Sunday, March 31, 2019






 To make a monotype, one essentially paints an image on sheet of plexiglass, a piece of paper is carefully placed on top and then this 'sandwich' is squeezed through a printing press. The painting transfers to the paper with surprising results. It`s an exercise in non-attachment as the painting will not look like the print, just 'related'. I tried this 30 years ago and wondered why I didn`t just eliminate the whole 'creating through pressure' step and just do a painting. The question remains though I know the answer;

                                                         monoprint by Jason Mayer

 Jason, who claims not to be a painter, dashed this off in moments. That`s why I try.

                                                         monoprint by Forrest Moses

 The idea is to make something spontaneous, send it through the press and see what you got. Hopefully something fresh and spirited like this one by the New Mexican artist Forrest Moses.

                                                         monoprint by Edgar Degas

 Degas did some too!
My friend, the formidable artist Don Gray, turned his studio into a laboratory and invited me, Ruth Armitage, Jim Young and Jason Mayer over to play with this process for a couple of days. Our leader and technical advisor was Jason. He was an extraordinarily patient and thorough instructor and he did not get much of his own work done. This party included a sleepover for Ruth and me and Don`s wife Brenda saw to our nutritional needs. What fun! The experience was carefree much like the plein air painting I do with friends. Such simple intimacy is too rare in my life.

                                                                monoprint by Don Gray

                                                                    Don and Ruth

                                                         Hog Island oil on canvas 20x16

 I did it! Finally a painting of Hog Island that feels like the place.

It`s those murky shadows under the trees that get me. In summer, with the oaks leafed out, it is just another green view. The mystery is a winter pleasure.

                                                            by Lorrie McClanahan

 I have a new friend in Texas!  Lorrie McClanahan appeared to me on Instagram and we had a mutual sympathy with each others work. She is fearless as she explores all manner of mediums and materials.

                                                               by Lorrie McClanahan

 Artist Books are an important part of her practice. Look at this clever way she displays them on an acrylic shelf together;

                                                           books by Lorrie McClanahan

Instagram, btw, is a direct and effective means of interacting with interesting people/painters. See something you like? Write the artist a thoughtful comment and you`ll most likely hear back from them.

 My buddy Ruth Armitage is going to France and will be exploring color in the landscape with a handful of fortunate painters. She told me the other day that there were two spots open. She`s rented a chateau and has experienced, fun guides to whisk everyone from painting locations to villages to wineries to restaurants for seven days. Sounds amazing to me!

                                                La Sagrada Familia when finished in 2050

 This thing is nearly finished! I remember reading about it in an encyclopedia when I was a kid. I couldn`t imagine something taking over a hundred years to build. Guess it could. Probably won`t be open for worship in my lifetime but it`s getting close!

 In this photo you can see the final central towers emerging. How incredibly exciting!

 The architect, Antoni Gaudi, is a universally beloved artist. His designs are so rich in imagination, they delight the child and stun the adult.

                                                   The Sitka Center for Art and Ecology

April 16 is the deadline for applications for an artist in residency at the phenomenally nurturing Sitka Center. Trust me I`ve been one, this place is magic! The campus sits upon Cascade Head, a geological marvel that juts out into the Pacific. It is so pristine and healthy, it is a protected UNESCO site. Safe for introverts too, no communal anything!
Here are some photos I took in 2014;

                                                          The Marcia Burtt Gallery

 The wonderful Marcia Burtt Gallery in Santa Barbara California is featuring an online exhibition of my work on paper. Please check it out!

                                                     Gerard Depardieu enjoying his life

work for sale in my studio

Prints from Fine Art America

Thursday, March 14, 2019

some winter landscapes

                                             Fanno Creek in Winter oil on canvas 40x30

 For many, this winter has been rough. The weather more extreme, our government more depressing. Everyone knew how the shutdown would end yet it was agony for 35 days.
Finally though there are signs of life! Quite tardy here however, it`s not unusual for things to start stirring in late January.
Now I take my responsibility as the local head cheerleader for winter very seriously but even I fatigued and wished it weren`t so damn cold.

                                                 Almost Snowing oil on canvas 20x20

 For days it became common to glance outside and see snowflakes drifting down. It is not welcomed in the cities of the Pacific Northwest, in fact it causes panic. There have been raids on the grocery stores by anxious citizens, many cancelled school days and weeks long power outages in the countryside. A mess, but the forecast for this weekend is 70 degrees! Yes!

                                                    Bryant Woods Walk oil on panel 12x12

 This one was more like a long doodle. It started with more realism but as I randomly amped up the color, my trees became more stylized. Yet it still has the spirit of my beloved park.

                                                     Songbird by Nicholas Wilton

 Isn`t that magic? If you don`t know Nicholas Wilton, it`s time you did. He is a mensch extraordinaire! His work is always interesting and he`s a tireless, generous educator and mentor.
He interviews the great painter Krista Harris in this video. It is a remarkable conversation full of insights into the painting process and completely absent of ego. Listening to the two of them talk about their [abstract] work, it made perfect sense why I find painting non representationally so incredibly difficult. If you paint, this is well worth your time.

                                           Everyone we have ever Loved by Krista Harris

 You`re looking at a game changer here. Among the many things I learned at my workshop was the revelation that some Q-tips come with points! They are used for makeup apparently and are overpriced but they do fine job of carving trees out of wet paint. So much of my technique involves removing paint creatively. Blotting is a current field of experimentation.

I was introduced to Howard Hodgkin 35 years ago and I didn`t take to him immediately. The work was so simple and the painted frames seemed gimmicky. Yet I wanted to keep looking and in time I  became deeply affectionate toward his work. He`s one of a handful of artists whose paintings suggests an entirely new and separate reality. For me. This other world is one of pure sensation. Because of the era he was born into, this gay man, like millions of others, married in order to have a socially legitimate life. Such a common tragedy for his generation. But look at his stuff!;

 Though I`m not directly influenced by him as an artist, as a human being I`m so grateful he lived and gave the world such intensely personal images. He made the heroes journey.

                                                              oil on canvas 20x16

 This did not succeed and I threw it out but I am returning to this island in my next painting. It lies close to shore but away from homes in a quiet stretch of the Willamette River. I`ve tried three times now to get something of the atmosphere of its dark oak forests. I will prevail eventually.

online exhibition at the Marcia Burtt Gallery

work for sale in my studio