Friday, August 5, 2011

Tableau Vivant (Part 2)

Today, the most recognizable tableau vivant is the movie still. Not unlike a contemporary movie still, these photos are presented in an anamorphic (wide screen) format - except these aren’t based on real movies. Each of these photos was intentionally staged to suggest a narrative or story. The viewer is invited to complete the narrative with a past, present and future. There is no single story to tell. Instead there may be as many stories as there are viewers.

"Life After Death", 13"x19", Claria ink on photo paper, 2008

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Tableau Vivant (Part 1)

A young boy peers expectantly into a cabinet with untold wonders.

This is a tableau vivant (French for “living picture”). Before the advent of radio and television, tableaux vivants were a popular form of entertainment. Costumed “actors” would pose on a theater stage without moving or speaking, one scene following another - in effect telling a story. With the advent of photography in the mid nineteenth century, early fine art photographers took up the tableau vivant as an approach to picture making.

"The Majik Box", 13"x19", Claria ink on paper, 2008

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Sex and Violence

David Cavett lamented, in 1978, "Why are sex and violence always linked?" As unstoppable and destructive as a tornado, so is sexandviolence - at least in this context.

On a lighter side, at our local gallery, we shall have an upcoming show celebrating the four elements - fire, water, air (wind) and earth. I hope this encaustic painting will appear in the show.

"sexandviolence", 2011, 40"x30", encaustic on canvas

Monday, June 6, 2011

The Big Chicken

If you live anywhere in my region, you know the enduring and endearing landmark "The Big Chicken." I completed this painting some years ago and sold it shortly thereafter - to whom, I have no idea.

How important is it that the artist knows who has purchased her/his work? If the artist becomes regionally, nationally or globally well known, for the most part, collectors will present themselves. And, for these artists, often authorship is the reason an artwork is bought. But, no doubt, this painting was acquired, not for the artist, but because of its subject, as is the reason I painted it.

I continue to be intrigued by values and importance imparted to art for reasons that are, for me at least, difficult to pin down.

"The Big Chicken", 2007, oil-canvas, 36" x 24"

Tuesday, May 3, 2011


In ancient cosmological theory, Empyrean is a place in the highest heaven and is occupied by fire. The concept was later adapted by Christian writers to denote the dwelling place of God and his angels - a place of pure light.

This 52" x 22" encaustic is my take on the idea.

"Empyrean" 52"x22", encaustic on panel.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011


The tension between abstract and figurative art has been ongoing for over half a century. This painting exploits that tension. Both the brightly colored stripes and the black and white face vie for dominance. The girl's eyes engage the viewer and yet remain out of reach.

"Vacancy", Oil and acrylic on canvas, 30"x40", 2006

Monday, March 28, 2011

Exit (Debra Lafave)

We have all, because of poor judgment, found ourselves in regrettable situations from which we wish we could escape with the same ease as exiting a computer program. Unfortunately, real life does not afford the same options as the virtual world.

The center piece, which informs this painting, is based on a news photo of Debra Lafave facing charges of statutory rape in 2005. The other images work to enforce the tension in the work with no real direct commentary, thus leaving interpretation open to the viewer.

"EXIT" 2006, oil and wax on canvas, 30"x40"