Monday, March 30, 2015

Aim of Art

The author Joseph Conrad said the aim of art is to snatch from the remorseless rush of time, a passing phase of life, and hold the rescued fragment before all eyes in the light of a sincere mood. That thought describes much of what my painting is about.

It also explains why many artists like myself are not drawn to traditionally pretty or picturesque subject matter.

It is more interesting to find beauty in unexpected or mundane places.

Put light on almost any subject and you can find some fragment of beauty to snatch from the rush of time.

Thursday, March 26, 2015


I seem to go in spurts with my sketchbook. I'll go a few weeks with nothing and then pick it up again and make regular entries for a number of weeks.

Most of what I do in my books is drawing from whatever is around me, usually people.

I try to carry it with me at all times, that way, when something unexpected comes up, or I have to wait in line at the store, I have something to do.

It's particularly useful when I'm sitting in those lovely faculty meetings.

One of my favorite drawings was from a meeting at the school where I teach. I was sitting behind a good friend of mine who had recently lost all her hair due to cancer treatment. Glad to say that was three years ago and she is doing well.

Saturday, March 14, 2015

Still Lifes

One of my first assignments as an illustrator was for the Ensign magazine, a publication of the LDS church. I've worked for them off and on now for 35 years. Recently they've been asking me to do these little still life paintings to accompany different stories. On the one hand, they are not the most exciting assignments, however, they are are a good opportunity to do some exercises in light and form and paint. They have been fun to do.

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Re-entry Strategy

After not working on a painting for awhile, it's often hard to get back into it. Such was the case with this one. I had the common problem of looking at it in my studio and thinking, I want to get going on it but I need to wait until I have enough time and energy to do something substantial. That of course, never works. I finally decided to sit down and spend a half hour and make notes of what needs to be done to make progress. This was a do-able thing. I made a little sketch to see what i could do about the left side that bothered me, I also started making a list of of movie titles as I wasn't happy with what I had. After a half hour, I had enough to get me going. The following day I started painting.

Here is the current state of the painting

 Here are the previous stages.