Friday, January 20, 2023

Two New Paintings

Finished in early December, Two Women Walking by an Advertisement:  


Two Women Walking by an Advertisement
2022, oil on linen, 24" x 24"


I was originally thinking of painting the walls with tones of yellow ochre. After finishing the clothes of the two main figures, however, I decided to go with blue. For one, the small areas of yellow ochre would have created a disturbance in the overall unity of the composition. And I've always liked working with harmonies of closely related colors. Aside from the skin tones, the only deviations from blues and greys are the green beret and the red lipstick which bring visual energy and tension.

The next painting, finished a couple days ago, continues with my enjoyment of closely related colors ... reds in this case ... with a green t-shirt serving as a counterpoint.


Handsome Demon
2023, oil on linen, 7" x 5 1/2"




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Sunday, November 13, 2022

Cosmetic Advertisement, in progress

 On the easel:

Cosmetic Advertisement [in progress]
oil on linen, 24" x 24"

The initial drawing for this composition was done several years ago and floated around the studio until this past August. Why some ideas take much longer than others to coalesce has no obvious explanation but when I looked at the drawing again this summer, the time was finally right. The new drawing below was made:


Cosmetic Advertisement, drawing #2
2022, pencil on paper with red oxide pastel tone on reverse, 24" x 24"

Unlike my usual process of making numerous preparatory drawings, it was used to transfer the image to canvas. Perhaps a mistake to be so quick. The woman's face on the left, her hair and beret, were the first parts painted. After that I became uneasy with the composition. The right and left halves did not integrate. After several days of contemplation, it became evident that a second woman, overlapping the advertisement was needed. She unites the halves and creates a better visual flow.


Cosmetic Advertisement, drawing #4
2022, pencil on paper with red oxide pastel tone partially on reverse, 8" x 12 1/2"

Cosmetic Advertisement [detail, in progress]
oil on linen, approx. 11" x 12"

As the painting developed, two more faces - also advertisements - were added in the far background.


Cosmetic Advertisement [detail, in progress]
oil on linen, approx. 12" x 24"



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Wednesday, September 14, 2022

New York Exhibition

15 September - 31 October 2022
Adelson Galleries, New York
595 Madison Avenue

opening reception:
Thursday,  29 September

6 to 8 PM




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Sunday, August 7, 2022

Five Chocolate Truffles

Recently finished:

Five Chocolate Truffles
2022, oil on linen, 10" x 12"

This painting, along with twenty-one other oil paintings and four drawings, will be shown in my upcoming solo exhibition at the Adelson Galleries in New York, from September 15th through October 31st. A reception will take place on Thursday, the 29th of September.

Here is a painting and a drawings that will be in the exhibition:


Two Women with a Monkey
2018, oil on linen, 18 x 20 inches


Two Women with a Monkey, drawing #2
2017, pencil on paper with red oxide tone on reverse, 18 x 20 inches



 
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Monday, July 18, 2022

Lula Polishing a Sculpture

 Recently finished:

Lula Polishing a Sculpture
2022, oil on linen, 15" x 10"


A painting now on the easel:

Five Chocolate Truffles   [in progress]
oil on linen, 10" x 12"



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Wednesday, May 4, 2022

Drawing Loretta

 Recently finished:

Drawing Loretta 
2022, oil on linen, 20" x 20"


A painting now in progress:

Lula in Her Studio [in progress]
15" x 10", oil on linen, 2022


Lula in Her Studio, drawing #2
15" x 10", pencil on paper, 2022

Lula in Her Studio, drawing #7
15" x 10", pencil on paper, 2022


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Monday, March 14, 2022

Loretta Painting My Portrait

Recently finished:

Loretta Painting My Portrait
2022, oil on linen, 12" x 10"


A painting now in progress:

Drawing Loretta [in progress]
2022, oil on linen, 20" x 20"


Two drawings:


Loretta Painting My Portrait, drawing #1
2021, pencil on graph paper, 8" x 8"
Private collection, Massachusetts


Loretta Painting My Portrait, drawing #2
2021, pencil on paper with green oxide pastel on reverse, 12" x 10"


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Sunday, January 30, 2022

Subway Checkpoint

Subway Checkpoint
2021, oil on linen, 24" x 28"

In this recently finished painting I departed from my usual harmonies of unified colors and instead used a discordant color palette. The blue-green and light-yellow walls contrast with the rich deep tones of the clothing. The narrative depicts a possibly tense or unpleasant moment, and I felt a discordant palette would work best.

In comparison, my 1987 painting, The Truth about Lola, has a similar composition of people in line to gain entrance, but it uses a harmony of closely-related reds and dark greys. The reds hopefully add an element of anticipation and excitement.

The Truth about Lola
1987, oil on linen, 32" x 42"
Private collection, Massachusetts

Subway Checkpoint took seven drawings to develop, and an eighth when I decided to turn the blonde woman's face from profile to three-quarter view:

Subway Checkpoint, drawing #1
undated, pencil on pieces of graph paper taped together, ca. 7 1/2" x 10"

Subway Checkpoint, drawing #2
2021, pencil on graph paper, 8 3/4" x 8 3/4"

Subway Checkpoint, drawing #3
2021, pencil on graph paper, 8 3/4" x 10"

Subway Checkpoint, drawing #4
2021, pencil on graph paper, 8 3/4" x 10"

Subway Checkpoint, drawing #5
2021, pencil on graph paper, 8 3/4" x 10"

Subway Checkpoint, drawing #6
2021, pencil on graph paper, 8 3/4" x 10"

Subway Checkpoint, drawing #7
2021, pencil on paper with pastel tone on reverse, 24" x 28"

Subway Checkpoint, drawing #8
2021, pencil and ink on paper with pastel tone on reverse, 8 1/2" x 11"


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Monday, December 13, 2021

Subway Checkpoint, in progress

A painting on the easel that's close to completion:

Subway Checkpoint, in progress
24" x 28", oil on linen

As with most of my compositions this piece took multiple drawings to develop. Over the course of the drawings, I try to work out the spatial problems that emerge. Here is the final drawing that was used to transfer the image to canvas:

Subway Checkpoint, drawing #7
24" x 28". pencil on paper with green oxide pastel tone on reverse

No matter how much the composition has been worked out, however, there are always changes that need to be made once I start painting. Sometimes the changes are minor, but in this painting, there were three significant changes. 

First, the boy in a baseball cap went away, and then - though I'd already painted her face and hand - his mother went after him. A faint ghost remained where she used to be:   


Finally, the blonde woman on the right turned her head to look at the man showing his ID:


Each change improved the flow and made the composition stronger. 

The major parts left to paint now are the interior of the booth and the walls.


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Tuesday, August 24, 2021

Four Women and a Demon

Four Women and a Demon
2021, oil on linen, 14 3/4" x 21"


Demons have appeared numerous times in my work. They arrive unpremeditated in the initial drawing of a composition, quietly arising from my subconscious – as do most of my ideas.

The meaning of this and other demons is totally up to the viewer, and from comments I’ve received I know the interpretations vary greatly; they can be humorous or evil, sexual or chaste, the representation of an internal dysfunction or of an external influence. Whatever ones see is what it is. 

I’ve long thought it best to leave the viewer to bring their own creativity to deciphering the meaning of a painting. A verbal explanation on my part would be limiting.

One of the best examples in my experience of divergent interpretations happened at the opening of my 1995 exhibition at the Adelson Galleries and involved the painting Pharmacy.


Pharmacy
1994, oil on linen, 9" x 9"

A man came up to me, pointed to this painting and told me: “You have a very malevolent view of humanity. You must be severely depressed.” He walked away without waiting for a response. 

Not that I had one. 

Fifteen minutes later, another man pointed to the same painting and said: “I love it. You have a wonderfully wry and profound view of the world and its absurdity.” 

A good antidote to the first comment.


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Saturday, March 13, 2021

September

I spent July through December working on the painting below, titled September

Compositions with an abundance of leaves are among my most complex and take a lot of time to paint. The placement and color of each leaf, the flow they generate together with the branches and trunks, are always a challenge. 


September
2020, oil on linen, 34" x 22"
Private collection, Florida

The color organization puts cool greens and a blue sky in the upper part of the painting, and warm reds and browns in the lower. In a way opposite of what I did in another recent painting, Subway Interior, where the warm colors are on top and the cool below.


Subway Interior
2020, oil on linen, 26" x 15"

Below are my two largest leaf paintings. Each took a year or more to complete. 


In the Garden
2006-2007, oil on linen, 62" x 72"
Private collection, New York


Woman with Autumn Leaves
1992-1994, oil on linen, 36" x 72"
Private collection, California


Meanwhile, during the last two months I've been working on a painting of a woman playing with a cat and developing drawings - including a large one of an audience at a theatrical performance.



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Monday, August 31, 2020

Queen

A new painting:

Queen
2020, oil on linen, 10" x 8"

In the original drawing the woman was alone and wearing a party hat resembling a crown. The title Queen remains from that first image, even though she lost her hat and gained two admiring men. As always, the evolution came about naturally as the painting developed, and was not based on any meaningful thought beyond what was intuitively needed. I still like the original drawing and may return to it again.

Queen, drawing #1
2019, pencil on graph paper, 9 1/2" x 7"

Queen was finished seven weeks ago, and since then I've been working on a composition of a woman with two children, five pears, and a bird:

Collecting Pears, in progress
34" x 22", oil on linen

detail, ca. 5" x 7"

The bird was inspired by the catbirds that nest every spring in the dense patch of knotweed outside my studio, and it's the first one I've painted since 1996:

Woman with Bird
5 1/2" x 4", oil on linen, 1996
Private collection, Massachusetts


quotes

"There is more power in telling little than in telling all."
- Mark Rothko

“The mind loves the unknown. It loves images whose meanings are unknown, since the meaning of the mind itself is unknown.”
- Magritte

"Now, the idea is to get everything right -- it's not just color or form or space or line -- it's everything all at once."
- Richard Diebenkorn