Friday, May 29, 2015

The Draftsman

This one is my baby.  Oil on paper on masonite, 48"x24"  Of all the paintings I have done thus far, I am proudest of this one for several reasons.  Compositionally I consider this piece to be my most successful.  The reference was shot from a bird's eye perspective and this allowed me to create a feeling of movement that evokes that voyeuristic mood, but is also visually exciting.  I'm a big fan of cropping elements in a painting and not following any traditional formulas for composing.  When I was designing this painting several friends and instructors felt the other option I had drawn was a better painting because it was more comfortably suited to the format and everything was in there, sitting nicely in the picture plane.  That was all the feedback I needed to say "F--k this!" and so I went with this composition. 

Composition aside, I played around with paint handling a lot more in this piece.  There is a great deal of brush work and palette knifing that interact with each other.  In many areas it may not work, but as a whole I really think this is my stand out painting and one that is leading to bigger and better things.  This is also a pretty personal piece.  While it isn't exactly a self-portrait, it is a truer depiction of who I am than any self-portrait I've done before. 

That's all for now, but stay tuned!

Thursday, May 28, 2015


These are three 12"x12" studies done on wood.  Hands have forever been the most difficult aspect of the figure for me, so this semester I made it a point to give prominence to hands in all my pieces.  All three of them were also experiments in palette knife and brush combo techniques.  In keeping with my thesis, these are all hands of my friends and incredible painters in their own rights.

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

The Struggle

This is the first painting I completed using primarily palette knife techniques.  It's a painting of my friend Chris Coogan in the act of decision making while working on a large scale piece.  Palette knife creates a really textural, physical paint quality that I felt embodies the mood I was going for.  Coogan is a phenomenal painter, but always plagued with self-doubt.  To quote him, "You sunnavabitch!  You painted my painting better than me."  For him every painting is a struggle in every way possible: technically, emotionally, mentally, etc.  At some point in every creative person's life, if not every single day, we go through this roller coaster of emotions.  And despite the defeat it sometimes brings along we still do this... we are really all mental :)  So while the image itself is quiet, I hope that the physicality, mood, and color evokes that internal struggle.  The painting is 24"x24" oil on canvas. 

Tuesday, May 19, 2015


This bad boy is a painting of my friend and incredibly skillful artist Lucas Bononi at the easel about to start work on a drawing.  It's 51 1/2" x 36" oil on paper on masonite.  It also garnered 1st place in the MFA figurative category for the Spring Show at my school (Academy of Art University).  I don't think I've put so much time into a painting as this one, and happily it shows.  I definitely learned a lot while doing this with regards to edges and technique, but mostly this was a lesson in patience for me :)

Sunday, May 17, 2015


Not going to write a lot.  Going to be posting one finished image daily from school over the last year.  First one is a painting I did last Spring that got into the school's Spring Show and placed 1st in the MFA figurative category.  It was a major breakthrough piece for me that ultimately sealed my fate in terms of my thesis being about artists at work.  The subject is one of my best friends at school, the incredible artist Theresa Morgan, caught reading a book on the model stand with all her painting supplies out and about.  It was inspired when I actually caught her like this several weeks prior as I went to that room to chat with her as her class was cleaning up and leaving.  She was just waiting for everyone to clear out to begin her work.  The title of the painting is "Quiet" and it is 36"x24" oil on canvas.  Enjoy, and as always comments are welcome :)