Sunday, July 25, 2010


Pas de Deux
Oil on Linen
Image 10 x 8 - Framed 17 x 15


Another painting inspired by chamber music. This time the objects are not so much conversing as moving in unison. The music not quite so melodic as it is tonal. The content is less narrative, more poetic, less illustrative, more evocative. I hear it as a cello sonata, a tone poem by Debussey, add choreography and it becomes a pas de deux.....

The Painting of the Month is a special offer to my blog readers (click on the image for a larger view). This month Pas de Deux, which retails for $2400, is being made available for $1500 (includes shipping, VT residents add 6% sales tax). To purchase this piece contact me at Payment is by check only please, no credit cards. If you prefer you may make 3 monthly payments. This offer is available for 30 days from the date of this post.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Peonies in a Water Glass
14 x 16 Oil on Linen

I've been listening to a lot of chamber music recently. Mozart, Beethoven, Schubert, Brahms, trios, quartets, sextets...heaven. I love the intimacy of this music, I love the serious pieces and the playful, I love the conversations. It is so delightful to hear a violin play a melody, the viola respond, then the cello and piano voice their opinions before they all start talking at the same time and finally come to a resolution. Some artists might refer to small interiors as the chamber music of painting but I like to compose mine as still lifes. A few simple objects in conversation, they are often completed in one or two sittings. In Peonies in a Water Glass the flowers and their leaves, the water glass and the draperies all play their own parts beautifully yet move seamlessly in and out of conversation with each other. The rich blue drapery deeply moved by the delicacy of the peonies, the green stripe on the white cloth echos the color and rhythm of the leaves, the water glass hears them all and adds its own sparkling voice. All at once there is intimacy, profundity, playfulness and joy. Many artists think they need to be symphonic or operatic to be heard, often the louder the better. Others, like me, prefer to speak with more subtlety, with fewer voices, in trios and quartets and sextets.....

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Reynold's Farm
8 x 10 Oil on Linen

This is my favorite Frank Mason story. For me no one could paint atmosphere like Frank. He was the master of painting something he couldn't see with materials he didn't have. Although he was brilliant at painting atmosphere, he was not always quite so successful at explaining it to his students. One time he started a critique with a casual remark, “You need a tube of atmosphere paint,” then proceeded to rework the student's canvas showing him how to bring more light and air and space into his painting. But the lesson the student got was that he needed a tube of atmosphere paint. So after class he went downstairs to the League's store and asked for a tube of atmosphere paint. The fellow behind the counter, who had studied with Frank, asked “What class are you in?” “Frank Mason's class” he said proudly. “Oh I see” said the salesman, and then with a devilish grin added “Well, we're out of atmosphere paint. Why don't you go next door to Lee's, they might have some.” So he went to Lee's and said “I need a tube of atmosphere paint.” The salesperson seemed puzzled by this request but she checked through her list of supplies, then said “We don't carry that, why don't you try Sam Flax down on 53rd street.” So off he went to 53rd street where he was mercifully told that there was no such thing as a tube of atmosphere paint. He returned to class the next day and told us of his unsuccessful search and then added that he would never again fail to look for the atmosphere in his painting.....