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.

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.