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.

Saturday, November 28, 2015

Eye of the Beholder

If I made a list of things I find beautiful in this life it would be a long one. Somewhere near the top would be a simple female nude with her hair down.

Fifteen minute oil pastel study, 8" X 6 1/2", 2015

Saturday, November 21, 2015


I don't suppose there are more than a handful of people who visit this blog on any regular basis. I'm not on Facebook or Twitter or any of the other networking sites. That plus the rarefied content of these posts and my propensity toward privacy all but guarantee low viewership. I am pleased when someone expresses interest but have always seen this blog primarily as a personal learning tool.

So visitor numbers don't matter in any real way. But just once I would like to see a spike in viewer traffic. So here is a picture of the family cat. Isn't it one of the most adorable things you have ever seen?

Reclining Kitty, digital photograph, 2015

This cute cat pic all but guarantees a huge spike in hits to this site. Lucrative offers from web advertisers are sure to follow. I will do my best to resist their overtures.

Thursday, November 12, 2015


There are a lot of highly competent realist painters working today. Many can render incredibly complex subjects with astounding detail and clarity. But most of their work is too mannered, it has an artificial or stilted quality. Much of my early work fits this category - it lacks lyricism. Defined by the dictionary lyricism is an exuberance of style or feeling. One can't artificially inject this quality into a painting - it has to appear naturally.

Female Nude, oil on linen,  8" X  10", 2007
Collection of Amy Satterthwaite

There is nothing like working from a live nude to force an exuberant approach to painting. Regardless of the subject I now work a canvas with a more direct and aggressive style. Urgent but disciplined brush strokes individually and collectively can convey an excitement and flair with the best efforts achieving a delightful lyricism.

Tuesday, November 3, 2015

The Wave

Latching onto an exciting project is to a painter what catching a good wave is to a surfer. It grabs you and takes you along for the ride. The power of the wave, not you, is in control. One has to remain alert and focused to stay in the sweet spot and maximize the ride. Get too far out in front and the wave will crush you. Fall back and you will watch the crest roll away without you.

Watermelons VII, oil on canvas, 26" X 30", 2015

This is the completed painting featured in my post of September 25. Work on it encompassed nearly a month. The perishable properties of the subject required both brief and extended painting surges.

On a long term painting the initial swell of energy almost certainly won't carry you to the finish line. But if you can draw on the early excitement of the first wave it can serve as inspiration and nourishment to bring a work to completion.