Thursday, March 18, 2010


My time here in New Mexico is winding down. As some of you know, I have been going through a divorce~ which is now complete. I will be returning to Ohio in the next few months to be closer to friends & family. Although the door may be closing on one aspect of my life here~ I want to let you all know that I intend to leave the window open for my art. In spite of the bitter~ there is a sweetness in the discovery of so many beautiful things that I will always carry with me and feel compelled to continue expressing through my work. If anything~ being removed this place may make my studies more acute?! I have shot over 20,000 images in the two years that I have been here. Even though I have more than enough reference material for this life time, I intend to make my way back as often as possible, and may one day return for good. In the mean time~ I just want to thank everyone for your kind words and for your support of my work! Muchas Gracias!

PS: Be on the lookout for a Midwestern addition to my blog...

Previously Unpublished Work

I've been away from the easel for a while attending other business~ thought I would share some paintings that I have done (but never posted)~ some old, some new.

Monday, January 25, 2010

Putting a face on a chicken

This is my entry for the High Plains Prairie Chicken Festival (Milnesand, NM)~ the New Mexico Department of Game & Fish is trying to raise awareness for this native bird (recently removed from the endangered species list). I used the contest as an excuse to do something a little outside of the box (in the form of a shadowbox)~ all constructed out of corrugated cardboard and painted with acrylic (with the addition of some yucca seed pods~ part of the birds natural habitat). I don't know if you can tell~ but I had a blast pushing the boundries of found objects (an old moving box in my garage and flora from my backyard) :>) It was a win, win, win project~ for me, the Lesser Prairie Chicken and my wall!

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Green Goats

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I came across this cast of sketchy characters on a trip to Kentucky back in the fall. They must have been really confused/disappointed when I didn't produce a bucket of feed for their trouble (they followed me around like lost puppies)! After living in sunny New Mexico~ it was interesting to paint the subtle definition of color & form from cloud diffused light.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Multi Media Framework

I am continuing to experiment with using the cholla in my frames~ I really like extending the southwestern feeling beyond the content of my paintings. Not only is it an opportunity to customize a frame~ I think it's an opportunity to add depth to how the viewer actually see's the subject (literally & figuratively). I can't wait to try another one!

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Goat Peeking

Just a peek at my goats... (in progress)

Monday, November 23, 2009

San Pedro's Schoolhouse

Just a quick study of a little southwestern school my son attends. I can only imagine the student daydreams induced from looking out the window...

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Roadside Stand

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This little roadside stand is nestled in the mountain pass, halfway between Edgewood and Albuquerque on Rt. 66

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Here we go...

Just a peek at what I've been up to... The "woolen-loom frame" construction is underway (still in progress). If you look closely at the red layer under the painting, you're seeing the felted wool blanket which covers the entire back of the canvas~ that will create the resistance when the individual strips are stretched to the outer frame (& cholla)~ that is in the garage waiting to be assembled and attached to the frame extensions.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Tuesday, October 13, 2009


I set these two up back in college... a few years later, they are finally getting hitched! Best wishes to my friends Pete & Jen.

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Wild & Wooly

Envision the painting seemingly floating in a loom-like border... having a frame that projects out~ and the 7" to 8" inch gap between the cholla bark frame and the painting, has 1" strips of the knitted/felted red wool that radiate out, all the way around... pretty cool huh? :>) That's the idea I have in mind for the big sheep painting~ now, we'll just have to see what happens to the idea when I try to actually engineer the thing!

Sunday, August 30, 2009

...more sheep shaping

I keep chipping away at this one... lots of fun color and texture starting to develop in the wool! A couple more productive sessions like this one and then I can start planning a design for the frame (maniacal laughter)!

Tuesday, August 18, 2009


I have been experimenting a little more with Cholla cactus bark (I made my first frame back in Dec.). I really liked how the "wool" woven into the frame, served as an extension of the painting. I am starting to see new possibilities as my prototype versions start to evolve. Have any of you messed-around with framing materials? Thinking out loud/going forward, I would like to figure out a treatment for the corners that would be structurally sound, but not obscure as much of the frame. Any ideas?

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Bang Bang Buffalo

I did a quick study last night, from a recent photoshoot with one of my favorite animals. Somewhere down the road~ I plan on doing a LIFESIZE painting (or drawing) of a Buffalo, Rhinoceros and maybe an Elephant!

Sheep Shape

Started to block-in a near life size sheep~ based on the small "Southwestern Sheep" study I did back in May (Scroll down).

Monday, June 15, 2009

Into Albuquerque

After many starts, stops & long pauses~ I finally completed the large version of this painting! I spent some time trying to recreate the spontaneity of the smaller version, which proved to be challenging for a myriad of reasons. I want to apologize for the fish-eye effect of the photo (the painting/border is perfectly square :>). Im not used to photographing anything this big! I leaned it against the wall outside to shoot, and tried to square-it in the frame while shooting (oops!) To be honest- it has been really windy lately and I was more concerned about preventing a giant gust from catching a very wet painting and flopping it face-first onto the gravel/dirt!

First~ Because of the larger size, I switched from painting on smooth Gessoboard, to Canvas. After a year of working almost exclusively on Gessoboard, it was interesting to note the difference in the way the paint covered the surface (it took more work & paint to cover ground). I mentioned on the previous post that I was fighting the urge to blend because of this (as opposed to strokes of color).

Second~ I used the biggest brush in my arsenal to block in the majority of the painting (#22 Bright). I experimented with some 1.5" & 2" paint brushes from the local hardware store, but found they didn't give me the control I was looking for. I think I'm becoming a brush snob!

I mentioned in the previous post that I had some big news... My inspiration for (re)doing this piece came in an email from my sister about a month ago. As of June 21st, she is starting a new job~ planning, coordinating & recruiting for an upstart Artist Studio/Gallery near Toledo, Ohio~ The New El Rancho/Center for the Arts! She asked if I would mind sending her some work to use as a studio/gallery model to help generate interest/excitement for the possibilities of this new space. I was/am THRILLED to help her out!!! As I have spent the last year getting my "painting-legs" under me, I have always had the goal of getting enough work together to approach a gallery. My small studies have served as a vehicle to get me up and running in a short amount of time- they are perfect for viewing online, however~ they do not command attention from a distance... So walla! Hopefully this generates enough interest to get people to come take a closer look :>)

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Shield Your Eyes... It's Obscene (Complete!)

Well~ it's done! Don't you hate it when you start a painting and "things" happen that get in the way of completing it?!!! A LOT of things have gotten in the way here lately, but I am happy to say the clouds have parted for now, and I can finally move on to bigger and better things (or OTHER things at the very least) :>) I will post a better shot in the next day or so and fill you in on some exciting news that is developing... until then, take care and I'll be around to visit real soon (I have some serious catching up to do with everyone!!!)

I know, I know- I know what you're thinking... but believe it or not, THIS is how most of my paintings actually start out- with OBSCENE chroma!!! This becomes much more painfully obvious to the eye at a larger scale (24" x 48") than my normal 5 x 7 or 6 x 6 studies. I like making the underpainting scream- and then quickly cover it up with much calmer color notes- but leaving just enough peak through, to let you know that there is something pulsing just below the surface! It's like Lebowski's rug... "it really ties the room together" so to speak.

If you scroll pretty far down my blog page- you can see my first crack at this painting. I have always wanted to do this particular painting justice- the entire reason for doing it was to impress the viewer with the sheer volume of sky that exists here in New Mexico... at 5 x 7 it was a little underwhelming. But NOW... if you can envision the crushing weight of blue sky as it archs overhead, and ginormous columns of clouds towering above this biker... I think you can start to see where I'm going with this!

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Abo Walk — NFS

A belated Happy Mothers Day to my mom and to mom's everywhere!

Monday, May 4, 2009

Sunday, May 3, 2009

Monday, April 27, 2009


Hap-Hazard Demo

The documentation is a bit crude, but here is a basic break-down of the steps I go through on a typical painting (I will promise to do this again when the subject matter is larger). From Bottom to Top: 1) If the subject is somewhat complicated (like this one), I will sometimes do a quick sketch into the wet background tone. 2) This is usually where I start on less complicated subject matter (Blocking in basic shapes). 3-5) In this painting, I already had the "shadows"established because of the dark background color, so I started with midtones and moved to highlights- redefining shadows last. 

Nothing revolutionary here- I think the only other sidenotes that I have on how I paint are: I start with a limited palette (and add special colors that cannot be mixed- if it calls for it) Cadmium Yellow Light, Cadmium Orange, Alizarin Crimson, Ultramarine Blue, Sap Green, Titanium White (Other additions: Cerulean Blue, Cobalt Teal). I feel like I spend a lot of time mixing colors- not just for hue, but for value also. Maybe the speed factor is due to my relative level of inexperience- or maybe this is just the way it is supposed to be?! For me- every painting presents a challenge- even with a system to approaching painting and a limited palette, there is nothing formulaic about painting. Each one evokes an emotion from me while Im painting, has thousands of subtle nuances to accentuate or ignore. It's an energizing & exhaustive experience- You draw inspiration from your peers and the masters, you try to learn something every time you paint.

There were so many hurdles on this painting that had nothing to do with painting! As some of you know- I lost my computer a couple of weeks ago, which had all of my reference photos. I had to put this painting in the freezer until I could get a new one, and retrieve all of my files. Also- I lost all of my applications, so until I can afford to replace them, I am forced to use iPhoto to make color corrections and Preview to save the files down (it doesn't have a Web Safe JPEG option).

Is this helpful? Is this how you work?

Thursday, April 23, 2009

So Long Big Mac... Hullo Mac Mini

Just wanted to let everyone know my computer died early- last week (power outage/surge victim). I have been scrambling to acquire a replacement and get back online! My G4 was 10yrs old & served me very well. I would have loved to replace it with a new tower, but my budget ($0) would only allow for a Mac Mini! It's about the size of a potholder (on steroids). I am happy to say that it is faster than my old computer, but sad to say that it has left my peripherals in the dust. I have been spending my days trying to find cords and converters! This has been the only downside to digital photography that I have encountered.

I have a new painting in cryostasis (in the freezer) "Octopus Car Wash"—  until I can retrieve my reference photo! I tried to photo-document my "process" while working on this painting- although Im not sure it will translate that well because of the small subject matter. I will promise to do another photo-documentation when my inspiration includes a larger subject, which should be a better match for illustration purposes. See y'all soon

Saturday, March 28, 2009

A Passion for Painting Award

The wonderful Mr. Edward Burton nudged me the other day and told me to check out his blog, where he has listed me among some other pretty fantastic artists for "A Passion for Painting" Award. Edward is a great artist and friend to his fellow artist. Thank you Edward! If you haven't seen Edward's latest submission for the DSFDF blog, or just need some UV exposure, make sure you check him out!

Dually noted! I just found another nomination in my "Comment Moderation"- The wonderful Akiko Watanabe listed me as one of her 7. If you have not seen Akiko's work, it's a MUST SEE!

The Award comes with some cross-pollination/pay-it-forward dues, so here'r the rules: 
• List 7 things you love
• Put a link to the one who picked you
• Choose 7 others to pass the award to
• Notify them of the award

The current loves of my life:
1 & 2) are 2 & 7  (My two boys are everything to me)  :>)
3) Sunday hikes in the Mountains/Desert
4) Yoga Sutra's (I've been listening to an 85 segment series on YouTube)
5) Raisin Bran
6) Red Wine (Been into Smoking Loon- Merlot lately...but not right at the moment!)
7) Tequila (Patron) - 6&7 are equal, but totally independent loves  :>)

...and MY love also extends to these 7 wonderful artists who have all inspired me in some way over the recent months (in no particular order)...
Dean H

(I know I have listed 10- hey, rules are made to be broken)

Friday, March 27, 2009

Postcards from Edgewood

This was a campy attempt at a Southwestern still-life from a newly transplanted Midwesterner (over the summer). In case you're wondering... the little lobster thing is actually a toy scorpion from my son's vast pile of plastic playthings. To be honest, I've never seen one around the house. Lots of strange bugs, and lizards- Yes. Scorpions, Tarantulas- thankfully NO!  :>)

Original Chili Series

I thought I would post some of my original baptismal paintings into the Southwestern scene (from back in July). I was just starting to get my painting legs under me, having just made the jump from being an Art Director in Columbus, Ohio to being a Painter in the rugged and remote Edgewood, New Mexico. It was a fun little series to paint- I had envisioned them as a set in my kitchen.