Islands In The Sea

Islands In The Sea

Monday, February 2, 2015

Something New

     It's always good to try something new. I find that whenever I go out on a limb and open myself up to a new experience, I'm able to take that newness back to my own work. It adds a new--and sometimes much needed--facet to my process. Baby steps are good. Big, scary leaps can offer big rewards. You have to find the  level of risk you're comfortable with...and then go for it.
     For me, the latest new experience is going to be teaching a three part workshop on classical figure drawing techniques. I'm really happy to have this opportunity and can thank my good friend Derek Gundy and the great folks over at Artists' Edge for making it available to me.  I teach art every day, at the high school level, so it may not seem like one of those big, scary leaps to teach a small workshop--but I'm expecting this to be a very different experience for me and I'm very excited to get it going.
     I hope there are some of you out there that will see this workshop and think of it as an opportunity of your own.  Is it a baby step? Maybe you used to draw all the time and want to shake some rust off and get back into it, with a little help. Maybe it's a leap of the big, scary variety--your first workshop, perhaps---NO IDEA what to expect! How cool is THAT?!!?
     If you think this workshop might be a leap worth taking, for you, you can click here to head on over to the class page and sign up. There is limited space so you should reserve your spot early.

Wednesday, June 18, 2014


As another school year, my fifteenth here, has come to a close, I find myself thankful. These last couple of months have been truly hectic--I've had conferences and shows and student showcases and spring football to coach, too. While, in the moment, I may complain about the stress of juggling all of these things I am genuinely thankful for all of the opportunities these thing provide. I'm thinking of this thankfulness because tonight I'm heading over to the Cultural Arts Foundation Northwest meeting to review what I gained from the NAEA Conference, my attendance at which was funded by the CAFN's generous professional grant. This is a great organization that's been around since 1985 and sponsors things like the Poulsbo Arts Festival and the Art In The Woods studio tours in addition to helping artists, like yours truly, advance their career through their grant program. If you've never checked out this worthy organization, I highly reommend heading over to their page at:

The NAEA conference gave me some great ideas and guidance for my professional development, as an artist--most of which I am only now getting the chance to start applying. I learned some important tips to help me make this blog site the best it can be, I learned about sites like Weebly, where I now have a site that is taking shape, little by little. You can see it here:
I also learned about some other resources for promoting my work, which I've been able to ask some local artist pals about, since my return. I now have a spot on Fine Art America where prints of my work are stating to become available. You can see that print shop here:
I am working on installing a widget that will let me place the Fine Art America print store directly on my Weebly site and/or this blog page so that you all don't have to click through to fifteen different pages to find the content you want.
I'm always interested in your feedback on not only my work but how it is presented to you. If you find things easy to navigate and have a great experience selecting and buying a print, I want to know! By the same token, I want to hear if you experience difficulty with any of my pages so that I can address any issues as quickly as possible. I always want to make sure that you know that, among the many things I am thankful for, you are high on the list. I love the fact that I can communicate with you through my artwork, no matter how far away you are. So thank you---without you I'm just talking to myself--it's so much more fun to share the experience. :)

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Sleep Is Overrated

The last couple of weeks have been very busy! I started spring break off with a trip to San Diego for the National Art Education Association annual conference. This is the absolute best professional development opportuntity there is for art teachers and a great opportuntiy for practicing artists, as well. I was able to attend because of a generous grant from the good folks over at the Cultural Arts Foundation Northwest. If you are unfamiliar with this organization, please click on over and give them a look at:  They do a ton of good work for the local arts community and can always use more support. I went to the conference with more of a focus on things that could help me, as a professional artist--and I wasn't disappointed. From the amazing, inspiring works at the San Diego Museum of Art to some amazingly helpful sessions on promotion and web tools to the great food in the Gaslamp district (check out Meze'--  -- if you ever find yourself down there!), the trip was a complete success! I already can't wait until next year's NAEA conference, which will be down in New Orleans!

Just because I came home to the remainder of Spring Break didn't mean it was time to relax. After a short, one day of recouperation, it was right back into the studio to put finshing touches on the works for my show at Frodel Galley. The show is up now and I'm very proud of how it looks. The difference between completed works, scattered around the studio and completed works, hung the way they were intended to be viewed, just can't be understated. I hope that you will be able to join me at the reception for this show on the 24th of April, from 5:30-7pm. Please click over to: to find the e-vite to this reception.

 Here is the entry to the Frodel Gallery. It is a great space!
Paintings just make more sense up on the wall rather than scattered around the studio! 

These are some of the drawings on display at the show.

And the fun didn't stop there! After hanging the Frodel show I brought some other pieces over to The Global Bean, in Silverdale to hang as part of the second annual, Teachers As Artists, show. Several art educators from the area have pieces up--it's a great little show and I'm thankful that our local Washington Art Education Association representative, Lorinne Lee, takes the time to organize it for us. You can check out the Global Bean here:

Here are the pieces I have hanging at The Global Bean
Since hanging the shows I have been working on putting a new, main web site together. This site will be the main landing spot for my professional art career and, as you can see in the screen capture below, this blog is prominently linked right at the top. It's still in the construction phase but feel free to put it in your favorites and check back often to see what's new. The next order of business for the site will be to set up the store so that I can begin to offer prints of my works. The site is at: .

Monday, March 24, 2014

Go With The Flow

Sometimes you just have to give in. That's not something that comes very easily to me but I find that my work improves when I stop trying to force a particular idea on to the canvas in a particular way and instead leave room for the piece to develop through me. The further along you are with a piece, the harder it is to change your tack. You've got time, paint and usually some emotion already invested in what's up there. However, if you can let yourself be a little brave, the payoff can be big.

This piece started out looking completely different than it does now. It was still a late afternoon-dusk painting, set on the water--but the light and palette were all bright blues and yellows and browns. It was more of a marshy scene at the edge of some small corner of a bay. I got it up and running and then put it aside as I worked on other pieces. I kept putting it back on the easel and then taking it off when I just couldn't get myself to work it any further. It was as if the canvas just didn't want to be that painting. So, last night, I just started painting over it. I squirted a big line of violet across the top of the canvas...right from the tube. I changed the palette, and mood completely--keeping it near the water's edge but moving to the ocean from the bay. Hours had passed in what seemed like no time at all and now I can't wait to get back to it and continue developing the work. There is still quite a way to go on this piece but the idea is strong and I know I won't find myself staring the piece down, trying to force the next bit of paint on to it.

That other painting may come back someday, on a canvas that wants it---but for now I'm very happy that I was able to quiet my mind and go with the flow into this new direction.

This and many other new works will be included in my show at Frodel Gallery, in Poulsbo, next month. The reception will be on April 24th from 5:30-7PM.

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Unexpected Surprise

It's funny, how the creative process works. I sat down to work on a particular canvas, this weekend, and found that I just couldn't get my mind or my brush into it. Rather than throw in the towel for the day, I grabbed a fresh canvas and started laying down an idea that had been kicking around in the back of my noggin for a while now. Surprise, surprise...the work just flowed right out of me! This piece is a little ways from being totally complete but the bulk of the work is done--and in one sitting. A wasted day in the studio turned into a day in which I produced a work that is an important piece of this current show.

The idea here is that this is the jumping off point for the other works. It has a beautiful dusky sky, the trees, the fireflies, the boat...---all the objects that show up as symbols in so many of my other works. I even plan to have an old ladder will be leaning up against that boat soon, as well. The cool meadow bordered by the woods is an amalgamation of several yards and fields from my youth in Long Island--and I can really almost smell the cut grass and honeysuckle in the air when I look at it.

This as yet untitled 18" x 24" acrylic work will be on display at the Frodel Gallery for the month of April. The reception fo rthis show will be on April 24th, from 5:30-7PM.

Monday, March 10, 2014

Save The Date!

The date of my show at The Frodel Gallery, in Poulsbo, is being moved to accommodate a large group that would like to attend. The reception will now take place on Thursday April 24th from 5:30-7pm. Here is the updated poster as well as a preview of some more of the works you will see there. Hope you can make it!

Observe 16" x 20" Acrylic

Dogma 11" x 14"  Graphite

To The Ends of The Earth  24" x 36" Acrylic

Friday, March 7, 2014

New Work, New Show!

I've been very busy in the studio lately, getting ready for my new show at Frodel Gallery, in Poulsbo. The one-man show will be up for the month of April and there will be a reception on April 11th, from 6:30-8pm. I hope you can make it! Below are some of the new pieces that will be in the show.

The Non-Locals  11" x 14" graphite

Bright Idea 11"x 14" graphite

The Five  24"x 36" acrylic

Hope 30" x 40" acrylic