Before I Wake

Before I Wake – Watercolor – 10 x 14 inchesThe title of the painting comes from a child’s bedtime prayer: “Now I lay me down to sleep.
I pray the Lord my soul to keep.
If I should die before I wake,
I pray to God my soul to take.”

This watercolor sketch was one of the first of many attempts to paint how things change. In this sketch there is the change from interior to exterior— from the confines of the room out onto the spaces of the road and into the landscape and mountains in the distance. The little girl runs between one reality into another.

Years later I’m still trying to paint metaphors for change.
Years later, the little girl tells me she is still running.

#metoo #fineart #contemporaryart #realistart #nightvisions #visualpoetry #landscapes #visionaryart #visualpoetry #surrealistart Source:

Girl on a Balcony

From Morning Until Night – Oil/canvas – 24 x 30 inches

Many of my paintings are designed to look like screen shots, like scenes from some larger narrative, as if you had walked into a darkened theatre after the film had started, or you had opened a random page in the middle of a novel and were unaware of what had happened before and what would occur later on.

The painting shows a hotel room in Madrid: a rumpled bed, a young woman on a balcony looking down a narrow street. On the wall above the lamp hangs a reproduction of a painting from 1652 by Diego Velázquez of a princess, painted at her age of two, a little girl who would not live to celebrate her 22nd birthday.

If you wanted to, you could interpret this painting in several ways. One viewer told me she thought the young woman was a prostitute. Well, I suppose this could be so, but that was not my intention. I’m interested in the lives of women in general, especially women who find themselves alone, living in what is still a man’s world.
In any case, in future posts you will see this woman again, and many of her sisters. I admire their curiosity, determination and resilience. But the scenes, like this one, will always remain ambiguous, as they should be. Thankfully, the women know themselves much better than I know them.
There is one other thing I need to tell you, a coincidence which I did not realize until a few moments ago as I was writing this post: the young model who leans over the balcony in this painting was a former student of mine. She was a fearless young artist and, later, a college graduate with a degree in engineering. A few years ago, one of her younger sisters discovered her body, two days dead, on the floor of her little kitchen. She was older than twenty-two, but not by much.

#metoo #fineart #contemporaryart #realistart #nightvisions #visualpoetry #oilpaintingsforsale Source:

A Dance in Two Parts – 2

In last week’s post, I wrote about my painting of people dancing at the Nevada County Fair. The work had been commissioned by the county’s Board of Supervisors to decorate the county’s newly constructed  administrative center. After the painting was installed, I left California  and spent a few months painting in Spain. When I returned to the U.S., a message on my studio’s answering machine cast a shadow on my happy homecoming. A gruff male voice in a menacing tone demanded that I phone him: “Hey, are you the guy that did that painting that’s in the new county building? The people dancing? Well, I got something to tell you. You call me right away, you hear?”

I couldn’t imagine why this man was angry, but his tone of voice led me to expect the worst.  Had I painted him dancing with someone else’s wife? Or equally unfortunate, had I depicted his wife dancing with someone she wasn’t supposed to be dancing with?

I waited until the next day to return his call.

A Dance at the Fair – Oil/canvas – 30 x 60 inches

Read More