El Demonio Azul y el Toro

Just finished a new painting and I had the audacity to give it  a name in Spanish; if I screwed up blame it on Rosetta Stone.

So here it is : The Blue Devil and the Bull.


El Demonio Azul y el Toro

oil on canvas

16 by 20 inches


detail of blue devil

This is a small painting, I was  playing about with visual language, notably how to treat a body of water. Still playing with barren environments and themes of loneliness and isolation. Living in the desert is a rich resource for that sort of mood. I have a few more small paintings nearing completion which I hope to post shortly. Also noodling within my head  with what may be another very large painting. Perhaps one more large canvas before I leave this desert for good…

Have a happy Labor Day,

take care, namaste,


This just popped up on my Facebook feed, couldn’t help but to post it; yet another subliminal influence.


Back To Class, First Proofs

The Fall semester began this week and one of my courses is Printmaking III- I cannot believe how quickly time has flown. I am still very much the novice, but I do feel I have a better grip on this elusive medium. This first week of this semester I have focused upon two plates : one a relief print on lino ; the second an intaglio drypoint on copper.

I am determined this semester to achieve a better grasp of intaglio , I find it so challenging. The following are early proofs, the lino being the more successful of the two.

IMG_4098 Redemption of the Father

Artist’s Proof # I

relief print,lino on paper

plate 10″ by 12″


 St Anthony of the Desert

Artist’s proof # II,

drypoint, copper plate, 6″by 8″

As I said the intaglio needs a lot of work. Given that I am determined to work solely in drypoint for this print, the “burrs” are causing me some trouble. I will this weekend rub them out, adding more marks as needed. This is when I wish I had a home press, I am burning with a desire to resolve this problem NOW!

But I must practice patience,  taking deep Ujjayi  breath. Printmaking is not an immediate art, at least with out a home press.

The inspiration for the relief print, which is close to complete, is the following watercolor ( a VERY immediate medium ). 


Redemption of the Father

Ariadne’s Thread

The latest in my ongoing fascination with the Minotaur/Theseus theme…


Ariadne’s Thread

watercolor on paper

11 by 18 inches


detail of yet another randy blue demon, the Minotaur


detail of Theseus

that’s it for now, heading back to oils for the remainder of the week and on Tuesday back to printmaking, the semester begins!

Until next time, take care,



I was recently asked by a friend to enter work in a group show, the show is based loosely upon the theme of disability.  Given my friend had fashioned a lavishly eccentric wheelchair as the centerpiece of the show, I figured I had some creative wiggle room.

My interest was in exploring the very notion of disability and society’s need to “fix” the disabled. This I felt to be a touchy subject, one in which I hadn’t any authority to assert as I am not disabled. I do have a very dear friend who spent much of her life with a disability which later in her life was rectified by surgical procedures. But from listening to my friend I gathered the stigmatization of her condition and the  (over? ) protective concern her parents felt for her, imposed limitations ,physical and emotional, far beyond the constraints of her actual condition.

 In this image I wished to depict the disabled as a beautiful youth who lacked the  conventional wings of his society. I also  wanted to express the complexities of society by using harpy like figures, uncomfortable, a bit haughty, awkwardly watching as he falters.  I have found myself in this position, it has only been with maturity that I have found the will to  greet a wheelchair bound person in the eye. That is a sad fact.

In this image the youth does stumble, his prosthetic feathers have done him little good. Has our attempt to fix him only broken him?

I haven’t clarified all of my thoughts concerning this image or the topic, it is still evolving. Please consider Icarus to be an evolving discussion within my head.



watercolor and gouache on paper

18 by 24 inches


detail of Icarus and his soul-spirit


detail of Society

Of course it isn’t much of a stretch to consider Icarus to be an allegory  of other folks that make society squirm, gays, women, people of color, the list goes on an on.

Note to self : stop pigeon-holing.

Until next time, take care,


Open To Criticism

In my desire to more fully engage as an artist I have joined an artists  alliance that is affiliated with a local museum here in Southern California. Apparently, once a quarter, its members gather with one piece of their work and a group critique ensues.

Strikes terror in my heart frankly.

Nonetheless I have decided to attend. I have a fair number of paintings to choose from but most tend to be rather large.  Fortunately I have been working on three smaller paintings, one of which is 95% complete, it is called Peregrino de la Rosa- Pilgrim of the Rose.


Peregrino de la Rosa

oil on canvas

24 by 30 inches

The painting started out, as I posted on the following link, as a small sketch cobbled together after being inspired by my dear friend Rosa’ s nocturnal wanderings-spiritual development and a trinity of owls being major themes, the link provides more detail. But as I painted and explored I better understood the personal significance , hence my pilgrim is no longer a woman but instead one of my idealized
Poussin inspired heroes.

I have come to see this image as a moment of  decision at a crossroads, one in which I find myself. Our pilgrim has encountered a shaman like figure and is offered two paths, the more obvious one and  the more furtive one, which will he take? I find myself still struggling with this persistent question : steeling my nerves and going forward with formal training or staying on the familiar and frankly often frustrating path of self discovery. This group critique is an opportunity for me to poke my head out of the hermitage and perhaps explore options.

IMG_4079 2Detail of my peregrino

On an aesthetic level I’m happy with the tone and coloring of this painting. The underpainting was done in a very warm monochrome, essentially Indian Yellow. I’m pleased the painting retained the warmth.

IMG_3971Initial underpainting.

As I mentioned the painting is very close to completion, some noodling about with finicky details and further shadows and light but essentially finished. The critique is early this evening and I want the painting to be at least tacky dry  for transport so I will hold off fussing until tomorrow.

Wish me well and until next time, take care,