29 November, 2012

Calm Lake

Calm Lake   18x24 Charcoal on paper

This is a charcoal drawing that is part of a series that I completed in September.  I have completed  six drawings of the same composition; each experimenting with different techniques.

Late August 2012,  I traveled to a secluded lake in Northern Michigan for a long weekend.  This drawing is a view of the tree line and horizon across the lake.   This short voyage brought calm, peace, and clarity to my life for three days.   I am hoping to recapture these feelings in a new painting that I will begin soon.

I'm currently trying to complete an oil painting that I started work in July.  It has been a long process of challenging myself with new ideas to help me find passion but with only minimal results.  During my latest attempt to work on this unfinished oil painting, I challenged myself again. I found inspiration by adding red paint in the final unfinished corner.  It's not very attractive, but it was a good exercise for me to release some inner confusion that showed in the line weights and the texture.    After the paint is dry, I will be covering the red with white.

I am  nearing the completion of this painting, and I am very anxious to begin a new one inspired by the charcoal lake scene drawing.    I think this charcoal drawing and the unfinished  oil painting are very close to the emotions that are causing me unrest, impatience, and confusion.  Maybe even disorientation?    One of my friends gave me this analogy, "Maybe you are a saltwater fish, trying to live in freshwater?".  and my reply,  "I guess I need to figure out how to grow an extra set of gills so that I can breathe in both environments. "     This is my challenge.  

29 September, 2012

Green Blues

48"x80" Oil on Canvas
This is the most recent oil painting that I have completed.  I believe this painting is going to represent a bridge into a new collection of my work-  
a new direction of colors and texture.

This painting is a continuation of the previous oil painting that I posted, but a much larger size.  I wanted to work again with the palette knife, and use again some of elements and techniques from the painting "San Remo".   Even with the Sea and its inspirational waves very far away from me, there is still a strong water theme in my work.   Instead of representing water, I am representing waves of Life's Energy that flow through and around everyone.  

The churning waters of the green-blue hues are carrying me, and helping me to discover a new direction of living and believing each day.  My life is very stable, calm, reflective, and content, but my paintings continue to reflect the passions that are still always a part of me.  I am alive and growing-  an energy of evolution.

02 September, 2012

Sun on the Sea

After my last trip to 6 Place Vieille as an artist a painter, I returned to the United States with a few of my paintings.   I was heartbroken.    All the hard work, investment, inspiration, and hope for the future success of 6 Place Vieille as an artist's gallery had vanished.    Two and half years of love and dedication slipped away in a moment with no chance to regain it.  

In the months after, several of my friends began suggesting to me that I go back to Nice, France to 6 Place Vieille, and remove the remainder of my artwork from the gallery.   The condition of the gallery was deteriorating, and the condition of the artwork left behind may also find itself deteriorated if I did not find it a new home.   

One of my friends in Italy empathized with my situation and suggested I look at Italy for a new adventure and maybe even find in Italy a new gallery.   A new hope arose in me, and during this time, this painting became the symbol of my strength to recover my artwork and give it a safe place to reside.   Whether Italy, or the United States, it did not matter, all my work needed a new home.  

I joked with my friends as my day of departure came closer.   My artwork- oil paintings and charcoal sketches- are like children left behind locked away in the back of the dark gallery.  I could hear them crying (speaking only in French) for their future to once again see the light of day, and most of all, for their safety.   There is truly a piece of me with each of them.

Sketch 2008

Unfinished Painting 2008, 30"x40"

These are images of the painting in 2008 before it was completed.  This is another painting that I had stopped work on it uninspired, and returned to work on it with a renewed passion early 2012.  I found this unfinished painting in my studio and was inspired by the circle.  I wanted a small canvas that I could go back to my roots as a painter and use the palette knife.  The final painting was a study that brought to me a new spirit and a new beginning for a new series of my work.   Hope had returned to me.   

remainder of oil paintings and charcoal sketches from Nice

This is a photograph of the paintings and charcoal sketches that I brought back with me to my home / studio/ gallery in Indianapolis. The story of the mission for their return had many tears and drama.   While I was in Italy and in France a passion and urgency filled me, and it became very important to make sure that all my work returned home with me.  One painting remained behind,  "28 Vallombrose".  I could not find a portfolio large enough for me to pack and carry it safely.  My dream of working as an artist in Italy is still a beautiful dream, and maybe one day it will be a dream to find fruition.   But for now, I am at peace.
In June I had a small private Vernissage open house exhibit in Indianapolis to celebrate the return of the paintings and to tell their story.    Slowly I have been able find inspiration and passion from many sources, and I am now realizing that all my energy doesn't come from the Sea.   I am continuing to work on series of oil paintings without the Sea, but the Sea is still a big part of me.  

07 August, 2012

First Oil Painting painted in the Gallery

This is the first "oil" painting that I painted in the gallery in Nice.  I arrived in Nice with a few of my favorite brushes,  a small supply of my essential oil colors, and bought the rest of my supplies while I was in Nice.  It was exciting to finally paint in the gallery in the medium that I understood completely and naturally. Although my first oil, this painting is the last painting I completed in the gallery.  

Painting while it was displayed outside the gallery
This painting represents all the wonderful days days I spent in Nice in the gallery 6 Place Vieille working as an artist,  as a painter.  The joys of working in the gallery with the doors wide open beckoning guests to enter.   Listening to music from a small radio playing jazz, classical, or romantic french music.  
There were always people passing by that would casually stop in to see the works and talk with me.  

Wine was always available to guests who stopped by to visit.  There was fresh bread and olives to eat while I worked.  I could work long shifts without a break. Cool breezes, sunshine, and the sounds of the street in Vieux Nice. It was a world of heightened creativity for me.  I had found a home.  Maybe it wasn't as much as a home in a physical place, but I had found a home within myself, the discovery of freedom to be a painter, and the gallery helped me discover that place within me.

This is the second painting I started in oils while I was at the gallery.  The  challenge of this painting was to make use of an existing painted canvas, and rework it to make something new.  The red tones and elevated textures are from the original painting underneath. 

I didn't have time to finish it during my stay.  On a later voyage, I brought it home with me to the United States with other paintings that I had in the gallery.  The image above is the completed version.

Beautiful memories I will always keep and cherish for my days I worked at 6 Place Vieille.  My life will always be growing and moving forward.  All things happen for a reason.    There was whisper inside of me, a small intuitive voice was whispering to re-discover my Dream. 

28 June, 2012


This oil painting represents a beautiful day that I spent in the village of VilleFranche -sur-Mer early May 2011. It's size is approximately 4'-0" x    5'-3".   This day was the first time, after all the time that I had spent near the Mediterranean, that I finally swam in the Sea and soaked up the Riviera Sun.  So much poetry and inspiration about the sea came to me that afternoon. I put to paper the words and sketches.  As with San Remo,  I again found a new home.

These are sketches I made for the painting during my last few days in Nice.   I reflected on the Sea for all the beauty and the joy it can bring to our lives, but also how much sadness and tragedy that it is also able to bring to us.

The Sea has an ancient history of wars, lives lost,  tragedies,  and destruction by its water.  It  can show us its power and force, but also the sea can bring joy and contentment.  Its water can be inviting with its gently moving waves and its beautiful blue hues, or by watching the sunlight sparkling on the water. It has its familiar scents and sounds that give us life.  

The Sea deserves our respect for all the energy and strength it can take from us as well as all the energy and strength it can give back to us.  It is to be respected as a living being.

This is a picture of me experiencing the Joys of the Sea.  I was feeling joy, peace, and love of life.   The waves washed up around me giving to me its good life energy and taking away the past and future, and leaving me in the moment.  

Sunset, Villefranche-sur-Mer  decembre 2011

04 June, 2012

San Remo

This is the painting  "San Remo" inspired by my visit to San Remo Italy, Christmas 2010.   This is my first large scale canvas in oil approximately,  4'-0" x 5'-6".    After the painting was completed, I was anxious to carry it with me to  be able to display in the gallery.  The canvas could be rolled and would be easy to transport.   Unfortunately,  it never made it's debut in gallery, 6 Place Vieille.     

Boardwalk cafe

My first visit to San Remo was late September 2010.  During this visit,  there was a lot of uncertainty about my future visits to Nice and whether or not there would be a place for me to work in the Gallery, 6 Place Vieille.  There was also stress revolving around my lost painting.

But while I was there in September,  I had found in my short stay that amidst all my sadness, there was comfort and hope in the beauty and familiarity of the sea and it's landscape.  It was my first glimpse of a possible home.  So, in the next three months, I focused on returning and filling myself with this energy of hope and independence. This would be a much longer relaxing, spiritual quenching that I needed for the end of the year. I only returned to Nice briefly during this vacation to search for and recover the lost painting, "28 Vallombrose" described in the previous post.  

These are some of the sketches of the sea and the harbor that inspired me.   Here I had found new inner strength-  life from death (a new life that only can come from death). There was hope for advancement.  A perfect ending for the old year and transition into the new year to come.    I have not returned to San Remo since this trip in 2010.  

27 May, 2012

Lost Painting

resides Hotel Star, Nice, France
This is the painting that was Lost in Nice, France, September 2010. 

I began work on this painting in May 2009.  I was challenged by the original composition that I lost direction with this painting and was not able to complete the work.   More than a year later in September 2010,  I revisited this painting, and was able to comfortably experiment with some new ideas.   This painting reflects the complications and challenges that began to develop in my life by trying to maintain a gallery and dream in France along side my life in the United States.  But most importantly for me, it also reflects a new freedom in my spirit as a painter that was beginning to unfold.  

Feeling confident that this painting belonged in the gallery for everything that it represented,  I sent it to the gallery 6 Place Vieille.  I was happy to have another painting completed in Oils to represent me in the gallery.

I planned a visit to Nice around the arrival time of the painting.  It never arrived.  I waited for the phone call from Fed Ex to confirm delivery, or neighbors who had offered to sign if it arrived in my absence.....   It didn't arrive.   It was gone.  I was nervous and disappointed the entire trip.   I called and talked to Fed Ex, but the details of its location were not specified.  Other details for its possible "Location" were speculated. (That is all I will say for my speculations)

This is a photograph of the painting after it was found and delivered to the gallery.    The one on the left shows the original packaging that had been left untouched, the one on the right... Voila!  the unveiling.   

I returned to Nice early January 2011 after spending the Christmas Holiday in San Remo, Italy (also located along the coast of the blue Sea).     While I was there, questions about the painting returned again, the stress for the lost painting, the unknown, and actually having the hope of finding its location.  Drama.  I called Fed Ex again, and received the name and address of the person who signed for it.    It was at the University's School of Medicine, "28 Vallombrose".    I went to the school and began my search for the "name".   Because of the New Year's holiday, the Doctor who had the painting was still on vacation.  I was able to obtain his cell phone number. 

After I left Nice, the painting was picked up by my friend.  It was still in it's original packaging.  Its voyage is still a mystery; the details unknown for the path of that voyage I have laid to rest.

20 May, 2012

This is the first painting that I sent to Nice for my first Vernissage to celebrate the opening of gallery 6 Place Vieille.   This painting was painted in my studio in Indiana, and directly inspired by my second vacation trip to Nice,  August 2009.  The inspiration and energy that came with me when I returned was intense.  I was able to start and finish the painting within two weeks after my return.  I was proud to send it because it show cased my skill in oil painting that was unfamiliar to my friends in Nice.  This was a painting that represented me in my new gallery.

This is me at the door of the gallery for the Vernissage, March, 2010.  I didn't have a large body of artwork to display for the show (wall of paintings on the left) but the evening was a success.  Lots of wine, live guitar music, and pizza, and many new guests and friends arrived to see the opening.    

19 May, 2012

First Painting

This is the first painting completed in Nice France.   December 2009,  I went to Nice during the Christmas holiday and spent time with my friend and also artist,  Paul.   He had just obtained a gallery,  6 Place Vieille, in Vieux Nice, and this location was the beginning of my two years as an artist in the south of France.  

Paul and I shared the gallery and expenses for the gallery until life inevitably took us into two different directions.   

The gallery was raw and unfinished.   An architect's paradise for me.   But later it was finished into something that I was able to exhibit regularily and display my work for a few "Vernissage" 's.   This is a picture of me and my blank canvas, with my make shift easel, and a wood plank for a palette.   I had to use acrylic paints.  
They were readily available and less expensive for me to set up my color palette- the Blues.    I wasn't pleased with my skill in acrylic, but I gave the medium a try. I have been a painter working in Oils for more than 25 years.   The texture, the flow of paint, and blending was very very  different with acrylic than with the oil paints that have been customary for me. 
This is the sketch I created for my first painting.   One night uninterested in a movie that we were watching,  I got out my charcoals and used some paper that I had found in a rented apartment.   I did a series of sketches, liberating my creative energy, and created an interesting body of work that evening.    Many of my paintings begin with a sketch.  I use charcoal as a medium that is quick to free ideas on paper before applying to a larger canvas.  
The gallery began as a place of good energy, for neighbors to visit, to sit outside, offer wine to guests.   It has a lot of good memories for dreams that were hopeful for success.... and for me, most importantly, a place of my own where I could just be a painter.   A place where I could focus on being an artist for 10-14 days, and liberate myself from the every day routine of work in Indiana.