Saturday, November 23, 2019


These were painted from reference photographs over the summer, with modified Zorn palette. Each piece took about 2-3 hours to finish, except for the first one that took one hour. They are about 14"x10", oil on paper. Oil paint dries through oxidation which is how rust forms. 

When I travel to less populated parts of the U.S. the use of land in those areas always fascinates me: Forests, farmlands, swamps, parking lots, and factories; Mid-sized towns with no public transportation or sidewalks; Dilapidated downtowns and suburban drive-through Starbucks; Dead cars rusting away in front yards, back alleys, and vacant lots. 

Sunday, August 11, 2019

Appetite for Destruction

Destruction proceeds the creation, or re-creation. I enjoy smudging and erasing images just to see if I can rebuild them differently. If I don't take the time to do so, the finished paintings would look odd, because they lack this certain quality that I'm after, which I can't explain in words exactly what that is. Energy? Tension? Danger? Attitude? I don't know.

It feels invigorating to completely erase a finished painting! When my paintings come out dead, I take an electric sander and sand them down to nothing. This is another reason I love painting on wooden panels.

trace of gray paint stays after sanding

The leftover paint acts as a groove and I kinda like painting on a surface that is not completely white. It also fits my subject matter of aged or abandoned structures in urban landscape.

underpainting in transparent oxide red

My underpainting sometimes turns out really tight. Depending on the subject matter I go back and forth between really loose and tight underpaintings. I wanted to be faithful to the form of this car but left the background less defined.

Tempest, 2018, oil on panel, 32"x48"

Painting with brayers opened up a whole new universe in front of me. When I paint plein air I still use brushes, but in the studio with larger panels, I don't even dream of using brushes.

Nowadays I stop sanding the original paintings halfway and leave ghost images.

I painted over these in a way that the ghost images showed through - they became the "under-underpantings."

By the way dried oil paint powder is toxic. Don't forget to wear a mask and goggles when sanding!