July 31, 2008

"Wedding Party"

The arrival of an important guest and a present wrapped in white explain the title. The cherry blossoms indicate the time of year. I can't find the bride and groom.

July 30, 2008

"Horse Woman"

Have you ever felt like you were jumping through hoops? When I first moved to NYC I felt like it. There was a circus atmosphere in the streets. I rented a telephoto lense and went to the circus at Madison Square Garden. "The figure in geometry" was my focus.

July 29, 2008

"Spider Woman"

Kind of like a gyroscope, there was a spider web contraption at the circus. (I actually met a circus costume designer. Neil Saffron made it big time...in Hollywood.)

July 28, 2008


This canvas is not quite a circle. Playing with the rotation of an ellipse and how the edge of a canvas stretcher disappears was fun.


Painted in the summer of 1994, this luscious still live brings back memories of a simpler time. The triangular composition conveys peace. I love the way the melon repeats the lunette shape.

"Grapes, Wine and Ruggalach"

And there was the biscotti, too. One of the perks of painting food is that you can eat the models.

How Are They Constructed ?

I am often asked this question and am glad to teach. We are here for a short while, lets share our "trade secrets". The elements are, Wood supports cut out of a single sheet of birch plywood or composite. Plastic lip. Finest Belgian linen, unprimed. Rabbit skin glue. (Those poor bunnies). White oil primer. This ground of linen and rabbit skin glue is known to last for centuries.

July 25, 2008

"Willowy Twilight I"

How it is painted varies. The Berkshire landscape was painted from a plein air study in the studio. Sunsets are the perfect solution to the dilemma of "What do you do with all that green?" Notice the derriere distant hills.

July 24, 2008

"Willowy Twilight II"

It's not done till it looks right. The addition of the loutrophoros vase creates a completely different painting. This was a wedding vase shape for holding water for the ceremonial bathing of the bride. The loutrophoros was also used to bathe the unmarried dead and was placed in their tomb.

July 23, 2008

"Violin Romance"

Jennifer DeForest taught violin at Belvoir Terrace where I was teaching painting in 1994. I painted this portrait of her. Years later after playing for the Salt Lake City Orchestra, she married and had 2 children. Somehow her husband tracked me down. I made a digital print on canvas and added 2 children sitting on the rim of the vase. This original version is available as a canvas print.

"Lakewood Triad"

Painted at Edgewater Beach, in 1993, this porthole painting is in the collection of an artist friend. It is pink and blue green and I applied a copper foil border/frame. There are three gradations of shore line in atmospheric perspective. Think of the summer haze.
Painted in the open air, this small one is one of my favorites. There is nothing to think about, other than the sound of the waves, the sand, green trees, and crystal clear blue sky.
Tondo in Italian means round. This was painted while sitting on an old pier at Euclid Beach. It was purchased by University Hospitals in Cleveland. Trudy Weisenberger, the art consultant from U.H. thought the painted gold leaf border was an actual carved, gilded, wood frame. Fooled Ya!

"Chrysler and the U.N."

The Chrysler building is a mythic symbol of all that the U.S.A. has to offer: stainless steel iconic qualities. It was purchased in 2008 by an investment group from the U.A.E. in Abu Dhabi. Let us stop driving gas hogs, and make public transportation the rule. The U.N. building is in the foreground opposite a rust colored building. I loved painting the silvery sky and wish I was riding in that little yellow cab, right now.


This a painting of the NYC waterfront I painted in 1989, the year I left the city. I made photographs of the skyline from the Circle Line boat trip.
In the center and at a distance, is the Woolworth building, one of my favorites. To the right of it is a large green glass building. And to the right of that are the Twin Towers. The perspective is not 3 point. The buildings do not taper or have a vanishing point as they reach for the sky.

Hotel du Palais, Biaritz, France: Solo Exhibition , 1988

This pose was a selfie for my exhibition invitation at the Hotel du Palais.  I arranged the paintings on the wall of the Broome Street studio.  The light in the loft was excellent for painting.

July 22, 2008

"Gold Rays from Edgewater at 8:00 PM"

The hot summer air fueled my inspiration. So, this is why it is called the "Gold Coast".

"Abraham Lincoln"

A friend suggested that he looks too gray. This is an older painting, I do not know the symbolism of the yellow rose. I think I may give him color glazes, and maybe write something about the emancipation proclomation on the scroll. It is sad that some of our children know more about Teletubbies, than the founders of our country.

Three Graces

Chuck and Char Fowler commissioned this portrait of their daughters. We had a jolly photo shoot dancing around in their new house.

I painted from photographs. The middle daughter had passed away earlier, so it was a challenge to make her look a little older. I read somewhere that in heaven, everyone is around 27 years old.

July 20, 2008

Portrait Commissions

Mr. and Mrs. Fowler were living in a condo while their dream house was being built. Char called me to paint their portraits after seeing "Look Inside Yourself" at the Cleveland Center for Contemporary Art (now MOCA). CCCA actually promoted local artists way back then. I took photos for reference. Charles enjoyed dressing up.

July 19, 2008

In 1995, there was an exhibition of Greek antiquities at the Cleveland Museum of Art, titled: A Passion for Antiquities Ancient Art from the Collection of Barbara and Lawrence Flieschman. I was in my element.

The adulation from Greek Vase enthusiasts was astounding for me. This painting was commissioned by Lawrence, CEO of Kennedy Galleries and is in NYC. Hi Barbara!

Portrait of My Grandmother

For a liturgical commission Eikona Inc. hired Ken Motz and I to paint 38 saint portraits. The priests wanted everyday, ethnic people, without halos. I used a photograph of my dear departed grandmother, Ann Lovas Boyle. She really was a saint.

July 15, 2008

"Summer Spectrum"

All of these objects were painted from life. Wild grapes grow in the side yard. It really is incredible how so many colors can be seen in nature. The opening to a blue sky with the Magrite like clouds is not a strict trompe l'oeil technique.

July 14, 2008


A trick to fool the eye is not to frame a painting...Imagine a gold frame on this one. It may sell to a Park Avenue matron, but would loose the trompe l'oeil ooomph. Harnet showed his paintings in a tavern. I wonder how many drinks it took to fool those eyes. This painting is a companion to "The Gravity of Desire". Suspenders are the masculine counterpart to a female's garter.

"The Gravity of Desire"

The apple bough was given to me by Mr. Beckwith of the Beckwith's Orchard. The garter was a challenge to paint and it was difficult to find one in a store that wasn't real tacky.

July 9, 2008

"Passion Of The Rose"

The most important rule of trompe l'oeil painting is to paint the objects at actual size. All of the objects except the figurine are painted from life. I set them up in the studio and used a ruler to measure the actual height of each object. The goal is to paint a picture which could be mistaken for an actual object. A picture frame automatically destroys the attempted illusion. We are incredibly sophisticated as viewers and it doubtful that anyone is really fooled by a trompe l'oeil painting. For me it is a challenge and a way to connect to an ancient and timeless tradition.

July 8, 2008

"A Friend Of Mine"

For the first niche painting, I mostly got the idea from a dream: I was painting a niche. I found my niche in a dream. The painter George Kozman had been doing architectural perspectives in landscape often with water reflections, so there was his influence. There is also a great painting in the Cleveland Museum of Art. It is not exactly a new idea. However, few artists have strictly followed the trompe l'oeil rules. This is a statue of Mary Magdeline, painted from a photograph. I made a cardboard niche model to study the light sources and shadows. The overlaping transparent shadows are invented.

July 6, 2008

"A Value Much Greater Than Pearls"

As a boy, I once bought plastic pearls for my Grandma on the walk home from Holy Cross School. After she passed away I painted this as a rememberence of the Mother who raised me. Every object was painted from life except the sculpture which is from a photo.

July 4, 2008

"The Fourth Of July"

Why lemons? Mostly for the color. Red, white, and yellow create the most extreme contrast in a triad color harmony. The three primaries in full saturation espress a giddy happiness. What's not to like about the fourth of July?

July 2, 2008

Yale Art School 1978, MFA critique, They said: We don't know what you want to do. TRUE! I was experimenting. This is an arch, half circle, installation of hand made papers. Winifred Lutz: Where are you? Winifred taught us how to make exquisite paper making screens. That half circle
is my leitmotif-stchick. Hallelujah.