Untitled 101916

I streaked a stroke of terra rosa to begin today’s piece. After dripping cadmium red on the paper and letting it dry, I glazed the surface with transparent iron yellow and then transparent iron red. I wanted a study in earth colors.  Finally, I used English yellow to stripe the middle of the first form […]

Abstract – Filter Feeding

Terra Rosa (M. Graham) is a very fine pigment. I brushed it on boldly to the expansive 16×12 paper. I then spouted several compressed air puffs to whisk some of the pigment away from the main stroke. The result reminded me of the big bones of a whale’s mouth connecting with the fine filaments it uses to filter food from […]

Abstract Background 101816

I thought quite a bit about the role that chance plays in abstract painting. Surely some artists have mental image of what they would like to realize in paint. On the other hand, perhaps one paint stroke inspires the next, and so on.  As I mentioned yesterday, there are numerous accounts of artists gaining inspiration for their […]


I’m reading an interesting book about artists. Legend, Myth, and Magic in the Image of the Artist, by Ernst Kris and Otto Kurz, is densely packed with interesting ideas and information. For example, throughout history, chance has come to the aid of the painter, since time immemorial. Stories abound about chance and the artist. Giorgio Vasari, a […]

Abstract 101616 – Silhouette

I began the past few watercolors with washes of color on a 16″x12″ block of watercolor paper. Until now, the free-form design superimposed on the colored paper was independent of the background. Today was the first time a shape suggested itself after the paper dried.

Abstract 101516 – Janus

I prepared the ground for Abstract 101516 by layering colors over a pre-washed sheet of 140 pound Arches paper. I used a heavy marker to create the first free-form design. Then I used oil-based pens for the more delicate shapes and the cross hatching. The three-lobed form inspired the placement of the eyes. I chose […]

Abstract 101416

A change of pace today. Nothing more to do for our niece who passed away yesterday. I am feeling calm in a strange way after the struggles of the past couple of weeks. The house is quiet. I thought that I might reveal some insights by wandering a pen across the paper today. But my […]

It Ain’t Pretty

There is an optical effect called the ‘waterfall illusion’. If you have ever watched the credits scroll by at the end of a movie, or scroll a computer screen, and then look at a still picture, it appears to move in the opposite direction. A similar thing happened this morning, when I looked in on […]

The Status is Quo

Nothing new. Although she hasn’t had anything to eat or drink in the past 4-5 days, my niece’s condition has not changed much. Cancer is winning. She is non-communicative, and breathing very hard. Many people who knew her have been by to see her and tell her they love her. There is not much else […]