Sunday, August 31, 2014

Painting Progression

I made progress on this little painting this week. It needs another session or two, but it's almost done. I really like where this series is going. More soon!

Sunday, August 24, 2014

Faculty Week

Last weekend I taught a grisaille workshop at White Ripple Gallery. Although grisaille is not a technique I use often in my studio practice these days, it is still one of my favorite ways to introduce newcomers to oil paint. Above are two demos I showed to the group, both raw umber on gessoed paper.

This week was faculty week, so a good portion of my time was spent in meetings, writing lesson plans, and preparing for the semester. I did have a chance to finish this little painting though!

I also obtained a copy of Vasari's Lives of the Artists this week, and have been savoring every word. Below is an excerpt from the chapter on Giotto; this is one of my favorite stories.

"The messenger... declared the purpose of the Pope and the manner in which that Pontiff desired to avail himself of his assistance, and finally requested to have a drawing that he might send it to His Holiness. Giotto, who was very courteous, took a sheet of paper, and a pencil dipped in a red color; then, resting his elbow on his side, to form a sort of compass, with one turn of the hand he drew a circle so perfect and exact that it was a marvel to behold. This done, he turned, smiling to the courtier, saying "Here is your drawing." "Am I to have nothing more than this?" inquired the latter, conceiving himself to be jested with. "That is enough and to spare," returned Giotto." (pages 7-8)

Sunday, August 17, 2014

New Facebook Page! / Studio, August

I am slowly but surely expanding my social media presence! If you haven't liked my new Facebook page, you can check it out here: Be sure to check back often for in progress shots and brand new finished work!

I started the week by building and stretching a whole slew of baby canvases. Seeing the Morandi collection in Bologna reminded me of how much I love working small. Everything I learned from the past year's big paintings will certainly come into play on these little ones.

Speaking of Morandi, I read a wonderful quote by Sean Scully at the Bologna Modern Art Museum:

"Morandi paints like no other, before or after. His brushstroke is in complete philosophical agreement with the subject, the scale, and the color of his paintings. It is expressive, though it is modest, and not so expressionistic as to disturb the sense of meditative silence that inhabits all his paintings." 

It's been a good painting week - I have a few new pieces that are almost ready. Check the Facebook page later this week for a preview! Full images will go up on the blog next week. Cheers - 

Sunday, August 10, 2014

NUDE 6 - Manifest Gallery

One of my recent paintings was juried into Manifest Gallery's NUDE 6 exhibition. The show features 18 works by 16 artists and will be in the Drawing Room and Parallel Space Gallery. If you find yourself in Cincinnati between August 15th and September 12th, make sure to stop by Manifest!

For more information check out the gallery's website here.

Abbraccia      2014      oil on canvas      18" x 24"

The figure is wrought with historical and conceptual implications. I am interested in addressing the human form in a contemporary way, while still maintaining art historical references. The title of this piece, Abbraccia, comes from the italian verb abbracciare which means "to embrace." The deliberately androgynous pose allows the viewer to project his or her own memories and emotions onto the piece. The blue tape adhering the drawing to the wall and the surrounding paint smudges situate this piece firmly between genres; it is simultaneously a figurative painting, a still life, and a closely cropped studio interior. 

Sunday, August 3, 2014


 left: Bernini's David; right: la luce, study

left: Raphael's La Fornarina; right: Caravaggio's Judith and Holofernes 

We took a day trip to Bologna to see the Museo Morandi collection, temporarily housed in the Modern Art Museum. 

studies from Morandi's drawings

This Baccanale by Poussin was a delightful surprise in the Palazzo Barberini.

Piazza Navona, one of my favorite places in Rome

As much as I love Italy - the people, the language, the food, the culture - I'm definitely ready to get back to work. New paintings coming soon. Stay tuned.

Saturday, August 2, 2014


I just got back from a wonderful two weeks in Italy with my family. I started a brand new sketchbook and nearly filled it. I didn't take very many photos, but I drew everywhere we went. My italian is much improved since the last time, and there is still so much to learn.

We spent the first week in Florence.

left: la finestra V; right: la finestra VI

Some of my favorite sculptures of all time are Michelangelo's unfinished slaves, made for the tomb of  Pope Julius II. 

statue incompiute 

left: Michelangelo's "Dawn", Medici Chapel; right: studies from the Bargello 

left: study from Pontormo's Deposizione; right: train study II

I saw some gorgeous little Macchiaioli paintings at the Pitti Palace that I had missed on my last trip. They are such beautifully perfect paintings. Telemaco Signorini is one of my favorites. 

One of the highlights for me was a series of Andrea del Sarto drawings. Above is one of three that were on display at the Uffizi.

Tomorrow's post: week 2 - Rome. Stay tuned!