Painter of the mystical, otherworldly, sensual, and whimsical.

I'm a painter living and working in the beautiful finger-lakes region of Western New York State. I am also an avid gardener and nature lover, so the lush green rolling hills, gentle streams, and majestic lakes that surround my home in this world often appear in the fantasy worlds of my paintings.

Many of the pieces draw inspiration from folk tales, myths and legends. These "teaching tales" were what drew us together around our hearth-fires for centuries, and I believe those stories still carry power.

I enjoy looking at these ancient tales, through my eyes, and painting what I see, no matter if it's beautiful or disturbing. But what's more fun is when others can see those same paintings and find something within of value that speaks to their soul directly. I do not plan for this, but am honored when it happens, and, oh, yes, do love hearing about it every time that it happens. It reminds me that maybe we are not so different after all.

Glad to meet you, and please enjoy the paintings!

Monday, August 13, 2012

Death of an Art Critic: Robert Hughes

Above: Robert Hughes in New York, where he lived and wrote for Time magazine from 1970. Photograph: Jeremy Pollard/Oxford Film/TV 

Robert Hughes, a critic who came to be known as the scourge of many 'modern' artists, has died.

Whatever your feelings about critics, his writing was always provocatively interesting.

An art professor who I correspond with commented, "I disagreed and had issues with a number of his opinions and arguments, but when he was on point he could be very inspiring. I would show clips of his "Shock of the New" and "American Visions" videos (along with the writing) in my Art History classes and they never failed to capture students' attention and get them interested in the subject."

Another friend who works as a painter in Ontario, Canada, wrote, "He was a great curmudgeon. His critique of market-driven art hype was bitter but largely accurate, I think. He was conservative but not reactionary...  I'll miss his gruff, sometimes brutal art critiques."

"Gruff, sometimes brutal," seems to be a widely-held opinion of the man who was the chief art critic behind TIME magazine for 30 years, and often a traditionalist scourge during an era when art movements fractured into unrecognizability.  He had opinions, and seemed to have no fear of making hamburger out of the art world's sacred cows. In 1993, he described the era's darling of the New York contemporary art world, Jeff Koons, as “so overexposed that it loses nothing in reproduction and gains nothing in the original.”

“Koons is the baby to Andy Warhol’s Rosemary,” he summarized, adding: “He has done for narcissism what Michael Milken did for the junk bond."

While I have no doubt that many contemporary artists will not mourn his passing, I have to respect the fearlessness of a man who is willing to openly point out when the emperor has no clothes.