Category: On Painting

I am primarily a painter. These writings are specifically about painting, as the title suggests.


The Beauty of Original Art

To own an original painting is to have the original playing – the live perfect performance – of a song. I’ve met many a musician who has, in a painting I’ve made, seen a visual representation of a song, much as I’ve heard many a song and, in that song, heard an auditory journey of […]

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Woman At A Bar

I wonder if anyone at an art show in 1900 said “O, look, ANOTHER painting of a woman at a bar.” There’s SO many paintings of a woman at a bar. Woman drinking at a bar. Woman sitting at a table near a bar. Then, sometime in 1945, Max Ernst comes along and says, “Hold […]

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The Emotional State of the Image

“I painted picture upon picture in keeping with the impression made on my eye in a moment of heightened emotion – painted the lines and colours that remained fastened to my inner eye… By painting the colours and lines and shapes I had seen in an emotional state – I wished to recapture the quivering […]

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Happy Accidents

I assembled the stretcher bars to the desired size (18 x 14) and cut an appropriately sized rectangle of canvas. With pliers and staple gun I stretched it around the bars and then proceeded to gesso it. Once it appeared to be dry, I brushed on a background wash of yellow orange azo, burnt sienna, […]

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Intentional Ambiguity Is Better Than Indecisive Vagueness

This is something I was thinking about while painting tonight. Often I leave things in my paintings rather ambiguous or suggestive. There are shapes are suggestive of things – animals or plants or clouds or structures… And they are all inspired by countless things I see through the course of my days. O, nature and […]

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The Rule of Thirds and Composition

I’d like to talk about composition. The Rule of Thirds is, I think, the best way to consider a composition. Using this little painting for an example – take a look at where the lines intersect the painting. It almost falls perfectly into it’s respective sections. The right edge of the left third intersects the cloud […]

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Painting the Feeling

When you decide to be a painter – and I mean the painterly sort who is rendering shapes and objects and emotions – I think it’s important to always remember that you aren’t merely painting a representation of the thing, you are painting THE thing. It’s not a cloud. It’s all your feelings and ideas […]

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What Painting Is

I wake up because the cat is mrowing because he’s hungry and I slept fifteen minutes later than I usually sleep and he’s come over to my side of the bed imploring me to please get up now because he is HUNGRY but I’d like to sleep even though I know I am going to […]

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On the Clouds (In My Artwork)

  If people talk about my art in the future, they will probably, at some point, mention the clouds. So before possible future critics extrapolate on my intentions, I’d like to share some thoughts on the subject myself – that is: the abundance of clouds in my paintings. Because there is definitely an abundance of clouds. […]

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What Is There Left To Paint?

A frequent question that is asked of me: where does it come from? What inspires me? Violet reminded me that the etymology of the word ‘inspire’ is rooted in the word ‘breath’ and that ‘inspire’ is a way of saying ‘breathing life into’. So the question really is ‘what breathes life into my work?’ Where […]

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