December 31, 2009

"A Cultural Chair"

This silkscreen print was made a long time ago. I was in the summer program at the Lake Placid Art School in upstate New York. The image is about participating in culture. Most people feel that they can not sit in the Cultural Chair. As a teacher I feel it is important to change this attitude. Everyone should feel the joy of making a cultural contribution. Art making is an avenue available to all.

December 16, 2009

CWRU Art Studio, Student Exhibition 2009

Angie put a lot of work into this kinetic scuplture, she is considering her options after her senior year: graduate school for medical illustration or art education.

December 15, 2009

"Icarus" Kinetic Sculpture

Angie described her creative process as if one had eaten a mythology book. I like the way the 3D expressionistic images are flattened in the video.

She told me that her mother read Greek myths to her when she was falling asleep as a child.

December 14, 2009

Chien Nguyen's Tryptich

This project is about expressing three related concepts in a tryptich format using die cuts to show different views.

Chien used spiraled wire to connect the panels.

The planar sculpture when fully opened reveals the warm colors.

"Modern Warfare", by Jonathan Klein, Arts 101

The assigned project was to use security envelope textures to create a collage. Jonathan K. came up with a riveting combination of image and medium that resonates. For the project's essay he explains, "The image is a screenshot from a popular war video game. How to deal with the costs of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan and the tie between government funding and the military are alluded to with security billing envelopes."

Arts 101, Texture Project Instructions

I made this video to show to my students.

Students' Work CWRU, Shapes In Space

Martha Kriley excelled at this most difficult project: Two complimentary colors are mixed to produce a nuetral gray background. Strofoam shapes are designed, cut, and painted. The use of atmospheric perspective results in a convincing illusion of deep space.

December 4, 2009

"A Compendium of Half Circles"

I had some mystical experiences, meaningful coincidences, AKA synchronisities with the half circle. This is a great example of divergent thinking for fun. Can you find the chocolate chip cookie?

"A Compendium of Mobile Homes"

I presented a power point titled "The Figure in Geometry, How I Became a Neoclassic Artist" at the Ohio Art Education Assoc. Convention. This etching done in 1975 reigns supreme in my understanding of dynamic shapes. Buckminster Fuller's ideas about the square being a shape connoting contraction affected me deeply.

November 21, 2009

Pedagogy & The Wizard of Oz

Recieving the Ohio Art Education Association scholarship award for graduate students was a little surreal. I never looked at that man behind the curatain, but that is Mary Cassat, holding a baby, behind the podium. I'm working on a Masters degree in Art Education at CWRU. Dr. Karen Hutzel, OSU, is tying a black apron on me. The label on the apron reads: "Mr. Boyle Art Teacher". The Award means so much to me, giving the term "Life Long Learning" concrete validity. The help with tuition is also much appreciated.

November 20, 2009

Oscar Night

It was a fun night. Tim Rollins was the guest speaker. He is a wonderful NYC artist and art educator, who collaborates with urban disadvantaged youth to create amazing paintings based on literary sources. Tim Rollins K.O.S. (Kids Of Survival) is the name of his corporation formed with these young artists who now exhibit around the world.

October 31, 2009

Happy Halloween, Self Portrait

An exemplar for a lesson plan on Chiaroscuro. The idea is to have the students photograph each other with dramatic-spooky lighting from a flashlight. The photo reference is traced. The shadows and highlights contrast with the medium gray background.

October 18, 2009

"Saltmarsh at Wellfleet"

Even though I painted this in 2007, I remeber exactly how it felt in the hot sun. I will never forget the little fiddler crabs that popped up out of the holes in the sand all around my chair.

October 17, 2009


Painting in the summer of 2007 was an adventure, just finding the right spot to set up took half a day. Now I want to go back to that little hill, every year.

July 25, 2009

What I Did On My Summer Vacation

I returned to that "Meadow on the Cove" in Orleans, MA. There is a path cut through a wonderful native wildflower meadow. I painted for about 2 hours and shot lots of close up photos of the vegetation. Details will be added later in the studio. Can you imagine a world with less unnecessary cancer causing pesticides? I like weeds: weeds are flowers!

July 24, 2009

Raku Class, CWRU, Valley Ridge Farm

I created all of these pieces at the Case Western Reserve University Farm.
Raku is a Japanese inspired form of ceramics, revived in the 60's. Themes of nature with random iridescent glaze patterns, and smokey black and gray mat surfaces set a mysterious and ancient archaeological mood.
Pan was the ancient Greek god of music, shepherds, and the forest. The form was created from a plaster life mask/pug mold. The raku glazes are unpredictable. The green and ochre colors of the mask were a total surprise but appropriate for Pan.
I designed a goblet drum using the golden section. A Greek inspired column crater also uses the primitave technique of coil construction.
Professor Tim Shuckerow taught us how to throw saw dust on the hot glazed bisqued ceramics. The holes were dug in the ground, layered with hay, and were covered with lids to fire the pieces.

Phyllis Sloane 1921-2009

During my time in Cleveland's Little Italy 1989-1996, my dear friend and neighbor gave me the key to her studio when she went to Santa Fe for the summer. I worked on etchings, mono prints, and my GCRTA public art project. Our work shares a similar ideology: respect for good "academic" drawing skills and a belief that art can be uplifting and memorable without resorting to shock value. She once joked that her unending energy and prolific output was a symptom of OCD. Phyllis was a great artist. I learned much from her. In a dream she asked me, "Do you like my symphony"? She was pointing to one of her orange still life paintings.

July 20, 2009

"Proud" was comissioned as a charitable fund raiser

In 2002 I was commissioned by Key Bank and United Way to paint a 8' fiberglass sculpture. "Proud" is now on the corner of E. 9th St. in Cleveland. It was reproduced as a miniature and replicated as a real working musical instrument by Fender. The wings conform to the shape of the stratocaster.

July 17, 2009

SmART in the City

I'm team-teaching art with Anna Arnold to Cleveland 5th, 6th, & 7th grade students this summer. Titled "Freedom to Make It" this summer art day camp teaches Painting, Drawing, Ceramics, West African Percussion, Dance, and Music. It is funded by a joint effort of The Cleveland Foundation, CWRU & UBS Wealth Management. This is one of several locations across the city. Anna Arnold and I are teaching painting and drawing. The students are working on self portraits.

July 4, 2009

"American Dream", Happy 4th of July

Painted from a photograph, shot in upstate N.Y. this 1990 painting tries to express my hopeful feelings about America.

June 27, 2009


On top is the photo of the plein air painting on October 15, 2008. Depicted is the dahlia garden of Ray Wilkins a retired KSU professor. We chatted about his diminished prospects for a planned retirement community as the economic meltdown had started. He warned the flowers would all be gone at the first frost. The vase was painted in June, 2009, in the studio.

June 20, 2009

"Paths To The Water"

This and another new painting can be seen at Kendall Art Gallery, Wellfleet, MA.
The plein air landscape was done in one 3 hour session last summer, on Cape Cod at Fort Hill, overlooking Nauset Marsh. The objets d'art were added in my studio back in Ohio. There are many of those oil lamp ceramics at flea markets.

June 19, 2009

"Two Paths"

This is how I work. It took me a while to figure out which objet d'art would be painted on this one. I was thinking about the two paths. The red violet colors provide a compliment to balance all that green. One path is the sensual; lilacs. The other is the intellectual; the lamp. One has to be carefull in painting in layers with oil. I sanded off the background area for the lamp; a symbol of learning. "Lux et Veritas", light and truth.

June 13, 2009

"Harvest Is Great"

This one was begun last fall at Beckwith's Orchard. The plein air painting was finished in the studio. I added the stone and four varieties of apples, left to right: Jonahgold, Rome, Ambrosia, and McIntosh. The title is painted at the top. I'm thinking about concrete poetry. The Greeks were the first to do it: letters of words arranged in a shape.

June 9, 2009

"A Penny Saved"

A penny saved is a penny earned and taxed. This painting (1997) is in the collection of Fidelity Investments, Boston, MA. A woman at Fidelity recently (2009) asked me what tulips and a bowl of cherries have to do with savings and taxes. The painting hangs across from her desk and people are always asking. I replied that tulip mania in the Netherlands (1663) was similar to the stock market crash of 1929. The song "Life is Just a Bowl of Cherries" was written in 1931. I guess the message of the painting is don't speculate and when you loose, sing the song or one of the other depression songs. What song does our economic meltdown have? I should paint a new one with houses.

May 25, 2009

"Poppy Fields" Memorial Day

An idea for a painting honoring the casualties of war has a pair of army boots. The Belgian poppy fields of WWI inspired a poem which inspired a fundraiser for VFW. Ironically the poppy now has a deadlier purpose.

May 22, 2009

"Babe" Year of the Ox

Here is yet another painted fiberglass street sculpture/ fundraiser. This is one of my favorite causes: raises funds for Asian Services in Action, Youth Art & Culture Education Program; which provides art classes for our "Asia Town" neighborhood children. Koscian Meat Market sponsored me to paint him prior to the auction. "Babe" is depicted in a flannel work shirt. We'll all be working a lot harder to dig ourselves out of our current financial hole. According to the Chinese zodiac, hard work is the only way to achieve success in the year of the ox.

May 3, 2009

Students' Independent Projects

Angela Rovnyak's capstone project, "A Disjoint Set" used three stories tied togeather by a mother child dialogue. The book explores the boundaries of sequential art and stream of consciousness from a child's point of view.

Angela used her knowledge of vivisection from Introductory Entomology and her pet moth, "Stanlie" as a model. There is a reference to the Killers song "Spaceman" and an illustration of how an insect sees, as shown on the left wing.

May 2, 2009

"A Disjoint Set"

Angela's capstone project combined styles and stories. This experimental graphic novel synthesized many of her interests: Slavic myth, super heros, acceptance of body image, popular song, and biology. That is Angela with the blue hair (above).

The carbon paper traced line proved to be a powerful and unique technique in her hands. I'm sure there's more creativity to come. See more at

"Alex's Adventures in Fouierland" end of the CWRU school year

Andrew made a great pop up book for his independent Design and Color project. Inspired by Lewis Carroll, he created an entertaining and thought provoking Fourierland where the Chebyshev (Type II) Cat lurks in the blue forest. He plans to earn a graduate degree in robotics at Carnegie Mellon

There were some real Spartans lurking at the Freedman Multimedia center.

The Art Studio exhibition was a place for the students to find closure. I found two of my most open and fun students. Julianne and Yoko, the Ying and Yang of my Arts 101 course. Julianne is transferring to the Cleveland Institute of Art's interior design program and Yoko is graduating to do graduate studies in medicine in Toledo.

May 1, 2009

"Meat Head"

Remember the Hamburgler? I traded this one to my dentist for some intensive scaling. Ouch.

April 18, 2009

"Music Makes The Dance"

The kithara was an ancient Greek stringed instrument. My first real solo show was at Mario Mainetti Gallery in Basel, Switzerland. I left this painting in Basel, as a gift to the Klein's who gave me the key to their downstairs apartment for two weeks. The wife was a dancer.

April 12, 2009

"Break Out"

We were watching VH1's One Hit Wonders and this song came on by "Swing Out Sister". Yes that's where the title came from. She was a model who now has a singing career in Japan, with many many albums.

April 4, 2009

Virgil Week Projects CWRU

Professor Timothy Wutrich invited various departments to participate in a 12 hour marathon reading of the Aeneid. I was the only one who bit. How could I not be interested after painting all those Greek vases?

Greeks, Freaks, & Geeks at CWRU Greek Week

The Greeks put up "banners" displaying their wit, energy & creativity. Here's the mythic Gnome on the Unicorn. I like the way there was a gallon of green patina sludge just dumped on it.

The dog house theme allows for lounging and studying.

Next door at SAGES cafe, noted scholars had an all day reading of Virgil's Aeneid. I displayed 3 of my paintings.

Outside, these sisters put a lot of effort into their display. The Office of Greek Life declared this years theme: "Nickelodeon".

Some think that the Greek myths are irrelevant. Hollywood certainly doesn't. "Troy" and "The 300" come to mind.

My Arts 101, Design & Color class produced some Aeneid themed art works for the 12 hour reading of Virgil's Aeneid event.

Professor Timothy Wutrich organized the reading event which included Notre Dame Academy Latin group from Toledo. Shaker Hts. High and John Jay High schools also read. It would be great to combine some of the carnival atmosphere outside, with the intellectual relevance inside. A special prize could be given for the best classically referenced display. The reading could be broadcast outside where an improvisational group responds. Think "Animal House" for scholars.