Friday, November 21, 2008

Lt. Col.

I met this guy a while ago, and he seemed to be mostly comprised of his opinions.

Friday, October 31, 2008


I did this little drawing as the back for an artist trading card. Since it is merely decorative, I am submitting it for IF's topic this week, vacant.

Friday, October 17, 2008

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Saturday, October 4, 2008

Baby Love

This is a pretty old painting, made when my son was a baby and constantly pulling my hair. This not a great photo; the background is gold leaf, the painting is egg tempera. I'm posting it for IF's topic this week, sugary.

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Surfer Planted

This is how the surfer looks in his permanant home at Dr. Mossel's office. Gnarly, dude.

Friday, August 29, 2008

Starlings in Search of a Nest

IF: duet

Once, I was in a bar in a college town and two girls, music students, came in to listen to the music. They stood at the bar and looked around the room and seemed to be searching for something. They reminded me of two birds making their way in an unfamiliar woods, a duet of timid exploration.

Thanks for stopping by. I messed up my thumbnail for IF this week!

Monday, August 18, 2008

Silent Singers

Lost or stolen in Louisville, KY, June 2009.

For IF: Today's prompt is vocal, and I couldn't help but think of this little painting that disappeared while in the care of the MOAT gallery in Louisville, KY. : (

Monday, August 11, 2008

The Dawg has Left the Building

Here is a photo of the surfboard and bulldog, finished! I'll publish another when they are assembled. This was a fun project, but it's nice to be done and to get back to my own work. I hope to post a new painting soon.

Wednesday, August 6, 2008


For IF: When repairs mount up, I can look like this...

A tengu is a figure from Japanese folklore that can be good, or can exact terrible retribution for bad deeds.

The surfboard is here, but alas, it is made of styrofoam (!) and it has been a real challenge to get it ready to paint. I ended up stretching canvas on it and adhering it with gel medium, then two layers of gesso. It is still spongy, and I don't think it will ever be permanant. I wasted two 8 feet lengths of canvas before I got it right, but the third time was the charm. I looked rather like this tengu by the time I got it to work.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Bulldog Surfer

The dog is just about finished. Hope the surfboard comes soon!

Thursday, July 3, 2008

Surfer Dog Sketch

This is what the surfer dog will look like, depending on how the surfboard actually looks. The paw print design will be placed on the back of his wetsuit. Hope he looks like a dude.

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Leadership Mecosta Year of the Dawg Community Art Project

Mecosta County is lettin' the dawgs out! This is a picture of the dog I am painting for a project for my area. I am painting this guy as a surfer. Stay tuned for further developments.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Briar Rose

I'm posting this for IF's topic this week, hoard, because this woman hoards herself by staying in a box rather than sharing herself with others.

Intially, the woman in this image was supposed to have thorns all over her, but when I got to the point of adding them, it just didn't seem right. Maybe I'll do another one and put them in this time...

Friday, June 6, 2008

A Recent Dream


I hate to bum anyone out on such a nice spring day, but the IF topic this week is "Forgotten", so this is what I have for it: When my dad died, my mother was completely lost. At the same time, I was reading many stories in which a person's name was a source of their power. It seemed to me that my mother had forgotten herself so much in her grief that she couldn't even remember her own true name, and so had lost her power and her identity. She doesn't physically look like this, but it was how I saw her mental state.

Monday, June 2, 2008

Laundry Day

For IF's Sail:

This piece is pastel on paper. I found working in pastel on such a tiny figure a bit tricky. It makes me have new respect for the artists who can make pastel look like paint, namely, the intrepid Rosalba Carriera and Mary Cassatt. I'll probably try this again as a big sky painting.

Friday, May 23, 2008

Friday, May 16, 2008

New Growth

Open Door

This is as close to pure fantasy as I usually get. This is an image that popped into my eyes after reading a novel by Charles deLint, one of my favorite authors. One of the minor characters in the story was a very large woman of the forest, who sometimes had the function of a guide of sorts. I am posting this for Illustration Friday's topic of the week, wide.

Friday, May 9, 2008

Reason is His Religion

This is a portrait of a philosopher, who watched three TV's at once, while surfing the net and maybe listening to his iPod and reading a book. He would cheerfully become posthuman if he could get hooked up to the system like this. This is an older painting; I'm sure his technical hook-ups would be more elegant now. I am submitting this painting for this week's Illustration Friday topic of electricity.

Thursday, May 1, 2008


IF: Detached from consciousness.

For all of you studying for finals right now...

Monday, April 21, 2008

Pawn Shop Guitar

This girl has enough to make her happy.

When I was 12, I bought a guitar at a pawn shop for $18. I was totally in love with it, and as soon as I woke up the next morning, I grabbed it and started tuning it. My mother, who has a gift for photography, took my picture, and it looks like this. I can't take an ounce of credit for this composition, but the painting is mine, even though it is in a completly different style than usual.

Friday, April 11, 2008


I'm posting this for Illustration Friday. I'm calling this piece The Also Rans for IF's topic this week, which is fail.

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Red Riding Hood

A little fairy tale for Illustration Friday!

There is a song by Sam the Sham and the Pharaohs about the wolf in Little Red Liding Hood; how he is going to try to behave himself so that she won't be scared, and he hopes that she might end up liking him. This painting is about how how some girls tame the big bad wolf, safe on her Throne.

Friday, April 4, 2008

In a show

My painting Prelude and Fugue is in a show at the Limner Gallery in Hudson, New York. You can see the show online at The name of the show is Juxtapositions. It is an exhibition of art that was created with no references, that is, totally made up, shown alongside pieces that were created using direct references. It is an interesting show with some good pieces. If you care to see it, please click the link above.

Thursday, April 3, 2008

Mrs. Swift Learns to Speak Boy

For IF's challenge this week: strings

It might be kind of hard to see, but those are little Lego men tying down Mrs. Swift.

This is the third state of this drawing, done on coquille paper with graphite, 8.5" x 12". I have to start working larger!

Saturday, March 29, 2008

Three Quarter Time

I made this painting because I wanted explore the hangers theme that started in the piece called Off Season, posted earlier in this blog. Both pieces are (for me) about waiting and how we cope with it.
I just figured out that I have been posting incorrectly to Illustration Friday. I apologize to all of you for the confusion this must have caused, not to mention the scrolling! But I know what to do now, so I hope you'll all come back to visit next Friday when a new theme is posted.
I've been grading like crazy and haven't had a whole lot of time to draw or paint. But I have a window this weekend and I hope to make good progress on my drawing about Mrs. Swift. I hope I can post it soon!

Friday, March 21, 2008


For IF: The routine becomes the pattern of life.

This is one of only a few non-figurative paintings that I have done. It had figures to begin with, but I painted them out. You can tell where they were because I left the weaving dark where the figures had been. This painting was in response to the many stories and tales I have read that contain a weaver character who is responsible for the creation of the paths of life, in particular, stories by Orson Scott Card.

Friday, March 14, 2008

Holding Up the Sky

I heard a quotation by Mao Tse Tung once that said "Women hold up half the sky". Sometimes it seems to me that in some contexts, their responsibilities extend beyond half.

Ruby Tree (painting)

This is an older painting on which the more recent drawing on my blog was based. For me, it was a turn-around on my humans to plants theme; here the plant is adapting to the human world of structure. I called it ruby tree because of the ruby earrings and the color of the bark. Since then I have discovered that there are actual trees called Ruby Horse Chestnut trees. Who knew?

Monday, March 10, 2008

Mrs. Swift

I removed this drawing because I want everyone to look at the finished version, called Mrs. Swift Learns to Speak Boy. Please look at the post on April 3, 2008.

Thursday, March 6, 2008


For a while I was dreaming about being in a doorway with piles of shoes.

Saturday, March 1, 2008


IF: How do you confuse a guitar player? Put a piece of sheet music in front of him!

Friday, February 22, 2008


Nasci is a form of the word nascent, meaning being born, or at the beginning. It has been very cold where I live, and even though I love the snow, my thoughts are starting to turn to spring. For me, this picture is a portrait of a new season.

Monday, February 18, 2008


....for the nocturnal traveler.

For IF: Dreaming is a journey inside yourself!

Saturday, February 9, 2008


I'm posting this for IF's topic this week, which is fierce. This woman has a fierce energy that will help her to break through tough obstacles.

This is a very tiny painting; 7" x 5", egg tempera and gold leaf on panel. For me, it has the function of a cave painting in that I see it as granting me the power to work through difficult situations.

Wednesday, February 6, 2008

Busy Circuit

A recurring dream of mine is that I am trying to call home, and either I can't see the numbers to punch, or can't get the number right, or the phone is busy. The dream always has a slightly foggy, unsettled feeling.

Sunday, February 3, 2008

Off Season

A friend asked me to do a painting about waiting. I made all sorts of elaborate sketches, and these guys were in the background of one of them. I finally gave up of the topic; none of the sketches worked. But I liked these men and painted them. We decided that this image worked for the topic after all.

Thursday, January 31, 2008

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Prelude and Fugue

Sometimes, robots and postmodern creatures are referred to as "canners" (ie. Asimov's I, Robot). So I am using this painting for IF's topic this week, canned.

I finally finished this, in the nick of time to enter it into a show (in New York City!) that is asking for work that is totally imaginary, that is, that wasn't made using references. I'm not holding my breath about getting in. Shows like this are a longshot at best, but it is unusual to find anyone that makes the distinction between work that is copied from photos and work that is purely from the artist's brain, so I had to try. The title I finally settled on is Prelude and Fugue. I hope Claire Corriveau will approve.

Monday, January 28, 2008


For IF's challenge: packed.
A kappa is a pretty disgusting creature in Japanese literature, whose head is hollow like a bowl on top. It attacks human beings in a rather rude way and has a fondness for cucumbers. One can trick it by bowing to it; when it returns the bow, it spills the water in the bowl that is its head, and therefore loses its power and becomes harmless. This kappa has had even more bad luck and lost its body entirely. His head is now used for storing light. This drawing was made with graphite on coquille paper.

Saturday, January 26, 2008


One time, I had some lima beans that had sprouted, and they looked just like fetuses to me. It made me think of the complex systems that plants and creatures are, all built upon the system of a seed.

Friday, January 25, 2008


When I made this painting, I was thinking about the reasons that people embrace organized religions. The medium of this painting is acrylic on canvasboard.

Thursday, January 24, 2008


I've really been struggling with the robotic hands in this piece. Just today, I think I might be getting somewhere. I'm rushing to get this done to enter a competition that will compare pieces done with references to those done without. I rarely look at references; I generally just make things up as I go, so this show sounds like it might be a good one for me.

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

The Reckoning

For IF: Burning
For me, this drawing is about damage control, whatever forms it might be taking at one time or another. This drawing was done with charcoal on coquille paper.

Sunday, January 20, 2008

Family Portrait

For IF's topic this week: similar

This is a drawing about grafted families. It was done with graphite on coquille paper.

Saturday, January 19, 2008

The Oni and the Tomato

I read a story once about an oni who came to an old woman's house and said he was going to eat her up. She told him that she would be much too tough and stringy, and wouldn't he rather have a nice tomato instead? She offered him a basket of tomatoes, still warm from the sun. In it, she had hidden her pin cushion, which looked exactly like the tomates from her garden but was full of pins and needles. The oni took one bite and went howling away down the lane. I've often thought about how the old woman prevailed over that bully by using her wits instead of violence. I'm posting this today for IF's topic, Giant, because the old woman beat a giant problem, literally and figuratively. Also, in this beginning summer season, I have Giant tomatoes on my mind.
This is an egg tempera painting on panel, with gold leaf.

Thursday, January 17, 2008


This is an older image, but it still has a story for me. It originated from a dream in which a dog/wolf grabbed my pocket and helped me across the street

Wednesday, January 16, 2008


Today's IF topic is Muscles, so I reckon this guy fits.

When I first posted this drawing, I was reading a lot of Japanese folk tales, in which there are lots of beings imbued with a sort of divine spirit. The spirit is called 'mononoke', which might sound familiar because of the excellent anime film by Miyazaki called Princess Mononoke.

Sometimes, when people can do something really well, it seems like they tap into a spirit like that. It usually takes a long time to develop such ability. Maybe that's where he got all his muscles.

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Progress report

I'm a very slow painter. The paintings in the blog represent months of painting time, and the drawings take about a week. It's partly because I have quite a few plates to keep spinning at once, and partly because my technique just takes time, both in the sense that I work in many thin layers of paint that have to be built up over time, and also because it takes my brain a long time to see what needs to be done. Since I generally don't use visual reference material, I tend to fuss over things like perspective and proportions for a long time. I also find that the idea continues to evolve as I work, and I go through many titles until I find one that works. This one has the working title of Scaffold. Some others that I am considering are Modernism on a Subway in D.C., Innerscape and Study in Grey on a Subway in D.C.