Daily Paintworks Pick of the Day

My painting "Plums on White Plate" is a Daily Paintworks pick of the day.

oil on panel
8 x 8
available here


Is my art any good?

We have all wondered at one time or another if our artwork is any good. Who has not walked through a gallery or looked around the internet and seen amazing art, only to doubt our own? 

Don't get so down on yourself! Learn the techniques that help you express what you want, but realize that what you may consider a fault may be part of your personal style. Consider the impressionists like Monet and Van Gogh, whose work was rejected over and over by the mainstream art galleries and "experts" of their day. Now, we love impressionism!

All art is important.  Art is an expression of our time in history, our values and society. Every piece of art has an appreciative audience somewhere and some time.

The more important question to ask is, "Why am I making art?"  For most of us, maybe all of us, making stuff is fun. Whether we sit at our kitchen table or stand in a studio, we love pushing around those paint globs, pencil marks, or ink stains until something interesting emerges. Blissful hours go by, and sometimes you get that "Aha" moment when you smile and the world looks bright.

So, let's stop comparing and enjoy what we do!

It is not really important whether one's vision
is not as great as that of another.

It is a personal question as to whether
one shall live in and deal with his greatest moments of happiness.

----Robert Henri (1865-1929) Painter and teacher


Waiting for inspiration?

I sit in silence and watch the clouds go by on this incredible blue sky morning. This is often how I get an inspiration to paint. If I clear my head for a long enough time, the ideas come. At other times, I can be out and about, just doing normal life activities, and I look at something and see a painting. That is how the piece "Polaroid Land Camera" came about. While in an antique shop, I picked up this camera and just saw the artwork. All I had to do was put it on canvas.

Where do your ideas come from? Let's look at two different takes on inspiration.

Chuck Close has stated, "The advice I like to give young artists, or really anybody who'll listen to me, is not to wait around for inspiration. Inspiration is for amateurs; the rest of us just show up and get to work. If you wait around for the clouds to part and a bolt of lightning to strike you in the brain, you are not going to make an awful lot of work. All the best ideas come out of the process; they come out of the work itself. Things occur to you. If you're sitting around trying to dream up a great art idea, you can sit there a long time before anything happens. But if you just get to work, something will occur to you and something else will occur to you and something else that you reject will push you in another direction. Inspiration is absolutely unnecessary and somehow deceptive. You feel like you need this great idea before you can get down to work, and I find that's almost never the case."

On the other hand, the abstract impressionist Agnes Martin spent the last twenty years of her life painting her best works by patiently waiting for inspiration. She would sit quietly in her studio until an image came to her, as small as a postage stamp, and she would write it down. Then, she would paint that image, often on a six by six foot canvas. In the documentary "With My Back To The World," she said that she once sat for six months waiting for an inspiration.

There are as many ways to be inspired as there are artists. Just as we each have our own style, our own way of looking at the world and interpreting it into our art form, we each have our unique way of finding creative ideas.

Polaroid Land Camera
oil on canvas
30 x 24 x .75


Too much like work

It's been a lovely early fall day here in Florida. The lower humidity let me open the windows most of the day. Imagine tropical breezes softly billowing floor-to-ceiling sheer drapes. Makes me want to paint.

However, there is too much other work to be done. Photos to shoot and color correct. Online postings to create. Not difficult, but not the way I want to spend my day.

There are others having a worse day. They weigh heavy on my mind. A prayer for Vegas.

White Daisies In Purple Vase
oil on panel
8 x 8


The artist is in the studio

and typing away, reinforced by caffeine, to start up this blog again. I hope you like the redesign. Still tweaking it here and there.

I am staring at the keyboard now, trying to figure out how to explain why I took a vacation from blogging. I guess I just needed a break. I have been handling some personal business this year, healing from PTSD, and am feeling better now. 

Then, Hurricane Irma hit last month and WHOA! Being just north of Tampa, we were under mandatory evacuation and ran for Tennessee. Luck was with us, and Irma was a Cat 1, just a very windy storm, when it went over our house. We returned to power on and no damage to the house.

My birthday was also in September. It doesn't matter what day, because we celebrate all month. I think everyone should! 

So, here I am typing. I intend to post more often, sharing what goes on in the day of a creative person. It seems to me that this subject might be more interesting to read about than just seeing pics of my work. I don't think I am particularly interesting, but it seems people like to know more about the art life. Do you agree? I hope you follow along with me.

To start, I would like to share my favorite photo from my birthday party, that of my grand nephew and myself.


How much optimism

does it take to buy art as a Cat 5 hurricane comes towards you?
A gentleman in Bermuda purchased "Toy Top With Tug-O-War" last night, as he prepares for Irma. Today I sit here, watching the spaghetti forecasts slice through my home state of Florida, and I can only imagine why someone would think of art while facing a crisis.
This happened once before, when a New York City customer bought one of my pieces as Sandy raged outside his window. Perhaps art can be healing, giving us a sense of the beautiful during a crisis. If so, I consider it a privilege to create such work.

Toy Top With Tug-O-War
oil on panel
8 x 8


Vintage Airplane Pedal Car

This unusual toy was found in a nearby antique shop. While 1950's pedal cars were often manufactured in the shape of a road vehicle, such as a car or fire truck, the airplane is a rarer find. Researching into the styles of pedal cars made me wish I had a larger garage to start collecting them. So much fun!

Vintage Airplane Pedal Car
oil on panel
8 x 10