Self Portrait

I am now in the process of leaving my longtime art store job. Managing a store is a challenging job. There is much that I have enjoyed, and I have learned a lot. I have ideas about management, but lack the energy to implement them. The past 14 months or so have been pretty much non-stop, keeping the art store running during the illness and eventual passing of the store’s previous owner, while, for me, I worked on my painting and teaching as well. Now I am re-allocating what resources I have to my artwork, and teaching.
And for me, I want to explore. The world is so interesting, I want time to process my understanding and reactions, thoughts and feelings.
Now I am working on what I intend to be a series of large scale paintings in acrylic. Last summer I worked in acrylic to make three paintings for an exhibition at the City of Bloomington Utilities Department. The exhibition is coming to an end, and I am in the process of donating the paintings to the city. I am grateful for the pleas…


I took a few months off from writing in this blog. Several things have happened since the last time I wrote, this past January. I have been working at Pygmalion’s Art Supplies in Bloomington, Indiana. My co-workers and I have been keeping the store going, as the previous owner’s health declined, and he was in and out of the hospital. He passed away in June. John Wilson was an artist, who worked primarily in the traditional print media of woodcut and intaglio. His prints crackled with life and humor. Fluent drawing and design skill bring his work to life. There will be a show of his work, here in downtown Bloomington, next month at the Waldron Center. The opening will be Friday, September 6, from 5 - 8 p.m.
Later this month at the Waldron Center I will start teaching my fall semester Color/Design class for Ivy Tech. For the past few weeks I have been refining the curriculum.I have added insights gained from the spring semester’s class, and from my ongoing investigation into art making…

Van Eyck

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It has been awhile since I shared anything on social media. My attention for the past couple of months has gone to my Color/Design class, and non-art working. I have been enjoying long walks around Bloomington. Taking in the subtle colors of winter that I enjoy, and acclimating to cold weather. Without leaves on the trees the vistas open up. I’m glad for the hilly terrain around here.
Here is a little sketch from Jan Van Eyck, the Dresden Triptych. This is my rendition of the central figure. It is an amazing piece, overloaded with finely drawn detail, but also wonderfully composed in a large way. St. Catherine, on the right panel, is in much stronger light than anything on either of the other two panels, which I love. I can see everything else in the other two panels acting as a foil for the figure way off to one side, which I find wonderfully eccentric and energizing. There is also something of a sense going through the three panels of a movement from dark to ligh…

Travel Memories: Ireland

I started looking through the photos that I took on my trip to Ireland in January of 2017. Exploring memories from that trip seems like a nice way to think about my life. What I have enjoyed and why, and what I tend to do when I have traveled. This could give me some clues about what I should do next.
The first two photos were taken from the airplane, probably flying from Indianapolis to Chicago. Then I find myself in Dublin. It was a gray, cloudy day, and I was standing on the North Wall Quay by the River Liffey, that runs through the city. I had just taken the bus from Swords, a suburb of Dublin near the airport, where I was staying, and was headed to the National Gallery of Ireland.
That is what I like to do when I travel: explore a city, on the way to and from the art museum. I like to spend a lot of time in the museum. I find a painting or sculpture that interests me, and draw from it, sitting or standing there for hours. In a new place, sketching from great, original works of …

Aqueduct Painting

Yesterday we installed this painting at the Utilities Department building in Bloomington. It is part of an exhibition of five 'water-themed' paintings that I will have on view there through next August. If you are in Bloomington and have the chance, please stop by and see them!

Aqueduct Painting is 54"x64", oil on canvas. I finished it this past Saturday, adjusting the female figure's right hand, and turning a fan on it so it would be at least somewhat dry. Most of the painting was made with palette knives and somewhat thick paint. I found it enjoyable and exciting to work this way, especially in the area of the water. For me, the paint surface has a richness and power that I like very much.

The image was built up over the course of about 7 months. I spent a lot of time looking at the painting, to decide what to do next. The figures and the aqueduct were there from the beginning, but I developed the landscape elements later on. At first the figures had no ration…

Self Portrait

This is a self portrait that I drew about a week ago. It was the first one I had done in almost two years. The drawing is in pen, in my 8 1/2"x 11" sketchbook. I wanted to think about where I am now, and to engage and energize that thought process through making a drawing.

Now I am painting in a small studio space. Thinking about what I might do next, as I work on a large painting that is due in two weeks.

The drawing reminds me of a self portrait that I drew years ago, in my freshman year of college, thirty four years ago. Both images have a dark background, with a close-up view of the head. A few angular, impatient marks that are trying to find the shape of my glasses, on the right side of the drawing, remind me of marks I made in that past drawing, trying to draw the similarly shaped but larger wire framed glasses that I wore then.

That drawing I made in college was in pencil, in my 18"x 24" sketch pad. At 18 years old I was full of thoughts, feelings, and a se…

Sketches for Water-Themed Paintings

When I heard about the opportunity to show water-themed artwork for the city, there wasn’t too much time before the submission deadline to prepare. I would need to speed up my process to do this project. I had been painting mostly medium size portraits, and working on them on and off over the course of years. For this show three 40” square paintings, with relatively complicated subject matter, would need to go from start to finish in about two months.
My first concern was that the studio in which I was working at the time was especially humid, even for Bloomington, and it was taking a long time for my oil paintings to dry. Right before I started on this series I had been working on a painting that, two weeks after my last application of paint, was still completely wet to the touch and hazardous to move. Turning a fan on it full time eventually helped, but that kind of time frame wasn’t going to work for these paintings, so I decided to paint them in acrylic.
I bought the supplies and…