This will be about my views on what it takes to put a three dimensional world onto a two dimensional surface. With a lot of digressing.
Don't forget to leave a comment, or a question if you have one, below the post. Thanks.


Jun 14, 2013


I spent my formative painting years adopting some of the methods of the seventies, that is, eliminating the hand of the painter. A smooth surface, no visible brush work, and in the case of a lot of photo-realists, using an air brush.
My time with the airbrush was short lived. The frustrations involved with learning it, using it, and cleaning it were not worth it, more so when I learned that Larry Rivers, for instance, used airbrush experts as studio assistants. Sheesh
I'm not sure that optical and color field painting would have been possible without acrylics. (Introduced in the sixties) Certainly taping for hard edges, if that was a requisite, it would have been difficult with oils.
Large paintings meant, for me and my friends, buying #10 canvas at a sail makers in NYC, Jensen & Lewis.
Stretching 4 x 6 footers was no fun, neither was transporting them, storing them, moving with them. And no way did you even consider painting in the great outdoors.With the exception of billboards of course.
Another state, another state of mind, another age, another century. Here I am surrounded by the painting dejur, Plein Air. By necessity the majority are smallish oils, done on windproof and  portable panels. And hopefully, started and finished with the rare help of Mother Nature. Who I firmly believe is, like God, in reality a teen aged boy.
I've been struggling to fit in for obvious reasons, to adapt to changing times and tastes that remain with the French Impressionists. For good reason of course. Speaking of which, whom, I went to the new Barnes Collection Museum in Phila. (See the documentary, "The Art of The Steal") Loved the collection of antique furniture that was the Missus taste.The paintings, most wonderful, some meh, one dreadful surprise, Van Goghs nude. Oy. And..........................................
May I presume to judge a great painter and a big-time collector ? Sure why not. There was an unfortunate amount, an excess, of Renoirs fleshy pink round bulging nudes. Seemed like hundreds.
                                 Back to my reality.
After some fits and starts and trials and errors, I think I can work out this plein air thing. Since it's the only game in town I have to be there or be square, so to speak.The alternative is don't sell, don't show.
So I've been using my favorite medium, liquid acrylics. I've transferred them into small flip top plastic bottles.
Limited to my favorite colors and mixes.Another bottle contains retarder and water, 50/50. I have a mini-muffin pan that fits in my french easel -each little muffin compartment gets a lump of paint with a squirt of water/retarder on top.. Ordinarily I don't use retarder, but it's a necessity outdoors. I'm still working on the bigger is better brushwork, and am determined  to try the "Open" acrylics, even tho they come in tubes.
I spent this past weekend painting on site for the Kent Island Fine Art & Garden Tour thing.
                            Acrylic on Linen adhered to panel.(see previous post) 12x16  "The Tree"


  1. Love this painting and look forward to more stories about painting outside with acrylics.

    1. Thanks Chris.If this was oil, it would still be wet.Ha.
      Kent Island art org -KIFA- is having a reception/show tonight at Cascia(who Knew)Vineyards.
      I started this painting because of a big branch hanging over the water. The painting didn't work until I took the nasty thing out.

  2. Okay, first of all this little painting is utterly beautiful. So are the roses and many many others. Still love those birds! Plein aire the only game in town? uh oh. but i'm agaraphobic! or something like that.
    I love liquid acrylics too. But I have 7 trillion colors and only use one trillion.
    I taught painting at Towson. is that near you? They thought i was great. I thought I was an imposter. Still do.
    Why Maryland?
    Love Libby's mom, Joyce

    1. (This from a long lost friend,one of the best painters I ever had the luck to know.Envy.)
      Thanks Joyce,coming from you especially
      When you were at Towson, I was probably in Virginia, etc.I'll bet you were a great teacher.As far as feeling like an imposter, if you're at all humble, it comes with the territory.
      When you hear that you have to be born with so called talent,or that its a gift from god,and I know neither is true in my case (Probably Mozarts)I have to say uh uh,I just worked my ass off.
      The funny thing is, people don't want to hear that.
      Why Maryland,she asks? Why Utica?