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Pick of the Month, January 2024: "DIY Frames"

I’m well aware of what it takes to have a painting beautifully matted and framed, but even so, it galls me sometimes when the cost of a frame rivals, or even surpasses, the cost of the artwork. And so I’ve been scouring antique shops and flea markets for frames that I can clean, refurbish, refinish, or paint. I also pulled out my mat cutter, bought decades (?) ago, and have taught myself to use it  (well YouTube taught me, actually).  I only mess up occasionally (Note to self: measure twice, cut once!). So I’ve spent the last couple of months fashioning custom frames for my little pears, attempting to give them a suitable send-off. There's something so satisfying about seeing your work set off in a clean white mat and a frame that has as much personality as the work itself.

Pick of the Month, August 2023: "Woman In Profile"

For years -- many years before I picked up a palette knife -- I did nothing but draw with graphite or charcoal. With drawing, there's no waiting for layers to dry, no gobs of paint and wax stuck to my shoes or my hair. It seems more direct, more immediate, more simple somehow. This particular drawing does have a twist, though, as it was drawn in silverpoint. That technique is a little more complicated. First you lay down a special “ground”, and when it dries, you make your marks using a stylus that holds a thick wire made of silver. The hard part is, there is no erasing. Whatever marks you make are there to stay. The range of values is limited, but I love the inner glow of the final result. And after a few years, the silver will oxidize and the marks will take on the coppery hue you see in renaissance drawings.

Woman in Profile (Framed)
Woman in Profile (unframed)

Silverpoint on paper; matted only (11 x 14 in.) or framed (13 11/16 x 16 3/4 in.

Pick of the Month, July 2023: Husband

Husband (v1)

I came across this old painting amid a pile of my old paintings, all destined to be painted over. I was in ruthless mode, but there was something about this man that made me hesitate. Maybe it was the jowls. They reminded me of my grandfather's, my mother's, my own. So I worked on him just for a day, simplified the background, highlighted the plains of his cheeks, deepened the contrasts, and made a few other adjustments. I decided he was a keeper.


(2023) Oil on canvas paper, 16 x 12 inches

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