Category: rambles

Composition playground

Composition is one of those aspects of paint learning that will never be complete.  You can never sign off and say, “Well, I learned that now on to painting”.  Composition possibilities are endless and fascinating. An art friend and I

Making technique organic to the work

One of my goals lately is to make my technique organic, to the story in the piece, not try to impose one technique or process on the entire composition, but rather to have each bit of the vision speak in

judging art

I recently read someone’s comments concerning Jeff Koon’s enormous hyper-polished steel balloon dog sculptures.   It got me wondering how we can or should judge art. I saw Koon’s gallery show in New York a while back with rooms of

Art Now

Anyone who has studied art in any depth beyond a couple of survey books of great masters knows that there has been tons of crap created in any period.

Portrait of Jenny

Shown and sold at the 2005 Contemporary Realism Show, Center for Living Arts, Mobile, Alabama.  The use of wax medium (beeswax melted in turpentine) facilitates the more open treatment, allowing a watercolor like fluidity, while retaining the richness of oil. 

Mother and children, Kennebec Mural

Detail from Kennebec Courthouse Mural, 2015 a Revolutionary period woman and her family, tending the garden and waiting for her husband to return from sea.

logging on the Kennebec, mural detail

Logging was very important on the Kennebec river up until the 1960’s.

voyageur, detail, Kennebec Mural

No mural of the Kennebec river history could be complete without reference to the trappers who explored the river and hills.  I had drawn out the composition and the pose for this main figure in this panel, but I didn’t

wharf crowd, detail, circa 1890, Kennebec Mural

just another detail of my Kennebec mural in Augusta, Maine.  the mural is 14 x 40 feet, over 500 square feet with over 50 figures, ships, animls, period tools…a lot of life.  the brushwork is quick not laboring over each

Granite industry, detail, Kennebec mural

The granite industry was very important for this region Maine.  Stone cut from Hallowell hills was renowned for its clarity, lightness in color and its relative ease of carving.  The cut stone was shipped down river by sail or on

crowded wharf, detail, Kennebec Mural

Here is a detail from my Kennebec mural.  This region was a bustling river highway back in the days fo sail and this panel portrays the crowded piers in the various towns and cities along the shores.  One historian wrote

Eastman Johnson

Out on a walk and I just found out that Eastman Johnson lived just over a mile from here on Winthrop Street in Augusta. I love knowing this. He was a fabulous artist and to know he was was at his easel just down the road is wonderful.

woman on pier, detail, Kennebec Mural

a detail from my Kennebec Courthouse mural…a woman waiting to get on the steamboat pier.

1607 Popham explorers, detail Kennebec Mural

This is a closeup of my mural panel of the Popham Colony explorers from 1607.  The built the first ship, the Virginia, and also explored up the Kennebec up to at least the site of the current Fort Western, in

Sister, MOther, Lover, Daughter, Friend

An oil for an exhibit about human trafficking.

Passage of Time, a composition

In the ongoing conversation on composition I thought I would dissect this painting, Summer Entourage, a large oil, 52 x 52 inches.  Summer Entourage is about many things, family, friends, summer days of Augusta, and also about the passage of time.

The Studio

I have always been interested how other artist’s have their studios. Are they neat and tidy? Chaotic? Eclectic? So, along this vein, I thought I would start a small series of images, when I trip over them, of other artist’s

Ghost Story Bookcover

This is another bookcover illustration, watercolor on paper. This one for a book of seacoast ghost stories.

Mural Plan for the Kennebec County Courthouse

The finished full color mural will be called “The River Road” and will be a journey through time and travel on the river.  It will be 14 x 30 feet, and will feature boats and people of the Kennebec.  For