Thursday, September 9, 2021

Selfie as a Rainy Day

I have been focusing on painting landscapes for the last several years. Until recently, I have been painting still-lifes now and again. I am now starting to paint portraits and figures. It is a slow start - making a few self-portraits - but I am hoping to increase this activity once the new studio is completed. In graduate school, and for a time afterward, I painted nothing but people. I have been missing the psychological aspect of a painting with a person in it and am seeing where this goes. Stay tuned.

Sunday, September 5, 2021

Featured Painting: Receding Wood


Receding Wood
Oil Paint on Canvas
72” x 24”

This is a large landscape painting of a lightly wooded area in Northern Wisconsin. This is a painting whose colors got away from me. I used the same paint colors as all the rest of my recent paintings, but something in the mixing went in a different direction. Bright and electric, the colors capture a canopy changing with the seasons. The ground cover is in a charged dialog with the canopy while tree trunks create a rhythm of strong verticals across the picture plane. The whole composition is anchored by the receding purple of the understory that moves into the distance.

Wednesday, September 1, 2021

What's Cooking in the Studio

New studio - I have been working hard on trying to complete the new studio by the end of the summer. To that end, I have been tiling the bathroom. Other than building the landings at the front and back doors, this is the most time consuming part of finishing the studio. Once the tiling is done the electricians and the plumbers can finish what they need to do. My hope is to have the plumbing and electrical completed and passing inspection by the end of this month.

I cleaned - It doesn’t look it, but I spent quite a bit of time this month cleaning my studio. It really hasn’t been cleaned and organized since last year when I had several exhibits in a row and fell behind. I also have been putting things off, waiting until I move to the new studio. But, I couldn’t wait any longer. I was tripping over things, and when you make large paintings you need a lot of room to move them around. So I cleaned up the studio…and within a week it was back to where it was before. I really do need a new studio to help organize all of this.

Saturday, August 21, 2021

Painting on DIsplay at Gallery 360


Gallery 360
August 21 - September 26, 2021

Gallery 360 has been opting for the large landscapes lately. Up next is Lowland. Although I am not the main exhibit at the gallery, my paintings are in heavy rotation as they keep selling. This beautiful painting of a lowland area in Northern Wisconsin is 74” x 48” with frame. It is a stunning painting to see in-person. If you have a large wall needing a show-piece, head on down to the gallery and check it out.

Thursday, August 12, 2021

Landscapes at Dow Art Gallery, Saint Paul, MN


Dow Art Gallery
I have several still life paintings on display at Dow Gallery in St. Paul on University Avenue near Hwy 280. If you are in the area, check them out. There are a lot of other artist studios and a clay studio in the building with many restaurants and coffee shops nearby. The neighborhood has also been infused with a lot of murals over the last three summers. It is a hopping little arts neighborhood.

Wednesday, August 4, 2021

Website Changes


I have added a new Blog-Info-FAQ section to my website to organize all of my writing over the years. This new page has several sections including my regular Blog and Updates (entries going back to 2007!), articles about Art Care and Collecting, FAQ about purchasing my art and how I make it, some old podcast type interviews I did with other artists a few years ago, and a link to my Book of Bartholomew project. I have been wrangling with this for years and have parked a lot of this information for periods of time. I am happy to finally have figured this out so you can read all kinds of articles that include drawing lessons and other art info. I’m still filling in parts of it and will add new articles, especially to the Art Collecting section. Announcements about new items will be made here in the newsletter, or just check it out regularly: Blog-Info-FAQ

Sunday, July 18, 2021

2021 Trip to Ober's Island

I just spent a week up on Mallard Island near International Falls, MN. It was a beautiful week of weather with Jeff Ryan as we worked on our documentary about Ernest Oberholtzer - and other projects.

Of course, this area of Rainy Lake is the inspiration of many of my paintings. Many photos and video were taken as future sources for paintings. It was a partial rest week for the island, a chance to recover from the use throughout the summer. Then on Thursday evening some people arrived who were rebuilding a 1940’s tool shed that had fallen into disrepair. It was fun to have additional people there for a few days before we left.

While there, we interviewed several people who knew Ober and had a story or two to share. It was fun to hear their stories and record them. And it was fun to eat a lot of cake and brownies, as everyone we interviewed felt a need to be host to us during our visits. One interview even involved a full dinner with four people. The documentary project leapt forward a great deal while at the island. There is still no timeline for completion, but we have a direction for sharing a very unique and multi-faceted man’s story.

As always, more than anything, the island, for me, is about beauty. It is about an existence that is more in rhythm with all living things. Although there is much discussion these days about the concept of “wilderness” and about different cultural views of the relationship between humans and the rest of the earth, all of that falls away for me when I am simply open to nature, aligning my patterns and rhythms with the life around me.

Our society is grating and, at times, insufferable. The broader context our society creates, our culture, is combative and about winners and losers. Individually, you have an identity, or one is given you, and then it seems the goal is to yell with fellow identifiers as loud as you can, hopefully being louder than the people of other identities. It is a cacophony of self-branding and self-marketing. It reminds me of the old adage that you only have to put a lid on the crab bucket when you have caught one crab. Once you have caught two crabs, they pull each other down as they both try to escape so no lid is needed.

On this small island in a very large lake on the edge of a very powerful and noisy country a man from the last century found joy in nature, people and culture. He wove his interests together with remarkable consistency throughout his life, a life that was supposed to be cut short by a heart condition. He not only enchanted many with his stories, his music and his charm, but he also worked hard to protect and share the good things in his life. Though small in stature, he was large in personality and knowledge, and desire, and perseverance. His openness to all people and his commitment to preserving the spiritual and beautiful things in life has been a role model for me. Studying him more closely I am seeing that he is a role model for our times.