to me is really boring. I find them much more interesting a bit banged up.

Friday, February 4, 2011

Baby Green Apples

Every once in a while, after you finish a painting, a day or two goes by and you realize it could be better. My rule is: The more you don't want to make a change to a painting, the more important it is to make the change.
So I changed it.
I think for the better. The darker grey brings out the light of the apples I was talking about in the original post below. Although I do not recommend making changes while a painting is already up for auction, this just had to be done.

Another new mini, this is number 41 in the series. I love painting the light areas of green apples. It always seems like it should be easier than it is to match the colors. I see alot of paintings where green paint is just thrown down on the canvas. If you really study them though there are many shifts of color and slight variations of color in the apples.

Friday, January 14, 2011

New Mini: Tea Cup of Figs

Thought I'd post the pictures of the two sittings on this one. This is a 6 x 8, oil on panel, just like the others. I work on them in two 3-hour sittings. On the first sitting (above) I just try to get the objects round. I don't worry about color, just form and value. I try to get as much information in as I can. The more I get done today, the less I have to do tomorrow!

The first thing I do on the second day is coat the entire panel with a thin layer of oil or medium. (Make sure it is completely dry)

After that I begin depening the darks and strengthening the colors with straight paint, painted thinly into the wet oil. This gives the painting a wonderful depth and shine. I painted in the background right before the pattern of the tea cup, which was the last area to be painted. The pattern on the tea cup was painted with a very thin watercolor brush to get the detail right.


Sunday, January 9, 2011

A Shoulder To Cry On

"A Shoulder to Cry On" 9 x 20 Oil on Panel 2008 SOLD

"Grapes and Berries" 9 x 20 Oil on Panel 2008 SOLD

In late 2008 I went out to Arizona to teach a workshop. I was there for three weeks. There wasn't much room in the hotel room where I was staying but I had my portable easel and my light so I set up in the corner and went to work. I did many paintings while I was there but only two in the room. The top one sold almost immediately, the bottom took a while longer........

Sunday, January 2, 2011

Prize Winner at The Salon International In Texas

This painting was painted early last year in 2010 for the Salon International show at the Greenhouse Gallery in San Antonio, Texas. It is a 10 x 24, Oil on linen. It won a green ribbon, "Jury's top 50".

I liked the little animated stems of the grapes best. They were fun to paint.