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....