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.