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Art / Bagpipes / Caricatures

Fine Art Gallery

Icon of Jesus, prismacolor on illustration board, 11"x 14', 2006.

  Something I am interested in is Orthodox icons. I've been involved in a few icon painting (writing) workshops with a local iconographer who is a Nun associated with an Orthodox Church in Indianapolis. She does some fantastic work with the traditional medium of egg tempera. Since I enjoy working with prismacolor color pencil, I decided to paint (write) an icon in that medium. Interestingly enough (to me at least) some of the earliest icons were done with wax and pigment, which is essentially what prismacolor color pencils are.

 

 

 

Artist Peter Max in Indy, Blue Sweater, prismacolor rubbing on paper, 8"x 10", 2007.

  When artist Peter Max was in Indianapolis a few years ago for an opening of an exhibit of his in an Indy gallery I was able to attend. I had my camera and was able to take a picture of him which I thought would be nice since he was such an inspiration for me once upon a time. Shortly after I took the picture someone came up to me and said "No pictures please. Mr. Max has his own photographer". I'm not sure, but it seemed to me the person who requested no pictures might have been over zealous. I say that because earlier when I spoke with Max he didn't appear to me to be anything other than gracious and friendly. Max did not seem full of himself. Perhaps some in his entourage were.

  This rubbing has been done in an edition of 10. Though each image in the edition is similar, there are variations in each image since each was completely hand done. Working like this allows for a hybrid of sorts. Each is an original, one of a kind, work of art yet each was also produced with the idea of creating a limited edition of 10. The artist's hand created all of each image as apposed to a machine or press creating an image which is then signed by the artist. 

 

 

 

Beach and Cliff, Sint Maarten, Dutch West Indies, watercolor on watercolor paper, 7 1/2"x 10", 2005. Done en plein air (on site) on Cupecoy Beach on the Dutch side of the Caribbean island of St. Martin / Sint Maartin.

 My wife and I spent the day at this beach enjoying the sand, sun and surf... but that wasn't enough for me. I then went and got my watercolors and did two works en plein air. The other one shows our view of the beach side pub called The Cliffhanger. This painting shows the other end of Cupecoy Beach as it appeared at that time. I've been back since I painted this and their are condos built at the top of the cliff now. Progress. I still have sand in some of the colors of my watercolor set.

 

 

 

 

 

But... I'm Doing What You Said! prismacolor rubbing on paper, 8"x 10" (in an 11"x 14" mat), 2007.

This work is an expression of the frustrations of the front-line worker. Individuals who work their hardest daily to do the things that will get the job done, yet seem to have supervisors who appear to believe the front-line person has an unlimited capacity for more work. Interestingly, there are plenty of examples of management practices that illustrate how productivity goes up when the front-line worker is treated with respect and honored as an individual. Not only does production rise, but high morale in the workplace is also a result. High morale equals greater productivity, and thus the wheel is put in motion. Sadly, this simple concept is completely foreign to too many in management who sit and point, expecting the front-line worker to behave like a mindless drone. Management then wonders why morale and production remain low.

This rubbing has been done as a single work and is not part of an edition. However, similar works are planned that would be variations on this theme.

 

 

 

Ferry Boat, Nassau Harbor, watercolor and ink on paper, 6"x 7", 2000.

When in downtown Nassau, Bahamas one can easily see Paradise Island sitting across the harbor. Naturally, when we humans get somewhere we see someplace else we are curious about and then want to go to that place. There are two ways to get to Paradise Island from downtown Nassau. One can cross the bridge or one can take a ferry. During the day time I prefer the ferry. Once I took my family on a walk on the long bridge across to the island while the hot Bahamian sun smiled heavily on us. It wasn't long before I was asking myself "What have I gotten us into"?

 

 

 

 

Great, Great Grandma's Flaggs, 5"x 7" (8"x 10" mat), 1996, laser print and watercolor on paper. These irises were drawn from a photo I took of them as they bloomed and were releasing their perfume at my house in Indiana. The tubers these blossoms grew from are from some that were overgrown at the grave site of my Great, Great Grandma Cummins in the Dogwood Gap cemetery, Casey County, Kentucky. 

 

 

 

 

 

Heavy Hand Paints Yellow, prismacolor rubbing on paper, 5"x 7", 2007.

This rubbing has been done as a single work and is not part of an edition. However, similar works are planned that would be variations on this theme.

 

 

 

Homage to DaVinci... Primarily, prismacolor rubbing on paper, 8"x 10", 2007.

This rubbing has been done as a single work and is not part of an edition. However, similar works are planned that would be variations on this theme.

 

 

 

I Wish They Would Only Take Me As I Am, prismacolor rubbing on paper, 8"x 10", 2008. This rubbing has been done as a single work and is not part of an edition. However, similar works are planned that would be variations on this theme.

 

 

 

Light House, Sanibel Island, Florida, watercolor on watercolor paper, 20"x 30", 2001.

 

 

 

Mississinewa Lake as Viewed From the Frances Slocum Picnic Shelter, 11"x 14", gouache on illustration board, 2008.

This work was done en plein air (on site) during a camping trip on a Labor Day weekend. It was a beautiful day and painting while sitting among the trees, with my daughter painting her own view near by, turned out to be an excellent way to enjoy hours outdoors and time together.

 

 

 

 

Mount Rigi, watercolor on watercolor paper, 2 1/2" 3 1/2", 2004. This Artist Trading Card (ATC) shown here with a Swiss army knife, was done en plein air in Lucerne, Switzerland.

While working on my painting of Lake Lucerne, it started misting a very slight rain. No big drops but an incredibly damp environment to be working in watercolor. As I waited for a part of the lake painting to dry before proceeding further on it, I decided to work on an Artist Trading Card (ATC) watercolor of a slightly different view of the lake before me. This worked out well and had the end result of two completed works. The mottled areas of both paintings were happy accidents that occurred as a result of the watery atmosphere.

I was in Switzerland as a part of a Fellowship I had from the Lilly Endowment Teacher Creativity Fellowship program. Before going to Lucerne I was in Zurich to interview artist M. Vanci Stirnemann, originator of the Artist Trading Card concept and to participate in one of his monthly ATC trading sessions..

 

 

 

Old Barn, Avon, Indiana, watercolor on watercolor paper, 9 1/2"x 14", 2001. Not for sale.

During the first annual Arts of Indiana day held at the Avon, Indiana town hall grounds, I painted this old barn that sits on the property silently reminding everyone of the agricultural roots of this fast growing suburb. That day there were a lot of painters busy capturing the environment in various mediums with a time for judging works later in the afternoon. This painting earned a Purchase Prize from the town of Avon and now hangs in the town hall.  

 

 

 

 

Old Fishing Lodge, Ship Channel Cay, Exumas, Bahamas, watercolor and ink, 2002.

While visiting Nassau, there is an excursion we go on every year that takes us to spend the day on this virtually deserted cay (pronounced key) in the chain of Bahamian islands called Exumas. The company that takes us there is called Powerboat Adventures. My family has been taking this excursion annually for over a decade and it is still a must-do part of our Bahamas itinerary. The scenery is incredible, the snorkeling is fantastic, the beach is pristine and your host (the Powerboat Adventures people) make you feel like family.

I did this painting before the new loading dock was built but other than that the view remains essentially the same.

 

 

Roaming Blue Rooster, Key West, prismacolor on paper rubbing, 8"x 10", 2007. This rubbing has been done in an edition of 5. Though each image in the edition is similar, there are variations in each image since each was completely hand done. Working like this allows for a hybrid of sorts. Each is an original, one of a kind, work of art yet each was also produced with the idea of creating a limited edition of 5. The artist's hand created all of each image as apposed to a machine or press creating an image which is then signed by the artist.

 

 

 

Self Portrait, acrylic on canvas, 24"x 36", 2002.

 

 

 

Summer and Watermelons, oil on canvas, 24"x 36", 2002.

 

 

 

The Green Spider, 6"x 8" (in a 14"x16 1/2" mat), 1999 prismacolor on illustration board.

The only heavy meaning you will find in this is what it brings out in you. This was an experiment with some tools pressed on the illustration board then the fine texture brought out but adding color with prismacolor color pencils. I enjoyed making this, but to date I have only done one other work using this method.  

 

 

 

The Lady Drift Snorkels, watercolor and graphite on watercolor paper.

 

 

 

Lake Lucerne, watercolor on watercolor paper, 8 1/2x 10", 2004. Done en plein air (on site).

While working on this painting of Lake Lucerne, Lucerne, Switzerland, it started misting a very slight rain. No big drops but an incredibly damp environment to be working in watercolor. As I waited for a part of lake painting to dry before proceeding further on it, I decided to work on an Artist Trading Card watercolor of a slightly different view of the lake before me. This worked out well and had the end result of two completed works. The mottled areas of both paintings were happy accidents that occurred as a result of the watery atmosphere.

As I painted at the edge of Lake Lucerne I soon discovered I had inadvertently become a tourist attraction of sorts. People of several nationalities gathered around and took pictures of me, perhaps with the thought that they had stumbled upon a genuine European artist at work. I smiled at them and kept quiet for the most part thinking I didn't want to spoil their gleeful illusion with my Hoosier accent.

I was in Switzerland as a part of a Fellowship I had from the Lilly Endowment Teacher Creativity Fellowship program. Before going to Lucerne I was in Zurich to interview artist M. Vanci Stirnemann, originator of the Artist Trading Card concept.

 

 

 

The Lady of the Cloisters, Paradise Island, Nassau, Bahamas watercolor and ink on paper.

If you meander on the main east-west road on Paradise Island toward the east-middle part of the island, you will discover an unusually quiet spot called the Cloisters. It's a real Once-Upon-a-Time kind of place. There is no hustle, no bustle. Just small stone pillars and a small stone patio/plaza on which the light slapping of gecko feet can be heard as they scamper across the hard expanse. The setting is quiet and serene. Located in the middle of that serenity is an old statue of a pensive looking young woman.

Apparently somewhat sad, the statue has a look about it that conveys the feeling that at anytime she will take a breath and share with you what it is that keeps her on the verge of tears. But she both won't, and can't, tell you what fills her with such melancholy. So silent she stays, appearing to ponder things unknown for the duration of her existence.

As you leave her and go about your own business, this unknown stone lady suffering from her unknown sadness will stay in place at the cloisters carrying on her silent vigil among the tourists, travelers... and care free geckos.

 

 

 

Twin Brothers, watercolor pencil on illustration board, 10"x 13", 2003.

 

 

 

The Shirt Seller, watercolor and ink on watercolor paper, 1999.

After church one Sunday in Nassau I thought I'd go downtown to see what might present itself as subject matter. Most of the shops were closed, as they are every Sunday, but there were still a few vendors out selling their wares. This lady was sitting at a table selling tee-shirts at the corner of Fredericks and Bay Streets. Mostly though she was busy talking to another vendor across Fredericks Street. There was a bench so I sat to capture the shirt seller. As I sketched with my archival ink pen onto the watercolor paper, a little Bahamian girl came up and quietly sat beside me to watch me work. She was dressed in her Sunday finest so I knew she had also just attended church. The little girl never did speak so I eventually decided I would say hello to her, which I did. She still remained silent as she got a look on her face that indicated to me that I must have grown a second head or horns or something. With that new look of wide-eyed semi-horror the little girl quietly got up, never turning her back to me until she was at what she considered a safe distance, and left. Though I was humorously confused, I kept sketching until I finished capturing the scene. I then left to go to our villa and apply color to the work from the notes I had written at the side of my paper. I don't think the shirt seller ever did realize I was there.

 

 

 

 

 

Torn Between Two Loves, prismacolor rubbing on paper, 2008.

This rubbing has been done in an edition of 50. Though each image in the edition is similar, there are variations in each image since each was completely hand done. Working like this allows for a hybrid of sorts. Each is an original, one of a kind, work of art yet each was also produced with the idea of creating a limited edition of 50. The artist's hand created all of each image as apposed to a machine or press creating an image which is then signed by the artist.  

 

 

 

The Red Tent, oil on canvas, 24"x 36", 1997.

Done en plein air (on site) this is a view of a part of downtown Indianapolis, Indiana. When I was painting this, as part of an event called Masterpiece in a Day, I was in a small park called Obelisk Square. Part of the entry agreement in the event was lunch would be provided by the organizers. Consequently I brought something to drink to keep hydrated, but no food. After painting all morning my old paint smudged clothes had a few more marks on them and I was getting pretty hungry. Noon came and went slowly, as time does when ones stomach is chewing on itself, and I was beginning to wonder where my food relief was. I continued to work, unsuccessfully trying to keep my mind off of my empty belly, when a little girl came up to me. She pointed at a white truck and told me that they had sandwiches over there. I smiled and thanked her as I felt my stomach come even more alive with anticipation that it was about to welcome food. The pleasant little girl turned to leave, walked a few paces then turned back to me and said "Oh... they have clothes too".

 

 

 

 

Walking Path, Cable Beach, Nassau, Bahamas, watercolor and ink on watercolor paper,

4"x 6", 1999.

West of downtown Nassau is an area called Cable Beach. Bay Street, the main street in Nassau, splits in two in Cable Beach and between them is a well manicured walking path which proves to be a favorite among walkers and joggers.

 

 

 

 We Won't Work Without Words, multi media, 43"x 36", 2005. Not for sale.

This work was commissioned by Indianapolis based INtake magazine (now called Metromix). That magazine is part of the company that owns the Indianapolis Star newspaper and hangs in their offices in downtown Indianapolis.

 

 

 

The Cliffhanger, ink and watercolor on watercolor paper, 10 1/2"x 8 3/4", 2005.

This work is not for sale. Done en plein air (on-site) on Cupecoy Beach, Sint Maartin, Dutch West Indies. My wife and I spent the day at this beach enjoying the sand, sun and surf... but that wasn't enough for me. I then went and got my watercolors and did two works en plein air. This one shows our view of the beach side pub called The Cliffhanger. I was told that during a certain time of the year, the tide comes up, remains, and completely covers up the beach. It is hard for me to imagine that such a beautiful spot can disappear regularly, but a second source confirmed what I was told.I'm glad the beach was there for us on our visit. I still have sand in some of the colors of my watercolor set.

 

 

 

On the Road to Rousillion, watercolor and ink on paper, 2007.

Started en plein air. On a two week visit to France with a group from Franklin College (my alma mater) we all stopped on the road as we were approaching the town of Rousillion. The view was great and some in our group wanted to capture it with their cameras. Eventually it was time for us to continue on to the town, but two in our group were still taking a few pictures. Knowing they would be done very soon I sat, on the top of some steps that led down to a house, and started sketching with an archival pen this view of the narrow road, the small walls on each side of it and the stuccoed house near by. As I sketched, the two photographers walked around the bend adding a nice touch to my sketch. I later added the watercolor while we stayed in a house in Rustrel, a village near the town of Apt.

 

 

 

Redo, Redone. 1998. Acrylic on ceramic face mask and masonite. 24"x 36".

This self-portrait was originally much different. Unfortunately it was so totally misinterpreted that I completely re did the painting, thus its new title. Situations like this create a discussion on whether an artist should let a work stand and let others deal with interpretation? Or should an artist, who has possibly not communicated well, redo a work to better the intended communication? Since I felt (and still feel) it is the artists responsibility to communicate, an artist should not be offended if others misinterpret the artists intention. Though most of the time the issue is probably best left alone, the overall response (and misinterpretation) to my original work caused me to rethink the job I did in communicating. Consequently, I felt it best to redo the painting.

 

 

 Abandoned For The Season, 14 1/2"x 10", watercolor, watercolor pencil and ink on illustration board. South of Indianapolis, in Trafalgar, Indiana, there is a campground used by churches for various youth camps and retreats. The name of the place is Camp Allandale. Another thing the camp does is rent out its buildings and grounds for other meetings and retreats besides churches. The place where I teach used to have faculty retreats there that were interesting and rejuvenating. During a time set aside for self directed enrichment, I went walking in some woods near a lake in search of subject matter. This took place in February so there was no activity on the lake which made sense because it was so cold outside. As I walked, zig-zagging through the brush, I came upon this rowboat. It appeared to have drifted to its current location. I imagine the boat was quite busy during the summer months, but in February, not so much. I stood and sketched for as long as I could before the cold made it impossible to continue en plein air. I then took refuge indoors and completed the work and was able to have it ready for discussion during the next session of the retreat.

 

 

Ruin at McCloud Park, 2003, gouache on paper.

Done en plein air at a park in rural Hendricks County, Indiana.

 

 

 Red Snapper Dinner, ink and watercolor on paper, 4"x 6".

When getting away from it all, my HQ is a place on Cable Beach just outside of Nassau, Bahamas on New providence Island. The water is beautiful and calls you to it all the time, day or night. Once while coming in from snorkeling late in the day a local man was cleaning his catch for the day. During my conversation with him I learned the fish that was about to be his dinner was a red snapper. He caught it out at the rocks where I had just been snorkeling. One mans recreation is another mans food source.

 

 

Treasure Island Sandpiper, pencil and water soluble pencil on paper, 2000.

Once upon a time Treasure Island, Florida was a vacation retreat for my household. My family spent a lot of time on it's huge beach. In fact it was the first beach that my children ever visited. Since those early days we've put our footprints on many other beaches, but Treasure Island still holds a special place in our family history. This artwork was done one bright and sunny day while I was on the beach at Treasure Island with my wife. She was reading and I was drawing. Love those lazy days in the sun! 

 

 

 

Pink Bridge, Paradise Island, Nassau, Bahamas, gouache on paper, 2002.

Before Paradise Island (across the harbor from downtown Nassau) became the super-mega, MEGA tourist destination it is... it was just a mega destination. Back then there was this small bridge that the ferry from Nassau would go under as it took you to Paradise Island. I think the bridge and the canal that went under it are gone as part of the remodeling that made the place a super-mega, MEGA tourist destination. 

 

 

Blue Umbrella, 2001 watercolor and ink on paper, 8"x 10".

Have you ever attended a workshop where you are in a session on relaxation and you're told to close your eyes and go to your happy place? No? Oh... well... me either. Anyway, I've "heard" of those kinds of sessions and this place is is where I go... err... WOULD go IF I were directed to in one of those sessions which I've never attended. Anyway, this is a place on Cable Beach, Nassau, Bahamas. It's a place where I go to relax, read, paint and just chill. This painting was done en plein air one morning when I had a headache and couldn't sleep, perhaps because of the Excedrin I took a little earlier. The sea was calm, the view was great and the place was empty. Gotta love that combo.