Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Crossed Lines

 Crossed Lines
18" x 24"
oil on panel

I have spent a lot of time with these wonderful phones. 
I must have had them lined up on top of my cabinet for over a year.
Sometimes I need to spend that time with a toy before
 I ultimately decided what I wanted them to say in an image.

detail from painting
I love these toy phones colors, 
their well loved surfaces showing their age.
The sounds of the bells when you turn their dials 
to make your calls
add a whole level of sensory excitement.
I kept thinking about how telephones are used 
as a means of communication.
One toy phone, with its cord not attached anymore, 
is out of the communication game.

detail from painting
I believe we all at some point have felt in the middle,
between two people (or groups of people)
who are trying to communicate,
but it is not working out too well for them.
Crossed lines of communication.
That is what led to my own vision for
"Crossed Lines".
 detail from painting
I had quite a few friends tell me that the image 
reminded them of party lines.
Party lines were where more than one 
telephone customer were connected in one loop. 
Basically everyone had to take turns. There would be a switch
operator who helped make the line connections.

 Here Sigrid Gellerstedt mans the Cotton telephone 
exchange switchboard at her home in January 1975. 
I found a wonderful blog post about Mrs. Gellerstedt
describing one of Minnesota's last party-line phone systems. 
A link to the article is here: Minnesota's Last Party-Lines

The three toy phones in my painting
are made by The Gong Bell Mfg Co from 1942-1954.
The company began in 1866 in Easthampton, CT.
It is believed that with the introduction of plastics
in toy making, the Gong Bell Mfg Co could not compete
since their toys were mostly made of 
wood and metal, thus closing the company in the 1960's.
To learn more about the Gong Bell Mfg Co please visit

Here is a short video showing my phones,
and the sounds they make.
And yes, a whiskered friend,
who seems to always show up in my little videos,
makes an appearance. 
Such a curious fellow he is.

Crossed Lines 
will be showing at
Principle Gallery Charleston
"These Are A Few Of My Favorite Things"
Annual Still Life Show
May2nd- May 31st, 2014

125 Meeting Street
Charleston, SC

Principle Gallery Charleston Annual Still Life Show

Crossed Lines
18" x 24"
oil on panel
I am honored to have my painting
Crossed Lines
showing at
Principle Gallery Charleston
"These Are A Few Of My Favorite Things"
Annual Still Life Show
May 2nd - May 31st, 2014

May 2nd, 2014

125 Meeting Street
Charleston, SC

To view the show online:

Monday, April 28, 2014

A Little Luck and a Good Idea

A Little Luck and a Good Idea
20" x 16"
oil on panel
We all would like a little extra luck sometimes.
Especially when we think we have good ideas.
I think it all goes hand in hand with a lot of hard work.
All the props in this painting have deep meaning to me. 
The light bulb for the good idea.
The wish bone for a little luck.
The skull is us.
The marbles are our thoughts.
The feather is flight, so those good ideas can 
take flight with a little luck.
I thought I would share some in-progress shots
from the painting:
The skull is from the Visible Man Anatomy kit.
It is only 2" tall. The light bulb is an appliance
bulb, so it is also fairly small in scale.
 Detail from painting.
A Little Luck and a Good Idea

Principle Gallery
20th Anniversary Invitational
208 King Street
Alexandria, VA 

Friday, April 25, 2014

Principle Gallery 20th Anniversary Show

Since opening in 1994, Principle Gallery has been 
dedicated to exhibiting the best of American and European
Contemporary Realism. Focusing on paintings
in oil and bronze sculpture, the gallery represents
emerging, mid-career, and established artists
with a distinct personal approach
to their work.

They are celebrating
twenty wonderful years with their
20th Anniversary Group Invitational Show
Opening reception and celebration
Friday, April 25th, 2014
6:30pm - 9:00pm
 Link to see show online:
Principle Gallery 20th Anniversary Show 

I am very honored to have two paintings
 in this show.

Monkey On Your Back
18" x 24"
oil on panel

A Good Idea And A Little Luck
20" x 16"
oil on panel

Monday, April 14, 2014

New Heights

New Heights
24" x 12"
oil on panel

Setting goals. Going new places. 
Learning new skills. Being brave. Taking a first step.
Take a breath.
Reaching for new heights.

All these phrases inspired my new painting
New Heights.

detail from painting

The vintage wind up mechanical rabbit
 in this painting is Skippy The Jumping Rabbit
made by Mikuni in Japan
between 1950-1960.

The cloth dressmakers measuring tape is from the 1950's. 
The case is made from bakelite. Bakelite is one of the first 
plastics made from synthetic components.

New Heights
is showing at
Elliot Fouts Gallery
Sacramento, CA