About Me

My photo
I was born and raised in Brooklyn, N.Y. My educational history is as follows: Long Beach High School, School of Visual Arts, C.W.Post College, M.A. in Humanities, Hofstra University. A two year stint in the U.S.Marine Corps as a illustrator eased my entrance into civilian life as a commercial artist in N.Y.C. My teaching career of twenty five years began at the State University in Farmingdale, N.Y. and ended as a Professor of Fine Arts at Herkimer County Community College, where I was awarded The New York State Chancellor's Award for Excellence in Teaching. I now paint full time in Portland Maine where I live with my wife Sharon. I paint all subjects from portraits to landscapes but I especially love painting the sea. Last year marked the end of forty straight years of teaching workshops on Monhegan Island, Maine, I now conduct three day classes in Kennebunkport every spring and fall. My work can be seen at The Wiscasset Bay Gallery, Wiscasset, Me., Dowling Walsh Gallery, Rockland, Me.,Camden Falls Gallery, Caamden, Me. and here in my studio in Portland. I am a signature member of The American Watercolor Society and the New York State Watercolor Society.

Sunday, August 5, 2018

Once again a typical Mexican scene painted in watercolor in San Miguel. All the elements of lines, shapes colors in Mexico seem to come together. Here I was particularly attracted to the vivid colors of the flowers, architecture, and the circular movement of the cobble stones as they wound around a small religious shrine dedicated to the Virgin Mary to the right of the painting.
One of my favorite places to paint in San Miguel is in El Charro, a beautiful park just a bit south of the center of the city. It contains a Lavenderia, a series of stone "tubs" where the locals can wash their clothes, usually in constantly running water that comes down from the hillside.
I noticed this woman washing her clothes and told her I would be happy to pay her if she would pose for me. As I was adjusting my camera to make sure all was set she removed her stars and stripes bandana and lowered her hair in order to look her best. In the little Spanish I was able to speak, I asked her if she would not mind putting the head dress back as it really added a lot to the painting. She complied as you can see.
I recently thought I should change some of the hard edges on the lower part of her face. I'm afraid I went a little to far. I'll try to "fix" it again.
Oil on  canvas board. The canvas sizes in Mexico are not the same as our, so called, standard but the painting is about 16x20. It was done on location in a small village outside of San Miguel de Allende, Mexico. I was painting as fast as I could on a little bridge that ran across this stream, hoping that the woman washing her clothes would remain until I had the painting done. Of course I painted her first just in case. It's always a challenge to catch people in you think will work best in the painting as they are in constant motion.
16x20 oil on canvas. The rocks and grass on the right were from Acadia National Park the rest of the painting was invented with the idea of contrasting warm against cool colors. This is the second painting of this subject. I'll post the first attempt in a later posting. I'm still not sure which one I prefer.

This watercolor was made up in the studio. I started laying down color in very rapid manner all over the paper. The color was a mixture of cobalt blue, winsor yellow and winsor red with the major amount being the blue. I white shapes that remained looked like waves so I added a cool mixture of the same color, but a bit darker to create solid forms in the waves keeping in mind the direction of light. The foreground water was splashed in especially in the lower right where I actually flicked the paint on to the paper.    

Thursday, August 2, 2018

This watercolor was entirely made up except for the fly fisherman. I found his photo in my files and remembered that it was quite a while ago when I took the picture at the West Canada Creek in Herkimer, N.Y.
I was happy to see the rainbow effect I was trying to achieve above the tumbling white water worked. The other challenge was to take only one swipe of the razor blade to indicate the fishing line. It had to be right the first time. You don't want to have to try and fix w.c.
This woman was selling flowers on the street leading up to the Jardin in San Miguel de Allende, Mexico. She consented to pose for me. Of course I purchased the flowers and also paid her for her time in posing. As you might imagine the Mexican on the street is not particularly fond of visiting "gringos" invading their privacy. My Spanish was pretty when I was there and I think that seemed to help.
As you can see selling flowers in the hot sun is hard work. The Mexican people are very hard and proud workers.

I've done many paintings on this site in San Miguel de Allende in Mexico. This watercolor was done from the bottom of a steep walk and driveway. The view from the top of the stairs looking down is also very exciting as the eye level is extremely different. The walls are actually the color you see in the painting. As you can see the Mexicans love bright colors which makes painting there a delight.
This is an oil  portrait of my wife, Sharon, holding our daughter Amanda.

Friday, October 6, 2017

Crucifix, Maple Wood

  1. I carved this crucifix many years ago. It was carved from Maple wood.
  2. I glued five pieces of maple lumber until I had one large block of wood.
  3. Without a drawing or model I simply carved from the "picture" in my mind.
  4. After the main corpus was done I now had the problem of making the arms and fitting them so that they flowed correctly from the deltoid muscles in one smooth motion.
  5. I cut the edges of the corpus clean and flat then made the arms in wax as a model.
  6. Drilling holes in the body larger than then the peg of wood which extended on the end of the finished arms.
  7. I knew that I had to have play in affixing the arms to the corpus. Once I knew how it would fit I filled the hole with newspaper and Elmer's Glue then held the arms with bungee cords until the glue dried. I made sure the end of the arms where they joined were left unfinished so as to carve and sand them so they  would flow together.
I carved this crucifix many years ago. It stands around three feet tall and is made from maple wood. I've never carved anything before and I was very excited about the final results. I would never have attempted to undertake such a challenge however it was a commissioned piece and I had to follow through. I was paid the agreed price of $800, however it took me eight months to finish it.
I began by gluing five pieces of maple wood purchased from the lumber yard which gave me a simple large block of wood and went from there. Except for the "picture" in my mind I did not do any preliminary drawings or planing.

Friday, August 17, 2012

This 24x36 oils was inspired from a trip to Acadia. The sun was just setting and it's warm light was hitting just small portions of the breaking waves.
I had the sun in the painting for a few months then decided to take it out as it was a distraction from the focal point, which I felt was the breaking wave in the foreground.
The painting is oil on linen canvas.