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.

Monday, October 26, 2015

A Different League

All last summer I painted from a group of non-static and highly perishable subjects. The petals of magnolia blossoms opened as I worked. Leaves of the watermelon plants curled and faded before my eyes. Even the flesh of a sliced watermelon lasted at best two painting sessions. The urgency and directness required to capture these subjects closely mimicked working from a live model - or so I thought.

Nude Study, oil on canvas, 13" X 12", 2015

In reality my summers efforts weren't even in the same league of difficulty. The above image marks my first attempt at figure painting after a two month gap. The experience was by far my clearest realization confirming the value of figurative work. As a learning tool there is simply no substitute for the rigors of the live figure.

Thursday, October 15, 2015


Halloween is just a couple of weeks away. A painter friend of mine has around his studio a good inventory of appropriately themed paintings - pumpkins, black cats and such. He obviously anticipated the fall season and set to work some time ago.

In contrast I spent the last six weeks working on watermelon still lifes. I planted the seeds in the spring and am just now realizing the fruits of my labor. (Or is it the labor of my fruits?) So now as the air cools and the leaves change color I have paintings around the studio specific to high summer.

Male Profile, oil pastel on toned paper, 9 1/2" X 7 1/2", 2015

The above drawing done at a recent figure session is the best I can do to honor the current season. A profile lit from below. It's at least a little spooky don't you think? BOO!

Sunday, October 4, 2015


I have spent the last four months painting in near isolation. With the exception of a couple of artists braving the stairs and heat, my studio has been a solo inhabited tropical island.

In January of 2015 I began hosting Fredericksburg figure drawing. The meetings were suspended for the summer due to the heat. As fall approached I sent out notice that the sessions would resume. I was looking forward to welcoming the group back to my studio.

Nude Study, oil pastel, 9" X 11", 2015

Last Monday twelve artists plus a model landed on my outpost. Reentry was a shock. From my vantage point the session went well but I wasn't prepared for the chaos and unpredictability of civilization. That night I couldn't sleep with my mind still racing from stimulus overload. If the past is any indication I will adjust and ultimately draw inspiration and warmth from the group.