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Friday, July 31, 2015


take us away from the predictable, the everyday.  Although detours can take longer to get from point A to B, and open us up to failure, they can also offer us stimulation and a trip into the unknown.  I am first and foremost a painter.  But there is something in my soul that craves change, especially come summer.  These three balloon images were created by reduction printing on a linoleum block.  It requires backwards thinking and an acceptance of happy accidents.  This secondary medium offers less control, I think, that direct painting.  Working with unfamiliar paper, tools and mediums offers a different "feel" that my hands and my heart appreciate!  Color mixing is key.  So is the acceptance of imperfect shapes cut by blades that are unforgiving.  I am no Joan Colbert, a friend and colleague whose prints both defy, to me, what can be done with these crude tools, and challenge the intellect. But that does not take away my joy, my pleasure in the creating of these images.  I find that these challenges, these detours, inform the decisions I make in my drawings and paintings, as well as offer up an addition to my always-evolving sense of visual aesthetic.

These prints are on exhibition at The Open Door Coffee Company located at 164 N. Main Street in Hudson, Ohio.  Drop in to see them and to sample Deborah's new line of scrumptious bite-size cupcakes!

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Dog Days

Three Hot Chicks   oil/canvas   30 x 40 x 1.5
are upon us.  Some scenes are recreated again and again, generation to generation.  Such is the case, I believe, with the patio/deck/family reunion/lawn chair scenarios that one can see not only every weekend on a walk around town, but memorialized in photos albums everywhere.  As a person of Nordish complexion, I  have to say that summer heat is something to deal with, a bit of a template, on how I perceive the months at hand.  This work was inspired by an old family photograph.  I like the organic figures paired with the geometric chairs, a polar-oppositional composition that I cannot resist.  Detail was removed as much as possible.  The color palette was changed from cool to warm.  A sketch was created attempting to link the three figures, as well as to set up a playful rhythm of values, with the lights at the top, leaving the women susceptible to the sunlight.  Shapes were simplified.  Although most of the problems were worked out by the sketch, there were still problem areas, mostly involving the extreme foreshortening of the legs in the center figure.  Layers were worked and reworked Swiss-cheese style, while trying to retain passages that appealed to me.  I think I am for a glass of iced tea.

Thursday, July 16, 2015


Balls   charcoal, pastel and China marker on paper   8.75 x 22
Playing with balls is a bit like painting...a bit unpredictable...a bit out of control.  Balls are the tools of the athlete as brushes and pigments are to us.  And, although we set ourselves up for a successful outcome, the joy comes from the process itself...the playing, the painting.  Fluidity results from that wonderful place that lies somewhere in between control and the lack thereof. 

Swahili warrior song:  Triumph or defeat is in the hands of the let us celebrate the struggle.

Our project in drawing class was to be able to render the volume of a sphere by direct observation.  The brightly lit spheres in the "learning to draw" books are minimally useful, as the rendering requires astute observations culled from the light source (or sources) as well as attempts to understand the material from which the sphere is made, as well as its construction.  I used charcoal, with a bit of conte, pastel and China markers to achieve the effects that I desired.  The rendering is fairly tight, as the number of forms involved precludes a more expressive style....which, I think, would result in far too much visual confusion.  The two counterspaces between the balls at their base were necessary, I think for understanding, as well as a bit of vertical play to balance the extreme horizontal composition.

The struggle.  The athlete.  The painter.