The single most important thing that makes my paintings illuminate themselves is the surface preparation. It has to be smooth. The first thing you notice about my glaze method paintings is that the color is vibrant and glowing. The effect of having light pass through glass. That is the basic concept. What is only slightly difference is that my paintings have many micro thin layers of "glass" or glaze. It's in the form of tinted clear media dried in a significant layer over a base color. I begin my development in the warm peach tones.
The portrait artist has a particularly hard job. Most people are unhappy with photos of themselves. On top of the challenge of making the subject happy with a good likeness, the portrait artist needs to make a good work of art. I’ve upped the ante by wanting to capture the soul and spirit of the subject’s inner workings. A soul-selfie if you will.
This endeavor is not for the faint of heart, but with the right frame of mind and lots of input from the subject, a unique and treasured heirloom painting can come to life.
In this portrait, my wife wanted her portrait centered around the powers of the four elements and her spirit animal by her side. The time of year represents her birthday month, November. She’s holding a large healing crystal.
The Healer Oil on Panel 40 x 30
There are some artists who work hard to stay away from constraints. I, on the other hand, have been embracing “the narrative” and whenever someone needs to see a vision come into reality, I am quite willing to take my artistic experience in their direction. In this series, you’ll see many works that began as someone else’s idea and they want to hire me to bring it to life. It began with book and magazine illustration and it developed through my 14 children’s books. These days, I’m taking on large painting commissions. I like to call them Empowerment Portraits. This first painting was created for a gentleman who wanted to me to commemorate how he likes to sail with his two dogs on Lake Winnipesaukee. Since there wasn’t a good resource photo available, I had to draft the specific brand of sailboat from scratch using many reference photos.
Underway with Dogs. Oil on Panel 30 x 48
Every once in a while I get a specialized assignment. Last year, a coffee table book was designed to celebrate the 250th Anniversary of Dartmouth College. One of the central pages in the book is this painting I was asked to paint in a Frederic Church painting style. Hudson River School best describes it. In this scene, when Dartmouth was only a 3 year old college, we see John Ledyard in May 1773 dropping out and heading down the Connecticut River in a dugout canoe he had fashioned himself. He was off to discover the world. He returned to Dartmouth after a life of adventure to write Journal of Captain Cook's Last Voyage. It was the first work to be protected by copyright in the United States. The original painting called “John Ledyard’s Departure” now hangs in the Baker Library at Dartmouth.
“I’m so pleased that you were able to pull this off, from start to finish. Thanks again for the nice work. You’ve made a rich contribution to Dartmouth’s heritage and its public art.” - Jim Collins
The owners of the beautiful Arts & Crafts barn in Peterborough, New Hampshire, built in 1912, wanted a commemorative painting to hang over the mantle.
During the month of May 2019, the First Annual Regional Show hung at the 610 Gallery in Ridgway, Colorado. I came away with a First Place ribbon and a sale!