Monday, January 16, 2017

Oil Painting: Dinner (unfinished)

Dinner (unfinished)
Oil Paint on Canvas
48" x 48"

This large canvas is part of a small grouping of paintings within my larger series called _Edibility_. This small group of large canvases is exploring meals that we eat. _Dinner (unfinished)_ is a completed painting about food that is not processed or prepared to be eaten. What we consider edible is a funny thing.  We have food products that do not nourish the body, we have food products that harm us, and we have food products that are very healthy but you have to process or cook them to make them edible. We have odd cravings when it comes to food.  Perhaps the strongest craving we have for food is a craving for convenience. In order to have something quick, easily accessed, we are willing to eat items that actually are not good for us. We will eat food that can sit on a shelf for months, or even years, and not change its basic structure or freshness. This says a lot about us as a species.

Saturday, January 14, 2017

A New Year Deserves a New Website

I have revamped my website, stripping it down to essentials, and adding simpler navigation. I was visiting a friend's website and thought her work was so well presented, cleanly, simply, that I decided to change it up on my website.  It had been awhile since I'd changed much on the site, so it was due.  I hope you like the new look. You can visit it at Let me know what you think!

Monday, January 9, 2017

2016 Was A Good Year!

Mixed Nuts
30" x 40"
Oil Paint on Canvas

2016 was a good year at my studio. I started the year in a group show at the gallery of 801 Washington in Minneapolis. Last winter and into the spring there were fun watercolor classes held at Jack-in-the-Pulpit Studio. From the beginning of the year, right until the end, I have been busy painting - producing 24 paintings this year! I'm also very happy to say that I have been painting bigger, with a few canvases 48" x48" or larger. I sold several pieces, many cards and one hundred and sixty fine art prints. Its been a good year at Jack-in-the-Pulpit Studio. With two shows and probably a studio sale coming in 2017 I am looking ahead with anticipation!

Sunday, January 8, 2017

Watercolor Class Begins this Wednesday, January 11, 2017

Watercolor class begins this Wednesday, January 11 from 6:30 - 9:00 pm at Jack in the Pulpit Studio. For more info and to register:

Saturday, December 31, 2016

Elections, Images and History

The last few months have been home to some stunning events in this country. The results of the presidential election were unexpected and have created a lot of concern and anxiety. There seems to be some possibility a foreign country has tried to unduly influence the election. The Dakota Pipeline protest has pitted peaceful water-protectors against public law enforcement that have decided to protect a large company that does not have permission to dig the land they are on. Sometimes it seems like the world is going, as they used to say, "to Hell in a hand basket."  As I sit in my studio painting, I am aware of a world around me crumbling. I am aware of my privilege to be able to sit in my studio and paint while these events unfold.

Part of the craziness that people feel is the way in which words and symbols are now twisted and used to hurt people instead of to help them. Politicians and media take images and words that used to be positive and sow doubt about their meaning, about their value.  As I research the early Modernist movement in art, I can't help but think about similarities. After all, it was the greedy and political actions of the upper-class in the late 1800's that eventually led to the Great Depression - much like our recent Great Recession.  The early- to mid-1800's, with the rise of the Industrial Age and the middle-class, and the subsequent rise to wealth and power for a few families, were very tumultuous times. The Modernist movement in art, before there was mass media or an internet, was one manner in which the days' problems could be framed and discussed. From its inception, the Modernist movement was a struggle against institutionalized parameters of success which used idiomatic symbols to express a conceited sense of the common. Modernism was seeking something more. The true Modernist sought authenticity through presenting a personal individual view of the world, as opposed to the institutionally accepted view of the world.

We are trying to do the same these days, but those who dictate images and words to the masses seem to have upped their game and gotten ahead of us. It won't be easy to reclaim a societal perspective that is based on the personal experience of millions - after all, how do you do that?  There are certainly lessons to be learned from Trump, Clinton and Sanders and how they galvanized large segments of our population. The fight is there -- a fight to make a country that works for all of its citizens, not just a few.

A New Year and a New Website

There's a new look to my website: Easier navigation! Bigger images!
Check it out!

Monday, December 26, 2016

Gull Island Rise: Oil Paint

Gull Island Rise
Oil Paint on Canvas
12" x 14"

Although I have been busy learning my new job, I have also been busy painting in my studio. This painting is of a rocky rise on Gull Island on Rainy Lake. In it I continue to explore early Modernist techniques for expressing nature.

This last summer, while painting at Mallard Island on Rainy Lake, I found myself going back to the same old way I had been painting landscapes for years. I recognized this soon after beginning and then consciously started working in a more geometric manner to represent the water. Although this technique is not about being realistic, it captures the experience of how water reflects many colors and creates many patterns -- capturing the essence and energy of the scene in front of my eyes.