The Ochres of Roussillon

Ochre pigment is buttery warm, divinely tactile to the eyes, in varying colors from yellow to orange to red.  These colors are my work’s life’s blood.  This spring I visited the small village of Roussillon, in the Luberon Valley in southern France, built on an ochre ridge, mined for it’s pigment.  Walking along the ochre trail, immersed in the earth’s rich warm color, was an ecstatic experience.  I can still feel the buzz, and am now working on a series titled “The Windows of Roussillon”, soon to be completed.

IMG_6845        Ochre dust

IMG_6870         Roussillon Window




Photography Day – April 2016

With EG Schempf and Cassie Rhodes, respectively, Photographer and Studio Assistant extraordinaire.

Music by Beethoven, Piano Sonata #21 In C, Op. 53, Waldstein, 1. Allegro Con Brio, played by Emil Gilits


Painting Process Video

I have been recording some painting sessions to watch how things unfold.  It’s helpful for me to see what works and what doesn’t, and how it’s resolved.  These clips of a piece completed last week, seemed to call for music, so I thought I’d post.

Music by Count Basie and his Orchestra, “Goin’ to Chicago Blues”.





Storms are rolling in and out of central Florida.  Opportunities to work outside have been minimal; one day I tried to sandwich some painting time between storms:

A storm blew in while the canvas was still wet, ultimately with 125 mph winds.

I couldn’t drag the canvas inside with wet paint.  It was left to the fate of the winds.

First light the next day revealed the 24 foot canvas to be wrapped around 2 palm trees, pigment washed out, dirt embedded, destroyed.

I decided maybe it was time for input, not output. While it’s strange to not be working, peace and ease is setting in.  Beauty on the beach….



Photography Day

Photography day is always fun, with E.G. Schempf – photographer and Cassie Rhodes – assistant.

Music: Beethoven: Piano Sonata No.21 in C, “Waldstein”





Some days the painting talks to you, and you know what to say.

Bach violin concerto # in A Minor, Allegro Moderato




fledgling English Carrier pigeon wandered into the studio this evening.  

Movie, below, set to Chopin’s Andante Spianato & Grand Polonaise in E Flat, Op. 22



Getting Out of the Way

When I’m getting ready to paint, usually there is a quieting period, taking the edge of high excited energy down to a harness-able wattage.  Sometimes I’ll take a few photographs, mill around looking at the work that’s in process on the walls, smooth out some canvases, or often sit quietly for a very long time, listening to the wind or the stillness, so that the focus shifts to the senses and out of my busy and more linear mind.  I think of this process as getting out of the way, so that the distance between ideas, what is seen, what is felt, and what goes down on canvas, is very small.  I was curious to see if I could capture this process of “getting out of the way” on video.  This take was 23 minutes long, but compressed into one minute.


A Short and Poetic Film About Building a Sculpture (the Studio), with Cello

While I’ve been in the new studio for nearly a year, the collaberative design and construction remains a memorable project, yielding a giant, functional sculpture.  I recently swept together all of digital miles of video taken during the construction, and asked Gigi Harris, a talented young filmmaker, to make this piece.  

Starring roles:

The general contracting (and construction) by Leon Morgan, construction and electrical by Keith Meeks, framing and roofing by John Ediger and crew, sheetrock by Ray Williamson crew,  concrete by Dave Rockers and crew,  Polygal installation by John Davis crew, water work by the Kenny Sloans, HVAC by GK Smith crew.  Combine moving by Leon and Keith. Bin moving by Leon M., Keith M. and John H. (bin and combine events were spectacular).  I worked between shifts.

The visionary architect:  Steve Bowling, Hive Design Collaberative


Photo Essay – Paint, Rust and Open Air

I am enchanted with painting the combine.  The scale!  There is nothing to prepare in order to paint; it lies in wait.  Last night I dreamed about it and woke up with new ideas, barely waiting for the dew to dry to paint some more.  The beautiful thirsty rust is already gorgeous in the patterns that have been created over the years.  Keeping a delicate touch on what is painted and what is left natural, is the dance.  The purples against rust makes me swoon.  My work on canvas is benefiting from these new eyes.

IMG_3687  IMG_3657 cut  IMG_3660 1   IMG_3691 1 IMG_3590 1   IMG_3699 1