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, September 28, 2016


I recently overheard someone referring to using photos as source material for making art as "cheating". This sentiment suggests that they give one an unfair advantage. It is understandable considering the scope of subjects and access to detail photos provide. 

Nude Study, oil pastel on toned paper, 8 1/2" X 6 1/2", 2016

From the moment of their invention the usefulness of photographic images would have been immediate and obvious to a painter. But in the early years they served merely as tools augmenting an artist's traditional training and knowledge. The problem arises when photos become the primary or even sole source for a picture.

Working from live subjects is exhilarating. It challenges your abilities and has the capacity to stir ones passions. If anyone is being cheated by using photos it is the artists themselves.

Sunday, September 18, 2016

Shank Shot

I'm not a particularly avid sports fan but for some reason sport/art metaphors keep finding their way into this Blog. While all metaphors are imperfect it might be that sports offer a degree of clarity for comparisons sake.

On Sunday afternoons I occasionally watch golf on television. (Don't judge me). The winner usually makes one or more spectacular shots. But almost always the primary reason for their victory is that they avoided making major mistakes. There is no redo for an errant tee shot. A disciplined consistent approach in all aspects of the game is rewarded.

Nude Study, oil on linen, 9" X 12", 2013

Painting also rewards a disciplined approach but a technique based on avoiding mistakes won't yield the best results. The richest paintings welcome missed brush strokes as a necessary part of the game. With oil paints in particular there is no line that can't be corrected, no area that can't be rubbed out or painted over. It is this search for the right marks that produces the most dynamic results.

Thursday, September 8, 2016

The Unexpected

I have worked with a good number of models over the years. Certainly at this point I have seen thousands of different poses. I enjoy searching for the essence in the most ordinary of them. But it is easy to get lulled into formulaic approaches even in the charged environment of a nude figure session. So every now and then it is a welcome surprise when the model does something unexpected.

Drunken, Naked Cowboy, oil pastel 8 1/2" X 9", 2016