Monday, August 30, 2010


Well they aren't really potato chips, they're clay mono types, and I'm not eating them, I'm drawing on them. But the desire for more is the same. I could start thinking about what I'm doing...actually over thinking is a more accurate description of what I do...but I won't! I'm simply having too much fun, and I plan on continue doing so as long as the fun lasts. Here are the latest to come off the drawing table:

apox. 12x15"


3x1 1/2"

Friday, August 27, 2010


that sit side by side and contribute boundaries to 3 of Bologna's central piazzas, Piazza Maggiore, Piazza del Nettuno (Neptune) and Piazza re Enzo. The Palazzo Re Enzo is the larger structure on left, and the side, or end view of the Palozzo Podesta is on the right.

I've decided to render these 2 palaces (which really appear to be one structure) in watercolor, creating a project that will provide me with several weeks of satisfying work and challenges similar to the Castello Estense painting last month. As before, the composition is an elevation drawing, done initially in pencil and then lined with sepia ink.

And to add a little fun to my day...there is always a clay drawing to do. This one, titled DINING OUT, was inspired by a photo taken in Castellini in Chianti 2 years ago.

Clay drawing aprox. 10x14

Monday, August 23, 2010


A challenge for every artist is keeping his or her work fresh and interesting. It is easy to stay within the comfort zone of familiarity, especially if the work has received critical and/or commercial success. There are no formulas or rules that one can turn to for guidance. Only with an honest self assessment of the work will the artist recognize the need to begin to push the boundaries of the comfort zone. This does not mean every piece of work must be different or ground breaking. On the contrary, there is a valuable learning experience in doing a series or body of work where small but significant nuances can be learned from each piece, in spite of the similarities. It is only after these lessons or advances cease that the work runs the risk of becoming tired and stale.

For the past 2 months I have been working with clay drawings, enjoying the fun and excitement they have generated, in part, bringing me back to my roots...whimsical, urban landscapes. They are still teaching me something, and I am not ready to move away from them but am aware that it is time I begin pushing at the boundaries, exploring how they can evolve and still retain their freshness. In retrospect I’ve already been doing this, adding more color, using acrylic paints for highlights, and exploring expanded compositions. To date the process has been rather simple and straight forward...I’m not sure how, but I suspect that will soon change.

Here is the first clay drawing I did about 2 months ago:

This piece was completed about 4 weeks ago:

The most recent clay drawing:

Older than the others...clay drawing...10x12

There is always something to look forward to in the studio...old and new!

Sunday, August 22, 2010


one watercolor, one acrylic, and one clay drawing to add to my growing inventory of "Italian art". The acrylic has been on the easel for about 2 weeks, the watercolor took one week from start to finish, and the clay drawing 2 days.

Italian countryside...acrylic...18x24

untitled clay drawing...aprox. 8x24

Looking at Ancona...watercolor...aprox. 10x18

It is time to move on...if we don't allow our art to evolve and grow, it becomes tired and stale. More about this on my next post.

Saturday, August 21, 2010


seems to be an apt description of my days over the past several weeks. My efforts in the studio are unhurried, intermittent, but in the end, consistent. I currently have 4 pieces in progress, 1 clay drawing, 1 acrylic, and 2 watercolors. I will have pics of them for my next post.

Two days ago I completed this clay drawing, based loosely on photos from my afternoon in Parma.

Via Garibaldi in Parma

The next piece is a small mixed media...pastel pencil, ink, and markers from a photo in Bologna.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010


has been oppressive, and an ac unit low on Freon hasn't helped (it has since been restored), but as you now know, I am a tiger, and refused to be be shut down. Slowed down a bit, but still going, and as proof of that I am posting the latest clay drawings.
Yes, they tend to be getting smaller...but that is only temporary.

Ferrara arches clay drawing aprox. 12x10"

Windows..clay drawing...3x9"

untitled clay drawing...3x3'

ANOTHER ARCH...Clay drawing...1 1/2x4"

5 arches...clay drawing...2x3"

Bologna street..clay drawing...2x8'

Friday, August 13, 2010


well, not exactly, but pretty damn close. When I fist began a serious pursuit of a second career some 35 years ago I was drawing/painting small urban street scenes with pen, ink, and markers, and shortly thereafter, watercolors. The drawings were loosely done in a vignette style. As my skills increased I gradually moved on to a more painterly style. And here I am, 35 years later, going back to my "roots'. whoda thought!

Here are 3 "oldtimers"

And here are the 2 latest clay drawings.

Via Spartico...aprox 12x14"

no name yet...aprox. 4x12"

Monday, August 9, 2010


but in a most delightful place, creating clay drawings. I can't remember the last time I've had so much fun, plain ole fun, in the studio. I want to do more with the watercolor and acrylic, and I will, but have no intention of abandoning the clay. I can easily work in all 3 media simultaneously. But to do so I feel I have to explore new approaches, especially with the acrylics, and hope to begin doing so soon. There is so much material from my trip that I want to work with.

the main piazza in Greve, a small city in Tuscany...clay drawing

The small (6x12") drawing below is a bridge between the clay drawings and acrylic. The warm background is acrylic on a gesso panel. The drawing is a combination of ink, markers, and acrylic.

Friday, August 6, 2010


The Tuscan landscape is finished...I think. It will sit on easel for the next few days where I can look at it every day.

the Edge of Day...acrylic...24x24

Thursday, August 5, 2010


after weeks of procrastination, I have started working again with the acrylics on canvas. I don't know why I put things off like I do, and now that I've started I am ready to begin another one. In the meantime I've continued to play with the clay and markers.

Italian progress...24x24

Via Ferrucio in Castlellini in Chianti

dining out in Castellini in Chianti

Tuesday, August 3, 2010


mom, dad, and me

Looking for a reason to remain here in my study, cooled by the ceiling fan, I began going back over old journal entries and found this entry from a year ago.


Good grief! Who knew that turning 70 would provide so many issues to deal with (and write about). I will be lucky if I can get all the emotional and psychological stuff dealt with before I reach 80.

I have 9 months left in which to milk this 70th birthday. No one gives a shit about 71!

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 retrospection 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 stressful, and that they protected me from their almost daily 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 day at Jefferson Medical College

Monday, August 2, 2010


First, the less than new. I posted this piece just 2 days ago, and after looking at it decided it needed just a few additions. They should be quite obvious.

the old

the new

The new new is a variation on the clay drawings, actually more of a mixed media. I started with a watercolor wash, then completed the drawing with ink markers, and finally added a few touches of acrylic. I'm planning on working more with the mixed mediums. I would like to have more control over the paintings...where the subject and the intent direct the choice of medium. With the clay drawings I've been doing I'm getting the sense that is the medium that directs everything. But...perhaps I'm over reacting and thinking too much...I tend to do that...a lot!

piazza in Ravenna

And finally, the second in a series of two

Columns and Arches II watercolor...8x28