Thursday, December 23, 2010

Manifestations of Man

If you don't look up, you will never know what you are missing!

Friday, December 17, 2010

Modern Fashion

Attendees at an Austrian fashion show in Shanghai, Peoples Republic of China.

Friday, December 10, 2010

Vanishing Art Form?

Here is a master at work, on the sidewalks of Beijing, just behind the Summer Palace. I have it on good authority, that this calligrapher knows what he is doing. As he paints with a water filled brush, the characters vanish as he writes.

I am told that the fine art of Chinese calligraphy, which requires years of diligent study and practice, is proving ever more difficult to learn, and is now yielding fewer true masters than before. The digital age is demanding more of the student's time, leaving fewer hours to learn the myriad characters, and perfect the brush strokes. Brush strokes are giving way to computer keystrokes.

What will come of all this? Will an art form be lost to time? No one is to say.

Tuesday, November 30, 2010


Keep looking up.


I was fortunate enough to revisit the Museum of Modern Art yesterday. With everything I saw, I think this painting, Picasso's Girl Before a Mirror, rated at the top. A striking work, it looks even way better in person, that is, the scale, the color, composition, mood, etc. The listener is included for scale, missing when the work is viewed on line or in print.

Friday, November 19, 2010

Quick and Fun

It's amazing how much fun you can have, dragging an image into Photoshop, and playing around with it for a minute or so, transforming it to your liking.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Red Nude

"Red Nude" is a new work. Building on several layers of unsatisfying effort, the end result was pure fun.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Fresh Air

Monday's frustrating session in the studio, yields results on Wednesday, after I had time to let the paint dry and revisit several canvases I was working on. Like a breath of fresh air, the above work is aptly titled.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Modern, All In Its Day

Modern Art is a product of the 20th century, er, I don't think so. Take a look at this Greek sculpture from 2,500 BCE, in the collection of the Seattle Art Museum. It almost could pass as early 20th century AD. It reminds me of a Modigliani sculpture.

Maybe there really isn't much new under the sun, as noted in Ecclesiastes. I recently heard Julian Schnabel say, "it isn't who did it first, it's who did it last.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

SAM and Company

We saw yet another fabulous exhibition at the Seattle Art Museum, more on that later. The Master, Picasso that is, just shined.

I got him to sit very still for his portrait. Actually, it's amazing how good an image you can get with a digital point and shoot, hand held, with no flash, cropped and enhanced in Photoshop.

Imaginative and Fun

Blue Man Group really delivers!

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

What You See

What you see is what you get, that is, when you mount a telephoto lens on your SLR, point it out the window on a rainy day, all in fun, and the camera auto focuses on the window pane and not some feature in the distance. The results look good to me.

As I like to say, you don't see that every day.

Monday, October 25, 2010

Ab Ex NY

I had the good fortune of doing a photo shoot in Manhattan on Friday, just a few blocks away from the Museum of Modern Art. With timing being what it is, the Abstract Expressionist New York exhibition was in full swing. I can't say enough about just how satisfying it was to view this show.

Here is a visual testimonial.

Among other observations, I have a new found appreciation of the work of Robert Motherwell.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Loose and Fun

I decided that my approach to art and creativity has become way too tight, careful, and constricted. Above is my latest exploration into all that is spontaneous, fun, and unrestricted. It felt good. My plan is to leave this canvas as is, that is, it will not be covered with gesso, only to be reworked later, as I often may be inclined to do. I prefer to go with the flow and keep this work as a reminder of a journey that is carefree, loose, and fun, perhaps, more how life should be.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Up Close and Digital

As I mentioned in a previous post, with digital SLRs being substantially more complicated to operate as opposed to the film SLRs of the past, such as the Nikon F2 that I cut my teeth on, it is important to keep current with the camera, staying familiar with, at least, the rudiments of it's capabilities. Once you arrive at a photo shoot, it's a little late to try to bone up on the fine workings of the camera, when you should be snapping into action.

I took advantage of this autumn rainy day to pull out my trusty old 60mm AF Micro Nikkor, a lens that is equally adept at macro work as it is with so called "normal" shooting, as, at 60mm, it approximates how the human eye would normally see. Well, the fun has just started, and I post one example above, a shot staged with very little set up.

With digitals, the results are immediate, no need to load the film and little need to bracket any shots through the wonder of Adobe Photoshop. There is no waiting for viewing, processing, or otherwise. Of course, there are things you can do with film that you either can't do with digital photography, or are limited, such as extreme F stop work, at one end of the spectrum or the other. This kind of depth of field manipulation seems compromised. Also, film is its own medium, with warm, specific results, that really can't be duplicated digitally.
However, after experiencing digital fun, there is no going back to the past that can be anticipated. There is nothing like shooting two hundred photos in a row, without pausing to reload. You can't do that with film.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

If You Have Two Friends

A morning spent oil painting in the studio yields equal measures of satisfaction and frustration, like two old friends come to visit.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Da Fu Wong

As my Chinese friends like to call me Da Fu Wong, which translates as Big Old Rich Guy, above is my name as written in Chinese.

Of the three characters, the left character means big (like a big man holding his arms out), the middle character is a large house sitting on a farm (you're rich), and the right character is, I think, a bunch of birds sitting around (wise old guy).

What a rich fascinating language!

Self Portrait

It's all in the point of view, in this case, on the street looking up at a cantilevered architectural overhang at the Seattle Public Library, a building like none other that I know.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010


Variety, repetition, interplay of positive and negate space (notan). Yeah, that does it!

Thursday, September 16, 2010

What Was,What Is

Sometimes I long for this place, but it doesn't even exist anymore.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010


The visual interest inherent in the tasteful juxtaposition of contrasting materials.

Artist Unknown

The artistry of the stone wall.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010


The splendor of a dead tree on Mount Desert Island in Maine, redone, as a sepia tone. The tree is dead, but not lifeless, enduring in majesty.


The streets of Beijing. Notice the guide walk for the blind, center strip, a legacy from the 2008 Beijing Olympics.

Monday, August 23, 2010

Abstract Notion, Part 2

Pastel image du jour. Yes, I am in it for the fun.

Friday, August 13, 2010

Point of View

A viewpoint on the Great Wall. Mostly, it must have been quite peaceful, unless of course, the invading hordes were at the door.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

West Meets East

West meets east at this Austrian fashion show hosted in Shanghai, Peoples Republic of China.

It is a classic situation of life, imitating art, imitating life, where the model does an admirable job of doing her best mannequin impression of a live model. Very impressive!

Wednesday, July 28, 2010


The image that appeared to me in the intermittent phase of sleep and waking, recreated digitally.

Monday, July 26, 2010

Life After Life

The splendor of the dead tree.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Port in a Storm

After a photoshoot yesterday, I hurried back to the car amid a rainstorm and packed my camera away. I noticed this little marvel of nature, a poetic metaphor for all that is free and beautiful in this world, taking refuge on the road under my engine compartment. It must have been battered around by the raindrops and was lucky to find some shelter, even though it was still struggling a bit in the elements. I quickly unpacked the camera and took a few photos, admiring the design, color and magic of this little wonder. I was quick about capturing a few images, being concerned with the camera, digital cameras being more susceptible to mortal damage in wet conditions as opposed to the old film cameras, like my trusty Nikon FM2, a camera that could keep shooting even with a completely dead battery.

After capturing a few images, I decided that I couldn't just drive off and leave this little one to get pelted by raindrops, so I tried to see if it would accept a lift, which it did quite readily, getting comfortable in the palm of my hand. I brought him into the car so that I could drop off the camera, and then placed him under the shelter of a low, mushroom shaped light fixture. The whole experienced capped off a great day of digital photography.

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Great Artists Steal

"Picasso Looks at Degas" is a wonderful exhibition at a wonderful museum, The Clark, in Williamstown, Massachusetts.

Yes, Picasso was a great artist, and yes, he stole. Here he stole from one of the best. Degas more than holds his own here, he shines. This exhibition is well worth the pilgrimage.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Fun With Closeup 05

Now that the paint has dried on this 12" x 48" oil painting, I think it's time to have some digital fun.
Yeah, that's satisfying.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

In Step

Another blessed session in the studio, and I've been having tons of fun. I am really thinking that everyone should try this! If everyone could put all the destruction and mayhem on hold, and just give creativity a try, oh what a world we would live in!

Monday, June 14, 2010

In Process

I had the good fortune to spend most of another day in the studio today, with considerably less frustration than I experienced in my last session. In addition to tapping back in to the fun factor, which I consider to be critically important, I explored a host of unorthodox techniques, with, I believe, some success. I was able to get from stage to stage in the process with satisfaction.

Is the painting done? Probably not, but I feel that I am closing in on this one, and given that it has been some time since I completed an oil painting, that really feels good. Today, once again, I also recognized the value of the creative process, with respect to the logistics of crafting something, that is, in the moment to moment thought processes of evaluating proportions, light and dark, color applications etc., and then applying those thoughts into action. Yes, this is good for the soul.

I feel the excitement that comes with wondering how I will view this work in progress as the hours advance. Several days ago, I wondered if I would have to cut the canvas out of the frame, a rare but unfortunate necessity if a canvas reaches the point of no return on account of it being entirely over worked. This is a pleasant turn of events.

Thursday, June 10, 2010


Today was the first day back in the studio in quite some time. Well, it has been anything but some kind of normal year for me. I have had creative endeavors, but in recent months, those haven't been while standing in front of a canvas.

This morning I was primarily occupied with covering several unfinished canvases with a layer of gesso, followed by a rather long episode of creative frustration, which I wondered if I should learn to love, if not embrace, as part of the creative process. I finished the session with the above sketch, done in charcoal and gesso on canvas, with limited satisfaction.

Yes, I think I am still processing my recent trip of wonder to the Peoples Republic of China.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Look Now

As words cannot mean the same thing today, as they did yesterday, so too, images cannot evoke the same feeling today as in days past.

What do I see, when I look into this image from my sketchbook? I see both the splendor and the isolation of the road.

Yes, both are keenly felt.

Thursday, June 3, 2010


A garden, centuries old, complete with trees, pagodas, and excavated lake stones. A stunning architectural wonder. The perfect place for reflection, meditation and peace, and all in the center of Shanghai.

A carry over from a previous world, and a blessing in the modern world.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Art of the Sword

The elegant moves learned by this old master in his youth, still come naturally to him in his old age. His dance is in the gardens that lead to the Temple of Heaven, in Beijing, Peoples Republic of China.

Friday, May 28, 2010

Architectural Refresh, Beijing Style

A tower in Beijing, that, to me at least, appropriately says "Chinese design". The building displays playful design and visual interest, all with a little digital fun added on my part.

Monday, May 24, 2010

Truly Great

I have been away for a while. I appreciate your patience, and for checking in. Yes, I have been on hiatus, far away. Nearly 7,000 miles away to be precise. I have seen great things, among them, one of the design and engineering marvels of the world. Yes, I have walked on the Great Wall.

As the Chinese say, now I am a man.

Friday, May 7, 2010

Design and Utility, All Over Again

I was just notified that I received another patent, in this case, a United States utility patent. There is no remuneration involved, but it does feel oh so good. To view the entire patent, click here, and enter "US 7707711" in the form.

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

The Incarnation of Purpose, Part 2

A gathering place in Great Barrington, Massachusetts. Was, many decades ago, a bank. Now, a coffee shop, a place to share a double espresso, or, a martini. Next, well, who is to say?