Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Black & White Plus part 4

As with any series, the work tends to evolve, influencing the original concept.  My initial plan was to execute a series of black and white pen & ink drawings, with or without a “touch of color”, depicting scenes and architecture from the many places I have visited with my art.  While this approach works well with some subjects, it quickly became apparent that others would benefit from more than a touch of color.  Being of sound mind and flexible character (more than once I have been called flexiBill) I adapted to this with ease, completing the first stage of the evolution of the original idea.  All of the work will begin with a line drawing done with pen & ink, and augmented with color as determined by the subject.

I was still in the B&W frame of mind when I completed these two drawings which represent the “look” I wanted for this series

 Feeling more than my share of piss and vinegar, I decided to take on a more ambitious subject – my favorite power plant on the Ohio River in Pittsburg, PA.

pwer plant

Obviously I deviated from the original plan, and happily ended up with this drawing that I really like.  The end result was 2 more drawings in the same manner.  Here is the first of the 2.

The name of the series will remain Black & White Plus, but I am growing fond of the title, Second Time Around, referring to the choice of subject matter – places I have visited and drawn and painted in the past.  But based on the experience of the past week it would be foolish to make any claims about how this will all end.

Saturday, July 27, 2013

Black & White Plus part 3


Here are 2 more of the early pen and ink drawings:

Taking advantage of my enthusiasm for this medium (my enthusiasm for most things has a habit of waxing and waning) I have been diligently working at my drawing table for the past week and a half, and thoroughly enjoying myself.

Drawing the brick lines is not as easy as it used to be, and I occasionally have to resort to using a magnifying glass.  Anything for art!


Thursday, July 25, 2013

Black & White Plus part 2

In the beginning it was all about the line.  It is impossible for me to describe the excitement and enthusiasm I experienced as I began to express my fascination with the surrounding urban environment with a series of simple line drawings.  Of course part of the reason for the pen and ink was my lack of facility in the various color mediums.  But even as that eventually changed my love for the simple line drawings continued.

Here are several drawings from those early years.

Sunday, July 21, 2013


from the picture file
I have always loved black and white art, especially pen and ink line drawings.  Back in the 1970s when I began experiencing the first faint calls of art my attention was focused on the delightful small pen and ink drawings scattered throughout the pages of the New Yorker magazine.  So much so that I still have an album I created with dozens of those drawings.  My favorite artist at the time was the contemporary British illustrator, Paul Hogarth.  I bought all of his art books and tracked down as many of the books and magazines that he illustrated.  (This was long before the Internet, and the classified ads in the NY Times book section was filled with companies that did book searches.)

Why all this history?  Because several days ago, looking about for something to do while waiting for a phone call (I wait very poorly) I picked up that album and began looking at these wonderful drawings, remembering the excitement I felt those many years ago.  And in an instant, I knew exactly what I was going to do; my next “project” would be a series of pen and ink drawings of various sizes and complexity, black and white with an occasional touch of color or gray.

from the picture file

The artwork in the Paducah Portfolio, which is almost completed, borrowed heavily from my past. This new project, Black & White Plus, takes me back even farther, to the earliest days of my art, when I was head over heels for the simple, but incredibly expressive line drawings.  Although I was not aware of it that was the beginning of what would be an incredible journey that turned my life upside down.

Friday, July 19, 2013

GRILLED MORTADELLA Lunch Box series part 4 or 5 or whatever

GRILLED MORTADELLA   Lunch Box series part 4 or 5 or whatever

Two years ago I enjoyed the above lunch in a small café in Bologna Italy, grilled Mortadella on a bed of greens with pine nuts, olive oil, and wonderful sweet Balsamic vinegar.

Today, using local ingredients, I did my best to replicate that experience, realizing that Boarshead Mortadella and the Balsamic vinegar could not compete with their brethren from Emilia Romagna in Italy.  Nevertheless it was a delightful lunch, one that I will definitely being serving myself again.

INGREDIENTS:  all from the Midtown Market

2 slices of Mortadella about ¼” thick
Grape tomatoes, sliced in half
Olive oil
Balsamic vinegar glaze
several thin onion slices
Parm[gano cheese for grating
Pine nuts (I was out of the pine nuts when I prepared this)


Saute the onion in olive oil, then grill the Mortadella. 
Place the arugula on the plate, add salt to taste and drizzle with olive oil.  Cover with the grilled Mortadella and drizzle with only a “touch” of olive oil, followed by the Balsamic vinegar.  Grate the cheese over everything and enjoy.

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

I am what I am...part 6 - clutter and the simple life

Today's post is a copy of my regular Gallery-Studio newsletter than I send out once or twice a month. 

 I don’t think I’m cut out to be the person that I am.  For years I have longed to live the “simple life”, an uncluttered life with simple aspirations and goals, filled with satisfaction and contentment, and generally free of conflict, stress, and drama.

Where did I go wrong?  Was it my decision to go into medicine, or art, or perhaps marriage?  Or was it the move from the farm to Paducah, where I opened a retail gallery for my art, a gallery and studio so filled with artwork and “stuff” that I can hardly move around in it?

The truth?  None of the above.  The only way simple enters into my life is when I say or write, I am simply a cluttered man.  My gallery is cluttered with art.  My studio is cluttered with supplies, some of which I use once every 312 years, my study has so many fountain pens (and 2 more are on there way), notebooks, and books that there is no room for me.  My kitchen is cluttered with books, magazines, and bottles of Olive oil.  And worst of all, my mind is cluttered with ideas of things I should do, paint, draw,and/or write.

I am still up to my neck in this Paducah Portfolio, and I’m already thinking about my next major project or two…or three or four.  I am amazed I can get anything accomplished, but somehow it happens.  Here is the latest entries into the Paducah Portfolio…

The heart and soul of Lower town...Etc. Coffee house

the south side of Broadway from 2nd to 3rd streets

I may not be cut out to be the person that I am, but the person that I am has been a most fortunate man. I have been able to successfully pursue my life dreams, designing a life of my own choosing.  I’ve been blessed with a wonderful family, and equally wonderful friends.  And I have all of you who so graciously tolerate my affliction (I believe everyone is interested in what I have to say.) and allow me to sound off like I am now.

If I wasn’t me I would be envious of me.

If you would like to receive the newsletters comment on this post or email me.

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

INDUSTRIAL LANDSCAPES part 3…constructions

Not satisfied with the clay mono types, with or without pastels, and still feeling like something was missing using just pastels, I did what any self-respecting  artist would do…turned to another combination of mediums.

In my first attempt at constructions I used primarily scale modeling material from my model railroading days, combined with acrylic paints, pastels, and India ink.

Emboldened my the success of the feed mill I moved on to larger, more ambitious works, adding to my resources a variety of scraps of wood, plastic pieces, and small junk that model railroaders seem to accumulate.

Each construction measures approximately 20x48"

Next post...the shadow box industries

Monday, July 15, 2013


It was a simple step working with pastels on the clay print to working only with the pastels  The following paintings are not presented in any chronological order; I don’t remember enough to do that, and I’m too lazy to go through all my old inventory records.

This was one of the early paintings.  It was the first pastel I entered in the Pastel Society of America’s annual juries show where it was accepted, won and award, and was sold.  Needles to say my feet remained off the ground for the next several days after I was informed of this.

Feed Mill...pastel and ink

 Over the next three years the following pastels were all accepted in the show, but sadly there were no more awards or sales.

Gray Smokestacks...pastel...29x30

White ooal...pastel...20x30

Crooked Fence...pastel...20x30
Next up...Constructions.

Sunday, July 14, 2013

INDUSTRIAL LANDSCAPES…part 1- the beginning

I have no idea where the inspiration came from, but the very first clay mono type I created was an imagined grimy, dark industrial scene, which I still have in my possession.

the first of many...clay mono type...10x34"
 Little did I know that it would be the first of many other prints and paintings in that genre.  In this post I will show several of my early Industrial Landscapes (ID),  clay mono types enhanced with pastel.

All measure approximately 15 – 20 by 30”

I soon began working only with pastels, and eventually explored 3 dimensional constructions. I enjoy creating these landscapes, even though they are somewhat of a tough sell.  Not many folks want a grimy power plant over their mantle.  (Except a few I know who have exceptional taste in art.)

Friday, July 12, 2013


The book is 6 years old, but the message is timeless.  From the first idea to its eventual publication, it was always been a labor of love.  

ABOUT THE BOOK  (Description provided by the publisher)

The author is a physician and an artist, and indeed this book is lavishly illustrated with his bold, colorful, imaginative paintings. But in his words we see a father dedicated to the task of passing on to his children the wisdom and values he holds so dearly. His writing, grounded firmly in personal experience, is clear and succinct, each message confined to a single page. His comfort and confidence in each subject is evident, whether it be claiming a personal destiny, finding God, or dealing with love, marriage, and friendship.  Facing each page of the father’s reflective text the reader is treated to one of the artist's vibrant illustrations.  This small book belongs on the bedside table of everyone embracing the challenge of finding their own unique path in life.

The book can be purchased directly from me, my website, or Amazon.com.  Price - $19.95

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

CIABATTA LUNCH...part 4 of an ocassional series

OK, this is going to seem a little weird, but it was bound to happen, sooner or later.  It should be obvious to readers of this blog that I love Ciabatta bread...that's Josh's Ciabatta bread...olive oil, and all food things Italian.  But, I also love hotdogs, hotdogs from the family grill, hotdogs from the ballpark, hotdogs from the hotdog cart, it doesn't matter, I like them all,  But for reasons I can't really explain, I defer from buying them when I do the food shopping, at least I did until one of my recent trips to the Midtown Market when I gave into my culinary desires and purchased a package of Boar's Head hotdogs and the rolls to go with them.

Fast forward one week, and there are 2 dogs left, but the remaining rolls are dry and unappealing.  My only recourse, and clearly the very natural thing to do, was to turn to the Ciabatta bread.  The result is a "fusion" of the American dog with a haphazard bit of Italian. (Some would add...created by a haphazard small Italian,)

On the left, hotdog dressed with mustard and relish.  On the right, hotdog garnished with basil pesto.

What can be better than a blend of Kirchhoffs and the Midtown Market.  And it was delicious.

Monday, July 8, 2013

Tortellini with zucchini pesto, mushrooms, and chicken chorizo.

Travel, house guests, and assorted "whatevers" have kept me away from the blog...longer than I would have preferred.  What better way to get back than with a a pasta dish.

Last night's dinner began with fresh zucchini in the fridge, some choriezo sausage that needed cooking, and an idea.

For the pesto
Zucchini and summer squash sliced thinly
Olive oil
Herbs – basil, oregano, mint coarsely chopped
Parmigiano cheese
Salt and pepper

For the rest
Cheese filled tortelinni
Mushrooms, sliced
Chorizo - precooked - sliced


For the Pesto...Cook the vegetables and garlic covered, over low heat until soft.  Allow to cool slightly, and then blend in processor with remaining ingredients. This can be made ahead and kept in the refrigerator.

In olive oil, with the onions, cook the mushrooms over high heat, stirring frequently.  When cookd to your satisfaction lower the heat, add the chorizo, cover, and reduce heat.

Cook the tortellini, drain and place in serving bowl.  Mix in the zucchini pesto, adding pasta water if needed, toss with the mushrooms and chorizo and serve with your favorite grating cheese.


Patience, Keyth, and I take full responsibility for the absence of any leftovers.