• Hudeman Slough, Sonoma
    Hudeman Slough Regional Park

    While birding, Lori and I came across a lot of interesting, twisty little roads near Hudeman Slough Regional Park near Sonoma. I thought this view of the slough would be appropriate for a new pastel.

  • California hills near Walnut Creek.
    Hap’s Hills

    California has the most beautiful hills. During a birding trip with Lori, I took this photo near Walnut Creek. I completed this little pastel in 90 minutes using only the colors in my box without the benefit of resharpening them.

  • Cows near the beach
    Dillon Beach Hillside

    On the way home from my friend’s birthday party at Dillon Beach, I found this lovely view from the roadside. My challenge was to capture the feeling of happy California cows without the possibility of details due to my medium, pastels.

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    Albert

    After years of working behind a computer, I grew weary and thought I’d try my hand at sculpture. Having never studied the art, I did all the wrong things and used all the wrong materials for the original, a bas relief of Albert Einstein, one of my heros.

    I learned quickly that sculpture is problem-solving in many dimensions, not just three. To my personal delight, I found this process very agreeable and discovered technical solutions to molding and casting. The most interesting part of this story is that I met Simon Kogan as a result of this work, and that makes it very special to me. After looking at it, he agreed to let me study sculpture with him, and we have been friends ever since.

    22″ diameter, cast Forton (weatherproof, architectural gypsum reinforced with polymer and fiberglass) colored with pure artist’s pigments, limited edition of nine.

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    The Dreamer

    Having read Bullfinch’s Mythology and studied Greek art for many years, I decided to invent a new set of mythological characters. Using the Divine Proportion as my guide, I set about the task of drawing a suite of images, each relating to this theme. Though only 16″x10″, each required three to four weeks to complete because of the nature of the medium – colored pencils sanded to fine points applied to fine, archival paper. Because of the unique properties of the paper, no erasing could occur so each piece had to be transferred to the surface in a manner similar to caricature on fresco.

    “The Dreamer” represents the weird intersection between day and night that occurs in our dreams. I am particularly proud of this piece because of the anatomy and symbolism. The model complained very little considering the pose required. “The Dreamer” won the Meininger Award in Draw ’82, a national drawing competition held in Boulder, Colorado.

    16″x10″, Berol Verithin clay-based colored pencil, Strathmore Bristol Vellum 100% rag paper

    (special thanks to Paul and Bonnie at Gallery One)

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    The Seeker

    Part of the revised mythology suite of drawings, this character represents our ever-curious nature. She sees inside the mystery of the dodecahedron, the shape that symbolized the Golden Section to the ancient Greeks. In order to draw this shape, I first made a model of the dodecahedron with paper and then cut it into two halves with a blade. As with the other members of this suite, the composition is based on intersections based on the Golden Section. I am especially proud of the ball of her foot and straight elbow.

    16″x10″, Berol Verithin clay-based colored pencil, Strathmore Bristol Vellum 100% rag paper

    (special thanks to Paul and Bonnie at Gallery One)

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    Still Life, Rose

    In an eager attempt to learn more about painting, I asked Simon Kogan to help me. After a week of paining “boot camp” with this enthusiastic artist, this is one of the paintings I made. For me, it is just what I wanted, to be stripped bare of existing attitudes and knowledge about art and find an immediate voice. I completed it in thirty minutes (compared to the three weeks in my colored pencil work previously shown).

    12″ tall, oil on 100% rag paper (special thanks to Simon Kogan)

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    Door Closes, Door Opens

    Based on a drawing from my dream journal, this bronze sculpture represents a moment of clarity in my maturation process. I had a very clear and certain vision in a dream of one door next to another on a small, rocky island barley large enough to support them both. One door was being slammed closed, cartoon style, wobbling in the result while the other door, also in cartoon style, blew open in reaction to the other door like a sail in the wind!

    Beyond being an immediate transition from dream to bronze, this piece is special to me because I learned about the true process of making art for the first time. Working with Simon Kogan and learning about casting bronze were wonderful experiences for me.

    12″ high, bronze on granite, first view (special thanks to Simon Kogan)

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    Nouveau Maillol

    This is my last colored pencil drawing. It was a personal project which I have kept in my studio. Much larger than my typical pencil work, this was inspired by the thick arms of the model and an affection for Maillol’s sculpture.

    For me, this piece is a tour-de-force of my skills with pencil and attention to detail. You can count the threads, really. During its creation, I had to soak my arms in hot water before I could grip the pencils. After this work, my drawing has become less frequent and much less detailed.

    13″x18″, Berol Verithin clay-based colored pencil, Strathmore Bristol Vellum 100% rag paper

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    The Rebirth

    If the “Weights and Measures” suite can be related to anything, it’s the classic hero’s journay. I knew it from mythology and life before I read Joseph Campbell. But as Campbell so aptly describes, most of our imaginary life is derived from the classic Greek tale of the hero’s journey. When he returns to his homeland, to his birthplace, he is transformed. And so, here, I am transformed into a winged jester emerging from his birthplace (the egg) and the tale I have is seen on the pages of the book I hold. And, yes, you guessed it, the abstracted image from “The Sacrifice” is there on the left. On the right page is a part of the fourth image in the suite I will not show you.

    10″x16″, graphite on Strathmore Bristol Vellum 100% rag paper

    (special thanks to the late Frank Howell)

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    Persistence of Imagery

    A wonderful man and artist named Frank Howell once asked me to participate in the creation of a limited edition book of images special to the artists participating in its creation. I was greatly flattered by this request from a mentor and highly regarded artist, so I came up with a suite of four, one-color images as fast as I could.

    The suite reflects my understanding of the understanding of “Weights and Measures”. Guided by the measure of art history, I thought how wonderful it would be if we could see classic images from the other side, from inside looking out! Botticelli’s Venus was always magical for me (even before I saw it) so I started with that. And since this is a different time, of course the shell had to make way for the gears of the age. Other than that, it was a personal re-discovery of Vermeer’s perspective technique.

    Using the Divine Proportion was still important to me in the creation of this suite of drawings.

    10″x16″, graphite on Strathmore Bristol Vellum 100% rag paper

    (special thanks to the late Frank Howell)

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    The Thinker

    Part of the revised mythology suite of drawings, this character represents thinking and contemplation. The silver hair signifies wisdom (in spite of her age) and the blue rose all things that are seemingly impossible (“There are no problems, only solutions” – John Lennon) The weird object in the distance is one of the first purely abstract images I conjured and I am still engaged with it. It has to do with the four corners of the world, the tree of life, suffering and escape; hard to explain really. In this piece I discovered just how difficult drawing water really is.

    16″x10″, Berol Verithin clay-based colored pencil, Strathmore Bristol Vellum 100% rag paper

    (special thanks to Paul and Bonnie at Gallery One)

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    Death

    Part of the revised mythology suite of drawings, this character represents death. Deeply saddened by the murder of John Lennon, I realized the next in the suite would have to represent death. To keep this piece unified with the other members of this suite, the composition is based on intersections based on the Golden Section. To represent the cycle of life and death, her head, hair and arms form the shape of an egg. Emerging from the other egg is a dead, upward-floating silver beetle (one of the first names used by The Beatles) and in the background, piano keys emerge from the sands at the feet of the world’s oldest pyramid in Egypt. The clouds are drawn as perpendicular to the horizon in an attempt to communicate the confusion I was feeling at the time.

    16″x10″, Berol Verithin clay-based colored pencil, Strathmore Bristol Vellum 100% rag paper

    (special thanks to Paul and Bonnie at Gallery One)

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