Wednesday, December 30, 2009


When I started this blog almost two and half years ago I intended, as the titles suggests, to reflect on my life and the two careers I have pursued. For the first several months I remained true to my intentions, but I soon learned that continually posting on my “reflections” was a lot harder than posting my art. As a result, this blog has been a lot more about my art than anything else. So, at least for a while, I would like to return to my original commitment and share with you some thoughts on how medicine and art have influenced one another in my life.

I am frequently asked about the relationship between the two and how they affect one another. To answer this it is necessary to go back to the late 1970s when I was engaged in the full time practice of internal medicine.

In retrospect I now recognize that my heart acknowledged my desire to pursue a career in art at least a year before my head did. I wanted to do this professionally, to make art more than a hobby or pastime. At the risk of appearing to be totally lacking in humility or modesty I have to say a word about my experience in private practice. I was a good physician. My strength was my ability to reach out to patients on a personal level, to listen to them, and to befriend them. My goal was to make patients feel better, physically, emotionally, and mentally. I took the time to listen, to educate, and to make them know that I cared for them and their families. The practice of medicine provided an opportunity to be present to and serve people in times of need, and this is a remarkable privilege which brought with it considerable responsibility which I gladly embraced. Their needs always came before any financial “bottom line”. I am not boasting; I am being realistic because this leads to one of the more powerful influences that medicine has had on my art, or more accurately, the influence that leaving medicine has had.
When I left my practice I was ending relationships with people who had come to trust me and count on me. In some cases the bonds were very close and I considered many of these individuals as friends. It was not without some guilt and remorse that I left this work, and I felt that I owed it to my patients and my profession to make the same commitment to art as I made to medicine. They deserved nothing less than that. . From the very beginning it was of utmost importance to me that my art be “serious”, even though I could not then, and cannot now, clearly describe what serious art is. My biggest fear was that artists, galleries, and others, would see me as a doctor with idle time dabbling in art. (I have never completely outgrown this fear.) From the outset I have been committed to creating the best art I am capable of doing and presenting my art and myself as professionally as possible. Thirty years later I still strive to remain true to that commitment.

The 3 paintings below were all done with pen & ink and markers in 1978-79, a year before I left my practice.

China Town

Futrona's Market

Washington Street

Friday, December 18, 2009


I've decided to remain in the 36x36 size for a while longer. I'm preparing for a show in March of next year and this size will fit the space very well. The theme will have something to do with "horizons", since they seem to show up in all of my paintings. I'm currently working with "warm" landscapes, but will soon move on to a different mood.

Golden Landscape...acrylic...36x36"

Friday, December 11, 2009


is a painting I've been trying to do for some time but could never seem to pull it off. This recent piece is the closest I've come to success, and I am inclined to believe it works more because of the color than from the composition.

A Point of View...acrylic...36x36

Tuesday, December 8, 2009


my fascination with barbed wire. For whatever the reason, I think it adds an element of drama, and perhaps a trace of human presence to an otherwise empty landscape. I have used it as a "prop" repeatedly in both large and small landscapes, such as this.


Friday, December 4, 2009


White Birch...watercolor...4x6"

These small watercolor sketches have provided me with an abundance of satisfaction. In addition to the joy that accompanies their creation I am gaining more insight into the technical aspects of the media. An additional bonus has been their popularity with my client base resulting in significant sales.

Although I have been spending more time with the acrylics lately, I expect to continue working with the watercolors, on both small and somewhat larger pieces.

Sunday, November 29, 2009


I reclaimed a canvas supporting another one of my failed painting. I got tired of having to keep it covered so I wouldn't have to look at it, and when the enthusiasm for acrylic painting kicked back in a few days ago I put the painting to rest. In its place, this imaginative scene from somewhere in the recesses of my mind.

Untitled acrylic...36x36'


Tuesday, November 24, 2009


Paducah Skyline...watercolor...8x35"

This is for my blogger/artist friend, Julio, who wanted to see a Paducah skyline. Julio is a fantastic watercolorist, and if you have not done so, visit his blog, Colliervisions, you will not be disappointed.

Monday, November 23, 2009



The latest painting to come off the easel. I thought it would be interesting to trace the genesis of this piece, and hence the title.

Several years ago I saw a photo showing a dark tree line on the horizon and I used it for this painting:

fire Sky

From this I moved on to the following...

Purple Mountains...acrylic...36x48

Feeling pretty good about more in the series:

Copper Mountains...acrylic...24x36

This was about 2-3 years ago, and since then the more I looked at this the less I liked it. Several days ago I decided it was time to do something about it. The result? A "paint over" called Resilience.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009


At least that is my hope. Patience began 2 weeks of full time work yesterday leaving me and the dogs hanging at home. The gallery is closed Mondays and Tuesdays so I'm keeping myself busy with whatever I can do in the house. On Sunday I did manage one more small painting, from my file of photos from the years in Wilmington Delaware. Unfortunately all the wonderful markets that once were King St. have given way to banks and office buildings...what a loss!

King St. markets...wc...4x6"

Here is what king St. looked like during the 70's when I first began painting.

I had to share this pic with you...the east side of my studio has never looked so clean and neat. Sadly, 4 days after the fact it has reverted to it's former state (there will be no pics of that!).

Monday, November 16, 2009


Too much work...too little space. The solution? Our home, at least the first floor, becomes an extension of the gallery/studio



Living Room

Living Room

Dining Room

Now that all the celebrating is over its time to return to work...easier said than done.


Saturday, November 14, 2009


The weeks of preparation and anticipation were worth all the effort as we celebrated our 7th anniversary last night with friends, old and new, neighbors, and well wishers.
Gatherings like last evening are a reminder to me of how fortunate Patience and I are, at this stage in our lives, to be part of such a warm and caring community. The only down side was that I was too busy pouring wine to get to talk with everyone. The up side was that they did not drink all the wine!

I was also too busy for photos, but did take several of the gallery before the festivities began.

We expanded the gallery into our home, which is one breezeway away from the studio, and I will have more photos to share on my next post.

Saturday, November 7, 2009


before I have the uncontrollable urge to paint another red barn! If anything appears a bit out of kilter in this painting it is the narrows as it descends, and it shouldn't.

Long Gone...watercolor...6x9"

This may be my last post for several days. I expect to be totally occupied with the preparations for next weeks 7th anniversary snow in the gallery.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009


Sometimes, despite my best efforts, I can't accomplish what I set out to do. That's what happened in this last wc painting, everything below the tree line looked like mud, and my attempts at improving it only made things worse. I was faced with 2 options, throw it out and start over, or get out the soft pastels. I chose the latter, and once again they rescued an otherwise failed effort.

In this sketch, everything below the trees is pastel over a previously painted foreground.

Idaho landscape II...6x8"....wc & Pastel

Tuesday, November 3, 2009


I’m 70 years old and rarely does a day go by that I don’t think about my mother and father. Oh how I would love to go back into time and reclaim those years that I took for granted. With the wisdom that accompanies the retrospectoscope I realize how precious and special they were. But of course that is what the years bring to us, the wisdom to appreciate that which is has past, family, friends, community, and perhaps greatest of all, freedom from responsibility. My childhood was wonderful and glorious because my parents carried the burden of responsibilities for me, for themselves, my grandfather, and the farm. I realize now, in the latter years of my life, that for them, the years were tough and trying, and that they protected me from their struggles.
I cannot help but feel some degree of guilt for not realizing this sooner, but mostly I feel gratitude, gratitude to them for being the parents that they were and giving to me all that they did. I imagine they knew that my turn to shoulder responsibility would come soon enough.

Graduation from Jefferson Medical School....1965

Monday, November 2, 2009


thanks to some photos Patience took on her 1992 visit to a friend in Idaho. Browsing through my boxes of reference photos accumulated over the past 30 years I came across several pics that caught my attention. This is the first of my efforts and hopefully I will have more to follow.

Idaho Landscape watercolor....7x9"

Sunday, November 1, 2009


I just posted a painting without barns, fence posts, or barbed I felt justified in using at least one of these elements again.

Orange Field watercolor 5x7"

Saturday, October 31, 2009


No trees, no barns, no fence posts, and no barbed wire!! Just another sky, horizon, and foreground.

I have learned a great deal from these small paintings, and plan on working on a larger scale after I've finished preparing for, and celebrating, our 7th anniversary event.


The sky was done with Alizarin Crimson, Cobalt Blue, and Raw Sienna. I like this combo for the sunrise effect it creates.

Friday, October 30, 2009

7 AT 5

In two weeks I will be hosting a reception at Gallery 5 celebrating seven years in Paducah. The theme of the show will be the evolution of my art during those seven years. I am frequently asked why I came to Paducah and if I have any regrets with the decision to move here.

I moved to Paducah to be part of the city's Artist Relocation Program which held for me the hope of a wonderful place to live and work. Regarding a place to live, I cannot imagine a warmer, friendlier neighborhood than Lowertown, and the community of Paducah and its citizens. I have not, for one moment, been disappointed in this move.

Living and working in a community of artists has been more than I imagined it would be. The sharing, nurturing, and encouragement of colleagues has played a critical role in my development as an artist. I do not think my work would be what it is today if I had remained living in relative isolation on our Maryland farm. The artwork being produced in our community is as varied as the personalities and aspirations of the artists themselves. The lessons I have learned are not so much about materials and technique but about attitudes and commitment to art, and the respect for excellence in all of our endeavors. It doesn’t matter if the art is abstract, conceptual, or representational; what matters is the artist’s commitment to the work.

My personal goal has always been to create the best art that I am capable of creating. In Paducah I have learned that this is a goal that will always be just out of reach, for there is always room for growth.

If you are in the neighborhood on Friday, the 13th of November between 5 and 8 PM, join the celebration at Gallery 5 at 803 Madison St.

Thursday, October 29, 2009


before I painted another barn! I avoided the barn thing for as long as I could, but yesterday my will collapsed and I gave in to the urge, consoling myself that it was only a very small barn.


Wednesday, October 28, 2009


While clearing & cleaning in preparation for next months show I came across this small oil pastel, probably dating back to 2006 or 2007. It measures 5x6" and therefore qualifies for my "small works" file.

Planetary Oil pastel 5x6"

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Monday, October 26, 2009


at least that I can think of, about these small sketches. I suppose that one day I'll simply stop, but until then...I just keep painting. The thrill has not yet dampened. Maybe its because they take up so little room in my already overcrowded studio/gallery.
I think tomorrow I will post some pics to make this point. But, in the meantime, here is a 4x6 watercolor pulled from the files of my imagination.

I read in one of my books that Cobalt blue and Aurealen Yellow can be combined in wet washes on paper, and because of the characteristics of their pigments, they will not become so green.

Sunday, October 25, 2009


I love these produce markets with all their colorful wares and awnings. This small sketch is from memory/imagination, easy to do after painting as many as I have.

Fresh Produce watercolor 4x7"

Here are 2 paintings from my days in Wilmington Delaware, when King St. was still home to the meat and produce markets. they were painted in the early 80's.

Saturday, October 24, 2009


led to a gray painting inside. Sticking with favorite themes, big sky, low horizon, and contrasting values, I came up with this small painting, based on memories of the southwest landscape.

Gray SW landscape watercolor 4x6"

Friday, October 23, 2009


has some wonderful countryside. Several years ago a day trip with car & camera brought me through nearby Livingston county where it borders the Ohio river. I have been mining the photos I took since then for an endless number of paintings.

This 5x9 watercolor is from on of those pics. It was done with Cobalt Blue, Burnt Siena, and Sepia, with a touch of viridian green in the bottom foreground.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009


As these pics will show, I prefer to paint from the background forward, even if it means significant areas of the canvas remain blank. Today I worked on the architecture and am not satisfied with the colors; they don't capture the patina of age. I'll work on correcting that and completing all but the small details, before moving forward toward the foreground.

I'm painting with acrylic on a 24x48" wood panel

Sunday, October 18, 2009


There is not much to see yet, but it is a start. The paintings are being done from photos from our time in Tuscany. The smaller one is from a photo my photographer son-in-law Bob took in Siena, the larger one is from photos we took over looking the village/winery of Fonterutoli where we stayed for one week. It is in the heart of Tuscany on the Chianti highway between Florence and Siena.

I will keep you posted on my progress, which I suspect will be a bit on the slow side.

Saturday, October 17, 2009


after a brief one and a half day trip to Lousiville. As I promised myself, I have begun working on 2 acrylics, one 24x24" and one 24x48". Both will be scenes from last years Italian journey. Too soon to have anything to show you, but I do have to Clay mono types that I am adding to my collection of miniatures. Neither have a title.