Tipper’s daughter Sarah is in my painting class and she commissioned me to paint this portrait of her mother as a birthday gift for Tipper. Sarah is extremely talented herself and I was touched she asked me to create this. Tipper is a very warm and caring person. It was a pleasure to work with her.
This was an evolving piece starting as a traditional approach to still life but it became a dreaming piece surrounded by dark seas and night clouds. Once it found its way to the sea it clearly needed a sail. There’s a corridor in the Vatican Museum that houses paintings of Medieval maps with ancient ships. This painting always reminds me of that hallway. I hope Crocodile Dundee appreciates that connection because he and his wife purchased the painting.
This is a small oil 18 x 24”. As with the painting of Kay Ragland, it began life with a model as an ochre underpainting which I carried to completion using my imagination and knowledge of human anatomy. It is heavily impastoed and engages my faith in shapes and values - particularly in the abstracted passages.
One of the most disturbing paintings I’ve ever done. It’s genesis was a newspaper page which reproduced an manuscript page showing sketches from the Italian Renaissance. I had folded the page and placed it in my easel tray where unknowingly it was penetrating my subconscious daily as I worked. I kept thinking I saw a woman’s leg on the newspaper but it was something else. Regardless, I eventually decided to explore my curiosity about the form and began to paint this figure. I can’t recall how the rest of the composition developed nor do I know what it means. I only know that the title “Abandoned Quarry” has multiple meanings.
Oil on Prepared Panel, 13 x 10”. One of my favorite oil portraits of a young man on the threshold of manhood. The intimate scale, the palette with the beautiful smalt blue in the background, the feeling and reality of the slight beard growth, the simplicity of clothing and directness of gaze all converged with my years of study to create an extraordinary work of art.
This is a very large drawing. It is about 40 x 36”. The scale emphasizes the emphatic scream. The medium is charcoal on paper with a little bit of red oil stick visible in the mouth.
Plumb bobs fascinate me. This is an antique French plum bob. I hung it in my studio and one day began to paint it on a large prepared panel. As I painted the plumb bob the sky began to form around it and my studies of Italian Renaissance painting led to the landscape. LaterI brought the painting into my home and I would often see it from my sofa. During times of trouble or duress this painting reminded me of the balance in life and although it can swing violently and unexpectedly, it always rebalances and “comes back to center”.
Another meditation on death and grief and morphology. The young boy in the background peering through the glass came out of nowhere.
This painting is life size. It’s about 48 x 60”. I loved painting this painting. I loved that foreleg, figuring out what I was really seeing in that perspective was fascinating. The model was Lauri whom I always enjoyed drawing and painting. She was so proud of herself and solid, both characteristics expressed in this work.
A beautiful early portrait of Kay. This painting was started in Italy where I was on a scholarship with the University of Georgia. Kay was a student and she agreed to sit for me. It didn’t get any further than the ochre sketch but I could never paint over that. So, several years later I was able to devote some time to it. Using the underdrawing as my springboard I continued with the work. The rest was entirely made up. Eventually it was purchased by a collector who is also a friend.
This is the corporate portrait for Michael Pulitzer. It’s in the boardroom of Pulitzer Publishing in St. Louis, MO. He is a brave man because it is outside the realm of the very traditional corporate portrait with books and a desk and the trappings of the office. Instead he allowed me to delve into my influences from the Italian Renaissance. The foreground was inspired by a Filippo Lippi work. Michael was a very kind man.
This is part of a series of works that started around the time of my mother’s death. Gericault the great French painter did many studies of decapitated heads during the Revolution and I was always taken with his graphic skills and imagining what it would be like to draw them - how immediate they must be and how horrible too.
There was an old wooden bowl that my father found at a house we once owned and he gave it to me. I know the union of the bowl and the truncated head mean something related to my mother’s death. This is another drawing that emerged much in the way of Crucifixion Wind through imagination and personal history.
This is a small painting about 8 x 5”. That small bird alone in all that space crying out, to be heard or to be lost in the wind. The theme of screaming rose up later in my work as well with Screaming Man (again, alone in space and the Screaming Head Drawing).
This is one of the few pure landscapes I’ve painted. Before it was sold I had it hanging near my desk. One day as I was working, I gazed up at it and got lost in it’s space. I realized then why people like landscapes. They let you escape into it rather than be confronted by it. Sometimes we need that doorway.
I remember painting this many years ago. I had a large, square panel prepared in my studio and for some reason chose it as the support for the artichoke. I painted it dead center and had begun some suggestions for the background. I’d been painting it for quite a while and at the end of one day I went home and laid down to rest. I still had my jacket on and I’ll never forget, when I closed my eyes I saw the finished painting with the eggs floating in the sky. I completed it in the next few days and the title arose.
This is a small painting I did as an exercise to express both water and the reflections of the atmosphere in the water. The figures are deliberately blurry so as to show motion while diminishing them as a visual focus.
I was driving home about ten one night and a terrific windstorm had blown through my area. Roads were blocked by downed trees and power lines. It was pitch black outside, really eery and no other cars around. It seemed everywhere I turned the roads were impassable. A couple of days later I was doing some work from my imagination and this piece emerged from the process. Using large, coarse charcoal and my hands I began pushing around the charcoal on the page. I then took an eraser and finding suggestions of light I would erase in those areas. The figures began to emerge. My studies in art history influenced this work as the broken power lines became crucifixes and the figures grew into martyrs.
This is a painting among a series of four done from a quick frontal snapshot. I was interested in studying the form quickly seeking likeness and immediacy. Both were achieved with a sense of modernity. The series was displayed in a one person show in Santa Barbara, California where it was purchased as a series by a collector and featured in Destinations Magazine. The Santa Barbara News Press also gave the show a full page review featuring these paintings.
Mike was my neighbor and I always thought he was a handsome and nice fellow. He did not think he was handsome but he did allow me to take his picture for the series of four as described under “Everette”. I only allowed myself one picture of each of these subjects to restrain any sense of deliberate imposition of my own bias.
This was my neighbor’s cousin. He was visiting my neighbor when I got a glimpse of him. I asked if I could take a picture of him to use as painting material. When he complied I whipped out my camera and took a couple of snapshots. I love that he’s such an interesting character rich with color and form. This may be my favorite of the series.