Friday, December 27, 2013


After painting a portrait or two, I will usually paint a still life to de-stress, I refer to it as "clearing the palette." I find figure painting to be the most challenging of subject matters, that is not to say that still-life is easy, all painting is difficult if it is done well.
I have painted this subject several times in different mediums and each time I have been fortunate to sell the painting.
12" x 9"

This beautiful young model is the daughter of a dear friend of mine. After painting her in oil with a palette knife, I decided, as I often do, to paint her in pastel, treating the background in a similar loose style as I did in the oil painting.
For this painting, I mounted the wallis paper on board giving me a rigid surface to work with. The rough tooth of the paper was ideal for the many layers of pastel used to create this portrait. I do not blend with my fingers, instead, I allow the many layers to do the job. If I feel the need to soften an area, I use a hard pastel and go over the area lightly - it lends for a much richer effect.

Saturday, December 21, 2013

Pastel, 9" x 12"
This portrait was commissioned by a young lady as a Christmas Present for her mother, the portrait is of the mother. I was fortunate to have permission from the daughter to create this portrait in any style and medium with no interference or micro-managing from the client - a dream come true.
I initially did the portrait in oil using a palette knife but realizing that the painting would not be dry in time for varnishing, I did another in pastel.

Sunday, December 8, 2013


The Aspen Chapel is one of the most photographed buildings in Aspen, Colorado. I have painted it several times and have been fortunate to sell each of the paintings. Having rendered it realistically before, I wanted to try something different and so I got out my palette knife and with acrylic paint created the painting above. The texture of the knife strokes and the vibrant color make for an exciting painting.

This portrait sketch was done on ampersand pastel board with hard and soft pastels. The treatment of the hair is different than what the model presented, I felt the change was appropriate for my composition and I was quite pleased with the spontaneity of it. She was such a beautiful model, I thoroughly enjoyed working with her and have used her in several paintings.
I remember completing the piece and realizing that something was off - the portrait itself was quite lovely but something was just not right. Upon closer observation, it came to me, the ear was in the wrong position - what a shame - it was rendered beautifully. Well, beautiful or not it had to be fixed so I invited my young daughter (who is artistic herself) to watch as I redid the ear, the lesson being that you can make changes at any stage to improve the painting without condemning/discarding the work, something she was prone to do when she felt things didn't go quite as planned. Art after-all, is a series of corrections.

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Oil - 9" x 12"

This painting was done from life in one sitting. After about a half hour, my daughter was decidedly finished with posing so I had to complete the painting without a model. It was not my goal to attain a likeness, firstly, because she did not want me to, and secondly, the "I just woke up and do not really want to model for you" look was not a viable option. In the end, it all worked out and I was quite pleased with the result. The painting was done using only two brushes. I am always looking for a different way to create my art and simplicity is continually paramount.

It was a gorgeous Fall day in Aspen, Colorado and as usual I took time out to enjoy the colors. I remember taking this shot in an open field right below the Aspen Chapel and was excited to get to work painting it. I started the sketch with acrylic and soon found myself painting the typical landscape - blue sky etc, bored to tears, I quickly reached for a palette knife and allowed my memory of the experience of that day to take over - I was suddenly having fun. Ignoring the voices in my head about realism and anatomy details, I went instead for a suggestion of the forms, keeping in mind the importance of the painting…color, glorious color. The entire painting was painted with the palette knife.
I had fun.

Sunday, December 1, 2013

Pastel - 9" x 12"

I met this beautiful Brazilian model while she was vacationing in Aspen and she agreed to pose for me, she was a delight to work with and I have done several paintings of her.