Alice

March 27, 2017

Alice with Chili

Oil on Canvas
48″ x 24″ approximate

Portraits are a favorite subject matter. Composing a painting of someone with (or without) their chosen symbols is enjoyable for me as the painter and, it is my hope, that that energy holds for the life of the work. Alice is a beautiful person whose lives a life of compassion and love. Some of her chosen symbols include her 15 year old dog, Chili, her plant – nettles, the Admiral (nettle) butterfly, snake, cottonwood, gnarled oaks, coyote and owl. The figure sits cross-legged with Chili at sunset/rise on a misty river with deep space evident through the leaves. The water reflects some internal parts of the human body; bones, organs, muscles. The monad/jewel above the figure is representative of someone who strives to live through her higher self.

Miles, 1 year

March 1, 2016

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Miles, one year

  • Oil on Ampersand Gessobord
  • 16″ x 12″
  • In a private collection

At one year, Miles’ smile is shy, sly, bashful, endearing, precious and encouraging. He juggles the earth, moon and sun, surrounded by our planet and deep space. A small figure of Miles floats in space tethered to his rocket ship near an asteroid mining operation. Mars, Saturn, Jupiter and multiple asteroids can be found. Animals in the painting are moose, bison, fox, deer, rabbit and bottle-nose dolphins. Besides space there are a northern landscape, wetlands, prairie, ocean with schools of fish and an underground den. Prairie flowers include butterfly milkweed, blazing star and echinacea.The birds are the sandhill crane and red-headed woodpecker. Trees are birch and black cherry. Bugs are the earthworm and the pollinating bee.
Two of my many wishes for Miles is that he enjoys learning and sharing that joy.
The varied perspectives of this portrait were inspired by MC Escher’s “Other World”.

Olivia, one year

December 29, 2012

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Olivia, one year

  • Oil on Ampersand Gessobord (masonite)
  • 16″ x 12″
  • In a private collection

When I paint a portrait of a child, I not only present their likeness, but offer a window to the world of which they are a part. My work is about symbols and I’m a believer in their power. If the symbols in the painting help to give rise to Liv’s curiosity in life, I’m a happy artist.

Birth

September 12, 2009

Birth
“Birth”

This was painted while our daughter-in-law was pregnant with Nomi, whose birth was one of the fastest on record. Another grandchild is due next spring. If time in labor is cut in half, the next birthing will be something like the catholic mother’s in Monte Python “And Now For Something Entirely Different“.

This painting came to mind when I was writing yesterday’s blog on the XY show at the Spencer Museum of Art, which explores what it means to be a man. Man or woman, birthing is an abrupt transitional experience that shapes us. The female figure giving birth represents everywoman; she is connected to the web of life, ancestral forms observe as a baby boy is birthed, diving head first into a new way of being.

Awakenings

May 23, 2009

Awakenings
Awakenings

It’s late and soon I’ll be dreaming. I should study this painting with a Jungian, where I might learn things I didn’t know I knew.

Beneath the Surface

May 4, 2009

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Beneath the Surface

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Detail,  Beneath the Surface

  • Oil on Ampersand Gessobord
  • 12″ x 36″
  • $3900
  • Limited Edition Giclée Print on archival paper, 10″ x 30″ image size – $395, plus shipping
  • Contact the artist.

This appears to be a sweet still life. There are butterflies, caterpillar, cicada, moths, hummingbirds, 12 spot skimmers, a crane fly, cosmos, pearls, sweets and companionable coffees. But just as Ry Cooder points out, there “might be trouble hidin’ round that tree” or something lurking just below the surface.

But everyone brings their own story to a painting. The following haikus were written for this painting.

Beneath the surface
a current swells and then
transcends illusion

by Linda Varberg

The fish darts
into my awareness
and out again.

by Linda Varberg

Flying above, searching
Oh, what appetite
When from below
Surprise with a bite.

by Rob Marshall

I am in awe of
Nature’s wonders, yet I grieve
for their brevity.

by Nancy Marshall

Seeking the nectar of life, discovering.
Partaking of nature’s offerings, fulfilling.
Adding to the all around beauty, enchanting.

by Trish Maher

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Still Life on the Kansas River

  • Oil on Canvas
  • 24″ x 36″
  • $4975
  • Limited edition of 500, archival paper, 12″ x 18″ digital prints – $395,  plus shipping
  • Contact the artist.

The Kansas River is rising tonight. Our son, Nat, is the boatman for the University. He spent the afternoon at the boathouse preparing for high water. Growing up on the Mississippi River, I’ve seen floodwater bend the spine of a storage silo once standing at perfect attention. Every ten years or so that mighty river would break through the Corp’s levy system and reclaim some of the territory it once seasonally replenished with new soil. I’ve always appreciated the power and loved the beauty of the rivers.

Still Life on the Kansas River is a view of downtown and north Lawrence, Kansas, from Burcham Park. Lightning bugs, butterfly and a snail share space with a universal night sky, a sunset, moonflowers and sunflowers. Human companionship and simple pleasures are saluted. But there is an edginess to the painting because it’s hard to tell exactly where the water ends and the fabric begins in the still life.