Perspective After the Marathon

Hi everyone, I’ve reached that special place in time where my newest body of work is all done and ready to be shipped off to the gallery. The feeling of completion is incredibly gratifying. A key component of that feeling is getting to see all of the work...

Making Your Mark

Hi everyone, It’s incredibly gratifying to finish a painting. Seeing everything completed and in the right place – it’s like coming home at the end of a long journey. There’s just one thing left to do: the signature. Now, not every artist signs...

The Visual Hierarchy

Hi Everyone, When I start a painting, I rarely do so with any particular goal in mind. It is more about simply putting marks down on the panel, seeing what develops and going from there. In a very real sense you could say the painting tells me where to go next. At a...

The Space Between

Hi Everyone, The best paintings are like your favorite songs; there is a rhythm, a sense of pushing your ear from one beat to the next, all the while providing enough space for the listener to savor each sonic peak and valley. It is this interplay between spaces and...

The Conversation of Your Composition

Hi Everyone, When working on a piece, I am always trying to make sure as much of the surface as possible is activated, that there is enough movement to guide the viewer’s eye throughout the entire painting. One effective way to do this is to use color. I’m...

Remove to Reveal

Hi Everyone, A key part of my practice is building up layers, and then removing them partially to reveal what is underneath. Case in point: I recently decided to make a piece that was predominantly red. But rather than just cover the surface entirely in red paint, I...

The Secret to Making Interesting Art

Hi Everyone, As I’m getting ready for my upcoming show I’m trying to make sure every piece is being developed at the same level. What this means however, is that the pieces that are not as strong really stand out from the others. The question then becomes,...

Differences in All Things

Hi Everyone, In last week’s Sunday blog I discussed the importance of differences, and how to bring them into your work. This week, I wanted to continue that discussion, but from a broader view. Specifically, I wanted to share with you how inviting differences...

The Loud and the Quiet Conversation

Hi Everyone, If there is one word I could use to describe the most important idea behind what I teach, that word would be differences. Now of course, everyone knows what that word means, but in the context of how I teach, the best way to demonstrate just how crucial...

Be Bold and Begin

  Hi Everyone, Starting a new piece can be a bit like traveling to someplace new without a map – you may know a little about where you’re going, but without directions it will take you longer than it should to arrive. With that in mind, when I begin a...

The 30,0000 foot view

Hi Everyone, It’s no secret that in order to grow we must be willing to try new things, to open ourselves to different and unfamiliar experiences. That is how we become better people. Art is no different – if you want to become a better artist, you must be...

Essential Tools Part 2: Gloss Medium

Hi Everyone, With last week’s video blog, I showed you how I use the trowel in my work. I had such an outpouring of feedback from that video that I thought I would show you another one of my favorite tools: gloss medium. This is a great tool for creating...

Essential Tools: The Trowel

Hi Everyone, With much of my work, it seems like I am trying to strike a balance between two opposites: quiet versus bold, strong versus subtle, controlled marks versus those that are more spontaneous. A key part of pulling this off successfully is having the right...

Feeling or Thinking?

Hi Everyone, Sometimes I think I just can’t hold everything in my brain. So many times when making my art, I make the same mistakes. Painting is so absolutely transporting, so distracting, that you can forget everything you ever learned. I know this is so frustrating....

Here is what Happened

Hi Everyone, Thanks for all the comments last week about finding clarity in your art. Since I had so many ask to see how that painting turned out, I thought, this week, I would show you. After last week’s vlog I kept painting and once I had established some strong...

Are You Clear?

Hi Everyone Sometimes our lives can feel so full. This can feel good but it also can be overwhelming. This week I am going through dozens of old boxes of stuff I stored in my studio 5 years ago. So much of it I no longer need or even remembered I owned. I don’t think...

Is your art like a toadfish?

Hi Everyone Here is my secret way I get unstuck in my art. I just ask myself one question. What do I love in this painting? Is it the color? Is it the tiny rabbit in the lower left corner? Or is it the expressive, charcoal lines that criss cross at the top? Of course,...

Is your studio like mine?

Hi Everyone, I tried to couch it as “this is just what a creative studio looks like”, but now it has gotten so disorganized that excuse just won’t work anymore. So… this week’s video is all about messiness and organization. Or put another way… right brain...

What is Your Story? Are You Listening?

Hi Everyone, Happy Sunday! I hope you are getting to the studio today. On Sundays, before I head to the studio, I usually do a long but slow run on Mt Tamalpais And when I do I often listen to audio books. The one I am listening to now is Daniel Pink’s “A Whole New...

A Point Of Focus

I have been working on several large pieces in my studio over the last few weeks, and one in particular is starting to come together a little faster than the rest. This is somewhat typical of my process, where I begin a body of work at the same time, and eventually...

Learning To Let Go

I was looking at several nearly finished pieces and I noticed something: with this new body of work, I’ve been leaving more of the original first marks I make, as opposed to covering everything up. This is a bit different from what I normally do, and I am liking...