Tree portrait in pen & ink #9


I saw this tree in Paris close by the Eiffel Tower. Wherever a person could reach was  covered by carved graffiti, most of which could not be read at all. I always assume that people do things like this in a symbolic bid for immortality, which nature always seems to block.

I later made this image into a painting, which can be seen here. It is also somewhere back on my WordPress feed, as well.

This drawing is 9″ x 6″ using sepia for the lines and walnut ink washes.


Tree portrait in pen & ink #8

ceder in italy 2

This cedar is really more of a shrub that was clinging to a rock in a garden by Lake Como in Italy. What interested me most was the clumping scale-like leaves. Their arrangement reminded me of a flower in full bloom. It was also a pleasure to draw the winding branches.

This drawing is 9″ x 6″ on Sennelier Bristol, the ink is Kremer Pigments Bister, the pen nib is a No. 30 Spencerian Bronze Falcon. Lots of paintings to see on my website!

Tree portrait in pen & ink #6


This is a variation on a drawing I did in of a cherry tree in Central Park, NYC. The original was done on the spot in my more traditional style while this one uses hash patterns to build volume. I did this simply because I liked the original drawing and I wanted to see what else I could make out of it. In retrospect I see that the marks and patterns are reminiscent of those used by Van Gogh in his ink drawings. That is not surprising to me as he is one of my favorite draftsmen (persons). I am, however, surprised that it took me so long to notice the similarity… One major difference is that his marks are much bigger and more varied than mine. He used a bamboo pen on large paper while this drawing is done with a metal dip pen in a 9″ x 6″ format.

Never hesitate to visit my website to see more work!

Tree portrait in pen & ink #5


This tree is, as was the one in my previous post, from a tree seen in Sonoma County, CA. I can’t imagine what happened to it to cause it to grow to maturity split down the middle. It seems too small to have been hit by lightning.

This drawing was done in bistre ink on bristol board and measures 6″ x 9″. See more work on my website!

Paintings from digital images #8


Well, this isn’t really a painting from a “digital image,” but rather a painting of patterns inspired by my work with digital printers on a commercial (cheap) plaster cast (see related work earlier in my feed).

I decided on monochrome because using colors would cause a confusion of competing visual stimuli. Black and white seems to keep the piece in balance. As with my “digital” paintings on panels, this required several coats of paint plus all kinds of difficulties getting around the contours of the figure. Overall, I worked on this for a year while also working on other projects.

“Aphrodite” is about 20″ tall and 13″ wide, it is painted in oils on an acrylic “gesso” ground.

My next task is figuring out a way to mount it on a substantial pedestal and cover it with a plexiglas box. It seems that plaster can’t be glued to another surface because it is too brittle… If anyone has any ideas, don’t be shy! See more work on my website.

venus back

Phone camera malfunction #3

untitled americas cup 3_edited-1

One Friday last summer I took my family to Navy Pier in Chicago to view preparations for an America’s Cup sailboat race trial in Lake Michigan. I brought only my smart phone to take photographs of the event which was kind of silly as the boats are beautiful examples of high tech design. They are able to rise out of the water on a foil which enables them to go much faster than the wind — up to 50 mph or more. I never saw anything like this. I have some sailing experience, but I didn’t ever expect to see anything like this.

The painting shown here as well as two previous posts are from that lovely day, except there are no boats pictured. I took many pictures of the boats flying along and at rest. When I reviewed the photos I came across three images that were completely illegible, but interesting nonetheless. Smartphone cameras sometimes do weird things. I eventually decided that errant pictures would be fun to paint and that I could do interesting things with the shapes and colors.

Most of the colors are laid down in successive, separate layers rather than in layers of mixed colors. I used bristle brushes to scrub the paint onto the surface which produced interesting effects due to the somewhat course ground, which has brush marks going in various directions. This scrubbing technique enabled lower layers of color to show through. The result is a bit impressionistic, but using a completely different manner.

While I was painting I kept in mind an image of an undefined landscape emerging from nothing, which prompted my choice of painting technique.

All of these paintings are 30″ x 30″ on wood panels. Please stop by my website to see more work.