Monday, February 8, 2016

More Watercolor Experiments

Here are a few more scans of the watercolor experiments that I did last week using liquid watercolor paints.

Sunday, February 7, 2016

Rocking the Cradles

I've been experimenting with a lot of ideas in my journal and with small artworks on paper, but I haven't made any larger work in a while. So, today I spent time in the studio building cradles from masonite and pine boards for future larger work. I built three cradles and had a fourth lying around the studio, so now I have a 24"x24", an 18"x24", a 10"x10", and a 6"x9" cradle ready to go.

I used to work primarily on canvas and most often would stretch my own, but when I got into mixed media, I began working primarily on paper. Needing a way to display the work, I would mount the artwork onto the cradles. Recently, I began simply priming the cradles and creating directly on top. I'm looking forward to getting some new pieces going.

Saturday, February 6, 2016

Watercolor Experiments

Earlier in the week, I began some pieces using some of the techniques from the Cultivating Creativity Online Workshop with liquid watercolor paint. The liquid watercolor is a concentrated dye-based paint that reacts a little differently than the semi-moist pans that I normally use. The liquid watercolor have an intensity that I like.

I'm not sure where these pieces are going, but it was fun layering and experimenting with the paint.

Wednesday, February 3, 2016


I work very spontaneously most of the time, and I don't plan many things out or make sketches. I do explore ideas quite a bit in my journal and in smaller works giving me a lot of practice with images and technique. But I always want my work to be about discovering something.

Lately, I have been drawn to imagery that I first explored more than six years ago in my Excavation series. I have been fascinated with the geometric shapes radiating from a central point, and this concept is perfect for exploring as line work using black ink. I might even explore this idea as larger works and paintings.

Over the last two days I have been working on a new radiating piece similar to one that I shared a few days ago in this post. With that first drawing, I draw the entire thing with the pens, and though I like how it turned out overall, there are a few things that feel "off" about it. I wanted to minimize these "off" feeling parts, so for this new piece, I sketched a design in pencil first. I drew it completely freehand, no rulers and no compasses, and I purposefully made some parts a little "off". I've been slowly developing the line quality and the texture, and I'll share more when finished.

Interestingly, several people have mentioned Star Wars in connection to the first line drawing I did a few days ago. My wife and I did recently see The Force Awakens, and I have been a big fan since the original was released when I was a kid. So, maybe there's an unconscious nod to the films.

But beginning a new piece is always filled with such excitement and promise. I can't wait to see where this one goes.

Tuesday, February 2, 2016

Art and Soul - Portland

Dave and I are gearing up for Art and Soul - Portland, which is just one month away. It will be my first trip to Portland, and I'm looking forward to it. We will be presenting three workshops - one evening and two full-day workshops, and we still have spots available.

So, if you've been looking to come create with us, we would love to have you join us at Art and Soul. Click the links below for information and to register.

Art and Soul, Portland, OR, February 29 - March 6, 2016

We will also be at Art and Soul's other retreats in Minneapolis and Virginia Beach. Registration for those are open now as well.

Monday, February 1, 2016


I've been experimenting a lot lately, jumping from one idea to another. I am very much in the midst of an exploration phase. I haven't settled on one idea or one line of inquiry, so I've been playing and experimenting, trying out different images, different techniques, and different media. It's always good to try on different things, to mix things up, to push outside of my comfort zone.

Sunday, January 31, 2016


I've been slowly adding to this drawing that I started some time last week. I've been using the Faber Castell Pitt Pens again to embellish and embolden the work. Working on my art is a way for me to deal with the recent loss allowing me to keep busy and  focus on the present moment.

Saturday, January 30, 2016

Goodbye Kyla

On a sad note today, we had to say goodbye to our little shih tzu girl, Kyla. Kyla first came to us back in July as a foster from our local shelter, and we quickly fell in love with her. I tried to resist adopting her knowing that such a sweet, lovely, and silly girl would be easily adopted, but once we found out the shelter felt like she would be difficult to place, we decided to adopt. Kyla was a 13 year old with arthritis and a large lump on her jaw, and these were issues that would have made adoption difficult.

But Kyla was so full of life and love, my wife and I just had to adopt her, but we didn't know how long she would have. We just knew that we would make her life as comfortable and full of love as possible. Shortly after adopting, Kyla's lump grew suddenly and quickly, and we had the lump removed along with part of her lower jaw. We discovered that the lump was a mast cell tumor, and we knew that she wouldn't be with us very long.

Despite having a portion of her lower jaw removed, Kyla never slowed down, and she stayed sweet and loving to the end. Unfortunately, another lump recently formed, and over the last two days, she quickly went down hill. We said goodbye to Kyla  this morning as she went to the rainbow bridge. We are saddened and heartbroken. Six months seems like such a short time, but we loved her very much. In the end, we were able to give her six months filled with love, and she was able to bring a sweetness and a silliness into our lives. We will cherish our memories of her.

Friday, January 29, 2016

Artistic Accomplices

Today was another snow day as the area continued to dig out from the blizzard that hit last week. Most roads are passable, and Dave was able to come down from Shepherdstown and hang out for the part of the day. It was like old times as we sat at the coffee table working in our journals.

When Dave first introduced me to the journal over 17 years ago, we used to get together on a regular basis and work in our journals figuring out techniques and media. So, it was very nice and nostalgic to sit for a few hours and make art together.

Having an accomplice all of these years has been a great motivator to make art. It's a gift having someone there to nudge, encourage, and inspire.