Monday, June 5, 2017

Nutty Little Bedtime Paintings


At night before I  begin to sleep or tolerate insomnia I usually draw our cat or something from my imagination. Lately I've been using these spontaneous sketches for inspiration in the studio. I have a small 4" x 6" watercolor pad and some gouache paints which I use to give the pencil lines a life in color. The range of images  is wide but some of my favorite pieces are cartoony mechanical characters.
"Jack in His Box of Doom" ©2017

"Robot Totem" ©2017

"Wall Unit" ©2017

"Radar Robot Totem" ©2017
But of course I have to include at least one painting of our cat Mistinguett.
"Mistinguett" ©2017

Friday, May 26, 2017

CRAB CARCASSES

Pair of Crabs oil on birch panel (8" x 16") 2017
At least once in a season we have a crab feast with friends and family on our patio. There are always a few, unmolested, left-over bodies and what the chef does not use for soup I save for my models  in the studio. I carefully wrap them in foil and put into the freezer. This pair here that I saved is about three years old. They are getting so brittle and faded that I might need a new gang. The one on the left you might recognize from some of my Old Bay and Crab painting. He was splendid. But now I only want to paint them without the props. Here's another posing solo below.
"Solo Crab" oil on birch panel ( 6" x 12") 2016

Wednesday, April 26, 2017

IN A FLASH

"Flashbulb Camera" oil on board (12" x 12") 2017
Before the digital age, photography was loaded with equipment and gadgets even for the average consumer. Every family had their main household camera for documenting special occasions. If your event occurred indoors then the flash unit had to be attached to the camera. The bulbs popped in the second that the photo was taken. It then became a blistered, bumpy cast off that I found to be fascinating. Running my fingers over the knobby reject was a very tactile experience. There was nothing else I could compare it to.
A few months ago while visiting Renninger's,  one of my favorite haunts, I found this old relic and I had to have it for a model in my studio. Now I think I need more to keep it company.

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

NARCISSUS

Narcissus, according to Greek mythology and our old friend Edith Hamilton who I remember from my Latin class, was a beautiful youth who rejected the nymph Echo and fell in love with his own reflection in a pool. There is a quote from him crying to Echo, "

"Hands off! I would rather die than you should have me!"

So he yearned for his own image and was changed into the flower.

We have enjoyed our narcissus flowers in the garden this spring. I love how delicate yet sturdy they are when surrounded by their daffodil cousins. As of this morning they are finished but I managed to do a few paintings while they were here.

"Narcissus on Blue" oil on canvas. (9" x 12") 2017

"Narcissus on Yellowe" oil on canvas. (6" x 14") 2017

Saturday, April 8, 2017

EGGS and SPRINGTIME

Took my daily walk along Stony Run today. Things are really ready to burst forth now. The birds are busy making nests and singing noisy songs. The  moist ground is covered with green growth of all types. Spring is here without further delay. And the neighborhood children are anticipating their annual Easter egg hunt in the meadow this afternoon.  All this leads me to doing a couple of paintings of eggs. Not Easter eggs, but eggs ready to be poached, scrambled, fried or hard boiled.

"Eggies" oil on board, (6" x 6") 2017

"Eggies, Too" oil on canvas, (4" x 6") 2017

Wednesday, January 4, 2017

DC TRANSIT SNOW SWEEPER MAKES SWEET DREAMS

Happy New Year!  I've always wanted to paint a  streetcar snow sweeper and this one is broken down as the white stuff melts.
"DC Transit Snow Sweeper" oil on canvas ( 14" x 24") 2016

I love this Washington, D.C. intersection where New York Avenue, 13th St. and H Street meet. The building in the right background is now the National Museum of Women in the Arts.

I have a friend named Mike who grew up in DC and he says about that building,
"when I was a kid, it was the Town Theatre where I would occasionally go to see a movie.  It's one of those old buildings city planners targeted for demolition and replacement before mayor-for-life Barry got his historic building preservation legislation passed."

This intersection is close to where I frequently bought art supplies at the former Utrecht Linens at 13th & I st NW. When Utrecht opened in Baltimore I quit traveling to DC so much. But I have fond memories of that neighborhood. Fourteenth St. was still in business with a few "men's entertainment arcades." There was a bus station that  later had to make way for the Verizon Center construction. And parking all day was $7 on a gravel lot over on I street. From there I could walk to the mall for some great art exhibitions or just hang around to watch the life on the streets of NW DC. I was particularly fond of the area around the National Portrait Gallery. There were still small shops, stereo and liquor stores that were in their last days of existence. Those drowsy days of DC were indeed being swept away.