Monday, October 31, 2011


It is Halloween, and my first 2 months on the blog have officially ended. I have been trying to open up possibilities for myself through random impulsive images and a mixed media approach. It has been a rather frenzied dance. We will see what the next month brings. I may do some bigger pieces and write more at length about process.
This is dedicated to Meg.

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Form Follows Function?

"Form follows function" is a familiar truism all art students will recognize. That means that the look of an object is always connected to its use. Chairs have to have seats; guitars, strings; teapots, spouts.  I would also like to add simply that "love" or if you will "passion" dictates form. When we love anything we find a way to make it part of our lives in any way we can. If an artist loves his subject "motif" than he will find the form that communicates that feeling.

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Mother Tree

The trees are coming to life. They are starting to have personalities. Everyone should have a yard like this. This "Mother Tree" has been here a long time, maybe as long as the house and she presides over the yard from the water's edge.

Friday, October 28, 2011


There is a wonderful old tree in the river right at the water's edge in my yard.  A lot happens there. Roots touch, stingrays glide, ants tunnel, snakes bask, and  debris wafts. Nature moves the bits around.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Even The Water Is Boxed In...

My small protest piece about our destruction of the earth by literally boxing up and commercializing every living thing including land and water.

P. S. Mary and I did this one too although I finished after she left.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Final Debris Yard Spiral Dance

I ran across something that Peter London said that really struck me, "Nature is not a noun. Nature is a verb, and the action that it engages in is creating. We see a tree, but nature is in the act of treeing. The same is true of mountains, meadows, roses, flamingoes, smelts, stars, and  summers. The dance of genesis may at times be slow, its steps subtle, but dance it is." What a wonderful idea. We can all be verbs rather than nouns. I'd love to think about my life as a dance.

The top painting was from a sketch in the yard. The bottom is, of course, the back and has a ghost spiral.
I am sure there will be more spirals, but not yet.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Yard Debris Spiral

The descriptive titles are getting longer. I like the idea of creating something in the yard, talking to it and then working from it. The spiral is here, the plants, and in the distance, water. Memory and feeling are starting to be evident in the work but it is not alive enough yet.

Monday, October 24, 2011

Debris Spiral

Mom, this one's for you. I really think it applies. Life, Death, Eternity.

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Debris Too

A Debris monster is taking over the yard. As you can see it has a life of its own. Keeping the ground clear of all the floating stuff takes unrelenting effort. It comes down from trees, washes up from the river, and appears in a multitude of ways.

As you know, I started talking to the yard and as we converse I am sometimes focused on the numerous bits laying on the ground. Abstraction has its start there. Just look down. Debris, or entropy, is a universal law. So maybe is abstraction.

Saturday, October 22, 2011

New Conversation

Mary has left. I need to shift the work. It has felt a little hollow at times these last few days. Instead, today I decided to have a chat with the spiral and debris in the back yard and to funnel my responses onto the paper. The water is black and the spiral is visible in pink on the left. It felt great and maybe the start of a new series.

Friday, October 21, 2011


Mary and I continued with the wave and water idea on this second part of our collaboration.

Thursday, October 20, 2011


Its fall now, and I no longer want to paint so much. The drawing is returning. Traditionally, I paint in summer and draw in winter. I am uprooted when the seasons change.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011


Mary Dreyer and I collaborated to produce this section of the Indian River. I like the torn pieces of the water that go past the edge of the paper. The river has complexity and color. We tried to express that.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011


The Mother In Law's Tongues have reappeared in collage form this time in two opposing parts.

Monday, October 17, 2011


It seems that I came to Florida to clear debris, literally and figuratively. Maybe I should name this "Before and After".

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Hidden Image

It seems to me that the front of the image theoretically would be the conscious, or intentional side. The back, then, is unconscious because it is largely an unintentional by product of the collage process and left over pieces. It's interesting to think that I can really only frame half the image. Only half would be visible to the viewer.

Not every piece has its relevant backside, but for some reason this short series is consistent. We will see what happens later. I'll write more about "process" in November.

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Front and Back

I have been working both sides of the paper, not just the front but including the full piece. Although the image is still flat, it has more of an object quality. That gives me two versions rather than one; an inside and an outside.

On a personal note, it seems that grief has drained the color out of the work.

Friday, October 14, 2011


What more can I say. This seems more like a design and much less like real flowers. The design dominates. Strong design shapes while being appealing can distance the viewer from the life and activity of the image.

I wanted to include the back on this one to give a different perspective. I am beginning to like this side better. Now the front seems overworked.

Thursday, October 13, 2011


The desire to live and compete is strong here in the tropics. Plants burst through the ground eager to grow and bloom in this warm dampness. I wanted to capture the feeling of that aliveness.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Unnamed Storm Pummels Dock

The wind gusts were upwards of 80 mph, and the water churned furiously. It was nice to watch that stable point in the river and see the waves break over it.

Two views: the back of the storm.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Mother In Law's Tongues

The sun is finally out after 3 days of storms. I am spending a lot of time on the porch. The stand of Mother In Law's Tongues sits under a palm to the right of the porch and I can see them from my chair. They seem to me like green flames.

Monday, October 10, 2011

Water, Wood, Earth

Mostly water. We had 7 inches of rain in two days on Merritt Island. This unnamed storm was the real hurricane of the year, and my yard looked like this after the storm, metaphorically speaking.

Sunday, October 9, 2011

It Won't Stop Raining

Its been pouring rain for 2 days now, and everything is wet to the core. The leak in my roof, while small, is starting to worry me again. I wanted with color and marks to get a sense of what the unending torrential downpour feels like.

Saturday, October 8, 2011


One way to paint an overused subject like a sunset is to simplify it. Make it more about language (shape, color, line) than about subject so that the sunset part doesn't just take over in the viewer's mind. Ask yourself, which do you see first, the sunset over the river or the shapes and color?

Friday, October 7, 2011

Homage to Matisse or Porch Plants Revisited

I like the light in this one and the curvilinear movements. It has a more graceful and decorative feel than yesterday's. My own version of Matisse.

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Porch Plants

This almost looks like it has tissue paper on it, but I guarantee it does not. I like the spikey harshness of the plants. My yard is a little scary as you can see.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

The House Knows Nothing

The house, or rather the porch, is in the top left of the picture. The yard takes over, and engulfs most of the space. It is alive and has its own reality of which the house knows nothing.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

The River Misses Charlie

Charlie and the Indian River were one. It was his home and a large part of his life. He could never wander too far from his beloved river, and everyday at the end of his life he sat with it and looked at it always. The river has lost a kindred spirit. I miss him too.

Monday, October 3, 2011

Rock and Roll

This might be the last of my thick waterlogged paintings.The rainy season in Florida has officially ended with the cooler fall weather today. Now my water soaked images don't seem quite right. End pieces to a series sometimes seem more bizarre like this one. I'll see what happens tomorrow. I like the "one day at a time" approach.

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Sun and Shadow

The morning sun is clear and bright across the river. It spotlights the big tree in the garden. Everything else is in shadow.
Happy Birthday, Dad.

Saturday, October 1, 2011

Child in the Garden

The garden in various forms has been around for a couple of weeks, and it is kind of nice to think that a child has walked in among the flowers.