Archive for September, 2009

Acrylic vs oils – paint doesn’t care as long as you use it!

September 26, 2009 Leave a comment

It’s a love/hate relationship between acrylic and oil paint for me as an artist. They both have unique qualities and I like using them for different reasons as long as I can keep on using them.

The paint doesn’t care really and it sits and waits for me to decide…what’s it gonna be, man? Are ya gonna paint with da oils or da acrylics? (Paint sounds like New Yorkers sometimes)

Years ago I took a picture of my daughter at a moment when she was in very deep concentration over a bottle of bubbles and whether or not she could manage to pour it into another vessel without making a mess. I kept the photo for years until one day I was looking for a subject to paint in acrylics and found it.

Natasha pouring "Bubbles"

Natasha pouring "Bubbles"

The thing about acrylics is they have a tendency to dry quickly, a good thing if you want that and not a good thing if you want to blend and work with it for a while. It’s that love/hate thing again.

Years later I had an idea to paint somewhat of a classic piece of an “angel” and of course had to use oils. Love oils! They’re messy and take some getting use to and make me slow way down in my technique and somehow dictate to me what to do as opposed to acrylics that are more “the hell with it , man…let ‘er rip! You can always paint over me in  a few minutes!!!”

Angel in oils.

Angel in oils.

The worst thing you can do with paint is ignore it and let it dry up. Shame!


How Old Does This Painting Look?

September 23, 2009 2 comments

This style of abstract painting reminds me of a very ancient style that for some reason feels very familiar to me.

Sure, I do believe in past lives. How else would I just be able to operate so casually about this planet and not be half crazed by the idea that this is it! Anyway, that’s another subject entirely and deserves another Blog itself.

So, back to this painting I did 6 years ago that feels like I did 5,000 years ago. Well, I wanted to use a lot of texture and graphic shapes and color that portrays somewhat of a scene but also gives the viewer a chance to make up their own vision. My eyes travel up the painting so I call it “ascending”

I’m curious about something here; Does this style have an old quality to it or am I just adding in my own “think”? What do you say? Old? Contemporary? Something else?

If I did paint this 5,000 years ago it might be worth a lot of dough! Ha!!

Ascending  18"x 24" acrylic on paper

Ascending 18"x 24" acrylic on paper

What’s better than a painting studio at the beach?

September 23, 2009 6 comments

What’s better than a painting studio at the beach? Not a whole lot for me. I’ve been walking around telling me wife I’d like to have a place to paint at the beach for years and then I got a call from a friend who says another friend of his is looking to rent out part of his loft space so he can start his fine art career and would like me to come and share it with him!

Wow! Not too bad, huh? And, I know the guy and his work and we’ve even got the same “think” about how we want to eventually just be fine artists and slide away from commercial graphics but never seem to “just do it!”

I spoke to him on the phone and then went to see the space and it’s perfect! I won’t get into too much detail here, but let’s just say within a month I’ll be gettin’ pretty dirty with paint and sand!

Here’s a few pictures of the place…

Blue door on teh right is the entrance and that's the beach far left!

Blue door on the right is the entrance and that's the beach far left!


Bonnaire, Aruba and Curacaio are a fine art treasure.

September 18, 2009 2 comments

Colorful is a word that comes to mind when I think of these islands. They are rich with vibrant life and color and exude art everywhere you look. Juts walking down a back street in Bonnaire makes me wonder why we here in the U.S. don’t use more color in on our buildings. It makes such a difference in the way I feel when I look at these buildings on the islands. The lifestyle is colorful as are the people.

They don’t use any muted colors, they use pure paint. Reds and blues and magenta greens are everywhere you turn. The clothes are bright as the blue sky and there’s nothing tame about how they feel about their community. It comes through everywhere. No wonder people visit from all over the world.

Wouldn’t it be nice to paint your home bright colors. I suppose if you were the only one in your neighborhood who did it, well they might look at you strangely and it probably wouldn’t look as good until it caught on a bit. But, imagine if it did! Might get some good press, don’t you think?

I believe color can make you feel better about your day and what you do. When I talk to people who live on those island they seem cheerful and seem down right happy to greet me and welcome me into their shops genuinely as can be. Most of the galleries there also have beautiful artwork that you don’t see anywhere else in the world.

They are rich in fine art treasure. I can’t wait to go back again and again and again.

Shop on a back street on Bonnaire

Shop on a back street on Bonnaire

Curacaio buildings

Curacaio buildings


21st Century Angel

September 16, 2009 Leave a comment

OK. The idea was to paint a modern day rendition of an angel using a friend who agreed to pose for a photograph that I could paint from. It’s a very difficult conversation to have with someone whose known you for many years as an art director/creative director and to say you’re just going to try something out a little unusual and see how it comes out.

He was fine with it.

I had this strange image in my head of an angel wearing a black t-shirt kind of holding out his hands gesturing for the viewer to come forward onto his welcome arms.

The photo came out fine.

The painting was done in oils as I was shooting for a classical realistic style and was more or less practicing that technique on this piece. I’m very pleased with the highlights on the arms and hands as it seems to have a rim light effect.

I had many different backgrounds but settled on a yellow sky and clouds in the background. I nailed the likeness of my subject and friends that have seen it immediately know who it is.

The one thing that I wanted to do was put a symbol or phrase or word that would really finish the piece and give it meaning, and to this day I haven’t been able to come up with it.

If anyone out there has an idea for what should go on his t-shirt, please let me know. I don’t feel like it will be completed until that’s done. Maybe it’s a portrait of the devil in red face? That might be an interesting dichotomy.


The Fine Art That Never Sleeps in New York City

September 15, 2009 1 comment

As I said in an earlier post, my days of walking the streets of New York was always filled with a never-ending stream of art throughout the varying neighborhoods. From walking in the Village to strolling uptown along 5th Avenue I always managed to be entertained by either unique window dressings or from yelling cab drivers as they weaved their way in traffic to an unknown destination.

I was never, ever bored living there and found the City a fountain of culture with art from all ages. My most favorite thing to do was to walk through new neighborhoods as they presented such diversity from block to block. A true melting pot.

My last visit was no different other than I labored more because an aging body but still the excitement of what I would find around the next corner was always there and I’m sure will always be there when I return.

As I was walking up one of the streets deep in the SoHo area I came across a painting of Marilyn Monroe in the window of a gallery that stopped me dead in my tracks.


This was the best collaboration between Disney characters and stardom I’d ever seen to date.

Then there were the beautiful photos in the windows that captured the imagery designers tried so hard to place within the community to broadcast the richness of the present day cultures.


I even came across a striking Mona Lisa painting on the side of a building that seemed quite natural to be there and reminded me that street art can be some of the finest when created by artist that have true passion for their work and decide that a gallery just doesn’t suit them or their paintings but they deserve the right to place the paintings in front of the pedestrians anywhere, anytime.


Sculpture is bountiful in the City as well and you can’t walk very far without coming across some very striking pieces that designate the different “squares” throughout the neighborhoods. And of course the architecture is classic and as varied as the people that inhabit the buildings.



So we call it the City that Never Sleeps. We can see why now. The Artists never do as well!

Fine Art of Dance from my friends….

September 13, 2009 Leave a comment
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