Castle in the Wind speedball ink, watercolor, acrylic 30” X 22” $1500 As a practicing artist, I have always avoided painting commissions. My fear is that the patron can already visualize what they want and my interpretation would not hit the mark. I only paint what I love and what inspires me. I love watercolor and embrace the way it paints itself as the pigments travel through the water. I love organic paintings with the fluidity of the medium creating their own shapes. This challenge was difficult in that we were given the task of creating a piece of art that was different than what we normally do. We could change mediums, substrates, hands… I chose to work in Black Speedball ink, white acrylic pens, and a touch of watercolor. My piece is filled with symbolism about the journey we make as artists from excitement, to doubt, to fear, to elation when we feel successful. The dragon that appears in my painting is the JUROR who can make or break your success! My steps leading up to the castle open to reveal words that capture an artist's feeling and my own journey.
Fear of the Mouse acrylic on overlapped canvases 40” X 48” $1250 I took a little time to set up the overlapping canvases, which I believed would form a more dimensional visual result. After spending hours working it out in my mind, the image appeared visually on the blank canvas. The work then proceeded smoothly and efficiently. The partially-seen mouse at the top replaces the sun or moon. The fear then spreads throughout the diffused branches as a strong force, directly towards the innocent angel-like female figure at the bottom of the overlapped canvas. This creates a more suffocating struggle as she is now completely surrounded by an invisible cage, with the inescapable dreadful omen that indicates more pressure upon her light seeking wings. Confrontation between two forces: Seeking the light towards where and what has blocked her reach and freedom, while the Mouse symbolizes the fear conveyed through her curved body language.
Where You’re Concerned, I Don’t Have a Heart. oil 18” X 24” $500 Born on Hispaniola, one island divided into two nations, I have always been haunted by a sense of separation. Eventually, I understood that this feeling is common to the human experience. We are all searching for security in a constantly changing world, forever longing for belonging. My art emerges from this universal desire to make things whole again, especially to bridge the mundane and the divine. From the darkness of loss to the reverence for mother earth as love itself, these are the sources of my inspirations. In the center of this oil piece is La Vaquita, the world’s smallest marine mammal and also the most endangered. There is an estimate of 10-15 Vaquitas remaining, and the idea of rescuing some by capturing them and placing them in human care is no longer considered viable. Alas, “Where You’re Concerned, I Don’t Have a Heart.”
Seven Days of Sushi soft pastel 24” X 36” $1200 When I lost my mom five months ago, my life’s joy was snuffed out, and I stopped painting. This challenge was just the kickstart I needed to wade out of my slump. My painting, “Seven Days of Sushi,” emerged from my imagination and helped me find humor in my life again. One day when I was at the sushi bar watching the chefs create their delicacies, I pictured them as cats using chopsticks to fish for goldfish in a bowl. I quickly sketched my idea on a placemat, and the painting grew from there. Before I knew it, the glass sushi case became an aquarium, and the poor little fishies were awaiting their fate. To help you understand: I was Morris the Cat’s press agent, a Japanese company employee, and a sushi-loving pescatarian. Does it explain why orange Tabbies rule and this pastel satire was born on this stage? Hah.
Eating Candy in the Beehive acrylic on canvas 24” X 30” $1100 She sits in a pool of the gift of the bees, And feels not a sting, So enamored is she. Surrounded by sweet, She nibbles her treats, Each plastic-wrapped sugar brick stokes her heart beat. This project with "Are You Thinking What I'm Thinking?" was a wonderful challenge to step outside my regular genre of artwork and do something completely different! I chose to interpret the title "Eating Candy in the Beehive" somewhat literally, but with my own deeper meaning intertwined. I'm curious to know... How do YOU interpret MY interpretation?
The Secret Lives of Wine oil on canvas 20” X 16” $1200 In creating my painting I selected to use the sacred–profane dichotomy. This is an idea posited by French sociologist Émile Durkheim. Durkheim noted two distinct areas within religions: Sacred and Profane objects. Sacred objects are regarded as having special significance and should be treated with awe and respect. Profane objects are ordinary and everyday with no special meaning attached to them. Among wine enthusiasts a vintage bottle of wine is akin to a sacred object and fast food would definitely be considered profane. I portray this duality by pairing a vintage bottle of Opus One with a Big Mac and fries from McDonalds. I’m afraid this painting may not appeal to true Oenophiles.
The River That Runs Through My Heart acid wash on copper plate 20” X 16” NFS I must try to meet the “Bondo Challenge” of artistically depicting my assignment of his unique subject title stated above. Thus I could not paint a river scene with my customary oils on canvas as I have in numerous oil paintings of major rivers in the Yukon, Alaska, and the Sierra. So I experimented creating a bird’s-eye view of “The River running” or rushing through its watercourse using a sheet of copper, which I then treated with acids and a butane torch. This proved difficult to control but somehow satisfied my objective. Next was “through My Heart”. Agonizing over its depiction, I fondly remembered the unique mining town of McCarthy, AK, with a massive river running through it. Suppose an early gold miner’s first strike was a small heart-shaped nugget. He names his claim “My Heart” and it is now a one-cabin ghost town on the map occupied by me. I used a topographic map to put the scene in context.
Traveling With The Pope Oil and Conté on Linen 24” X 18” $2,000 The power and beauty of the coastal environment is undeniable. I am fascinated with fractal detail of water and light in the shallows, weathered materials and the forces that created them. Through drawing, painting and sculpture, it has been my practice to point out the spectacular in the mundane. Pointing out the spectacular in the mundane, I teach how to see. The Pope, the sky, the sea… all evanescent. This painting reminds us that we travel in impermanence together. When we look deep into detail, subject and scale become irrelevant. Contemplating this paradox creates a crack in our façade of certainty about identity and meaning. We are compelled to pay attention, to unknot our minds and wake up. In this age of information overload, I curate that rarest and most elusive commodity: peace of mind. It is this intention, authenticity and capability, which viewers find compelling and discerning collectors seek.
Waking Up In My Halloween Costume oil on canvas 24” X 20” $1950 I was baffled by this title, partly because we never had such costumes or fancy dress, as we called them, in Liverpool. On the other hand I have many memories of this Hallowed Evening before All Saints’ Day because it was also Duck Apple and Mischief Night and just 5 days before Bonfire Night, another pre-Winter celebration of light and fire. Other imagery of “Waking Up” struck me as the enduring exploration of space during my life, and the explanation of matter and black holes. Orion’s Belt overlaps the three teeth of the carved pumpkin and its stars spread out. Candy is the currency of Halloween and for me that was Licorice Allsorts: a perfectly symmetrical British concoction of licorice and coconut. My horoscope proclaimed that my creativity comes from my connections between things that I make and choose!
“On Being Taught Ballet by Peter Pan” oil on canvas 18 X 24 $1300 Theme: Live Life To The Fullest Each and Every Day. "All the world is made of faith, and trust and pixie dust."—J.M. Barrie, Peter Pan. Wendy reaches up to join the ballet in flight with Peter Pan—a life filled with adventures. Tinker Bell uses her wand to sprinkle pixie dust to make the magic happen. The light from Tinker Bell's wand reveals the shadows behind the two. Peter Pan's shadow, his alter ego with a mind of its own, performs his own ballet and morphs into the Black Swan. His shadow understands that death is part of life's adventure, even to those who never grow up, and gives a small glimpse of Peter's future. "To die will be an awfully big adventure."—J.M. Barrie, Peter Pan. Wendy's older self-shadow casts a thought-filled reflection of her life, grounded, but still with the loving memory of the dance.
Without Having a Dog’s Name, How Will Your Master Call You? mixed media on MDF panel 36” X 24” $1500 The title is a question and my project attempts to answer the question. How will my master call me? By cell phone, of course! My cell phone is an electronic leash, connecting me to the outside world, whether I like it or not. My movements are tracked, my purchases documented, my online friendships are monitored. Who is my master? Does it matter? Every contact is by cell phone, maybe the cell phone itself is the master. My project is a self-portrait of me walking my dog along the beach in a favorite idyllic spot. It shows me connected by cell phone to a tree-like cell tower connected to various other electronic parts, which transmit my actions out over the internet. It shows how a quiet meditative activity is no longer private but belongs to the world.
Are You Thinking What I’m Thinking? oil on canvas 24” X 36” $1750 "Are You Thinking What I’m Thinking? My fortune cookie painting title is synonymous with the title of the overall art challenge, “Are You Thinking What I’m Thinking?” My painting represents a political perspective for the year 2020. The painting’s political perspective is a simple expression of right and left political views, and the institutions and attitudes which generate them. It also expresses a deep concern for the fragility of our democracy and many long-held American beliefs. Lady Liberty represents the stalwart of what America represents, and which hopefully she will continue to represent in the future in welcoming the oppressed, poor, weak and downtrodden who approach our shores. The banners represent the loud voices that bombard us. Finally, our democratic institutions are paramount, but fragile. The guard dog keeps watch over this important aspect of our nation.
The Hotel in the Old Apple Tree acrylic on canvas 24” X 36” $750 Bondo’s challenge excited me. Being more involved with layered photography, I hadn’t touched my paints in a few years. Since I usually paint abstractly, illustrating a title certainly forced me out of my comfort zone. At first I had no idea how to depict my assigned title. Apple trees have trunks that are too slender to hide a hotel. Should the hotel be within a single fruit, seen close-up on the branch? Or should it be a treehouse? To come up with a theme, I sifted through what I associate with apples: “Don’t Sit Under the Apple Tree,” apple of my eye, apple of discord, Newton, Steve Jobs...and wait -- the Garden of Eden! Did Eve tempt Adam into the hotel? Or is it time to hear her story?
Echos from the Wrong Side of the Glass oil on canvas 24” X 30” $1,800 “Echos” went through a week of sifting various ideas of glass, glasses, breakage, mirrors and reflections. After settling on this version, l found it evolving during the process. In looking for reference, I borrowed the glass window from Hopper’s “Nighthawks” which I think too adds to the title. Also, originally the mannequin having head and arms was gazing at the woman but I felt it was distracting and gave too much comment. So “off with the head!” (and arms) and then the scene came alive. The emotionality of isolation and aloneness came through as did the quiet night. It does just echo.
Lying in Wait by the Golden Gate collograph, printmaking 40” X 12” $1000 When I got my title I immediately added bridge to the phrase, “lying in wait by the Golden Gate.” So, I thought about the bridge and then my thought thread moved to clouds and rain. Thus my clouds and raindrops piece. My daughter can see the Golden Gate bridge from her living room window and she told me that the fog in San Francisco is named Karl. She says the weather news actually refers to Karl. I am a printmaker so I use ink and plates and a press. This piece is printed on both sides of mylar. Then I printed some raindrops and added them so they dangle and provide a bit of movement. The cloud is printed on gampi paper, a very delicate rice paper, and then crushed.
Martians to the Left, Humans to the Right Ink on Watercolor Paper 20” X 30” $1800 After visiting an exhibition of Raymond Pettibon’s work in Los Angeles I had no doubt that my galvanizing art challenge would be made with ink and paper. The opposite of what I usually do. In order to follow my first insight, I rescued some of my childhood memories of when I learned ink. How could I create something as unique as my usual colorful canvases? Throughout my artwork, rather than presenting a factual reality, an illusion is fabricated to conjure the realms of our imagination. For this specific painting, I used repetition and interconnection, exploring the energy field created by all living things that bind.
The School Bus Driver from Hell Mixed Media 16” X 32” $350 “The School Bus Driver from Hell” immediately caused me to think of the classic allegory about Heaven and Hell, The Great Divorce, by C. S. Lewis, in which a busload of unsubstantial “ghosts” take an excursion from “The Gray City” to Heaven, to see if they would like to stay. In this artwork, we see in the rearview mirror of the transparent, unsubstantial bus, “The Driver himself,” who “seemed full of light” and “had a look of authority.” The bus is about to land in the Valley of the Shadow of Life. If the ghosts decide to stay and become sturdy souls who can withstand the more vibrant reality of Heaven, this Valley and all the earthly past will have been Heaven. But most of the ghosts decide to return to Hell because there is always something they insist on keeping, which they prefer more than love. A copy of the book comes with purchase of the artwork.
Which One of Us is the Cat? acrylic 27” X 20” $1,200 There is an undeniable rhythm of relationships between objects in nature. I enjoy the application of various degrees of abstraction that play with the nature of visual harmonies and stories. Eric Kandel’s recent book The Age of Insight (The Quest to Understand the Unconscious in Art, Mind and Brain) is a major influence on my current artistic process. As I thought about the title “Who is the Cat in the Room?” [“Which One of Us is the Cat?”] the anthropomorphic implications and archetype of the cat was inescapable. I created an autobiographical story as part of the creative process. The goal is that the questioning nature of the title and the inside to outside perspective of the painting will initiate each viewer to create their own narrative. The style and philosophy of Kandinsky, Diebenkorn, and Hockney are the nearest influences for this particular painting.
Swan Lake to Swanee River oil on canvas 20” X 24” $2,800 Right away the title conjures up the image of the classic white ballet by Tchaikovsky, “Swan Lake”. I was able to see it performed by Bolshoi Ballet many years ago which always remains in my mind. But the title asks a question: What would Swan Lake look like if it were performed by HeeHaw?
I Danced with God, But I Stepped on His Shoe oil 24” X 20” $2800 My interpretation of this statement began loosely and playfully. I wanted to keep the piece light and entertaining. I found such wonderful and fun images of dancers on the internet, and decided to make it more of a celebration of dance and just having fun, with a little silliness and drama, and a vintage feel.
The Milky Whale Watercolor on Paper 34” X 24” $800 It is a well known fact that Jonah was a bad boy. God pointed him in one direction, and he went in another. The man in the moon might have told him that you can't run away from God. Jonah wasn't convinced until his ship was in a calamitous storm, and he went overboard. Not a good idea. But in His kindness, God brought him a whale who could care for the bad boy with his whale milk, while he reconsidered his poor decisions. This painting was accomplished through much tribulation with the mediums of watercolor, gouache, acrylic, casein and Sharpie. Also with the input of Hanna-Barbera, Dr. Seuss, and the Holy Bible.
The Hands of The Rainbow oil on panel 20” X 20” $950 I hardly ever do commissioned artwork, but this event allowed me to have the freedom to express what I want. The title "The Hands of The Rainbow" is somehow surreal to me, so I approached it with indirected presentation. I transformed the hands to birds as pigeons to promote Peace. I have an odd number of hands/birds to eliminate the guessing of how many people are in the picture. I created many circles as water drops, and randomly filled it in with the seven colors of the rainbow (red, orange, yellow, green, blue, indigo, violet). The painting "The Hands of The Rainbow" doesn't describe or explain what it looks like, but rather expresses the feeling of Harmony and Peace.
My Future Childhood mixed medium 24” X 16” NSF At first, due to my advanced age, I assumed that I am in my future childhood. But on reflection I thought perhaps the title could refer to the return to life after passing and then I began wondering what the future world would be like, and what kind of a childhood and form a child of the future would have? I have done several paintings and can’t say which one truly suits the topic of the title.
Island to Island by Train oil on board 11” X 14” $1800 There are all kinds of destinations. The easy ones are physical, but the interesting ones, for me, are the spiritual. I won’t go into the machinations of it all, but for almost half a century I have wanted to know a place I’d read about as a child, and found myself just shy by a few miles of open water. Maybe one on one, I would tell you about it someday. But for now, I am content to keep it in my imagination, and preserve the perfection that can only reside in the unformed dreams of an unformed child, and can visit it in the pre-dawn hours between daylight and darkness like my own “big two-hearted river.” It will always be perfect. After all, isn’t it our dreams that sustain us?
Still Life with Symphony mixed media 18” X 24” $450 Okay, so I am an abstract expressionist painter painting a still life… What could go wrong? Plenty. Picking a symphony was easy. It's Beethoven's 250th birthday this year so I thought he would be the composer of my symphony; and choosing Beethoven's 5th Symphony just works with a still life. For 40 years I have been telling this stupid children's joke. What was Beethoven's favorite fruit? So I have combined this joke with the painting and thus you get "Still Life on a Symphony: BA NA NA NAAA" Getting the score the right size and attached to the canvas in such a way that I could paint on it was a challenge. Matte medium be damned, curled edges and deteriorating paper were subdued with white glue. Finding a representation of Beethoven was a trip down memory lane. Remember those little plaster busts of composers your piano teacher would give you when you reached a milestone? They still make them... only they are plastic now. I ordered Beethoven. When he arrived I photographed him and then resized the image to fit with my bowl of fruit. I appreciate the challenge and the opportunity to do something totally different.