Sunday, March 29, 2009

Tiny Brushes

As a Freshman at the U. of South Carolina, my painting instructor (Philip Mullen, a great teacher) warned me that if I did not stop using my small brushes he would hide them from me. This was the mid 70's, the age of Minimalism, Color Field, and large abstract paintings, you troweled, poured, threw and sprayed the paint onto the surface, concept trumped "old world" technique. The brushes were taken away. Eventually, I decided to take the minimalist route, and got out the masking tape, my academic phase as a stripe painter had begun. The adopted heroes were Sol LeWitt and Agnes Martin. I wasn't buying the voluminous "art speak" that came with this style of picture making but what I did learn to appreciate was the beauty that was created using these most basic elements of painting. My years as a minimalist taught me the power of subtlety and nuance, lessons that enhance my work today (executed with my collection of tiny brushes, of course).
Top: Reading glasses and a 2 haired brush are called for at times.
Bottom: HYDRANGEA (Gathering) 20x16.5 (26x22.5 Fr) oil panel 2009, will be featured in my upcoming show at TEW.

Friday, March 20, 2009


I resisted painting flowers at a time in my career, to me the subject had become a cliche'. I felt I had nothing to add to this staple of the art canon. At the suggestion of my Atlanta dealer (thanks Tim) I decided to give it a try. There were rules though; no still lifes, no Impressionistic flourishes, the blossom had to fit into my world. To my surprise these botanical pieces have become some of my favorite and popular works. The above is my take on that spring time classic, the Dogwood.
Top: POTOMAC SONATA 22x20 oil panel (available at TEW)
Middle: DOGWOOD 22x20 oil panel (Private collection)
Bottom: ANATOMY OF PATIENCE 22x20 oil panel (Private collection)

Wednesday, March 11, 2009


About once a year I get the urge to create images that are not a part of my linear stream of paintings. These studies usually end up having a theme, but start off haphazardly, just sketching anything I find interesting from a magazine, newspaper or book. Most are small (10x8") works on paper. I call them "cards" because they fit into an envelope and I have mailed many. To my surprise, what I learn from these exercises will eventually find its way into later paintings.
Top: A card from a recent series, I called "female archetypes", you can see more here at Flickr.
Bottom: SUNRISE (Cats and Birds) 20x18fr oil on panel, (the figure was based on a card from this series). Available at TEW Galleries now.

Monday, March 2, 2009

The Vault

Dow Jones Industrial Average

Index Value:6,763.29
Trade Time: 4:04pm ET
Change:Down 299.64 (4.24%)
Above: THE VAULT (20x18 fr) oil on panel, 2008.
You start a painting concerned about formal matters; composition, color. After the picture is complete, current events provide the meaning.
Let's revisit that classic Jim Cramer meltdown on CNBC.

Sunday, March 1, 2009

Big Peach-Home

Top: On the road to see Mom, I-85, Exit 90,outside Gaffney, S.C. The best peaches in the world are grown in this region, sorry Ga.
Middle: George with mementos. I feel like I am walking into a museum when I visit the home I grew up in, (don't know what to think of this psychological development).
Bottom:"FAR FROM HOME" 20x18 oil on panel (private collection), a painting about suddenly finding yourself in an unfamiliar setting. This was an entertaining picture to work on, that poodle kept me smiling.