Artist Closeup Interview June 2022
I was interviewed for a site called “Artist Closeup”. In the free article, you can read about my background, inspirations, the themes I pursue, the artists who influence me, and my creative process. At the end there is a section called “What is an artist’s role in society and how do you see that evolving?” I answered with a quote from Tioma because I love his erudite thoughts on the subject! Here is the link to the article
PoetsArtists March 2022 Exhibition Catalog for “Mujer”
My painting “Prayer for Peace” was published in this issue
International Artist Magazine’s December 2020/January 2021 issue #136
My painting “Storm At Sea” was published in this issue (see full text below the photo)
I’m incredibly inspired by the play of light on and through clouds and water. It feels like a theater show that is constantly changing. Painting oceans and clouds, and especially painting in plein air if possible, is one of the most relaxing and stimulating activities. The inspiration for this particular painting came out of a trip I took on a ship on the North Sea. It was my first time in the middle of a huge body of water and it was thrilling to experience scenes such as five storms appearing at the same time on the horizon!
My Design Strategy
I was not allowed to bring oil paints on the ship, so instead I made sketches, watercolor studies, took photos and videos, and tried to embed the images in my mind through observation. Water has particular shapes and colors and once understood, it is much easier to paint. My main teacher for painting water is Edward Minoff, who explains water shapes and colors extremely well. Once you understand these shapes and colors, you can even invent seascapes from imagination. Some specific design decisions I made for this painting include adding a window of blue sky at the top as a hopeful element and arranging the sea foam at the bottom so it points the eye back to the storm.
My Working Process
I used a raw, round Baltic birch panel, which I sealed with two layers of acrylic medium, then mounted zinc-free oil-primed linen using mounting adhesive. I didn’t tone the linen before painting. My beginnings for every painting are different. For this one, I drew the composition directly on the canvas loosely with vine charcoal, then rubbed out most of it before painting so the charcoal would not mix with the paint. This painting was done in the studio with multiple layers of glazing, oiling out in between with oil medium. My palette includes lead white, titanium, chrome yellow, Italian sienna, orange molybdate, Pozzuoli red, quinacridone red, ultramarine blue, Maya blue and bone black.
International Artist Magazine’s December 2019/January 2020 issue #130
My painting “American Dreaming” was published in this issue (see full text below the photo)
One of the most compelling stories for me to paint has always been that of suffering, in particular, the plight of the working class. Income inequality is at an all-time high in the U.S., with many middle class people working 60 to 70 hours a week, often at multiple jobs, to pay for their basic needs. These people work very hard but are never able to catch up, which makes me extremely sad. As an artist, people on the subway are much more interesting to me than static models because there is an active, spontaneous internal dialog. I draw on my many years of painting from life to bring the stories of these subway subjects to life and record them for the history books.
I study écorché at the Art Students League in NYC with sculptor Christopher Raccioppi. Écorché has given me invaluable knowledge of the human body, which is essential for correcting photo distortion. I start with multiple reference photos and make sketches, using measurements and calipers to fix the distortion. I also use models as needed to pin down the pose and subtle color shifts. My “subway series” of paintings all have an orange and blue color scheme. This came about organically because NYC subway seats are either orange or blue, and I like to use complementary colors. The lighting is fluorescent, giving a blue cast to the walls and floor, and the people are mostly shades of orange.
I prepare aluminum Dibond with Rublev lead ground, smoothing it with a large spatula while leaving some texture. I tone the surface with a red iron oxide from Rublev called Pozzuoli Red (PR102 from the Pigment Database). I do the preliminary sketch with red iron oxide PanPastel. Next is a full value underpainting in Pozzuoli Red, then the first layer of color. Bits of Pozzuoli Red are not painted over to unify the work and give a vibrating quality. This painting was finished in 2 layers of full color, oiled out in between with Oleogel. My palette (all but 2 are Rublev): Lead white #1, titanium (O.H.), chrome yellow, Italian sienna, orange molybdate, Pozzuoli red, quinacridone red (Gamblin), ultramarine blue, Maya blue, bone black.
GOSS183 2019 Issue #105 “Variety”
I curated a section for this issue. The full text is included below the photo:
Curated by Gayle Madeira
The surprising result of the dissection and deconstruction which the modern art movement put narrative through, as meat is put through a grinder, is that it emerged, butterfly-like, with new life breathed into it. Freed from prior constraints such as strict conventions of composition and theme, narratives are being woven by new realism artists in a delightful combining of modern methods with the solid technical prowess that was suppressed for many decades.
In this collection of multiple figure narratives, we find themes emerge like fighting or striving as in Alexandra Tyng’s Scavengers or in Nikki Schiro’s Nikki Judy Christofano. Breaking free as in Leo Plaw’s Big-Leap or Luz-Mary Harris’ Emerging. Helping one another, resting, or working together as in Anna Wypych’s The Vestals Protectors of Inner Fire, Kimberly Dow’s Guardians or Junyi Liu’s Beauty Won’t Hurt You. Or all of the above as in Christina Mastrangelo’s Know Not Thy Pending Fate.
In Viktoria Savenkova’s Perseids, the title of the painting takes part in the narrative-making process. This is a typical device in contemporary art, but the work often lacks value without artspeak. This painting, however, stands solidly on its own. I found myself wondering if the three women are somehow listening to the meteor shower, or were they shading their eyes to view it? My brain cycled between those viewpoints and the others I came up with before reading the title, which ended up bringing many flavors into the overall stew.
It is refreshing and invigorating to watch realism artists pairing the new with the old to make it new again.
PoetsArtists 2018 “Painting The Figure Now” Issue #95
My painting “American Dreaming” was published in this issue:
Strokes of Genius 5: Best of Drawing | Composition 2013
My drawing “Dan” was published in this issue (text below image)
“I highly recommend the traditional golden mean as the best way to determine a good composition.”
Dan Eberle – Charcoal on board, 12″ x 16″
This portrait was commissioned for a film entitled Prayer to a Vengeful God and is of the lead character, Dan Eberle. In the film the female lead plays an artist whose artwork is actually mine. I worked with still shots from the film to decide on the image for this portrait. I was first taught about the golden ratio to determine composition in a class at the Art Students League and always refer to it when composing images, often using a golden mean gauge to assist.
Artists Magazine Artist-of-the-Month, 2010 February
My painting “L.B.” was published in this issue along with a writeup of my process for drybrush watercolor technique but unfortunately I did not save a copy of the magazine and it is no longer available online: