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.

Friday, May 27, 2016

The Profit Motive

I know quite a few people who have taken up painting mid life or later. Some even make the admirable decision to leave careers to pursue a long denied passion. Unfortunately too many feel the need to be "serious" artists. By serious I mean they want to turn a profit from their art. If one's sense of fulfillment as an artist requires making more money than you spend the odds are stacked against you.

Reclining Nude, oil on canvas, 12" X 16", 2016

Making a profit (not to mention a living) as a painter is no easy task. One had better be prepared to paint impressionistic landscapes or children and pet portraits from photos. If your direction is more personal be prepared to bleed. Your bank account, your ego and your physical self are all going to be tapped. The secret to longevity is to keep the hemorrhaging to a less than fatal flow.

Monday, May 16, 2016


Inspiration is like a moving train with no set schedule or route. It can arrive anytime and from any direction. Sitting idly waiting for inspiration is not a good idea. If you aren't moving it can be difficult if not impossible to jump onboard when it comes by.

Figure Studies, oil pastel on toned paper, 6" X 10", 2015

The best way to engage an idea is to be already working on a parallel track. A track that nurtures and challenges your mental and physical skill sets. That way you can use your existing momentum to grab hold when opportunity presents itself.

Friday, May 6, 2016


Most commercially successful artists settle on some kind of working formula fairly early in their careers. A formula involves approaching ones art from concept through execution with the same or nearly identical set of rules. This approach leads to a consistent and easily recognizable product - both sought after qualities by galleries and collectors.

Nude Study, oil on canvas, 16" X 14", 2016

Partly by choice and partly out of an inability to do so I have never settled on a formula. However, working from the live figure has necessitated developing a purposeful method. Aside from mixing a fairly consistent pallet this approach is more a mindset than a rule set. After sizing up a subject I just start putting down marks searching for a connection. When contact is made I enter a working zone. What happens next is still a mystery and never follows the same trajectory twice.