#342 - No Doubt Pear

2.5"x 3.5" (ACEO) oil on canvas paper Sold

"Rumors of my demise... yadda yadda yadda."
-that writer with the mustache

It’s been a minute since I worked with oil paint, so I did this little test on a canvas panel. When in doubt, paint a pear I like to say. I’m still working on exploring drawing and watercolor, but I think I'm going to bring oils back into the rotation.
In short, I'm back and new paintings will be forcoming.

BTW- if you are looking for me, I'm on Linked In,Facebook, and Instagram :)

See available paintings | Email me about a commission



I'm on a painting break right now, but if you are looking for me, I'm on Linked In,Facebook, and Instagram :)

See available paintings | Email me about a commission


#341 - Lounging Leo

Lounging Leo
6" x 6" oil on hardboard  Sold

Here's Leo, lounging for his portrait. As I mentioned yesterday, this is the second of two pet portraits commissioned by my step-sister Christie. JB was the first:

I notice Leo has more of an intensity in the portrait, perhaps from the harder strokes and angle combined with a more intense warm color key. It's funny how different people preferences are. I prefer the more cooler subtle color palate of JB but my special lady (and painting constant) prefers this more intense one. Either way, I also simply like seeing these two side by side. They make a good pair, like warm and cold, complimenting each other. :)

If you'd like a pet portrait of your very own (or as a gift for someone like these two were) check out my commission information page or email me about it. Here are some more pet portrait examples to help you think about it. :)

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#340 - Just Being JB

6" x 6"   oil on hardboard   Sold

I usually like to play a word game with the pet commissions that I paint for people. It's fun to find an adjective that describes the image of the pet (and also has the same first letter). I don't get the feeling from the image that this handsome pooch is quite "jittery" or "jovial". JB is sitting there, being himself. He's just being JB.  :)

This is one of two commissioned pet paintings that happen to be for my step-sister, Christie. These two dogs, JB and Leo(post coming tomorrow) were both a real joy to paint, but then again I haven't met a dog or cat I didn't want to paint. Didn't Will Rogers say something like that?

Anyhoo, If you've been thinking about a pet portrait, ask me more about it or take a look at my commission info page.

p.s. I couldn't resist, here's a tiny-size sneak peak of Leo that I'll post tomorrow:

Hmmm, maybe "Lounging" Leo?

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#339 - Cypress Sheds

12" x 12"  Oil on 2" cradled hardboard   $295

Perhaps I went too far this time with integrating the graphic background color scheme and subject foreground (sheds and cypress). Feels "overworked" to me, but then again I wouldn't know without this experiment. Maybe I can find the middle ground somewhere between hard-lined graphic background borders (like here) and these brush-worked background edges. Or perhaps I might head in a different direction I've been thinking about. We'll see, but I think I've got one or two of this series left in me, I think, before letting it go. Love to hear your thoughts about the subject.

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#338 - Nascent Gander

12" x 12"  Oil on 2" cradled hardboard   (currently NFS)

I love canadian geese. In my mom's neighborhood in north Durham, me and my special lady (who's work is quite an art itself) know a spot we like to call "goose corner". The Canada geese almost always hang out there and are completely unphased or afraid of any traffic. Perhaps it's because we usually stop to gander (no pun) at their beauty. 

The geese in this composition I actually found from the reference photo I had used for my little painting missing gander that is still lost in the wild somewhere. Que Sera, sera. Loose a goose, find a goose. I like this one better anyway, plus he's got company. :)

art nerd notes:

Nascent Gander is #3 in my color scheme series. I wanted to try a different arrangement of the color scheme as opposed to the striped background that I'm a big fan of. I kept the background color edges hard but this time, I'm experimenting with having the subject break the compositional blocks in a more intentional (and not incidental) way in an attempt to integrate the foreground and background more. I like it, and it's very graphic, but I think I might try softer or brushworked edges next time to see what the effect is.

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#337 - Little Tank

12" x 12"  Oil on 2" cradled hardboard   $295

"Eyes I dare not meet in dreams"

This painting was done on the same 2" cradled hardboard that I am enjoying making and painting on lately and it is the second in my Color Scheme series (I'm planning on posting the third on Sunday/Monday). So, more of them to come.

And now some meandering (yes, I'd skip it)...

I like this painting, though, I don't know who the boy is or even if I like him.

Perhaps he is (as I was a long time ago) a young teen, scrawny, defensive and hiding his eyes. He's ever-wary of the present, but also looking to the past and the future. Wearing the trends of his time, wanting to fit in but never quite feeling at ease—apart from things because he's scared that the rug might be pulled out at any second.
…He doesn't realize he has forged his loneliness: He longs for deep intimacy (with god and man) but he also fears it, because all intimacy is temporary.

Loneliness is in the nature of the soul, because to be incarnate, by definition, is to be separate from God. Loneliness is the reminder, an umbilical cord to the earth, and a memory of paradise (the intimate place you are from).

So, this young hollow man lives guarded against threat or invasion, tensed for impact, and so lives hyper-vigilant for threat, but also looking, searching for what?
Hope? A sign? For safe ground to embrace (at last) with enough gravity that might pull him back down onto to earth, so that he might let go of what he cannot control, and finally fall asleep.

Little tank, all is safe in that nothing can be safe: all things are impermanent. Life is this misunderstood gift: It's just for a little while. Enjoy what you have been givin, while you can.

May serenity come to you little tank.

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#336 - New Fish

12" x 12" Oil on 2" cradled hardboard  $295

"Water which is too pure has no fish."
-Zen Proverb (Ts'ai Ken T'an)

A new fish for a new experiment:
Perhaps I've been spending too much time on color lovers and using the color schemer app, but I think about colors schemes all the time. Plus, I've always loved color field painters like Barnett Newman and Mark Rothko. So although I love color field, it's a little too pure for me... so I put a fish in it! :D

Behind the literal is the metaphor that I still need the organic creation and expression of representational painting. The judgment of color is what painting is all about to me. I fumble my way through the drawing (the judgement of shape) part of painting, but a color is first to me. HOWEVER, a close second is "brushwork" which I really don't even know what that really means, BUT I know what I like: I feel brush size for the stroke is almost as important as the color of that strokes. Hell, I have every flat brush size (often doubles) and wish there were half sizes in between.

Anyhoo, my point is that, I love color field/schemes but I love brushwork and representational painting also. So now my experiment in these next few paintings (+ some after that) is to try to combine these things. Stay tuned and I'd like some feedback (including constructive criticism) on the this and forthcoming "Color Scheme Paintings" as I explore this area.

BTW- I'm painting bigger for these because I need the space and I want to be able to hang them on the wall unframed (it could always be framed later). The sides are around 2" thick and currently gessoed black, but I might experiment with that. It would be included in the color scheme? Perhaps a "black" or dark that reflects the overall color key of the painting?  Currently I handmake these cradled hardboard frames, but I might have to look at some good/affordable premade ones. We'll see.

I can't decide how hard or soft the lines that separate the colors should be. Maybe I should work those edges for variety and cohesion the same as I so for any subject? Many thoughts. Tell me yours in the comments. :)

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#335 - Kash is King

6" x 6"   oil on hardbord   Sold

Yes, Kash certainly is king, or at the very least he has the heart of a lion (king of the beasts). I got to spend some quality time with this fine little pug, when my brother and I took him over to Fullsteam for a walk and a beer. Jim and Jenny (his wife) actually had me make this as an engagement gift for Jenny's good friend Stephanie. Congrats on the engagement! As you can see, Kash is also thrilled.

In other where-the-hell-have-I-been-news, I've been/am tweaking the website (+adding a commission info page) doing some a bunch O' graphic design and also a bit more oil painting on larger cradled hardboard (12"x12"). I'm trying to combine some color field theory with the organic broad brush stroke subjects I usually do. I know it doesn't sound like me to actually be doing anything, but just to prove it to you (and you know who you are), here's a tiny sneak peek:

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#334 - Ms. Super Star

6" x 6"  oil on hardboard  (currently NFS)

Ms. Super Star was working a concession stand at the Back Porch Music On the Lawn Concert Series at the American Tobacco Campus. She wasn't up on stage but kept striking poses for the camera anyway. The least I could so was to put her in paint.

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