Saturday, December 16, 2006

Holiday card

I decided to send out a holiday card this year for the first time in years. I figured I might as well make it myself.

Gauguin's Madonna

Mixed Media, oil pastels, conte pencils, collage and ink.

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

My Space??

For whatever reason I am now on MySpace. Stop on by if interested.

Art Walk this Friday

The Art Walk folks have graciously (that means they are disorganized and forgot to remove me) announced that I will have another reception for my show at the Carrboro Town Hall. So there I'll be Friday night if you are bored and can stand walking around in the cold. 6-9, 301 West Main Street Carrboro.

I won't have the rack of lamb and aged Burgundy like last time but you'll probably get a cup of coffee or a cheap shot of wine.

Monday, November 27, 2006

New pieces at Carrboro Town Hall

I got four new pieces up at my show.

One is to the right.


Acrylics on paper

Two others are below in the "Doubt" posting from Friday November 17th. I've edited that post to tell you about them.

The last is a new collage and I framed it before I took a photo. Oops! With the glass I couldn't get a pic worth posting.

Friday, November 24, 2006


It's that time of the year. Whatever one's beliefs or, in my case, non beliefs there are times when one needs to step back and marvel at the world we live in and the great human goodness that is shown particularly in difficult days. So here's my take on Reverence.

Oil Pastels on paper. Sorry, not much of a photograph.

Wednesday, November 22, 2006


So it happened...complaints about some of my pieces -- sex, drugs and rock n' roll.

Actually it's only the sex. The Carrboro arts committee is very supportive and I hope everything stays up. I don't want to cause problems for the committee or the town of Carrboro because they have been great to me. But, damn it, I have Cheney as a Medusa f*&^ing a skeleton for a reason and that reason being that they (this administration) are the ones who are obscene. My little protest pales compared to the evil they have foisted on the world.

Stay tuned....

Sunday, November 19, 2006

Looking inside

Okay, so they say every artist should do a self-portrait. Who's they anyway? Of course I was the only available model yesterday.

This was done quickly with charcoal, Conte pencils and oil pastels. Turns out I'm a nice guy, I made myself look 15 years younger! Not great but I feel good today (a rare experience lately) so what the hell.

Friday, November 17, 2006


Sometimes a painting comes together as if by magic.

Other times the magic isn't there and I believe that I have no talent, no ability. I don't create anything, it's only the lucky times when the muse takes over that art results.

Tonight is a "no talent, no ability" time. I am empty.......

These two are now up at my show. On the top left is "City Life"

Paper, Mixed Media, acrylics, pen and ink

On the right and below is a new collage called "Queen".

, Tibetan rice paper, mixed media, acrylics, collage

Sunday, November 12, 2006

Local folks....

....remember that my show is at Carrboro Town Hall till the end of the year. Funny Christmas and Hanukkah happen before then. Hmmmm?

I'll be adding pieces fairly often so stop every once in a while if interested.

Saturday, November 11, 2006

The reception

The reception was a grand success. Thanks to all who came but especially my friends who showed in droves.

I sold four pieces, exactly four more than I had ever sold before the reception! Congrats to Cynthia Liston for the very first purchase, from my attic to hers.

The pieces that I will tearfully hand over to new owners are "Manifesto", "Red Dress", "The Math of War", and "Three Medusas or Orwell Just Got the Year Wrong". The last we can change to "One Down, Two to Go" now that Rumsfeld is history.

So I sold enough to keep me in paint and canvas for a while.

Thursday, November 09, 2006

Show Eve

Tomorrow is the big day, the grand reception for my first show. Stop by and have a glass of wine and say hello if you are in the Chapel Hill/Carrboro area.

6-9 Friday November 10 during the monthly 2nd Friday Art Walk
Carrboro Town Hall

Here are two new pieces that I plan to hang before the opening.

This first collage is called "Red Dress" (Maggi berates me for naming things Collage #2).

Mixed media on paper, rice paper, acrylics, ink, collage

Come on Chris, a name, a name....Okay, "Photosynthesis"!

Mixed media on paper, acrylics, collage

Thursday, November 02, 2006

The Show is Up!

This morning (November 2) I got my show up! I'm excited and nervous.

I've also been warned that a few pieces might draw complaints and the pieces might have to come down (those with nudity and sexuality). Controversy is always good!

Thursday, October 26, 2006

Picasso at 80

I was looking though a XXe Siecle Revue for ideas and saw a photo of Picasso at 80 or so. I decided to do a portrait based on the photo but wanted to do something with the background. I made a series of woodcuts based on small sections of Picasso's paintings from that time, all combinations of a man's hand and a woman's breast. I choose one of the woodcuts to make a "wallpaper".

Mixed media on canvas. Acrylics, pen, charcoal, woodcut and collage.

Monday, October 23, 2006

Leaf Festival

I just got back from the Leaf Festival in Black Mountain, NC. What a great experience! Random, unedited photos are here.

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Two more...

Two pieces related to my depression.

The first of these is from a very bad night, August 8th I think. I sat in my backyard crying and began writing using black ink and a nib. I wrote quickly and sloppily and tore out the pages as I finished. I'm not sure how much you can read but it represents the worst night of my depression. Before you try to have me committed understand that my therapist thought the writings were fairly normal and nothing to worry about. He was concerned that the words reflect a good deal of self loathing. Duh!

Mixed media on canvas. Pen, ink and paper, acrylics, collage.

The second takes me back to Robert Rauschenberg. I had great fun making this and it may not be finished yet. I kept looking at it hoping it would tell me what it was. Finally it said "The International Flag of Depression". Go figure.

Mixed media on plywood. Old Oriental rug, acrylics, ink, pieces of china, leaf prints, and cutouts from a Tawainese book on Buddhism.

Saturday, October 14, 2006

Wood Panels

I took two discarded cabinet doors and started painting late one night. The next morning I was shocked to see that they weren't too bad. Robert Rauschenberg claimed that he used fatigue, lack of sleep and Jack Daniels as a means to get himself into the right frame of mind for painting. Perhaps lack of sleep and wine works just as well.

I'm not sure how they will be hung.

Un-named as yet. Acrylics on plywood cabinet doors.

Cover Up

The plan for this piece was a pure collage. Then I started painting, dripping, playing and manipulating. I began to see that covering the reality shown in the articles was appropriate. Has there ever been an administration that manipulated what we are told more that Bush II? Yellow cake from Niger, Saddam and bin Laden as best buddies, "Mission Accomplished", WMDs, no spying on Americans without a warrant, "We do not torture", etc, etc.

As the bumper sticker says, "If you're not angry you're not paying attention."

"Coverup" Mixed media, collage (WSJ, NYT, N&O) on canvas.

Thursday, October 12, 2006

"I hate wasting paint" revisited

You might (probably not) remember when I posted an earlier version of this. This is the "final" version and I hope you like it.

"Red Leaves." Mixed media, acrylics and ink on paper.

Monday, October 09, 2006


I have also become interested in Buddhism and meditation (the painting and the Buddhism both reactions to depression). After a very angry piece on Bush and his comrades in crime I felt I needed something peaceful. I started a piece with the idea that it would reflect a Rumi poem. Rumi was a mystical Sufi poet in the 13th century and his poetry is magical. He wasn't Buddhist of course but he is very sympatico.

It is the second thing I ever did last April when I started painting. It took forever to finish. I painted, then sanded off the paint. Painted over, tried this and that. I never got tired of it or frustrated. I knew the quote I was going to use and that seemed to keep me calm.

I posted this earlier but the picture was terrible. The surface of the piece is very smooth -- I sanded it with 1600 grit wet/dry sandpaper leaving it like glass. The top right corner is done using "crackle" available at your local Lowe's or Home Depot.

"Rumi #1" Mixed media, acrylic and latex house paint on discarded plywood cabinet front. Finished with hard wood floor varnish.

Saturday, October 07, 2006


Here's another subtle political piece. ;-)

Our commander and chief declared "Mission Accomplished" on May 1, 2003. Of the US military deaths in Iraq, 2,613 as of the end of July, 2,324 occurred after that.

Exactly what was the mission?

"The Math of War" Mixed media collage on canvas, acrylics and ink. The caskets were made from a painting of mine that I digitized, multiplied and then printed on a Xerox color printer.

What happens when you play

Maggi came over the other day and we painted together on the front porch. I always loosen up when I paint with M. I just start throwing paint up there, sometimes with disasterous results. Not this time, I like it! The dripping paint part was great fun.

I'm not sure what it is or what to call it but that is unimportant. I just need to decide if I should cut off the rough edges of the plywood or not.

Unnamed. Acrylics on plywood.

Friday, October 06, 2006

All the text..

For those (anybody out there?) who want to see all the text of the Medusa it is. Compliments of Phil's photography.

An example of the quality

So how good are the new photos? Go back and look at my earliest posts where you'll see my attempt at photoing this work.

"Three Medusas or Orwell just got the Year Wrong" Mixed media, oil and latex house paint on discarded plywood cabinet front, collage, picture wire, finished with hard wood floor sealant.

Wow. Look at how clear the eye in the middle is.

Ah, Finally

My friend Phil Psilos took high quality photos (10 megapixel!)of my better work and fixed any problems in Photoshop on his Mac. So expect to see some more regular posting of works.

I'm trying to get ready for my Nov-Dec show at the Carrboro Town Hall show. I should have 20-25 pieces ready for showing.

Here's one that I've played with for several months. It's finally come together and I'm pretty pleased with it.

"Primordial" Mixed media on mat board. Acrylics, ink, dried flowers.

Friday, September 15, 2006

A New & Old Piece

(These are new Phil Psilos photos)

This is a brand new painting done over the last 2 nights. It is similar to a painting by Jean Dubuffet that I noticed in a 1961 Revue XXe Sicele. I really enjoyed making it and teaching myself some new techniques. No name yet. I'll try to get a better photo of it. It's probably not finished.

Acrylic on watercolor paper.

This one is new-old. This started, like much of my work, with some lines on the page. Suddenly I saw something there and went with it. It sat around for a couple of months until I saw what to do next. It's called "Lee Miller's Ear". Lee was, in my opinion, May Ray's most beautiful model and that is saying something! As was often the case, Man Ray and Lee became lovers.

Lee was a great photographer in her own right and the wife of Roland Penrose. For more info on Lee try Wikipedia.

Acyrics, pen and Outer Banks sand on paper.

Sunday, September 10, 2006


For my Nov-Dec show I'm planning on displaying political, depression-related and music-related pieces. This is a simple piece of Sonny Rollins from a Blue Note session (I forget the date). Not perfect but I'm getting better at the realism thing.

Pencil and charcoal on watercolor paper.

Saturday, September 09, 2006

First Show...

...was last night at Archer Graphics in Carrboro, NC. It was a fun night,lots of anti-Bush art and protests and my 2 pieces seemed to go over well.

In celebration I'm going to post a photo of guitarist Steve Kimock taken in Falls Church, Va a couple of years ago.

Digital photo manipulated.

Thursday, September 07, 2006


I am more and more sure that the problems we have in the US and the world are because of very simple issues: nationalism, religion, race, class, selfishness, shortsightedness. In the US I believe Madison Avenue has significant control over people's lives. We buy too much, we waste too much, we drive too much, we watch too much TV, we move too fast never slowing to see where we're going. This painting is about that concern. Titled "Nothing Sacred".

Mixed media, acrylics, and collage on a discarded cabinet door.

Sunday, August 27, 2006

The last Rumi painting for now

I dedicate this last Rumi piece to my friends Julie and Maggi.

It may be hard to read the text:
Who ever you see engaged in search, become her friend and cast your head in front of her, for choosing to be a neighbor of seekers you become one youself.

Some new pieces finally!

I still don't have my computer set up but I'm able to post a couple of things.

First is a blue piece called Venus. I started with just the blocks and the white dots but felt like it needed something else. That's where some red and more white came in. Acrylic on canvas.

The next one is tres simple. I started to change it but then realized I liked it as is. No name yet. Acyrlic on canvas.

Thursday, August 17, 2006

NYC Photos

NYC has been wonderful. What a great city. Here are a few photos.

This is on the NYU campus. I love the steps.

These 2 are from a Bleecker Street cafe at night.

Thursday, August 10, 2006

Where art takes you

I nearly never know what my painting is going to ultimately look like when I start. I'll begin with some lines or colors or a vague idea and see where it takes me. This started as a planned mixed media collage piece. As I began to work with it I found I liked the colors and the relationships so much that I didn't want to cover them or spoil the basic simplicity of the piece. So it remains as you see it for now.

It's called Seven. Mixed media, acyrlics, metallic paper on cheap canvas.

Wednesday, August 09, 2006

Chatham County Sky

I was at Liz n Scott's last Saturday for dinner after the Saxapahaw music. We sat out on their patio and I was amazed at the moon, clouds and sky. This is my first try at reflecting what I saw. Can't say I like it much unfortunately.

The photo was taken with a flash and is not a particularly good rendition. I'll post a better version tomorrow.

Monday, August 07, 2006

Summer music

Besides the Weaver Street on Thursday night and Shakori Hills Friday night outdoor shows, the little town of Saxapahaw west of Carrboro/Chapel in Alamance County also has a farmer's market and music every Saturday during the summer. Beautiful setting, great people and a relaxed attitude. A local winery is always there selling their wares. I bought a blueberry custard in pastry from a friend and it was wonderful!

This last Saturday I brought my newly purchased pen and ink and drew while the band played. Sunday I added acrylics and more ink and this is what turned out. Not quite finished but it's close.

Sunday, August 06, 2006


No, not a manifesto on art, the creative process or some other high brow mumbo-jumbo; it's the name of the piece.

I started playing with pen and ink lately and put together this piece. It's worrisome. I liked it immediately and that is always a bad sign. In a couple of weeks I'll probably hate it and delete the post.

Mixed media, collage, pen and ink, acyrlics on paper.

Saturday, August 05, 2006

Painting from the inside out

"Painting from the Inside Out" is best described as a philosophy of art developed by Stuart Cubley and Michelle Cassou. Amazon has their books. My friend Maggi teaches classes based on their ideas. I don't know if there are any scheduled now (the August class is booked) but if you live in the Triangle area keep checking back on her website or email from there for info.

From "Life, Paint and Passion" by Cubley and Cassou:
To paint is to pass through the doorway from the known to the unknown. Let yourself be lost, wander in new lands, dare to be your unusual self. Painting is a killer of concepts, projections and prejudices. It will break the masks of learned behaviour and reveal the inexplicable.

The idea is to let the inner self go and accept what it decides to do without interpretation or judgement. It is very freeing. I took Maggi's one-day class and the result is below. Not one of my better paintings ;-) but as I look at it there is something I feel needs exploring. And some day I will....

Oh and that's me in the top left corner with all the blood draining out. Very pleasant.

Friday, August 04, 2006

The interrelationship of music and art: Jaffar

Shakori Hills in Chatham County, NC, just south of Chapel Hill has a wonderful Friday night music series during the summer. They pass a hat to pay the band. Maggi and I went to see Jaffar, a Middle Eastern jazz, funk band. They are tremendous, please visit their website where you can hear their magic. I was enchanted. I sat and listened with my eyes closed. For a a while I would listen to the bass, then the oud, a time with the drums and then to the sax, etc. Each one gave me a different vision. One was a wavy line, another a series of ovals, another bright exploding stars.

I decided I would go home and "paint" Jaffar. I imagined the painting as a long, long painting reflecting a full song. I haven't gotten there yet. This is the result of a less ambitious attempt. It's one of my first pieces.

Watercolor pencils on paper.

Lines and Red Very Small

A small peice of just lines and some red. Simple and, I hope, calming and attractive.

Acyrlics on paper. The pen is just to give you a size perspective.

Thursday, August 03, 2006


I've found that my thoughts, opinions, and value placed on pieces changes over time. Some I like immediately. Others I'll like then I'll change them and ! what did I do? Others go through periods of ambivalence -- like, intense dislike, neutral, see some value again, repeat and rinse.

This is one of the latter. I first thought it was going to be wonderful, then I lost my way and finally ended up with this. Something less and more than I originally thought. It's like all of my woodworking and furniture making. I hate it at first and it takes me months to come to terms with whether it has value or not. I have not come to terms with this one.

Acrylic on cheap canvas with string.

POSTSCRIPT OCTOBER 11: This is an updated version but I'm still not sure about it.

What next??

I was learning about "resist" techniques where a treatment (wax, glue, special expensive stuff) doesn't allow the paint to absorb onto the surface. Here is one of my first attempts.

This one used white Crayola crayon and wax as the resist medium.

"#" Acrylic on paper.

Tuesday, August 01, 2006

I hate wasting paint

I was on vacation painting and nothing was working. Bleh! I had some left over Mars Black paint and I just started doodling with a very small brush. A couple of hours later this is what I had. I'm not sure what it is. If you have any ideas on what I should do next (including nothing) let me know. Maybe I should rotate it? I don't know what side is up

Monday, July 31, 2006

Woman with lines

This one started out as just lines on paper and then, suddenly a woman appeared! Not quite realistic but at least recognizable.

Rumi again

I want to do a whole series on Rumi but so far I'm only up to two. The picture below right is the detail on the bottom left corner of the full piece. I love these lines.

Working with wood

I've been a woodworker for a while building various furniture pieces, boxes, etc. This piece is made from lacewood (sycamore) and walnut. I'll call it....Object #1.

This one may change....

So can I draw?

Not very well. My skills are rather limited -- at least compared to Napoleon Dynamite.

This is one of the best and it's a copy of a Man Ray fashion ad photo. You do what you can.