Wednesday, December 7, 2016

"You Should Pick Up the Brush Again."

That's what he told me. I was at a party a few weeks ago and ran into an old friend whom I had not seen in perhaps 20 years. And I had completely forgotten that he had purchased one of my paintings back in the day. He twice repeated this suggestion, and then e-mailed me later to mention it a third time.
I had given up painting for well over a decade (for numerous reasons)—but every now and then, the idea of returning to it would occur to me. And as I am highly susceptible to almost any type of suggestion, my friend's opinion was the deciding factor in "picking up the brush again".

Here's where I had left off:

My Working Method
"I begin with an 18th century formal garden design by Dezallier D’Arganville, French naturalist and author of La Theorie et la pratique du jardinage (1709). His exhuberant and eccentric designs were intended to “outshine Versailles”—and they provide me with a perfect blueprint for my otherworldly compositions. The design is then constructed in three dimensions utilizing Cinema4-D. Lighting and camera angles are manipulated to give me the dramatic effects that I want."

18th century garden design by Dezallier

Computer-generated model

Finished painting: Grande Parterre 4, Oil on canvas 8" x 11"

You can view more of my paintings here:

And archival prints are available here:


  1. I rather liked the computer-generated model. It occurred to me that the oil-painting based upon it would have been either a boring process for the artist, with no opportunity to express one's inner greatness; or else a form of meditation, which did not have much to do with the end-product offered for admiration or sale.

    And when you say it's a visionary garden, I think it must be the inverse of a Blakean expression in graphic form of one of his visions. He would try and reproduce the form and feeling of his vision, while your vision, it seems to me, would be like an opium dream evolved from staring at, say, wallpaper, or in poetic terms, Coleridge's Kubla Khan. Is this right?

  2. Well, while the oil painting follows the contours of the model, it is in dealing with color and light where the creativity comes in. And yes, hallucinatory as you mentioned.
    They are usually quite difficult for me to bring to a satisfactory conclusion, and yes, it can be tedious. I am certainly not the first artist to work in a painstaking, and sometimes excruciating technique. Chuck Close comes to mind. Do you know his work? And yes, at one point I went out and bought a few 6" wide brushes and began working in a very loose, gestural abstract mode for about 10 years. It was a great relief in some ways, but also very difficult and frustrating at times. But now I feel like I have made all the mistakes, and am ready to take a final crack at it while I am still ambulatory. Thanks for your interest!