Vacationland (detail)

Thursday, December 5, 2013

Taking Stock

Thanksgiving week featured the return of Sarah and the boys from a trip to Pennsylvania, the emergency installation of an oven in a friend's kitchen so that he could cook turkey for 40 people, the aforementioned feast for 40, and a victory by my beloved (and this year, beleaguered) AC Milan team. It didn't feature as much painting as I'd hoped, but it did give me time to plan for the coming months.

There are still some pieces at Dowling Walsh from my October show. Quidley & Company has a few paintings, including two that they took to November's Boston International Art Fine Art Show. Yesterday I shipped Clear to Gallery Henoch in New York for their upcoming group show. I recently finished a commission for a family in Philadelphia and am in the midst of a commission for a couple in southern Maine. And believe it or not, I've already started to work on paintings for my July 2014 solo show at Dowling Walsh. Nothing helps a Mainer get through a cold winter like plans for the coming summer.

Clear, 2013, oil on linen mounted on panel, 15 1/2 x 28 inches

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Of Magnets and Mowing

It's been a quiet couple of days of cleaning up my studio, puttering around the house, catching up on European soccer and mowing the lawn. Getting ready for a show tends to require me to put the rest of the world on “pause”. Sarah and the boys are exempt from “pause” status. Lawn mowing is not.

On Monday, Jake Dowling, owner of Dowling Walsh Gallery, brought his big blue truck and his impeccably dressed two year old son to Hancock Point. He picked up the last of my work for my show. Sarah the-trusty-studio-manager had made two trips in recent weeks to drop off work at the gallery in Rockland. But even Sarah's optimism and my ingenuity couldn't engineer a way to transport an 81 x 60 inch high drawing in one of our average-sized cars. So Jake and his son made the two hour trip to Hancock to pick up my as of yet untitled, but truly enormous drawing and four smaller pieces.

As a technical aside, mounting the drawing on a board and framing it was quite a challenging project. In the end I used neodymium magnets (pull force over 25lbs!!) to hold the drawing in place. Once those babies snapped into place, there was no going back.

The show opens this Friday, October 4. There's a reception from 5:00 – 7:00 p.m., so if you find yourself in mid-coast Maine, please stop by Dowling Walsh to see the show. Jake, Mary, Kirsten and Gus always put on a great opening with good food and drinks. I'll be there, joined by Sarah and surrounded by 30 of my drawings.  

Monday, September 23, 2013

Three (take 2)

I think I may need to put a revolving door on my studio.  Group shows in August and September followed by a solo show in October have meant that artwork and framing supplies have been coming in and out of the studio at a dizzying pace. August was a small works show at Artemis Gallery in Bar Harbor, Maine. The gallery owners also allowed me to offer a first glimpse of the painting The Sea and The Shore to Mount Desert Island collectors before shipping the painting to midcoast Maine.
The Sea and The Shore, oil on linen, 30 x 44 inches

Two of my paintings are in Philadelphia gallery Gross McCleaf's September show Tonalism. Wrapping up the roster of 2013 shows will be an exhibition of my drawings at Dowling Walsh Gallery in Rockland, Maine.
A.S.H., graphite on paper, 15 x 16 inches

The show opens on October 4th and will be up for the month of October. This is the first time I've had a show of drawings. It's a great opportunity to share a different side of my creative process.  There will be nearly thirty pieces in the show, ranging from the 10 x 10 ½ inch study for Sparrow to the about-to-take-over-my-studio 72 x 55 ½ inch drawing tentatively titled Asphalt. A few paintings did sneak into the show, including the aforementioned The Sea and the Shore and a just-finished painting of my sons.
Detail from Untitled

Given the busy nature of work these days, I'm grateful to have hired my first assistant. This summer my wife Sarah left the world of higher education administration to take on a number of new projects, including working as my studio manager. She is more than happy to leave the creative work to me and I am glad to be able to turn over the organizational work to her. The hope is that this will provide me with more time to paint. Time – and this blog – will tell . . .
Study for Sparrow, graphite on paper, 10 x 10 1/2 inches
(although you could also call it Study of the New Studio Manager)

Tuesday, June 11, 2013


Here's a snap of 3 paintings: one framed and ready to go to Boston, a portrait that I'm just finishing up this week, and a new painting that I just started the other day.

The painting in the frame (another lovely Stafford frame) is entitled "Bluet" and is in the exhibition "In Good Company" at Quidley & Co. on Newbury Street in Boston.

Friday, May 3, 2013


Study of A.H., graphite on paper, 22 x 30 inches

My latest order of panels from New Traditions Art Panels is set to arrive early next week. I can't wait to get started on a few new projects. At the head of the line is a portrait project; but once that's underway I'll be turning my attention to a painting based on this drawing.

Wednesday, May 1, 2013


"Leap Day", oil on linen 30 x 49 inches
Well, Leap Day is a few years away (or a year ago...) but of course celebrating such a day seems a perfect excuse to buy helium filled balloons. And, yes, the boys and I did inhale the helium after I was done with the painting--science and silliness, what's not to like?  Add all that to a masochistic desire to paint snow fencing and ta-da!!

This painting is off to Dowling Walsh later today. I'll be driving it down myself. I'm looking forward to the drive as today the weather is simply amazing AND there are a few places along Route 1 that I've noticed lately with the thought of setting a painting. So, I've got some music (a fantastic new album by Phosphorescent) and some podcasts ready to go along for the afternoon (Slate's Culture Gabfest...btw, last week's episode about the work habits of creative people was fascinating).

The last few weeks have been full of inspiration with ideas for new paintings fast accumulating. I'm working through sketches and scribbles trying to get them all down lest I forget them. Any readers of this blog well know I'm not the best at posting, but I'll make an effort to post some of the drawings as I finish them. Promise.

Tuesday, March 12, 2013


As some of you know I get easily sidetracked, and though there is plenty of painting happening, currently my major distraction is tapping the maple trees on our property to collect sap. I've tapped some of the trees in the past, but this year I've gone all in: tapped about 20 trees and tracked down a used evaporator pan. The weather has been great for sap flow which also means that Spring is really starting to make itself seem like a possibility. That said, I'm sure Maine's infamous mud-season will insert itself in the next month. The last few days have yielded nearly 40 gallons of sap--a critical number as the ratio of sap to syrup is about 40:1. The boys and I are looking forward to boiling the sap this weekend.  There's nothing like a raging fire to attract the attention of Finn and Corin (or any boy for that matter). [or girl!!! --Sarah edit]

"Castle", 2013, oil on linen mounted on panel, 24 x 26 inches

So, back to painting... I just sent a piece down to Gallery Henoch in New York. It's been a while since I've sent them anything, so if you're in NYC and are missing DGB, you should pop in and see this new piece. The painting evolved from a single figure on the bed to the two figures cozied up. There are lots of little details including a bed sheet with a frog pattern that puts a little bit of humor in the painting. In my typical tangled way, I've drawn on themes of loneliness, longing, and love (the three L' s of all good painting and country songs) added some real life detail (exposed box spring and photos taped to the wall), not to mention a dash of princesses; costumes; and, for good measure, a mini-vanitas still life set-up on the bookshelf.

I've also started a few other projects and am looking forward to sharing the images, but for now I'm going to wait. Upcoming are a couple of large canvases, a new triptych, and a portrait.

....and two thank yous:

Britta Konau featured Scott Kelley, Devon Dobrowolski, and me in "The Canvas" in Maine Home + Design.

Rick Beerhorst did an on-line interview with me on Monday March 4th for his fantastic (daily!!) blog.

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Evidence of Industry -- Happy New Year

Though to some it may seem that I  have fallen into a distant rabbit hole, there are (trust me) others who know that I have been hard at work. I did just enjoy a fairly e-mail free Christmas week in which I painted not a lick, but otherwise I have been working quite hard.  I'm told that from time too time restorative weeks such as last week are in order.  I am inclined to believe them, especially as more and more of the creative work of image making happens away from the easel. Well, I am back at it today. I'm finishing up a painting of Sarah that is similar to the painting form last year entitled "Sparrow".  In this one she is seen from behind, so the scant details in the painting are of her neck, earlobe, and hair elastics. I'll post a picture soon.
     In the spirit of cleaning off my desk, I thought I'd post a few my final paintings of last year. I'll go in reverse chronological order, starting with a portrait triptych that I finished just before Christmas. Troy Stafford did a lovely job on the frame:

Mallory triptych, oil on three panels, 17" x 65" (total length)

And before the portrait (which, by the way, was an enormously fun project in which I was given free rein) I painted this largish figurative piece and the accompanying study.

Sidereal Day, oil on linen, 36" x 60"

"Study for Sidereal Day", oil on panel, 9" x 12" 

And one final image: this was painted in September just after my exhibition in Rockland.

"Causeway", oil on linen, 24" x 40"