Tuesday, February 28, 2017

Up to Your Imagination

Nothing fancy here.  Just some grays with some spots of color.  A look down the street, Grand Avenue towards Prospect Place in Brooklyn.  I wanted to get that stop sign warning in the upper right corner and the trash cans at the left.  Otherwise, everything fell into place, and is left up to your imagination.  A 12x16 oil on panel.

Monday, February 27, 2017

A Flag and a Trope

We're not close to the Fourth of July, but I saw the flag displayed on Grand Avenue near Bergen Street, and a street sign bent in a complimentary direction, and it's a colorful location, and so forth and so on.  So I painted this 12x16 oil on panel.

I continue to ponder on Cezanne.  Here's a perspective from Denis Coutagne:  "...the artist has often inspired the word 'heroic,' not only because of his lofty ambition but also because of the discrepancy between his exceptional genius and the rather awkward, unyielding talent with which he had to cope.  The glory of the consequent paintings is that they seem so manifestly to be the record of a great soul mortally engaged in winning dominion over his own conflicted nature, which, thanks to the dynamic complexities of the art, becomes an expansive trope for modern civilization striving to wrest order from the chaos of post-feudal existence."  The claim for the expansiveness of the trope might be too grand, but nevertheless Cezanne is a heroic example to those who study his paintings, which is a trope enough for me.

Friday, February 24, 2017

Shadow of a Car You Can't See in Brooklyn

A 12x16 oil on panel of Grand Avenue approaching St. Marks Avenue in Brooklyn.  The first thing I saw was the puddle of water.  I also liked the shadow of the car that you can't see.  The puddle is always like an eye of the sky in the ground.  Shadows of things you can't see have always appealed to me from the time (and earlier) that I read that Pissarro was criticized for introducing shadows of trees that were not visible into his paintings.  How unorthodox!

Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Classon at Dean in Brooklyn

This past weekend I visited Brooklyn, and got re-inspired with the city.  It was warm, and there was little snow to be found.  I like late afternoon views with shadowy foregrounds and sun-lit backgrounds.  This is a view of the corner of Classon Avenue at Dean Street.  It's a 12x16 oil on panel.

Friday, February 17, 2017

Ceci n'est pas une pipe.

This is the fifth studio chair painting, another 20x16 oil on multimedia board.  I started doing these paintings after I looked around the studio for Morandi type still life bottles and tins.  All I saw were chairs.  But unlike Morandi, I don't think I'm going to paint chairs for the rest of my life.  You may notice the pipe.  I put it there both for Vincent and Thor.  The painter Thor Wickstrom noticed that the pipe was missing from the previous chair done in homage to Vincent.

Thursday, February 16, 2017

This Is Not a Chair

A 20x16 oil on multimedia board painting of another chair in the studio.

Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Homage to Van Gogh

Probably I should entitle this post "Homage to Vincent" since he used his first name to sign his painting of the chair in his room at Arles.  This is my third studio chair painting,  a 20 x 16 oil on multimedia board.  It's also an "as found" painting.  Vincent, you're welcome to come in, take a seat, and rest a while.

Monday, February 13, 2017

From Yesterday and Beyond

From yesterday before the snow started falling: a 9x12 charcoal with touches of pastel drawing.

I've been reading a lot lately on Paul Cezanne and it hit me the other day that no one wonders why Sisley painted the way he did, or Monet painted the way he did, or Pissarro, and so on, but when it comes to Cezanne, the writers all try to figure out why he painted the way he did.  Richard Shiff wrote a book about it.  Rilke and Merleau-Ponty have interesting things to say about it.  Fortunately, I don't think it will ever be settled.

Sunday, February 12, 2017

Snow Ground

There's another studio chair lined up, so to speak, though I probably won't get to the studio until Tuesday because of the snowstorm going on now, Sunday.  In the meantime, here's another 'looking into woods' drawing from the other day.   This view I found while wandering around not far from the back of my house.  In the summertime it's usually too overgrown there to think about poking around.  Besides it's the snow ground that makes everything so graphical.

Saturday, February 11, 2017

Horse and Stegosaurus on a Chair

An oil painting of a stuffed chair in the studio, which just happens to have on it a black horse stuffed animal with a small stegosaurus stuffed animal on its back.  I didn't move anything, except my location until I found what looked like a good vantage point from which to paint all this stuff.  This painting is a 16x20 oil on multimedia board.

Friday, February 10, 2017

Keep Moving

Today I started another painting of a studio chair, but in the meantime here's another "looking into woods" drawing from the other day.  This one is not too complicated.  I did go out on my snow shoes also today to look into more woods, since we now have enough snow, but it was too cold to do anything other than keep moving.  I did scout out an area that I have never visited before, a luxury of snow shoes.

Thursday, February 9, 2017

Trees, Snow and Dirt

Another 9x12 charcoal drawing of trees, snow and dirt.

Wednesday, February 8, 2017

Three Seats

While looking around the studio for those Morandi bottles to make a still life, I realized that, though there are few bottles, there are chairs everywhere.  So I selected some chairs in one spot, as is, not changing anything,  even leaving the dolls underneath them on the floor.  I started this painting several days ago, a 20x20 oil on panel.

Tuesday, February 7, 2017

Coyote Prints

This one I did the other day on a treed ridge between two hayfields.  It was windy and cold, and my fixative started to misbehave.  I was looking straight down into the trees where there was little daylight or treeholes.  I stood on a line of coyote prints.

Monday, February 6, 2017


We are supposed to get a lot of rain in the next couple days, so the snow may disappear.  In this drawing, the snow has already started to go down exposing more of the detritus on the ground.

Sunday, February 5, 2017

Into the Woods

For this one I went into the woods, a 9x12 mainly charcoal and slight pastel drawing.  The only other creatures who had been there ahead of me were deer, fox and squirrels.

Saturday, February 4, 2017

Tied Together

This 9x12 drawing is more structural and grid like.  I like how the bands of gray in the distance blend with the verticals that are closer, not just in the drawing, but on site as well.  At this spot, the edge of a pasture usually unapproachable without a tractor, one sees over the gully of stream, into a cornfield, and then a band of trees.  The vertical trees tie the bands together.

Friday, February 3, 2017


This 9x12 drawing is a reverse of yesterday's, more like a blackboard.  The snow that lined the branches didn't last long.

Thursday, February 2, 2017


Yesterday, we received more snow.  This view of the side of an incline is nearly in my back yard.  It is like a whiteboard with markings.

Wednesday, February 1, 2017

Band of Gray

I like the bands of gray that are common to winter landscapes.  Trying to make them work in a drawing is a challenge. This 9x12 is a backyard view.