Tuesday, July 29, 2014


More drawings from the early 1970s

Hands  pencil

Life Drawing  charcoal

Line Man  pen & ink

Sunday, July 27, 2014


Drawn from memory after seeing a local stage production of The Man from La Mancha

Fun with dots

Friday, July 25, 2014


More drawings from the 1970s, before I turned all my attention to the built environment.

Thursday, July 24, 2014


In the beginning – always a good place to start – before the notion of pursuing art professionally had occurred to me, I began drawing everything and anything, including people.  Photographs in magazines and the ads in medical journals served as models for my pencil, and occasional pen and ink drawings.   It would be several years before my fascination with architecture and the built environment developed.  Once that took hold I abandoned all other subjects, with the exception of  on the spot drawings during my emergency room years.  Serious interest in barns and the rural landscape came years later.

I would like to share with you some of those early drawings from the 1970s.

Oops   pencil

The Violinist   pencil

Hair   pen and ink

I don't know why I completely abandoned people for places.  Maybe this says something about a latent psychological temperament of mine.

Sunday, July 20, 2014

SUNDAY BARN #114 First Snow

First Snow is the 6th painting in this series dominated by the earth colors.  It is the smallest in the series, measuring 12x24".  The primary colors are Raw Umber and Titanium White, with touches of Red Oxide and Ultramarine Blue.

acrylic  12x24 on gallery wrapped canvas
Price  $500.00

Wednesday, July 16, 2014


 The top of my head does not extend far above the ground.  At one time it towered 65.5 inches above the bottom of my feet, but that was before age began taking its toll on my spinal column.  I was always small, and if it weren’t for Raffie Donato I would have been the shortest kid in my class throughout elementary school.  I still remember friends and relatives telling my parents that I would soon “shoot up” during my pre-adolescent years.  Obviously that did not happen and I accepted my height – or lack thereof - for what it was.

front row seated  from right to left  Raffie, Billy....
I don’t think of my self as a short person, (except when I’m standing too close to a very tall person - then my tendency is to move away and create some distance between us.) and with the rare exception of having a crush on a girl who was much taller than me, it has not been an issue.  In fact I have found some comfort in the belief that shorter people tend to be healthier, and live longer than taller people.  I have no idea if this is true, but I prefer my belief to remain uncontaminated by evidence. 

Then we moved to Paducah. Oh the excitement of moving into our new home.  The large open rooms with 12-foot ceilings and 2 ½ baths were pure delight after living in a small bungalow with 7 ½ foot ceilings and one small bath - off the kitchen.  Our new house was bright and airy and filled with promises and dreams, and I loved it.  I loved it a whole lot…until the first smoke detector began its incessant beep, telling us the batteries need changing.  “Ok”, I thought, I can do this; unmindful of how my advancing age was affecting my relationship to heights, which have never been a problem for me.  I dragged out our six-foot stepladder. Set it up under the obnoxious alarm, and began the ascent.  Well you would not believe my surprise when I reached the top, clinging on for dear life, and discovered that the builders made a mistake.  This ceiling was at least 18 feet high, if not higher, and I was sure that gravity was just a heartbeat away from pulling me down to that tiled floor below.  A lesser man than me would have given up, but being the tiger that I am, I persevered and actually managed to dismantle the alarm, change the batteries, and replace it.  Needless to say, my unequivocal love for our house became somewhat equivocal and the first seeds of discontent with my stature were sowed.

I will spare you of my efforts to replace the bulbs in our can lights recessed in the 18 foot ceiling

Sunday, July 13, 2014


This week's barn is fresh off the easel as the fifth painting in the Umber Series.  The basic colors are Red Oxide and Yellow Ocher with Titanium White and Ivory Black.

At the Edge of the Day
Acrylic  24x36"

Friday, July 11, 2014


I wasn't always a painter of old barns, and I offer as proof this 1984 poster of the pubs of Wilmington Delaware.  I'm not sure where the inspiration came from, but once I decided to do it, I proceeded with gusto.  Visiting all of those pubs and bars was not easy, but I am not one to shirk from hard work.  Much to my great surprise and delight, I sold over 2500 copies of this poster in the years following its release.

Tuesday, July 8, 2014


I needed a break from the acrylics and watercolors today and turned to the reliable standby...pencil and paper.

Two west Kentucky barns, each image approximately 6x10 inches.

Livingston Co. barn

On Rt. 45 south

Monday, July 7, 2014

UMBER SERIES....continued

Two more canvases added to this series of landscapes dominated by earth tones.

Umber Series #3   Acrylic on Gallery wrapped canvas  16x40"

Umber Series #4  Acrylic on galley wrapped canvas  30x40"

I'm finding it difficult to get good photos that accurately show the hues and values with this palette.  I"ve tried with and without lighting, and outdoors in shaded sunlight.  The fourth painting has been especially difficult.  The reds are lost in the the trees and the foreground.  I may need to consult a professional photographer.

A fifth painting is currently in progress.

Sunday, July 6, 2014


Today's barn is nestled in a sun filled pastel hayfield beneath a pastel sky.

Friday, July 4, 2014


Last night we attended the Paducah Symphony Orchestra’s last concert of the season.  I have absolutely no knowledge or understanding of classical music, which puts me at a disadvantage when it comes to appreciating the scope and the nuances of the music.  But I can appreciate the passion it evokes in the listener and even more, the passion so clearly obvious in the musicians and the conductor, especially the conductor. 

The musicians were, for the most part, limited to facial expressions imposed upon them by their instruments of varying bulk.  But the conductor…his every emotion was betrayed by his body movements, and when visible, his face.  First he stood very still, and the orchestra was quiet, then his arms began to move gracefully in purposeful arcs and the music followed.  Suddenly the baton, an extension of his right hand began to bounce and gyrate, pulling his body along with them, and the music kept pace with every movement.   Here was an artist immersed in his work with such physical and emotional passion, and I was envious.

I can be engrossed in my work, sitting or standing; I may walk away momentarily and pace, which I do quite often.  But to be able to experience the sound and the physicality of my work… that is something else.  The best I can do is to have music blaring from a CD, Johnny Cash, Luciano Pavarotti, or maybe the Beatles.   OK…I have a confession to make.  On rare occasions when I am especially moved, I will actually dance (I insist on calling it dance) around the studio, but not until I have checked to see if Patience, or anyone else could see me.

That is the difference between a symphony conductor and a painter.  The conductor can let it all hang out in front of his audience.  The painter must be devious and sneaky.  That is my opinion and I’m sticking to it.