In process – “Boomers” (working title) & completed “Patriarch”

This is basically as early as I can bring you into the process. Here are are the first conceptual sketches in a little notebook I carry around, followed by thumbnail compositional sketches where I’m working out more exact spacing, followed by the first chalk outline on a 30×30 canvas .


Visually, this series loosely references the celosia, or coxcomb flower. My father, an avid if not zealous gardener, gave me seeds from a particular large, beautiful hybrid he had grown and I was able to grow them in my first city-garden and collect seeds for the next year.

So this gives way to the budding conceptual basis of this series, which at this point, is just thinking about some different phrases:  knowledge handed down through generations, the impact of one generation on the next, or generation(in the family context) upon generation (in a creative or generative concext). Concept becomes more defined as I work on a piece, usually.

Boomers is the working title for a few reasons. This may be my version of  a portrait of my parents. I don’t really know that for sure yet, but they are baby boomers. But it may also be one generation and its subsequent offspring, not sure…  However, at a particularly long meeting at work, I was drawing some of these forms over and over. A co-worker noticed and wrote “Boom!”  I guess they looked like mushroom clouds…

Also, I realized I never posted the finished version of an acrylic painting, which I’ve titled Patriarch, so here it is. I consider it a stand alone piece now, rather than part of a diptych.

Pics from Monster Drawing Rally

Photos by Robert Martinović

Looks like I’m concentrating.


While it can be distracting to talk to people while you work, it’s actually kind of fun too.


Ok. After a few of these, I realize I need a haircut. It’s all shapeless in the back. Needs to be super short in the back. Yes, yes it does.


Work, work, work.

As I said earlier, I should have stopped while I was ahead, but I plan on doing some larger pieces in this style soon, so hopefully they’ll be more controlled. The canvases are gessoed and awaiting their destiny…

Monster Drawing Rally painting

Having a hard time find the time to blog this week. Here is what I did in the hour of the Monster Drawing Rally last Friday. I’ll be honest, I’m not really happy with the piece. I didn’t do a trial run before like last year. I really just should have stopped while I was ahead. It’s really easy to over-do this subject. But, it is what it is.

The background is black matboard, coated with gel medium. I used a mix of Golden Open Acrylic in Buff and regular white, as I needed it to dry faster (otherwise I would use just Open acrylics). 

The rally itself was packed as usual and it was fun talking to people as I worked.

Work in progress – acrylic painting

Remember the acrylic study? Well, I attemped one painting, didn’t like the composition, so this is attempt #2. Still loving the Golden Open Acrylics and I use a lot of the Open Gel Medium and Open Thinner (rather than water, which just speeds up the drying).

Anyways, this still needs some tweaking, but this is the first layer. The current plan is for this to be one panel of a diptych. I’ve done a test for the second panel, which will consist of silk, thread, and maybe some other goodies. Hopefully, I’ll get to it within a week or two.

The meaning has developed as I’ve worked on it, but I’ll keep that under wraps until it’s closer to completion.

acrylic interpretation of celosia

Been working a lot this week on the silk yoyo piece, felting many a tendril, and the threaded vessel, stitching and beading. Definitely an update on that one soon! I’m really happy with how it’s coming along.

Study in acrylic

Sketch in acrylic - interpretation of celosia, aka. coxcomb

Haven’t posted in a while, so I thought I’d post a little acrylic sketch I did last night. I think it’s a little fuzzy being taken from my phone, but I still like it. I’m starting to work on pieces for my show in April at the Lyric Opera House, so this was a study for a small piece I hope to start this weekend. It’s in acrylic rather than my usual colored pencil. Though I usually meticulously plan things out and don’t really like to paint, it was really satisfying.

I’m using Golden Open Acrylics, a newish product with a very long working time in comparison to traditional acrylics. I got a free CD from Golden through American Artist’s Artist Daily newsletter and was easily swayed. Solves what I didn’t like about acrylics without having to work with smelly oil paints that require solvents (I’m not knocking the value of oils as a medium, but it’s just not for me). It’s really versatile stuff. In fact, I need to buy an off-white color today. The finished piece will hopefully be a diptych, with a second panel of embellished & stitched silk. The titanium white here just doesn’t mesh with the natural white of silk.

Progress: Drawing & Painting

Admittedly, there’s not much progress on this front as I’ve been focusing on the installation.

There’s been a little work done on “Every Woman a Widow.”

I promised that I’d explain the tentative title. Well, I call these things “widow flowers.” In their original black and white form, it was the first gallery sale I had. I’ve always seen girls’ faces with their hair hanging down. Somewhere down the line, I think we all lose a part of ourselves as we get older. For better or for worse. I’m sure some qualities are better left behind, but some maybe not. Either way, the person you were is essentially dead and gone. So the “widow” doesn’t reflect traditional marriage in this case. It represents a loss in oneself. I’m not trying to be a downer here. I don’t think of this as a depressing piece. I would say it concerns acceptance with a tinge of nostalgia. However, take from it what you like.

And here is the second still from the slow, slow progress of a piece I’m doing for the “Urban Suburban;” an auction later in the year benefiting the Epsten Gallery / KC Jewish Museum. It’s super slow, but I like where it’s going…

Still uncertain about the title. As of now, it’s “official” title is “Still Searching.” Sometimes though, I simply call it “Moonlighting,” which I also like. Hmm, any opinions?

Work in Progress Update

So I’m enjoying the new studio. It made for a nice walk Friday morning and getting to work in front of all the passerbys is pretty cool. Someone actually stopped, knocked on the window and we ended up talking for a bit.

So, anyways, on Friday I added the first layer to the vines, darkened the background, and added a second layer to some of the rocks. I’m going to try to get them to blend into the background a bit more.

I’ve been working on a few drawings as well, and I should have some pics up in the next few days.


Ze Studio & Work in Progress

Well, I am moved into the new studio and happily working away. However, I’m going to have to get a schedule of when things are going on at the Sprint Center. Bon Jovi was in town again last night and I gave up looking for parking and went home. Anyways, here’ s a pic of the new place. I’m at the front of the building so I get lots of street traffic, which is cool.

Also, here’s a few pics of a new piece I’ve started. I haven’t finished the first layer yet, but hopefully I’ll get oily goodness over the whole thing in the next few days. 🙂 Struggling with a name for this one still…