The next step

I have worked from the live nude periodically since the early 1970's. This blog started August 9th, 2012 in my second year of working almost exclusively from the figure.

In the fall of 2015 I reintroduced still lifes and an occasional cityscape into my painting repertoire. Rather than abandon this figure blog or start a new one I decided to add them to the conservation.

All drawings and paintings posted on this blog were done entirely from live models or on location.

Wednesday, July 22, 2015


I have done dozens of commissions over the years. Mostly still lifes but also a few portraits. It is flattering when someone likes your work enough to solicit a painting or drawing. I was often persuaded to take on a project by an motivated client with a personal vision they wanted expressed in an original artwork. I would also accept projects that took me in interesting and/or challenging directions. I never accepted a commission solely for the money but it was often an important factor.

The sitter for this portrait was enthusiastic and I very much enjoyed our time together. Viewing the painting thirteen years later I see it is overly stiff and has multiple "issues".

David, oil on canvas, 18" X 15", 2002
Private collection

Pleasing a client is always the primary concern with commissions. This proved to be an insurmountable problem for me. Even when they were clearly satisfied I never was. I can only gage success from my own vantage point - a picture has to please me first. I stopped taking commissions some years ago when the backlog of requests hung over me like a dark cloud. I now only make rare exceptions when circumstances force my hand.

Thursday, July 9, 2015

A High Authority

I have no doubts about the benefits of working from life. Nor do I need validation as to the superior nature of the working method. But I have to say it was heartening when I came across this quote by Leonardo da Vinci:

"…. those who take for their inspiration anything but nature - mistress of all masters - weary themselves in vain".

Figure Study, oil pastel on toned paper
9 1/2" X 6", 2013

500 years after Leonardo's death I independently came to the same conclusion. I doubt he would think any differently presented with todays plethora of second hand inspirations.

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Holding Back

Since starting this blog I have freely posted images with little regard to how many or which works to display. My only concern has been finding the best quality drawings or paintings that illustrate whatever point I am making. Working from the figure two or three times a week new images became available continuously and I had an extensive body of work from which to draw. Looking back at early posts I would include two, three, sometimes four images in one post.

Reclining Nude Study, oil on linen, 9" X 10", 2015

Gesture Study, oil pastel, 8" X 10", 2015

This dynamic has changed. Over the last few months my work from the figure has slowed. Also I unexpectedly took to heart the phenomena I referenced recently about reproduction diminishing an original work of arts aura. I now feel inclined to hold back on posting images of what I consider some of my most accomplished figurative works.