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May 03, 2016


237 Badass Benito


237 Benito237 Badass Benito

6x6 inches :: original oil painting on gessobord

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In a couple of days, I hope to find myself in a cozy place enjoying a margarita celebrating Cinco de Mayo. It won't be to celebrate Mexican Independence, though (because that happened September 16, 1810). Cinco de Mayo is when a Mexican army of 4,000 led by its president Benito Juarez (aligned strongly with Abraham Lincoln) defeated a French army of 8,000 at the Battle of Puebla on May 5, 1862. Had this upset not happened, the French may have reached its destination of going to aid the US Confederacy win the Civil War. I used a photo reference of Benito Juarez to make this work and had fun encasing him in a frame of sorts.

Happy (almost) Cinco de Mayo! :-)

May 02, 2016


236 Oysters on the Half Shell


Oysters on ice236 Oysters on the Half Shell

6x6 inches :: original oil painting on gessobord

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I'm a big fan of Chef April Bloomfield. I think her point of view about respecting the animal by not wasting any parts and eating almost all of its parts is wonderful. It's really how I grew up. A point of view embraced by those with meager means to not waste anything and to be creative in making every part interesting and delicious. Anyway, on her IG feed, I saw a beautiful photo of oysters on the half shell. I used it as a reference for this work and thought of my dad while painting it because I've never met anyone who loves oysters more than my dad.

April 30, 2016


235 Pack Leader


235 Pack Leader235 Pack Leader

12 x 12 inches :: original acrylic painting on stretched canvas

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This is the demo painting I made today while teaching a private lesson for two people. There was a moment during the lesson where I asked the two to assume power postures over their canvases to be reminded of who leads the canvas, which is the artist, not the canvas. It was reminiscent of what Cesar Milan would do ... to use calm and assertive energy to walk the dog (or paint a dog), rather than having the dog (or canvas) walk me. And wouldn't you know it, a dog is what I ended up painting. It was a lot of fun. :-)

April 29, 2016


234 Apricot Affair


234 Apricot Affair234 Apricot Affair

6x6 inches :: original oil painting on gessobord

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I bought apricots yesterday so that I could paint them today. So today when I was composing the still life with the apricots, I just couldn't get anything to work. I struggled for about two hours and I thought I was a gone-er. But when I added one of my watercolor brushes and a ball of light blue Japanese Sashiko embroidery string, it happened. Just like that. Now why apricots and apples would hang out with a paintbrush and string, I don't know. But who cares? In a very unusual and cute way, I think it totally makes sense and visually, it works.


Speaking at TRUTH is the New Black event


NewblackHI there.

Just a quickie announcement that I'll be part of an interesting conversation in Costa Mesa on May 11th on the topic of letting go, fearlessness, and just making shit happen. In business and in life.

Here's a link to get tickets for the event. Thanks. Jenny :-)

April 28, 2016


233FM Love Me Like a River Does


233FM Love Me Like a River Does233FM Love Me Like a River Does

This is an original free motion stitched and watercolored art doll made with cotton fabric. It measures approximately 9 inches tall.

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Love me like a river does
Cross the sea
Love me like a river does
Endlessly
Love me like a river does
Baby don’t rush you’re no waterfall
Love me that is all
Love me like a roaring sea
Swirls about
Love me like a roaring sea
Wash me out
Love me like a roaring sea
Baby don’t rush you’re no waterfall
Love me that is all
Love me like the earth itself
Spins around
Love me like the earth itself
Sky above below the ground
Love me like the earth itself
Baby don’t rush you’re no waterfall
Love me that is all

(Melody Gardot)


233 Apple Lover


233 Apple Lover233 Apple Lover

6x6 inches :: original oil painting on gessobord

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In general, I try to stop eating after 7 or 8PM. But for the last several days, I've been finding myself in the kitchen late at night, cutting up an apple into 8 wedges and enjoying every single wedge. Fujis and Honey Crisps are my favorite. Last night, I accidentally cut an apple horizontally and thought how cute the star shape that the seeds make when cut that way. So today, I cut an apple in that manner to make a composition with other apples, with my tiny cutting board, and trusty knife, to make this painting.

April 27, 2016


232 Art of Conversation


232 Art of Conversation232 Art of Conversation

6x6 inches :: original oil painting on gessobord

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My partner and I have started doing this new thing where we meet every Wednesday for lunch and coffee outside of the house, smack dab in the middle of the work week. My main goal is to use this time to present my best self (to him, to me, and to the universe) ... with not the usual dirty painting apron on but something that makes me feel like a million bucks and like I'm part of the professional workforce. Of course he is always with a jacket and tie so that's how we meet. In a restaurant. Well-dressed and punctual. Like we would be with other colleagues. Part of my best self is to use this time to practice the art of good conversation. So to avoid topics like "did you change the light bulbs in the bathroom" to topics like "I read this really great passage in the book I'm reading and it made me feel this ... "

I know that I get excited when I interact with good conversationalists. And I know it takes practice to make sure I'm practicing good conversation (talking authentically without one-upping, listening actively and providing feedback instead of judgement, and sharing with excitement about all the intellectually stimulating things I'm filling myself up with). It takes practice to be interesting. And I want to make sure that 10 years from now, after decades in a marriage and the kids all gone, we aren't stuck, talking about uninteresting things or worse yet, not talking at all. So today, after our lunch date in the city, I came home and composed and painted a scene that I think captures this new effort on our part, to practice the art of conversation. 

April 26, 2016


231 Park Santiago


Park santiago231 Park Santiago

6x6 inches :: original oil painting on gessobord

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Plein air painting is hard. For many reasons it's hard. I made my first trek out today to my local park with all of my supplies in my backpack, with the intent of painting a scene from start to finish in the beautiful outdoors. After walking for a good hour or more, all I did was take photos of potential scenes and then dealt with many things including hunger, heat, loneliness, self-consciousness, and most of all, uncertainty. I couldn't settle on a spot nor a scene because I didn't know if there would be a better one a few yards further up. After getting discouraged and frustrated and sad, I came home and looked through all of my photos and chose one and referenced it for this work.

It's a goal of mine to plein air paint. I know it's going to be hard but I know I'll become a better painter for it. Though I didn't actually start and finish this work in the outdoors, I think it was a good first step in gaining that experience I seek, as painful as it was.

 

April 25, 2016


230 Grapefruit


Grapefruit

230 Grapefruit

5x7 inches :: original acrylic painting on cradled wood

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I referenced an image of a pretty little grapefruit by photographer Nancy Holly for this work. I really enjoy representational painting, but with twists of exaggerations, additions, and omissions that make the work reflect the reference but also departs from it ... in ways that I think are more magical than abstracted.

Detail

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