Friday, December 30, 2016

Found Geometry

Here's another kind of found geometry, this time from a sidewalk view on St. Marks Avenue looking towards Classon Avenue in Brooklyn.  This covered motorcycle seems to always be there, and I could not help noticing how the sky formed an equivalent blue triangle (on a sunny day), and there are a few smaller triangles as well.  But it's not all abstract design.  It's a sidewalk view with a covered motorcycle, brick buildings with fire escapes, poles, wires, barriers still around from the time the sidewalk cement was replaced, garbage cans, cars, etc. This is a 12x16 oil on panel.

Thursday, December 29, 2016

A Natural Geometry

Last week when the sun was shining, I walked up a hay meadow, and came across this hay bale (actually there are two of them), an arrangement of shapes, foreground and background, marking a kind of natural geometry.

Seamus Heaney's poem "Markings" has the following lines:

All these things entered you
As if they were both the door and what came through it.
They marked the spot, marked time and held it open.

This is an 8x10 pastel.

Monday, December 26, 2016

Figure with Kimono Robe

A figure drawing from three weeks ago.  This was quickly done with charcoal and white pastel on paper previously darkened with a charcoal wash.

Sunday, December 25, 2016

Revision and Hay

I revised the pastel I posted the other day since I wanted to reduce some of its coarseness.  What I was trying to do initially was to use some of the dust to an advantage.  Also to stay with the imprecision because that's just the way we see.  Tough to do well.

This afternoon I found myself walking through a high cornfield/pasture.  These rolled up hay bales were tucked under some trees.  I did a quick crayon sketch.  I post these two together since they are close in style.

Oh, and Merry Christmas!

Friday, December 23, 2016


This is a glimpse from the top of Sheep Hill looking north through trees screening the mountains of Vermont.  It's a 9x12 pastel.  It seems to work better from a slight distance.  Close up it's a mess of markings, scrapes and drags.

Wednesday, December 21, 2016

Distant Mountains

I'm doing a slow reading of Seamus Heaney's book Seeing Things.  That deceptively simple title phrase contains multiple meanings.  Then there's the oft-quoted ending to the poem "Fosterling":

Me waiting until I was nearly fifty
To credit marvels.  Like the tree-clock of tin cans
The tinkers made.  So long for air to brighten,
Time to be dazzled and the heart to lighten.

I read that the tin can clock was made to fool the devil, which would be a marvel indeed.

The accompanying 8x10 pastel is small, slight, and contains distant mountains.

Saturday, December 17, 2016

Strange Mountains

There's a poem by Seamus Heaney called "Field of Vision," which ends

                              could see
Deeper into the country than you expected
And discovered that the field behind the hedge
Grew more distinctly strange as you kept standing
Focused and drawn in by what barred the way.

Oftentimes, I think as I look at these mountains from the top of the hill that the great space separates me like a hedge, and the mountains become strange.  This image is an 8x10 pastel.

Friday, December 16, 2016

Changing Pine Tree

This pine tree is located at the bottom of Sheep Hill, in a place where the light and weather seem to change as often as the view from the top of the hill.  This is an 8x10 pastel.

Wednesday, December 14, 2016


This is an 18x24 oil on canvas painting of the view from near the top of Sheep Hill from one day last week.  The view constanly changes in terms of light and color, depending upon the time and weather.  The path down (or up) switches back and forth.  You can see part of it at the bottom right.  The view might look a little surreal, but the painting certainly looks the way I feel about the view.

Sunday, December 11, 2016

Flat Mountains

The view from Sheep Hill in Williamstown, MA at mid-day when the bright, early winter sun flattens the mountains: a 12x16 oil on panel.

Saturday, December 10, 2016

In Preparation

Yesterday, though it was cold, the fluctuating sunlight brought me to the side of the hill again to paint the mountains.  I did this 12x16 oil on panel in preparation for a larger studio painting, which I have started.  The weather is pretty decent today so I may find myself there again.

Wednesday, December 7, 2016

Atlantic Avenue

A view of Atlantic Avenue in Brooklyn not far from Washington Avenue.  I don't know if one would call it a view up or down Atlantic Avenue.  The arrow sign shows you where to pull in for a car wash or a lube.  This is a 12x16 oil on panel.

Monday, December 5, 2016

Brooklyn Congestion

A 12x16 oil on panel of the congested corner of St. John's Place and Franklin Avenue in Brooklyn late in the afternoon.

Thursday, December 1, 2016

Footpath View

After passing that steep section of Sheep Hill on the footpath, if you look back, facing north into Vermont, on a sunny day, you will see this view.  After all the recent rain, the snow is now gone but its remnants added a nice touch.  This is a 9x12 pastel.