Friday, December 10, 2010

December Happenings

I may not be blogging as much, but I have been working on a couple things (in addition to Christmas shopping!) I finished my portrait of Caitlyn, and I have a couple of commissions in the works. Also, I will be doing a new still life in oil, which I hope to post by early January! Finally, Ethan remains on display at the Whistler House Museum of Art through December 30th.

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Sunday, November 21, 2010

WHMA Reception

The Whistler House Museum of Art Annual Members Exhibition reception yesterday was a wonderful event, and I was thrilled to be awarded third place for my portrait Ethan, shown above. The exhibition includes a variety of works in oil, pastel, mixed media and sculpture, including Mary Rose O'Connell's stunning piece, A Winter Landscape, which was awarded first place. The show continues through December 30th at the Whistler House Museum of Art in Lowell, MA.

Monday, November 8, 2010

Next Wins Award!

I am really excited to announce that Next, shown above, has won the Vera Sickinger Award at the American Artists Professional League 82nd Grand National Exhibition. The exhibit of painting, graphics, and sculpture at the Salmagundi Club in NYC continues through November 12th.

Monday, November 1, 2010

Kevin at CLWAC Exhibition

I am really excited that Kevin has been awarded the Katherine A. Lovell Memorial Award at the Catharine Lorillard Wolfe Art Club 114th Annual Exhibition. The awards ceremony took place this past Friday at the National Arts Club, and though I was not able to attend, Kendra Bidwell Ferreira, whose work was also accepted into the show, was kind enough to take the photos of my piece shown here.

Friday, October 15, 2010

Ethan Framed

Yesterday I had Ethan framed, and I thought I'd post a photo...

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Practicing Oil Painting...

Since I spent a few weeks on my last colored pencil piece, I decided to do a quick study in oil before diving into my next oil piece. This painting of an old tarnished bowl was done in about hour last night, with light only from my easel lamp. It was interesting to paint something that would be difficult (if not impossible) to see in a photo, but the resulting painting is way too dark!
By the way, you can kind of make out the reflection of my head and easel lamp upside-down in the center of the inside of the bowl!

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Rubik's Turns 30

I recently found out that the Rubik's Cube, which I have spent many frustratingly fun hours solving in my lifetime, turns 30 this year:

Of course, I've only captured the winning moment in my piece Mastery, shown below (e-mail me with purchase inquiries).

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

"Next" going to NYC

I just found out that my colored pencil piece Next has been accepted into the American Artists Professional League 82nd Grand National Exhibition. The exhibit of painting, graphics and sculpture will be at the Salmagundi Club in NYC from November 2nd through November 12th, with a reception on November 7th.

Monday, August 16, 2010

Colored Pencil News

I am much happier than I look in this self portrait... I recently found out that I am now a Signature Member of the Colored Pencil Society of America, as I have been accepted into the annual exhibition for the past three years. CPSA is a wonderful organization with a plethora of information for colored pencil artists, and I have found the members to be very encouraging and supportive.

Also, Reticent, shown above, has been accepted into this year's Art Kudos International Juried Art Competition and Exhibition. The entire exhibition is available at, and my piece can be viewed on this page.

Finally, my first open studio event this past Saturday was a great success - I was thrilled to have people view my art in person, two pieces were sold, and I am excited about upcoming commissions. Future open studio events will be announced in my e-mail newsletter.

Monday, August 2, 2010

CPSA Award Winners Announced

The Colored Pencil Society of America's 18th Annual International Exhibition Award Winners have been posted, and I am thrilled to announced that my piece Quiet Moment has received an Award for Excellence! I wish I could have attended the convention this year in Los Gatos, CA, but I hope to be able to attend next year's in Dallas...

Saturday, July 31, 2010

Work in Progress, Open Studio

Pictured above is a 16"x12" oil portrait I'm currently working on. Sign up for my newsletter to receive an announcement for my upcoming Open Studio event to see this and other sample portraits:

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Kevin Framed

I'm posting this photo of Kevin framed partly because I really like the frame, and partly to feel productive because I do not have any more artwork to show at the moment! I did start a new larger oil painting (not a commission), but I had to abandon it after a few days of working on it. I was struggling with it in every way - proportions, colors, values... and I also realized that I wasn't too happy about the overall idea after I had already worked on it for hours and hours. It was an expensive mistake, but I learned to plan better for my paintings - especially the larger ones - in the future. In the meantime, I am starting a smaller portrait that will hopefully get me comfortable with oil painting again.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

"Next" Completed

I was inspired to do this piece attending a piano recital recently, when I recalled my own experience waiting for my turn to play even more than the act of getting up on stage and actually playing the recital piece. I've decided to call this colored pencil drawing "Next".

Monday, July 19, 2010

Almost There...

My colored pencil work in progress is at the stage where I will spray it with workable fixative, and then go over the entire piece making adjustments in value and color, as well as cleaning up rough areas.
My plan is to complete this piece by Wednesday, and have it mounted and scanned at Image-Tec... the final piece should be posted by this Thursday.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Colored Pencil Drawing in Progress

I've done a bit more on my drawing of children at a piano recital. You can see that the chair on the left is more dull than the chair on the right, due to "wax bloom". Over time, the wax in the colored pencils rises to the surface, creating a grayish cast that is especially obvious with darker colors. I will remedy this by gently wiping the surface and spraying with a workable fixative.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Recital Drawing - In Progress

I've been making slow progress (enjoying the warm weather and busy with other stuff too) on a new colored pencil drawing of children at a recital. In the progress photo shown here you can see that I am working left to right in order to avoid smudging the pencil on the sanded paper. This makes it difficult to judge the piece as a whole, but my plan is to make final adjustments once I've laid down most of the pigment (and the pencil is less smudgy).
This piece started off as a really rough 3x4 grid drawing on 18"x24" paper, based on a 6"x8" photograph divided similarly. You can see here that I really haven't gotten any details down, but rather just made markings to place the composition elements. I don't like to start with too many details early on because then I get bogged down and lose sight of the overall proportions.
After getting the basic drawing down, I start creating contours with a dark green, red, or blue. I work very quickly in order to get the basic impressions of the drawing, knowing that I will be laying down various other darks, mid-tones, and lights later on, thereby continuously refining my drawing. Another reason I like to work quickly in the initial stages is to allow my subconscious mind to work and get a more intuitive depiction of the people or objects, rather than slavishly copying a photo in a more mechanical fashion. 

Sunday, July 4, 2010

Kevin - BoldBrush Painting Contest Finalist

My portrait of Kevin has been selected as one of the finalists in the BoldBrush Painting Contest!

FAV 15%

June 2010

Friday, June 11, 2010

Kevin - Completed

Below is the completed oil portrait of Kevin (I will probably take a better photo later). Kevin is actually an artist himself, working in various media including drawing and pottery (and yes, he did design the pendant he is wearing!) He is working on a website, and I will post it as soon as it is available.

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Kevin - Progress 9

Oil painting is such a slow process for me, since I am still so new to the medium. Anyway, after about another couple of hours work today (I've been too distracted with other things to give this portrait a full-day's work) I have adjusted the background and smoothed out the shirt a bit. Tomorrow I'll make minor adjustments, and hopefully sign it.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Kevin - Progress 8

Here I've done a little bit more adjusting to the skin tones, but I now see that the background is very distracting. Sometimes I like bold backgrounds, but this just isn't one of those times. I'm going to tone it down next, and then work on the shirt and necklace.

Monday, June 7, 2010

Kevin - Progress 7

The skin tones are better now that I've toned them down a bit. Next I'll be cleaning up and fine tuning.

Friday, June 4, 2010

Kevin - Progress 6

I've done a little bit more work in the photo here, and the next step is to tone down the ruddiness and orange tint, especially on the left hand side of his face. I've actually started this process, but I want to get more done before posting a progress photo. Painting over the entire face is difficult because I want to tone down certain areas, while maintaining general facial contours already in place.

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Kevin - Progress 5

Getting there... I'm still not happy with the background, and the shirt obviously still needs detail. I'll do that next, and then re-evaluate the piece as a whole.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Kevin - Progress 4

Continuing on with the portrait of Kevin... the shadow under the eye on the right is still too harsh, so I'll be toning that down next. I will also be adding texture to the shirt and necklace, while adding more layers of paint to the background.

Friday, May 28, 2010

Kevin - Progress 3

Here I've blocked in more color, and now I have a lot of refining to do in the face. I tend to use a lot of red and orange in the early stages and then tone it down later on (almost like adding skin on top of the flesh).

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Kevin - Progress 2

Adding more of the background and shirt definitely helped, but I have a lot more work to do...

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Kevin - Work in Progress

I started an oil portrait recently trying an Ampersand panel designed for oil painting. I really like the fine texture of the board, and I'm not missing the "give" of traditional canvas working on this panel.

This is in a rough phase still, especially the edges, forehead, and right side of his face. I need to finish blocking in the background and color of the shirt so I can better judge the edges and skin tones. 

Monday, April 19, 2010

27th Annual Portrait Show

The 27th Annual Portrait Show at Francesca Anderson Fine Art | Portraits North will be held April 22nd through May 22nd. My pastel portraits Sophia and Cate will be on display.  There will also be a Children's Event on May 1st and a Portrait Demonstration on May 15th. See for more information.

Monday, April 5, 2010

Another Pastel

Here's a quick snapshot of another pastel portrait of Sophia I completed recently. This piece is the same size as my previous portrait of Sophia, but this time I worked on a textured paper rather than sanded board. The larger grain of the paper seemed to allow the pastel to adhere more readily, though the grain texture remains visible in the final piece.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Pastel Portrait

Recently I completed a 12x16 pastel portrait of Sophia, shown framed above. This is my fifth time using pastels, and I've decided that I really like the medium for rendering children. The only drawback, in my opinion, is all of the dust it creates (I wear a mask while working), and the need to frame the piece behind glass. This piece is framed with museum glass, which minimizes reflection and helps to protect against UV light.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Academic Artists Association 60th National

I just received notice that my piece Self Portrait with Tea has been accepted into the Academic Artists Association 60th National Exhibition.

The Academic Artists Association is dedicated to promoting artwork of classic media rendered in a representational manner. The exhibition will include works in oil, watercolor, graphic, pastel, and sculpture, and takes place at the Karen Sprague Cultural Arts Center in Springfield, MA from April 25th through May 7th. Jurors for this event are Larry Preston and Arlene Fins. 

Thursday, February 25, 2010

"Hands" Prints Available

I am now offering prints of two of my hands pieces, shown above, that were recently published in an article about my colored pencil work in American Artist Drawing magazine. To order, simply click here and select the size, finish, and framing options you desire.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

A Couple New Oil Paintings

I recently painted the two oil portraits shown here using a toned canvas, a technique new to me. Basically, before sketching the figure, I applied a thinned layer of neutral colored mid-tone paint over the entire canvas. I chose a lightened mixture of black and raw sienna for one, and raw umber for the other. I really like how starting with a neutral toned canvas makes it easier to judge lights and darks, as well as warm and cool tones.

Also, these two portraits were done on very large grain canvas, which I have decided is not ideal for achieving details in portraits. I will probably stick to a finer linen in the future.

Monday, February 1, 2010

Drawing Magazine Article

I am so excited to be featured in an article in the Winter 2010 edition of American Artist Drawing magazine! The article talks about my path to becoming an artist, as well as some of the techniques used in my hands and self portrait drawings in colored pencil. You can subscribe to Drawing magazine on the Artist Daily website or order a copy of the Winter issue here:

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Faces of Winter Exhibit

The Connecticut Society of Portrait Artists is holding a "Faces of Winter" exhibition beginning February 5th. My piece Eclipse will be among the over 70 portraits on display. See the exhibit announcement below for more details on the event.

Saturday, January 2, 2010

New Year, New Studio

Over the holidays I've been busy moving into a new house and new studio. I'm really excited about having more room to store my art, as well as a larger workspace. The first two photos below show my studio with an extra deep chair rail along the entire perimeter of the room, which allows me to display some of my artwork. The last photo is of my art storage room, where I have temporarily set up an easel to work on my next painting. I plan on setting up a larger easel in my studio in the future and paint portraits from life. I also plan on hosting an open studio in the near future.