Friday, May 30, 2014

Descent to Orta San Giulio

A 9x12 oil of the descent to the plaza of Orta San Giulio.  I've been on a tear lately, and am posting tonight since I won't have time tomorrow.  In Italy, one of the attractions is the patina that seems to be everywhere, a lovely sign of its age and humanity.

Tyrolean Postcard

A 9x12 oil on canvas of a path above the town of Vols am Schlern (in Italian, Fie Allo Sciliar), in the Tyrol region of Italy.  What struck me is that German is the preferred language in Northern Italy.

Thursday, May 29, 2014

Steps on Isola Pescatori

Another Italian postcard:  a 9x12 oil on mdf panel of steps on the Fisherman's Island in Lake Maggiore.

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Italian Postcard

When I stuck my head out of the dormer patio above the roofline of our hotel in Baveno, this is what I would see in the late afternoon.  A 9x12 oil on mdf panel.

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Postcard of Baveno

A 9x12 oil on canvas of the main street in Baveno, Viale Della Vittoria, at the early hour of seven in the morning.  On the right side is Lago Maggiore, north are the Alps.

Monday, May 26, 2014

Top of the Hill

Yesterday afternoon was a splendid time to work outside with painter Thor Wickstrom.  We were near the top of a  hill on a dirt road in Pownal, Vermont, overlooking a farm with mountains in the background.  I did three drawings while Thor completed an entire painting.

Sunday, May 25, 2014

Uffizi Window

When waiting on third floor of the Uffizi for the elevator or someone to come out of the bathroom, if you happen to look out of the window, this is what you will see.  9x12 oil on mdf panel.

Saturday, May 24, 2014

Cinque Terre

Another postcard depicting the approach by foot to Vernazza from Monterosso al Mare, a 9x12 oil on canvas.  A passenger boat is departing.  The slopes are covered with vineyards.

Friday, May 23, 2014

Orta San Giulio

A 9x12 oil on canvas that shows the path down to the waterfront on Lake Orta in the town of Orta San Giulio.  Another postcard.


A 9x12 oil on canvas of Portovenere at around 7 AM.   I am going to try to make a series of 'postcard' paintings.  It was this bright and colorful.

Thursday, May 22, 2014

Florence, an Apartment Building, and Poetry

A 9x12 oil of an apartment building in Florence.   Actually it was across the street from our hotel window.

One of our Italian tour participants was a delightful poet, Lois Marie Harrod, and on the flight home I read the following by Sven Birkerts about poetry, which I offer in honor of Lois, and because I think that poetry is similar to painting, despite the obvious differences:

"The poet speaks on behalf of the least tangible, but also possibly deepest, awareness that we possess.  But it is an awareness so elusive, so fitful in its arrivals, that we mainly live in forgetfulness.  Poetry is the one reminder, the line of connection.  The poem is a memory flash of a meaning that exceeds us, that hovers almost completely out of our reach.  If we could possess it--and we can't except in glimpses--we would know that being, consciousness, is not for nothing, even if it is clearly bracketed by the moments of our birth and death.
Being contains the solution for itself,  the explanation, and poetry happens when being connects with its principle.  It need not be dictated by a Muse, but it does not, ever, arrive out of daylight consciousness.  Poetry is an intrusion, an over-and-above that sets almost everything else for the moment at naught.  I am not a poet, but I have felt the touch of poetry, enough that I understand it as a power, a matter for awe.  The experience of a true poem is the experience of being awestruck.  By the words, the beauty, but more by the revelation in the self of an awareness, a feeling, that temporarily banishes other considerations."

Painting for me is the means to try to capture what is also a glimpse, which is to see something but not quite,  that hints at so much more beyond the glimpse.

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Hanging Out the Wash

The above, one of many sketches I did over the last two weeks,  was scanned, since my camera broke last week.  Hopefully, I will be back in business soon with a new camera.  The sketch is a 9x12 pencil drawing of a building in Florence, Italy.

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Inside Landscapes

The above two 9x12 pastel drawings are also from the landscape table.  Both were done yesterday.  The last photo shows the studio wall, where I have been 'posting' some items.  The card table landscape is located at the lower left.

It occurred to me this morning that if one stands away from the table drawings, and sees them as designs without quite making out what is depicted, they do reveal themselves in the same way as landscapes paintings do, or might, suggesting how compositions might work more effectively.  I don't know if that makes any sense, but we will see in future work.  I will be exploring some new subjects in the immediate future.

Monday, May 5, 2014

Card Table Landscapes

Two 9x12 studio tables: top is pastel and water; bottom is pastel and charcoal.  From a distance these become abstract designs.  I also see them as landscapes.  As I wrote earlier,  they are explorations.  If one doesn't explore, how will one find anything.  I've got this landscape on a card table that I keep walking around, and see different angles and views.

Sunday, May 4, 2014


A 9x12 oil of Twenty-First Street looking towards Fourth Avenue in Brooklyn.

Saturday, May 3, 2014

Blue and Yellow

So what was I saying....nobody paints their house blue and yellow, except maybe in Brooklyn.  Oh, wait.  You've seen these before.  A blue and a yellow house in Blackinton, a part of North Adams, MA.  The above is a 9x12 oil on mdf panel.

Friday, May 2, 2014

Third Avenue

A view of Third Avenue in Brooklyn near where 27 goes into the Gowanus Expressway.  9x12 oil on canvas.  This is one of those views where walking down the street all I can see are the painting possibilities and references.  People actually paint buildings blue and yellow.   It's as if somebody said, you know, a painter might walk this way, so let's get this area looking like a Clyfford Still or Richard Diebenkorn, so they don't even have to think about it.

Thursday, May 1, 2014

Studio Work

Two studio drawings from today and yesterday.  The top is 9x12 pastel and charcoal, and the bottom 9x12, charcoal only.  Thor, the fabulous artist whose studio I share, did a lot of work this past week, and  "naturally" rearranged the table with all the studio junk.   I told him I was not going to do anything with the table until he was gone, so that I knew it wouldn't change for a while.

As I suggested earlier, this table represents the muck of creation for me.  I'm searching it for something, an entry point, a means to something I haven't quite glimpsed yet, a way forward.  As you may have guessed, and even if you didn't, I've been looking at the drawings and paintings that Diebenkorn did in the late 50's - early 60's, when he was doing studio drawings and paintings (and prints).  I think there's something in that work to build upon.