May 2020 – Metaphors for Loss

cataclysm, 16 x 20, oil on canvas








The State of the Art Gallery, like most businesses in New York and surrounding states, has closed to halt the spread of Covid-19.  In response, the show that we planned for May, Emergence,  has been uploaded to an online gallery that you can access at It won’t be quite as much fun as a trip to the gallery to stand in front of the paintings in person and mingle with like minded art lovers, but it will enable you to see what we have been up to these many months. We have also put one piece of art from each artist in the gallery window, so you can get a taste of what the show might have looked like up close in person.  Emergence contains the work of eight of the gallery’s members, each showing a substantial body of work completed during this past year that reflects their understanding of emergence.

Gaia Nurtures, 16 x 20″, oil on canvas

The paintings I have in this show are metaphors for loss, painted to externalize tumultuous and overwhelming feelings in order to make them manageable and restore equanimity. I started this series in response to my personal circumstances, but as I went on I realized how overwhelmingly universal it is. Everyone experiences loss at some point in their lives. People walk around with invisible holes in their hearts from the loss of loved ones or lose their homes suddenly in the cataclysm of floods, tornados, and hurricanes. Refugees leave their homes and wonder if they will ever navigate through the rocky path to the light beyond. This is particularly timely now, as we engage in social distancing. We have lost the company and touch of those we love, and the sense of agency that we get from gathering together, shopping, going to work or school. We can feel very small in the face of big events that we can’t control and to which we can’t see an end. Regardless of the cause, people can find themselves staring down a vortex of despair. My hope is that these paintings resonate with you for a moment of quiet reflection on your personal life and the universality of loss in our lives, our community and beyond.

Little Boat, 16 x 20″, oil on canvas

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April 2019 Lots of Paintings Out in Ithaca

Falls, Eddies, and Riffles on Cascadilla Creek, oil on canvas, 25″ x 30″, $2000

There is a huge flurry of activity to report this month in several locations. This year the State of the Art Gallery is celebrating their 30th anniversary. One of a series of major events will be an exhibit of the members’ art hosted at the Community School of Music and Art. I will show a large landscape from last summer’s series of Cascadilla Creek paintings, entitled Falls, Eddies, and Riffles on Cascadilla Creek. (left)

Black and White Shape Exploration #1 Two Semi-Circles and a Diagonal, acrylic on canvas, 11″x14″, $350

Black and White Shape Exploration #5 – Two Triangles Playing Figure Ground Games, acrylic on canvas, 11″x14″, $350

Meanwhile, back at the gallery, Connie Zehr will create an installation of her sand and glass in the Salon, and the members will have the opportunity to show work in the front room. I will have three new abstract paintings from a recently completed series: Black and White Explorations of Shape.

Precocious Poplar at Chateau Lafeyette Reyneau, Overlooking Seneca Lake, oil on canvas. 14 x 18″, $450

At the same time, I will have a new landscape painting included  in the Art of Friends at the Unitarian Universalist Church in Ithaca. This painting was started on site the summer before last and finished up in studio  this winter. It features  poplar trees on the grounds of Chateau Lafeyette Reneau which overlooks Seneca Lake.  (left)

Last and certainly not least, at the Moosewood restaurant, I will have the largest collection ever of my landscapes, almost thirty paintings on display.   I chose these from work produced mostly during the last three years.  Come and eat delicious food surrounded by the warm tones of summer and fall. You will find familiar scenes from Ithaca’s park and wild lands, and a few from my travels.  (below)

Pooling Light on Cascadilla Creek, 20 X 26″, oil on canvas, $1500


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New at State of Art Gallery January 2019


Beech Walk, Cape Cod Nat’l Seashore, 18″x18″, oil on canvas

I have eight new paintings at the State of the Art Gallery for the month of January.  Ten members of the gallery are exhibiting in TAKE TEN, which kicks off a full year of the gallery celebrating the anniversary of its 30th year. The show will run January 2-27, with an opening reception Friday, January 4, 5:00-8:00 pm. 

Common Mugwort in a South Wind, 16″x20″, oil on canvas,

Sand Dunes, Cape Cod Nat’l Seashore, 14″x18″, oil on canvas

“The rare moment is not the moment when there is something worth looking at, but the moment when we are capable of seeing.” Joseph Wood Krutch.*

This series of paintings celebrates the ordinary as extraordinary. After a summer of traveling to exquisitely beautiful destinations, coming home with a gazillion great photos, I thought I was all set to create a series of oil paintings referencing my recent vistas. However, nothing struck me as immediately paintable, neither distant mountain views, nor roaring surf, rushing gorges, peaceful farms sloping down along the river. All the places that I recently found so enchanting left me uninspired. I resumed my familiar daily walks close to home through Cass Park and beyond the marina into the wild wetlands and along the many local trails – places I thought were drained of their visual potential. One day, in one moment that was somehow different from the ten thousand moments before that, I finally became capable of seeing. The same old weeds and trees, goldenrod, common mugwort, wetland grasses, box elder and cottonwoods were new again in sun and cloud and the tossing of the wind. I also began to see my travel photos as dynamic compositions; and included some landscapes from Cape Cod here as well. 

* Joseph Wood Krutch (November 25, 18

Box Elders in the Wetlands, 20″x30″, oil on canvas

93 – May 22, 1970) was an American writer, critic, and naturalist, 

Three Cottonwoods in Goldenrod (The Wetlands). 16″X20″, oil on canvas

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November 2018 News

Jellison Cove Study, Oil on canvas, 12″ X 16″. $350.00

After hanging my show at the State of the Art Gallery in April, I had a bit of a dry spell. Most of my energy went into travel and visiting friends during the spring and summer months. I was in some incredibly beautiful locations in the northeast – the mountains of New York State, the coast of Massachusetts and Maine, Canada’s St. Lawrence all the way out to Nova Scotia, and some wild places in southern Florida. I thought I’d be painting in all of these lovely places, but that was not to be, except for the trip to Maine, in the company of my long time painting buddies, which yielded one plein air painting.  I had to accept that the friends I was visiting, some of whom I hadn’t seen in decades, deserved all of my attention. I took hundreds of photographs and thought for sure I would return to Ithaca to be a veritable fountain of creativity, but in fact, nothing moved me to canvas until I resumed my daily walks along the Cayuga inlet waterfront trails. The multitude of subtle color shifts in greens and yellows in the tangle of vine and woods, the slow unfolding of bud and seed, along with the dramatic skies of a wet and stormy late summer caught me and lit my fires again. Painting requires time and space of mind to let creativity wander in.

During December and January, at CSMA, I will be exhibiting a new landscape in oil, Jellison Cove Study, in their Annual Open Show. It was painted outdoors on a June morning last summer in Maine, as the tide came in. The sun shone brightly, the seagulls soared overhead, quarreling with each other about which fish rightfully belonged to whom, and the strong wind almost carried away the painting, easel and all. 



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Also on Exhibit in Ithaca in April 2018 – Color and Shape

Red Among Blues, oil on canvas, 12″x12″

I have paintings on display at Transformations Hair and Body Salon until May 26.  

You can see their website: Transformations Hair and Body Salon

The paintings in this exhibit are abstracts from the series Color and Shape which I worked on from November 2016 to December 2017, and a few earlier works. For the past three years, I have been working on abstract paintings in the winter and landscapes during spring through fall. It makes sense, at a time when it is too cold to paint outdoors, when nature strips all but the most subtle color from the landscape. There is a delicious freedom in painting totally without expectation and a wonderful whimsy to exploring color. I can let the paint, as it is laid down on the canvas, dictate the next stroke and the next color choice. It becomes a dialogue between the painter and the painting.

Yellow #4 Red Yellow Blue, oil on canvas, 18″x18″

These paintings form a series of mini-series, each one with a different goal. First I explored shape for the purpose of influencing sentiment, then complementary color to define spatial depth in the plane, and lastly, analogous color to create compelling compositions. Dames and Despots is an example of playing with shape. I wanted to create an imposing shape contrasted with small translucent shapes. I will keep my motivating idea private from the viewer so that he or she can engage with the painting on a personal level. I would like them to be free to experience what ever emotion arises if the painting resonates within them.

yellow #3, acrylic on canvas,18″x18″

Orange with Triangles is an example of playing with complementary colors*; and my goal here was to make the triangles seem to float out away from the background orange-ish color. The yellow explorations and blue etudes were exercises in analogous color**. The blues created especially quiet and peaceful paintings, but I didn’t succeed in creating a painting of interest without using complementary color, however pale it might have been. That will remain a challenge to me for future exploration.

Despot and Dames, 18×24″, oil on canvas, $600

Swirls on Green, oil on canvas,18″x24″

*Arranged on a color wheel, complementary colors are opposite from each other and when mixed together will create black, such as orange/ green, yellow/ purple – things you wouldn’t want to mix in your wardrobe, unless you want a very dramatic look.

**Analogous colors come in groups of three , and are next to each other on the color wheel. Examples are yellow/ red/ orange, – blue/ green/ yellow. Mixing analogous colors will create a new version of the original color – no drama there.

The paintings at Transformations are for sale, and if you would like to purchase one, leave a check or cash with the Transformations staff. I can be reached by email at or by phone at 607 275 7891. More paintings can be seen on my website

Gullag, oil on Canvas, 18″x24″

Landscape 11/9, 16×20″, oil on canvas, $500


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