Friday, December 28, 2012

"Flowers and Fruit", acrylic on canvas, 11 by 14 inches.

This painting is a continuation of realizing a drawing made a few years ago as a proposal for a painting in a children's hospital. The commission didn't work out, but I liked the drawing well enough to pursue it.

Here it is below.

Below is the first exploration, in the "Neo-Retro" style, using a mix of "traditional" and digital media.

The original proposal called for the painting to be four by six feet with three dimensional elements breaking out of the sides and top. This one is considerably smaller, with no 3-D, and I think probably works out a lot better anyway.

Click on all the images to see them bigger.

Sunday, December 23, 2012

Southwest Art Magazine

This is the part of the January 2013 Southwest Art magazine article "A Portfolio of Winners" that includes a profile of my work and of me.
The title refers to the work selected by the Artists Magazine for their December 2012 issue featuring the winners and "Honorable Mentions" with work in different categories. My "A Magpie This Fall" received an "Honorable Mention", which means my name was listed, but no image of the work. Southwest Art magazine is running profiles of some of the work from that issue, and I was happy to be included. Of several images I sent they chose "Alfred Lord Tennyson" to accompany my answers to their questionnaire.

As always, I'm gratified and honored to be included.

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

"Autumn Hill" at home

"Autumn Hill", acrylic on canvas, 24 by 20 inches, here in its new home. Nice harmonious wall color, I think.

Monday, December 17, 2012

29 Pieces

Dallas artist Karen Blessen and I once had the same illustration representative in New York. She dropped out of his stable because, as she put it, she "didn't want to be yet another advertising illustrator." She has gone on to do good work for humanity instead of contributing to our acquisitive culture. I've always admired her for this.

This is her latest effort to change the horrific world we seem to be insisting on building for ourselves. Hers is a good cause. It's everybody's cause. She needs everybody's help.
Here's a link to donate: MasterPEACE and here is her group's mission (in the best sense of the word) statement.

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Gallery at the National Western Club

Click this image to see it bigger.

I'm honored to be included in the show at the Gallery at the National Western Club, affiliated with the Coors Western Art Exhibit and Sale, this January in Denver.

I'm sending five paintings from September, 2011's "Poets and Cattle" show at Norwood Flynn Gallery.
My sincere thanks to Rose Fredrick, curator of these exhibits, for this opportunity.

Here are the pieces that will be there.

"Alfred, Lord Tennyson", acrylic on canvas, 14 by 18 inches.

"Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley", acrylic on canvas, 16 by 20 inches.

"Sara Teasdale", acrylic on canvas, 16 by 16 inches.

"Elizabeth Barrett Browning", acrylic on canvas, 9 by 12 inches.

"Robert Browning", acrylic on canvas, 9 by 12 inches.

Sunday, December 9, 2012

Holiday show

Here I am last night with "Something Wintry" at Norwood Flynn Gallery's small works holiday show.
Note the festive red dot beside it.

Monday, November 26, 2012

"Something Wintry"

Acrylic on panel, 6 by 6 inches.

When Norwood Flynn Gallery director Mabel Peck told me about the upcoming small works group show for December, I asked if they wanted to hang something they already had or if they wanted something new. She said, "Do something wintry!"

That seemed as good a title as any for this one. Cardinals seem to be birds that love the cold, and their triangular head shape as an echo of the stylized pine trees was a composition I have been wanting to explore.

This is also on a panel, instead of my usual canvas. I'm considering using these panels as a ground for most of the work in my next show at NFG in September, 2013.

Thursday, November 15, 2012


Candis Wheat, "Untitled", pastel on paper, 18 by 13 inches.

I'm posting this to celebrate my long time and great friend, Candis Wheat. I've always thought this piece, a gift from her years ago, could be a self portrait, although it doesn't objectively look like her.

Candis produced drawings like chickens lay eggs, if those eggs were of the Fabergé variety. She would use cast off bits of paper, check stubs, receipts, shipping tags, torn corners of notebook paper, notepads, whatever was around, and with a pen, pencil, colored pencils, pastels, again whatever was around, create exquisite, beautifully expressive drawings full of humanity and empathy, with a direct connection to the soul. Her observations on the human condition and everyday life were witty and full of truth.

Candis was one of the best friends I have ever had. Outgoing and charmingly self-effacing she was nevertheless sometimes inclined toward what our mutual friend Greg Metz accurately called "hermetic" periods. Once I was selfishly frustrated by one of her prolonged cocoonings. Trying to explain her importance to me, and knowing her deep well of pop culture trivia expertise, I quoted the western "Tombstone" to her. I recalled the line of dialogue delivered by a member of Wyatt Earp's posse. Asked why he was pursuing outlaws instead of resting in bed, an ill Doc Holliday replied, "Because Wyatt Earp is my friend."
The cowboy said derisively, "Hell, I've got a lot of friends."
Doc Holliday said, "I don't."

I do have a lot of friends, but I haven't had many like Candis. She had more friends and admirers than she could count and more than she may have realized. I was just one of many. I could talk to her about anything and, probably more often than she would have liked, I did. She was mysterious, kind, patient, compassionate, witty, brilliant and talented. She was an undiscovered genius. But I'm not sure she wanted to be "discovered" by the wider world anyway.

Candis left us Friday morning, November 9, after an illness, and under the doting care of her longtime companion, Harrison. She'll be missed by everyone who ever met, knew or loved her.

(This drawing was kindly lent for posting by Nicke Mitchell.)

Friday, October 19, 2012

"Strokes of Genius 4"

Strokes of Genius 4 is a collection of drawings published by Northlight Books. Here's a photo of me holding the page with "Urban Still Life", one of my two pieces selected for inclusion in this edition. The other drawing is "Oak Tree".
I'm obviously gratified and flattered to be included.

Thursday, October 11, 2012

"Vineyard Still Life"

"Vineyard Still Life", acrylic on canvas, 12 by 9 inches.
This is a painting based on a sketchbook drawing, shown below.

This drawing was originally done for another version of it, shown below, in the "Neo-Retro" style.

Below is a version done in a "wash off" technique. A drawing is made on board, then the parts to remain white are masked with gouache, which is water soluble. A coating of india ink is applied, then the piece is put under a faucet and the gouache is washed off, leaving the ink in the areas intended to remain black. In this case I applied color with markers before I masked the areas. Some of the color washed away and some stayed, giving the piece a distressed look.

As the image developed I added the vase, flower and the hummingbirds.
I based the wine label in the painting on my niece's and her husband's current label for their winery in Santa Ynez, California. It's called Sandoval Ranch Vineyard and we had the pleasure of visiting for the first time this past summer.
Here are the actual bottle and label.

The painting is going to Copper Moon Gallery in Taos.

Sunday, September 30, 2012

"100 Years of Oak Cliff Art"

This show celebrated the 100th anniversary for Oak Cliff Society of Fine Arts in the Turner House, a great old structure in my Oak Cliff neighborhood.
"Summer, Elmwood Creek" was juried into the show. And here I am with it.

In other news, the Southwest Art Magazine article, "Portfolio: Line & Shadow", in which my drawing "Oak Tree" is included, is now online as well as in print.
Check it out here. Scroll down to the seventh featured drawing and there I am. Or "Oak Tree" is there, anyway, with a commentary by me.

Sunday, September 16, 2012

October Southwest Art feature

Below are my page from an article on drawing and my ad in the October issue of Southwest Art Magazine.
I was obviously happy to be included along with nine other artists in this article on drawing. Whatever I'm known for, drawing probably isn't it, until now at least. The editors chose "Oak Tree", a pen and ink drawing from my sketchbook. My thanks to everyone at Southwest Art for the notice.
Drawing is the foundation of my paintings, since I either base the painting on a drawing from my sketchbook or on paper, or I draw the image directly on the canvas. I've never been one of those "put up a blank canvas and start moving paint around" artists, although I've always admired that process.

"Oak Tree" and "Urban Still Life" are both in Strokes of Genius 4: Exploring Line, also to be published in October. More on that as it develops.

Friday, September 7, 2012

A Pheasant This Winter

"A Pheasant This Winter", 24 by 30 inches, acrylic on canvas.
This is a commissioned piece, requested by the buyer after he had seen "Winter Berries". "Winter Berries" was sold in a fund raising auction last December, so it wasn't available. The buyer was kind enough to ask me to paint something similar. It was his request that the bird in the new piece feature a pheasant, rather than being a very stylized graphic generic bird as in the original painting, with a few berry plants popping up through the snow. "Pheasant" is also considerably bigger than "Berries", 2 by 2.5 feet instead of 6 by 8 inches.
The buyer intends to use the image on his holiday card this year, so the painting needed to be completed in time for him to print and mail them out. Aside from that, I see its timing as an early celebration of the cooler weather finally headed toward my area over the next couple of days.

Friday, August 24, 2012

Accidental Art: Taos, New Mexico

I was happy to see a hashtagged "Accidental Art" (#accidentalart) on Twitter. It has some great finds on it. I added this one today. It was a steel door on the side of a building in Taos, NM.

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Summer's end

It's about over. I've always had an ambivalent relationship with summer. I generally don't like cold weather, but summer in Texas is such a beating, and it has always had other issues, like money. But better to have them than not.
This painting is a representation of local summers, with cicadas chattering away. The landscape is loosely based on part of the creek and greenbelt that are across the street from my studio and home.
I used watercolor paper as a "patch" that also functions as the surface of the tree. It's titled "Summer, Elmwood Creek", it's 8 by 8 inches and it's acrylic on paper and canvas.

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Pic for tat

I did this ink and watercolor drawing a couple of years ago. I had been considering designing my own tattoo for awhile, and I decided this image would be a good one. So my friend and tattoo artist Riley Padgett inked his interpretation onto my left arm. So here it is:

Looks pretty good, I think.

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

"Sunflower", complete.

And here it is, "Sunflower", 9 by 12 inches, acrylic on canvas.

Thursday, July 12, 2012


A couple of people (Yes! A whole couple) have mentioned that they like to see posts on my process of a painting. So here is an example for an "Americana" painting I'm leaning toward calling "Sunflower". I paint from dark to light, with a mix of purple, red oxide and cadmium red dark as the base. The drawing is in white pastel pencil. The different layers of color are opaque. Sometimes if I decide I want a color darker than it turned out, I'll give it a wash of a darkening color.
I'll post the finish soon.

Friday, July 6, 2012

The Lunatheists

The Lunatheists are a Moon worshiping cult who don rabbit masks for their Full Moon rituals, paying homage to the rabbit shape they see on the face of the moon.

And no, none of that is true. I made it up. It's what I do.

Wednesday, June 27, 2012


"Francis", acrylic on canvas, 10 by 8 inches.

I know what you're thinking, and yes, that is a reference to St. Francis, the Catholic patron saint of animals. He's mostly associated in popular culture with birds, so that seemed a good title for this painting, even though here it depicts a young woman.

It's off to Copper Moon Gallery in Taos.

Monday, June 25, 2012

"Art Slam"

I donated "Big" to a benefit sale for Wordspace, which is described as "a non-profit North Texas literary organization dedicated to supporting indigenous literature and connecting the best of world literature to local readers".

"Big" now has a new home and I'm happy for him and as always, flattered that the new owner wanted the piece.

Saturday, June 23, 2012


Sometimes we need some space from the everyday, from the ordinary, even from each other, and time to think. Sometimes that time to think leads to a solution that requires direct and immediate action. Which might mean dumping that cig in the shot glass and getting on with it.

I don't recommend smoking, by the way (particularly if you wear lipstick), and I don't smoke. This is all metaphorical.

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Their (for the time being) homes...

Here are "Outside Ouray" and "Eldorado Hill" in their on-loan placement in a cool office space.

They are both large-ish, at least for me, at 4 by 5 feet and 3 by 4 feet, respectively. Although I think they hold the space well, they still seem smaller as compared to standing directly in front of them. Especially considering the time required to paint something of that size. Again, at least for me.

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

"Francis" in progress

I've decided to pick up again on the "Americana" series with this painting, "Francis", pictured here on my small easel. The sky needs to be completed, then it's finished.

The original title was going to be "Feathered Friends", but I became concerned about that sounding unnecessarily cornball. So now the title is a play on St. Francis, the patron saint of birds. These birds are all natives of New Mexico.

Of course, I'll post the finished version next.

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Friday, June 15, 2012


We all got 'em. I don't think this guy wants to hear any.

Monday, June 4, 2012

Accidental art: The mold is the medium

A week ago, while preparing for a garage sale at my in-laws, I came across these objects. One is a stretched canvas, and the other is the back of a base for a previously framed decorative object. On both pieces mold, scratches and other damage created really nice abstract images. The flowing horizontal (I preferred that orientation) design on the canvas is subtle but strong. On the second piece analogous colors are created by the dots of mold. A twisted wire stuck to the surface creates a linear counterpoint to the dots' geometry. The dots, though geometric in shape, are actually organic life, while the more free-form wire is man-made metal.

These objects had to be discarded, of course, given the health risks to having mold around. But it was nice to see something beautiful among junk and trash and to have the opportunity to record it. How the objects may have continued to change over time would have been an interesting thing to watch.

Wednesday, May 30, 2012


In the course of making my rooster series of paintings, and particularly in the case of the 7th Street mural project, I would hear many variations of the same joke about the term "cock" and the size of same. So I decided to make a piece that addressed the subject in an ironic way. Ironic, that is, in the sense of this piece not being "big" at all, at 7 by 5 inches.

Monday, May 21, 2012

Oak Cliff Studio Tour, The Denouement

I know, the title of this post is pretentious. But it was a bit of an ordeal to get ready for the tour last week, since we always over extend ourselves. This year we decided to fix up our practically demolished bathroom (a remodeling effort was begun years ago and has never been completed), since closing it off in the last two years' tours didn't keep anyone from wanting access to it, gross as it was. Of course, if someone asks to use it you can't say "no". Still I felt bad for anyone who had to go in there. But while it still needs to be gutted and redone, it looks a lot better than it did. But that and getting ready for the tour itself was hard work, so after it was over we were exhausted and still are, really, two days later. Still, it's great fun to participate and we had a nice steady flow of visitors. I took down a large painting and replaced with a selection of my various favorite subjects, as seen in the photo below.
Roosters were represented this year by a series of acrylic on wooden bowls. They proved to be pretty popular, as did the greeting cards. The same can't be said about the "South Texas Palms" serigraph with hand spattered acrylic colors. But that often happens with work that's outside of what's expected from me. Still, we have to put out new approaches, whether or they're financially successful. Here's a photo of the "merch table", as my wife Becky calls it, with some visitors looking things over.
Below are more photos of visitors and the layout. This year we decided to show off some of our personal collection, too. It includes other Oak Cliff artists and still others from all over. I called our stop an unofficial "Oak Cliff Museum of Art", but I don't know if I could get much of a consensus on that.