In Homers “Odyssey” Zeus blows the ship to the island of Lotus Eaters where, there is no joy without calm. Some of his men consume the fruit of the strange tree, and they refuse to leave the island, instead choosing to stay with the lotus eating islanders in careless retirement.
You know that I’ve been toying with non-representation in my work. With this new piece, I have found a springboard into how I can most honestly approach the subject, and what you can expect of me this coming year. It feels so good to stand in the same room with this painting.
I have always drawn the faces of people. I just love to capture them looking at you. I’ve been away from portraiture for a while but, I’m back!
Every painting is a reach in a new direction, or place. The journey is made until the brush is put down. Beginning, middle, end.
A proposed pedestrian bridge to be built in West Des Moines connecting Racoon River Park and Walnut Woods State Park. Very exciting.
Because I constructed this large painting straight from the imagination, you can count me out as a realist. From the imagination counts as romanticism, and if it’s considered not ugly, it then falls within Romantic Positivism.
It’s a work in progress, as I see a few things, a few values worth fixing. Maybe some telephone poles. This painting is rather big at 4 feet by 5 feet and, I am getting very comfortable with the larger paintings. Stay tuned!
The early morning bus ride is often in the magical time of day for most kids who live out in the country.
Hostile and spiteful actions are rarely forgiven from a mostly caring audience. As a celebrity, it was already doubtful as to his contribution to the vitality of the art form. Someone is owed far more than an apology.
You see yourself as a shipwreck, but we see the treasures glowing inside, beneath the oceans in your eyes.
This sky will not let me go. So, one more before I attempt a larger one. Enjoy.
I kind of like how this little series is developing. Time to try it on a larger scale. Be back soon!
I continue to experiment with the many directions one feels are necessary to explore with oil paint.
This is a larger version of my last painting. It was an hour later, so the pedestrians have changed!
It took me a long time to finish this painting. And it’s brighter, with more of a pastel palette than this photo delivers. It’s so soft and quiet. One you have to see in person to allow it to complete its sentiments of the day.
While I am studying and formulating my next ideas of the landscape and it’s language, I’ve delved in to highly abstracted observations in an effort to better solidify my path and direction. I did a series of three 12×12 square panels, this being the first. Stay tuned!
The latest in the Iowa Sheep series which has found a home in a private collection.
The rural Iowa land scape continues to inspire this painter to reap the beautiful and true from the simplicity of eternal forms that surround us.
Dogs on the loose break all the boundaries.
From a black and white reference photo taken before her devastating accident. Enjoy.
Kind of like drinking, the funny thing about painting is that you never really get the hang of it. I say this with all seriousness aside, for this is not really a good comparison, nor is it true. My college mates and I had many a laugh about how we failed at drinking most all the time.
The thing is, when it comes to painting, often one’s expectations are explicitly clear but results vary, and this keeps us in the painting game.
Once you have 10,000 hours in, the question still arises, “what to paint?” And, “How shall I paint it?” “What art movement or style am I most closely related to?” But why do we pay attention to such reductive talk? It is because we we are often asked such questions by galleries and collectors.
In the end, one must choose how to make the greatest impact, paint your most astonishing art, give birth to your most honest contribution to the vitality of any art form or style. This is what we are charged with delivering. Like they ask in the business world, “what is your deliverable?” In the case of painting, it’s your honest self.
Late in 2021, I began to study the methods and approach to painting of Paul Cezanne more intensely. Here was a man who proclaimed “With an apple, I will astonish Paris.” This attitude struck me as the very attitude necessary to face a blank canvas every day. To choose to paint, to make the sacrifices, one must work very hard to do the very best work one is capable of, and one must believe that a serious contribution can be made to the very vitality of the art of painting in our time. This is what I am attempting to do. I cannot let any part of history escape me in order to fortify and support each brush stoke I choose to make. I know this probably all sounds so serious, and it is, for the work one does with the mind, the heart, and the hand together, is the most profound work one can do.
Having said all that, I had some fun in attempting to focus on the muses of Cezanne with this effort. I found an old black and white photo of this historic couple to practice some of the aforementioned methodologies, and this is where I shall stop on this one and move on to a new blank canvas. This is my first painting of the year 2022. Cheers.
I started this air show painting last week, from a reference photo of a Colorado friend who attended the show earlier this month. Though the scale was a bit daunting at only 11×14, I finally got around to finishing.
This is the result of a two-hour plein air excursion in Des Moines. Though it is not finished, I am hesitant to paint on it again to guard against altering its freshness.
I’ve been driving around the surrounding farmlands this summer and fall, taking photos of future paintings. I just got around to facing, and finishing this one, after starting it a month ago, and being intimidated by the light in it.
It’s rewarding to knock off a small painting of, say, 12×16 but, I’d like to increase my production of larger paintings such as this one. This is still a work in progress and I’ll only fix a few small details.
Farm life subject matter is something not to be overlooked in Iowa. In fact, it’s a challenge not to consider when looking for striking compositions here in the prairie.
Trying to build a remuda of skies. This is a rather precarious one we often see here in Iowa.
Three night paint out in Des Moines, in association with Mainframe Studios, Salmagundi, and the Polk County Conservation, began at the Lauridsen Skate Park downtown. This was my Friday night entry.
I painted this very view only a week ago at 12×12. Here is a larger version. I enjoyed the sky and clouds from this vantage point during an early morning rain shower skirting by to the east.
This is a work in progress of the walking bridge that spans Grays’ Lake in Des Moines, Iowa. Currently tacking up a bit so I can add the rest of the bridge structure and railing. Stay tuned for final.
Clouds have inspired me lately and, there is every color in the sky. Ultramarine, Cerulean, Viridian, Yellow Ochre, and Alizarin are all used, though very highly tinted, with Titanium White. This, excluding Burnt Umber, is my entire palette.