Paint From Life or Photos?

Especially since the advent of good, inexpensive digital cameras, the debate about whether to use photo references has become almost sectarian. Purists admonish us to paint “only from life.” Yet the instructional art magazines regularly ... Read More...

Uber Umbers and Other Colors from the Earth

Throughout the ages since the very first scrawls were made in caves and tribal hunting events were recorded on walls, people have been using colors made of ochres, umbers, madders, bugs, mummies, minerals, shells, iron oxides, and plants. ... Read More...

Practicing Art

It has always struck me as odd that physicians “practice” medicine. Aren’t they ever done? Of course not--doctors are required to learn new things--they must keep up with the latest science and treatments. With this in mind, I decided to ... Read More...

How deep is your space?

At one of my always stimulating dinners with my late friend Zyg Jankowski, he said to me that the first decision a painter has to make about his work is a spacial one: how "deep" do you want to make the picture? John Carlson felt that ... Read More...

The Price of Success

We all define success differently but I think there is one common element that tells us that we have achieved something, and at the same time can easily becomes a burden that starts to interfere with our art.  To define it in one word, it ... Read More...

Why I Paint En Plein Air

The thermometer in the car topped out at 104 degrees on the way home. I walked in the door after a frustrating morning out in the field feeling spent and exhausted. I had set the alarm for 4 a.m. so that I could get up and get out to my ... Read More...

When the Money Doesn’t Follow

Back in the 90’s there was a popular idea, "do what you love - the money will follow." That seemed plausible, and for many of us in the world of art, this has become a reality. Many painters are sitting on lucrative art careers either ... Read More...