Thursday, December 8, 2016

Man in Bed - sold

Oil on canvas, 10"x8"

This painting is a study of a sleeping man with light pouring across his back and the bed. I wanted to present the warm colors of the body in contrast to the cool tones of his surroundings. I kept the brushwork quite loose and painterly while maintaining a high degree of realism. I love painting sleep, trying to capture the essence of that peace and comfort.

Thursday, December 1, 2016

Young Man With Dark Eyes - sold

Oil on canvas, 14"x11"

This is a larger painting than I have offered before, painted over several months in many layers of glaze and impasto. The background of intense blue complements and subtly vibrates against and within the warm flesh tones. I kept the brushwork loose and free. I wanted to do a deeper exploration of character in this portrait/figurative painting of a beautiful dark haired young man. His eyes are riveting, that deep, liquid shade of brown that reflects light sharply. I like the self-protective gesture of his arm across his chest. He gazes at the viewer directly but remains just out of reach, a mystery. 

Thursday, November 3, 2016

Portrait of Lucy - sold

Oil on canvas, 10"x8"

This is a portrait of Lucille Ball as a young blonde starlet in the early days of her career. I've always loved Lucy! An amazing woman of enormous talent and perseverance, she was 40 years old when she created, produced and starred in I Love Lucy, the pioneering television show that made her a household name. Even before achieving her iconic redhead look, when she was just another beautiful girl in Hollywood, there was something unique and original about her.

Monday, October 31, 2016

Man in the Ocean

Oil on canvas, 12"x9"

This is a painting of a handsome, muscular man emerging from the ocean. He's dripping wet and glistening, the warm golden tones of his body contrasting with the blues and greens of the sea. I enjoyed painting the highlights on his shining skin, the transparent green wave lapping against him and the droplets falling off his arm. This is a very happy, sensual painting that evokes a perfect day at the beach with a beautiful man, bright sun and warm water.

Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Male Figure Study

Oil on canvas, 12"x9"

This painting is a figure study and portrait of a handsome man. I wanted to do a study of this gorgeous man and his athletic musculature while keeping a focus on painterly brushwork, texture and light. I'm happy that I also captured a sweet expressiveness in his face. The golden tones of his body are complemented by the warm blue-grey of the background. There's a casual feel combined with moodiness that makes this painting both contemporary and timeless. 

Wednesday, October 12, 2016

Portrait of a Pensive Flapper - sold

Oil on canvas, 10"x8"

This a portrait of a young woman sporting a version of the Eton Crop, an androgynous hairstyle that gained popularity in the 1920s. Cropped or bobbed hair was a startling departure from the uniformly long hair and elaborate hairdos that women had worn throughout history and a major statement for a rebellious generation. While no doubt many of these women were just following a trend, I like to think of those who were genuinely hoping to break free of gender restrictions and have the same opportunities for self determination and expression as men. I painted this girl in vivid colors to match her bold dreams.

Tuesday, October 4, 2016

Portrait of a Young Man

Oil on canvas 10"x8"

One reason I love creating portraits is that I get to study faces as I paint them. I could look at this face all day. I think what I find so compelling is the strength and sculpted beauty of his features in combination with his open, sensitive gaze. 

I used a combination of varied edges to convey depth and a pale grayish blue background to complement the warm tones of his skin. 

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Reclining Male Nude - sold

Oil on canvas, 9"x12"

This painting is a study of a handsome man lounging on a sofa, enjoying a nap. I love painting sleeping figures and this one was especially fun and challenging because the hand is central. Hands are actually rather difficult to paint well and they can be quite expressive. Whenever a hand is part of a composition I have to take care that it doesn't become a portrait of the hand because I love painting them. I kept the brushwork vigorous and sketchy to contrast with the languor of the figure.

Also available on Etsy

Tuesday, September 13, 2016

Study of a Young Man - sold

Oil on canvas, 10"x8"

This is a portrait study of a beautiful dark haired young man with dramatic features and an intense expression. I focused on loose brushwork, keeping the edges soft and I used impasto in the highlights. His eyes are a riveting deep blue and I'm pleased that his mouth looks especially tactile while being quite painterly. 

Thursday, August 25, 2016

Portrait of a Redheaded Flapper - sold

Oil on canvas, 10"x8"

This is a portrait of a lovely redhead flapper girl. She manages the rare feat of being sweet and sultry at the same time. From her finger waved hair and Cupid's Bow lips to her pretty ruffled blouse, she looks elegantly vintage and ready for high tea. As I painted her she seemed so charming and fresh that I used a spring green background to complement her peachy tones.

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Portrait of Duncan Grant - sold

Oil on canvas, 10"x8"

This is a portrait of Duncan Grant (1885-1978), who was a British artist and central figure in the Bloomsbury Group. I've always been a fan of his and that whole artsy, wild Bloomsbury group. They seemed to live exactly as they chose and defied quite a lot of conventions. Duncan was openly gay and loved by many, including the economist John Maynard Keynes and artist Vanessa Bell (Virginia Woolf's sister) who bore him a daughter and with whom he lived for 40 years until her death in 1961. I tried to capture something of his dreamy beauty, inspired by an old black and white photo and some of his own self-portraits.

I painted this using very traditional portrait methods in layers of glazes over a monochromatic underpainting. This technique creates a great deal of depth although it can also create some variance in the surface gloss as is often seen in antique "ancestor portraits".  I think this ads to a vintage look and in no way detracts from the painting in person (although it did make it a bit difficult to photograph) but I want to point it out just in case anyone doesn't care for such.

Friday, August 19, 2016

Portrait of Renée Perle - sold

Oil on canvas, 10"x8"

This is a portrait of Renée Perle, inspired by a black and white photo taken by Jacques-Henri Lartigue in 1930. She was an early muse of his, possibly even something of an obsession during their two year affair. Renée Perle was a model for the couturier Doeuillet at the time of their meeting, remarkable for her exotic beauty and avant-garde style which looks fresh even today. I wanted to give bold color to that sun-soaked, carefree era in the Riviera and capture something of this lovely woman's unique charm so I portrayed her deeply tanned in white and linen against a teal-tinged wall of Mediterranean Blue.

Wednesday, August 10, 2016

Young Man With Blue Eyes - sold

Oil on Canvas, 10"x8"

This is a portrait study of a beautiful dark haired man with pale skin and vivid blue eyes. He's got a timeless, arresting look about him. I played up the high contrast in his coloring and captured the shimmering quality of the skin highlights. I kept the edges sharp and surrounded him with the color of cool air, the palest yellow-tinged turquoise. The effect is intensely lifelike and rather mesmerizing.

As one viewer said, "I know he's never gonna talk but I'm still listening...he's got my attention".

Sunday, July 31, 2016

Man Sleeping in Morning Light - sold

Oil on Canvas, 12"x9"

This painting is a study of a sleeping man in a room with light pouring in, highlighting his back and the sheets on the bed. I wanted to present the warm colors of the body in contrast to the pale aqua tints of the surrounding room. I kept the brushwork quite loose and painterly while maintaining a high degree of realism.

Fine quality prints of this painting are now available here.

Wednesday, July 20, 2016

The Wood Nymph - sold

Oil on canvas, 12"x9"

This is my version of a Pre-Raphaelite wood nymph. She's an ethereal, enchanted creature who wanders unscathed through misty woods in a diaphanous gown. Bedecked with a floral crown and violets in her flowing locks, she seems a bit wary and ready to take flight.

Inspired by the fanciful art of the Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood, in particular the later work of John William Waterhouse, I kept this painting delicate and impressionistic. I like the effect of the silvery light and the soft brushwork which allows the figure to merge with her natural surroundings.

Fine quality prints from this painting are now available here.

Friday, July 15, 2016

Portrait Study of a Young Woman - sold

Oil on Canvas, 12"x9"

In this study I wanted to work on a classic portrait while exploring cool skin tones and loose brushwork. I found some lovely violets and blues in this portrait of a beautiful dark haired girl with almost translucent skin. The result is a portrait in a contemporary realist style with a lively surface quality and casual elegance.

Tuesday, July 5, 2016

Persephone - sold

Oil on Canvas, 12"x9"

I was thinking of Persephone, the goddess of spring when I painted this. It seemed like spring was slow to arrive this year, perhaps I wanted to summon nicer weather. There's something both old-fashioned and modern about this portrait, hints of flower-crowned festival girls, June brides and Pre-Raphaelite beauties. 

Thursday, June 30, 2016

Man Sleeping - sold

Oil on Canvas, 10"x8"

This painting is a study in serenity and light movement. I wanted to explore cool flesh tones with soft light and edges. There's something very calming about a sleeping figure and this is highlighted by the quiet shades of blue throughout. I've seen many paintings with sleeping female nudes but I wanted to feature a man instead. It's an unusual context that gives a vulnerable and tender aspect to the masculine form.

Upon reflection I think that's what I wanted to capture. That moment of peace. There is no guile or malice in a man asleep. He is free of his conscious torments, childlike and pure. Sleep is a wonderful thing that I rarely get enough of and I like to celebrate these simple, precious things in life.

Fine quality prints from this painting are now available here.

Monday, June 20, 2016

Blue Moon - sold

Oil on Canvas, 10"x8"

This painting was inspired by loss and memories, grief and ultimately joy. It's a portrait of fragility and strength. In studying faces I have found that there is an odd power in openness and vulnerability. It can connect us to the essence of our humanity. 

Tuesday, June 7, 2016

Portrait of Prince

Charcoal on paper, 12"x9"

I'm missing Prince on his birthday...and actually every day since he moved on to the afterlife. I am so grateful that my time on earth coincided with the life of this great artist. Even though Prince didn't celebrate birthdays I remember and celebrate the dazzling creativity and beauty he brought to the world. 

Friday, June 3, 2016

Lost Generation - sold

Oil on canvas, 10"x8"

Portrait of a moody flapper in a cafe. I experimented with using cooler, bluer colors than usual for the flesh tones in this painting. I wanted to imply her ghostly pallor and the smoky haze of a bar back in the day. 

Perhaps she's waiting for a date who's late or thinking about the boy who never came back from the war. Or maybe she's just wondering what she lost in herself and how she ended up here. I've always been fascinated by the Lost Generation, the seemingly dissolute and world-weary survivors of the Great War who partied their way through Europe in the 1920s. This girl could be Lady Brett Ashley or Nicole Diver, those enigmatic and compelling characters created by Hemingway and Fitzgerald, the feminine personifications of that confused, hedonistic era. These memorable women weren't the most admirable in literature but the flawless seldom haunt.

Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Reclining Nude in Bed - sold

Oil on canvasboard, 5"x7"

This figure study captures the direction and movement of morning light on a reclining nude. I don't normally crop figures this way but I like how it emphasizes the angles and shapes. I also enjoyed observing the light and shadows both on the figure and in the light and dark areas of the bed and background. I like how it turned out. I think the closer focus on the figure allows for more detail at the same time it creates bolder shapes which gives this small painting great presence.

Wednesday, May 18, 2016

Portrait of a French Girl - sold

Oil on hardboard panel, 8"x6"

This is another of my portraits of imaginary people from the past. Don't ask me why she's French, that just seemed to come to mind as I was painting her. She was a difficult girl to paint, elusive, challenging, different. The paint didn't want to stay where I put it on the board but it created some interesting effects. She was painted in one very long session and the slippery quality of the paint made the brushwork rather distinct. It's an unusual look but I decided to go with it. The colors didn't blend quite like I'm used to but it retained a fresh, wet appearance even after drying.

As she emerged from the chaos of the painting she brought to mind smokey Parisian cafes, red wine and existentialist conversations. Mysterious, with a hint of deep passions, I could imagine a girl like this holding the attention of the Lost Generation.

Tuesday, May 10, 2016

A Young Man - sold

Oil on canvas, 12"x9"

This is a portrait study of a dark haired man with dramatic features and an intense expression. I focused on loose brushwork and keeping the edges soft. While I often do paintings of my friends, this guy is based on various sources that I mashed up with my imagination. So he's entirely my creation, and just as with the women I paint, I enjoy a vintage look in men. Therefore, I wanted to concoct a man who looked like he could have posed for a painter a hundred years ago. I like inventing people and I think I got him pretty lifelike.

As I have mentioned before a few times, I love painting faces. Actually, I love painting the entire figure but a whole figure can become a big project for me so I often to stick to faces as that seems to be where I focus even when painting a figure. I'm not sure what it is about the face that gets me so involved. I guess because it's amazingly intricate. The eyes alone have such a delicate architecture. While it can be aggravating, I enjoy painting flesh so a shirtless man is a good compromise between painting a face and a whole figure. Getting the skin tones believable is difficult, it's so easy to veer off into a chalky mess if you add white too heavily. Even a very pale person has far less white in their skin tone than you'd think. Women's faces are easier for me to paint than men because the look of makeup can go a long way to highlight features and inject color and visual interest that would look odd on the average man. All this effort is required simply to produce a passable looking human being, to convey something of the human spirit and emotion is an even higher mountain to scale but one I never tire of tackling.

Monday, May 2, 2016

Portrait of a Glamour Girl - sold

Oil on canvas, 10"x8"

Some things never go out of style. A certain sleek elegance was achieved in the the early 20th century that's simply timeless. She is not any particular person, but my evocation of the glamour girl of that era, beautiful, classic and charming. 

Monday, April 25, 2016

Flapper in a Cloche Hat - sold

Oil on gessoboard panel, 8"x6"

There is a certain intensity to this girl. She's a bit fierce. This may be a result of the slickness of the board surface that results in the paint strokes keeping a certain edge. This makes for a bold look that's a bit different from my work on canvas. I'm not sure I have complete control of the paint on this surface yet but I like some of the accidental results.

Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Portrait of a Dance Hall Girl - sold

Oil on hardboard panel, 8"x6"

This painting is another in a series of what I think of as "creative portraits". They aren't any existing person but are usually inspired by old B&W photos and stories of the past. They start to take on a life of their own as I paint and become about an imaginary character and mood.

This girl reminded me of the taxi-dance girls in the dance halls of the 1920s and 30s. Paid a dime a dance, it was a somewhat scandalous yet relatively lucrative profession for young women in an era where opportunities were limited. I think anyone who was able to make a living that way had to be tough yet charming. This girl looks like she's got a lot of spunk and wouldn't take any nonsense from drunken louts.

Saturday, April 16, 2016

Monet's Garden at Giverny

Oil on canvas, 11"x14"

This is another view I painted of Claude Monet's gardens at Giverny. His estate and garden are beautifully maintained and walking through his gardens was like being inside an impressionist painting. The dahlias were in full bloom and even the clouds looked perfectly impressionistic and painterly. 

Monday, April 4, 2016

Portrait of a Blonde Flapper - sold

Oil on canvas, 10"x8"

Although she's decidedly a girl of the 1920s, while painting this one she started to remind me a bit of Botticelli's Madonnas. The Cestello Annunciation in particular...maybe something about her golden hair and sweet but uncertain expression. So I went with a hint of Renaissance colors in the coral red of her outfit and the faded blue of the background. 

Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Portrait Study of a Young Man - sold

Oil on canvasboard, 10"x8"

Portrait study of a beautiful young man with dreamy eyes. He has a renaissance look about him which I thoroughly enjoyed painting. I love Caravaggio so I might persuade this model to pose for me as Bacchus one day.

Thursday, March 24, 2016

Nude in a Red Chair - sold

Oil on hardboard panel, 7"x5"

While painting this one I focused on the angles and the light falling across the figure. It's a serene seated pose but I like the energy produced by the various angles of the arms and legs. The unusual vintage chair and the paneled interior add to the timeless charm of this painting. 

Monday, March 21, 2016

Portrait of Alicia - sold

Oil on canvasboard, 7"x5"

It was a fun challenge painting a portrait study from this unusual angle while keeping things loose. One of the things I love about painting faces, capturing expressions and moods.

Wednesday, March 16, 2016

Viewing Mary Cassatt - sold

Oil on hardboard panel, 7"x5"

I was taken by the sight of this art lover at the National Gallery of Art in DC viewing Mary Cassatt's "Little Girl in a Blue Armchair". Her yellow jacket was a bright note with the blue of the painting. I also like how this woman, the little girl, and the dog look like they're just hanging out. 

I always think of Degas' "Mary Cassatt at the Louvre" when I visit art museums, so doing a painting of someone looking at a Cassatt works for me on many levels. I feel fortunate to live right across the river from Washington DC where there is an abundance of world class art museums, most of which are free. I can think of few things that have been of greater benefit to me as an artist than being able to pop into the National Gallery whenever I want to study the Impressionist's paint strokes or simply gaze in awe at the Vermeers. Yes, our metro system is old and currently sucks, and DC isn't exactly Paris...but it is packed with treasures. 

Sunday, March 13, 2016

Standing Male Nude - sold

Oil on hardboard panel, 12"x9"

This painting is a classic figure study. Figurative subjects are my favorite and I love the challenge of painting nudes. Especially male nudes as they tend to have more defined musculature. There are few things more difficult to paint than the human body and I have to admit that the contrapposto stance gave me some trouble...but I think I pulled it off. 

Friday, March 11, 2016

Portrait of a Red Haired Girl - sold

Oil on hardboard panel, 10"x8"

Playing with color again. The starting point for this painting was an old black and white photo so that left a lot of room for invention. I'm not sure where the red hair came from but she seemed to want to be a redhead and it was fun to paint. Perhaps with St. Patrick's day around the corner Irish types were on my mind.

Sunday, March 6, 2016

Portrait of a Girl in Pink - sold

Oil on harboard panel, 7"x5"

Experimenting with mood, expression and color combinations. Trying to create a completely new painting frequently is quite a challenge but I love when I find it taking me in different directions.

Friday, February 26, 2016

Woman in a Blue Bikini - sold

Oil on hardboard panel, 7"x5"

This painting expresses the essence of a beautiful day at the beach...the brilliant light, sharp shadows and dazzling colors of sea and sand. I like how the golden hue of the sand and the cool blues of the water are echoed in the girl's hair and skin and bright turquoise bikini. 

Sunday, February 21, 2016

Man in a Hot Tub - sold

Oil on hardboard panel, 10"x8"

This painting is a combination of figure study and portrait with a water element...several things I really enjoy. The movement of the water was a great challenge to paint, as was the wet skin and hair. There's something calming yet lively about this painting.

Friday, February 19, 2016

Man at the Beach - sold

Oil on hardboard panel, 7"x5"

Another beach study, this time a man walking in brilliant turquoise water. I love this one because the water looks so warm and inviting. I really got into the wet skin reflections and I was pleased that my brushstrokes stayed distinct and spontaneous.

Sunday, February 14, 2016

Woman in the Waves - sold

Oil on gessoboard panel, 7"x5"

I like the hesitant quality of this woman's stance as she looks out at the water. The water might be a bit cold or the waves look a little rough and she's just not ready to dive in. I also enjoyed that first day at the beach sunburn on her shoulders which pops against the cool tones of the foam and contrasts with her still-pale lower half. I'd be quite happy to be sunburned on a warm beach right now.

Tuesday, February 9, 2016

Woman in Bathtub - sold

Oil on gessoboard panel, 7"x5"

I love painting the highlights on shiny wet skin. This is one reason why bathers and people at the beach are favorite themes of mine. I was pleased to find some colorful reflections in the highlights on this figure.

Joaquin Sorolla is one of my favorite painters and a master of painting wet skin. His beach paintings are simply wonderful and I aspire to one day have that level of accurate yet expressive freedom in my brushwork.

Sunday, February 7, 2016

Monet's Waterlily Pond - sold

Oil on Canvas, 10"x8"

This is a view I painted of Monet's waterlily pond. In addition to his beautiful paintings Claude Monet also created an amazing garden on his estate at Giverny from which he drew inspiration. This incredible artist not only created masterpieces based on what he saw in the world, he brilliantly shaped his own surroundings to express his vision. It was surreal to physically be inside a Monet painting. As a painter and garden enthusiast I am deeply grateful to Monet for his legacy.

Monday, February 1, 2016

Saturday, January 30, 2016

Man in a Sauna - sold

Oil on gessoboard panel 7"x5"

I love painting figures and enjoy taking them out of the traditional context of figure study sessions. In my work I like to paint people enjoying simple pleasures...sunlight, the beach, a soak in a deep tub, and in this painting, a sauna. It's a wonderfully sensual respite from winter. I wanted to convey the relaxing heat and the dark coziness of the cedar wood paneling.

Sunday, January 24, 2016

Woman Walking at the Beach - sold

Oil on Gessoboard 7"x5"

The Blizzard of 2016 made me want to flee back to summer. So I went back to the beach in oil paint which is the only way possible at the moment as I'm snowed in. I enjoyed the challenge of painting ocean waves and splashing water and shiny wet skin. This painting provides a nice break from snow and cold...what could be better than a walk at the beach?

Monday, January 18, 2016

Nude with Red Curtains - sold

Oil on Hardboard Panel 7"x5"

This figure painting is a study in back lighting and reflected light. I love the dramatic highlight effects of back lighting while the subtle reflected light from the surrounding curtains helps define the figure. I enjoyed the challenge of painting the contrasts of light and shadow on both the nude and the interior scene.

Friday, January 15, 2016

Woman Bathing - sold

Oil on Canvas 8"x10"

Inspired by Degas' and Bonnard's bathers. For all that has changed in the world, a soak in a bath remains a timeless pleasure. This was a good study in contrasts between warm flesh and the cool tones of the bathtub.

Fine quality prints from this painting are now available here.

Tuesday, January 12, 2016

Young Man Sleeping - sold

Oil on Canvas 8"x10"

Focusing on small moments is one of the joys of painting. Capturing the light falling across a face, enhancing the feeling of a scene with well chosen brushstrokes. A photo can freeze a point in time but painting breathes a special kind of life into it. Or at least that's the can also paint something to death. Finding that delicate balance where I've achieved my vision without pushing over the edge into a labored abyss is sweet.

Saturday, January 9, 2016

Girl in a Cloche Hat - sold

Oil on Hardboard Panel, 10"x8"

There's a haunting blend of heartbreak and strength in this girl's expression that I love. In this painting I played with a combination of rough strokes in the background and soft, painterly brushwork in the outfit contrasting with sharper focus on her features.

Wednesday, January 6, 2016

Sargent Study: Olimpio Fusco - sold

Oil on Gallery Wrap Canvas, 10"x8"

I believe in learning from the best and John Singer Sargent is one of the great masters of portrait and figurative work. This is a study with a twist; the original portrait was a drawing but I used oil on canvas based on what I imagined a Sargent oil study of this model would look like. A fun exercise and it really made me think about Sargent's flesh palette and brushwork.