from behind

Sometimes it’s interesting to take a different perspective. Instead of photographing something or someone, take a different vantage point. I liked the enigmatic backside of this lovely model. Is she leaving? Is she looking at something in the distance we can’t see? Is she getting ready to turn around? Are there any subtle clues in the rise of her shoulder, the direction of her hand, the hang of her skirt? What do you think?


When I complete a piece that speaks to me, I find a feeling of introspection settles over me. Often the subject matter itself reflects that inner state as well. Is the work a projection of my feelings and thoughts, or does it cause those very ruminations to occur. I thinks when a piece “feels right” it causes a dialogue between itself and it’s creator. The work we make and immediately forget and let go of is not why we pursue art. It’s those pieces that maintain a relationship with us that propel us forward.

I’m still having a conversation with this piece. We’re becoming friends…

This started as an image transfer using gel medium onto watercolor paper. The statue was found in the gardens of Mission Dolores in San Francisco, a wonderful tranquil place. I applied a number of watercolor washes over it and the paper and added some tissue paper collage at the top to create texture and soak up more of the paint. I then made a couple of stamps and used acrylic paint to create the patterns around the statue.

Dancing with Paint

I know some who seem to dance with their paints and brushes (see my wife’s work!) – here’s my homage to these artists.

A dancer, emerging from the shadows, engaging with the paint splatters and patterns surrounding her. Their respective movements when combined create a rhythm. I’m curious where the next steps lead.

To make this piece, I first played with black and white acrylic paints on matboard. I photographed the result and combined with with one of my figurative photographs from my “transits” series. Finally, I applied a sepia tone to the final work. I haven’t decided yet how I’m going to print this one…

A Little of this, a little of that…

There are a number of wonderful apple orchards nearby (though they’re rapidly being replaced by a better “cash” crop, namely grapes). Apple trees have very different personalities in each season, from the vibrant blossoms of spring to the bare austerity of winter. The latter is a look I particularly like. Trees denuded of their fruit and foliage, patiently waiting for the time to bloom, convey to me a composure found in nature that I envy (and sorely lack!).

In this piece I started with a transfer using gel medium and then created the rest of the “landscape” using watercolor, sumi ink and iridescent pastels. I also used some acrylic stamping to add some geometry to the otherwise organic setting. I guess I got everything in there!

Mixed Media Collage Adventures

In addition to photography, I also have done some painting in recent years, mainly pastels, but also some acrylics. I really like the textural capabilities of both of these mediums.

This piece is a recent effort in mixed media collage. I started with a background made using acrylics, soft and oil pastels and tissue paper. I then took pieces of giclee prints of 2 of my paintings that I did of street scenes in San Francisco and added them to this background.

Collage is very challenging for me because there is so much you can do and knowing when to stop or what is too much for the eye is not always obvious. My plan is to integrate this type of work with some of the experiments I’m doing with image transfers and overprinting with inkjet printers.

Yikes, my wife tells me I’m making all of this too complication and, as usual, she’s right! But it does make it interesting to see what happens.

Image Transfers

I’ve been experimenting with different image transfer techniques – one of the things I love about them is that there is often a distressed look to the images once they’ve transferred (another textural quality I seek). The distressed quality is random and natural looking, a hard characteristic to introduce to an image intentionally.

This image is part of a series of photographs I did last year with models titled “transits” (you can see more of this work on my website I combined movement of the camera with movement of the models and various exposure settings in an attempt to introduce an ethereal quality to the images.

This transfer was created by printing the image out on smooth watercolor paper and making a xerox copy of the print. I coated the xerox copy with gel matte medium, turned it image side down and applied it to another watercolor paper, applying enough pressure to transfer the image. After letting the gel dry completely I rubbed off the paper from the xerox copy with wet fingers.

This image is entitled “coy” and the introspective character of it is supported by the ephemeral quality of the transfer technique, I think.

I’m taking a workshop on various image transfer techniques next weekend (there are lots of ways to do it!), so hopefully I’ll be posting some different looks next week.

Inaugural Post

Welcome to my art blog!

After watching my wife, Susan, have such fun with her blog, especially meeting such interesting people all over the world, I’ve decided that I’d like to play too. After all, I was the one who patiently explained to her two years ago just what a blog was (having just read a book about them myself to find that out).

I have been making art in one form or another for the past 12 or 13 years. When I started, I was into photography, which remains an essential part of my work. I took a detour through painting for a few years, primarily pastels and some acrylics, but in the past several years have returned to photography.

At the moment I am experimenting with a number of alternative digital printing techniques (did I mention that I own a Digital Fine Art Printing studio in California?). I’m not real interested in “straight” photography anymore but in combining photography with traditional media and techniques.

Lately I’ve been playing with image transfers, printing on unusual substrates (handmade papers, acrylic gels, etc). So for a while I’ll be showing you some of the results of these art travels. I’d be interested in your comments so, feel free to let me know what you think.

This first piece is an image of grapes at a vineyard just down the street from us (yes, we live in Sonoma County, wine country!). I turned it into a sepia toned image and added some texture to the image by blending in a layer in Photoshop that was a closeup shot of a terracotta urn. I coated a ragged piece of handmade paper with Golden’s Clear Ground (which creates a receptor coating for an inkjet printer) and then output it on my Epson 9800 printer. Finally I coated it first with a Golden Gel gloss topcoat and then their Gel Matte topcoat. I love texture and am always looking for new ways to add texture to photographic images.