Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Works in Progress

After third sitting; slight variations.

After first sitting.

Self-Portrait / Untitled drum painting
both works- oil on paper-mounted panel and very much still in progress.

Recent Drawings

"Star Finder"

All works- graphite/watercolor on paper, 2010

Double Drums

"Paradiddle" oil on panel, 16" x 16" 2010

Monday, November 22, 2010

Sea Monsters

"Sea Monsters" oil on paper-mounted panel, 5.75" x 5.25", 2010

Relocated to the margins of antique maps and just off the coast, you will find the oddest assortment of creatures. They float on whirlpools and menace the tall ships. They have spouts and horns. If the compass rose is a cartographer's nod of encouragement, then the sea monster is a shrug of the shoulders. It is a fear of the unknown, a filler of the empty spaces between continents. Yet who can take these hybrids seriously? And more importantly, did they ever stop anyone from exploring this watery sphere?

Herman Melville's Breakfast

"Herman Melville's Breakfast" Oil on Panel, 24" x 22", 2010

This painting explores the role of the great American Novelist as masculine hero. Melville: steeped in Nineteenth century mannerisms, biblical allusions and an encyclopedic knowledge of all things leviathan, is seen as a graphic, unmoving fixture, overlapped by swordfish on a salmon-pink color block. The text is meant to recall a greasy spoon-style aesthetic. His eyes are narrowed with purpose and he is seen in the grand, posthumous esteem that history demands. There is something magical about the language of Moby Dick, how it circles itself, rambles on and yet delivers great humor with every observation. Take this line, from Chapter 65 (The Whale as Dish):
"It is not, perhaps, entirely because the whale is so excessively unctuous that landsmen seem to regard the eating of him with abhorrence; that appears to result, in some way, from the consideration before mentioned: i.e. that a man should eat a newly murdered thing of the sea, and eat it too by its own light."
In a chapter that begins with descriptions of barbecued porpoises and whale brain recipes, he goes on to talk about cannibals and ends with a rant about the evils of foie-gras. This chapter and some of the scenes that take place at the Spouter Inn (Queequeg harpooning steaks, over the heads of his table-mates) inspired this painting, which ended up being somewhat hindered by the nagging notion that Melville's appetite may be too big for just one painting. Or at least that's what I'd like to think.

"Loomings broadside" letterpress and polymer plate print, 10" x 14" 2006

On a related note: I recently dug up this broadside of the first paragraph of Moby-Dick , that I handset and printed on the VanDerCook at Dolphin Press during my MICA days. The illustration is meant to seem vaguely nautical; a sort of lighthouse, oar and steering wheel-in one. The form of the Broadside is a fun challenge- somewhere between poster and illustration.

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Air Quotes Int'l

"Air Quotes Int'l" oil on paper-mounted panel, 8" x 7", 2010

Air Quotes Int'l- studies

Three studies for "Air Quotes Int'l", inkjet prints, color pencil, graphite transfer, 2010

Canary Current

"canary current", oil on panel, 5.5" x 5.5", 2010

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Book Project- Behind the Roman Nose

"Behind the Roman Nose"
Artist's book w/ japanese binding, linocut and inkjet printing.
7.75" x 6.75" Edition of 8, 2008

As a transcribed and illustrated book of my grandfather's "autobiography" (written for a class project when he was in eighth grade), Behind the Roman Nose is at once a graphic imagining of the events described as well as a testament to the power of stories passed down. These fragments are in no way the whole picture, but often become the majority of what we remember about family members. The entire edition was distributed amongst family members as a holiday gift.

"Study for Behind the Roman Nose" ink, graphite and inkjet collage, 2008

Works in Progress

Herman Melville's Breakfast and as-of-yet untitled painting of drums.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

What is Sound?

"What is Sound? (Don Cherry)"
ink, oil and pencil on paper-mounted panel, 11"x 7", 2010

Some Background:
Don Cherry (November 18, 1936 – October 19, 1995) one of the most outstanding figures of avant-garde jazz in the 50's and 60's; playing with the likes of Ornette and Coltrane. A complete innovator with a pocket trumpet.

Don Cherry (February 5th, 1934) one of the most celebrated tv personalities of the NHL. Known for his impeccable taste in suits, as well as his short career (one night) as a player on the '55 Bruins. Went on to coach the team.

Building a painting from coincidence up. Don Cherry made a surprise appearance (in a tartan pattern suit) at my first Bruins game this past year. My brother, being the hockey player of the family, was beside himself and informed me of Mr. Cherry's importance. Later on, I told him of Don Cherry's great importance to the history of jazz. I mostly enjoy the idea of two Dons and their wildly divergent, yet equally amazing career paths.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Double Portrait

"Ash- double portrait #1"
Ink, acrylic, pencil and gouache on paper-mounted panel, 12" x 12"

"Ash- double portrait #2"
Ink, acrylic, pencil and gouache on paper-mounted panel, 6" x 6"

Once again, playing with the double-image, this time dealing with portraiture. In #2, the shape that resembles a state is the happy accident of an earlier painting. I consider a painting like this to be a bit experimental; to see what will happen if four elements have to get along without any conceptual logic supporting them.

The Funniest Part

"the funniest part of something that just wasn't funny"
acrylic and oil on panel, 6" x 6", 2010

An ode to Duchamp's "In Advance of the Broken Arm" and the idea of Art as Utility. Literally in this case. I think the humor and wit of conceptual art can sometimes undermine its' power. Then again, humor seems to be the backbone of these artists starting with DADA and Duchamp through word artists like Richard Prince and Mel Bochner. I suppose there's nothing wrong with a joke that takes itself seriously.

Monday, May 31, 2010

Lanterns & Phases

"lantern/projector" watercolor/graphite on paper panel, 5" x 5"

"Lanterns & Phases"
acrylic and oil on canvas, 12" x 10"

Broken Relief

oil on paper-mounted panel, 12" x 12" 2010

Broken relief as a term- something sculpted, something round that breaks completely from flatness. The opposite of bas-relief. It's art history used for metaphor. I also enjoy the kind of double meaning here, relief is "broken", indicating a sudden state of worry.

Marble and Stone

gouache, pencil, inkjet text on paper panel, 4.25" x 5.25"

Another study, w/text.

Study for a Monument

oil on panel, 6" x 6"

This little study was the start of an ongoing series related to images of statuary, bronzes and pediment decoration. Oddly enough, I think of it as a companion to the blue circles. In terms of color and shape relationships, they make a good pair.

Circles in Blue Field

oil on panel, 6" x 6"

Re-visiting some old ideas from school days. Namely the circle, repetition and a vague sense of space.


Just a shot of the studio, with paintings basking in the morning light. This may not be the best storage conditions, but I will often sit them here as most pieces remain "in rotation" for awhile until they are finished.

Sunday, May 30, 2010


"Shipwreck" collage w/drawing, 4.5" x 4.5" 2009

"12" collage w/drawing, 4.5" x 4.5" 2009

"Desert Ship" watercolor w/drawing, 4.5" x 5" 2009

Pediment Blues

"Pediment Blues" oil on panel, "18 x 12" 2009

Saturday, May 29, 2010


"Unidentified" oil on panel, 4" x 5" 2008

"Unidentified study"
watercolor, graphite, pen an charcoal on paper panel, 4" x 3" 2008

Monday, May 24, 2010

Elephant Drawings

"Elephant" ink and charcoal on paper-mounted panel, 2.5"x 3", 2008

"Elephant w/grid" watercolor, graphite & pen on paper panel, 2" x 2.5" 2008


on paper-mounted panel
5.5"x 3", 2008

Tiny Comets

watercolor on paper-mounted panel,
2.75" x 1.25", 2008

Comet Hyakutake passed by In 1996, which was also the peak of my backyard astronomy phase. My father and I took the telescope and our cameras out to some rural corner of Harford County Maryland and took some shots. I recall being on the edges of a farm that was completely dark save for a huge tree that was illuminated an eerie green by a nearby spotlight (or maybe it was an enormous bug zapper). Either way we got some good shots of the comet. Years later, I found one of these snapshots. It seemed like a fitting subject for an uber-tiny watercolor; doubled up (as most of my paintings from that time) for a kind of film strip effect.

Clouds (Stolen Painting)

"Square Clouds" oil on panel, 6"x 6", 2008

I am happy to have an image of this painting because it was stolen from a show at a local cafe here in Somerville. Apparently someone liked the painting enough to take it, but didn't respect Art enough to support it. Gone as it is, this painting was based on a photo I took of four clouds in a square formation. I liked the somewhat unnatural sentiment of cloud geometry.


acrylic on panel, 5.5" x 5.5" 2008

"Coast Guard"
oil on panel, 2" x 3.5" 2008

Snow Field

"Snow Field" oil on panel, 8" x 12" 2008


"Vessels" oil on panel, 5" x 5.75" 2008