Sunday, November 25, 2012


Since the Michelle Usabelli-influenced paintings, I've studied with some wonderful teachers, including spending almost a year doing classical drawing and painting in Tenaya Sim's Georgetown Atelier, painting with Suzanne Brooker at Gage Academy, with Henry Stinson both here in Langley and at his studio in Pullman, and Pierre Bonaparte through the Whidbey Island Fine Art Studios.  The eggs and chocolate painting was a still life at WIFAS.  The cow, entitled "One of the Girls," was from a photo I took on a ranch in Kansas last fall.  I adore cows (and other farmyard critters) and have another cow painting planned for the near future.  I love her teal face, and sparkly top-knot.  Both of these paintings were recently sold.


The painting above was done in a Michelle Usibelli workshop, from one of her photos.  I just love the crispy white shirt.  That's actually what this painting is all about .... and the lighting in the bar.

The bed is a painting I did in my old bedroom.  My painting girlfriends, Joanne Shellen and Phyllis Ray, and I spent a day setting up easels around the house and painting inteiors.   It was an old 1920s house with lots of cool scenes to paint.

This other interior was painted in another Michelle Usabelli workshop, from another of her photos.  I guess I take to her photos!  I think this is of her sister.  The original painting is brighter and crispier than this photo and is entitled "Pep Talk."


After the pregnancy series, I studied a bit with Phil Borges, a wonderful Mercer Island photographer.  He inspired me to get a Hasselblad and to shoot square format.  I began a couple of color travel series, first in Peru when I traveled for his Bridges program, working with the native students in the remote mountains of Peru, and then in Istanbul.   The above photo ... which was a natural light 3 minute exposure ... lends itself well to being printed very large, poster sized.   In December '03, I held a show at Cafe Paloma in Pioneer Square, entitled "Mystical Istanbul."   The show was of ancient sites in the old Istanbul, including the Blue Mosque, Hagia Sophia, and the amazing underground cistern, shown above.   The show also exhibited at the Seattle Center for a Turkish festival.  I got many beautiful shots of the people and places in Peru and Istanbul, but I was printing large images and my scanner cannot accommodate them.  This gives you a taste!


I continued to study color photography under Seth, and continued to shoot the pregnancy series.  One of my fellow classmates became pregnant.  She was a delightful photography buddy, and became an inspired model.  She chose the bold primary colored paints, and did her own body painting.  I chose the brilliant red backdrop, and did an edgey play with the type of film to get this bold contrast and unusual colors.  I forget the details now, but I believe it was an odd use of slide film for still photography.


I began shooting a pregnancy series.  This is the first of the series, and seriously reflect's Joyce's influence with it's soft light, draping the model, and gentle palette.  It was funny ... my girlfriend asked me to journal her pregnancy with photography.  Our first images were terrible ... I didn't know lighting at all!  But the bigger she got, the better I got.  Ultimately, I was pleased.


I was studying under Seth Thompson, a great color teacher at the Photographic Center Northwest.  He suggested that, to practice lighting, etc., I find a photographer I admired and copy some of her work.  I chose Joyce Tenneson.  These images are my version of two of her photographs in her book, Transformations.  Check out the originals!  I hand painted the backdrop, found a lovely young model who reminded me of Joyce's.


Three Pears

Queen Anne

Paris Country House shot with a Toy Camera

Infra-red Photo at Seattle's Japanese Garden

French Countryside
Confessions of a lazy blogger:  I started this art blog earlier this year but haven't been posting any work.  Today, I decided that my New Year's resolution is to keep painting and blogging.  First things, first.  I'm going to put some of my art history here, for my own sense of continuation.  Here's a few samples of what's left of my photographic days.  I studied at the Photographic Center Northwest for a couple of years, learning B&W film techniques, appreciating the great instruction & facilities at PCNW and grateful for Ansel Adam's generous teaching books.  He taught me that it all starts with knowing how to make a great negative (exposure, lighting, etc.) and then your printing efforts can concentrate on enhancements, rather than corrections.  My first photographs, of course, were black and white.