Saturday, September 22, 2018


"Bounty" 8x10", oil on gessobord

"The best way to know God is to love many things."
—Vincent Van Gogh

Nothing in a landscape makes me smile more than to see stacks of freshly baled hay dotting the horizon along a country farm road. This painting was of a photo I took in Montana over the summer. I could paint hay stacks over and over again. I wonder if Monet and Van Gogh might have had a similar obsession? 

Seeing bales scattered across a field gives me an inner sense of peace, causing me to reflect on the bounty of our own lives. To me, these gravestone-like-monuments are symbols representing lives of ultimate survival on the battlefield called life. Threatened by extreme weather, violent storms, lack of water, too much water, fighting off weeds and pests, the hay—with with all of its imperfections—is harvested at the perfect moment, and gathered into the bounty of a full life in all of its glory. 

With Thanksgiving right around the corner, what a perfect time to give thanks for the gift of our lives, where one day, our fruits too will be rolled into glowing bales.

Thanks for viewing,

To see more of my art click Online Gallery  Email  • Website  •  Graphic Design Studio • Fine Art America

Saturday, September 15, 2018

Mother of Sorrows

"Mater Dolorosa" 20x20", oil on stretched canvas

Is there one who would not weep,
'Whelmed in miseries so deep, 
Christ's dear Mother to behold?

Can the human heart refrain
From partaking in her pain,
In that mother's pain untold?

Stabat Mater - 13th-century medieval Latin hymn 
on the suffering of the Virgin Mary at the Crucifixion.

This painting is an ekphrastic response to a photograph—a friend of mine took—of a statue of Blessed Mary found in the Franciscan Church of the Annunciation in Ljubljana, Slovenia. Mary is holding the lifeless body of her Son, who has been placed in her arms, after being taken down from the cross. 

I have rarely seen Mary depicted crying, and was deeply moved by her tearful eyes as she experienced her deepest sorrow, as foretold by Simeon at Christ's Presentation, "And you yourself a  sword will pierce". This is a grief which can only be known by a mother who has experienced the loss of a child, especially her only child. 

Here are some of stages of development:

#1. Drawing and initial block in
of Mary's face and darkest darks
#2. Begin working on skin tones, Jesus barely
visible in lower corner, background and lightest areas
#3. Further development of Mary's skin
tones, folds of fabric  
#4. Finalized, added the foot of the cross
behind Mary.

As our mother, Mary also shares in the sorrow and pain of today's world. It gives me great hope to know she is here, and suffers right alongside all of us, in the darkness of our world. She is a light of hope, the perfect example of strength, faith, trust and courage to hold onto. 

I have worked on this piece for over a year. Today is the Memorial of our Sorrowful Mother, so it seems fitting to present my/our Mother. 


To see more of my art click Online Gallery  Email  • Website  •  Graphic Design Studio • Fine Art America

Monday, September 3, 2018

Shapes From Above the Stillwater River

"Along the Stillwater" 12x9" oil on gessobord panel
“How does it happen that birds sing, that snow melts, that the rose unfolds, that the dawn whitens behind the stark shapes of trees on the quivering summit of the hill? A kiss, and all was said." —Victor Hugo 

Or, maybe this quote should end with, a glance and all was said? Either way, for me, painting this was a love affair. I had so much fun abstracting the landscape down into basic shapes and colors, as if it were a jigsaw puzzle of interlocking pieces waiting to be placed into position. To coin a quote from Georgia O'Keefe, "I found I could say things with color and shapes that I couldn’t say any other way—things I had no words for."

I've been experimenting here and there, painting with the temperature of colors versus the actual colors I see. For instance, the cooler foreground was in deep shade from the house when I began to paint and the sun was low in the sky, just peeking over the mountains behind me. So I painted the closest grasses in cool purples in contrast to the warm rays of light casting out across the tallest tips of grasses, and the valley...icing tree tops and fields on its a fiery blanket of light.  

I was painting from my sister's covered patio which formed an umbrella to control the light refections on my canvas, but beware standing on concrete for hours is never fun on the legs or pain no gain applies.

Here's a shot of my awesome plein air set up that all fits inside my red go-anywhere backpack. 

I hope you enjoy this as much as I loved painting it. 

To see more of my art click Online Gallery  Email  • Website  •  Graphic Design Studio • Fine Art America