Yellow Lilies I
20” x 24” oil on canvas
I used dramatic colors to paint flowers and vase realistically with well-designed background. I also created varied textures and lines to enhance the contemporary realism.
Exotic Cascade III – The Belles of the Ball
16” x 28” oil on panel
I treat my florals like portrait or figurative studies – setting them apart from their natural environment and composing them in flowing forms balanced between positive and negative spaces. Like figures in a Rubens composition cascading through space, I do so by taking advantage of the incredible variety of lilies available to me. My floral paintings have become a partnership of sorts, as over the years my wife has created an incredible garden which includes over 125 kinds of lilies – Asiatic, Oriental, Trumpet, Tiger, Orienpets, daylilies – amounting to hundreds and hundreds of blossoms throughout the season. It’s truly a feast for the senses! All of my florals are painted from life on either cherry wood or Russian birch panels during the summer months, allowing me to take full advantage of maximum natural north light during the long Minnesota summer days. I have always admired the great 16th and 17th century Dutch and Flemish painters, and through my florals pay homage to them, I remember always that I live in the present…21st century.
16” x 20” oil
I grew up in Corpus Christi, Texas, and had Bougan Villa covering my large front porch. It was constantly ablaze with brilliant fuschia and magenta colored blossoms. So, when I had the opportunity to paint in Italy, and then visit the Isle of Capri, I was captivated by the beauty of the Bouan Villa there. This painting is from an adobe wall covered with the flower. I started the painting with transparent darks and shadow colors and then added heavier opaque lights… even threw and spattered some colors. I had a great deal of fun painting this.”
Sedona Sin Rojo
18” x 24” oil on canvas
I had allowed a few extra days for touring after attending the artist reception for my exhibition at the Scottsdale Fine Art Gallery. While in Sedona I took a lot of photographs to use as references for future paintings. I was struck by the unusual purple color of one variety of cactus and took a lot of photos, hoping to use it as my next subject. After sorting through the images, I selected a view that pictured the cactus from above. Rather than use the entire cactus, I cropped it close to create an abstract pattern. I chose an 18×24 linen canvas as a substrate. I mixed my paints from powdered pigments using black oil that I produced by heating raw linseed oil with litharge. I also made Maroger medium, which I prefer for its rapid drying and glazing properties. The title for the finished work was based on the fact that Sedona is known for its red earth color, but to the contrary I was attracted to the purple cactus. Because of the geographical location, I chose to use Spanish to express the title, “Sedona Without Red.”
La Vie et Le Mort
24” x 18” oil
When selecting a tall vase for fresh roses, my eye caught the Mason jar of dried blooms. Roses of the same color and variety… dissimilar containers of clear glass… flowers in prime and decline… I’m thinking – life’s cycle. Inspiration! “La Vie et Le Mort” was painted in the natural north light of my studio. GAIA is the Italian translation of my first name and is the signature on all my paintings.