Thursday, February 19, 2009


I went off on a bit of a tangent and did these small square 24" x 24" paintings just using minimal color. I tried to work on them all together and imagined them all hanging in one group. I wanted to see how simple I could get them so from across the room they looked interesting and graphic but then upon closer examination the texture and the subtle markings would reveal themselves.

I write or scratch words in my pictures which are often metaphorical or mean nothing at all but they do give the "idea" of communication even though it is vague. A word is so specific and actually really powerful so I tend to use ones that are obtuse or diluted by an overlay of texture or even upside down or backwards. 

black and white squares

Monday, February 16, 2009


For Valentines day I bought my daughters  small tins of gourmet jellybeans. Hannah left  for a week on a school field trip to Quebec and accidentally left it in my studio. This is a temptation too great for any person, especially me already weakened by the prospect of facing a difficult painting. I have already gone through the mandarin orange ones...incredible and now I discovered the pina colada ones...It is only Monday and she won't be back till next Sunday. 
There will be no happy ending here. It is simply too late for that.


Thursday, February 12, 2009

Overturned Stones

This idea of crappy painting in the beginning always reminds me of Anne Lamott, the Bay Area writer who said "I always do a shitty first draft" I think about that a lot when beginning a painting. It's much easier and in the end, because you don't care, there sometimes results 
some remarkable passages of paintings. Although then those become precious and then I spend all morning painting around the good parts which in time wrecks them. So I try to extend the period of time that I "don't care" and try not to think too hard. All parts of the painting at all times are open to change or destruction. No parts should be off limits. I think about how sensitive I can be..How can this feel more raw, more alive? What the hell am I doing? Sometimes I feel like someone is going to blow a whistle and cart me off to a more typical job. One with boundrys, a coffee machine and maybe even an  elevator I can take up and down to work. Total insecurity coupled with absolute certainty. This much I know to be true. 


Wednesday, February 11, 2009


In the beginning I just lay down whatever I am thinking about...
trying not to judge whatever it is or wether it looks good or not.
This painting is at the stage that I don't really like too much
of what is presently there. It feels simplistic, thin and overly 
decorative. This is early in the painting process-there is not much 
paint on this painting. Once I start covering up and re working 
the painting it generally gets better. Most of this will probably 
change. I find this the hardest part and it kills me to stick it 
on this blog as generally it's nice to only show the best work 
as if you never make duds. Often I find the paintings of 
others, when they are not working, the most interesting.

Sunday, February 1, 2009

The Littlest Song

This is where I ended up. This was an interesting 
painting for me. The darks had to be really strong  as 
they are not particularly dynamic shapes. I wanted the eye
to bounce around  and then have the quieter elements softly 
converse... Two conversations going simultaneously. This 
composition almost feels musical to me.
I was listening to Jolie Holland singing "The littlest Birds"
which inspired the title. A fabulous song if you have never
 heard it before..