Thursday, December 24, 2009


....AND THEY'RE FUN TO PAINT. This still life was set up by Jim Salem for one of his weekly classes. For all of you in snowier-than-Key-West locations, you will be disappointed to learn

that the class is held in the outdoor Tiki Bar at the marina near us. Each week Jim sets up a bunch of still lifes there which the students tackle (and eat!) after a demonstration session. It's all followed by a critique. Good cheap fun!

About this painting. Maggie Ruley gifted me with a bunch of her old linen canvas. I cleaned and ironed it and in this case 'glued' it to a scratched 16 X 20 acrylic panel. I used acrylic medium to bond it to that surface. I went 'green,'huh?

CLICK on the title to view the painting on my website.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009


I make prints of my best paintings; and this one called "WHISPER' has a whimsical sentiment and interesting textures. Click on the title above to see it and my other prints.

The original is a monoprint on heavily textured gessoed paper. The heart is applied 23 carat gold leaf and the colors are primarily acrylic or other water-based pigments.

This shows how I sell my prints. They are digital scans mounted on paper, then mounted on foam-core board. The paper carries the title, edition number and signature in pencil. The board carries a second signature on the reverse.

All the mounting materials are archival- even the clear bag. On the bag I write ".com" and the price  alongside my signature with a Sharpie. It's all easy, safe protection for the work until it can be framed.

Monday, December 21, 2009


AS I paint, I like to clean extra paint from my palette  and brushes by rough brushing it onto the stacks of small, acid-free matboard scraps. This finally results in a colorful stash of little abstractions which turn up in collages or are the basis for small original paintings.

You can see a few of those scraps in the collage which measures about 10 inches square. The green border on the left, the deep purple band at the base and the delicately decorated center piece all started as 'brush-offs'; that's what I'll call them. The first two mentioned have transfered typewriter correction film doodles on them- most easily seen are the white bird legs at bottom, center. The centerpiece has small india ink paintings of birds with details removed by scratching with a very sharp X-acto blade.

The bright bits are 23 carat gold on free-hand embossed copper foil. The printed patterns are altered photoscans of Indian cotton fabric. Parts of the fabric are also included in the collage.

Sunday, December 20, 2009


A LITTLE BIRD tells me love is around the corner. Maybe I painted this because a friend gifted me with the score from 'Finian's Rainbow' which has hints of magic and myth and love throughout.

Original mixed-media on collage with gilded copper heart shape. The frame took me as long to decorate as the painting, so I include it in the picture. Double acid free museum mat.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009


Some posts ago I started a painting of a big star surrounded by smaller stars.

Here's the finished painting (I think!): oil on Raymar panel. 11 by 14 inches.

If I do add anything, it'll probably be a little scrolling in 23 carat gold leaf.

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Back in the saddle......

We had a great break out in California 'round Big Sur. Cold but warmed by friendship, wine and too much great food.

Here are some designs from the grounds and house at Hearst Castle.

The calligrapher in my liked all the letter forms on signage and lampshades...

The landscape painter in me liked the views....

Wishing all of you a wonderful, creative New Year!

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Unenhanced limes

Someone asked to see the 'natural' colors of the Key limes I was decorating for the holidays

And there they are.

We are back from a truly inspirational (and really fun!) trip to the central California coast so I will pick up the slack with new postings.

Thursday, December 3, 2009


I'm all over the place in what I like in art and what I like to paint. I have my silly side, but I really like a good landscape or still life. And I really like the trees here by the water; many evening hours have been spent watching flickering lightning in summer clouds.

Here is the working photo and the resulting painting in oil. On canvas 16 X 20 inches.
I started with a charcoal sketch followed by the final brush sketch in waterproof india ink. I spray fixed this and proceeded in oil. Final glaze varnish went on today.

Can you believe that we nearly removed these trees when we arrived 13 years ago? We thought we would make our mark and open up the view. We know now that we should have had our heads examined. Shade and beautiful ancient shade trees like these buttonwoods are at a premium here and add to the quality of life and habitat immensely.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Letter forms in painting ....

I didn't like the letter forms in the 'BUDDY' doggie painting so I reworked them.

I obliterated the watercolor with a mix of cobalt and pink and borrowed those colors into the rest of the composition.

Here's a fun fix: you can use a sheet of typewriter correction film to transfer letters or any design onto the dry acrylic. I have big 8.5 X 11 inch sheets from Correcttype that I cut up as needed.

When you transfer the white pigment from the sheet it leaves gaps that give your next transfer a scratchy quality.

What has eight legs?

Two dogs. These two pictures are developed by (blue) monoprint line drawing within black acrylic squares.

The warm acrylic colors were blocked in to define the negative spaces and watercolor for

spelling out my thoughts. These are fast and fun, though one has to tippy toe around the oil 'til it dries. Gonna take a break for a few days!

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

FA LA LA LA LA , ETC......

Quickly... these are the beginnings of holiday ornaments to sell in my gallery.

They're faux limes painted with acrylic visages. As KEY LIMES they will have dangling door-openers. So graphic; I couldn't resist entertaining with photo-manipulation.


When I make a monoprint drawing, the lines are spontaneous and varied.

This dog's portrait is made more grand by a quickly-drawn baroque frame. I'll probably do a bit of lettering around the composition to show  HOW IMPORTANT  this dog is....

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Sun; II

I wanted to share the line qualities of the monoprint textures a dashed off the painting panel yesterday. This was an effort to remove excess paint from a still-too-wet panel and a painting start I had decided to 'wipe out.'

I have lots of good acid-free Strathmore Bristol scraps in my flat files. I placed these pieces onto the damp panel surface and just drew lines or squiggles on them. One of these is the monoprint that introduces linear rays around the sun face. Just lift them off carefully for interesting textures and inspirations for collage or other paper projects.

Do you see those color blocks? That's acrylic over/ under (after/ before) the monoprint process.I am relying on the water/ oil antipathy to keep them separate.

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Sun; I

This is the first few stages of a sun painting on a Raymar panel- 11 X 14.

My latest oil medium mix is too slow drying. So, to make lemonade out of lemons, I scraped down the damp painting to remove the previous brushwork. This made the blue gray background. I removed some of the alkyd paint by transfering via monoprint designs onto good art papers. I'll use these in collages later. The linear rays in the photo below are a result of this transferance.

Scraped the panel again (I use an obsolete credit card) and lifted out the lighter areas of thecomposition with a clean flat brush and turps'.

Now that the composition is set and a few darks put in, I'll post this painting's progress and show some of the monoprint stuff, too.

And that makes four...

Our greyhound hoards his toys in one corner of the living room. This is one new work and these have been very popular.

He doesn't like tennis balls but there's Ducky, one-armed monkey, dead mouse, etc.

Friday, November 27, 2009


My doggie brush paintings are a big hit! I'm working on a new series now.

The puppy would be the newest bud on this family's branch.....

Thursday, November 26, 2009

SUNS for a rainy day...

 Here are three brush drawings of
Colored pencil, watercolor and gold leaf.
Some of you will recognize this subject; I return to it but usually in color.

Did you know that a star with a face is called a 'Sun in Glory'?

Friday, November 20, 2009


And this is the rest of the collection of ink/acrylic sketches of funny canines.

We have an annual dachshund parade here in Key West; it's a lot of fun.


PEOPLE like my dog sketches. This one is set apart by the addition of some 23 carat gold leaf on top of the ink / acrylic halo. Watercolor works best for lettering.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

TENNIS Ball Dogs

Here are a pair of brush drawings; simple and funny.

Both have additional color added in watercolor pencil; the lettering is done in watercolor.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009


' HERE'S THE PLAN...' is a little mixed media painting on a scan of vintage Fortuny fabric. It is decidedly different in coloring than the shared palette of the previous posts.


I've painted this subject twice before but never atop a collage. I remember a New Yorker cartoon of a woman who looked very much like Mrs. Drysdale from the Beverly Hillbillies. She is bent over a small, wayward animal and asks , "You poor little thing! Are you a dog or a pig?"


Two collages of folk with planting on their minds. Acrylic ,pencil and gold leaf on paper.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

' FALL '

This collage has a layer of printed velum on it. I drew the sun on my Wacom tablet and abused it with oil pastels and scraping. Very fine designs are scratched into the background of acrylic over oil pastel.

Not very large; it'll fit a frame sized 11 X 14.

Monday, November 16, 2009


I'VE DONE A FEW DOG PAINTINGS lately, and this is one of my favorites as I play the simple drawing off a patterned background. It's really a collage, including some silvered thread.

Sunday, November 15, 2009


This smiling goddess wraps up the night in sweets, including a slice of Key Lime cheese cake.

The altar is appropriately framed in cautionary design elements.

Alkyd oil and found elements on prepared museum rag board.

Friday, November 13, 2009


I sure have been a bad boy in neglecting my blog. Today I've tried to make up for it with the three postings. This one is called 'GREEN HOUSE' and I've made a print of it for the gallery.

 All the paintings are alkyd oil on prepared museum rag board. These are the 'drop-outs' from my acid-free mats prepared and sealed with a rough brush of Liquitex acrylic gesso. The slow drying time of oil begs for more color mixing and blending; really nice in comparison to acrylic pigments.

I like Paul Klee's work; didja guess?


A mer-man figure among the sunken salvage of a mysterious, lost city. I like the very abstract and simple fish form; it reminds me of one of my favorite painter's work. Can you guess who? See next post....


This is a smaller work, about 10 inches square.  'Though I'm fascinated with still life work I can't shake my design sensibilities and chuck my desire to paint flat patterns. And so this and my latest postings.

I wanted a sketchy movement to the bird forms so they're nearly dry brush oil and a little scraffito technique.

Alkyd oil on prepared museum rag board.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009


I'm always painting mermaids; my first show here in Key West was nothing but mermaids and mermen. A friend calls herself 'Sirena Loca'  or 'crazy mermaid.' Mermaids are clever and cunning and 'crazy like a fox.'

This little painting is alkyd oil on gesso'd museum rag board. Simply signed with a symmetrical  'M.' I think I'll make a print of this for my fans at the gallery.


This little dog portrait is simple; like the ink brush drawings I occasionally have at the gallery.
In these, I allow myself the fun of quick expression and calligraphy mixed with humor.

This painting is alkyd oil on a prepared cotton rag museum board. I have photographed it before gilding the halo with 23 carat gold leaf.

Sunday, November 1, 2009


THIS image is acrylic and w/c pencil over a unique fabric ($!!!) so it's really mixed media.
I'm hoping my greeting card publisher will pick it up for their line.

Saturday, October 31, 2009

Tennis Ball Blues

Here is the newest depiction of a lonely hound 'round dinner time. The big difference is this one is oil on canvas as opposed to my usual water-based mixed media. It measures 9 X 12 inches.

Cola color punch

Here's a study of an isolated color on a predominant color ground; basically red and green in that order.

This is again oil on a little Raymar panel; I like 'em and since they have free shipping right now I ordered some larger ones, too.