Friday, November 30, 2018


6 x 8"
oil on panel

In the Art Institute of Chicago, there are two paintings and three sculptures by the French artist Jean-Leon Gerome, much to my delight.  Most of Gerome's paintings are crisp, exact, realistic scenes from Morocco and northern Africa locations, many are based on Greek mythology and if there is a more perfect example of Orientalism in art, Gerome is it.  Featured in my new painting is Portrait of a Woman.

~ Don't miss my earlier post below - my 2019 Mini-Wall Calendars are now available.

Tuesday, November 27, 2018

"Tough Love"

6 x 8"
oil on panel

This marble sculpture by Horatio Greenough, Love Prisoner to Wisdom, is one of my very favorites in the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston.

Essentially, the owl behind the chained Cupid symbolizes wisdom.  So.... prudence is restraining reckless love.  Think before you jump in.  The woman viewing the sculpture is seemingly pondering the message.

Tuesday, November 20, 2018

"Bare Necessities"

6 x 8"
oil on panel

The brave artist Alice Neel, who lived to the age of 84, was largely unknown in the art world until the early 1970's, when she was in two retrospective exhibitions.  "Life begins at seventy!" she said of her new found recognition at the age of 72.

In 1975, Neel began, what took five years, to complete her Self-Portrait, one of only two.  Referring to this unconventional and somewhat shocking portrait, Neel said "the reason my cheeks got so pink was that it was so hard for me to paint that I almost killed myself painting it."

Alice Neel painted dozens of portraits of her lovers, friends, family, artists, poets and even strangers. They are all delightful.  Her total acceptance of her own aging body and laying it out there for all the world to see is most admirable.

Saturday, November 17, 2018

"Good Morning"

9 x 12"
oil on panel

The very same day I was finishing this new painting, the news came that the Edward Hopper painting Chop Suey had sold at the Christie's auction for $91.9 million.  That made me so happy seeming I worship Edward Hopper's works of art and I especially love this recognition of one of our country's treasures.  Yay.

Whenever I'm in the Smithsonian American Art Museum, I beeline to the Hopper paintings.  The one featured in my painting is Cape Cod Morning, done in 1950.  What grabs me about this piece is, within the bay window where the woman is looking out in anticipation of something, it's a whole separate painting within the actual, fairly simplistic composition of the sky, trees, grass and siding of the house.  I just love it.

Please click here for a larger view.

Tuesday, November 6, 2018

"Checks and Balances"

5 x 7"
oil on panel

Our United States Capitol Building in Washington DC.  A place where, hopefully, checks and balances will occur again.

Monday, November 5, 2018



Norman Rockwell - November 4, 1944

Thursday, November 1, 2018

"Iron Fist"

8 x 6"
oil on panel

I started this painting on Halloween evening, right before I went inside the house and watched The Pit and the Pendulum with Vincent Price.  I savored the day.

I first saw Blind Pew, by N. C. Wyeth, in the Brandywine Museum of Art, which houses three generations of Wyeth artists - N. C. the father, Andrew, the son of N. C. and Jamie, the son of Andrew.  I worship all three.  I grew up nearby Chadds Ford, Pennsylvania and my mom always welcomed a road trip to this area, she made countless pen and ink sketches of the old stone buildings and countryside.  It was an artist's haven and inspiration.  I'm sure that was around the time I knew I wanted to be an illustrator like N. C. Wyeth.

The blind beggar, Pew, is a minor character in Chapter 3 of Treasure Island by Robert Louis Stevenson.  Pew knows Billy Bones is a boarder at the Admiral Benbow Inn and wants the map to Treasure Island.  Pew was a member of Captain Flint's crew of pirates and had since squandered away his share of pilfered riches, leaving him to beg and thieve.

Pew knocks on the door, terrifying the keeper of the inn, asking to see Billy Bones.  Pew takes the man's arm as they climb the stairs, Jim realizing the old man has a strong grip. An "iron fist".  Pew delivers a warning to a passed out Billy Bones.  Later on in the book, Pew returns to the inn with a group of buccaneers to ransack the inn and find the map to the treasures, but it is nowhere to be found.  A fight ensues, they take it outside in the moonlit road.  And the tale goes on.

Blind Pew is one of many illustrations in the Brandywine.  They're surprisingly huge works of art and treasures.