Happy New Year

"Cat" 14"x14" oil on linen.

I haven’t posted anything on my blog for a while. I changed my job 3 months ago and this transition is seriously cutting into my painting time. I just hope that day comes when I can pursue my dream of being a full time artist instead of switching back and forth between the steady income and my passion for painting, but I’m not ready yet to take this step.
Finally, I’ve finished a few paintings that I had started at the end of a summer. Here is the first one and I’m planning to post the rest of them here next week.

Happy New Year, everyone, and thank you for following my work!

The Poem, The History Of Our Love, is by poet Jan Steckel. As it happens it goes nicely with my collage/painting. Jan is a friend and colleague, and we thought that the two artworks together in some form, perhaps as a broadside, would be a lovely addition to someone's collection.

The History of Our Love

If you were a skeleton,
and I were a skeleton, 
we would weave our bones together
in a death’s head embrace.
I’d be able to get closer to you
than I’ve ever been,
my clavicle bumping up 
against your acromion.
Every one of the twenty-seven 
little bones of my hand
would grab your iliac crest
with equal enthusiasm.
The chalky scrape 
of kneecap against femur,
the click and rattle
of your metacarpals dragging over
my fibula and tibia, 
would drive us to ever-increasing
ecstasies of excitement. 
When you drew your phalanges
over my ribs, I’d sound
like a horny, bony xylophone.
We’d grind, scrape, click and rattle
right through the night, 
and the day, and the night,
wearing ourselves and each other away
until nothing was left
but a happy, exhausted heap
of calcium carbonate,
like a pile of powdered Tums
or crushed Rolaids,
ready to be pressed
into a stick of chalk
for a child to write on the sidewalk
the history of our love.

By Jan Steckel. First appeared in Redwood Coast Review, October 2007.

The art piece is one inspired first by how moved I was by a photo in National Geographic, of a couple who died at the time of the eruption of Vesuvius, in Pompeii. I worked from the moment of my emotions, which reflected a mixture of tragedy at the timing; a moment of love between the two, and a profound feeling of the coincidence surrounding the utmost bliss possible for two humans in love, combining with horrific death in the face of unstoppable forces of nature. 
   At the moment that I saw the photo in old archives of mine, I was working on a series of Adam and Eve inspired artworks. the collaged painting of Adam and Eve is from an old master,  Jan Van Eyck, I believe. I felt in the moments that I was creating the mixed media artwork that all tragic death of humans (and I think it can be said that all death is at some level tragic), is a good metaphor for the casting out from Paradise of Adam and Eve.

evolution of a likeness

I got a Christmas present/portrait commission but had to keep it a secret so I couldn't post about it until after the holidays were over. I really like how it came out, it's quality in person and the color. I used the painting as an excuse to experiment with getting to a likeness. That's always the dilemma when working with photo reference because the photo is "just right" and can be a stumbling block to enjoying the process. So I painted the portrait in three major movements, the first in acrylic and with absolutely no regard for being right, just be fearless and free, slap the paint on, and eyeball it. They say close only counts in horseshoes and hand grenades, but it also counts in painting! I let some time pass and then jumped back on it with some bold moves in the drawing and then went over with opaque oil, forcefully moving the colors to conform to the closer line. Finally when that dried I refined the drawing some more gave it a last coat of paint, and found myself done! It was a pleasing way to go about things because there was never that feeling of constraint that can come with 'likeness'.


I did this painting cooped inside during the recent rains we've had in LA. My studio is under a tent outside so when it rains, it really limits my painting options! Recently online I saw some images of rioting in Europe that moved me to paint them. I want to do it bigger but I was working in my tiny apartment so I did this 12 by 24 'study' or whatever it is, first stab at it. I think the bigger the better for this one! I scratched in the bank logo because frankly aren't they the cause of these riots? call it the blowback from their illegal activities. It's funny, put the logo there and it almost makes it look like an advertisement!


I've been painting a number of portraits lately, seems like something folks like for the holidays. Here are a few to look at... the painting of the child was a commission over the internet and the other four are 20 minute portraits I did at a holiday party. If you would like me to paint at your event, I'm available for birthdays, weddings, bachelor/bachelorette parties, bar/bat mitzvas, anywhere, any time, any place! art and fun for the price of a clown! :)

Art for sale

Hello blog readers. I thought I'd let you know I've consigned a bunch of paintings at the Stone Art gallery in Santa Monica. 419 Wilshire Blvd Santa Monica, CA 90401. Or call them at 310-395-6303. If you are a fan of my work, this is a great opportunity to buy some! Great pricing and they make awesome, one of a kind Christmas presents. here are a few of the paintings available: click here, and here, and here! and 15 more paintings you'll have to go to check it out.

Reflection on the Waning Days Approaching Winter Solstice

         Just a quiet reflection on these times we are living through, as the days grow shorter until December 21st, the longest night of the year. After, in incremental minutes and then hours, the days grow longer until the Summer Solstice, the longest day of the year. This photo of necklaces I make seems somehow appropriate, as we approach the Winter Solstice, perhaps what feels to me to be the holiest time of year.

        Pyrope and Grossular Garnet, Malachite, Fluorite, Pink Opal, Tourmaline, Golden Beryl or Heliador, Carnelian, Amber, Red Aventurine. What other than these names are needed for poetry?

       Click twice on the photo for a treat.

Lee Wesley Gibson

I had the honor today of painting a portrait from life of Lee Wesley Gibson, the oldest surviving Pullman porter. Here's a great link about him from the Los Angeles Times He turned 100 years old this year! He is an amazing person, sharp as a tack and fit as can be for a person one century old! We met and set up inside Union Station in downtown Los Angeles and painted for a little over an hour, he was a great model and it was an exciting place to work. I got to meet two of his daughters and along with Mr. Daymude who arranged the sitting, we all got to have a delicious lunch afterward. Thank you Mr. Gibson! Let's do it again soon!

montecito heights

I was turned onto this part of town in Los Angeles by fellow painter Jose de Juan, what a find! Some of the most beautiful views of downtown LA! I brought my drawing supplies to scout around for some motif and found this spot. I want to find a few more places for some more drawings and paintings... I finished a portrait recently but I can't post pictures of it until after Christmas because it's a gift! I can't wait to blog about it because it turned out quite nice and I got some neat 'work in progress' photos.

Come see me at GLAM!

It's ART Show Time AGAin!!

Come see me at GLAM!!! :) :) :)

Downtown Gainesville, FL at the Thelma Bolton Center.

Mention that you saw this on my blog and get 10% off your ENTIRE purchase from my booth.

See you there!



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