digital landscape

I co-teach this class at Art Center which tries to combine digital and plein air. It's an interesting experiment and the students are enjoying it. We go on a field trip and take photos, make drawings, paint paintings, then we meet in the computer lab the week after and try to make something new using the computer and all it's amazing abilities. our first outing was on campus where I took lots of photos from unusual angles and made a photo-collage composition whose sum is greater than it's parts. I got the shots of the mantis when she posed for me after saving her from a spider web. Now she's attacking the entire San Gabriel Valley! Today class met as Descanso Gardens. I sketched and photographed for a couple hours and then did a longer painting after class regrouped at 11. I tried to encourage the class to really go for it when you're painting from life. You can see and "feel" so much more color when you are really there, it's something that the camera never seems to get. So with this painting I wanted to really accentuate and paint how the colors around me felt... even more saturated! When I got home I brought the painting and a photo I took of the same scene into the computer, stretched my painting so it matched the photographic placement, adjusted the opacity so you could see a little of both and voila! The saturated colors and "right but wrong" composition painted from life are blended with the dull colors and "perfect placement" of the photo which makes for an interesting image. two wrongs make a right!

two colors

It's fun to try to make more from less. These are a couple demo paintings from my composition and painting classes at the Art Center College of Design in Pasadena on Mondays. The exercise is to use only burnt umber and ultramarine blue (and of course white) and paying careful attention to value and temperature, make a painting of the model from life. With a little skill, the painter can get a quite accurate representation... oil on canvas, 20 by 16

money at the Hive

Here's a photo of me last Friday at the Hive gallery posing with some of the recent prints and holding one of the blocks. I should have the wall totally covered by the next opening next this Saturday...

Soul Journal Yahoo Group Goodness!

*****I love my Soul Journaling Yahoo group girls!!!!*****
This time they inspired ME to make a art journal page this afternoon. I used the Soul Journaling writing prompt " I'm afraid that if I start dreaming I will..." with this whimsical poem by Shel Silverstein.


“If you are a dreamer, come in,
If you are a dreamer, a wisher, a liar,
A hope-er, a pray-er, a magic bean buyer…
If you’re a pretender, come sit by my fire
For we have some flax-golden tales to spin.
Come in!
Come in!"

I left a lot of my words showing through my thinly applied paint because I love the writing prompt and wanted to keep much of what I had written.

PS. I used a bit of Rub 'n buff on the edges of these pages. It is even more beautiful in person. If you've never used it before I urge you to RUN to your nearest Micheal's, Joann's, or hardware store and grab some. It's a few dollars per tube and comes in lots of yummy rich colors and creates a great effect when rubbed into your pages. LOVE it!

For more Soul Journaling prompts, friendship, inspiration, and a really good time join our Soul Journaling Yahoo group:

To learn more about Soul Journaling, please visit

fiat currency

here's the best one of today's batch of prints. I'm really getting the hang of inking the blocks and the right pressure when rolling them out. So today's was an especially good batch as I'm getting better with the printing process. By the way I sold one last night at the Hive closing show so they have been 'monetized' and have a market value! ahahaah! I should have no problem getting enough done for the Hive opening next Saturday, I want to cover my whole wall. But don't worry, there is no significant risk of inflation!

printing money

I've been interested in money lately and have been making various drawings of U.S. federal reserve notes. I think it would be fun to try and sell some as art, and also as a bit of a statement on the nature of money today. So in an effort to streamline the process, I cut a three color linoleum block print of a U.S. dollar. I finished the last block today and ran a few test prints to see how they look Im happy with it, not bad for my first try. Here's a scan of one of the cut blocks, and also the test print. The green stamp is a random stamp I'd made that I had lying around and when I sell them, I plan to add a few touches by hand as well as the serial numbers. ink on paper, 2.75 by 6.25 inches

main street

I was back downtown yesterday. I put a few more people into the painting of the Nickel Diner because I thought it felt a little empty; it looks more lively now! oil on canvas, 20 by 30 Also, I started a painting looking up Main towards the Hotel Barclay. At this stage it's just a drawing on canvas, but I will take it back on location soon and get some color on it. I have to decide if I want to do it in daylight or as a nightscene... ink on canvas, 36 by 18

(more) money

Today is between teaching days and I was home doing chores and thinking about money. What is it? Where is it's worth? These days it's just paper with the only thing giving it value being the "tinkerbell effect" So since central banks around the world are printing money like it's going out of style, I thought I'd get in on it! Here are two life drawings, actual size. They are each for sale for $50; a signed original drawing by notorious artist Alex Schaefer. Or maybe I'll try to exchange them at my local farmers market for goods or services.
update: I drew a couple more bills, thought I'd keep posting them...

art walk

I got a call from Nathan, owner of the Hive gallery, on Wednesday night asking if I could put up a show my paintings for the LA artwalk, which was the next day... I said sure! He knows I have lots of paintings so I could fill any gallery space three times over! The word is that this space on Main is going to be a Hive gallery "annex" where he can feature one or two artists in a more 'conventional' gallery setting than the main Hive which is like a carnival/artwalk all of it's own. It was sweaty work yesterday because I had to put the lights up and hang all the paintings but it was worth it because the place and the paintings looked super. I got SO many compliments about my work. I never handed out so many cards, I gave out every one I had! And I met a woman with a gallery in Chinatown who is having a show TOMORROW that I now have a painting in. I dropped it off to her today. It was a good, power day. Here's a couple photos of the show and a video walk-thru before the crowds got there. I should have remember to take a video when the place WAS crowded! next time...

"Times Square-NYC"

......................................"Times Square-NYC"
............................................oil on linen
I believe every painter who does cityscapes at least once in their career express the desire to tackle Times Square. It is probably one of the more challenging city scenes to paint. I attempted it many times but had no luck with ideas. Finally I decided to give a shot one very early Sunday morning. It was 4am and quite, well, relatively quite considering that it is Times Square. The early morning calmness of such a busy area inspired me produce this piece. I’m very pleased with the result. I plan to paint a similar one in much larger format in near future.
If you are interested in purchasing “Times Square-NYC"” please click here


.............................."DUMBO - NYC"
............................14"x20" ...Oil on linen
DUMBO is an acronym for Down Under the Manhattan and Brooklyn Overpass and more info can be found here.
It is one of my favorite places to go in Brooklyn. In continuation to Red Hook painting, this Dumbo street at rainy night is all about the old NY nostalgia even though it is not going to stay this way, being developed at the current pace.
If you are interested in purchasing “DUMBO-NYC"” please click here

Red Hook - Fairway Market

.............................. "Red Hook - Fairway Market"
..................................14"x20" Oil on linen. 2009
Red Hook has been an industrial area for over 200 years, full of warehouses, old factories and landmarks. But then, unfortunately, things started to change. In the early 1900s, the area was overrun by organized crime. It developed a reputation for being a "tough neighborhood." Lately, There's so much growth and change going on in Red Hook - IKEA, the upscale Fairway Market, art gallery ,waterfront landmarks attract many people during the day.
But at night, like Cinderella after the ball, it turns into the gritty neighborhood it once been. That was how I got inspiration for this painting.
click here for a larger view and purchase information.

20 minute portraits!

I was back at Altadena Junction last night painting quick portraits. I pulled off five total and here's four of them. Not too bad. I always like to say that the portraits look more like the sitters than they don't! ahaahah! I was worried that I might be out of practice since I haven't painted 'from life' for a few weeks, but it's like riding a bicycle, it stays with you. Everybody had a great time! oil on panel, 10 by 14 and 9 by 12

party like it's 1999

I liked the drawing so much I decided to start a painting! In many ways I think this painting represents the 'Dionysian' school of economics that has dominated U.S. central bank policy for the past 30 years! lol! i'm experimenting a lot with acrylic these days... I'm using matte gel medium as my 'white', a very limited palette of colors, and painting totally transparently on a very light pink ground. sort of like a painterly CMYK process... the gel medium is transparent when dry but 'milky' when wet... so I mix a 'tint' of each color with LOTS of gel medium, big piles, and then working on top a very light-value underpainting, I start slapping the paint on mainly going for broad color areas but here and there gradating some value... The "lighter" the paint is, the more gel medium hence the more transparent. as I get darker there's more pigment/less gel so it's darker. It's like painting watercolor with petroleum jelly. acrylic on canvas, 28 by 25

New Altered Matchboxes

Hey guys,
I am sorry I have been so lax in regards to updating this blog. I have so much going on right now with my wedding coming up and a few health problems that something has have had to give. Unfortunately, that means my blog and website are in serious need of some new art postings. Even though there hasn't been much activity here I assure you there is a lot of new juicy art in my studio right now. I just need to find the time to photograph and upload it all. :) So expect a huge influx of arty goodness after December. In the mean time, here are a few pieces I just finished to wet your appetite!
These are altered matchboxes in two sizes done with acrylic paints and mediums, mica, found objects and more. These were demo pieces for Alpha Stamps so the blank matchboxes, many of the metal embellishments and collage images can be found on their site. Enjoy!

"The Meaning of All"

"Hearts Fire", The following piece is for sale in my Etsy store.
"Bleeding Love"

"Relic", the following piece is for sale in my Etsy store.

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