Saturday, December 22, 2007

Out of Ugly and Christmas in NY

Finally worked on the Beast in the City and got it past the ugly stage. It's a real leap of faith, or to use a different metaphor, it was like slogging thru devil molasses.
In the meanwhile, to distract myself, I went to the Metropolitan. On the way there, I saw this lion, forced to dress up by it's captors.

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

The ugly phase and homeless socks

I do believe there comes a time in every painting when it goes thru the 'ugly phase'. Here is this painting in that phase. Of course, ugliness is in the eye of the beholder but for me, the colors are so yukky that I have to just keep going based on faith.
In the meantime, to keep my mind off of the painting, I took a walk in the city with my sister. It's sad to see anyone homeless at this time of year but this was especially poignant: a group of homeless socks, huddled together from the cold. Won't you take one home to hang over the fire? Actually, all these socks had a story to tell. Some are the mates of the better sock that was chosen to hang for Christmas. Some of them said they would rather take their chances on the street than be forced to have a nail stuck thru them and hung for the amusement of some jaded child. Some of them were toeless veterans. When I got home I kissed my socks, knowing how lucky they were to have their own pampered life.

Sunday, December 09, 2007

Guardian Angel

Taking a break from my painting, I made this pen and ink drawing. God it was fun to do. Can't wait to do more. I used Stonehenge Rising paper.

Thursday, November 29, 2007

My "Little" Painting

I'm trying to work smaller, so here we have an 18 X 36 painting. But I'm sort of stuck on the imagery of it. Maybe you can see some light pencil work I put in, but I'm not committed to anything yet, except the inked in lines. It's hard for me to think small and to draw small.
Beast in the City is the working title.

Saturday, November 24, 2007

Morgan Library's Van Gogh show in NYC

I went to the VanGogh show at the Morgan yesterday. It is there till January. Lots of letters, sketches and paintings. There was a booklet to read the letters in translation. Actually, you can see seven of the letters with the sketches and the translations on line at:

Reading the letters was like hearing Van Gogh speak in his own words. It was pretty exciting for me after what has seemed weeks of caregiving, to hear intelligent conversation...even if it was one-sided. He wrote, over the years, about wanting to paint the starry sky. He finally did it in the last year of his life.

"But when will I do the starry sky, then, that painting that's always on my mind? Alas, alas, it's just as our excellent pal Cyprien says, in "En ménage" by J. K. Huysmans, the most beautiful paintings are those one dreams of while smoking a pipe in one's bed but which one doesn't make. But it's a matter of attacking them nevertheless, however incompetent one may feel vis-à-vis the ineffable perfections of nature's glorious splendors."

Friday, November 16, 2007

Linda's sculpture

I've been taking it easy but my sister Linda sent me these images today of some new work she's doing. WOW!

Tuesday, November 06, 2007


After going to the Brooklyn Museum with Andrea to see a show about watercolors, I've been feeling inspired for the last few days to make these little sketches.

Monday, November 05, 2007

Edgy Painting

Simon, from the ArtAnon group, brought up the issue of the edges of paintings. Hey, I hardly even measure my paintings, much less remember to include medium, and such. But in the case of my recent work, I have so been working on the sides of the paintings. In fact, this is both tedious and fun at the same time....not sure how that works. This canvas has a rather deep side to it, 1 1/2 inches, so I had to do quite a bit of work on it.
And by the way, the whole shebang is 30 X 40 inches.

Saturday, November 03, 2007

Cruely to Animals..the end

I dragged my feet, but finally I've completed Cruelty to Animals. I was disturbed by the amount of blank space in the painting and fixing that became a lot of fun, as you can see if you compare the previous post and this one. I painted in the same way that I used to draw as a child, making up a story as I went along. I love the end result. The words, if you can't quite read them, are: Beatum Beastia, Beastia Tui and, at the bottom, tit pro tat.
One day, I took a long walk with my sister. We saw these lonely piers.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

The Beasty boys

I worked on Cruelty to Animals a lot yesterday. I added some decorative touches and got the borders started. I think it's starting to look lively. I've got some text to add.

Monday, October 22, 2007

Catching up

I haven't written in many days. I've been in a sort of suspended state of animation. LaLa land, also known as Paris. No, not the real Paris....I've just been intensely day dreaming. I'm reining myself in and trying to return to this earth. I've been working on Cruelty to animals. I made a lot of changes in it but I'm not sure about the colors. I'm going to do the border and then decide.

Besides my fantasy Paris trip, I went to the real Metropolitan Museum of art to see the new Greek and Roman rooms. It was incredible...I only got thru maybe one half of the Greek. I especially enjoyed the paintings on the plates and vases. Here's a snake challenged image.

Saturday, October 13, 2007

AnotherTry at Digital Angel

Ok, this time I switched to RGB or whatever, colors. OKAY! Look at the difference. Here's something even weirder that I discoverd. Click on the first digital angel, the one with the garish colors and it comes out normal What a quandry!

Digital Angel

Today I felt crummy. Either the common cold or West Nile fever, one or the other. So, rather than work on the new painting, I decided to see what I could do with Photoshop. Still needing to play with the colors more. but here's my first effort.
OK, this is too too weird. This image looks NOTHING like what I did and what I see on my computer screen. The colors are not just off, they are completely different. UGH, a photoshop mess.

Monday, October 08, 2007

Tired Angel: Finito

I feel very happy with Tired Angel. It took so long to complete and yet it's not a drag at all in the end. So I wasn't holding it up because of a vague dissatisfaction, like sometimes happens. I really do have to take better pictures.

Here's my sketch for a new piece, Animal Abuse. I haven't decided on the size. Usually I like to jam a lot of stuff into as small a space as I can paint, but this is kind of minimalist...for ME, and I might just go for it: do it as a 30X40. I have to add that I have a LOT of 30X40 canvases.

Sunday, October 07, 2007

Tired Angel, almost finished

This is such a small painting, 18x36 but for some reason it's taking me so long to finish. Maybe I'm tired.

Thursday, October 04, 2007

Return of Tired Angel

After a long wait, I'm back. Lots of apocalyptic but non-art related stuff going on here. Anyway, I'm working on Tired angel. I really want to add eyeballs.

Although most of you don't know her, here's Grace at her wedding. It was so much fun.

Saturday, September 22, 2007


It's been a busy week. Full of STUFF to do, none of it having to do with Art. But I finally finished the card for Grace's wedding. It was a bitch, trying to get the background to bleed all the way to the edge. I tried it in photoshop, I tried it thru the printer and I finally just gave up, printed the image and will cut and paste it to the card.

Monday, September 17, 2007

Armadillo wearing a hat

More photos from the Museum of Natural History. Here we have a prehistoric armadillo, or relative of armadillo, wearing a little bone hat. Why did it evolve this little bone hat you ask? Maybe it lived in a place where rocks fell on it's head a lot.

And my inked in drawing for Tired Angel. I made the mistake of using a red watercolor pencil to draw the image. This red color is very intense and smears a lot so I'll have to cover over the red with white gesso or it will smear into every damn color I try to paint over it. Live and learn.

Sunday, September 16, 2007

Tired angels and giant sloths

Here's the beginning of my new painting, Tired Angel. Just a drawing on canvas so far but we shall see how it develops.
In the meantime, I've been reading a book called The World Without Us, by Alan Weisman. This is a pretty depressing, yet compelling story of what we have done to the earth and how long it will take, if ever, to recover or simply 'Digest' the mess we have made. It's keeping me up at nights. So one day last week I went to the Museum of Natural History to see all the giant mammals that are now extinct in North America. I was sorry to discover that the museum has 'modernized', meaning it plays to the lowest common denominator (but best paying customer): Kids.
The large, dull Victorian style hall that was crammed with skeltons of extinct mammals is gone, replaced with a whole floor that leads from dinosaurs to those mammals. Lots of interactive stuff but not enough actual animals! OK, I confess, I hadn't visited that old room with all the cases in maybe 20 years. Still, when I actually Wanted to visit it, it was gone. The new approach is interesting but controlling. The museum is pushing the information it wants you to have. But what if you have other questions?
ANYway, I did find the giant sloths. Here's one. They were maybe/probably wiped out by man arriving in the new world. They must have been quite tastyl

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Woman with Frogs

This is a very small painting that I did for the BWAC auction. It's just 6X12 inches. The subject is based on sculptures and frescos I saw in Romanesque and early Renaissance churches. I painted the same subject in a painting called "Retribution" which a man bought to put in his office. I wondered about that: did he really look at the imagery in the painting. Besides the woman with frogs hanging off her breasts, there was Salome with the head of John the Baptist, a centaur shooting an arrow at a mermaid (another favorite of mine) and some devils hanging a man from a tree. You can see it on my website.

Monday, September 10, 2007

Special Delivery: final version

Here's the final version of Special Delivery. It's my favorite painting in this far.
I spent one evening taking pictures of all the apocalypse paintings but I must say I'm a bit frustrated with the results. Is it my camera or me? Sections were out of focus and my placement of the lights was definately off: there were spots in the dark and spots with glare. YUK. Another thing to learn.

Wednesday, September 05, 2007

Franks and other deliveries

I wish I had taken a picture of the ugly phase. I guess I was painting too fast and I missed it. That manganese blue is hard to handle. It was so over powering. So I toned it down with some acra crimson to create a more purple color. I did use the managanese for the green. It's definately a blue-ish green but I'm working with it. The painting is all laid in except for the fun detailing and inking.

Here's another NY picture. The classic frankfurter vendor outside of MOMA. I wonder if the taxi's will really go on strike today. The whole thing mystifies me. Perhaps it has something to do with the Apocalypse?

Monday, September 03, 2007

More of everything

Here's a close up of some of the Serra wall that I saw last week at MOMA. Need I say that the texture and color are beautiful?

Here I've added the dark, or one of the darks. I'm using Manganese blue for the first time. I've mixed it with Napthol Red light to get this color. It will be interesting to see how it looks when I lighten it up in it's pure form

Saturday, September 01, 2007

Start of Special Delivery

Here's the start of my new painting, Special Delivery. I may or may not leave the plane. Time will tell.

And here's where I've been in all this time. My sister Carmen visited and we went all over NYC. This is the Richard Serra sculpture at MOMA. It looks so much better here than it did when it was in front of a building many years ago. Then, in our pre-terrorist days, it was obstructive and just ugly metal. Now, it's beautiful, lyrical and almost delicate. An urban labyrinth. Contex is everything, as they say.

Wednesday, August 22, 2007


Here's a corner detail of my recent painting. The lighting, as usual, is wrong on the right side but you'll get the idea.
I've gone thru hell with this painting...but not about the actual painting. It has to do with a show I'm going to be in where they asked for a 'narrative' about the piece. Somehow, this has become a huge imposition in my head and I've been agonizing, not sleeping, babbling to myself over it.
Then, last night, while not sleeping, I realized this blog is a sort of narrative and I could use parts of it. Went right to sleep and had a dream: the end of the world, of course.

Tuesday, August 14, 2007


I changed the background to a darker yellow with a little orange in it and the whole thing has brightened up considerably. I don't hate it anymore. Also, I finished the basic colors of the building. There are still detail colors and I still might add some animals to the right side. By the way, the blue river is really much darker.

Ok, on another note, here's a giant locust, dead thank god, that I saw in prospect park recently. The Apocalypse may really be coming!

Monday, August 13, 2007

More color

This photo is too light on the right and too dark on the left, but you get the idea, don't you? MORE color. I'm still playing with the idea of changing the background.
I'm sort of depressed today. Do you have days like that? Why am I painting at all? days.

Saturday, August 11, 2007

Coming Along

In the middle of the night, I came up with the perfect title for this painting. Damn, I sure wish I could remember what it was. Work Ethic is my working title and I may have to go with it if my thousands of fans don't write in and give me alternatives. Oh, wait, it was something like: To have and have not.
I'm thinking of adding some more details to the river side. Maybe animals.
Mai-Liis says they are amusing but I'm still finding the world of the Romanesque sort of mysterious and impenetrable. The blank staring faces saying so much more than what they represent. In several manuscripts, I've seen that someone scratched out the faces of evil: the devil or that bad guy in the painting. Scratched them out. Why? In anger? For protection? And who? Did the ordinary person have access to these manuscripts? Did a monk do it? What was he or she (OK, more likely He) thinking?
Well, I have a title for a painting with a scratched face: Take away evil.
But right now, let's focus on Work Ethic. Help!

Thursday, August 09, 2007

Pill Box Hats finished

I've finished this painting, even done the sides. I don't think the color here is 100% perfect. I have trouble photographing the blue, which is really sort of a dull blue but kept coming out as a strong cobalt blue.
In reality I had put several layers of color before I found the one I like. This blue is over a darker purpley blue which is over that spinach green.
If I wasn't so lazy I would get out my photography set up: the tripod, the lights, the white card, blah blah blah. I will do it when I send the art to Amber, who does my website, but I think you'll get the idea here.
Don't have a name. Any ideas?

Monday, August 06, 2007

Old Stuff/New Stuff

I've started the blacking in of the Locusts picture. And, as you can see, I've changed the spinach green to a brighter blue. Now for a name...Locusts Two?
In the meanwhile, I've been postponing beginning this large painting. It's 48X36, with a lot of detail and color. Originally an ode to the saints who guarded the 12 portals, I've let two of them off to go fishing. Also, I've got to work out the center image of the city. In the original it's an angel herding the lamb of god. No more Lambs! Even though they are cute, I'm trying to get away from the religious stuff.

Friday, August 03, 2007


The new locust painting is coming along, nearly finished. But now that all the main colors are laid in, I'm not sure I like that dark green. It sort of reminds me of cooked spinach. I'd like to change it to my original idea, which was a grey blue. Stay tuned.

Wednesday, August 01, 2007

More Locusts

Don't get all jittery about the red, Cadmium Red medium, to be exact. It's just a temporary layer.
Lots of strong, in your face colors. YUMMY!
In the meanwhile, I'm starting another painting, to keep 2 going all the time. This one is biggish too: 36X48. Sure wish I could work smaller...but this IS small for me.

Tuesday, July 31, 2007


I have been procrastinating.
I reached a sort of milestone with the start of the BWAC Big show ( My New work is up and I can take a break and agonize about it...which I didn't have time to do before.
I've also started this new locust painting. It's a slightly different style and I'm very insecure about it. The other colors, I think. will bring the painting together.
In the meantime, as part of the lollygagging (or is it lollAgagging?) I took a long walk in the city with my sister. We passed this colorful bus.

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

I need a new name!

NO, I don't need a new name, but this painting does. It sort of developed on it's own, spawned, you might say, by the crazy talk of Linder and Mai-Liis.(See comments for July 15th). Linder also sent me this photo below of....of....well, you decide. She is definately being plagued by giant black bugs.
So yesterday, I added keys to the tiny green paws of the green things in the painting and then, what are keys without a keyhole, I made a tiny doorway in that blank spot at the bottom. I have that 'horror vacua' syndrome.
One thing I haven't mentioned are the borders of the paintings. I really enjoy doing these. They are my versions of the intricate, patterning and colors that are in the manuscripts.