Thursday, December 8, 2011

Looking north across Pearly Lake towards Mt Monadnock

OK, this is easily the longest titled painting I have done.
4"x 4.5" oil on wood
I finished this a few weeks ago. It is for a couple from Williamstown, MA. They currently live here in Deland, Florida and own 7 of my paintings. Wait.....maybe it's eight. Damn, I should know. Anyway, this was commissioned as a Christmas gift to the mother of the husband. She had been in ill health and at the age of, I think, 93, time was a factor. I finished it just before Thanksgiving, but unfortunately, she passed away before the painting could be given to her. I would have hoped she would have liked it. I did not meet her, but from all that I have heard, she was a good woman who possessed many good qualities, besides raising a fine son. And she lived a very long time, which is the way it should be. Too often, the jerks of the world live forever and the good die young. But this time, humanity won.
This painting is of a lake in New Hampshire near Franklin Pierce University that looks towards Mt Monadnock. Jeff, the husband went to school there and I am sure it has a lot of good memories. If we are lucky enough to go to college, we are sometimes imbued with the belief that we can change the planet and move mountains once we are unleashed on the world.
I tried to do the best I could with this painting. I think it turned out pretty well. As an artist, I am lucky to live this life. It's the only one I will get. I made some small changes to Monadnock and it is now in clearer view and not obstructed by the trees. You know........maybe we can move mountains after all.

Saturday, November 26, 2011

The Road

Ah, paintings at night. These are extremely difficult to do. Painting outside is a challenge. I live in Florida and the bugs are numerous and relentless. My single light I use to illuminate the easel also attracts every one of them. I use clove oil with my medium and that smell causes them to fly right into the painting and, of course, stick right to it. I spend a lot of time plucking them off. How fun. Plus, moving my eye from the highly lit board to the near darkness and back again to the board is very taxing on the eyes after about an hour. So I have to do a painting over many nights. However, photographing anything is nearly impossible. To get the light right is so hard given the extremes of light and really, you can't see much in a photo in the very dark areas. When I am standing there, I see the subtle differences. And any bright lights are totally washed out, so I have to take many, many pictures at just one location to get the information I need to make a painting.
This piece is 9"x 16" and its a perfect example of all of the above. Plus, when you are out there in the dark, people wonder what the hell you are doing. I am sure it looks suspicious with the white van, too. But people, I am hanging out a while because I am trying to get this whole painting thing right, not plan some elaborate heist or mugging.

Sunday, November 13, 2011

The Night Watch

We spent most of the summer up north, trying to get out of the ridiculous Florida heat. We were in New York when they had just about the hottest stretch of weather ever.
We spent 10 days in the Hudson River valley near New Paltz. We rented a garage apartment and I used my evenings looking for paintings. I like the idea of discovering things. I certainly have images or ideas I am looking for, but the world offers alot more than I can conjure up in my mind.
I didn't have any plan. I just drove around and hoped to come across something really cool at twilight or night. So much of that time is mysterious. Landscapes at this hour are like ghosts that are unseen during the day, only to come out and play to reveal themselves in a myriad of strange and unusual ways. Illumination of light can completely change the way a place looks and feels and quite frankly, so can darkness.
One evening, as night was approaching, I came across a river around Kingston that was near its final destination, the Hudson. This lone, illuminated boat was parked in the river like a sentinel. Its relationship to the house was a mystery. Could have been a party for all I know. Or something sinister. Who knows? With this painting, I want to leave the story open ended and unresolved. I will let the viewer decide its origin and intent.
This painting, more than all the others, represents my transition from pure landscape to one that includes a narrative. It has all the elements of my work and is a nod to the Hudson River artists. In this case, that is literal, given its location.
Its oil on wood.
8.5"x 11.5"

Tuesday, October 25, 2011


Here is another piece I am working on for the show at Arcadia next year. It is 8.5"x 10.5" on wood. This is an actual place. It is the neighborhood my wife grew up in. On the left is her childhood home, still occupied by her father. On the right is the woman who has been his neighbor for 54 years. They both raised families and for more than 10 years, both have been widowed. One is Jewish and one is 7th Day Adventist. Both are incredibly good people who spend alot of time in service of others. To me, they represent a lot of what is good about this country and how well we can adapt and prosper and nourish friendship for, in this case, a very long time. They have differences and commonalities and can still see and understand the beauty and honor of their experience even as the arc of their lives reaches near its end. It is a precious thing to have such a great place to live your life. This is hallowed ground. It is sacred.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Dusk to Dawn

Next March I am having a solo show at Arcadia gallery in NY. Most of the paintings will be from dusk to dawn. I am very excited about it and have already finished some of the paintings for it. I will write more at a later time about the show and some of the ideas I have running through my head, but for now I just wanted to show a smaller painting that I am working on right now that will be included. There are still a few elements I want to add that will create a narrative, but one that is not necessarily obvious. Tentative title is Phenomena. It is 8"x 10.5". Oil on wood

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

New England

This is a small painting I just finished. Its really a commission for a couple in Nantucket that already have a painting. This one is 4"x 4.5". We spent most of the summer in New England and this piece comes from that trip. It's a small creek near the coast, north of Boston. We were just north of Rockport when I found this little place. It rained this day, but our weather for the next 7 days was perfect.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

It's the end of the world as we know it..............

I am a little sad today.
R.E.M. decided to quit being a band.
I have been a huge fan for a long time. Obsessive really. I have listened to their music nearly everyday for years. My first album was Document and I listened to that until it would play no more. Then I got another one and the same thing happened. Simply put, their music made my life a little better. It is the soundtrack to the creation of my paintings. They are all around 50 and deserve to do whatever they want with the rest of their lives. I say good luck to them.
And thank you very much..........

I have spent most of my life traveling. I have been down just about every dirt road, country highway and interstate this land has to offer. America is just beautiful. So many times I have been driving at night with the windows down, on a two lane highway between two small towns, the cool air whipping through the car, and R.E.M. playing on the stereo. So many memories. It was just......right.......
and it will be again.......

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Endless Sea of water paintings.......

Here is a new painting that may come available soon. Endless Sea. 5"x 9" Oil on wood.

Saturday, June 25, 2011

The Unconquerable Sea

Well, here is another painting of the sea from Nantucket. 22"x 33". The ocean can be so many things, but one thing for sure it should be, is respected. It is an indomitable force that cannot be contained. The sea will do whatever it wants and we must abide by it's wishes. Woe unto the man who is arrogant and prideful who thinks this not. I have so many dreams in which I am standing on the edge of the sea and the waves crash at my feet, slowly getting higher and higher, until they overtake me. I am swept away by the sheer power and relentless surge of the water and I am terrified, yet equally calmed by and in awe of, it's beauty.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

American Artist Article

This summer's American Artist Magazine has an article about me and my work. It focuses on my wave paintings. It is very well written by Courtney Jordan and many thanks to her for making me sound a lot smarter than I am. It is currently in all major bookstores and our coffee table.....

Sunday, June 5, 2011


Two years ago I did a painting of Niagara Falls. It was clearly inspired by Frederick Church's Niagara painting. We actually went to the Corcoran Museum in DC to see the painting on the way to Niagara Falls. I was shocked by the poor condition of the painting. It clearly had been punctured and repainted a few times. It's funny. I was so excited to finally see it in person. Maybe I had just expected to be blown away, but I really wasn't. I spent a lot of time looking and, this is hard to say, it seemed very ordinary. I think he is a great artist. I am not fit to clean his brushes, but this was a let down. It even had its own room. Wouldn't that be nice? Maybe I created something impossible in my mind. I don't know. I walked away a bit disappointed.

For my painting, I wanted to create a sense you were looking out over the falls like Church. When we were there the angles clearly weren't right for what I wanted, so I exaggerated the front part and lengthened it to give the viewer a little vertigo. This is based on about 7 in the morning. I was almost alone and the sun was peeking through the mist. It was quite beautiful. The light was dramatic and I tried to get as much information as I could. It was also quite damp with the mist rising up and out. Plus, if you have ever stood there close, the sound is thunderous. The painting is 20"x 44". It was about 8 weeks of work. I repainted the sky as well, trying to get the right color. I hope I did the place justice. Someday I will go back and do another piece. Maybe in winter. And very large. 50"x 75" or so. Now that would be dramatic.....

Friday, June 3, 2011

At the beginning.....

This is a little painting I did in 2005. It's 6"x 6". It was for a solo show I had at Tanner Hill gallery in Chattanooga. It was at the beginning of this phase of doing small work on smooth panels.

Thursday, May 19, 2011


New Painting.........This is a piece from our trip to Nantucket last fall. 8.5"x 10.5" The light and the surf were amazing. Many a piece will come from those few days there.

Sunday, May 15, 2011


5 1/8"x 7"..........All of a sudden, I am into trains. At least the tracks anyway. I have always loved the south. Its a place of dreams and of rich and diverse history. When I am here, I always feel like I am home. Was listening to the Allman Brothers while painting this. Seems appropriate. They were and are southern boys from Macon, Georgia. Duane has been gone a long time, but Greg Allman now lives in Savannah, one of my favorite places in the whole world. This one goes out to you my sweet, Georgia town.............."Oh, Lordy I'm southbound. I'm coming home to you"................................

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Florida Contemporary

The third annual edition of the popular Naples Museum of Art Invitational exhibition opens today in Naples, FL. I was asked to include one of my paintings and Helene von Bueren was kind enough to let them use Santee, which was purchased through Arcadia in NY.
From realism to abstraction (and everything in between), Florida Contemporary 2011 will feature familiar photographers, painters, sculptors and graphic artists who have spent a lifetime at their craft together with an exciting array of new artists that visitors can “discover” for themselves. While not an all-inclusive record of current exhibiting Florida artists, this exhibition provides an intriguing impression of the innovative images, subject matter, techniques and mediums that exemplify the art being created in the state today.

Monday, April 18, 2011

It's not dark yet, but it's getting there.

Here is a new painting I just finished. It's called "Home before Dark". 7 3/4"x 9" on wood panel. I think I am going to do a few more on this theme. This could be anyone waiting for someone to come home. I like the point of view of a parent waiting for their child to come home. There is always worry. The light is on for them and it is nearly dark........

Friday, March 11, 2011

The Visitor

The next piece in the series. I have called it The Visitor. It's title again refers to the transitory nature of things. We are here but a brief time and then just a memory. It is an actual place as well. You are looking down the tracks in Winter Park, FL. On the left is the Winter Park Historical Society and Farmers Market and on the right is the actual Visitor's Center for the City of Winter Park. This painting will be going to Dallas for the Dallas Art Fair and showing with Tanner Hill Gallery. It is 7 1/8"x 9 1/8" on wood.

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

New Direction

I have been painting for many years now and I wanted to start moving beyond just pieces that were beauty for beauty's sake. I am sure it has to do with getting older. I notice the temporary or transitory nature of things. It seems melancholy but it is the most real thing there is. We are only here a little while.
Hurricane Katrina came ashore near Waveland, MS. I wanted to see it right after, but only managed to get there 5 years later. Last summer, coming back from Denver, I stopped by. It was early in the morning, just as the sun was rising. It was dead calm. I made my way directly to the beach and as I got closer the homes began to disappear. On the shoreline, where once many large and beautiful mansions sat, now appeared to be a park. Nature had taken back the land. It was extraordinary. My painting is looking east. The gulf is on the right. The beach line had clearly been altered and a temporary road through the sand was made. On the left there was only a few signs of what once was, in terms of people. The trees mostly survived the storm and were thick. Grasses were tall and lush. It really did look natural. Nature does what it does. It doesn't know we are there and doesn't care.Without the human markers its not really a disaster at all. And yet there were many signs along the road we were moving back in, although slowly.
My first notion, in terms of a painting, in human terms, was to make the tragic look beautiful. Retain the idea of a Hudson River School painting. Have all of those elements there. I think I did that. But make it clear life is temporary. We are always in transition of some kind. The painting has a driveway, broken docks leading out into the gulf, and a fence from a prior home. There is a Port a potty that represents that lack of permanence. Seems to me a perfect object for that. The streetlights represent time for me. Time is something I think about alot. There is no past. There is no future. There is only the present. Now. Everything exits in the present. The past exists only in our memory. Regardless of age, all things are in the present. The universe does not keep time. It just is.

Thursday, February 3, 2011

God's Country

This is a painting I just finished. 10"x 10", oil on wood. It is the same creek as in "Low Country", but from a slightly different view. I have since made a few adjustments to this. I made the mud area in the left foreground a little less red and it seemed to help. It's an area of South Carolina. I love the South. I love driving around a finding new things. It's the discovery for me that gets me excited. There is so much history, so much beauty to be found on the back roads. The real America is there. It's God's Country.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Morning of Discovery

While perusing through Dan Sprick's website and such, I came across a blog called Open Museum. It's a great blog for Museums and artists and anybody who wants to write about and show their work. In it I found a great artist I had never heard of. His name is Martin Greenland. He is a painter from the UK. Exquisitely invented landscapes. SO beautiful. His comments on his blog are great, too.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Back from LA......

Well, we are back. 3 day LA art blitz. I am already back to working and we have been home only an hour..............I am a sicko.
This was a great trip. The images above are from the Museum show. My painting was front and center and the first one you see when you enter the building. My smaller piece was in the second larger room. Had quite the shadow on it. It was very well attended. I took pictures when we arrived and it was 30 minutes before the exhibit was to open and there were many people there already. I am very happy to be part of such a great show.
The LA Art show was humming. The first image is of the Arcadia booth. It was also opening night and all the stars were there....We just didn't see any. It was packed with a lot of activity and a lot of posers. People try so hard to be noticed. But it is LA. Arcadia did great, selling many paintings. Mine were not among those, however. I have confidence, though, considering they always sell my wave pieces. The show runs until Sunday.

Monday, January 17, 2011

Go west young man....

Here is the painting, with its frame, I am bringing to the LA Art Show. 24"x 30". Oil on canvas. The opening is Wednesday night. I am excited, but tired . I have some new ideas I am going to pursue when we get home...............

Wednesday, January 12, 2011


We went to Nantucket this summer to drop off a large wave painting at Quidley and Company, a gallery right on the main street in the middle of the only real town there. It was quite lovely and we stayed for 3 days thanks to a B&B called the Century House. They have a program where artists can stay there and work on the island. We went out to the beach near Siasconset and I did a painting from some photos and notes I made. The surf was very dramatic that day. It was so exciting being right there and it reminded me why, again, I am drawn to painting the ocean in the first place. This painting ended up being part of a show at Quidley and Co. in Boston during December. We went up for the opening and I actually sold it to gentleman who is from Winter Park here in Florida. He still has a home near the Polasek Museum, where I have painted a number of times. Small world.......this piece is 8"x 12", titled "Siasconset".

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Hudson River School

This is not a very good reproduction of a painting I did last fall. I didn't have time to take it to my photo guy and I needed to get it out to the gallery so I took this image on the floor of our living room. Nice glare. A little blurry, too. It was purchased by a great collector of the arts who lives in Boston. The piece is titled "View of the Hudson from Olana". It is, of course, the Hudson river from Frederick Church's home. I was literally standing right next to the house. Some of my work is influenced by the Hudson River School, no doubt. I can't say that it has been a defining factor in most of my work, though. With this painting, however, I wanted to make a piece that was clearly influenced by them and notably Church, while using his property as the subject matter. I figured what a better way to celebrate this type of American art than to paint the master's property. He and his family had quite the view. I wonder how much different it looked when they lived there. I made almost no adjustments. This is pretty much what it looks like.

LA Art Show...

Just finished a wave painting going to Arcadia for the LA Art Show. 24"x 30" on canvas. This should be the last wave painting for a while as I am doing a few smaller paintings and then starting a whole new series of works for a show in Dallas. Rachel and I are going out for the opening in LA. Should be good times......