Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Reality Check

My painting Madame X Desk Blotter is now in the exhibition title Reality Check: Contemporary American Trompe L'oeil at the Brandywine River Museum.The piece is on loan from the New Britian Museum of American Art. The exhibition presents the work of 22 contemporary artist, all of whom demonstrate a high degree of skill in the tradition of trompe l'oeil.

Judging by the crowd on opening night I would have to say realism in art is alive and well. It was a great pleasure to meet the other artist and museum staff. Anybody with an interest in trompe l'oeil should check out the exhibition on line or in person, you won't be disappointed.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

William Tell's Dart Board

A fun painting to do, the title says it all. Not the best photo, but you get the idea.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Spanierman Gallery, Summer Show

I am pleased to say that my work is now being represented by Spanierman Gallery of New York, NY. They have been dealing in the finest American Art for over a half century. To now be included is quite a thrill. This painting titled 'Monopoly' is being included in the show 'Summer Selections'. The show will include work from 1870 to the present, and will be showing art by Childe Hassam, Eastman Johnson and William Trost Richards to name a few.

Saturday, July 10, 2010


It was brought to my attention that I don't spell very well (you know who you are Jenn), so I decided to  post this painting. In case anyone was wondering what someone had noticed, it was that I had  spelled contemporary wrong in the title of this blog. How embarrassing in the age of spell check!

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

A George In The Box

I really enjoy doing these small pieces. A simple composition and a clever title is all that's needed to do these. The photo is not cropped the best but you get the idea. It is framed in a float style frame, black and simple. I have a few more of these started and hope to finish the up soon.

Sunday, May 30, 2010

Another Fool And His Money

I enjoy changing the shapes of some paintings. This piece hangs on the wall with no frame and is done on a 1/2" board, these two factors help maintain the illusion of a real dart board. With some trompe o'leil paintings a frame can actually hurt the artist attempt to fool the eye, but it's a fine line, most people like their art framed

Tuesday, May 18, 2010


I haven't posted anything in awhile, but I have been working on some new paintings. Hopefully they will be finished soon. One of the problems with trompe l'oiel is they take so long to do. In this piece the image torn from a magazine is of the Harnett painting 'The Faithful Colt'. I signed the painting as if  Harnett had painted a trompe l'oiel of his own painting, and dated it the year that the original was done, it makes for a nice twist to the piece. This is one of my favorite Harnett painting and I am fortunate that it is located in my state of Connecticut at the Wadsworth Atheneum in Hartford.

Monday, April 12, 2010

Hidden Assets

This is one of my larger pieces. It's of some importance items hidden away on the back of a painting. The stock certificate of The New York Central Railroad Company was once a prized asset in the 19th century, but now is a worthless piece of paper.The title of the company is hidden by the money to spell The New Company an ironic twist to what has happened over the years.
The choice of the back side of a fifty dollar bill was chosen because I wanted a play on the word "capital". Another ironic twist, the stock is now worthless and there's Washington at the center of it. Trompe o'leil is filled with hidden mesages and ironies, they can make some pieces more successful than others.Sometimes the concept can be just as important as the execution.
The signature on this piece is on the stock itself among all the other signatures. I rarely sign my work in the typical right hand corner.

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Awaiting The Master

It's hard to believe that at one time smoking was so acceptable that painting of smoking paraphernalia were sought after. Not quite the case today. This piece is a good example of how two different trompe l'oiel artist have influenced my work. The subject matter is something Harnett would have painted, but the screws along with a torn off tag is a Haberle motif.
These painting are small, quick and fun to do. I'm now working on some larger pieces that take hundreds of hours to do, but work like this makes for a nice break.

Sunday, February 21, 2010

The Big Cats

After hearing it was the year of the tiger I just had to post some paintings I did years ago of the big cats. When I left art school that's all I did was wildlife paintings. I was fortunate to have access to skins and skulls from the Peabody Museum and a private collection of taxidermy animals. I gave them up for trompe l'oiel, because to do these animals correctly I would have to start traveling to see them in their natural habitat. And that was probably not going to be happening anytime soon. I often wonder what would have happened if I had stayed with  painting  animals.

Monday, February 1, 2010

The Peale Influence, Delicate And Simple

The Peale family of artist are some of my favorite painter, especially Raphelle and his brother Rembrant. Raphelles still lifes are so simple, and yet so delicately painted that the objects no matter how small or common suddenly become  precious jewel. To say his work has been a big influenced on my still lifes would be an understatement. Here are a few pieces I did with Raphelle Peale in mind.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

A Bouquet

A new small painting. I'm usually not one for soft edges and soft details, but this was a nice change of pace.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

A Twist

Another small piece of a very simple subject matter. These are fun to do and not very time consuming. It makes for a nice change of pace from trompe l'oiel. More small painting to come as I finish them. I would like to finish them all up its time to start some major paintings. Currency will probably be the subject matter.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

A Change Of Pace

I dont do a lot of these small studies, but every now and then I do a series of them to take a break from trompe l'oiel. This peice is only 6x6. Its a old fruit press I bought thinking one day I would do a major painting of it. I like to do these when I feel my battery needs recharging. Trompe l'oiel can take so long and with these the results are so much more immediate, and sometimes an artist needs that. I guess this is my version of a daily painting. I'm in the process of doing more of these and I will be posting them soon, I hope people will find them of some interest.

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

A Fool And His Money

This is one of only a few  paintings I've done on canvas. It is mounted on board. I just never really got a feel for canvas, even with this painting I gesso the canvas many times to take some of the tooth out of the canvas. I viewed painting  money on canvas as a real challenge and should be attempted, after all John Haberle did his trompe l'oiel painting of money on canvas. It didnt seem to effect his work much!
I just dont see the advantage of canvas over board. I'd really like to get some comments about the advantages of canvas. Perhaps I can be persuaded to try it again. After all art is a journey and maybe canvas should be apart of it.