Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Making A Mark - Award 2010

6 x 6 oil on hardboard panel

I thought I'd made my last post for the year, but I was talking with Karin Jurick today, and she informed me that one of my paintings was in the running for the, "Best Artwork on A Blog" Award. This award is the brainchild of Katherine Tyrrell, creator of Marking A Mark, one, if not the, best art blogs out there.

Anyone can vote, and there are four categories of genre to chose from. My piece is in the "still life" category, and Karin's is in the "portrait/figures" category. The deadline for voting is coming up quick. Thursday at 6 p.m. (Greenwich Mean Time), so don't delay. I know this is a shameless request for votes, but what can I say.

I'd also like to thank the tireless, tenacious and talented, Belinda Del Pesco for nominating my painting for this award. If you'd like to vote you can visit Katherine's blog by clicking here.

Thanks in advance!

Monday, December 20, 2010

Happy Holidays 2010

It's time to wrap up another year, but before go I wanted to thank everyone who visited my blog and FaceBook page in 2010. Many of you were kind enough to take the time to leave some wonderful comments and personal impressions of my work. I have to tell you those responses mean a great deal to me, and even though I'm bad about replying to all of the comments, I appreciate each of them very much. I hope you all have a great holiday season, and a terrific 2011.

Friday, December 17, 2010

Wild Turkey

6 x 6 oil on hardboard panel

I broke a tooth the other day. Fortunately I have a nephew who is an incredibly skilled dentist. If that wasn't enough, he allows me to pay with art. How can you beat that. He did a beautiful job putting my tooth back together. You'd never know it was ever damaged. So, as payment I did this little whiskey piece. I was in the mood to do some glass, and the wonderful amber color of the liquor is a joy to paint. When it's dry I'll varnish it then send it off. Hope he likes it.

Thursday, December 09, 2010

Mule: Complete

20 x 60 oil on canvas

I finished up the Mule yesterday, and I think it turned out pretty good. This one was a pleasure from start to finish. I really had fun with it. All the rigging in the harness was a joy to paint. I hope this proves to be a popular subject because I'd love to paint a few more. When it's dry and varnished, I'll be delivering it to my hometown gallery Mason Murer Fine Art. I've already emailed them a jpeg, and they seem very happy to get it.


Now . . . what to do next? I'm not really sure. There's an event coming up next summer that I could get started on (more on that later), but what I should do is get some new work to my other galleries first. The last couple of years have been lean ones to say the least, but in the last few weeks I've seen a resurgence of sales through my galleries. I'll probably get going on some work for them first, then dive into that other "project".

Elizabeth Edwards

I wanted to take a moment to leave a personal comment on the passing of Elizabeth Edwards, and remark on the impact she had on the early art careers of Karen and myself. When Karen and I were just beginning to sell our paintings on ebay, the ID "heelsfan" began to show up frequently in our auction listings. It wasn't long after that the Elizabeth wrote to let us know that she was heelsfan, and she was the wife of senator John Edwards. Her letters were very sweet and complimentary, and we both were impressed that she took the time to let us know how much she enjoyed our paintings. It was also very exciting to think that our work would be hanging in the home of a senator. Elizabeth never seemed to be too busy to respond to a letter from us. Even when she was on the campaign trail, she would reply to an email from her laptop.

We also just loved the fact that she purchased so much of her art from artists on ebay. Many of our friends, such as Karin Jurick, Jeff and Leslie Cohen and Chris Stott were among those whose paintings she collected. She was an amazing human being, whom I thought would have made an awesome first lady. When her husband was running for the VP slot with John Kerry, the New York Times Sunday magazine section ran an article on the families of the candidates. In the article about the Edwards family the photo of them in their living room showed one of Karen's paintings hanging on the wall in the background. Elizabeth wrote Karen just to let her know that her painting could be seen in the picture. It was the little things like that, that showed her warmth. She was wonderful and will be greatly missed.

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Mule in Progress: First Pass

20 x 60 oil on canvas

The first pass on the mule is complete, with the exception of the background. I still haven't decided on how to deal with that aspect just yet. I like where this is going, and have been having a good time with it. Now it's on to the second (and most likely, "final") pass. I'm looking forward to getting into the details of this painting, and there is a lot of detail in this composition. It's my favorite part of the process. I will probably hold off, and wait until the painting is done before I post another image.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Mule in Progress: A few days later

20 x 60 oil on canvas

I have been slowly making my way through the first pass of the Mule. The rigging of the harness is almost done, then it's onto the body. I'll work on it a little more today, then we've got to get ready for the holiday. My brother Doug is coming in from New York, and will be with us until Sunday evening, so the remainder of the week will be spent with family and friends. Really looking forward to it. I'm also really looking forward to getting into the second pass of this painting. I love the second pass. The image above has been cropped in order to show more of the detail. I haven't decided about the background as yet. Dark or light, not sure. I should have another "in progress" pic sometime mid-week. If I buckle down, maybe the completed first pass. Hope you all have a nice Thanksgiving.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Mule in Progress: Day One

20 x 60 oil on canvas

I was finally able to compose myself enough to get back to the easel today. I've been occupying my time these last few days with mindless busy work. I had been vacillating back and forth between painting an aircraft I shot at an airshow a few weeks ago, and this mule. The loss of our pet put me in the mood to do an animal. I photographed this mule on our recent trip to Charleston, as it was pulling a large number of, not so athletic tourists. This is the first days work, and as with the Murray Grey, I plan to post images of each days work. If I don't make significant progress on some days, I'll combine multiple days effort into a single post. I'd also like to thank all of you who left comments here on my blog, and on FaceBook concerning the death of our kittie Scout. They were very comforting, and helped ease the pain of our loss.

Saturday, November 13, 2010


Karen and I lost our kittie Scout on Thursday. She had been running and playing all day as she always did, then came in for her regular afternoon nap. The weather that day was so nice we decided to take a walk at our local park. When we returned about an hour later, we found her asleep in one of her favorite spots, but when we petted her, she didn't respond. Scout was still relatively young and the personification of health. It has been a completely unexpected and devastating blow. Our only consolation was the belief that she passed peacefully in her sleep.

The next day, after we had pulled ourselves together somewhat, we began to make a list of her wonderful qualities. It went on for five pages. One of my favorites, other than the fact that she was the happiest and most loving of kitties, was how she was always bringing us things. It began when she was very young, and she would bring us acorns. She would search for us with the acorn in her mouth, meowing earnestly, then drop it near us with a look that seemed to say, "this is for you". Eventually she moved up to pine cones. Without exaggeration, over the years, it numbered well over a thousand. Sometimes eight to ten a day. It was so cute to see her emerging from the trees with a pine cone in her tiny mouth. Occasionally she would add something new that she had discovered in some distant part of her territory; a styrofoam cup, a little plastic toy hand grenade, a badminton birdie, and once a little American flag. In the last few years, she began to raid our stash of plastic grocery bags I had tied into knots to line the trash. If we forgot to close the pantry door, you could hear her, usually in the evening, going through the big bag of bags, searching for that perfect one, then the meow as she made her way upstairs, followed by a soft crunch as she dropped it gently onto the floor at the foot of our bed. What I wouldn't give to hear that sound just one more time.

Scout was a sweet, sweet kittie . . . .

Monday, November 08, 2010


Karen talking with Diane Feissel

Karen and I just returned from another of our quick regional trips. This time we were off to Charleston South Carolina to hook up with our friend Karin Jurick. The first weekend in November is the time for the annual Fine Art Weekend, and Painting in the Park, sponsored by the Charleston Fine Art Dealers Association (CDFA). Karin was going to be participating in the Painting in the Park event, which culminates in an auction that evening. The proceeds from the auction will be used to support high school fine arts programs. The CDFA has donated over $150,000 since the event began back in 2006.

The event began bright and early Saturday morning, and the first artist we came across, painting just outside the gates of Washington Park, was Diane Feissel. Diane was very sweet and unassuming, and we had a wonderful time talking with her. At the conclusion of the event, and having seen all the artwork produced that morning, Karen and I (and Karin Jurick as well) agreed that in our opinion, she had created the most beautiful painting of the day.

Karin Jurick at work

It was a perfect day for an outdoor event, albeit quite cool in the early hours of the morning. Karin was sharing a model with another artist, and the poor girl was frozen by the end of the session. Fortunately the sponsors had provided hot coffee and muffins which helped take the edge off the chill, and everyone seemed to be having a great time. It was wonderful being surrounded by so many people supportive of school art programs.

Karin's piece taking shape

Logistically, Karin had secured a really nice condo in the heart of town that we all shared, and it was a great base of operations. The space had high, high ceilings with huge windows providing a wonderful view, and a rooftop deck for coffee and conversation. It was a terrific place to stay, and located only about a half a block from the hotel holding the auction.

Karen Larson Turner

When things wrapped up in the park, Karin had some loose ends to tie up, so Karen and I headed out into the streets of Charleston. What a great city. A great "walking" city. We spent the majority of the day visiting the wealth of art galleries there. Karen Larson Turner (above) was having a show at Wells Gallery, and she also painted a wonderful little still life in the park on Saturday for the auction. Mostly we wanted to see a new show at Robert Lange Studios. Robert, and his wife Megan, had put together a show titled, "Women Painting Women", and it was spectacular.

The gallery was nearly overwhelmed with patrons the night of the show. It was virtually impossible to move around, and the number of red dots almost matched the number of the visitors. It was nice to hit the gallery again the next day after the crowds had died down, and really get lost in those amazing paintings. Karen had actually been invited to participate in the show, but at the time she was asked her schedule didn't allow any time to get the work done. She was kicking herself as we walked through the gallery, that she had missed the opportunity.

Childhood . . .

All in all, it was a great trip. Perfect weather, good food, and really nice people. Karen and I were even recognized by a couple of fans of our work. That was very cool. Plus just getting to spend some quality time with Karin Jurick was priceless. I hope this was just the first of many trips to Charleston.

p.s. On a side note, I sold the Murray Grey before it even reached the gallery. In actuality, it's not even really finished. I still have to varnish, edge, sign and wire it. Thanks to all of you wonderful people at Mason Murer Fine Art.

I shot a bunch of new mule pix in Charleston, so maybe I'll paint another big quadruped.

Wednesday, November 03, 2010

Coke Crate No.5

6 x 6 oil on hardboard panel

I know, I know . . . but there are still some people out there that would like to have a Coke Crate, and personally I like really like painting them. It's hard to beat that satisfying relationship between the colors red and green. If you'd like to bid on this painting, you can take part in the auction by clicking here.

Tuesday, November 02, 2010

Transparent No.2

6 x 6 oil on hardboard panel

Last weeks "transparent" piece didn't satisfy my periodic need to paint glass, so I did another this week. If you'd like to bid on this painting, you can take part in the auction by clicking here.

Monday, November 01, 2010

Five Spoons

6 x 6 oil on hardboard panel

Before I get back to a larger gallery painting (whatever that turns out to be) I've got a few ebay pieces going up for auction this week. First off, one of my tarnished spoons. Love doing these flatware paintings. If you'd like to bid on this painting, you can access the auction by clicking here.

I sent an image of the Murray Grey to Mason Murer Fine Art, and everyone at the gallery seemed to like it a lot. They've even decided to use it in a full page ad to be published in Atlanta Magazine, which I thought was very nice. Andrea sent me an image of the ad she had put together, and it looks great. She's got a great eye for design. Can't wait to see it in print. Mark also let me know that it, along with a number of my other paintings, will be included with pieces by many of his other artists in a trip to Miami for the Red Dot Art Fair in early December. Fingers crossed in the hope that many, if not all, will find themselves paired with red dots.

Friday, October 29, 2010

The Mouse Project

Some months ago, Steve Worthington contacted me to ask if I would be interested in participating in a project he was putting together to raise money to support animal shelters. Steve is a sculptor, working in bronze, and creates the most amazing animals. If you haven't been to his site, it's well worth a visit. I happily accepted his invitation along with 21 other artists. The task was to choose one of his mice, which Steve would then send to us, and we were to use it as the focus of a painting. These paintings would then be collected into a book, which would be sold, and the profits distributed to animal shelters. The project is now complete, the book is ready, but I'll let Steve describe the project in his own words.


The Mouse Project

I never planned to call it that, people just started saying it, and so it stuck.

The mice in question are Sprightly, Nosey and Chubby: Three of the many bronze critters I've made. They've developed lives of their own, traveling across America, to Antarctica, Australia and populating plenty of places in between.

Not wanting the fun to end there, I decided to see if the best painters I could find online might be coaxed into painting them so I could curate a book and donate the profits to animal shelters. I thought I'd start by asking only the best, not really sure what kind of response to expect. To my utter delight and disbelief the answers came back with a resounding, "YES"!

Paul Coventry-Brown

Top notch painter after top notch painter wanted in. So I dispatched a small army of mice to get their portraits painted! A PDF and a book are the end result. In the free PDF you’ll only find 22 lower resolution images (one per painter).

There are over 60 high resolution images of 47 original paintings by 22 painters in the actual book. Hopefully it will sell like hot cakes and make a bunch of money for animal shelters.

In the PDF there are links for you to be transported to the artists websites or blogs.

Jeffery Hayes

That’s why, in the real book, I recommend downloading the PDF as a companion. So you can treat yourself by visiting their web pages one click at a time.

Should you go to Lulu.com and then buy the real book, congratulations - and thanks! You're in for a treat, and you’ll be helping an animal shelter.

I really can't express my gratitude to everyone involved enough. They went all out, as you can see. Way beyond what I expected.

Jelaine Faunce

The images I've chosen above are a very small sampling of the total number of paintings in the book. I could have included many more, but didn't want to spoil the surprise. The book is 79 pages with more than 60 images, and sells for $49.45 with the profits going to support animal shelters. It was a fun project, for a great cause, and I was honored to be invited to participate. So, if you've got 50 bucks burning a hole in your pocket, picking up a copy (or two) of the Mouse Project would be money well spent.

Monday, October 25, 2010

Murray Grey: Complete

Murray Grey: Oil on canvas - 48 x 60

One of the many benefits of being married to an artist, is having someone in the house who can help you decide when a painting is finished. I've been working on this painting for a number of weeks now, had completed the third full pass, and was contemplating a fourth when Karen convinced me that the painting was done. It's hard to really see something that's so close, and after she worked on me for a while, I finally came to the realization that she was right, and I hung it on the wall to dry.

Murray Grey: Detail

When it has dried I'll be delivering it to Mason Murer Fine Art along with a another recent cow painting by Karen. It was a real challenge for me to work this large, but I think it helped get me past a self imposed size limit I'd adhered to for a long time. Now that I've done it, I don't think it will be so daunting to attempt another in the future. I was thinking of doing a painting of one of the aircraft I photographed at a recent airshow in a larger format. That could be very cool.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Air Show 2010

Gary Rower in his Stearman

Atlanta's biennial airshow was held this past weekend, and I got to Dobbins Air Force Base bright and early. My intent was to spend the entire day there, and that is exactly what I did. I've loved airplanes since I was a kid, and have spent time in and out of aviation throughout my adult life. In recent years, it's been time spent mostly out, so when the airshow comes to town, it's a welcome event.


My goal wasn't to just be an observer, but also to shoot some stock photography for potential paintings in the future. I've done a few paintings of aircraft in the past, and really have a hunger to try another. I was hoping there would be some bare metal planes on static display, because I love the shiny surface. I wasn't disappointed. There was a really nice B-25 on display, along with a beautiful DC-3, and a Twin Beech.


Two years ago the promoters of the event drastically underestimated the number of people that would be attending the airshow, and they were basically overwhelmed. It was a mess, but this year they learned their lesson, and I have to say they handled the 200k that came beautifully.


The weather could have not been more perfect. A mild 76 degrees and "severe clear" skies. It was a great day. I haven't been at the controls of an aircraft since 1987 (man has it been that long), and it felt really good to be surrounded by so many planes and aviation enthusiasts.

The Canadian Snowbirds

The Blue Angels were the headliners of the day, but I have to say, I was most excited about seeing the Canadian Snowbirds. I had never seen them before, and they put on a great performance. I know this doesn't have anything to do with art, but I just wanted to post about a wonderful day devoted to flight.

p.s. Still working on the cow. Just beginning to see some light at the end of the tunnel.

Friday, October 15, 2010

Jeanie Tomanek

Perched: 18 x 18 oil on gallery wrapped canvas

I wanted to give my good friend Jeanie Tomanek a little promotional push, as she has just entered into the world of online art auctions. Jeanie's going to be auctioning some of her smaller works ebay, and "Perched" is her initial offering. Her etherial paintings with a feminine theme are engaging, and absolutely beautiful. Karen and I have been huge fans for years, and are fortunate to own a number of her works. If you'd like to bid on the painting above you can access her auction by clicking here. If you like what you see here, you should visit her website as well. If you're into social networkering, you can also follow her on FaceBook.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Murray Grey in Progress - 2nd Pass

36 x 48 oil on canvas

I've got four more days into the Murray Grey. Sloooooow going. Still refining the structure and gradually adding in some color. I'm going to go ahead and call this the completion of the second pass. This piece will probably require at least four passes, and possibly five. I'll probably squeeze in another short round of ebay paintings before I begin the final pass. When I complete another significant portion of this painting, I'll post another image.

I also just received a brief email from Elliot Fouts regarding Saturday night's opening of The Still Life Show at his gallery in Sacramento. He was kind enough to let me know that PB&J No.10 had created a buzz, and that Dumbo had been put on layaway. Good news from my first exposure on the west coast. If you're reading this Elliot, I really appreciate your invitation to participate in a show with so many talented artists.

Monday, October 04, 2010

Black Grapes No.3

6 x 6 oil on hardboard panel

. . . and to complete the week, some grapes. These black grapes are great fun to paint, and even more so when you add some water droplets. Now it's back to the big bovine. A daunting task I must admit, but if I can pull if off, maybe a cool painting. The next couple of week will tell. If you'd like to bid on the painting above, you can access the auction by clicking here.


6 x 6 oil on hardboard panel

I don't usually choose favorites, but this may be my favorite painting going up this week. An absurd amount of time was spent working on it, but I really wanted to get it right, so I just kept going until it was "done". I had all of my tiniest brushes out for this one. I love the colors, and am already planning another version on a larger scale. Try to get even more detail out of the composition. If you'd like to bid on this painting you can take part in the auction by clicking here.

Friday, October 01, 2010

Deco Perc

6 x 6 oil on hardboard panel

It wouldn't be a week of favorite themes without a percolator and coffee cup. If you'd like to bid on this painting you can take part in the auction by clicking here.

Thursday, September 30, 2010


6 x 6 oil on hardboard panel

I came across this particular vehicle in front of the Savannah Police Department, as Karen and I walked around the city on our recent one day "vacation" there. Needless to say, I was floored. The front of this car was a wish come true. I fired off a dozen shots, and this is the first of what I hope are many paintings of this automobile. I gave myself a lot of extra time with this one, hence it's higher reserve price, and it was a dream to paint. If you'd like to bid on this painting, you can participate in the auction by clicking here.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010


6 x 6 oil on hardboard panel

Something transparent for tonight. I'd been holding onto this image for a long time, and it "felt" like a good time to paint it. I really enjoy painting clear. If you'd like to bid on this painting you can take part in the auction by clicking here.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

PB&J with Milk No.2

6 x 6 oil on hardboard panel

The ebay paintings presented this week are all drawn from my repertoire of common themes. When I work up the photography for these paintings, I take hundreds of shots of my set-ups, cull out my favorites, and crop them into what (I think) are pleasing compositions. This creates a huge bank of photographs, so it's hard not to return to the well. I come back essentially for two reasons: First, to offer collectors who have missed out on previous auctions of this particular subject another chance to obtain a painting, and secondly, I have a lot of unused images which I like, and still want to paint. This may read like I'm apologizing for the repetition of my subject matter, but in actuality I'm just describing my M.O. Having said that, I do have a couple of less familiar subjects going up this week. If you'd like to bid on the painting above, you can access the auction by clicking here.

Monday, September 27, 2010

Coke No.4

6 x 6 oil on hardboard panel

I wanted to give the "big cow" some time to dry before I started the next pass, so while that was going on, I did an unprecedented (for me anyway) 7 ebay paintings. The run of these auctions should give me a healthy stretch of time to work on the Murray Grey. I have to admit it was also nice to work small again. It's going to take a while before I get comfortable with larger canvas's. If you'd like to bid on this painting, you can access the auction by clicking here.

Friday, September 17, 2010

Murray Grey in Progress - 1st Pass

I've become a little bolder about showing my work in progress, and since this particular painting is probably going to take some time, I thought I'd try it again. I've got four days into the big cow so far, and each of these images reflects one days work. Now that I have a full under-painting done, I'm going to set it aside to dry before I begin the second pass. While it dries, I'll be working on a new set of ebay paintings which I'll be posting possibly as early as Monday. I'll have to see how it goes. I plan to continue photographing the progress of this piece to it's conclusion.

36 x 48 oil on canvas