December 2, 2010

New Painting: The Great Escape

rough sketch

(you can see how much the painting changed from the sketch below)
The Great Escape
acrylic on canvas
18"x 36"

New Painting: I Try To Be An Ordinary Girl

rough sketch

I Try To Be An Ordinary Girl

acrylic on canvas

May 25, 2010

A Day in Sevilla

I was just reading through old emails and found one I wrote about my trip to Sevilla, Spain in the summer of 2004. Made me laugh.

un cuento/ a story
sevilla, the city where christopher colombus was granted his wish and fate took its course.

yesterday i got to sevilla late. i had planned to catch the 8 am bus from granada to sevilla but the bed was too comfortable. after a slow start, i was able to take the next bus at 12 pm and reached sevilla around 3 pm.

its hot as hell! its 47 degrees celsius!!! (that equals 116.6 degrees fahrenheit!)

after getting off the bus and checking my map of the city, i began making my way into the center of the city on foot. did i say walk? more like stumble blindly.

first, as i said, "its hot as hell," so you stumble forward from one shady spot to the next until this becomes much more important than actually following a particular route. in fact the path seems marked liked hansel and gretel leaving breadcrumbs for you. shadow to shadow, and then you realize that this is getting you no where or rather, lost.

so you must brave the sun and when you do, its as if you've stepped into a hot turkish bath of perspiration. your clothes cling to you and your feet roast in the running shoes that you'd rather not be wearing, the flip flops that broke in granada packed useless in your backpack as the glue that you patched them with the night before, dries.

second, upon reaching the city center you find yourself in a maze of twisted narrow streets that leave you with no sense of direction. but there are lovely sights to see as you walk through the old jewish quarter of santa cruz. there is the 3rd biggest cathedral in the world with its gothic flying buttresses and gargoyles that act as drain spouts (i heard that the word gargoyle comes from the latin word for gargle), there is the impressive Alcazar (once a fort/church/palace), and of course the dozens of outdoor cafes on cute little plazas.

finally by 5 pm i reach my destination at the PensiĆ³n Varega and crash, pummeled by the sun. after a couple of hours of reading "the sun also rises", i venture out again.

the streets as i said are narrow. high above hang long sheets of canvas to give protection from the sun to the crowds below. crowds eating ice cream, window shopping, and people-watching (like me).

i find my way to the river. along the way it is completely necessary to by a bottle of water every 10 city blocks. (still hot)

the river is green and full of kayakers paddling away and playing water basketball between strokes.

on my way back into town i pass the old bullring and find a bench on the plaza nueva and sit down next to a little round old lady with a black dog, who struck up a conversation with me by trying to guess where i was from. after eliminating all of the european possibilities (from germany to italy) she finally guessed right (to her satisfaction).

before long, another younger old lady with a flashlight joined us on the bench and entered into the conversation, fanning herself furiously. (hot)

the conversation began (being dominated by the 1st-old-lady-with-a-black-dog) with a short history of how the river had been diverted many years ago from its original path (it had flowed right though the plaza in which we were sitting). then the conversation moved on to the 1st-old-lady-with-a-black-dog talking about her 8 cousins who had moved to venezuela (60-some years before) by sneaking aboard a ship and when they were caught, made friends with the captain. and then she talked about how bored she had been while visiting her daughter's family on sunday. they had a pool, but she hadn't been in a pool since 1981 (she thought).

the 2nd-younger-old-lady-with-a-flashlight would occasionally make comments that had nothing to do with what the 1st-old-lady-with-a-black-dog was saying, such as:
1. how lonely she was.
2. how she wouldn't take/get on elevators anymore even though her daughter lived on the 9th floor of an apartment building. she said she took the stairs. (i found that hard to believe)
3. she got absolutely furious about the idea of chewing gum (she found it disgusting)
4. and finally said that i was a handsome blond.

the 1st-old-lady-with-a-black-dog continued talking about people finding long lost treasure buried in in the ground floor of their row houses, repeated the story about how bored she was at her daughter's house on sunday, and then talked about electrical black out (which explained why the 2nd-younger-old-lady-with-a-flashlight had a flashlight).

the conversation completely degenerated when the 2nd-younger-old-lady-with-a-flashlight asked the 1st-old-lady-with-a-black-dog if she wasn't uncomfortable missing half of her teeth.

the 1st-old-lady-with-a-black-dog was in fact missing, on the top row, almost all her teeth on the left side, and on the bottom row, almost all of the teeth on the right side.

from then on, health was the topic of discussion, dominated of course by the 1st-old-lady-with-a-black-dog. she told us that she had left her false teeth at her daughter's house on sunday, then she told us about the breast cancer that turned out to be a blood clot (a discovery made literally on the operating table as the doctors prepared to remove her breast), she spoke about her nephew's spinal cord problems, and how her brother (a professor of physical chemistry at the age of 17) died at the age of 30 in his bathtub.

shortly before leaving the bench and their company, the 1st-old-lady-with-a-black-dog gave us all hard candies before declaring "they're sugar free!," which was good because they both turned out to be diabetics, joking about not being able to prick their fingers for blood tests anymore because they had built up callouses.

in the end i left them smiling on the bench, slightly sorry that i was leaving as i was sure that i would be missing out on some interesting conversations.

sevilla is a beautiful place!

Sunset in Plaza Nueva, Sevilla sold
(this painting was made shortly after returning to the States in 2004. Not the old ladies I was sitting with, but my view from the park bench while we spoke.. )

May 21, 2010

SI-LA 48

I recently was notified that the web version of the Society of Illustrators of Los Angeles's illustration annual #48 went live. My painting, "She Loves Me (she loves me not)" was selected to be in the gallery section. You can see it here.

She Loves Me (she loves me not)

May 3, 2010

Process: The Painting That Took A Year

Once I start a painting I usually have no problem with it, the paint flows and it almost seems to finish itself. I finished "God Bless This House," the subject of this post, in January, and I was very very happy to be done. For some reason, it took me forever.... a year.

PROCESS - God Bless This House:

Process: Rough thumbnail sketches. I went with a version of the 2nd.
Process: This drawing was the final stage of planning.
Process: stopping point
When I got to this point in the painting, I painted over the figures and stopped for 5 months. I had never done this before, but something (I couldn't have told you what) was wrong with the painting.
Process: Whiteout
When I finally tried to tackle the painting again and save it, this is what I came up with.
And I ran with it.

Process: final

Portrait of a Promising Young Artist

I just wanted to share this awesome drawing made by my 6 year old very talented nephew yesterday. Once he finished, he got out some scotch tape and taped it to the front of my shirt.

Yesterday he came over to see our new house and found himself very much at home when he saw my studio. He immediately asked for paper, pencils and crayons and sat down at my drafting table and began to work. Next time I'll break out the paint!

April 9, 2010

Piece for Yuri's Night 2010

Finally got my studio installed and found the time to crank out this drawing for Yuri's Night tomorrow. I apologize for the poor quality of the image, I didn't have a chance to scan it before I dropped it off for hanging.

Glory Days (sold)

April 1, 2010

Yuri's Night 2010

With any luck (due to the craziness of our move) I'll have one piece in this show!

Countdown To Yuri's Night
Takes Flight Third Straight Year
Saturday, April 10 At 8 P.M.

WASHINGTON, DC (February 4, 2010) Countdown to Yuri's Night, an out of this world art extravaganza that combines visual art, performance, and music to commemorate the first human space flight, is back for a third year.

Countdown to Yuri's Night, a 21-and-over event, takes place Saturday, April 10, from 8 p.m. to 2 a.m., at the Capitol Skyline Hotel (10 I Street SW). Tickets are $30 in advance and $35 at the door. Visit for tickets, artist links, and event announcements.

Returning to the event to are Trixie Little and The Evil Hate Monkey, an award-winning acrobatic superduo who dance, flip, fight, and strip for the opposing forces of good and evil. Their adventures have taken them all across the United States, and now they are charting a course to conquer the galaxy.While the complete 2010 line-up will be announced shortly, past performers include Miss Saturn, L'il Dutch, and The Atomic Mosquitos.

In an "Astro-Pop" art exhibition organized by artists Scott G. Brooks and Jared Davis, approximately 20 visual artists will exhibit work that celebrates, reflects, and imagines space, from hard-core science to the lowbrow culture. Confirmed artists, in addition to Brooks and Davis, include Dana Ellyn, Matt Sesow, Stephen Blickenstaff, Greg Ferrand, Linas Garsys, and Andrew Wodzianski. The exhibition will be available for viewing prior to the event at

Countdown to Yuri's Night is an artistic spin on a high-science holiday. On April 12, 1961, Russian Cosmonaut Yuri Gagarin embarked on the historic first manned space flight. Every year around April 12, Yuri's Night parties are held all around the world; it's like St. Patrick's Day for space.

For art, please contact Deb Fiscella / Center Stage Marketing at

March 18, 2010

New Illustration

The following commentary illustration was done for Education Week and accompanied an article that explored the idea of predicting the viability of educational reforms.
rough sketch

final drawing

final illustration (color added in Photoshop)

March 16, 2010


I have been painting painting painting. Not canvases but my new house. Not everyone has loved the color choice, but I do!

February 1, 2010

Newest Painting & Others That Are Available For Sale

Just wanted to share my newest painting and a link to view other pieces that are currently available. To see what I have go here.

God Bless This House (sold), acrylic on canvas, 36"x24"
Thank you very much for your support and interest in my work!

January 1, 2010

A Nice Way to Start 2010

This morning I started the day like any other: had breakfast, played with my son and then checked my email. When I did, I was surprised and happy to see that I had an email from the Society of Illustrators of Los Angeles's saying that my painting, "She Loves Me (she loves me not)," was selected to be in the gallery section of the SI-LA's illustration annual #48 (this is the second year in a row I've been included). I will be sure to provide a link when the annual goes live later this year.

2010 is looking good so far!)

She Loves Me (she loves me not)