Wednesday, December 17, 2008


Its been a while since I have posted anything here mainly because I have been hard at work on my thesis project. The project seems to be coming along at a decent pace and for the first time I think I will be able to finish on time with maybe some decent results. My project will be paintings in which tell the story of the traveling I have done over the past few years. One of the pieces will be an image of my interpretation of New York City, in which I just recently visited for a week with my MFA group. In this post I am going to share a little bit about my process. The first image will be that of my pencil rough. The second will be a digital block in using photoshop. The third will be a color comp created in photoshop. From this rough comp. I will create my finished acrylic panel at 24x48. This color comp will only serve as a color and value guide, and I will be making many changes and modifications along the way!!  I like a lot of things about the color comp and feel with a few adjustments it could stand as its own piece of art, but thats just not enough for me!

Sunday, September 14, 2008

going digital

Over the past few months I have been exploring various computer programs, such as Painter,Photoshop, Illustrator, and Flash. Working digitally had been something I had avoided up until now, for various reasons. The main one being was that I did not have a computer or the software. What I am finding is that there is an infinite realm of possibilities when working in a digital format, and I am beginning to enjoy working this way very much. 
I completed a painting tonight using a combination of painter and photoshop. The image was a remake of one of my children's book pages in which I originally did in watercolor. I have to say I like the digital result a lot more than the old watercolor.  This doesn't mean I plan to trade in the paint brush for the Wacom tablet, but it does mean I will continue to explore new possibilities.

Saturday, September 6, 2008

"Where Heaven Made Fun" A selection of works by Nathan Lewis

                                  University of New Haven's Seton Gallery featuring the works of
                                                             Nathan Lewis
                                           "Into the White- Stephen Vincent Kobasa"
                                           OIl on Canvas
                                           Nathan Lewis

                        "Till we Find the Blessed Isles Where our Friends are Dwelling"
                         72"x120" acrylic on canvas
                           Nathan Lewis

One huge benefit of earning my undergraduate degree at the Paier College of Art was the ongoing friendship that was formed with my instructor Nathan Lewis. I recently attended his show"Where Heaven Made Fun" at the University of New Haven's Seton Gallery. This show was Lewis's first solo show since his previous solo show at Jack the Pelican Gallery in New York in Feb. of 2008. Moving in the direction of installation art Lewis has found ways to display his paintings in unconventional ways, and gives his audience more than just a typical rectangle or square on the wall. At the Seton Gallery Lewis installed an old row boat to accompany the piece" Till we Find the Blessed Isles Where out Friends are Dwelling, in which is a contemporary homage to Leutze's Washington Crossing the Delaware. This piece depicts a group of people aboard a boat fighting against rough currents, while the center figure(Dean Francis Cooley of Paier College) raises an American flag which hangs upside down. This powerful image comments on the United States uncertain role in the middle East and raises questions to what the future out come will be.  Lewis's  strong use of the diagonal in this composition creates a sense of hope for the people aboard the boat as they progress upwards and into the unknown.  As an illustrator I enjoy the fact that the  back ground of this painting is reminiscent of a Max Field Parrish painting , and it is great to see a painter like Lewis acknowledging great "illustrators" and not only so called"fine artists".

Lewis has included four new pieces in this show from his last, and all four are excellent. The newest of Lewis's paintings show his migration from acrylics back to oils, and in a rather successful way. Of the new pieces the one that stood out to me was the portrait"Into the White-Stephen Vincent Kobasa." I believe the painting is a portrait of teacher,writer, and Christian activist Stephen Vincent Kobasa, whom focuses his work in the"Columbia Solidarity,towards abolition of the death penalty and in opposition to nuclear weapons. This painting is reminiscent of the early Renaissance paintings that depicted John the Baptist entering the wilderness, and Lewis explained that he also referred to Alchemical drawings when composing this image. The brush work in this painting is magnificent, and shows the Lewis's ability to manipulate the medium . In Lewis's earlier works the figure is portrayed in a  in a rather simple manner. The figure was broken done into light and dark a halftone and a shadow area. Lewis simply mapped out the shadow , and half tone areas with limited  detail , a principal in which he taught in his classes on how to simply define a complex from. We begin to see in more recent pieces such as "Songs of  die Mutterland" the artists attention to detail,where he has begun to model form in a more complex manner. In this most recent piece we can see how the artists technique and attention to detail have continued to evolve, and the results are amazing.

More of Nathan Lewis's work can be seen on his blog:
To read some of his personal ramblings on art check out:

Exhibition Hours:Tues-Thurs 1-5 p.m,Fri 1-7, Sat-Sun 12-3 through sept 26.

Sunday, August 31, 2008

Prime Climb Mural

For the last six days I have been working on painting a 7 000 square foot space at Prime Climb located in Wallingford, Connecticut. It was an enormous project with a strict time line and has left me exhausted. The object of the project was to create a sandstone type texture and color palette to cover the existing walls in which people climb upon. I approached the task without any real game plan and at first was really unsure to what the final out come would be. In the end I think the overall out come was decent and I learned a lot of great tricks for this type of work along the way.

This was a special project for me as I have been climbing for the past 11 years on the same walls in which I was hired to paint.
The highlight of this particular painting was creating the gigantic desert arch and the stylized sky that is set behind it. At first the plan was to render a realistic sky by quickly misting some white and grey layers on top of the blue. In the end the sky turned out rather stylized, and what to me looks like a mix of Japanese Woodcuts, Thai Religious Art, Cotton Candy, Graffiti, with a Regionalist twist .Maybe it was the lack of oxygen to my brain resulting from the enormous time I spent wearing a respirator.
Another cool aspect of completing this project is that it is truly a form of interactive art, and people will be climbing on the imagery that I created.
I plan to post some video of this in the near future!!!!

Sunday, April 13, 2008


I have begun working on  a piece based on my trip to Dallas/Ft. Worth Texas.
The image I am showing here is simply a color comp and will be used in a larger composition.
This painting is  one of the few new pieces I have painted with acrylic paint. I am beginning to really enjoy using acrylic, as it offers so many possibilities. Having the option to build up layers of glazes while being able to work opaquely in a quick manner is very attractive.
This painting is tiny measuring only 5x5 inches. The finish will be much larger and will incorporate a cowboy being flung into the air above.

Sunday, April 6, 2008

Dreaming about climbing

Lately it has been all work and not a lot of play so I decided to post some fun photos.This is a shot of me climbing the Great Dihedral in Northern Vermont on a crisp fall day. The photos were taken by my good friend and climbing partner Dave Watson. Dave has made the summit of Mt. Everest on 2 different occasions and is soon headed to climb K-2 in June. Hopefully Dave and I will be meeting up in northern India in January for some skiing and climbing. This trip I hope will become the  inspiration for a few of  my  final thesis paintings. 

Wednesday, April 2, 2008


The first contact period  for my MFA was held in Pasadena.
From that trip I created this painting for one of Murray's assignments .
12.75 x24 Oil on Panel

Bangkok Tuk Tuk driver

I recently traveled to South East Asia, where I was lucky enough to have the experience of riding in a Tuk Tuk. Tuk Tuk's are pretty much super high powered go carts that race around the exhaust covered cities of South East Asia  at extreme speeds. Tuk Tuk's are considered dangerous by many , and seem as if they could tip over as they weave in and out of traffic. Tuk Tuk's do not have seat belts, and you may never reach your destination due to the lack of communication between you and the driver. Despite all of that I still highly recommend riding in one for the sake of the experience. The design of the Tuk Tuk's varies from country to country.
Here is a small cartoon of  a typical Thai Tuk Tuk . This image will be used later in a larger composition for my MFA Thesis project.

Hartford MFA

I have been lucky enough to be a part of the University of Hartford's  MFA in Illustration, which began this past july and will continue to July 2009.  Murray and Carol Tinkleman are the amazing people in charge of the program , and I highly recommend this program to anyone seeking an MFA in illustration. My plan for this Blog is to catalogue my work as I continue to create it during my time in this wonderful program. 
Recently our MFA group had a contact period in Fort Worth Texas.
While in Texas we were lucky enough to have the pleasure of having  many great Illustrators speak to our group. We were able to meet Jack Unruh, Don Ivan Punchatz,  Jose Cruz, and Bart Forbes to name a few.
During this trip  and while under the guidance of my great peers(whom are all amazing illustrators), Greg NewBold, Ron Mazellan, Ron Spears, Chuck Primo, and my Thesis Advisor Doug Anderson I was able to pin down what it was that I will plan to tackle over the next year as my thesis project. The project will consist of 6 to 8 large panels all dealing with ones' search to find paradise in life. In my case the paintings will be composed of images of the many places I have been  in pursuit of my personal view of  paradise. 
I am sad to say I am yet to find it, but along the journey I have captured some great imagery that I am eager to share in my paintings.

Well here goes

The time has come to make an effort in promoting myself as a painter/illustrator. More and more I am hearing about the importance of creating an online presence. Creating an "online presence" seems to involve as much work as creating the art work in which one plans to promote.
Either way I am nearing the end of my graduate program at the University of Hartford , and  I am beginning to feel the pressure of getting my work out there. Although I have a website(which is so outdated I will save you from going there) I decided to begin building my online arsenal  of art work here in the form of a blog.
So here we go.
Hope you enjoy!!!!