Sunday, December 16, 2012


I have been using inks more and more alongside watercolors.  They are thinner than watercolor, at least the pigments I enjoy the most, and they stain permanently into the paper.  One tincture of carbon black is probably meant to endure months and months, but I enjoy pouring it straight out of the bottle like a sauce, undiluted and penetrating...

...but the paper cannot absorb everything I throw at it.  Most of it is sacrificed.

Saturday February 16th will be the opening of a solo exhibition of my newest work created during the past year.  Hooks Epstein Gallery is one of Houston's longest running art galleries, and I am so grateful to be a part of it.  There is a direct flight to Houston from just about everywhere, so please join us.

Monday, October 8, 2012

handful of water

The border is the outer edge, and I choose masking tape to secure it.  It contains this great big area of work and play, structure and formlessness, control and chaos.  There is a pressure to break out of and spill beyond the border, to abstract.  But this is where I find abstractions to be too literal (what isn't abstract?). The game I like to play is within the same agreed-upon playground using the words and images that are used by everyone.  

 This is a celebration that says "Let's disappear".  This is what makes realism such a mysterious vehicle. Within the fence of my winter garden, I came across a black widow spider.  The power of this delicate and beautiful creature (to remove you from the garden) is all the more striking against the sprouting broccoli and cauliflower.  All a part of this little Eden.

Sometimes the commissioner is led by their half-asleep canine.

This area is pure night.  Yet the paper is covered in rainbow, very little black really, mostly raw sienna.

Monday, August 20, 2012

golden twinkle

Sleeping habits, or the lack thereof, are such that we've moved our children's beds into our bedroom.  And after a week-long stretch of fever amidst a month-long Willy Wonka marathon, daytime seems a blurry continuum.  Interestingly, painting has never felt so rooted in somnambulism.

I find myself humming throughout the day, mostly songs from Willy Wonka.  Grandpa Joe sings the sweetest: about a golden twinkle in his eye.  These are my twinkles.  Even if they are out of focus most of the time.

This is my first watercolor.  Painted while I was in Ireland in 1997 on a bicycle with a rucksack.  My preschool watercolor kit consisted of six colors.  The sable haired, flat-head brush I still use today.

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Agnes Bartas

A relative has informed me that my great great grandmother was Hungarian.  Hungarian-ness, in my mind, is embodied best of all by Petőfi Sándora great poet and passionate revolutionary with a sword.  I'd always suspected that somewhere in my blood lurked some Magyarsag.  I just didn't expect it to be so recent.  This news is cause for a nice and quiet celebration.  

This party, painted as the demonstration piece for my Wimberley watercolor group, depicts the raving hysteria known only by watercolor enthusiasts.  Those in attendance were, just on the surface, a bit more reserved, oohing and awing at precisely the right time.  I enjoyed it so much that I see a workshop there in the future.  I'll be sure to post the date in advance.

Last week I received an invitation to exhibit some of my newest work in watercolor at Galerie Maurer.  The exhibition has a summer theme and opens July 3 in Frankfurt, Germany.  Houston flies direct.

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Sadie Francis

This Monday June 11th at 7 pm I'll be giving my first ever demonstration on how to paint with watercolor.  Because I think of my ways as self-taught, elaborating on the trickery of how to make what I make will be a personal challenge that I welcome.  During last month's studio tour I was fortunate enough to meet the program director for the Wimberley Valley Art League.  Kind of short notice, but there are still spots available.

No.7 issue of The Art of Watercolour is now available, but only at select Barnes and Nobles locations (call first).  Published in France and sold primarily in Europe, the magazine covers the work of watercolor artists from all over the world.  Based on the glances I've gotten of it online, I'd say it appears like a beautiful publication.

George Billis of New York has kindly requested that I send a second painting for his summer group show.  The opening is Thursday June 21 from 6-8pm and the exhibition runs thru July 14.  Let's go.

Last, a tender and personal note.  I said goodbye today to my old studio mate, Sadie Francis.  She was an old dog and she was here to greet me (I mean pounce me) when I first arrived in Texas to be with my wife in 2003.  She was a creature of out-of-control love.  This image of Sadie sitting calmly behind the single-pane glass couldn't be more misleading, but it's how I'd like to remember her.

Tuesday, May 8, 2012


The inaugural West Austin Studio Tour (WEST) is Saturday and Sunday May 19 and 20 from 11am until 6pm.  Come see samples of my newest work which I will be displaying in supercool South Austin.  Skyline Printing is on Ben White Boulevard (State Highway 71) in a small industrial plaza.  I will be there with both original works and prints for sale.  And credit cards will be accepted!

Also, George Billis Gallery NYC will include my painting "papa jon" in its upcoming group show entitled "City Streets I" from June 19 - July 14.  This will be the fourth consecutive year that I've participated in the Chelsea gallery's summer exhibition.  The opening reception is Thursday, June 21 from 6-8pm.

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

loving wastefully

I possess a nagging desire for the perfect image to freeze, for my surroundings to stay calm and to stop changing.  Slowly painting an image of my two children was probably the healthiest way for me to address this otherwise unrealistic demand.

The next quarterly of The Art of Watercolour (on newstands in early June) will feature some kind of story about my watercolors.  It is a French magazine, but has an English version as well.  To honor the art of French aquarelle painting I'll insert a Cezanne that nicely counters the thick and heavy atmosphere that I normally aspire to create.