Thursday, December 10, 2015

Fresh off the Easel

Ghost Horse
Mixed Media on Panel
15" x 15"

This painting took years and moments to create. 

I had a panel that I had been adding and subtracting color to for years. Literally years. I have memories of this particular panel that are at least 8 years old.

Sunday I was looking at it. I really like the color. I started adding lines with a pencil that became the outline of a horse. I started mixing paint and applying it to the surface and then removing it. I added more lines with colored pencils, I added more paint, and so it went on.

Yesterday morning I looked at it and thought it was finished, so I left it alone. Today I believe it is ready to share with you.

Tuesday, December 8, 2015

I Believe in Beauty

I believe in beauty.

 Not just the beauty of something pretty, but all beauty. The beauty that comes from something you feel so deeply you weep. The heartbreaking beauty that is there when after countless rejections and disappointments, you willingly, lovingly, pick up the task again. The beauty that is present in loss.

I believe in beauty.

The beauty that is present in the still quite early morning hours when all is dark except the glittering stars. The beauty that is there in the sunrise when the day lies before you and everything is still possible. The beauty of the fading light in dusk.

I believe in beauty.

The beauty that is present when your friend, or child, or lover smiles. The beauty of exchanged smiles between strangers. The beauty in kindness.

I believe that it is transformative, restoring, and ever present, even in descent. I believe it has the power to comfort, elate, and enlighten, and I believe it is the doorway to joy.

I believe in beauty.

Tuesday, November 10, 2015


Yesterday I received this photo of "Wild at Heart" hanging in it's new home. I am delighted when I get notes and photos of where and how people are living with the artwork I have created.

If you are living with one of my creations, please by all means send me a picture. I love seeing where they make their homes.

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Thinking & Inertia

Detail of painting in progress

This is the perfect image of a painting I am working on. It's a little dark, a little out of focus, which is exactly what I am feeling.

I thought this painting would be finished two weeks ago. It is no where close to bringing finished. Why? Because I am so easily distracted by what I think I should be doing, instead of doing what I should be doing.

Thinking can become my trap. Over-thinking is my down right nemesis. Heaven forbid I start awful-izing! All of these ultimately lead to inertia. Like a shark if an artist stops moving they start dying.

I recently came across an article that addressed this issue. The correspondence between Sol LeWitt and Eva Hesse to stop thinking and just paint, to just DO IT!

So now I am off to the studio to just DO IT!

Tuesday, October 6, 2015

Fires of Change

Katharina Roth
photograph by
Tom Alexander

The Coconino Center for the Arts has a remarkable, "Fires of Change" show on exhibit this month. I have seen it twice and I know I will go again.

There is one piece in this show that brings me to my knees. Artist Katharina Roth of Sedona, Arizona  chose the Yarnell Fire and the tragic deaths of 19 of the Granite Mountain Hotshots to memorialize. The installation is entitled "Nineteen", 19 beautiful crafted porcelain helmets were fired in a wood kiln. The result is beautiful and profound. Traces of black and red are the marks left by the fire. The intense heat has wrapped and in some places has cracked the fragile media. It is breathtakingly beautiful and terrifying in the same moment, just like wildfire.

She has also given us hope. There is a small tree growing out of an upturned helmet place on a tree stump. For this I am grateful.

After I left the Center I thought about this piece, it haunted me. As artist we are in the world and experience that. Some of these experiences and public events take hold of are thoughts. Scratching away at us, embedding themselves in us until they are part of us. Like seeds, they start to germinate, to sprout, and then to leaf out. They will not be ignored.

When they become mature, or just to painful to carry alone we start to create. We take are private moments with these subjects and turn them into art, and then we expose our wounds to the world for healing.

Not everyone will ever be moved by a single piece of art. However, those who are touched by are work, become our tribe. A group of individual points of consciousness that are connected by fine strands of understanding, filaments of the heart. We may never meet them and we may not have anything else in common with them except for this one moment. It is though, sublime. It is enough.

This exhibit is "Fires of Change" is up at The Coconino Center for the Arts , 2300 North Fort Valley Road, Flagstaff, AZ and on exhibit until October 31st, 2015

Friday, September 18, 2015

A Garland of Flowers

I am never quite sure of where I am going or what I will find. I was surprised and delighted to see this garland of flowers turn up.

Thursday, September 17, 2015

An Image Appears

This is the image so far. It will be only a roadmap keeping me from running too far afield. Keeping me reined in.

Now for some colour!

Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Finding the Shapes

 The canvases sit against the studio walls so that I may sit and look at them until I start to see where the shapes are. Sometimes it's a matter of hours, sometimes weeks. I outline the shapes with charcoal.


 I used to hate using charcoal, but now I am in love with it. It is so forgiving and makes a mark that is earthy and ethereal at the same time.

Once there are enough shapes I will begin to paint, but for now I am enjoying the search and the quite there is in it.

Friday, September 11, 2015

Clouds Full of Meaning

When I was a child I would lie on my back a watch the clouds move a cross the sky. Finding the shapes and watching them change. A fox would become rabbit, a ship would turn into a whale. It was magic.

 I still love to be still and watch the sky, looking for the stories in the clouds. I use this same trick to start my composition. I sit and look at my under painted canvases and search for the story.

Thursday, September 10, 2015

Still needs something

 So after several layers of colour I am quite happy with what has happened. It still need some tweaking, so I give it a cream coloured wash and apply some plastic film in various areas.

Now it looks like this.

Tuesday, September 8, 2015

and then,

After several layers the canvas starts to look like this.

Other areas look like this.

At this point I am still not ready to start creating an image. I still want more, of what, I am not sure of, but I know it not quite enough to begin the next phase.

Monday, September 7, 2015


While I am thoughtful about the colours I choose to use, I am quite random about their placement. I am interested in the colour relationships. How one looks next to the other. The color mixing when a blue is painted over an orange.

I understand these colors and can usually predict the outcome, but there are always surprises.

I use plastic film to create textures while I am layering the colour. Different films yield different results. Waiting for the paint to dry enough so that I may remove it is torture.

It's messy at this point and isn't very visually stimulating. Sometimes it is just downright ugly!

However, there is always another day.

Sunday, September 6, 2015

Ready to start.

The canvas has been stretched and three coats go titanium buff gesso have been applied. This is the first feathered coat of white gesso. I will do this again and then start applying colour.

Tuesday, September 1, 2015


The stretcher bars have been reclaimed. Four sets have been stretched with new canvas, gessoed and sanded three times, and now they await fresh marks.

My studio smells of gesso, slightly acrid and clean.

Now to dream.

Thursday, August 20, 2015

ECU School of Art Alumni Exhibition

 Oil on Canvas
34" x 34"

This is the painting that was in bondage and shipped across the country. It will be part of the East Carolina University School of Art Alumni Art Exhibition. The opening reception will be Friday, September 4th, 2015.

There are four venues for the exhibition The Wellington B. Gray Gallery, The Greenville Museum of Art, Pitt County Arts Council at Emerge, and the Janice Hardison Faulkner Gallery at the Joyner Library. My painting will be on display at the Greenville Museum of Art.

Unfortunately I will only be there in spirit.

Monday, August 17, 2015


This is am image of a painting in bondage. I carefully wrapped it in glassine and then taped it up. After which I sandwiched it between rigid styrofoam, light weight and strong and I use it multiple times, and then tape it up!

Finally I encase it in cardboard, use plenty of tape and it's ready for the shipper.

This package is making it's way to North Carolina to be part of the East Carolina University Alumni show.      

Thursday, August 13, 2015

Lying in Ruins

After weeks (over 2 years for two of the culprits) of struggling with about 8 canvases I am ready to toss them in the bin.

While two have questionable composition, that is not the case with the others, it's the paint! I have either been to heavy handed, choose the wrong colour, the wrong hue. The brush work is awkward, there is to much medium in this area or that. It's a wreck! They all are wrecks!! I am a wreck!!!

So now here I am. I have been trying to figure out how and where I went wrong. Was there a sign I didn't heed? A point at which if I had slowed down or sped up I could have pulled these paintings back from the brink? Were they over thought, under thought? I simply don't know.

I do know I will start again. A bit more humble and unsure of myself, but this is not a bad thing it just is. I don't know where I am headed, but I know where I will start. As always the start will be a clean unmarred surface that I will have prepared for my first mark.

Sunday, August 9, 2015

The Month of August

Wednesday morning I loaded up my car with paintings and drove into town to deliver artwork to Criollo.

Once there I unloaded the paintings, several large paintings. At this point the panic starts to settle in. Do I have enough paintings, do I have to many?

How are we going to arrange these?

The self doubt seems to be a constant companion. A much smaller voice to be certain, but still that little nag. There was no need for it. Kassidy was up and down on the ladder securing and adjusting the paintings and as if my magic it was all hung and looks fantastic.

You will have to stop in Criollo, 16 North San Francisco Street in Historic Downtown Flagstaff to see  the show. It is up through the month of August.

Big thanks to Diane Rechel for taking these lovely photographs.

Sunday, July 19, 2015

Ocean Oracle II

from the"Ocean Oracle" series
Mixed Media on Paper
15" x 22"

from the"Ocean Oracle" series
Mixed Media on Paper
15" x 22"

Two more from the series "Ocean Oracle" that my wonderful friend and photographer Tom Alexander shot. He is such great guy! I am very fortunate that he works with me.and is the consummate professional.

This series is inspired by the beauty and magnificence of sea turtles. Each painting is archival and created on Saunders Waterford 300 lb watercolour paper with watercolour, ink, asian papers, acrylic lifts, 23 karat gold leaf, and graphite.

Saturday, July 18, 2015

Ocean Oracle

from the "Ocean Oracle" series
Mixed Media on Paper
15" x 22"

from the "Ocean Oracle" series
Mixed Media on Paper
15" x 22"

I think there is something magical about sea turtles. They are ageless and mysterious to me, living in a world between the water and the air. Returning to land bask in the sun and lay their eggs. I am fascinated by them.

These paintings are part of the "Ocean Oracle" series. Composed of watercolor, ink, acrylic lifts, asian papers, and 23 karat gold leaf on 300 lb Saunders Waterford watercolor paper.

Friday, July 17, 2015


Detail of work in progress

To round out the primaries, yellow. I always underestimate the time it takes me to paint. This painting is crawling together.

Saturday, July 11, 2015

Into the Blue; Work in Progress

Detail of Work in Progress

One of the hardest things for me to do is to stop editing. This is completely different for accessing the painting. The self editing becomes a problem when I start to question to the point of becoming paralyzed. It hinders the process.

The goal today is to paint and only paint.

Friday, July 10, 2015

Red Edge; Work in Progress

I am currently working on a triptych. Each panel canvas is 24" x 40" x 2". This area is approximately 8" x 8". Planning to show the finished painting at Criollo August 7th.

Thursday, July 9, 2015

Summer Events!

I am pleased to say I will be at the Event at Rebecca Farm in amazing Kalispell, Montana July 23rd - July 26th.

This is a spectacular event!

In August I will be showing paintings at Criollo Latin Kitchen, 16 North San Francisco Street in Historic Downtown Flagstaff. The artwork will be on display August 5th through September 1st. The opening is August 7th and will be part of the First Friday Artwalk.

If you will be in Flagstaff and want to arrange a Studio Visit please contact me at

Thank you and enjoy the summer!

Friday, July 3, 2015

Happy Fourth of July

Nocturne in Black & Gold

For me this is the quintessential painting of fireworks. It is enthralling. Heady with humidity and smoke. Wonder and awe. I love it! I love Whistler for painting it.

Have a h Happy Fourth of July and keep your animals safe!

Monday, June 29, 2015

Playing with Colour!

This is Stanley Kurth. The weekend before last I drove down to Phoenix to take part in a workshop he gave and to experience the delights of 120 degrees in the parking lot. The heat was really oppressive outside while we worked in a very comfortable room inside Arizona Central Art Supply and the instructor was fantastic!

I love Stan's work. It's fresh, moody, mysterious, smart, and compelling. This is why I leapt at the opportunity to be there.

These are some of the materials he works with. He implements watercolors, inks, crayons, acrylics, gesso, and anything else he can get his hands on, on various surfaces. For the workshop he used 300lb Arches watercolor paper.

This was his start. He said it was random placement of color over stray wax marks. I was there, I watched him and while I do believe that he does not start out with a plan, he is guided by all those years of creating compositions and evaluating color relationships.

To see Stan's finished work go to  You won't be disappointed.

Sunday, May 31, 2015

The Inner Sanctum

I love my studio. It is light and bright and very well stocked with implements, media, and treasures.

I have skylights that fill the space with natural light.

There are two areas bridged by this area.

Plenty of room for workshops.

Why would I ever want to leave?

If you would like to schedule a workshop, class, or studio visit contact me at or call 928-460-0065