Thursday, August 10, 2017

Trying to Get Back

It's been a while, for many reasons, since my last post. Since then I published a book of my landscape paintings, "Painting the Other Long Island". That process took a bit more time than I anticipated, but I was pleased with the results. I may have mentioned in previous posts how much I think about making art throughout the daily routines of life. Whether or not that gets me through the day or makes me ignorant towards managing daily routines I can't say, but I cannot deny the sense of accomplishment and purpose I feel after making a picture that I feel is successful.

This painting was done at West End Beach. It was not only a peaceful experience but I felt good about the results. I don't get that feeling from any other activity.

West End (acrylic on paper) -2016

Thursday, September 29, 2016

Return to Abstraction

It was inevitable that after doing landscapes for some time that the abstract patterns in nature would inspire me to do more non-representational work. To me, no artist who works from nature can avoid drawing or painting quickly as the light outdoors changes. Usually, when you paint quickly the more abstract the image is. That just seems to be the nature of how art is created. Look at preliminary sketches by Andrew Wyeth to get an idea.

It takes a bit of restraint to put paint down quickly and leave it. You have to really look at it and decide what to do next. Do you add something? Where? How much? The more you think the more of a struggle it is. For me anyway.

This is a very small painting where I applied paint very quickly to fill up the blank area. It then stayed on my wall for months as I analyzed it and added little touches here and there. It is somewhat representational but I think it works abstractly as well


Incoming (acrylic on paper) 3x6"

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Art in Tribute

Art can express feelings and emotions in ways that words never can. Recently, my brother passed away. It was a devastating loss to everyone in my family, and I tried hard to write something to honor him. I have done this in the past and it had came easily. This time, it was very difficult. For some reason I had a hard time writing something about him, despite being filled with strong feelings about his life and the times we spent together. Fortunately, another one of my brothers wrote a fitting eulogy to him, and his daughter compiled a moving tribute that touched on all aspects of his personality. As a result, all I could do was something visual in memory of my dear brother. In keeping with his nature, I recycled a painting that I had and offered it to the hospice facility where he passed away. They were very pleased with my donation, and I was glad to do something in my brother's honor that, with any luck, will give some calm to anyone passing through the facility, since all who do definitely need it. In looking at the picture, I was curious as to why I modified the painting the way I did. Initially, I felt it a little impersonal to simply give a painting that had no real connection to him, so I repainted some areas during a late night painting session to maybe give it some of what I was feeling. I think gave the picture a little more punch, possibly out of sadness and frustration. Who knows? But I think the revised picture is a little better since the water seems to be pushing into land a little more aggressively. Maybe that's symbolic. In the end, I hope he can appreciate the gesture.

Marsh (revised)

Marsh (original)

Monday, June 8, 2015

Painting Therapy

One thing I've noticed as I get older is the profound impact on my life making art has been. While I continue to struggle to have my work known, as many artist do, I cannot help but value how making art has kept me from sinking into the deep well of woe that other parts of my life would otherwise push me into. As the problems in my life and family grow and I find myself on the brink of despair, I thank God that I am able to create art. This keeps me grounded. Not quite focused, but determined to never give up. I have often thought this was a form of escapism, and it very well may be, but it is an escapism that results in creativity. For example, the following pieces have been created during the times when, in order of appearance, (a) my domestic life was in a shambles, (b) my financial status in jeopardy, and (c) my family members suffering from illness and depression. What does all this mean? It means that I still have those problems!!!! Actually, It really means that anyone who is going through hard times should pick up a brush, pencil, pen, or musical instrument before they pick up anything else. Maybe someone will happen onto this blog and do just that!

(a) sunset on Webb Lake (done after a prolonged period of domestic disputes)

(b) Caumsett (going through money troubles and inability to manage finances)

(c) Cross (my family members suffering from illness and depression)

So much for not wanting to post personal information! 

However, I feel it is important to show that certain obstacles can be channeled into creativity. Making art is a fantastic remedy. Right up there with laughter!

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Finally Finished

This is an image I started in August of 2014, and finally finished it a week ago. Of course, I still would like to revise it but my youngest son thought it was good so I took that as a sign not to. One of us is right. I have it for sale on Zatista so only time will tell. That is, based on the belief that a sale equals a picture of quality. This is an ongoing debate. At any rate, for me I am pleased with the composition so I hope that comes across. The painting is of Lake Webb in Maine and there was a storm brewing right around sunset. Since everything was moving rapidly, there were hundreds of possible composition choices that could have been made. This is the frustrating yet exciting thing about on site painting. There is nothing like it.


"Storm over Lake Webb" (oil on canvas)

Monday, November 24, 2014

Gardiners County Park

Here is a painting done at Gardiners County Park in Bay Shore, Long Island. This was done a little while back, the beginning of winter. The spot I painted was bitterly cold, and I remember that even though I had gloves on, I had to keep taking a break and either blow on my hands or put them in my pockets to warm them up. Not only that, but since I was on the coast of Great South Bay, the wind was very strong and kept blowing my easel over. It was almost like the scene in "Lust for Life" where Van Gogh (Kirk Douglas) is struggling with a large canvas. I can't tell if my picture conveys the brutal cold and my "battle" with the elements, but I think it came out ok even if it doesn't give the whole story.

Gardiners County Park, Winter  (oil on canvas)

Friday, October 3, 2014

Subway Series, etc.

Two more entries for the Subway Series. I am using mechanical pencils exclusively now. I can't believe how many years I spent drawing with traditional pencils that needed sharpening every two minutes! Never again. Not only is there no need for sharpening of these things, but you can get a package of six at the dollar store for, of course, one dollar!


 Some Recent Paintings
I've been in a little bit of a slump lately due to a variety of issues, but I've had a bit of a boost after a recent sale. This is always a great way to get inspired to work more, and I wish it happened more often, but you can't wait around to feel a sense of purpose to make art. It has to be something you do every day, without fail! Here is a small painting appropriate for this time of year.

"Fall" (acrylic on paper)

This one is of the marsh area near Jones Beach, one of my favorite areas to go to, and a great spot to paint, especially during the cooler months. I hope to get out there more often in the next month, but not having my own car available makes it a little difficult. But there are always options.

"Expanse" (acrylic on paper)