This series of pineapple illustrations is titled after the name Hawaiian’s gave the pineapple when it arrived on the islands. “Hala Kahiki” roughly means “Foreign Fruit” and was coined because the pineapple reminded them of the native Hala.
Artistically, this series grew from the process used for the Six Packs, but conceptually it came into its own when I grasped it’s humorous potential. The pineapple is me really, and many of the different variations are representations of amazing memories of Hawaii. My ravenous consumption of pineapples and beach bum past times is more than a little typical of us tourists, or Haoles (“how-lee”) as they sometimes say. I can only hope that I too, like the pineapple, become a fixture of that sweet paradise.
Ongoing series. 2018—present.
Gouache on paper.
Gouache (pronounced: gwash) is a water based paint formerly common for commercial work because it is easily photographed. It is water-soluble like watercolor, but opaque, more like acrylics. It quickly dries with to a pastel-like, matte finish.
This series of small works on paper was devised to encourage experimentation with a loose, painterly approach unrestricted by verisimilitude. As one proceeds deeper into each six-pack the bottles become more and more difficult to ascertain, as it would if one were drinking them. Trapped in the adjacent context of the straightforward depictions, not even the vaguest representation can fully elude recognition but the viewer can relax in the freewheeling lyricism of the artwork. Playing with the paint is sometimes more fun than tricking the eye.
Ongoing series. 2017—present.
Gouache on paper board.
Gouache (pronounced: gwash) is a water based paint formerly common for commercial work because it is easily reproduced. It is water-soluble like watercolor, but opaque, more like acrylics. It quickly dries with to a pastel-like, matte finish.
Here is a new work. I am excited to make more in the same style.
The cubist influence is obvious. I borrowed one technique from painter Robin Williams, she paints onto glass and when the strokes dry, floats them off and collages them onto the canvas. Something of Jenny Saville’s recent (2018) show at Gagosian found its way in too, taping off areas to create wildly differing textures.
I glued on magazine clippings to describe the palm trees. Adding a representational sublayer of photographic clippings gives the viewer lots of detail to chew on and me the opportunity to mention or hint at analogous concepts. Hopi kachina dolls form the figures in the background a reminder of my New Mexican childhood and a reminder to celebrate the native cultures of our world. The hand of the melon farmer, evokes Michaelangelo’s iconic Sistine scene, The Creation of Adam (arguably as important as God’s creation of the pineapple) but also hints at the aggressive agricultural production of the islands and the many laborers who toiled for her bounty.
The beer bottle paintings were a delightful surprise to me which grew out of my need to paint small, having moved recently and without studio space. A common, humble subject was selected for convenience which developed into a rich series that pushes my artistic process. Plain, representational work was soon joined with other artistic goals: synesthesia of flavor and color or fluid brushwork to hint at each bottle's contents. Now I don't paint a bottle unless I've sampled the goods, and my tastes and tolerances affect how the paint is mixed and applied. Gratefully, craft beer is having it's moment. I am not lacking in subject matter.
I am currently partnered with the well renowned owners of City Swiggers, Alan and Pamela Rice. I am grateful for the ongoing opportunity to show this artwork at their establishment. Go check them out now. The paintings look great and their selection of bottles and cans is phenomenal. The staff is super helpful and always recommends something new for me.
City Swiggers, 320 East 86th St, New York, NY 10028
When you find yourself downtown please visit my friends at Benson's NYC. They too run a fabulous operation catering to beer connoisseurs and were singularly instrumental in this work's inception.
Benson's NYC, 181 Essex St. just south of Houston
Oils. Sizes ranging from 2 x 3 in. to 40 x 60 in.
Growing up the child of an antiquarian print dealer, surrounded by the skillfully wrought graphic work of 18th and 19th century art left a mark on my aesthetic and still guides my interests. In this series, a collage of antique text pages and illustrations fade beneath white washes and subtle color. The botanical designs are precisely lifted from Thomas Meehan's four volume edition, The Native Flowers and Ferns of the United States (printed by Louis Prang) whose rich chromolithographic colors inspired the vivid, coloristic treatment, modernized with contemporary pigments and acrylic. These botanical illustrations were done were finished and enlivened with selective touches of 24k gold leaf; calling new attention to an old, fabulous work of art.
Acrylic, collage of antique text and illustrations, and gold leaf.
18 x 24 in.
This series of original mixed media paintings is for sale through the family print shop. Please contact Josephine McDonough with inquiries.
These small oil paintings are quickly executed "en plein air" and often in the brief window of remaining daylight after work. In order to capture a timely arrangement of light and shadow one must work quickly. I consider these color studies more than finished pieces and embrace resulting freedom from specific utilizing active, slapdash brushwork. Dramatic shadows and strong linear elements create recessional diagonals and result in energetic compositions imbued with The City's tension.
These watercolors are the second series of iconic Central park views I have undertaken. Focus is drawn on the bridges, designed to lead the eye under and through each span the same way the parks designers wound the walkways cleverly from one picturesque vantage to the next. Technically, this series is tighter, more carefully painted than the first. Still, chances to let the paint bleed were relished, to lend softness and suggest atmosphere.
Watercolor on smooth "hot-pressed" museum board.
8 x 10 in.
Some prints are for sale in the STORE.
CONTACT me if you want to buy one that is not.
2011-2015. Watercolor on paper. Sizes vary from 4 x 6 in. to 24 x 36 in.
All in private collections.
Reproductions available from $50.
This series is challenging to write about because there was no heady concept at birth. The paintings themselves were made with the fullest range of watercolor techniques. Various amounts of water were used in the paint mixtures and the paper was anywhere between flooded and bone dry depending on the desired result. They are non-objective, entirely experimental paintings that matured as the series grew, each new work indebted to the techniques developed with the last.
Watercolors on paper.
9 x 13 in.
By applying an acrylic gesso to the surface of some leftover printmaking paper, I achieved a surface that was exactly as welcoming to watercolor paint as an ice rink is to ball bearings. Instead of absorbing the color, like a proper water media ground does, the pigment sat on the surface, allowing complete erasure if desired (and occasionally when not). Accordingly, no preliminary drawings were needed; the shapes were blocked in boldly and refined slowly. As the work proceeded, more and more acrylic medium was required to cement the paint layers' positions. By the end I was left wondering, why not just paint with acrylics?
Studies executed "from life" at the Art Students League of New York.
20 x 30 in.
Vine and compressed charcoal, with stumping and chamois rubbed effects, plus stenciled erasures
Email to inquire about portrait commissions.
Watercolors. Figure Studies while at the Art Students League in New York City.
2015. Watercolors on handmade Indian paper. approx. 8x5 in.
Had the privilege of spending a few days at the Royal in Playa del Carmen, Mexico for my friends' wedding.
2015. Watercolors on tinted Bockingford paper. 10 x 15 in.
$175 each unframed.
$375 each framed in custom painted Ash, hardwood frame accented with white liming wax rubbed into the grain.
Digital reproductions start at $50.
A solo show of paintings inspired by my favorite fermented beverage and installed at a great LES beer bar frequented by Aussies.
2015. Acrylic paintings on Paper. 12 x 24 in.
These posters are the beginning of a series giving thanks to the Hawaiian island, Kauai and its laid-back, nature-loving people. "Mahalo" means thanks, and I mean it when I say it. Prints of these paintings will be sold to benefit local wildlife preservation groups.
This group was conceived as a fusion between idealized landscapes of European baroque, see Claude Lorrain, with spontaneous water media technique typical of Eastern ink drawings. These Central Park views are an effort describe her iconic features in a contemporary way, without cliche.
Watercolor on handmade, Indian paper.
8 x 12 in.
Each painting in this collection measures only 3 inches tall. The miniature scale is constricting, only essential facts earn mention. Control is called for but not the only matter, a variety of texture is equally important to me. I juxtapose transparent colors, scratched on by coarse hog bristles with opaque passages smoothly laid by silky, sable hair brushes. The colorful backdrops interest me as well, and Series II explores this potential with an abstract whimsy.