Friday, December 31, 2010


30"x40" oil/linen

I liked how the arrangement of boats looked like a bridge in this one . Squint !-)
Happy New Year to all!

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

A rock cliff


12"x12" oil

I failed to mention that the blizzard missed us. However the residual wind blew two train cars off the Rockville bridge into the river. Interesting eh?

Monday, December 27, 2010

A fine line of massing

5"x7" oil
This one was painted more gesturally. Total unfocus of eyes and look more at subject than canvas. This way light becomes the subject. I prefer this one. Of course I should do every painting this way but outside forces occassionally come into play.

This one was more drawn. Why? good question. I know better but it still happens. I think drawing skills are critical to learn. Painting is painting...not drawing. A good base of all skills will help immensely but one must decide ....draw or paint?

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Thomas point lighthouse

5"x7" oil

A small study with intention of going larger. Keepin' it loose.

Saturday, December 25, 2010

winter creek

20"x24" oil/linen
A quiet place where you here the occasional bank beaver splash into the water.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

it's getting deep

Imagine the irony. After posting the last one and the comments, I woke up with a stomach flu. Last time I mention infamous stench........'nuff said. Was finally able to muster the energy to raise a brush and go into the cold bowels of my studio. Did this one on a super slick surface and used a reduction approach, wiping down the highlights. See the metaphor?
oh yeah, these guys are up to their you know whats in snow. HA

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Biggie Smalls

5"x7" oil
From yesterdays 4 footer to todays little one. They all have their challenges..... I smell cows a comin'

Saturday, December 18, 2010

She'll be comin' round the corner


So I lied. It's not a 30 x 40. I went even bigger. Simplified things a bit from the small sketch. It's interesting approaching a big canvas with a sketchy mind and a huge brush. Frees up the stroke, that's for sure.

Friday, December 17, 2010

Take the train

8"x10" oil
This is a small sketch that I will go big with. 30"x 40" tomorrow. What this actually means is a 30 x 40 sketch tomorrow. Details are for detailers. Paint is for painters.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

It's frickin' cold

16"x20" oil
It's been windy and frigid for weeks. My studio is cold enough now that paint rarely gets a skin, YAY! not. Frankly, since I quit doing mental stuff and am back to observation work my interest is waning. I dug this image up online. I wanted to be reminded of my favorite vineyard in Carmel valley Ca. I can't get a deep painting from anothers image. I don't feel like like setting up in a frozen wind filled tundra and I don't have enough time to get good photos. Bare with me folks. Winter hasn't even started and the susquehanna has ice on it. I'm gonna have to dig deep.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Ode to a Christmas tree

20"x24" oil/linen

A friend of mine hates the idea of people killing trees to celebrate a holiday. I don't agree or disagree. I just said to him " in the future the only trees we may have are Christmas trees. The only land we might be allowed to walk on will be Christmas tree farms."

I also find it ironic that the "ugly" trees are left standing(unless you're in charlie browns neighborhood.)
This is my tribute to the last standing ugly ones. Perhaps you can't hang an angel on it's top but it's still standing! Think about it.......
oh yeah, if my friend had a computer I think he'd like this. He doesn't have one........

Monday, December 13, 2010


24"x20" This piece sucks. BUT I learned something from it. After months of playing around I've receieved an approach. Brush in values knife in the guts. Yes, my friends..........the knife is returning......It has to be...................

Sunday, December 12, 2010

rested figure (gesture)

11"x14" oil
I must be an introvert. I'm totally taxed after 2 days of socializing. Had fun but am drained. Delved into figure again and am happy to see the result is as loose as the last town scene. Things are interesting.
These are the best musicians you've never heard of. Based in bluegrass several have moved onto classical. These guys thought outside the box. Incredible!

Thursday, December 9, 2010


8"x10" oil

Little time to paint. Scrubbed this one out and am quite happy. Finally getting loose enough to emulate what I like.A street scene in Cooperstown NY by the way..

Big day tomorrow. Spent today getting ready. Open studio with a bunch of art lovers coming by. Have enough wine to sink a ship. If you're in the neighborhood stop by around 8pm.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

shifting gears

20"x24" oil
Bumping up canvas size. Allowing wiped out sections to show. Using knife and brushes. Expressing and listening to the painting and other things. Working from observation but allowing incidentals. In fact, inviting them.

If you don't like jazz skip this. If you like smooth jazz...skip this. If you like hard core hard to get jazz....grab a chair and a drink... the next 20 minutes will be right up your alley. Keith Jarrett(piano) is the epitomy of creative spirit. I approach painting the way he approaches music. There's a build up(5minute intro) short solo... sax guy solos.... Keith goes crazy with the finish. Bass brings it home. This is an example of a session. Could just as easily be a painting session. Oh yeah, he gets his body into it. Very important...........

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

fun da mentals

16"x20" oil
The recent exorcisms, I mean exercises, have freed up my brushwork significantly. Excited to get back to some observation stuff with the freedom of a Chilean miner. This one was like smelling fresh baked bread. Last nights was like a hockey game.

Monday, December 6, 2010

one for the road

6"x6" oil
One last dig out of the old subconcious. Note damage to left side of panel when I threw it across studio...after third wipedown......after punching it.....wouldn't stay on easel. Bloody knuckles, dissatisfied, ahh yes, I must be heading in the proper direction. I know snow is coming. Why not destroy it....accept it.

Sunday, December 5, 2010

chop chop

11"x14" oil

It is what it is.

14"x11" oil

A cliff.

6"x6" oil

A total annihilation of the seated figure. I think I know what de kooning was feeling.

Will begin collecting material for some more "representational" stuff. I've dug up enough "mental" stuff for awhile.

Saturday, December 4, 2010

more reincarnations

12"x14" oil

A Pittsburgh tree is now a town on a hill.

24"x12" oil

This happy shopper was an upstate New York sunset. She's warmer now.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010


11"x14" all 3

Fell back into basic landscape mode. Might add vertical element. Not sure. Might just have to go back to observation. Or not. Tomorrow will tell.

You may not recognize it but Wayne Thiebaud is an influence. Remember the knife still life stuff. I love his answers in this interview.

Tuesday, November 30, 2010


18"x14" oil
So my latest gig is trying to find a figure in an old piece that I don't much care for. The initial thought process is interesting. Going for figure seems to work but if I think of a particular pose or light condition it will not happen. Many alternatives expose themselves first. I'm finding that it's foolish to ignore these early exposures. When I ignore them or start them then wipe them out the new direction always fails. It seems to be true...Go with the gut.
You may or may not notice that ballerinas are apparently my figure of choice. The fact is when going entirely from imagination ballet dancers lend themselves well. People joke about tutus but they are a wonderful mass designed to accentuate the figure. Nice mass, nice line. Tonights piece was a struggle. I started out thinking sunburn. I had an Elmer Bischoff painting in mind. A low sun angle and sun blaring in the face. Alas I can't copy. Not even close. Turned out what appeared to be a cheerleader. Interesting, does he have a fascination with cheerleaders? Not that I'm aware of. Loaded brush and made the skirt bigger ....ala tutu. I wonder if she knows that she was a bowl of garlic cloves in a past life....................

Monday, November 29, 2010

arrangement of shapes

all 3- 14"x11"
oil over paintings

I like what is happening. I'm most interested in arrangements. The music metaphor is appearing. Lyrics are not essential. In fact, a distraction. Rhythm and pattern....movement and static.......texture and shape.......... these are interesting things, I feel.

Sunday, November 28, 2010


14"x11" oil

Did this one second. Totally out of my head. Thinking only of seated woman. Paint one. The one below I spent entirely too much time observing, trying to replicate real conditions. I suppose figure is a bit different than landscape but not much. The difference is you can play with a landscape and make it work many ways. The figure..............not so much.

36" x24"

Nathan Oliveira was a big influence when I approach figure. In searching for a clip I discovered he just passed away. This is a brief clip that shows little work. For anyone who likes stripped to the core figure work check him out.

Saturday, November 27, 2010


both 14"x11" over old paintings

My local art association has the members' figure show coming up. Pulled out one of Liz's dolls and went to work. The bottom piece is my old style done today. From observation. This top piece has me excited. I feel my recent studies are coming to fruition. This one is a combo of observation and feeling. I've thrown a few realities out the window. I'm inspired to continue the journey....
I think I'll enter the top one and the red dress from a few days ago, depending on what comes out next.

portugese group that is noteworthy.

Friday, November 26, 2010

If I had a hammer

11"x14" oil

I should reiterate. All this recent stuff is from imagination. I'm digging into my unconscious. I remember and use the laws to a point. I just scrub in paint until I think I see an image. Then build on it. This work could easily be discarded but I feel it's critical towards developement. The balance of expression and representation is most intriguing. I figure one must explore their imagination and take what is learned towards what one sees. In the end, I suspect the laws must go. This is with the goal of individuation of course.

6x6 oil

A complete flop. I see this cathedral from my studio everyday. I've painted it twenty times at least. Figured I'd dig it out of my skull. I can't win. I'm not Catholic the Cathedral is......................

I've decided to include clips of influential musicians to the posts. Play the clip and view the work. These are all artists that I feel have an expressiveness that I try to get into my work.

Thursday, November 25, 2010

I'm an introverted extrovert that doesn't eat alot.

all 6"x6" oils
So spent turkey day in studio and tweaking website. Wasted a lot of time on website. Studio was good. I'm trying to get "comfortable" with an uncomfortable style before I go large scale. I'm really starting to regain interest in wiping down, scraping and the like. Also, not premixing. A quick scrub of color on the white canvas is also providing a nice diving board. Now if I could just swim................

This guy could dig a landscape out of the ether like no other. RIP Michael.Way too soon...

Wednesday, November 24, 2010


20"x16" oil

So I swing back and forth....back and forth... brights and neutrals......brights and neutrals. Dug this one out of the last wipedown. Admittedly, I went very quickly. Much to do and preoccupations on the mind. Not painting conditions.

Side note. Went to Philly last night to pick up work and attend the Chester county artists critique. Good times. Drove home around midnight through Lancaster county. The landscape was one worth mentioning. Amish buggies with flashing taillights, Dutch Wunderland(a kiddie park) with flashing all kinds of lights, houses with Christmas lights, headlights, dashboardlights........the clincher was the amish buggy rather rapidly approaching a hitching post at a turkey hill mini midnight. Tonight on the news they mentioned the lights are now on at Dutch Wunderland. A young girl was interviewed and mentioned how the lights were "enchanting". while I drove by I couldn't help but think " these lights are blinding and totally not natural". I guess I am losing that youthful enthusiasm. I do wish I had my camera. Saw some killer amish buggies backlit by neon mall and convenience store lights. Oh yeah, the Amish don't want to be photographed. Go figure........................

Monday, November 22, 2010

24"x18" oil

Did this gesture, color, figure "sketch" tonight. Went into studio thinking cityscape. That didn't last long. Wait til you see what happened next.

20 x 16. Ok, anti-climactic. I started out doing a second figure study in green. The whole time it never vibed. Both of these are over old paintings. I realized that I started copying the first one. Grounds for murder I say. The first one materialized from the ether. When I try to copy not so good things happen. So grabbed towel.....wiped.... stopped. You see, Brian doesn't like to repeat himself. Welcome to a day in the life. By the way, I think I see a nice painting in this one.......

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Do not be afraid

both 24"x24" oils

The top piece I just did. Took a year old painting that I didn't mind and immediatly covered it with red paint. Blinding bloodbath would be a good phrase. Grabbed some paint soaked paper towels and started wiping. The painting I mean. Vertical.......horizontal......throw on more red......wipe more out.....20 minutes of this and I started to see the image. Carved out a brushfull of neutral and threw it on. Nothing gentle here and yet there is a softness in edge that I truly like. Not sure how my galleries are feeling right now.........

Last week my painting friend Peter Stolvoort came over for dinner and conversation. We spent some time in the studio and we had a bit of a critique. He suggested the original of this piece(scroll down it's about a week old) was a bit confusing to the eye. It was difficult to figure out a focal point. The barn competed with the cows. I agreed wholeheartedly. He suggested eliminating the barn completely. I figured what the heck. Ditch it. Loaded up a brush and in one fell swoop.........half gone? hmmm. This is interesting. It now looms perilously over the hill. Me thinks Me likes. Lesson.......Don't be afraid to screw up a piece. It might just get better..............

Saturday, November 20, 2010

afternoon session

all 3 8"x8" over old paintings

so this afternoon I found great interest in painting over poor work. Scrubbing out, dashes of paint,wiping, rewiping, scrubbing, finding................ this seems the new approach. It interests me. To add an object with paint is a poor solution for me at this point. Much as a sculptor would say, I need to find the object if there is to be one.

morning session

all 6" oils
You'll see I tweaked the originals. Top 3 I've muted the light. Bottom 3 I've enhanced vertical interest.

Friday, November 19, 2010


6"x6" oil
I like this one. Did some painting, scrubbing, wiping and repainting. It felt like the old days. Going totally from the eye and gut.

Did these 3 tonight. Tried another variation on a bridge. the one on the right is the last posting wiped out and redone....from my mind....good bye farm....good bye cows. I dread where my unconscious is going. I suspect it knows. I dont think I'll be pegged as a one type artist after these recent efforts. Some would say "He has no direction" I would say "A made up mind lacks direction" The question being... who or what is the director?"