Friday, January 29, 2016

Third Avenue De Kooning

A view of Third Avenue near Douglass in Brooklyn, which I could call a homage to De Kooning, given the graffiti at the upper right, which reminds me of his black and white paintings of the late 1940s.

Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Studio Rocker

The 20x20 oil on panel, which I painted this afternoon, based upon the earlier drawing of this view of the atelier.

Monday, January 25, 2016


Yesterday in the studio, I decided upon this view, which I sketched out this morning in pen, ink and wash, another square.  I've already started prepping the painting panel.  I wanted to include the overhead tracks and ductwork in the background, or should I say, backair.

Yesterday, I wrote briefly about Robert Hughes, the art critic.  I once encountered him at the Whitney Museum in New York.  I turned the corner, and he was there looking at a painting.  I recognized him immediately.  He in turned glowered at me, as if to say, "Don't say a thing to me".  I just went on casually paying him no more attention.

Sunday, January 24, 2016

Late Afternoon

A 12x24 oil on canvas of Fourth Avenue near Degraw in Brooklyn, before the big snow.  It was mild, winter, and late afternoon at the time.

I've been reading Robert Hughes book Nothing If Not Critical, published in 1990.  It's a large collection of his exhibition reviews for Time magazine, mostly from the 80's.  Many of the same exhibitions I was fortunate to visit myself back then.  After 25 years, he seems to be even more spot on in terms of what he had to say.

Friday, January 22, 2016

Square Studio

Here's the painting with the same view as the square drawing.  It's 20x20 oil on panel.  That streak of sunlight only lasts about twenty minutes.  I had most of the painting done yesterday, and was prepared this morning to paint the final stage during that twenty minutes.  I wasn't being facetious earlier when I suggested that painting indoors was like painting plein-air.  You could say that interiors are the landscapes of the mind (maybe I'm being facetious now).

Thursday, January 21, 2016

It's Square

This latest studio ink drawing is the basis for the studio painting I am working on.  It's square because all the panels I have at the moment are square.

Wednesday, January 20, 2016


Last year at this time I was making a drawing almost each day of a Brooklyn scene.  This year it's the studio.  Here's another.

Tuesday, January 19, 2016

Studio Oil

A view of the studio with my messy table in the foreground.  This is a 16x20 oil on panel.   Through the recent email update from the painter Randall David Tipton, I learned of the British painter Fred Cuming,  who has done some wonderful studio interiors over the years.  I've previously mentioned the studio interiors of Ken Howard, and I know that Fairfield Porter painted a number of them  There's a long tradition of painting studio interiors.

Monday, January 18, 2016


A studio pen, ink and wash drawing from yesterday in the studio.

Sunday, January 17, 2016


Another painting depicting the corner of Bond and Union in Brooklyn, this time an 18x24 inch oil on canvas.  One can't get tighter than Bond and Union, but I tried to paint it more loosely.  I've painted this street corner several times.  There's so much visually happening there.

You may have noticed that I work in series.  Actually overlapping series.  I continue to do Brooklyn pictures, now overlapping with the studio interiors.  I've moved indoors for the winter.

Saturday, January 16, 2016

As Found

A studio pen, ink and wash drawing that I did a few days ago.  My approach is to treat the space, what's in it, and the light as found.  I'd rather move myself around, then start moving objects around.  Found phenomenon is usually what moves me to draw or paint something, and I'm interested in the particularity of what I see more than some generic idea of it.

Friday, January 15, 2016

In the Studio

Today's pen, ink and wash sketch of the studio.  This is closer to what I have wanted to arrive at.  I've been following Ken Howard's suggestion of drawing with the brush first, and then adding pen marks afterwards, so that one avoids putting wash between the lines.  Next, I will try to do a painting of this view.  At least in the studio, weather is not relevant, though some sunshine through the windows, as was the case this morning, is always desirable.

Wednesday, January 13, 2016


Here's the 12x9 pen, ink and wash sketch I made the other day, and the 20x16 oil on panel painting completed earlier today.  The painting was also done on location, in the studio, like an interior landscape.  I did the underpainting yesterday, and then painted quickly today as if I was doing a plein-air.  An atelier-air.  I made some changes from the sketch.  Not sure if they are improvements.

Monday, January 11, 2016

Not This View Yet

Another 12x9 studio pen, ink and wash drawing.  I think I'm ready to start a painting.  I won't be this view though I like it.

Sunday, January 10, 2016

Carroll Street Walkway

A 12x16 oil on canvas view of the Carroll Street Bridge over the Gowanus Canal in Brooklyn.  Actually it's a partial view, mainly of the pedestrian walkway, and a bunch of triangular shapes.  The new construction going up nearby puts the bridge in shadow in the afternoon, when it used to be in the sun.  Such is progress in Brooklyn.

Saturday, January 9, 2016

Studio Study

Another pen, ink and wash drawing of the studio interior.  That intricate item in the middle is a vacuum cleaner.

Friday, January 8, 2016

Studio Interior

In preparation for a series of studio interior paintings, I'm doing a bunch of pen, ink and wash drawings of the studio that I share with painter Thor Wickstrom.  This is the first one, a 12x9 drawing.  I've been inspired by the studio interiors of Ken Howard, and this studio may match his in terms of stuff, but there's no figure sitting in the middle.

Thursday, January 7, 2016

A Short Stretch

An 18x24 oil on canvas painting depicting a short stretch of Dean Street in Brooklyn.

Monday, January 4, 2016

Portrait of the Artist

The new year starts with a portrait of the artist, staring into a mirror.  In his 1992 book, The Culture of Complaint, the art critic and curmudgeon Robert Hughes, now deceased, wrote that "...there are too many artists for the base to support.  There are probably 200,000 artists in America, and assuming that each one of them makes forty works a year that yields eight million objects, most of which don't have a ghost of a chance of survival." I've read that there may now be up to two million artists in America.  Being an artist today is surely a quixotic pursuit.  One can't really do it for fame and fortune.  On the other hand, to say that the most important aspect of making art is the experience is suspect, but it may be the only thing we can fall back on.  And if we dream of making art that has value for ourselves and others, the 'experience' is what will guide that dream.