Archive for painting

Solo Art Show at the Aar Gallery!

For the entire month of October, I will be having a solo show at the Aar River Gallery in Westminster. Primarily I will be showcasing the art from the upcoming children’s book “Lights On!” to be official published October 1. Come, stop by, and see the originals.

  • There will be a First Friday Reception
    on Oct. 6, from 6 to 9.
  • Hear me talk about the process of creating the illustrations for the book during the Second Saturday Art Walk on Oct. 14 from 1 to 5:00.
  • Also showing will be moderately priced originals, books, and prints. Please stop by and support this wonderful gallery and this great event.

An Exploratory Collective

The title of my blog is called ramblings, and that is not accidental. I think part of the creative process is trying to identify oneself as an artist, and often times for me, this is understood through a journaling process. In this case, the journal happens to be transparent and online, but I’ve always been open in my struggles and triumphs, I wear my emotions and everything else on my sleeve. I’m an open book and I love sharing my process.

Anybody who has been following my art career can attest to how vastly all over the board it has been. I think my problem is that I love so many different types of expression that is has been very difficult to try and pin down one style and to brand that to myself as that, declaring, this is me, this is who I am.

This website is an attempt to try and reign in a certain look and a certain expression for my illustration, and that is mainly editorial, whether through the painted caricatures, to the black and white, pen and ink newspaper type illustrations, or taking those same pen and ink illustrations and colorizing them digitally. For the most part, what is showcased here on this site are all similar in look and style.

Oh, but it is only the beginning of all the vast collection of my total portfolio, and the temptation to include everything on this site (and thereby muddying the branding) is fierce, and I fight it constantly. So, I decided the best thing to do is to introduce some of these other styles in a blog entry, so that if interested, you can go and check them out offsite.

 Painting For Life

cape-cod-02-webI am quickly moving away from this realistic style for a variety of reasons, but when I first started, this was my bread and butter. I love storytelling and I loved Rockwell’s technique and so I studied his work intensely and I worked hard at trying to create my own Rockwellian type illustration and design. Not finding an application for the fine art pieces I was creating, I started my own production company titled Painting For Life, in which we produced, sold and distributed our own cards and gifts based upon the art I was making. In the end, I felt like the look was a bit dated and not as expressive as it needed to be, so I started to modernize my style. However, I still enjoy working this way once in a while, on a personal basis. To learn more, check out

ballerina in the mirror-web

People of the Chalk

I can’t go on with out a shout out to our new venture, our three dimensional chalk art street paintings. We travel all over the country creating these pieces. My story of this journey can be its own blog entry, but I’ll spare you for now. Instead, you have to check out our portfolio and videos:



Not sure how to label this final look other than the name currently given it. It’s my attempt to modernize my painterly look, utilizing bigger brush strokes and trying to be more expressive and intentional with the color and design. This is a tough challenge for me, my background being strict realism. I have to mentally push myself beyond this and trust my instincts. I’m really exploring the stylization and I’m starting to produce a number of works that fall under this category.

That’s it for now. Thanks for listening. Gotta get back to the ol’ drawing board.

Customized Calendar Card for University Hospital.


Just put the finishing touches on another customized holiday calendar card for University Hospital. Specifically, this was for the division of transplant surgery, a very meaningful place for me. Every year I am privileged to design their card, and every year I am challenged with how to incorporate the green ribbon into the illustration–the green ribbon symbolizing organ donation. For those who do not know my story, I am a two time liver transplant recipient, the result of an aggressive auto-immune problem. The gift of life is very sobering, and I do not take my second chance of living for granted. Though the auto-immune still continues to plague me, I make it a point to drink in every living moment I can and to make the most of the skills and opportunities given me.

If you are curious to see more, please watch the video I made a few years back (below). It also serves as another portfolio piece and an exploration into some ModNarrative animation.

Regarding the above card, because of the client, I went back to a more realistic style, but my biggest challenge was how to make the vignettes of people enjoying life appear as reflections in the ribbon. I knew color had to be the answer, but it was really quite the brain warp mixing green skin tones and trusting that this was correct. And with every calendar card created for University Hospital, I included the honeybee. Sometimes it’s hidden, this time he’s a little more prominent. To me, nothing represents life quite like bees do and it just so happens that “Hummel” means “Honeybee” in German.

13 Caricature Illustrations in Four Days

Once again, my services were called upon to create painted caricature gifts for the speakers of Western Conservative Summit. Thinking I had two weeks to knock these out, I focused my time on teaching and other projects. Then, right before starting, I get an out of town chalk art gig in St. Paul, Minnesota for the last week, shortening my time by one week. Add to this the fact that I need to create the art and schematic for the chalk art event, and suddenly my time to pull this off becomes four days.

But things are different this year from last. Since starting last year, I have worked tirelessly studying the art of caricature and practicing pushing the boundaries of expression. Last year’s portraits were fairly timid. This year, I tried to push outside of that (and still I realize I have much further to go). Also last year, I was just getting used to that new technique. I had never really worked that way in the past and so last year’s process was fairly experimental. Now I’ve had a whole year of practice on this technique, including a number of landscape paintings. In reality, if I would have had more time, I probably would have butchered the job. I forced myself to try and get each piece completed in three hours, which means having to make some serious design decisions on the fly.

I am very pleased at the final result. As I put the finishing touches to Linda Chavez’s jacket, I breathed a sigh of relief. Finally, the project is complete.

13 caricatures in 4 days


From top, l-r: Former Senator Jim DeMint, Dennis Prager, Dr. Ben Carson, Sen. Mike Lee, Gov. Bobby Jindal, Sarah Palin, Katie Pavlich, Linda Chavez, Sen. Tim Scott, Betsy Mccaughey, Daniel Hannan, Hugh Hewitt