Tuesday, December 12, 2017

Man by a Window

Oil on canvas, 16"x12"

There's something poetic about this man, a certain Byronesque air. Perhaps it's the haunting intensity of his eyes or the wavy, flowing hair. I like the moodiness of the interior in this painting, there's a hint of the ecclesiastic in the high, dark paneling. He looks as if he has just stepped from the shadowy recesses into the light of the window. I'm happy to have combined a high level of technique with spontaneous expression. The lively, open brushwork effectively conveys the movement of light over the contours of his muscular body while evoking pliant flesh. This is one of my larger male nudes and the scale allowed a strong feeling of the model in his environment and a vivid sense of life.

Friday, December 1, 2017


Graphite on paper, 14"x11"

This is a portrait study of a beautiful young man with a distant gaze. This is a larger drawing for a more evocative character study, executed in a combination of graphite powder and pencils for a moody feeling. I used a heavyweight Bristol board that could stand up to a lot of blending.

Thursday, November 23, 2017

Awaiting the Tryst - sold

Oil on canvas, 14"x11"

In this painting a pale woman gracefully lounges in an elegant gown of peacock blue upon a green and gilt sofa in a deep turquoise room. She glows within the luxurious jewel tones of her surroundings.  I've been interested lately in creating a story and evoking the atmosphere of times past. She is a dramatic, romantic figure, lost in reverie...perhaps an aristocratic lady awaiting her lover. I expressed this mood with soft edges and appropriately painterly and loose strokes.

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Wednesday, November 15, 2017

Man at a Window - sold

Graphite on paper, 12"x9"

This drawing was done as a preparatory study for a painting. The model is standing next to a window with natural light defining his muscular physique. I was inspired by this model's dark good looks and haunting, intense eyes.

Wednesday, November 8, 2017

Man Sleeping on Sofa

Oil on canvas, 9"x12"

This painting is a study of a handsome man enjoying a nap. I kept the brushwork loose and lively to play up the casualness of the figure. I like the way he has collapsed on the couch after getting partially undressed and is simply relaxing. I'm pleased with how the liquid flow of paint and the sharp highlights vividly portray the skin. Just as the Impressionists did, I enjoy capturing the natural and happy moments of real life.

Monday, October 30, 2017

Mood Indigo - sold

Oil on canvas, 10"x8"

This is a portrait of a moody flapper, one of those that took on a life of her own as I painted her. There's a feeling of mystery about this girl and she called for an inky blue background from which her pallor faintly emerges. She's a girl of dimly lit speakeasies, cool and self contained. I emphasized this muted tonality with soft, impressionistic brushwork and I'm pleased with the subtle hues I achieved. Her eyes are shadowy but you can detect a glint of emerald in their depths. I named this one "Mood Indigo" after one of my favorite Duke Ellington tunes.

Tuesday, October 10, 2017

Portrait of an Edwardian Lady

Oil on canvas, 14"x11"

In this painting I wanted to evoke a fin-de-siècle mood. A willowy red haired lady in an elegant black dress creates a dramatic figure within a golden Parisian style interior. She reminds me of a character in a Henry James novel, or many of John Singer Sargent's portrait subjects...a beautiful young woman with a hint of mystery and turbulence beneath her composed exterior. While painted with loose, impressionistic brushstrokes, I enjoyed evoking details such as the rope of pearls and the charming cabriole leg salon chair in the background. 

Sunday, September 3, 2017

Nude Reading in Antique Bed - sold

Oil on Canvas, 10"x8"

This is a figurative painting of a lovely redhead in a charming state of deshabille, draped in a silky purple robe which slips carelessly off one shoulder. She is seated on the edge of an antique bed reading a slim volume with great concentration. Her dark red hair is complemented by the muted mossy green of the background wall while the dark Victorian headboard outlines her profile. I like the combination of sweetness and sensuality in this scene as the rich purple of the robe sets off her pale skin and the very act of reading a genuine book speaks of an earlier time.

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Saturday, August 19, 2017

Rooftops in Passy

Oil on canvas, 14"x11"

This painting is a view of Parisian rooftops in the elegant neighborhood of Passy in the 16th arrondisement. In this painting I wanted to capture the exquisite details of these Beaux-Arts buildings with an impressionistic feeling. I painted this on a reddish ground which I allowed to peek through and between painterly brushstrokes creating a warm glow and unifying tone between the buildings and sky. I was very pleased to achieve great impasto textures in the clouds.

I adore the visual feast which is Paris with its distinctive historic architecture and atmosphere. While painting this I imagined all the gorgeous apartments contained within these buildings with their quintessential mansard roofs and balconies. I was inspired by all the Impressionist painters but in particular Gustave Caillebotte whose wonderful cityscapes captured the energy and architecture of his era. I've always been a fan of Caillebotte and I previously painted an homage to his great work "Paris Street, Rainy Afternoon" which can be seen here.

Saturday, August 12, 2017


Graphite on paper, 11"x8.5"

This is a drawing of a handsome man in jeans relaxing on a sofa. It's a combination of portrait and figurative study of my favorite model. Somehow, even when I set out to do a figure study it becomes a portrait of that person. I like the open, lounging quality of his pose. It's so typical of the comfortably confident way men sit. There is an interesting combination of the classical and contemporary in this piece. While pondering his gentle, thoughtful expression I realized that this piece is about both my contemplation of him and his own inward contemplation.

I am a big fan of John Singer Sargent's superb male figure drawings and I've been inspired to explore drawing again after a long period of almost exclusively painting. It has been fun to focus on line and tone. I'm enjoying the spontaneity and expressive quality of these drawings.

Monday, July 31, 2017

Cesar at the Window - sold

Oil on canvas, 10"x8"

This painting is a classic figure painting of a nude man standing at a window. His musculature is sharply defined by natural light. There is a quality of yearning to this figure as he gazes out at the world beyond the window and a great deal of atmosphere in the interior around him. 

This small painting has wonderful texture and impasto highlights with impressionistic glimpses of light and greenery in the window. While this is essentially a figure study I am always interested in conveying a sense of the human being and a mood, not just a body.

Thursday, June 22, 2017

Portrait of Young Ernest Hemingway - sold

Oil on canvas, 10"x8"

This is a portrait of the 18 year old Ernest Hemingway at the start of his voluntary service as an ambulance driver in Italy during WWI. It's based on an old black and white photo and I thought it would be fun to paint Hemingway as though he had posed for a quick portrait study by John Singer Sargent, who went to capture the conflict in Europe as an official war artist. I kept the brushwork loose and I think it has the look of portrait from the early 20th century.

It was fascinating to contemplate the young Hemingway in this period shortly before encountering the horrors of war which would both inspire and mark him. I feel he emerged looking quite boyish yet confident, almost cocky...as though he knew that big things were ahead for him.

Monday, June 5, 2017

Girl in a Sidewalk Cafe

Oil on canvas, 12"x9"

This is a painting of a girl seated at a sidewalk cafe, gazing at the passing scene. I wanted to convey the pleasure of sitting with a cup of coffee, indulging in a contemplative mood. 

I was inspired by the Impressionist's many cafe scenes. Renoir, Degas and Manet among others depicted fashionable people of their era enjoying life. While the styles have changed, I like the continuity that some of these pleasures remain the same.

Friday, May 5, 2017

Male Sleeping Figure Study

Oil on canvas, 9"x12"

This painting is a study of a man sleeping, a theme I have painted several times. This is the most painterly version I have done so far. I took the colors and brushwork in a more experimental direction, scraping down the surface a few times and using unusual colors, multiple layers of glazes and scumbling. It created interesting textures that I like and an impressionist effect. I played with the edges to create the visual effect of dissolving the figure against the light.

Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Nude on a Victorian Sofa - sold

Oil on canvas, 9"x12"

This is a painting of a beautiful nude woman reclining on a Victorian sofa. While this is technically not a fainting sofa and this woman is clearly not corseted, I'm enjoying alluding to that era. I like how the curves and angles of this statuesque lady's figure complements the sinuously swooping yet very proper sofa.

Wednesday, April 12, 2017

Standing Male Nude Figure Study

Oil on canvas, 12"x9"

This is a classic standing nude figure study of an exotically handsome man with a powerful physique. I like creating nudes that are also unique portraits of distinct individuals. I pushed the contrast between the cool colors of the background and the warm skin tones and the crimson drape in the lower corner to create a vibrant mood. I kept the edges crisp to make the figure pop against the background. There is vigorous brushwork throughout, especially in the shimmering impasto of the background and the fabric. The effect is that of a fine traditional academic figure study with a fresh, modern energy.

Wednesday, April 5, 2017

Nude with Flowers and Lace - sold

Oil on canvas, 10"x8"

This is an impressionistic nude painting of a beautiful young woman with long, dark hair seated in a romantic interior draped with lace. I drew inspiration from Auguste Renoir's nude paintings and there is a soft, dreamy quality to this girl with roses in her hair, gazing at a small bouquet in her hand. I love the timeless, elegant quality of the figure and her surroundings.

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Wednesday, March 29, 2017

Cesar Reading in Bed - sold

Oil on canvas, 12"x9"

This is a classic nude study of a man sitting in bed reading while bathed in natural light from an unseen window. There's a poetic quality to the scene, as though he just woke up, reached for this book and was transfixed by what he read. I love the luminosity of his body against the darkness of the room, the way the light bounces off the sheets and envelopes him. I had fun with the varying hues and impasto texture in the sheets and especially enjoyed the glow of the brilliant light hitting his inner thigh.

Friday, March 24, 2017

Man Sleeping in Antique Bed

Oil on canvas 14"x18"

This painting is a classic male nude of a sleeping figure in an antique bed. The model is angled across the bed with the white sheets framed by the dark tones of the wooden bed and room interior. There is a vigorous, painterly quality to the brushwork while maintaining a high degree of realism. It's a contemporary work but the interior details and classical technique rich with impasto imbues it with a vintage feel. This is a sleeping figure but something about this figure, perhaps the bold foreshortening and the strong diagonal of the figure conveys a restless energy.

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Man Napping

Oil on canvas, 9"x12"

This is a unique contemporary portrait of a handsome young man napping on a couch in afternoon light. I was taken by the intense reflected light and exuberant colors in this view of my favorite model. The planes and angles of his face were sharply defined by the unusually luminous conditions. A variety of vivid flesh tones occur within the bright shadow areas and vigorous brushwork captures rich textures and details. I love the relaxed feeling of this scene and there's a fascinating contrast between the peaceful languor of the model and the energy created by the angles of the composition. 

Monday, March 6, 2017

Nude with Calla Lilies - sold

Oil on panel, 7"x5"

This is a classical study of a red haired seated nude holding calla lilies. The figure is viewed from behind with a side profile. There is a lovely twist to the figure, and the soft light catches her face and flowers, dropping down her body to a classical sculpture next to her. 

Painted alla prima on a colored ground, there is a golden glow beneath the cool blues of the background. This painting is serenely elegant, unusually expressive and detailed for a small figure.

Sunday, January 22, 2017

Portrait of Renée Perle in Black - 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 circa 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. He shot Renée in countless moods, here in la mode Parisienne. I love her dramatic and distinctive look. 

This is the second portrait that I've done of Renée. My first painting captured her in a St. Tropez look which you can see here.