August 01, 2017

We Have a Winner

Way behind on my blog, but back in March I was very pleased and honored to win First Place Winner in the Emerging Artist category in the monthly on-line Art Muse Contest, with my entry Pioneer Daughter. This particular painting also won Directors Choice award in the annual BayArts juried competition in Bay Village, Ohio. Needless to say, or maybe I do need to say, that in my journey and efforts to improve as a painter, this was one painting in which a lot of things just seemed to go right. It certainly doesn't always happen, but when it does happen it feels pretty good. It was reassuring to receive the validation of what I was feeling by doing well with this painting.

Which leads me to the following segue.

Should we as artists enter juried shows and competitions? What do they mean? What purpose do they serve? Are they a valid measure of skill, creativity, progress, etc? That question it turns out is a fairly personal one. Not personal in the sense that it's something that I feel I have to keep to myself, but rather that the reasons are going to vary from person to person. I can only say that for me, I feel as though they do serve a purpose. In my view when I enter a juried competition I am in a sense asking the juror(s) for their critique of my work. Granted, it's a very stark critique. I'm not getting detailed feedback on what might be lacking in their view. But I'm accepting of whatever decision they make and I don't complain. If I don't get accepted (which has up to this point been more often than not) I take it as impetus to work harder and to take a more honest look at what I could do better in the future. I find honest and qualified critique from someone I respect to be golden. I seek it out actively. I do try to self-critique, but sometimes it seems we can just be blind to our own bad tendencies. So having that second set of eyes to me is really key to learning and making progress.

Anyway, just a few of my thoughts on participating in juried shows and competitions.

Pioneer Daughter
12 x 16 Oil on Linen

June 05, 2017


While in Atlanta at the annual conference for the Portrait Society of America I was able to hobnob with a number of artists that I'd never actually met personally, which was really enjoyable. One of the artists I had the opportunity to meet was Debby Lucille Bird, a figurative and portrait painter from Kentucky. Debby was so friendly and warm and as we talked and I got to know her a little more she'd mentioned that she kept a blog where she interviewed artists who were also parents and how they kept those two thing balanced.

Anyway, for some reason Debby felt that I was worthy of being interviewed for her blog. If you're curious about my reflections on maintaining and balancing a career as an artist and being a parent you can find the interview on her website over here!

January 02, 2017

Long Overdue Update

So it's been a long time since I've blogged here. There are several reasons, and I think they're all mostly good ones.

One of the reasons is that I've been fairly busy painting, trying new things, and just trying to improve in general. Lately, anytime I finish a painting, if I think it's a keeper I've been adding it to my website  rather than blogging about it here, so there are several new paintings that I haven't blogged about.
I'm not going to go back and try to tell my thoughts about each one of those more recent paintings. Instead I'll just put up this one to give a sense of where I'm at lately. This most recent painting was a pretty fair challenge. The photo I used as reference had to be altered a fair amount compositionally and color-wise. Painting from life a lot and studying other artist's paintings whose work I admire has helped a lot in terms of color and seeing shapes. Working as a professional illustrator has gone a long way towards recognizing good composition. I still have many aspects I want to improve in but all in all things are going in a good direction. I'm hoping for even greater break-through paintings/milestones this year. Just have to keep my nose to the old grindstone.

Mother Natures Son
Oil on Canvas 9 x 15

October 02, 2016

My New Website

I haven't been all that active on this blog because lately I've been trying to get my website together.

I don't have all my images up on it yet but I have enough that I thought I'd go ahead and publish it anyway. 

Check it out here:

Hope you like it.

May 24, 2016


Something I haven't tried much in a while are still-life. I had some flowers I had bought thinking I would use them together in a figurative piece. That one didn't work out as well as I'd hoped. I'm sure I'll return to it eventually. I don't take defeat easily. In the meantime, I thought, I had better make use of some of these great flowers, so I put together a little floral in container situation to paint. Waste not want not, right?

Sorry for all the glare. I had a difficult time getting a shot without glare. I'll eventually post a better shot, but this will do for now.

Oil on Linen - 9 x 12