Monday, April 11, 2016

New Pages!

Take a look at my new pages!

"Staged Paintings"! 

Happy Customers!



Monday, November 23, 2015


It's the time of year when we all love the excitement of the holidays. The church pageants, office parties, special times with family and friends, shopping, snow, seasonal music, TV Specials,
favorite sentimental movies, gift giving, fire-places, cookies, candy, evergreen trees, lights... and the list goes on and on!
One of the things I've created to help make the season bright are an assortment of affordable original watercolor and acrylic paintings to add to the look of festive household d├ęcor. The watercolors are lovely put in a simple photo frame and set out on an end table, mantle, or shelf in the house to give a spark of uniqueness and color to your choice and style of arranging. For more selection and views, check out the "Holiday Fun!" page.
Merry Christmas!

Monday, August 10, 2015

Native American Insights

     My wife and I just got back from a vacation trip to Santa Fe/Taos, NM in July. For some reason that region of the country has everything I would love to experience on a daily basis. It seems my wife always has to drag me out kicking and screaming... that's another topic. When you consider the beautiful spacious skies, so vibrantly blue and so breathtaking at sunset, showcasing the mountains and hills in such a visual backdrop of glorious color, along with the blend of cultures and peoples... and then there's the art. I just love it. While visiting the Taos Pueblo we were speaking to a native American woman who made us some fresh fry bread. She was sharing a story of how her grandmother used to make fry bread for them and how one particular day her grandmother sat down to eat some of it with them. She told us, "The bread kept falling from her hand to the floor when she would try to put it in her mouth."  She continued on, "It hit the dirt floor several times before my grandmother reached down the last time, rubbed it around in the dirt of the floor and this time popped it in her mouth." She paused for a moment as she knowingly held our rather wide-eyed curiosity as to where this was all going. I thought to myself, "Surely that wasn't the end of the story..." Then the lady casually broke the silence and finished with, "My grandmother said, "The bread doesn't want to be eaten!"" We all laughed together at her story and didn't give it much more thought outside of the fact that the perspectives and perceptions are very interesting when considering cultural differences.
     Last week I finished a painting that I'd started the week before. I had a clear mental image of how I wanted it to look when finished. I started the painting doing everything I felt necessary to prepare for the finished work that would take me the direction I wanted it to go. Little did I know that the painting I wanted to complete DIDN'T WANT TO BE PAINTED!  Or so it appeared. As I continued to work, it continued to progressively change and morph into something I had no initial idea or inspiration for, muchless how to bring it back to my original intent. But I kept going with what the painting seemed to want... I was very frustrated in the beginning stages and quite pleasantly pleased when I finished.
     Sometimes it just seems that art has a mind of its own. That it wants to use YOU as a means of becoming what IT pleases, and not what you intend. Not all the time... but some of the time. And although I don't follow a superstitious means of attaining a finished product, I do enjoy the fun of letting something seem to evolve of its own life force. Creativity can be a thrill to participate in when it seems to be leading you, rather than you directing the shots.
    Like the little old Native American grandmother whose bread didn't want to be eaten, my painting just didn't seem to want to become what I had intended. But that's OK. The bread eventually got eaten anyway and the painting got painted. But the end result was't in line with how we both thought it would happen in the beginning. However, the finished product was still good... even though it seemed to hit the floor a few times before I finished it. Sometimes we should just let that happen. Let the work have a mind of its own.  Here's the piece.

"Dismantled Priorities"
36X36 Mixed Media on wrapped canvas

Wednesday, June 3, 2015

Why I Like Working With Mixed Media and Acrylic

     For years I worked strictly in the traditional mediums and methods of oil and watercolor paint. There is a power and sensuous connection to feeling oil paint glide across the canvas as you "push the paint." Then there is the lush addicting smell of linseed oil that infuses the air as you work. The first "paint by numbers" set that my mother bought me at the local "five and dime" came as a revelation when I opened the first small pot of paint. The smell was captivating, invigorating and, truly addicting. I've loved it ever since. Then, the spontaneity that comes as you joyfully watch watercolor make choices for you as it moves across the paper by what seems like a life and energy force of its own, creating puddles, drips, runs, blooms and blends is fascinating. It can almost make you feel as though you are merely a participant as the paint itself decides what will happen as you apply a new color and fresh stroke. These things are truly wonderful. However, for my greatest enjoyment, I have found that working with acrylic paint and mixing it with paper, pencil, oil pastel, thickening agents and any other workable thing that can be added to the mix has caused me to undergo a creative change that I hadn't prepared for.
     Acrylic is also water-based and has the capacity to speed dry, unlike oil. Once dry... it's set. You can glaze it to shine or be dull. You can continue to work and add further glazes and layers as you wish until you reach the desired goal and effect. Acrylic can be watered down to a gorgeous transparent wash that will allow applied papers and other items to be slightly changed so that their original image and color still shines through brilliantly. I was taught in art school by my professors to "work fast." Time is of the essence and time is money. The more time I take at the production of a piece of art, the less art work I will produce. It isn't about working sloppy, carelessly or without thought to the quality of the work. It's about understanding efficiency and the value of being able to manufacture bodies of work in critical time frames. Acrylic paint allows me to do just that. I can paint quickly, efficiently and without the concern of a necessary drying time before getting the painting to a gallery. Also there is the capacity of using so many various other media along with it that gives a freedom to the work that no other has offered. I can apply lots of subsequent layers with other things like pencil, oil pastel, etc. that brings a fresh and fun application of color and fill to the work. Not to mention the clean up process is quick and easy and non-toxic.
     I hope you enjoy looking at my paintings and maybe this will help you understand why I make some of the choices I do with my mixed media and acrylic paintings... Here's one to illustrate my point.

"Bohemian Bouquet"
20X24 Mixed Media on canvas (SOLD)
Acrylic, acid free papers, pencil, oil pastel

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

My Favorite Art Teacher - Cletus Smith

Chickens In the Yard 18X24 Watercolor (Cletus Smith)
Cletus Smith - Artist - Graphic Designer - Teacher

     I studied art at Eastern Illinois University with an emphasis in Studio 2D/Painting. Although I love the smell of oil paint and the feel it has as it glides over the surface of whatever support it's offered, and I had the most amazing teacher any art student could ask for, Yu Ji, it was a time of beginnings for me. A time of opening my heart to the possibility of taking the challenge to become an artist. Testing the water to see if my skills were sufficient to become competitive in a hard and difficult market. All of my college instructors were in agreement that my skills would take me far if I kept focus and continue to work hard. And they have proved to be correct.
     However, it was a life-changing experience for me above my college years of instruction to find an artist in Oklahoma City, where I live, whose work inspires me to be everything I can potentially be... and take private classes from him. That artist is Cletus Smith, and he is possibly the MOST inspirational art instructor I've ever had. Truth be told, I haven't even done my best work during my time under his instruction, but the RESULTS of learning from his classes have changed my life and work since. Something about his influence and watching him demo a watercolor on a weekly basis caused my work to "loosen up." Something I desperately needed. Artists, especially the young and inexperienced, often have the hardest time understanding the value of being able to move away from painstaking detail and grasp the beauty of letting paint be paint in a manner that creates a mere suggestion of a detail and lets the viewers brain do the work of filling in the blanks. Seeing the work of artists who have this down to perfection is challenging, exhilarating, inspirational and motivating for me. That is why I love the work of Cletus Smith. Watching him create some of his pieces gave me the firsthand opportunity to see how and learn why he made the choices and took the liberties and artistic license that seemed to come as second nature. As I continued my own development in painting, especially water media, I began to do the same... and finally understood WHY. I love it when an idea for a new image for a painting comes into my mind like an illumination rising from somewhere deep within. The process to make it a reality always now accompanies the creative idea. I used to wonder if that would ever happen. Would I ever be able to spontaneously sit at my easel and instinctively KNOW the process I should take, or would I remain in a state of "hit or miss" as so many do in their early stages of development? I have walked through that door and I give Cletus Smith, an extraordinary artist, the thanks for this. Imparting ones self and gifts and knowledge into the lives of others is possibly the most valuable thing we can do for others. Cletus Smith did that well, and is greatly loved by everyone who has the pleasure of being on the receiving end of his capacity to mentor.
Thank you, my dear friend...

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

This Memorial Day Weekend!
on the Paseo in OKC!
Don't miss it!
See my work there at The Purple Loft Art Gallery!

"Les Fleurs du Soleil"
36X48 Mixed Media on wrapped canvas
$1295 + S/H
Available at The Purple Loft Art Gallery
Avalon on the Paseo in OKC

"Summer Sorbet"
36X48 Mixed Media on wrapped canvas
$1295 + S/H
Available at The Purple Loft Art Gallery
Avalon on the Paseo, OKC

Wednesday, May 13, 2015


I cannot encourage people enough to continue to learn. Life is about the journey... not the destination. Anytime we allow ourselves to think, "I've arrived!" We place ourselves into a tight box that is ready for early onset stagnation. Art should always compel us to stop, look and listen. It has the capacity to draw our desire into the direction of life and activity that demands of us, and encourages us to grow! Are you feeling frustrated, unmotivated, creative juices not flowing? Take a class. Go to the library and browse through the books and videos available that spark your love of visual art. Attend a gallery opening. Listen to music that makes you dance! Call a local artist whose work you respect and admire and ask if they would talk to you about their art and what keeps them motivated. But, whatever you do... keep your journey fresh by daily awareness that the learning never ceases and the growth never stops... let it refresh and empower your inner drive. Feed your creative self!