Friday, December 14, 2012

Pencils and Prints

I met an artist who had enhanced his giclee art prints with colored pencils.  It is a technique that never occurred to me and I was amazed at how he was able to transform his images.  What were once flat, dull colors were now rich and vibrant.  I decided that I would try the same thing with my own work.  I had created a number of giclee prints a few years ago that dreadfully disappointed in terms of their quality.  The colors were and dull the image sharpness was lacking.  They were virtually useless to as pieces that I could sell so I had discarded them.   After ignoring them for a couple years I had an inspiration and reinvented the  prints as Woven Prints that you can now visit on my flickr site at
Here are a few samples of my colored pencil giclees

Monday, December 3, 2012

A Walk in the Woods

Many years ago, a group of friends of mine and I were romping in the woods to see what we could find.  These images document  some of  the 'things' we found.  First there were black and photos,  then there was photoshop which still baffles  me.  And just recently I found picasa.   Together all three create magic.  

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Portrait of an Artist

 30 years ago I painted a quick portrait of an artist for my mother.  Although I did not typically paint self-portraits my mother thought it looked like me.   It was done quickly and she immediately put it up on her wall where it remained until they needed to downsize as they transitioned into a smaller apartment.  She asked if I would take the picture home with me which I did.   Over the years as I would look at it I would see little problems that really began to annoy me.   I saw issues with the figure’s hands, sleeves,  and shoulders and now that I had it in my studio I could finally have my way with it.  I decided that I did not want to do anything radical like changing the posture or background in order to retain the essential integrity of the piece.  And if and when my mom saw it again she would not be offended.  So now as you see the latest version, you will notice that ‘the artist’ has not aged terribly but he did inherit a smock, a couple brushes, a derby and a little ruff collar for good measure.

Monday, November 5, 2012


We are amalgams, the results of arbitrary confluences and unexpected social interactions.   How we perceive, identify, and define ourselves is related to all of these disparate parts having been put together in a kind of social cubism.  
This is the approach I have followed in creating these three portraits called Patches.  Originally I had drawn three similar but not identical portraits from the same point of view.  Then I cut them each into small squares , mixed the squares up, and randomly reassembled the pieces to form new inventions of the portraits,  with new identities, new narratives.  
Dating back to my earliest forays into art making I have been intrigued by the portrayal of the human face, what it evokes, and how and why it is represented.   Sometimes it approximates a likeness, other times it is a mere abstraction.  It can reveal.  It can conceal.  Or with a few strokes of a pen, pencil, brush, or collage, it can capture the essence and spirit of a subject.   I believe these portraits fall somewhere in between.  

Monday, October 8, 2012

Music and Murals

There was a call to artists to submit mural  proposals at the Old Town School of Music  in Chicago and I wasted no time trying to come up with something.  But rather than try to reinvent the wheel I decided to fall back on my own images.  I had always wanted to see what they  might look like if I could cut them up and collage them back together again.  This proved to be a perfect challenge for me to hone my limited Photoshop skills.  Here are a few examples of some of my experiments.  Below is the letter that I included in my submission.  It explains the intention behind my selections.    

Music plays a key component in my life not only as musician but as a visual artist.  It is often  an indelible presence in my work.   Music uses sound to create a mood and instill an emotional  connection.   I use the figure as a point of departure.  Just as music can bend reality, I refer to the figure in less literal terms as well.   I see the  subject of the mural as another form of theater where the figures become characters in a mysterious tableau whose  meaning is left entirely  to the observers to explain,  describe, and, most important,  question.   

Monday, October 1, 2012


Yes, I admit it.  I enjoy thumbing through my daughters' fashion magazines.  And yes, the women are very attractive.  But I have ulterior motives.  I am looking specifically for large head shots.  For these particular pieces I was interested mouths as the starting points.  Once I cut them out I let them with some paint define their new identities.   It is curious how beauty can become something else, still beautiful but different, even asexual.

Subsequently I mounted the portraits onto  paper and using pen and ink completed their transformations.

Painting and Photoshop

There was a call to come up with an image for a mural for the Old Town School of Music in Chicago.   It is a wonderful venue for music and dance.   Instead of 'reinventing the wheel' I decided to refer back to some of my paintings for inspiration, many of which featured elements of music and dance.   I've always been intrigued with idea of mixing up and combining images and was clear how to do it, until I discovered Photoshop.  It makes almost anything possible and allows for solutions that I could never have imagined or  created.  I feel as though I am somehow cheating.  Technically what I've posted is  a bit clunky.  But still,  the potential for new ideas and discoveries is infinite.  Now all I have to do is submit images and see what happens.