Purple People

Purple People

“What color should I use for skin?” I get asked this question all of the time.

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This Is Not A Pink Rose

This Is Not A Pink Rose

I often see artists getting ready to paint something like this flower above and I watch them getting out all their pretty, pink pastel sticks or start to mix up pink paint… uh… nope.

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Color of Light

Color of Light

All light sources have an inherent color. Photos tend to throw things off so we see things as “white light”

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Sketchy Endeavors

Sketchy Endeavors

While you are reading this I am in day 4 of Jury Duty. Yup, this week I am a servant of the State.

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The Lies That Photos Tell

The Lies That Photos Tell

If you paint portraits from photos, you instantly have a battle on your hands because those pesky photo references tell lies. Here’s why.

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Color Color Color…

Color Color Color…

Controlling color is one of the most important things you can do as an artist… as well as the most difficult.

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By A Nose…

By A Nose…

My students often complain about painting a nose. I hear ya, they are tough… so let’s look at a few things to make painting the schnoz a little bit easier.

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Running Around Like a …

Running Around Like a …

Nope you didn’t miss anything … I have skipped a few blog posts. But a wise artist once told me that we have to bend “when life gets in the way” so here is what has been keeping me so busy.

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Illumination

Illumination

I recently posted a little oil painting that I was working on last week and was pleasantly surprised when it received a lot of attention on Facebook. SO cool! So I thought I would show how this little image came to be.

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Learning Never Stops

Learning Never Stops

I am always amazed when people tell me, “Oh! you are so talented!!” as though my work stems magically from fairies and pixie dust. Nope. Good art is created out of dedicated time and knowledge.

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Walking in the Leaves

Walking in the Leaves

Recently someone asked me if I had a plan for my career now going forward. Goals for awards, shows etc… in other words, what does success look like to me now?

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Chocolate Snob

Chocolate Snob

Chocolate is my friend. Well, maybe we are a bit too close when I see photos of myself.

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ALL the Colors

ALL the Colors

Last week I was in Iowa City. I took my daughter to college orientation for the University of Iowa. My days with her home all the time are numbered, and soon it will just be my son and I. On the flight this is what he packed…

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Joy

Joy

“Painting a landscape is illusionary…  like trying to catch rainbows…”
–  Phil Salvato

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Alexander Soukas. Visiting Master

Alexander Soukas. Visiting Master

Last week I had the honor of inviting and studying with Alexander Soukas from Denver, Colorado as part of the Master Series of Workshops I am setting up here in Sewickley at Sweetwater Center for the Arts.

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War

War

Sometimes a painting just keeps tapping me on the shoulder until I confront it, design it and then try to execute it. Sometimes this conversation with an image takes years.

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The Rest Is Just Noise

The Rest Is Just Noise

Do you hate the painting you are working on? Frustrated with it and just wanna get it “over with?” I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but anyone looking at the painting will know…

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Flying Buttresses

Flying Buttresses

“It’s all in how you arrange the thing… the careful balance of the design is the motion.”
– Andrew Wyeth

Yup… composition is king.

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Be Not Afraid

Be Not Afraid

“I don’t think that there is anything that is really magical unless it has a terrifying quality.”
-Andrew Wyeth

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The Value of Design Part 2

The Value of Design Part 2

“The way I feel about things is so much better than the way I’ve been able to paint them. The image I had in my head before I started is not quite – never quite – completely conveyed in paint.”
– Andrew Wyeth

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The Value of Design

The Value of Design

One of the most prized possessions I have in my studio space is an old book I bought for $6.99 from a second-hand book store.

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Chiller Theater

Chiller Theater

Warning-  if you have an aversion to horror films or are a very tidy artist, you may want to look away…

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Crazy Quilt

Crazy Quilt

“It is not our job to remain whole.
We came to lose our leaves
Like the trees, and be born again,
Drawing up from the great roots.”
~ Robert Bly

I found myself complaining recently that I was feeling quite scattered. Starting projects, stopping projects. Throwing myself into events and paintings only to table them soon after…

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On Guard!

On Guard!

Last Sunday I went to the Butler Museum of Art in Youngstown, Ohio. I almost got thrown out…

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Inertia

Inertia

Some years ago I heard the amazing portrait painter, Howard Sanden, talk about his work. He said the most difficult thing for an artist to overcome is inertia…

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Artist Guild

Artist Guild

Monday night was the second meeting of the new Artist Guild here in Pittsburgh. How do I know? I am running it.

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Lemons

Lemons

Welcome to the first blog of the New Year and to the first painting of my New Life…

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Ferrari Red

Ferrari Red

“You can only paint the smell of damp pine needles by being there: a photograph is a poor substitute for working from the real thing when painting a landscape.” -David Bellamy

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Cardboard Confidence

Cardboard Confidence

I was trying  to put together a “cool” artsy blog for this week and I was having trouble. Too many things on my mind…

The forefront of which was the latest high school shooting here in the States.  I remember being in high school and I think even the idea of being scared or losing my life at my high school would have been impossible to comprehend.  It would never have even crossed my mind.

I do know that when I was in art class I was happy.  Even if I didn’t learn anything that day, it was a refuge. Other kids knew I was good at drawing and it was my “thing”.  Art made me realize that no matter how “uncool” I was or what was going on in the microcosm of high school, that I had that –  art – and the simple joy it brought to me.  Other kids had band, or football or writing, or cheerleading.  Something that they liked and made them feel accomplished.  I don’t have any answers to these shootings, but I think kids these days need that – just simple joys.  A sense of being good at something and appreciated for it.

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