Friday, July 10, 2020


There is a technique in movie-making.  Those scenes where the hero flies his craft into the sun, or where lovers embrace while the planet splits apart.  Time seems to shift.  Not exactly slow motion, but a hum.  Music replaces deafening sounds of crashing explosions.  Intense turbulence, but restful.   

Philip Glass, or the late great Ennio Morricone, they know it.  It's why I listen to these composers while I work.  As if to summon this technique.

Yesterday I completed the third of three large commissions in watercolor.  Three cityscapes of places that are dear to the client.  They are divided in two because they will be framed as diptychs. 

Friday, June 12, 2020

house home

We use the word house and home interchangeably.  As in, "they're building a spec home next to their house."  But a home is singular to each of us, while we can surround ourselves with many houses.  We build ourselves a home, mostly one that is emotional, while we construct houses for others.

My mother points out the nice houses to me in mid-sentence as we drive to point B.  "Now that's a nice one right there."  A nice house to my mother is one that is neat and tidy.  She also points out which ones need a lot of work.

I would guess that altogether I have lived in 30-40 different places that I would call home.  The number would probably double if I were to include those places whose couches I slept on for spans of weeks when I was younger (below).  My house in Hungary (above) is for rent to others on Airbnb.  ( ).  Though I have spent only a number of summer vacations under its roof, I have an emotional connection to it and think of this house as our true home.  All I need to do is view a few photos of it from time to time.  Pastoral ideas come to mind and calm me.  Like I'm home.
My son and my dad at the dinner table together.  We're living together, all of us since Covid, just eating dinners together mostly.  But life does seem to be one big dinner, either preparing for or cleaning up.

Sometimes we are given live performances on the patio.

Tuesday, May 12, 2020


"Why are all the lamp switches in this house different?"  
I hear my family wonder out loud their observations about home.  And we often shout to each other from different rooms.  
"What about these donuts?!!!" 

I have been organizing my inventory of artworks from over twenty years for a soon-to-be-printed book.  It is data entry work that needs to be done.  
"Has anybody seen my goggles?!!!"

"What can I have for a snack?!!"  
I've also hired somebody recently to design and build my new website.  It ought to be ready within the next few weeks.  But it too has required time from me in the office and at the computer.

Togetherness.  We have new beds in the kids' bedrooms that are now full size.  And the markings on their height chart have grown past the taped paper that I've taken from one home to the next.  To them, still, height is the absolute proof of growth.  

Saturday, April 4, 2020

from my home to yours

I imagine those of you who visit this blog are doing so now in a different light.  The rush of our daily schedule has been altered by stay-at-home ordinances.  Things we used to cross off, get done, might now seem less urgent.  What's the hurry now?  

Zoom meeting with my website designer, and I don't like zoom meetings.  She apologized for being distracted and unavailable lately.  I told her that I'm looking to prolong this process and to enjoy it.  Savor it.  We've nothing to apologize for lately, if ever.

It is a good (great) month for commissioned work.  Below is a house in my neighborhood.  The owner surprised her husband for their 20th anniversary with my portrait of their home.  Their joyful reaction is, again and again, like a lifeline of support to me as a painter.

Thursday, February 27, 2020

who are you

Early in the gospel of John a question is asked by one man to another.  
Who are you?

Not, what is your first name or your title?  Not, what do you do for a living?  Not, where are you from?

Two men in a landscape whose paths have crossed want to know the essence of the other.  

Words are there, and the sentences can be stitched.  But they might break if spoken too loud.  They are the thoughts you have your whole lifetime to whisper to your truest of friends.

Friday, January 24, 2020


Out the backseat window of the minivan my son could not make out the horizon because of the fog.  He threw up for 5 hours well into Arkansas.  

Motion sickness.  Sick of moving.  Stricken by inner unease.  
It's a miserable state that obliterates the joy of travel and overtakes the victim.  

It becomes a search for visual anchoring.  

Years of traveling and learning how to roll with the unpredictable shaped my vision and expectations of parenthood.  I was going to steer my family like a migratory caravan.  

 But it's as if my son has opened a new horizon to me, an exotic one that is closer to home.

A good friend commissioned this painting with a snapshot of his two boys from 20 years ago.  It's now above their fireplace.

What's above your fireplace?

Saturday, November 16, 2019


A large Pecan tree fell over in a wind storm and nearly crushed my rotting fence.  Its trunk is on my neighbor's property and is therefore his problem.  Some would act quickly to remove the hazard, the intrusion, the unsightliness.  It leans and browns with decay dominating my view against the vertical living trees that surround it.

My wife and I go for walks together in the evenings.  I remind Andi to slow down, that I would rather walk for leisure and not so much for power exercise.  But I speed up.  We pass a field that was once used by the old high school for football games.  Brown weeds and grass with a rusty goalpost, the space is not quite a park as much as it is emptiness.

We scan the neighborhood as we walk.  A house has been painted.  A woman rakes leaves in a front yard where neither of us have ever seen any sign of life.  Silhouettes of buzzards or hawks perch along bare pecan branches.   We walk in the road because there are no sidewalks and keep an eye open for oncoming headlights.